YMA & TAAFI Open Entries for John Rooney Creator Fund for LGBT+ Canadian Talent

In memory of Canadian animation stalwart John Rooneywho passed away nearly a year ago at age 50, the Youth Media Alliance and TAAFI have established the John Rooney Creator Fund to honor his ardent support of LGBTQ2S+ talent in children’s, youth and family animation. Announced in January, the Fund is opening up to its first round of applicants this week. 

The YMA TAAFI John Rooney Creator Fund will launch two streams of professional development: Content Development and Scriptwriting. One outstanding Canadian candidate will be selected for the content development stream, while up to four candidates will be selected for the scriptwriting stream. The Fund enables scriptwriting stream recipients to participate in a writers’ summit for a television series, and for the content development winner to pitch their content at conferences of their choosing throughout the year.

Each stream has a budget of $10,000 CAD and will be broken down as follows:

Content Development Stream (1 Creator): The winner will receive mentorship from industry professionals and up to $5,000 CAD for creative development, which can be spent on contracting professional resources for the creation of their concept. The remaining $5,000 CAD will be reserved for travel and registration costs, which will allow the winner to network at conferences that align with their career goals. The objective of this stream is to expedite the winner’s journey to becoming an established content creator.

Scriptwriting stream (4 Writers): Each successful candidate will be placed in a writing room for a show in production. The purpose of this placement is for the candidate to gain an understanding of the script writing process, how stories are developed for series, and if possible, contribute to the room creatively. The Fund will cover a maximum of 10 working days, at $250 per day, for a total allocation of $2,500 per writer. The objective of this stream is to expose a writer to a professional writer’s room to experience the dynamic between writers, story editors, commissioning broadcasters and other participants in the scripting process.

At the completion of each project, all grant recipients may be asked to write a brief overview of their experience, for use in reporting or as a YMA blog post.

The application form will be available on the YMA’s website www.ymamj.org starting on December 1, 2021 . The deadline to submit applications is January 14, 2022.

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