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Applications Open for Canon's Incubator: Futures (Year Three)

Canon Canada has opened applications for the third cohort of its FUTURES program. Canon's FUTURES is geared to helping emerging storytellers between 20 and 25 years old develop their craft and business acumen. It's heartening to see a major international corporation make a point of nurturing the users of their products. Hurry, applications close on June 30!

Canon FUTURES is a year-long, mentorship-focused course designed to broaden its students' creative spectrum, expand their knowledge of the business, and foster community with their peers.

Canon Canada FUTURES - Year Two Cohort.

Certainly, Canon's primary corporate interest, like all corporations, is to make money for its shareholders, in this case, by selling cameras, copiers, semiconductors, medical equipment, and other imaging tools. As a bit of an outlier, the team at Canon Canada is also passionate about encouraging the development of emerging creators. In the competitive world of content creation, it's great to see a corporation using some of its marketing and advertising budget to help mentor those new to the space. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: as a long-time proponent of mentoring and community building, I'm really excited to see a major camera company put its focus (and money) on learning. 

What Is Futures?

The Program

Canon FUTURES is a hybrid program centered around exclusive virtual workshops, industry mentorships, assignments, and an intensive in-person retreat, running from August 2023 to July 2024. 

Canon Canada FUTURES mentor Richard Bernardin. 

The FUTURES program provides mentorship from industry-leading experts to help participants with their creative development, building their businesses, and their marketing and branding strategies. Given the demands and stresses of the business, Canon FUTURES also helps students develop robust mindfulness techniques to prioritize their mental health.

Last year's workshops included:

  • technical talks, (for example, filmmaking, filmmaking editing, creating depth in photography, post-production in photography, food photography and styling, landscape and adventure photography, and portrait posing)
  • roundtables on business-related issues like pitching and pricing
  • coaching in marketing and branding
  • seminars on growing your multi-disciplinary skills
  • guidance on curating your portfolio
  • assistance in building mindfulness techniques to help prioritize mental health as a creative

Replicating the success of the last two years, FUTURES year three includes an exclusive, all-expenses-paid, in-person creative retreat with mentorship from Canon Ambassadors. Last year's retreat was held in Banff, Alberta. I know that Canon Canada will have something equally astounding planned for this year.

The Mentors

This year, among others, Canon FUTURES will be taught by industry experts who are invested in sharing their stories and helping newcomers to the business leap forward. Canon FUTURES teachers and mentors include:

Justin Wu

Richard Bernardin

Pam Lau

Scott Bakken

Kate Whyte

Ajani Charles

Jacquie Matechuk

The Gear

This year's participants will be given a Canon EOS R8 full-frame mirrorless camera kit.

The Application

Canon FUTURES Creators from the Year Two cohort: Kianna Sumitani, Viiein Dampier, Aryanna Allen.

Applications close on June 30. Take time now to put together your application package. The application consists of a four-part process, including: 

  • a basic online application
  • a 30-second video explaining the story of you
  • an in-depth Q&A explaining your brand and professional ambitions
  • a portfolio review

Of note, applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents aged 20-25.

So, what do you think about applying? Don't forget, applications are free. What do you have to lose? Canon Canada is making the opportunity irresistible. 

All images provided by Jonathan Zoeteman / Canon Canada or attributed to their IG creators.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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