Schroeder Foundation sends CREATE students to Nickelodeon Studios

12 Student Animators to Pitch Projects in Los Angeles  

WINNIPEG – Students in the Winnipeg School Division’s CREATE program at Sisler High School are embarking on the field trip of a lifetime.  

On May 25, 2023, 12 students in the post-high CREATE program will travel to Los Angeles to pitch their animated series and short films to industry professionals at Nickelodeon Studios. The students were invited by the studio, which has provided mentorship, masterclasses and support to the Sisler CREATE program since 2019 as part of a partnership called The Orange Tree Project. Mentors from Nickelodeon meet virtually on a monthly basis with students in CREATE as part of the studio’s public engagement and mentorship program Nickelodeon Community Efforts.   

The costs for the trip are being covered mainly by The Schroeder Foundation, which provides scholarships, merit awards, equipment and an industry liaison to the CREATE program – a contribution of over $2 million since 2018.  

“Our investment in the CREATE program is aimed at removing barriers to incredible opportunities like this.” said Walter Schroeder, Head and Founder of The Schroeder Foundation. “These students are talented enough to be invited by one of the top animation studios in the world. We wanted to step up and get them there.” 

The trip is also being supported by WestJet, who provided a voucher for one roundtrip flight for two guests to any regularly scheduled and marketed WestJet destination. The voucher is being raffled off to raise funds.  

“We are so grateful to Nickelodeon, The Schroeder Foundation, WestJet and all those who have made this trip happen,” said Jamie Leduc, CREATE’s Department Head and Animation Teacher. “This trip will take our partnership with Nickelodeon to the next level. Meeting their mentors and touring Nickelodeon is a dream come true for these young animators.”  

In addition to pitching at Nickelodeon and touring their studio, students will also be meeting with Arnon Manor, VP of Visual Effects at Sony Pictures, who has mentored CREATE students since 2020. Manor facilitated CREATE’s participation in the short film ‘Cops and Robbers’, which won a Peabody Award and was long listed for an Academy Award. Students are currently working on two additional projects with Manor. While in Los Angeles, students will also receive a tour of Disney Studios.  

“When I learned about the trip, I just covered my face with my hands and cried. I couldn’t believe this was something I would get to do,” said Mary-Anne Guiboche, a student who will be pitching a series she helped create. “We are nervous for sure, but so excited to have this opportunity. We are practising like crazy so we can make a good impression on these people we admire so much.” 


Thanks to this donation, 12 CREATE students travelled to Los Angeles to visit Disney Animation Studios, Sony Pictures and Nickelodeon Animation. The students met with their mentors, pitched their animation projects to executives, and connected with some of the world’s most renowned animation artists.

Click the button below to continue reading about their trip and watch a short video about the journey.


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