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Grace Gahore Named Winner of BMO BIPOC Creative Achievement Award

Grace Gahore

Toronto Film School recently announced Grace Gahore as the latest recipient of its recently launched BIPOC Creative Achievement Award.

Presented in partnership with BMO, the new award – which recognizes one full-time BIPOC student with a $1,250 award towards their tuition each quarter – is aimed at contributing to the diversity of the workforce in Canada’s creative industry by helping students who identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour complete their programs.

Gahore, a fourth-term Film Production student, described receiving this kind of financial support “crucial” to propelling her towards her ultimate goal of leaving an “indelible mark” on the film and television industry.

Grace Gahore

“These funds will serve as a catalyst in my journey, enabling me to navigate the intricate pathways of the film industry with greater ease and determination,” she said, noting that, as a young black woman, she has encountered unique challenges and barriers that have hindered her progress.

“However, with the assistance of these funds, I can overcome financial obstacles and focus wholeheartedly on honing my craft and making meaningful contributions to the cinematic landscape.”

Gahore’s application for the BIPOC Creative Achievement Award made an immediate impression on the award’s selection committee, which consisted of: Jahvon Hanson, TFS’s Director of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Jessica Lorette, Director of Student Services; and Mercedes Cardella, Director of Curriculum Design.

“I was profoundly impressed by Grace’s application, particularly her dedication to advocating for inclusivity and representation as an emerging filmmaker,” said Cardella.

“Her proactive networking with industry professionals, combined with her unwavering conviction to create change, will undoubtedly shape a meaningful and impactful career path for her in the future.”

Grace Gahore

Indeed, as she enters her fourth term of the Film Production program, Gahore said that, in addition to her studies, she plans to continue her deep involvement in organizations such as the Black Screen Office Symposium. It has been her volunteer experiences with that organization, she said, that have not only enriched her understanding of the nuances within the BIPOC community, but also instilled in her a sense of responsibility to use her platform as a filmmaker to advocate for inclusivity and representation.

“In addition to my volunteer work, I have actively engaged in freelance projects catering to the BIPOC community. From music videos to commercials, testimonials, and short films, I have leveraged my skills to amplify voices that are often marginalized in mainstream media,” she said.

“Through these projects, I have cultivated a deep sense of empathy and understanding, which informs my approach to storytelling.”

Grace Gahore

Gahore’s ultimate goal is to carve a niche for herself as a filmmaker, specializing in camera operation for short films and union projects.

“I have already taken proactive steps to network and collaborate with talented editors and cinematographers, recognizing the importance of building a strong support system within the industry,” she said, noting her desire to explore international opportunities in the United Kingdom.

“Immersing myself in diverse cultural landscapes not only broadens my horizons, but also enriches my creative sensibilities, allowing me to infuse my work with a global perspective.”

Applications for this term’s BMO BIPOC Creative Achievement Award are now open! Apply today at https://mytfs.ca/my-tfs-on-campus/bipoc-creative-achievement-award/

Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason (she/her) is a former newspaper journalist turned communications professional who currently works as Toronto Film School’s Manager of Communications. Prior to joining TFS, she spent 13 years working as a reporter for Torstar/Metroland Media Toronto, writing for publications including Toronto.com, the Etobicoke Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Her byline has also appeared in the National Post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.

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