New Scholarship for BIPOC Students Aims to Increase Diversity in Design Sector

Manitoba design studios unite with GDC Foundation to help aspiring designers achieve their dreams

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Seven design firms in Manitoba have come together to provide financial and industry support to those who have been historically marginalized and left out of the conversation of design. Today, a new scholarship called the Manitoba Studio Fund, created by and for designers, is launched to assist students from traditionally racialized and disenfranchised communities in the province.

In partnership with the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Foundation, the Manitoba Studio Fund will offer $2,000 to two BIPOC graphic design students — one from the University of Manitoba and one from Red River College — every year for the next five years. Scholarship recipients will also receive paid internships at one of the design studios.

The fund’s objective is to champion designers who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour in the province and to ensure that these designers have multiple seats at the table.

U of M graduate Russel Osis says: "The Manitoba Studio Fund will provide fundamental support to aspiring BIPOC designers. With this opportunity, I believe the design sector will flourish and inspire the next generation."

The design firms that founded and funded the Manitoba Studio Fund are Brandish, Guppy Design, Honest Agency, Manoverboard, Relish New Brand Experience, ‘Segun Olude and Sly Bird Creative.

Designer and art director ‘Segun Olude CGD notes: “Canada is a multicultural society, and this character is reflected in business, education, and various human endeavours and interactions. The stories from each community need to be told by those with better familiarity with their indigenous roots. We in the design community need to do our part and enable our aspiring visual storytellers to tell their stories and reverse the effects of unintended marginalisation.”

This scholarship is available to graphic design, UX/UI, and digital media design students who are residents of Manitoba and who are attending either the University of Manitoba or Red River College.

Andrew Boardman CGD, of Manoverboard, says: “Righting massive historical wrongs is difficult but it is the job before us. In establishing this new scholarship for design students who are Black, Indigenous and of colour, we hope to support a few individuals in their studies while also shining a bright light on the need for diversity and greater equity in the profession of design.”

The application form is now open, with submissions due May 1, 2021.

Students will receive inaugural scholarship funding in September 2021.

Click here for information and application form