"This was one of the best organizations I've ever worked with." TELUS STORYHIVE Voices is supporting up to 100 local content creators with $10K grants
Have you always dreamed of creating your own docuseries? What about a lifestyle show, or visual podcast?
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of TELUS STORYHIVE, a community-powered funding program dedicated to supporting underrepresented voices and helping to empower the next generation of content creators and storytellers. STORYHIVE offers a variety of opportunities for community members to create their dream projects, and, the best part about the programs is that no experience is required to participate!
STORYHIVE just launched its third season of the Voices program which focuses on supporting first-time and emerging content creators with a chance to share their stories through user-generated content.
This unique opportunity helps actualize the creative dreams of up to 100 content creators across British Columbia and Alberta with $10,000 in production funding, access to a community of support, custom online training, and their content will be showcased to more than one million viewers on TELUS Optik TV.
The STORYHIVE Voices application portal is open now, and creatives interested in leveling up their content are encouraged to apply by Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at midnight Pacific Time.
To help spark inspiration for your application, we interviewed three STORYHIVE Voices alumni to find out how this program helped them take their project and content to the next level, and where they are now.
Jordan Mara, Restorative Gardening
Having already begun sharing the benefits of gardening through his social media, Jordan Mara applied to STORYHIVE with “Restorative Gardening,” a project focused on helping introduce people to how calming and restorative a gardening practice can be.
“It was incredible how much support there was throughout the journey,” says Mara. “Additionally, the commitment to diversity and inclusion has been inspiring and authentic. It’s the best display of bringing diversity to the forefront of the conversation that I’ve been a part of, and I’ve really enjoyed learning from the many individuals from different walks of life.”
Being accepted into STORYHIVE not only gave Mara some of the financial support he needed to commit to creating great content but also helped him improve the quality of his videos by working with lighting experts and gaining insight into purchasing better equipment.
During his time in the program, his social media channels also took off — going from around 20,000 to over 400,000 followers and subscribers, and videos getting between 2,000,000 to 5,500,000 views per month.
He says that STORYHIVE is an incredible opportunity to get production funding and network with like-minded and expert content creators who can help you get to the next step of your journey.
“At this point, I truly identify as a content creator more than an entrepreneur and am just beginning to understand the potential of this.”
Kelsey Delamarter, Queer in Alberta
After realizing how isolating it was to be a queer person in Lethbridge, Kelsey Delamarter started reaching out to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community in Alberta to create her passion project — a video podcast Queer in Alberta — to change the narrative of queer isolation in the province.
“Before STORYHIVE, I was in grad school doing this work alone over Zoom in my bedroom. I didn’t feel like what I was doing was special, but STORYHIVE taught me to value myself and showed me what can happen in [yourself] with such a small, internal shift.”
Releasing her interviews in both in full video format and shorter videos for TikTok on her own time while also in grad school, Delamarter applied to STORYHIVE Voices with Queer in Alberta in what she describes as a “whirlwind.”
“I applied the night of the deadline and felt wildly unprepared, I was certain it was a learning experience for next year. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would get the grant.”
Delamarter says that STORYHIVE Voices helped provide her with the tools to turn her passion project into an actual career — allowing her to refine her skills as a creator, interviewer, and digital content editor.
“Coming to the table with a BIPOC/queer-focused project, I didn’t expect to be as celebrated as I have throughout this journey. Seeing the excitement and impact of this work on everyone I have met from STORYHIVE has built my confidence and fuelled my drive to see just how far things can go.”
She encourages applicants to trust their voice, and remember that the stories of their communities matter.
Fahad Suleiman, Let’s Talk Mental Health
Fahad Suleiman got the idea for his STORYHIVE Voices project, Let’s Talk Mental Health, after appearing on a friend’s podcast.
“We started talking about fathers and their mental health and we realized this was such an interesting discourse that we could further explore along with different topics that directly impact the mental health of Black individuals.”
Suleiman says that he loved how easy the application process for STORYHIVE was compared to other funding programs, and was most impressed that the training was designed to make everyone feel comfortable at their skill level.
“[STORYHIVE] provided a strong foundation for those who were just starting out and helped to fill in any knowledge gaps for those who had some experience already,” says Suleiman. “I felt like the team had our backs throughout the entire process.”
The most valuable thing Suleiman gained from the experience was recognition, which he was able to pivot into new opportunities — like networking with other producers, directors, and cinematographers.
“This was one of the best organizations I have ever worked with, because, as a content creator, one of the biggest things we love is ownership of our creation and we love the freedom to create what we want. STORYHIVE gives us that luxury to provide us with funds and allow us the freedom to create.”
STORYHIVE Voices is an accessible funding opportunity that can help you execute your vision as a content creator. After two successful years, STORYHIVE Territory Manager Georgina Chaplin tells Daily Hive how exciting it’s been to help emerging creators in user-generated content take the next step in their careers.
“We are dedicated to the ongoing mission of supporting underrepresented communities, helping empower the next generation of content creators and storytellers. We’re looking forward to sharing the stories of communities across BC and Alberta,” says Chaplin.
If you’re interested in applying and sharing your passion and community through content, STORYHIVE Voices applications are open now until Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at midnight Pacific Time.