STORYHIVE FAQYou have questions? We've got answers.



We’re passionate about inspiring local* voices and vision. We’ve got funding and distribution opportunities for creative talent with fresh ideas. And we’re empowering you -- the community -- to bring the ideas you want to watch to screens everywhere. The action unfolds here on STORYHIVE's social platform. Content creators apply for video production grants and the community votes (in some cases) to decide which videos in each province get funded and played on TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand and online.

How does it work?

  • TELUS publishes the applications online and the community votes (in some cases) and shares content to help decide which projects get funded.
  • Depending on the Edition, top projects in British Columbia and Alberta are determined either by jury only or by a combination of voting results, social score and a jury. The top projects each in each province can receive up to $10,000 (up to $100,000 for the 100K Edition) to produce their film or video..
  • TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand, online and on the go, audiences watch content produced by and for the community. In some competitions, Phase 2 begins, with a second round of voting.
  • The lucky winner(s) receive an additional Top Award for editions with a Phase 2

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate as a community voter. To be a Content Creator, you must meet eligibility criteria

Who are content creators?

Eligible British Columbia and Alberta filmmakers, documentarians, journalists, actors, production crews, writers, editors, animators, photographers, artists and social media superstars

  • Apply for production grants and distribution on TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand. Creators retain ownership of their finished work.
  • Join a project team applying for a grant (by invitation from a Project Lead).
  • Network and showcase your talent in the STORYHIVE Creators Directory.
  • Join events and workshops for STORYHIVE Creators.

How do I become a content creator?

If you want to apply for a grant, get credit as a project team member and/or get listed in the Creators Directory, you must sign up for an STORYHIVE account and complete your creator profile.
  • Navigate to SIGN-UP, located in the top navigation
  • Enter your email and click SIGN UP. 
  • Go to your email inbox; open the new message from STORYHIVE, click the verification link and confirm your account details.
    • *NOTE: if the STORYHIVE message is not visible in your primary inbox folder, check secondary and/or spam folders. 
  • Complete your creator profile. The online form takes about 10 minutes to complete.

What is the Creators Directory?

Everyone can explore the directory. It's a place where content creators can showcase their skills and network with other local talent. All users who sign up to STORYHIVE and complete their creator profile get a listing in the directory and their own professional profile page on STORYHIVE. 

All the listings are displayed on one page (continuous scrolling). Use the search and filter tools to sort the results to your interest.
  • SMART SEARCH: enter the creator’s first or last name to display relevant matches.
  • RANDOM: is the default sorting filter.
  • LIST A-Z: displays creators in alphabetical order (by last name).
  • FILTER SKILLS: enables users to filter results based on the creator’s senior and intermediate production skills.

When you mouse-over a creator’s image, STORYHIVE displays: 
  • SKILLS: the senior and intermediate skills they can bring to project teams and productions.
  • VIEW FULL PROFILE: an icon that links to view more information on their full profile page.
  • CONTACT: an icon visible to other registered STORYHIVE creators who have permission to view contact details.

Who are community voters?

Anyone who wants to help shape local creative culture and have a voice in local storytelling is invited to participate as a community voter. Sign up to support creative talent and ideas that are meaningful to you. Sign up is optional for some editions of STORYHIVE. See Edition specific guidelines for details. 

  • Vote for talent and ideas you want to watch. Community votes decide which projects get production grants and distribution on TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand.
  • Share the STORYHIVE opportunity with content creators you know.
  • Help your favourite projects get more support by promoting them on social networks.

How do I become a voter?

Anyone can vote, either without signing-up or sign-up and vote via login. Please check the "How it works" section under the specific Edition to know when the next voting round is.

Grant Applications

Can I use my incorporated company or sole proprietorship to enter?

You should create your Creator profile under your name and enter the contest using that name. If you are awarded a grant, we will allow the grant agreement and payments to be made to an incorporated company or sole proprietorship.

Should I incorporate a company?
For the 10K Editions, it's not necessary. If you are curious, you should consult with your legal and/or accounting advisors to determine if that is a good idea for you.

For the 100K Edition, having an Incorporated Company is required in order to receive grant funds.

Can I apply on my own?

Each Edition has different team requirements. Some Editions only require a single Project Lead to meet their requirements while others such as the Music Video Edition require a Musician Lead and a Filmmaker Lead to meet the project requirements. Remember, if you’re attaching a team to your project, they can help you complete the application requirements and campaign for more community votes.

IP: Who owns the idea and content?

When you submit your application to STORYHIVE, you give TELUS permission to publish your idea and grant application materials on the STORYHIVE website during the public voting period. This includes your project details and content uploads. We will not publish your budget top sheet.

If you’re awarded a grant, content creators retain ownership of their finished video. Pretty awesome, huh?

Eligibility: Are there any restrictions on who can be a Project Lead?

Project Leads must meet the following criteria:
  • Must have completed your STORYHIVE creator profile
  • Must be at least the age of majority in your province of residence at the time of registration.
  • Must live In British Columbia or Alberta or specific locations within BC or AB as defined for the Edition. For more information on eligibility, see Edition specific guideline. Project Leads will be required to demonstrate proof of residency BEFORE receiving funds from STORYHIVE.
  • Must be a Citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  • NO BDU CONFLICT: Project Leads cannot be employed by TELUS or any other Broadcast Distribution Undertaking (a "BDU" such as Optik™ TV, TELUS Satellite TV, Shaw Cable, Shaw Direct, or any other Canadian cable or IPTV (i.e. internet-protocol television) service provider, or any external partners of TELUS who enter into an agreement with TELUS to assist in any way with this competition.
  • STORYHIVE is funded under the CRTC’s Local Programming guidelines. These guidelines restrict us from providing funding to certain media professionals who are already working within the traditional broadcast system. In order to confirm eligibility, applicants must not have received a broadcast license from a Canadian broadcaster in the last three years.
I do not live in the required area of residence. If I team up with someone who does, are we eligible for a grant? 
Yes, as long as the Project Lead meets the residency requirements.

Why do you need my postal code? 
We only ask for the first three characters of your postal code to determine if you meet the residency requirements for any given STORYHIVE edition. 

Why are we limiting grants to British Columbia and Alberta? 
Optik™ Local supports Community Access Programming in the areas that it services. 

What is a Project Lead?

The Project Lead’s role includes:
  • Legally, the Project Lead is the grant applicant who is required to meet eligibility criteria, and manage the application requirements during the application period.
  • Lead the project throughout the voting period. 
  • If awarded a grant, the Project Lead must submit documentation requirements, manage production expectations and deliver the finished video to TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand by the deadline.

Is there an application fee?

Nope. It’s free to apply for a STORYHIVE production grant.

How do I apply for funding?

You submit your application on the STORYHIVE website before the deadline. The requirements might take a couple of days or a couple of weeks to complete, the effort is up to you.

The application requirements are designed to:
  • Help you showcase your idea and talent during the community voting period.
  • Help you plan for a successful production.
  • Meet TELUS and CRTC funding criteria.

The application steps are outlined directly below. Click on any step to view more details.
  • STEP 4: Prepare for voting and/or jury victory!

Who is eligible?

STORYHIVE is funded under the CRTC’s Local Programming guidelines. These guidelines restrict us from providing funding to certain media professionals who are already working within the traditional broadcast system. In order to confirm eligibility, applicants must not have received a broadcast license from a Canadian broadcaster in the last three years.

Can I submit a budget for higher than the grant award?

Yes, you can make a film or music video that includes other funding or ‘in-kind’ services.  STORYHIVE will only contribute up to the amount stipulated for that Edition's grant amount. 

STEP 1: Complete your Creator Profile

Sign up / login to STORYHIVE and complete your profile. The online form takes about 10 minutes to complete. Your PROFILE STATUS indicates your progress and outstanding requirements. SAVE and PREVIEW your progress as you go. To EDIT your profile any time, login to STORYHIVE and navigate to your account (top right).

All fields marked with an asterix (*) are required:
  • Account Details* (Email, First Name, Last Name and Password -Band/Artist Name for Music Video Edition)
  • Avatar* (Head Shot or Band Photo, upload JPEG, PNG, GIF; minimum 500 x 500 pixels; maximum 5MB file size)
  • Age* (select age range from dropdown)
  • Postal Code* (first 3 characters on your postal code)
  • Contact Permissions* (indicate who can contact you from the Creators Directory)
  • Content Preferences* (check off your preferred genre and topic interests)
  • Production Skills* (check off production skills you can contribute to STORYHIVE projects)
  • Genre* (indicate the music genre(s) that interests you)
  • Elevator Pitch* (enter text, maximum 140 characters)
  • Bio/Experience Summary (optional; enter text, maximum 800 characters)
  • Professional Links (optional; share links for LinkedIn, Tumblr, SoundCloud YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, MySpace and / or Instagram)
  • Demo Reel (optional; share YouTube, SoundCloud embed link)

STEP 2: Register your project title

Once you complete your creator profile (see previous FAQ), you can register a project to apply for funding as a Project Lead. 

To register your project:
  • Login and navigate to your creator profile (top right).
  • If your profile status is incomplete, you first must complete the mandatory fields.
  • If your profile status is “eligible to apply for grant”, you will be prompted to register a project.
    • Enter a project title (maximum 60 characters)
    • Provide your contact phone number
    • Provide first 3 digits of your postal code

STEP 3: Complete application requirements

Once you’ve registered your project (see previous FAQ), you can manage all your application requirements via your personal project dashboard.

To access your project dashboard:
  • Login and navigate to MY PROJECT via the folder icon (located top right).
  • The status indicators display the actions you need to take to be eligible for voting.
  • Toggle between the tabs and follow the instructions to complete your application requirements before the application deadline.

.../ Provide project details

Your project details provide a brief written overview of your project. They’re published on your project page during the voting period. The project details form is located in your project dashboard. The form takes about 15 minutes to complete. You can SAVE, EDIT and PREVIEW your progress throughout the application period. 

.../ Upload multimedia content

Your multimedia submissions are the heart and sell of your STORYHIVE application. Your video and image uploads showcase your idea and storytelling talent. When projects are published during the voting period, the community will watch, share and vote for their favourites based on your content submissions.

The multimedia upload forms are located in your project dashboard. You can SAVE, EDIT and PREVIEW your progress throughout the application period. 

The required and optional multimedia content is dependent on the Edition you are applying for. See Edition specific guidelines for specific requirements.

*NOTE: You must submit minimum requirements before the application deadline. You cannot edit any submitted content.

Can I use Vimeo to link to my videos?
STORYHIVE does no currently support Vimeo links because videos will not display on mobile devices unless you have a Vimeo pro account. Please upload your videos to YouTube and share the links in the online forms provided.

.../ Build your team 

Gather a crew! Attaching a team to your project can help you complete the application requirements and campaign for more community votes.

Is a team required?
Each Project Lead must ensure that at least one key creative role is to be filled by a self-identified female creator. We do not require the name of the female creator or that they are a part of the STORYHIVE Creator Directory. We only require that the Project Lead acknowledges that they need to have a female fulfill one of the eligible key roles in the production of the funded project: Director, Producer, Writer, Production Designer, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer, Musical Artist (for Music Video applications only), and Head Animator and Storyboard Artist (for Animation applications only).

For all Music Videos Editions . A team must be made up of a musical artist(s) and a producer.

Animation Editions, require a Project Lead and an Animation Lead, unless the project lead is the animation lead. 

Remember, attaching a team to your project can help you complete the application requirements and campaign for more community votes.

Project team members can:
  • Upload content via the project dashboard.
  • Get credit as a team member your project team tab.
  • Help promote projects during the voting period.
  • Help produce videos during the production period.

How to build a team:
  • Project Leads can invite and delete team members at any time during the application and only during Phase 1 voting period. They can invite talent from their own networks or source it from the STORYHIVE Creators Directory.
  • To invite team members, Project Leads navigate to the TEAM tab of the project dashboard, enter an email address and assign a team role(s). STORYHIVE sends an email invitation.
  • To accept an invitation and join the project, the user clicks through the invitation link.
    • Users who have already completed a STORYHIVE creator profile will automatically get access to the project dashboard and credit on the project.
    • Users who do not have a STORYHIVE creator profile will get access to the project dashboard but will need to complete their creator profile before getting credit on the project.

.../ Complete documents

During the application phase, you must complete two online forms provided in the DOCUMENTS tab of your project dashboard. The requirements are designed to facilitate publishing projects for voting, awarding grants and helping you plan a successful production.

  • If you’re awarded a STORYHIVE grant, how you will allocate funds? Use the online form provided to enter a dollar value for line items relevant to your project. The total grant ask cannot exceed the specified TELUS grant allowance for the Edition.
This is the final step required to get your project into the voting phase. The Project Lead must submit this agreement.

IMPORTANT! Once you submit the release agreement, you cannot edit your materials, but you can continue building your team throughout the duration of the Phase 1 voting period.

When you complete the minimum application requirements:
  • First, click the PREVIEW button and review how your project page will appear during the voting period.
  • If you’re happy with your project page, go to the documents tab and click on the Submission Release Agreement. 
  • Review your materials summary and budget top sheet.
  • Review the TELUS Submission Release Agreement.
  • Agree to the submission release terms.
  • Click SUBMIT
Once you submit your materials summary:
  • Your submission materials will be reviewed for compliance with CRTC regulations and TELUS community guidelines.
  • If there are any issues with your application, you will be notified by email and given the opportunity to address the issue(s), prior to moving into the next stage of the process. 
  • If your materials are approved, you will be notified by email and your project will be published and/or proceed through to the next stage.
Submitting materials after the deadline:
All materials must be uploaded before the deadline. Please take the time to review our sample entry and ensure you have all materials ready and up to date upon submission.

Feedback on Projects:
Unfortunately due to the high number of applicants, feedback will not be provided.


Is there always voting?

No, some editions or phases do not include voting. Check individual edition guidelines for details.

What am I voting for?

This is your opportunity to be heard and support the projects you want to be made. Community votes help to determine which projects get grants to produce content for TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand. STORYHIVE creators have submitted multimedia applications that showcase their projects. Navigate to any project page to explore their submissions.

Who can vote?

Anyone  can vote.

Do I have to sign up to vote?

There is no required sign-up for voting. Sign-up is optional and is designed to encourage fair play with a minimum barrier to entry (a verified email). Allowing unlimited votes from unknown users would increase the risk of gaming the platform. All voter accounts will be audited algorithmically for potential gaming.

How does voting work?

  • Community votes help to determine which projects get grants. 
  • When voting opens, all users get 5 votes daily.
  • You can choose to support one project or several.
  • You can cast a maximum of 1 vote for your favorite project per day - but keep coming back to vote for your top 5 favorites.
  • You must cast your votes during the voting period.
  • When you cast votes they are deducted from your total. Click on any VOTE button to see how many votes you have left.

Where are the vote buttons?

During voting phases the vote buttons can be found:
  • On the STORYHIVE homepage, move your mouse over any image and hit the VOTE button. 
  • On mobile displays, tap on the image to see the vote button. 
  • On any project page, hit the big yellow VOTE button located top right.

How can I find my friend’s project page?

When voting opens, all projects are displayed on the STORYHIVE homepage. Use the sorting filters or search tool to find and explore projects competing for funding. When you move your mouse over a project image, you have the option to PLAY PITCH VIDEO, VIEW PROJECT or VOTE. Click on VIEW PROJECT to navigate to a project’s page.

How can I promote projects?

Help your favourite projects get more votes by sharing their work with your friends and family and asking them to vote. Navigate to any project page and click the SHARE button, located top right.

Can we see the vote count?

Believe it or not, there are some people out there who will try to game the system. We KNOW ALL ABOUT THEM! If we are to post vote counts during the voting phase, those gamers can see how well their efforts are doing and get better at the game. We have to delete those votes and then explain to everyone why some teams lost votes. See more on cheating below.

In addition, the more people who come to STORYHIVE, the more we are able to give away in grants. If we let everyone know what the vote count is, we will lose the interest of everyone who is out of contention of making the top finalists.

How can we see if our efforts are paying off?

During some Editions we send emails twice a week during voting to the project lead.
We want to help your team in every way possible. We email the Project leads on where they stand relative to other projects. We notify you as to whether you are in the top 20 percent, top 50 percent or need to improve to get into the top 50 percent. We also tell you how you are doing compared to the last time period and if you are gaining or losing ground.

Does anyone try to game the voting?

YES! But they fail miserably. We have many algorithms, security measures and resources dedicated to finding the people who are trying to game the voting. We do not reveal all of the things we look for as giving anyone insight makes them search other ways. We CAN tell you, many have tried and thought they have gotten away with it, but those projects never get the grant. As per the Competition Rules, the use of invalid voting procurement methods – the use of vote acquisition or online vote exchange platforms – is prohibited. Those who are caught using such tactics will be reviewed and may result in disqualification from this and future Competitions. These types of voting procurement methods are against the spirit of the STORYHIVE program and community.

What happens when voting closes?

After voting closes, TELUS will review the voting results and perform legal due diligence on the awardees’ applications. TELUS reserves the right to exclude any projects that are not in accordance with CRTC regulations and policies governing content, taste, community reflection and diversity of voices. STORYHIVE will announce results within one week after voting ends.

How are the winning projects selected to win the Grant?

Winning projects are either selected by a jury only or are assessed on a combination of three weighted components: a social media score, audience building/community voting and the STORYHIVE jury deliberation.

Who is on the STORYHIVE jury?

The jury is made up of a panel of industry experts and members of the TELUS team.


We just won, what do I do now? More Importantly, how do I get the money?

  • First, you must sign and submit the TELUS Grant Agreement and Submission Release Agreement.
  • 50 % of the approved grant amount will be released upon delivery of the documents listed above. 
  • Complete and submit your final video and documentation to STORYHIVE on or before the due date specified in the Grant Agreement. 
  • The final 50 % of the approved grant amount will be released.
It can take up to 3 weeks for your cheque to arrive in the mail once you fulfill all of your delivery requirements.  Make sure you factor in cash flow when you are spending your budget. We’ll send you an email when your cheque has been mailed - if you don’t receive your cheque within 1 week of that email, let us know.  Often the problem is that the mailing address was incorrect, so make sure you’ve entered it correctly!

While TELUS does not require that you submit a cost report, TELUS reserves the right to request one should there be a need.  

You may get additional funding from both personal and public sources. However, you must ensure that you are fulfilling the requirements of all sources.  

What if I submit a proposed budget of under the allocated Grant amount, but my costs increase throughout production? Am I able to request for more funding while in production? 
No. Grant amounts will be allocated based on approved budget submissions. The Project Lead will be responsible for any additional costs or budget overages.  

What if I am awarded project funding and do not complete a video?
The Project Lead will be considered in default of the grant agreement and is responsible for returning the 50 % deposit to TELUS. 

Can I pick up my cheque, send a courier or do direct deposit?

No. We can’t do direct deposit or pickups of cheques.  Check your mailbox though!

What about using an Incorporated Company or a Sole Proprietorship?

Using an Incorporated Company or a Sole Proprietorship
Incorporated Companies must submit their Certificate of Incorporation. Sole Proprietorships must submit their official “Name Registration” certificate.

TELUS help on Incorporation/chain of title/legal and business affairs/accounting issues related to my project
TELUS is unable to provide business affairs, legal or accounting advice. We encourage you to address your questions to a professional advisor best suited to the specific needs of your situation.

What are the obligations around contracts, legal council, insurance and unions?

The entire agreement must be uploaded after completion and signature. It is not acceptable to only upload the pages that required information input, and signature.

TELUS is not able to provide any contract or standard production templates.

TELUS is unable to offer any advice pertaining to potential agreements with industry unions.

TELUS does not require E&O insurance, though we do ask that your project have all rights and releases cleared for 10 years, which is the length of TELUS’ non-exclusive license.

What rights to I need/have around my project and what can I change?

You are free to submit your project to festivals after delivery to TELUS. TELUS takes a non-exclusive license for 10 years to distribute the content on Optik TV Video On Demand and on its other platforms (such as the STORYHIVE website, Optik On The Go App, and our YouTube channel). Winning projects will be made available on any or all of these platforms and may remain available to the public for the duration of the license. It is the responsibility of each Project Lead to determine any restrictions with music, film or TV festivals and/or other distributors.
After your project is made available on Optik™ TV VOD, you can post to your own sites and to YouTube. We prefer that you use the link from our YouTube channel when you post to your own, but please provide us a STORYHIVE and TELUS approved credit; however, if that is not workable for you, please contact the STORYHIVE team and let them know.

Any proposed changes to the concept in the proposed application MUST be submitted and approved by STORYHIVE. Any videos submitted with unapproved changes to the approved treatment may be classified as in default.

You can create a different version, a.k.a. Directors Cut, of your projects final output. However, the new version will not be made available on TELUS Optik™ VOD or on our other distribution platforms. Note that we reserve the right to screen the alternate version and request to have our credits removed (although we hope this is not the case). Note that for public screening/festival versions you do NOT need to have the TELUS disclaimer at the top.

You must have all the rights to all content, including archival video, performances, stills, and music rights for the term of the license (10 years). We take a non-exclusive license, with the right to show the project on Optik™ TV and TELUS’ other distribution platforms (including Optik™ on the Go, our websites, and YouTube). If you can’t clear the music for that amount of time, you cannot use it!

The Project Lead (or Production Company) must have all the rights to produce, own and exploit the project. So, the Project Lead is required to obtain all releases and clearances as stated in the Grant Agreement. These releases and clearances should be between the Project Lead (or Production Company) and the subject(s), NOT between TELUS and the subjects. Please consult with your legal advisors for more information.
I have some swearing/nudity/violence/drug use/drinking/smoking/other questionable content in my project. Is that a problem?
Please refer to the guidelines, policies and ratings guidelines on the website and within your Grant Agreement. Content must comply with all laws, regulations and policies governing content, taste, community reflection and diversity of voices, including the Broadcasting Act, CRTC Best Practice Code, and other relevant Canadian codes pertaining to the nature of acceptable content (please consult the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council website for further information). Specifically, projects containing violence, profanity, nudity, sexual situations, drug and alcohol use and other mature content will be held to these standards and may be required to remove or change material prior to airing. Please note that TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand only broadcasts programs that are "G" or "PG" rated and those ratings guidelines are on the Canadian Association of Broadcasters website. 

I’m doing a project on a current event or ‘hot-button’ issue. Is there anything special I need to be aware of?

In accordance with CRTC regulations and policies governing content, taste, community reflection and diversity of voices, the following types of applicants and project material are excluded from eligibility:
  • Religious or sectarian organizations (except where they represent non-denominational community and social support services)
  • Political organizations and candidates
  • Advocacy or special interest groups
CRTC guidelines stipulate that any projects exploring issues of public concern must ensure they provide a reasonable, balanced analysis of the topic.


What is the volunteer report and who is considered a volunteer?

A volunteer is anyone who contributed to the making of your project and did not receive a fee. It also includes anyone who was provided a training opportunity through volunteering. The volunteer report will be a requirement for final delivery, so make sure you track how many volunteers and how many hours they contributed.

What is the Diversity Report

The Diversity report details any aspect of your project, whether it be your production team or intended audience, that demonstrates diversity, and/or inclusiveness. Some examples of diversity and/or inclusiveness are: multiculturalism; children and youth; at-risk youth; the hearing impaired, visually impaired and/or those who possess other disabilities; members of the LGBTQ communities; and First Nations or Aboriginal peoples.