MADE | NOUS was established in 2019 as a way to spotlight Canadian talent at home and abroad. Today they are taking that mission further with the launch of their “Seek More” campaign, encouraging Canadians to seek out creators and content from a wide array of racial backgrounds and lived experiences, reflecting the vast and varied storytellers shaping television, film and gaming in Canada.
It’s a necessary shift if homegrown entertainment is to remain relevant and accurately reflect our population. But also, why wouldn’t one want to seek more? It will only ever make storytelling stronger.
To help spread the word, they’ve enlisted a powerful group of ambassadors including Shamier Anderson (Stowaway, Bruised), Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (Blood Quantum, Taika Waititi/FX’s Reservation Dogs), and Simu Liu (Kim’s Convenience, Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings).
The three award-winning actors are known and respected for using their voice to inspire change, and each share a snippet as to why the “Seek More” campaign is especially meaningful to them, as well as being a vital and urgent catalyst for change for the future wellbeing of the industry and Canadian audiences everywhere.
“Who I embody on screen is important because there’s a direct correlation to how that influences young people and how they see themselves and how the world sees them,” said Anderson, who is also the co-founder of B.L.A.C.K. and The Black Academy, who announced plans for The Black Award Show earlier this year. “What we see is what we believe; that’s why representation is so important. We need to be able to visualize Black people in all walks of life.”
“It’s important for Indigenous people to be included in the telling of our own stories because it brings authenticity, and lets us show the many different ways there are to be Indigenous. So often we’ve only seen tragic Indigenous stories on screen – but what about funny stories, love stories, or dramatic stories not based in tragedy – those should be brought to the screen and celebrated too,” said Jacobs, who recently made news headlines with her persuasive and emotionally-charged debate at Canada Reads, which helped Indigiqueer author Joshua Whitehead scoop the win for his book Johnny Appleseed. “I’m fighting for a better future for Mohawk children and queer children and the future of our stories in this industry.”
“After immigrating to Canada at the age of five, I knew that this country celebrated multiculturalism and prided itself on its inclusion and diversity efforts, but when I turned on the TV or went to the movie theatre, I didn’t see myself. I loved escaping into these different worlds but there was always a caveat, a sense that because of the way I looked and because of where I came from that I didn’t quite belong,” said Liu, who took to Twitter last night to thank fans everywhere for their overwhelming support of Kim’s Convenience, Canada’s first Asian-led series that captured the hearts of millions. “What I create now, I really feel like I lacked growing up – positive Asian Canadian characters with nuanced stories. When you have more underrepresented voices behind and in front of the camera, everybody wins.” It’s true, and it’s the only way to ensure that everybody wins.
Ambassadors also supporting the campaign include Amanda Brugel (The Handmaid’s Tale, Kim’s Convenience), Hamza Haq (Transplant), Kaniehtiio Horn (Barkskins, Letterkenny), Cassandra James (General Hospital), Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), and Drew Ray Tanner (Riverdale, Work It). In Québec, Adib Alkhalidey (L’Agent Jean, Mon Ami Walid), singer Mélissa Bédard (Star académie, M’entends-tu), and Cynthia Wu-Maheux (District 31) will lend their voices.
Canadians searching for screen-based content from a variety of under-represented, racialized and Indigenous communities can visit the updated MADE website for more information including Seek More recommendations.