Program Overview

About BANFF Spark

Supported by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, BANFF Spark offers training, mentorship, and access to potential strategic partners to women entrepreneurs ready to grow or launch their own businesses in the screen-based industries. With a strong mandate to champion diversity at its core, the program is especially designed to empower women of colour, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ women, and non-binary individuals.

BANFF Spark will provide up to 100 selected candidates from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia with a tailored business planning curriculum, mentorship, and networking opportunities through a suite of virtual workshops as well as full access to the 2022 Banff World Media Festival. 

For more information about applying to BANFF Spark, please visit the Eligibility and Submission Guidelines pages.

Why BANFF Spark?

With very few of Canada’s most prominent independent media companies primarily owned and operated by women, the overarching goal of this program is to result in more Canadian women-owned media companies.

It’s not only about economics. The vast majority of media businesses in the world are owned and operated by non-racialized men. It’s about the power that the media sector holds to tell stories, disseminate essential information, influence policy and change minds–especially in this incredibly charged geopolitical time.

How would the industry change with more women, and specifically more Black, Indigenous, and women of colour, in ownership positions?

How would the world’s media–and indeed the world–change?

What to Expect

BANFF Spark will feature a curriculum designed to address the core components of business development. All program participants will receive:

  • A suite of virtual workshops between February to April 2022
  • One-on-one mentorship from an industry expert
  • A full-access pass to the 2022 Banff World Media Festival, a leading 4-day international industry conference and marketplace that provides a platform for the evolving media industry to develop its creative and business objectives ($1695 CAD Value)
  • A $1500 CAD travel stipend to attend the 2022 Banff World Media Festival (on the condition of an in-person Festival)
  • Supplementary resources/course materials
  • A dedicated online peer networking community
  • Access and visibility within the Canadian and global media industry

* BANFF Spark is a not-for-profit program; no capital funding is provided and we do not take equity in your company. 

Cohort 2 Key Dates

Application portal opens: October 13, 2021

Application portal closes: November 26, 2021

Participant announcement: February 2022

Virtual workshops: February - April 2022

Banff World Media Festival: June 2022