Indigenous Scholarship in
Video Games


2022 Scholarships



Fostering Diversity & Inclusion in the Video Game Industry


Indigenous artists, designers, and storytellers are a foundational thread in the fabric of the Canadian narrative, continuing to grow stronger as key voices within our country’s multidimensional creative landscape. At VFS, we are proud of the many Indigenous graduates from our programs working across the spectrum of media arts industries, finding audiences for their work at home and internationally.

Therefore, VFS has partnered with Blackbird Interactive, East Side Games, and Timbre Games Studio to offer a scholarship fund worth over $200,000 available exclusively to creatives who identify as First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit, or Métis, and who are looking to enter the game industry as developers. Winners will be announced on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21.

**All mentorship and work opportunities are for Canadian candidates, unless recipient has a valid work permit.


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Scholarship Details

The following scholarships will be awarded, with Blackbird Interactive, East Side Games, and Timbre Games each personally selecting one winner:

  • Three (3) full-tuition scholarships for VFS’s Game Design program (12 Months)

Timbre Games will also select one additional winner:

  • One (1) full-tuition scholarship for VFS’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects Program (12 Months)


*The $150 application fee will be waived for the scholarship application process. However, all scholarship winners will be required to pay the $150 application fee to enrol at VFS.

*This scholarship is open to students 18 years or older at the time of application, from anywhere in the world (International applicants outside of North America will be subject to student study permits and visa requirements).

*Applicants must identify as First Nations (status or non-status), Inuit, or Métis.

Mentorship & Work Experience

The four winners will receive monthly mentorship from their VFS instructors as well as with a professional from either Blackbird Interactive, East Side Games, or Timbre Games. Upon graduation, these winners will also receive paid 4-6-month internship with their respective studio.

Additionally, each winner will be provided with a laptop for use during the program and to keep. The winner chosen by Blackbird Interactive will also receive a $5,000 housing stipend while studying at VFS.

About Vancouver Film School

VFS’s 12-month Game Design program focuses on three core specializations – Coding, Game Art, and Level Design, while the 12-month 3D Animation & Visual Effects program allows students to specialize in 3D Animation, Modelling, or Visual Effects.

Recognized as the #1 Game Design School in Canada by Princeton Review Journal, the #1 Global Animation School by Animation Career Review, and a Leading VFX School Worldwide by The Hollywood Reporter, VFS curriculum is continually updated to remain in lockstep with the industry.

In 2021, VFS alumni were credited on all 10 of the highest-grossing films, 5 of the 15 top-rated TV shows, and 8 of the top 12 best-selling video games worldwide, including Minecraft, Far Cry 6, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Whereas the global video game industry was worth $180 billion in 2021 and is estimated to reach more than US$257 billion by 2025, the 3D & VFX industry was valued at over $32 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow by 11.5% by 2026.

Downtown Vancouver

Blackbird Interactive

Blackbird Interactive (BBI) is a creative-fueled, future-driven, independent studio behind such games as Homeworld: Deserts of Karak, Hardspace: Shipbreaker, and the upcoming Homeworld 3 and Crossfire: Legion. Founded by Rob Cunningham, Yossarian King, and Aaron Kambeitz in 2010, the award-winning Vancouver studio was listed among the fastest growing Canadian companies by revenue in 2020 and 2021.

East Side Games

Established in 2011, East Side Games is a game developer, publisher, and technology provider in Vancouver. They enable creators to successfully deliver memorable mobile gaming experiences that players engage with every day. Through East Side Games’ proven tech kits and beloved brand partnerships, their games empower passionate fan bases to explore their favourite content in a fun, convenient medium, available in the palm of their hands.

Timbre Games

Timbre Games is Vancouver-based video game company with a focus on action-adventure and simulation games for PC and console. Timbre believes that culture drives creative and aims to build a world class network of game studios, with the ultimate goal of making games more accessible and fun for everyone.

Application Process



The application process is simple, and is broken into two very important parts:

Part 1 – Official Scholarship Application
Part 2 – Official Application to Enroll at Vancouver Film School

No official application will be considered or reviewed unless both parts are successfully completed by the applicant.

Application Process will require applicants to provide general contact and background information and provide the following information for review and consideration by VFS:



Link to your portfolio. Include samples that might relate broadly or specifically to the program of your choice.

Game Design

You will be required to submit a synopsis of an original game that you are passionate about creating. Explain the concept, vision, or idea. Include the genre of game you would utilize. Make references to existing games to explain how you would make your game (one page maximum).

In addition, provide an outline detailing your story, possible levels, and characters (one page maximum). Finally, provide diagrams explaining any features or game mechanics (one to two pages maximum) and a simplified map of the game world described in your synopsis.

3D Animation & Visual Effects

You will be required to submit a visual art portfolio of your work.

Send us samples of your work that can include still-life drawings, life drawings, character or environment sketches, and 3D computer artwork (e.g., Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). Maximum 12 pieces. Specific to the 3D Animation & Visual Effects program, we expect that you have some prior 3D experience.

We recommend Dropbox or Google Drive for easy review by our scholarship selection committee. Upload your files then “share” using the share link. When sharing, set the sharing permissions to “public” or “anyone with the link can view the file/document.

If we cannot view your files your scholarship application will be considered incomplete.

Get Started Below

Personal Submission PT. 1

  • Q1 – In 100 words or less, tell us what your dream career is, why and what your dream project would be?

Personal Submission PT. 2

  • Q2 – In 100 words or less, tell us about how you plan to use your VFS education to bring awareness to your Indigenous culture and stories within our country’s multidimensional creative landscape.

Personal Submission PT. 3

  • Q3 – We inform every applicant that while Vancouver is considered one of the best cities in the world to live, it’s also an expensive city compared to many others. It can cost you at least $25,000 CAD a year for basic food, travel and accommodations. This scholarship will only cover partial school tuition costs. Tell us in your words your plan to be able to make this opportunity work for you financially for 12 months.

Upon successful completion, applicants will be given a confirmation of completion notification email.

Get Started Below


Upon successful submission of application, a VFS Admissions advisor will contact you to connect personally, and provide you with an introduction of the school, online learning options, and life in Vancouver.

Winners will be notified sometime by June 21, 2022 and will be announced publicly by VFS shortly thereafter.


(*Note to applicants – there is a standard $150 application processing fee for this section and it can take up to 30 minutes to complete.)




Sorry, this scholarship is now closed.

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