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Training with IATSE Local 873 and On-set Placement with Productions to Create Market-Ready Workers for Film/TV Industry

TORONTO, April 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Cinespace Studios announced the launch of the CineCares Workforce Training program in Toronto to recruit, train and offer meaningful paid work placements on productions filming at Cinespace Studios Toronto to bring new and qualified crew members to the film and television sector in the region.

IATSE Local 873, the largest union of film technicians in Ontario, will be the program’s training partner. Trainees will receive hands-on training on signatory productions for Set Decorators, Props, Grip, Lighting, and General Labour for up to twelve (12) weeks and will, upon starting their paid placements, gain permit status with IATSE Local 873.  The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO), POV, and BIPOC TV & FILM, leading organizations in Canada advancing the presence of underrepresented communities in the sector have come on board as the program’s first community partners. 

The inaugural cohort of CineCares trainees will be trained and then placed on set for productions filming at Cinespace Toronto campuses, including NBCUniversal’s Chucky, which is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group. Warner Bros. Discovery Access to Action Canada is also committed to placing trainees on one of its Toronto-based productions.

Cinespace Studios launched the CineCares Workforce Training Program in Chicago in 2017 with NBCUniversal, Wolf Entertainment and IATSE Local 476, with trainee placements across the One Chicago franchise, which includes Universal Television-produced dramas Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. Additional Chicago program partners have also included Lionsgate TV, Disney TV Studios, Sony TV, AMC and HBO. The Chicago program has hosted 86 trainees to date and more than 50% of them trained in union positions have received their union card across IATSE Local 476 Studio Mechanics, IATSE Local 600 International Cinematographers Guild, and IATSE Local 769 Theatrical Wardrobe.

“Cinespace is committed to building initiatives that promote equity and inclusion in the Film and TV industry in communities where we operate,” said Ashley Rice, President & Co-Managing Partner, Cinespace Studios. “With our partners, we’re excited to offer wrap-around support and mentorship for our trainees so that they will have the tools to be market ready and successful in this industry.” 

“We are happy to partner with Cinespace Studios for the first time for this valuable workforce development program. The initiative will give participants from under-represented communities the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the experience needed to pursue employment in the industry, which we hope will lead to long and prosperous careers for them all,” said Angela Mastronardi, President of IATSE Local 873.

“The expansion of the CineCares Workforce Training Program into Canada is a major milestone for our efforts to increase representation in below-the-line roles on television. We’ve seen tremendous success on our Chicago-based productions through our long-standing partnership with CineCares, and now we can include our first-ever international production as part of those efforts,” said Jeanne Mau, Senior Vice President of TV Programming Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, NBCUniversal. “This move opens the door for us to effect greater change in a market that is increasingly important to our overall business.”

“Warner Bros. Discovery Access to Action Canada is dedicated to creating meaningful opportunities for historically marginalized communities,” said Erika Kumar, Director WBD Access Canada. “This partnership with CineCares delivers on our commitment to inclusion by assisting us with training and placement of emerging and underrepresented talent.”

Ontario is a place where hard work pays off and big dreams come true,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Through the CineCares Workforce Training program job seekers will gain the tools they need for better careers in the arts and earn bigger paycheques closer to home.”

Cinespace Studios Toronto also recently announced an education initiative with York University to create a Production Accounting Micro-Credential program in response to a growing demand for film and television skilled labour and a specific need for production accountants in Ontario. 

About Cinespace Studios
Cinespace Studios is a best-in-class global platform of production facilities that supports content providers and their creatives.  The platform is one of the largest sound stage operators globally with 86 active stages across Chicago, Toronto, and Studio Babelsberg in Germany.  Cinespace Studios delivers the highest level of service while increasing the quality of the overall production experience.  CineCares, a division of the studio, has been established to support, promote and engage local communities to support workforce development and crew diversity. Learn more at

About IATSE Local 873
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 873 is one of the largest film locals in North America representing over 5,200 members working in the motion picture industry and boasting talented technicians from thirteen vast and skilled departments.

Catherine Shin, Cinespace Studios
[email protected]

SOURCE Cinespace Studios

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