Sector Development - ISO-BEA

Maximum Funding Amounts

The ISO is not recommending request amounts for this program. Funding requests should be in line with the project scope, and expected impact.

Program Overview

The Sector Development program is designed to support a wide array of initiatives and projects that aim to strengthen and grow the Indigenous screen sector.

Workshops, labs, incubators, research projects, community based programs, and funding for organizations whose mandate is to develop the Indigenous screen sector should consider applying to this program.

The ISO has partnered with educational institutions, non-profit youth programs, Indigenous-owned production companies, broadcasters, film festivals, art centres, and other organizations to support their activities and mission. This funding can be leveraged to build capacity within an organization, or to support the delivery of a program, workshop, conference or lab.

The Sector Development program aims to support the development of the entire professional pathway from emerging to established creators and projects.


Early Stage: Youth programs, workshops for emerging creators, research initiatives, resources and toolkits, etc.

Mid-Stage: Incubators, professional development opportunities, production training placements, targeted mentorship, festival programming, etc.

Advanced Stage: Executive positions, high-level production training, special initiatives that build the profile for the Indigenous screen sector nationally or internationally, etc.


Sector Development can also be used for both external and internal funding.

  • Internal funding: Projects developed within Indigenous companies or organizations that focus on capacity building for organizations whose principal mandate is to grow the Indigenous screen sector, hiring staff and creating employment opportunities, engaging consultants, community consultations, etc.
  • External funding: Providing services, workshops, and training opportunities to the Indigenous screen community. Activities that are offered through a selection process, call for applications, are submission based, etc.


Applicants can receive up to $5,000.00 to access support for: mentorship for a specific skill, to cover costs associated with a screen-based course or training, to incorporate, or other initiatives. A strong rationale must be demonstrated. Applications should be completed via the application portal.

Application requirements:

  • Bio and CV;
  • Budget with ISO costs clearly indicated;
  • Project specific confirmation, i.e.: acceptance/confirmation letter(s), correspondence, work plan with details, contact information of mentor, etc.;
  • Project information including plan of activities, rationale, and project details.


  • Travel costs;
  • Courses that already cover costs, scholarships, fees, etc.;
  • Mentorship/apprenticeship that is related to a production or development of a project;
  • Non-screen related activities and initiatives or not related to professional development in the screen sector;
  • Activities that have already occurred. What you are proposing must be in the future from the time you send in your application;
  • Courses and activities already funded by the ISO via Sector Development or another program.

This funding should be used for activities that are not readily covered via other ISO funding programs, and require a small scale financial contribution in order to occur. These applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and assessed internally by the ISO Team.

Program Summary

Who Can Apply

Funding for workshops, labs, incubators, research projects, community based programs, and organizations whose mandate is to develop the Indigenous screen sector.


Designed to support a wide array of initiatives and projects that aim to strengthen and grow the Indigenous screen sector.

Key Dates

Opening Date

Closing Date

Rolling deadline or until .

Contribution Amounts

The ISO is not recommending request amounts for this program. Funding requests should be in line with the project scope, and expected impact.

Although we are not recommending request amounts we have capped the amount for production training at $150,000.00 per project. Production training refers specifically to hiring of trainees who will be learning on set or in studio.

First Nation, Inuit, Métis Collectives or Ad Hoc Groups can request a maximum of $100,00.00

Applicants who are proposing a new initiative or pilot program are encouraged to ensure their budget is in line with the scope and impact of their project. A demonstrated track record is an important part of the assessment criteria, and new initiatives should ensure their rationale and external support are clearly articulated in the application.

Please note, applicants may receive less than the request amount as determined by the assessment committee. Any contribution of more than $250,000.00 will be subject to a hold-back of up to 3% upon submission of a final report and a schedule of ISO expenditures.

Eligible Expenses

  • Project fees and expenses including participant fees, facilitator fees, mentor fees;
  • Program management and/or coordination;
  • Technology and facility expenses related to the project;
  • Travel costs for participants, trainees, or key collaborators (please note, applications focused exclusively on travel should refer to the Travel Funding program);
  • Community engagement and consultation work related to the project;
  • Organizational capacity building costs, clearly defined in the proposal and related to the administering of the project;
  • Other associated project costs clearly identified with project description. Please speak with the Program Manager for any questions related to additional eligible expenses specific to your proposal.

We encourage applicants to this program to meet with the ISO Sector Development Program Manager prior to completing an application. Please contact to set up a meeting. If you are unsure if your project is eligible for this program, please reach out.

Submission Process and Notification

Applications must be completed in the ISO portal Projects will be assessed on a continual basis until funding for the program is depleted or until March 1st, 2024.

Projects will be assessed as quickly as possible, with notifications provided within 2-3 months. Please expect delays for holiday closure in December. Funding amounts may be lower than requested due to annual budget limitations. Please refer to the “Program Closure” section for information about steps taken by the ISO once the funding has been allocated.

Administrative follow ups may be conducted via email for additional information on the application if required.

Program Eligibility Criteria

The spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support Indigenous storytelling and Indigenous companies and organizations that are controlled by Indigenous people, who have decision-making authority and creative control.

For the purposes of ISO programs, “Indigenous” is defined as status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples of Canada. All applicants must be residents of Canada and have spent 8 months out of the last year living in Canada.

Please consult the Building Trust and Accountability: Report on Eligibility in the Indigenous Screen Sector which informs the ISO in regards to Indigenous identity, relationality, and access to funding programs.

Applicants to this program must be:

  • Companies and organizations that are registered in Canada.
  • Able to demonstrate the potential to impact the sector and a number of Indigenous participants;
  • Applicants must be screen-based as their primary focus and have a track record in production (for production training) OR of delivering support, services or initiatives to Indigenous communities OR a specialized service or skill that addresses gaps in the Indigenous screen sector;
  • Have a plan for responding to, and engaging with participants or community members as part of their project;
  • Identify how they plan to track and report on impact;
  • If youth are engaged in the project, a plan for how the youth will be supported during the initiative, and how they will be followed up after the completion of the activities;
  • Be able to deposit a cheque or make a direct deposit in the name of the applicant.


  • Indigenous-controlled (minimum 51% ownership by person/s who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons, two of the three key members of the creative team must be Indigenous;
  • Registered as a corporation with its head office in Canada;
  • Main activity of the organization is the production or support of screen-based content, including TV, film, web, digital narrative content, and XR (VR, AR).
  • Is not insolvent or bankrupt, or in the course of the reorganization of its business within the meaning of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (Canada);
  • The company must have a track record of successful training initiatives.

Organizations (with specific criteria for each)

  • Indigenous non-profit organizations, or registered charities;
  • First Nations, Inuit or Métis band council, community or settlement;
  • BIPOC non-profit organizations or registered charities;
  • First Nation, Inuit, Métis Collectives or Ad Hoc Groups;
  • Other non-profit organizations or registered charities.

Indigenous Non-Profit Organizations, or Registered Charities

  • Must be Indigenous led, with a 51% Indigenous-majority Board of Directors and Indigenous-majority staff in key decision-making roles (ie. Executive Director, Artistic Director, Managing/Operations Director, Director of Finance, etc.);
  • Must be an incorporated non-profit organization with head office in Canada;
  • Includes: festivals, associations, arts service organizations, and training institutes.

First Nation, Inuit or Métis Band Office or Registered community or Settlement

  • Must currently be recognized as an Indigenous nation/established community;
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons; two of the three key members are Indigenous.
  • Must demonstrate capacity for undertaking a screen-based project, community interest, and support;

First Nation, Inuit, Métis Collectives or Ad Hoc Groups

  • Indigenous-led (if two members, both must be Indigenous, if more than two, the majority of the collective/group must be persons who are First Nations, Inuit or Métis);
  • The project is under the financial and creative control of Indigenous persons;
  • A history of successful work done in the area of proposed activities in the application;
  • Bios for each collective/group member must be provided as well as their individual percentage of ownership of and role in the project.

BIPOC Non-Profit Organizations or Registered Charities

  • Must be led by people who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour, with a 51% BIPOC-majority Board of Directors and BIPOC-majority staff in key decision-making roles (ie. Executive Director, Artistic Director, Managing/Operations Director, Director of Finance, etc.);
  • Must be an incorporated non-profit organization with head office in Canada;
  • A demonstrated commitment to supporting the Indigenous screen sector through funding, programs, and targeted outreach;
  • Funding must be for a specific project that has confirmed participation by Indigenous creators, and funding must be directed towards the Indigenous participants or creators.

Other Non-Profit Organizations or Charities

  • A limited number of partnerships may be considered for non-profit organizations that are non-Indigenous or non-BIPOC for projects that are led by Indigenous people, that include a contribution of funding and/or resources from the applicant organization, and that have a clear benefit to Indigenous screen creators.
  • A demonstrated commitment to supporting the Indigenous screen sector through funding, programs, and targeted outreach;
  • Confirmation of other financing or funding is required.


  • Production companies cannot receive funding from other ISO programs for the same training program or initiative. For example, funding for trainees cannot be included in another application to ISO Funding Programs;
  • For production training, apprentices and mentors must be confirmed, OR a detailed recruitment plan must be submitted;
  • For production training, confirmed financing must be in place in order to bring on trainees;
  • At least 80% of the budget must be allocated towards Indigenous people. If required, support roles and or other fees provided to non-Indigenous people should be capped at 20% of the total budget;
  • You must be in good standing with ISO.


  • Non-Indigenous for-profit companies, including production companies;
  • Individuals;
  • Operational or capacity related costs for non-Indigenous or non-BIPOC non-profit organizations or charities.

Application Requirements

Requirements for this program include:

  • Articles of incorporation, and/or relevant ownership agreements, individual percentages of ownership;
  • Bios and CVs for all owners, and key roles;
  • Description and relevant materials of previous initiatives and outcomes;
  • Project information detailing scope of work, plan of execution, and intended impact;
  • Signed letters of support from (project dependant): trainees, previous participants, community members, staff, councils, communities, settlements, or interested parties;
  • Project budget with ISO costs separated (template provided in application portal);
  • Training plan or work plan with milestones and outcomes (optional template provided in application portal);
  • Confirmation letters or contracts for confirmed funding sources;
  • Community engagement plans (when applicable), including information about existing community relationships, protocols, etc;
  • For production/in-studio training proposals: Applicants must submit a detailed training plan, including bios/CVs for trainees. If trainees are unconfirmed, a detailed recruitment plan must be submitted. Outcomes for trainees must be explained and sector impact should be clearly articulated;
  • For production/in-studio training proposals: Applicants must submit a chain of title for the project(s).

Funding Process and Priorities

The spirit and intent of ISO funding is to support companies that are controlled by Indigenous people, who have decision-making authority and creative control. However, this is the only program at ISO where we may partner with BIPOC and non-Indigenous controlled non-profit organizations on projects that are Indigenous-led OR meet a specific need or skills gap in the sector for Indigenous screen-based creators.

ISO staff will internally assess each application in line with the program focus and the assessment criteria as follows:

  • Regional and intersectional representation;
  • Impact, including the advancement of Indigenous storytelling and the enrichment of the cultural life of relational community(ies) and contribution to the Indigenous Screen Sector;
  • Community engagement and responsiveness to sectoral gaps and stated needs;
  • For non-Indigenous controlled non-profits: Meaningful involvement from relevant industry partners and demonstrated commitment the professional development of Indigenous creators;
  • Availability of funds, ISO mandate, and strategic goals;
  • Thoughtfulness, thoroughness, and clarity of application.

Program Closure

The Sector Development program has a rolling deadline, and therefore applications are assessed as they are submitted, and funding is allocated until the funding for the fiscal year has been depleted.
Once the funding has been depleted, the ISO will:

  • Close the program in ISO Apply;
  • Update the website, and announce the closure on social media;
  • Send a notice via ISO Apply to all applicants with open applications that the program is now closed.

If applicants wish to access the application in the portal, they must contact within 10 business days of the program’s closure. The ISO will provide a downloaded copy if requested. Otherwise, all in-progress applications will be deleted 10 business days after the program has been officially closed.

Accessibility and Accomodation

The ISO provides up to $500.00 CAD in additional funding to cover accessibility costs incurred during the stages of applying, completing a project, and writing your final report.

If you have barriers to access including but not limited to language, internet or physical barriers, please contact the ISO to discuss accommodations and support at

General Criteria

All applicants to ISO programs must confirm they have read the General Funding Guidelines prior to submitting an application.

Eligibility Review

An initial review for eligibility and missing documentation will be conducted by the ISO Sector Development Program Manager. The ISO program manager will reach out if any of this information is needed and applicants will be given a short period (maximum 10 days) to submit anything outstanding.


If at any time, an Applicant, as required by the Criteria or as requested by the ISO, provides false information or omits or misrepresents material information in connection with an application, including with respect to Indigenous identity, such provision of false information, omission or misrepresentation will be considered an event of default and the ISO may exercise the following contractual rights:

  • termination of any contracts, including any remedies thereunder;
  • denial of eligibility for existing and future funding;
  • repayment of any funds already advanced; and
  • civil and potential criminal prosecution, in the case of fraud.

These measures may be imposed not only on the Applicant but also on related, associated and affiliated companies and individuals that are parties to the application. Any Applicant receiving approval for funding will be required to sign a legally enforceable agreement, which includes provisions concerning misrepresentations, defaults, and related matters.

Final Reporting

A final report will be required within three months following the completion of the project. Applicants with overdue final reports will not be eligible for ISO funding until the report is submitted and approved.

Recognition of Contribution

Recipients must acknowledge ISO support with textual reference and/or logo in the credit sequence, or appropriate placement in the completed work (where applicable). ISO logos are available for download on the ISO website.

When sharing information about your participation in the proposed activity, please also tag the ISO on any social media posts related to this contribution :

  • Instagram – indigenousscreen
  • Twitter – screen_office
  • Facebook – ISO.BEA

Questions are encouraged and may be directed at any time to


Is the deadline of this program March 1st, 2024?
No. This program has a rolling deadline, which means the ISO reviews projects as they are submitted and allocates funding to successful projects until there is no more funding for the fiscal year. If there is still funding available by March 1st, 2024, we will close the program.
What is the demand for this program?
There is a high demand for the Sector Development program. We encourage you to apply ASAP to ensure you have access to the program while there is still funding available.
What is the average funding request for this program?
There isn’t an average allocation per project for this program. Because of the variety of projects we support, allocations are truly project dependent. We encourage applicants to apply ensuring their project is well-funded, successful, and will operate as intended. A reminder that the ISO can allocate less than the requested amount to successful projects.
What happens to my in-progress application if the program closes before I submit?
Please refer to the “Program Closure” section of the guidelines.
What happens to my application if I submit it, but the funding is allocated shortly thereafter?
The ISO will keep your application in the portal, and review your application at the start of the new fiscal year. This can mean an additional wait time for a decision on your application, and the ISO may request additional information if there have been updates to the program.
I have a small-scale initiative or project idea. Can I apply to this program?
Yes! Applications to the Sector Development program can be any size, as long as the rationale for how it benefits the Indigenous screen sector is articulated, and the applicant’s capacity to carry out the proposal is demonstrated. One Indigenous creative offering a workshop in their community is considered to be benefiting the Indigenous screen sector! Please refer to the “Small Scale Sector Development Investment” section.
I’m not sure my project is a good fit for this program.
Reach out!

Maximum Funding Amounts

The ISO is not recommending request amounts for this program. Funding requests should be in line with the project scope, and expected impact.

How to Apply

Please read and complete the following steps prior to submitting your application.

  1. Read the ISO General Funding Guidelines Policy

  2. Read the ISO Determining Indigenous Identity Guide

  3. Read the Sector Development Guidelines outlined on this page or download the PDF

  4. Complete the Sector Development application checklist

  5. You are ready to complete the application in the ISO Apply Portal

Deadline Reminder

Rolling basis application process – accepting applications until funding is depleted or until .


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Recognition of Contribution