July 17th, 2024


TELUS STORYHIVE’s Video Podcast program is providing  opportunities for local storytellers


TELUS STORYHIVE celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and has just launched its  brand-new Video Podcast program.

“It’s an exciting time at TELUS STORYHIVE. We are proud to be launching a brand new Video Podcast program,” explains Shaun Cathcart, STORYHIVE Southern Alberta Territory Manager. “Video podcasts are proving to be a powerful medium that provides space to share local stories and facilitate meaningful discussions.”

STORYHIVE alumni, Susan Serrao, content creator, producer and host of the video podcast Completely Off Topic, With Susan Serrao says her project idea came from a collaboration she had with Meg Farhall, who directed one of Serrao’s solo sketch shows.

“We found that during our meetings and rehearsals we would chat about many topics, both serious and hysterical, for quite a while before we would get around to the work, which we would work through efficiently with focus and creative ideas,” notes Serrao. “Meg joked that when we get together we are completely off topic. I replied that that was the name of our podcast. We laughed at this, but when the STORYHIVE Voices program details came to my attention, I proposed that we pitch a podcast with this structure of being ‘off topic’ with Calgary-based female artists creating their own bodies of work. 

“Meg was fully on board so I went ahead with the application. Unfortunately, when it came time to film the segments, Meg lost her voice when she came down with a cold so couldn’t be part of this season’s podcast.”

 Susan Serrao. Photo via: Completely Off Topic Production Crew

 Susan Serrao. Photo via: Completely Off Topic Production Crew

With the new Video Podcast program, there are grants of $12,000 in production funding available for aspiring content creators and podcasters. Besides the funding, there are customized training sessions and distribution support to an audience of over a million viewers on TELUS Optik TV and STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel

“I am excited to share these artists’ stories on TELUS Optik TV. Their stories are so engaging and relatable that I think anyone can and will enjoy them,” explains Serrao. “I also found that the structure that we used, worked well in helping the audience get to know the artist behind the art before we go into detail about what their process, body of work and inspirations are. It helps the audience become invested in the people and then their work. With over one million viewers, I’m excited to see all of these artists get exposure to an audience they might otherwise not have access to.”

  Susan Serrao. Photo via: Soulfire Studios

  Susan Serrao. Photo via: Soulfire Studios

STORYHIVE gives people in underrepresented communities in Alberta and British Columbia an opportunity to share their stories on the Canadian Broadcasting System. 

“At STORYHIVE, we are continuing to expand our program offerings to support all kinds of content creators to tell the stories of their communities,” adds Cathcart. “We are really looking forward to the projects that come through the Video Podcast program and to hearing some amazing local stories. We’re looking for new and emerging video podcasters with diverse topics to pitch and encourage the people of Southern Alberta to apply!”

Since 2013, TELUS STORYHIVE’s impact includes $59 million in production funding, supporting over 1,200 screen-based projects to be produced, and providing over 117,000 hours of robust training and mentorship. 

Those interested in taking their video podcasting to the next level need to apply before January 31, 2024. They can check it out at storyhive.com/apply

TELUS STORYHIVE supports underrepresented communities in Alberta and British Columbia with funding, training, and mentorship for storytelling projects. Since 2013, they’ve provided over $59M, 117,000+ hours of training and mentorship, and funded 1,200+ projects. Their programs focus on diversity and creativity in digital media, fostering inclusive storytelling and career development.

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