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The Youth Media Alliance (YMA) seeks to enrich the lives of Canadian children and teens by helping improve the quality of the content created for them on all screen-based media. The Alliance pursues its mission of encouraging high-quality content by presenting annual awards of excellence to the best productions targeting young English- and French-speaking Canadians and emerging talent by awarding scholarships.

MISSION

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) seeks to enrich the lives of Canadian children and teens by helping improve the quality of the content created for them on all screen-based media. The Alliance pursues its mission of encouraging high-quality content by presenting annual awards of excellence to the best productions targeting young English- and French-speaking Canadians. It offers ongoing training tailored to the special needs of youth production professionals through workshops, seminars, and special events such as the Children, Youth & Media and Média-Jeunes conferences. Since 2015, the Youth Media Alliance has developed and now offers four scholarships: the YMA Andra Sheffer, the YMA Thérèse-Pinho, the YMA Steven DeNure and the John Rooney Creator Fund. YMA also conducts original research investigating the impact of screen-based media on young people. Finally, Youth Media Alliance advocates for the needs of Canada’s child and youth media consumers in matters of public policy.

Objectives

All Youth Media Alliance members agree that the best way to ensure that screen-based content for youth has a positive impact on its target audience is to:

  • Provide professionals with ongoing training to help them meet the specific needs of children and teens.
  • Encourage high-quality content by rewarding Canada’s best productions.
  • Make sure that the largest possible number of Canadian children and teens can regularly access high-quality content.

Actions

YMA pays tribute

to the creators of quality screen-based content for children and teens by presenting its annual awards of excellence.

YMA promotes

the production of high-quality, varied content for youth.

YMA organizes

seminars, conferences, internships and training workshops.

YMA encourages

children and families to sit down together to watch high-quality, screen-based Canadian content for youth.

YMA undertakes

research projects that shed light on the issues of producing screen-based content for youth.

YMA intervenes

with the CRTC and other government agencies in issues concerning children’s television in Canada.

YMA provides

consulting services for producers, the media and the public in connection with the media, violence and advertising.

Statement of Quality

The Youth Media Alliance statement of quality, created by the former Alliance for Children and Television, provided the foundation for the Children’s Television Charter, which governments and broadcasters around the world are now ratifying.

A quality screen-based production offers excellence in form and content, meets its target audience’s needs and expectations, and complies with recognized production standards.

The content of productions should be relevant and entertaining, stimulate the intellect and the imagination, and foster openness to others. It should accurately reflect the world in which young people grow up, while respecting their dignity and promoting learning.

As a Canadian agency, the Alliance strives to promote Canadian content in screen-based productions for youth. Although young Canadians should definitely be exposed to international programs exploring our vast world, they should also have access to quality productions that present the rich diversity of Canada, its provinces, regions, communities and people, as well as its culture, heritage, and institutions.

A quality screen-based production for youth:

  • is designed and produced to meet the needs and expectations of the children and teens that it targets, approaching reality from their perspective;
  • allows young people to be active participants and even protagonists rather than passive spectators, playing an active and interactive role.
  • consciously stimulates the intellect, curiosity and creativity of children and teens, letting them experience emotions that further their development;
  • respects young people’s intelligence, critical capacity and ability to think by avoiding oversimplification, stereotypes and propaganda;
  • considers their development needs, age group and cultural background, relying on relevant studies to do so.

To provide a window on the world, a screen-based production for youth:

  • accurately portrays reality while stimulating the imagination (the real and the imaginary are the two worlds in which young people grow up);
  • allows children and teens to explore the world beyond their immediate experience (their family, friends, school, street, city, society, world and universe).

Children and teens are entitled to screen-based productions that:

  • have access to the same technical and financial resources as productions intended for mainstream audiences, in accordance with recognized standards;
  • are aimed at the least well-represented groups, while serving the interests of various age groups.

 The YMA Team

Board of Directors

Co-Chairs

  • Athena Georgaklis, Nelvana
  • J.J. Johnson, Sinking Ship Entertainment

Treasurer

  • Jonathan Finkelstein, Apartment 11 Productions

Secretary

  • Michele Paris, Knowledge Network

Members

  • Sebastian Altmark, For Heroes Only
  • Suzanne Hénaut, Radio-Canada
  • Julie Derome, Télé-Québec
  • Marianne Lambert, Groupe Média TFO
  • Hoda Elatawi, GAPC Entertainment
  • Sarah Haasz, Pillango Productions

YMA Office

 

Executive Director
France A. Martin, m.b.a.

Events and Communications Coordinator
Margaux Soumoy

 

 

 

 

  • Mike Omelus, APTN
  • Maria Kennedy, Little Engine Moving Pictures
  • Drew Mullin, Kids’ CBC
  • Agustin Guevara Mastretta, TVO
  • Shabnam Rezaei, Big Bad Boo

50th Anniversary

In 1974 a dedicated and far-sighted group of like-minded adventurers founded the Children’s Broadcast Institute in Canada (CBI) / L’Institut de radiotélédiffusion pour enfants (IRDE). Their concern was for the quality of television programming aimed at children, and they took on the challenge of creating an organization dedicated to improving that programming. The CBI grew into the Alliance for Children and Television (ACT) / Alliance pour les enfants et la télévision (AET) to clearly emerge the care and dedication so many have shown to the cause of children’s television.

Although styles have changed and technology has improved, opportunities that did not exist then do abound today, that inspirational thought ‘’good content that makes happy kids’’ is still important today as it must have been then. In 2010, it became the Youth Media Alliance (YMA)  / Alliance Médias Jeunesse (AMJ) taking on the same mission and including the emerging different media types.

Few are the non-profit organizations that can claim such longevity. We can all be proud as we continue to take on the never-ending  challenges and changes of the face of youth content production in Canada. Nowadays, the YMA recognizes emerging talents and productions of children and youth content not only in television, but in films, web series, podcasts, interactive media, gaming, and many other genres.

Awards of excellence 2024 - French Language

Call for Nominations
Deadline: Feb. 16, 2024

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2024 Kidscreen Summit

Book Appointment & Send in videos
Deadline: Jan. 12 2024

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YMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship

Call for Applications

Deadline Candidates: March 1, 2024
Deadline Companies: April 15, 2024

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