The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is launching Canada's first professional training program for established screen actors. The scheme, set to launch in autumn 2009, will offer advanced onscreen performance training to up eight experienced Canadian actors. Its principal backers are CanWest and the Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation.

The training will explore the technical side of screen-acting; empowering one's
vocal and physical instrument for the screen; real on-camera experience designed to strengthen critical on-screen skills; exposing actors to real project development along with advanced scene study; engaging actors in the creative process and business considerations of film/TV; and provide actors with a significant body of produced on-screen work in a variety of formats to showcase their talent.

'Over the last 20 years, CFC productions and our alumni's work has given emerging actors a launching pad for their skills,' said CFC executive director Slawko Klymkiw. 'The addition of an actor's conservatory is a natural extension and complement to CFC's training activities. Through the generous support of our collaborators, we believe that we can foster a Canadian star system that will enable Canada's stars to shine brighter both nationally and abroad.'

The announcement comes in the wake of arts funding cuts from the federal government, which removed over $2m in training funds for the film and television industry.