APTN named one of Canada and Manitoba’s Top Employers for 2020
Back when APTN first joined the industry in 1999, no one expected the network to be around in another year, let alone another 20 years. APTN now produces a variety of news and current affairs programs. The network has helped start arms-length companies and launched its own streaming service, APTN lumi. APTN also helped create an Indigenous independent production industry that didn’t exist before its time.
The non-profit network provides a platform for Indigenous voices and upholds a commitment to the development of the Indigenous workforce. In its short time as a network, it has attracted – and kept – hard-working, enthusiastic employees.
APTN recognizes that the treatment of its employees must reflect its community-building ethos.
For the eighth consecutive year, APTN has merited the title of one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and the title of one of Manitoba’s Top Employers for the 12th consecutive year. Employees throughout the network have commended APTN’s comprehensive benefits package, its positive work environment and overall support for employee growth.
“The laughter that rings in the halls, the flexibility to meet needs outside of work when needed and a great work-life balance make working at APTN unique,” said Sherry Meilleur, community relations coordinator.
For marketing coordinator Owen Pantos, “the tie to the community and good intentions behind every decision” are elements that make APTN a Top Employer. “APTN encourages community, engagement and friendly relationships among staff,” he added.
Consequently, Waterstone Human Capital has named APTN one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures of 2019.
APTN “offers a collaborative environment where you’re free to share ideas and suggest changes. Everyone treats you well, regardless of their title,” said sponsorship and public relations coordinator Danielle Gagnon.
According to promotions producer Natalie Batkis, “people at APTN are always very friendly and smiling when you meet them in and around the building… It’s a welcoming environment.”
APTN also encourages employees to improve themselves within the company. In addition to in-house training initiatives, APTN offers up to $1,800 in tuition subsidies per year for each employee.
“APTN does not forget to support their employees to become more accomplished – it’s a win-win,” said program administrative assistant Rochelle Guiboche.
According to numerous APTN employees, the network provides fulfilling, meaningful work, makes employees feel valued and fosters a sense of community within the workplace.
“APTN is a Top Employer because it gives incredible opportunities to people like me. It creates a very welcoming space for employees who want to give 110%,” said Chris MacIntyre, a Whitehorse-based reporter.
Many employees have been with the network since its beginnings. Director of operations Wayne McKenzie, administrative officer Cheryl Chinchilla, director of scheduling and traffic Lea Todd, broadcast technologist Jason Shymanski, human resources generalist Donna Miller, camera editor Allan McKay and manager of affiliate relations Dawn Olivence are celebrating their 20-year anniversaries with APTN in 2019.
Digital librarian Gwen Lingelbach has been with the network since 2007. She said APTN “is a Top Employer because it treats employees with fairness and respect.”
APTN’s mandate has always been to share Indigenous stories through Indigenous voices – this is apparent in the APTN’s news programming.
“Working at APTN is unique because you can see the news from the Indigenous perspective. I’ve worked with other major Canadian news networks, and you can tell the difference between our coverage and theirs on the same story,” said Edmonton-based video journalist Chris Stewart.
The network has fostered a vibrant community of independent Indigenous television producers while providing televised representations of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous languages on Canadian television. Sherry Meilleur shared a stirring memory of her time at APTN:
“One of my treasured memories from my time at APTN took place during the 2010 Olympics. An Elder called me, crying. When I asked him why he was upset he said, ‘I’m not upset! I’m sitting here on the couch with my grandson watching hockey in my language!’ This man was a residential school survivor whose language was stripped from him. He never thought in his wildest dreams that he would live to see something like that.”
It wasn’t just APTN’s excellent benefits package that made it qualify as one of Canada and Manitoba’s Top Employers. Underlying the company’s treatment of employees and overall corporate culture is a commitment to uplifting Indigenous people across Canada and fostering connection between all Canadians.
Natalie Batkis added, “We don’t only provide entertainment but we also provide healing in so many ways.”