Toronto Film School went BIG for its 20th anniversary celebrations over the weekend – rolling out the red carpet to students past, present and future for an inspiring event that shone a spotlight on just how possible it is to start a career doing what you love.
The TFS Showcase: A Journey in Motion event, which took place at the Steam Whistle Locomotive Hall in downtown Toronto, featured live workshops and masterclasses, exclusive screenings, next-level networking opportunities, and the opportunity to meet TFS’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning President Andrew Barnsley – not to mention the chance to see his trophies up close and personal.
“Today’s event is designed to give you a taste of what we do at Toronto Film School, and I’m very proud to be here today in this room with so many of our stellar grads and students – because that is what TFS is all about,” Barnsley told the standing-room-only audience during his welcome remarks.
“We boast award-winning filmmakers, talented actors and video game designers, and visionary writers and graphic designers – so don’t hesitate to strike up conversations, ask questions and learn from their experiences, because you’ll quickly realize your shared passion for this craft.”
Barnsley also told all those in attendance just how exciting a time it is to be embarking on a career in the creative industries – especially here in Ontario, which celebrated another record-breaking year in 2022, boasting 419 productions that brought $3.15 billion in spending to the province, including the generation of 45,891 full-time jobs, according to Ontario Creates.
Long gone, Barnsley said, are the days when opportunities in the screen industries were few and far between like they were when he was just starting out in the industry more than 20 years ago.
“Today, the creative industries in Canada have become a multi-billion dollar economic engine experiencing unprecedented growth…with all of this growth, we need a skilled workforce to meet the demands on set,” he said, noting the labour shortages he’s recently experienced as an executive producer on CBC’s Son of a Critch, CTV’s Jann, and Amazon Prime’s Kids in the Hall.
“It was a real challenge to find trained and set-ready people to work on those shows, so believe me when I say I know first-hand that the truth is that the screen industries need you – and it is possible to build a career doing what you love.”
Showcase attendees were then given the opportunity to immerse themselves in some hands-on activities that gave them a taste of what it would be like to be working in the industry – from camera and acting masterclasses, to a mock writers’ room, to video game stations.
They also had the chance to discover the talent of the TFS community through our exclusive screening of student films and video game trailers and our graphic design posters expo.
There was also an awards display featuring Barnsley’s Emmy, Golden Globe and Canadian Screen awards for Schitt’s Creek, and a Hall of Fame of notable alumni posters – including award-winning documentary filmmaker Shelby Adams, Star Trek: Discovery star Orville Cummings, award-winning writer and producer Kevin Huhn, and many more.