Tag Archive

Cartoon North Fundraising: What’s it for?

By Mike Valiquette

Good question! It’s pretty straightforward. With the money we raise on our Patreon we’re going to do 2 things. 1) Update the site. It’s been years. Honestly, this old dinosaur needs an overhaul. I’d love to be able to pay someone to do it. 2) Micro-grants. That’s right, we’re going to give money away to… »

press release: THE TORONTO ANIMATION ARTS FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL ANNOUNCES FULL PROGRAMMING FOR TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018

By Mike Valiquette

TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018 runs from November 3-4 Toronto, ON (October 24, 2018) – Today, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) released the full official program for TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018 at Corus Quay in Toronto. The event runs from November 2-4. This one-of-a-kind conference hosts over 50 animation industry professionals and over 22 sessions on… »

from the internets: Pixar’s Catmull Announces Retirement, Nelvana Nabs Whoopi Goldberg, and Broadcasters Attempt to Predict the Future

By Mike Valiquette

Cartoon Brew has an excellent article up regarding Ed Catmull’s retirement announcement from Disney/Pixar. Catmull’s impact on the global animation industry and culture is hard to measure, and it’s not all roses. Amid does an excellent job of breaking down an overview of his career for the casual reader. Read it here. Variety shares some… »

Press Release: 9 Story Announces Key Appointments and Promotions

By Mike Valiquette

9 Story Strengthens Creative Affairs with New Appointments and Key Promotions Additional promotions within Brown Bag Films, 9 Story Distribution International, and Marketing also announced Toronto, Canada – 9 Story Media Group today announced structural and management changes to its Creative Affairs team, welcoming new additions and promoting top talent to key positions under the… »

press release: Toonbox Signs Jackie Chan for New Feature, ONCE UPON A ZODIAC

By Mike Valiquette

Jackie Chan to produce and voice in ONCE UPON A ZODIAC Toonbox Entertainment and GAMA Entertainment announced that Jackie Chan has been tapped as an Executive Producer and cast to voice in their upcoming production, ONCE UPON A ZODIAC. The film is currently in production. Galen Walker, producer said: “We are proud to have Jackie… »

RIP Mik Casey

By Mike Valiquette

We lost Mik Casey a little over a week ago. He suffered a stroke shortly after his 71st birthday and succumbed 2 Friday’s ago. I’ve been trying to write about him ever since, but it’s really hard. His name may not be familiar to those outside of the Ottawa animation community, but to Ottawa folks,… »

TAAFI Announces Industry Conference, November 2nd to 4th, 2018

By Mike Valiquette

The kind folks at TAAFI have just officially announced a new event coming up very soon! TAAFI INDUSTRY 2018. They’re describing it as a 3-day event offering exclusive talks from top animation artists and creators. This year’s conference is the first of its kind for Toronto, and is sure to knock those lovely socks off… »

REQUIRED READING: Globe & Mail Breaks Down the Issues Facing the Canadian Kids TV Biz

By Mike Valiquette

The Globe and Mail ran an extensive article about the Canadian kids TV business. It’s pretty spot on in its assessment of what’s going on, what the issues are that we’re facing, and how we got here. It’s required reading for anyone in the industry. Please read it here. I’ll try to break it down… »

RIP Peter Adamakos June 21, 1946 – August 16, 2018

By Mike Valiquette

It’s hard to write about Peter Adamakos. He passed away last week. That’s the news. Here’s the obituary that ran in the Ottawa Citizen. Peter Adamakos June 21, 1946 – August 16, 2018 Peter passed away in Ottawa after a lengthy illness. He amazingly defied medical predictions and survived in relative comfort well beyond his… »

Montreal Animators! 48 Hour Animation Competition – Animaze 2018

By Mike Valiquette

Take part in the first AniMTL: Montreal 48 hour Animation Competition! During the 5th anniversary of Animaze, August 16-19 we call all Montreal animators to compete in a 48 hour animation challenge. Animators will be given a theme on Thursday afternoon, on the opening day of Animaze. Then, they will have 48 hours to create… »

press release: NFB at TIFF 2018, Snowden and Fine’s Animal Behaviour and Patrick Bouchard’s the Subject

By Mike Valiquette

August 1, 2018 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, Astra Taylor’s latest National Film Board of Canada www.nfb.ca (NFB) feature documentary, What Is Democracy?, makes its North American premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. It will be joined at TIFF… »

Guru Studio’s Space Between Stars at OIAF 2018, Fantasia International Film Festival, Animation Block Party, SIGGRAPH

By Mike Valiquette

Guru Studio is doing exciting work. Originally a commercial shop, Guru evolved into a TV powerhouse with hits like Justin Time and their work on Spinmaster’s Patrol. Recent productions like True and the Rainbow Kingdom and the upcoming Blue look great and really reaffirm their place in the TV market. Last year, Guru worked on… »

from the internets: Bardel’s New CEO, Guru Inks Deal For Pikwik, BBC Solves How to Make a Hit Show, and WOW Network CRTC Approval

By Mike Valiquette

Bardel just got a new CEO. Former Sony Pictures Animation producer Rick Mischel will take over for company founders Delna Bhesania and Barry Ward. End of an era. Link here. Guru scores another deal, this time it’s with Disney Junior, for their new preschool series Pikwik (52 X 11). Congrats to Frank Falcone, Mary Bredin,… »

press release: 9 Story Media Group’s Next Big Move: Acquiring Breakthrough Entertainment’s Kid’s and Family Catalogue

By Mike Valiquette

9 Story Media Group Acquires Breakthrough Entertainment’s kids and family library and development slate  Toronto, Canada – July 10, 2018 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Breakthrough Entertainment’s kids and family library and development slate. Under the terms of the agreement, 9 Story… »

Cartoon North is on Patreon

By Mike Valiquette

Well, we did it. We launched our Patreon. It’s a big leap for us, and as much as we try our best to help out in similar situations, it’s always a tricky thing to actually reach out and ask for help. I’m not good at it. But we did it, and you guys are responding…. »

Events: the TWELFTH ANNUAL TAIS ANIMATION SHOWCASE, Toronto, July 28th

By Mike Valiquette

the TWELFTH ANNUAL TAIS ANIMATION SHOWCASE – Bringing the Best Independent Canadian and International Animation to Toronto! On Saturday, July 28th, the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) is thrilled to present a summer night of animated dreams: two 45 minute programmes of short animated films, the results of the 2018 Anijam competition, and a new… »

Cartoon Connection Early Bird Deadline Ends Tonight!

By Mike Valiquette

Cartoon Connection has extended their early bird deadline for registration until midnight tonight! This year’s Cartoon Connection takes place October 1-3 in Québec City, and has become a pretty prominent event on the calendar for people doing business in animation. Here’s a few off their own words. Cartoon Connection is the perfect platform : To… »

From the Internets: Window Horses Director, Anne Marie Fleming on Joining the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, courtesy of CBC.ca

By Mike Valiquette

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organization that hands out Oscars every year, invited a ton of new members this year as part of a push to integrate more diverse voices into their membership. One of those voices is Anne Marie Fleming, the Vancouver based animator behind Window Horses and The Magical… »

Cartoon North Is Coming: the Next Step For Canadian Animation Resources

By Mike Valiquette

Hi guys. Things are going to start changing around here pretty soon. We’ve been hinting at it for a while, but it’s time. Part of the reason is that we simply need to be doing more. Also part of the reason is that the tools we’re using are getting more complicated. For instance, Facebook just… »

press release: Blues Clues Creator Joins 9Story Media as Chief Creative Officer

By Mike Valiquette

9 Story Media Group Appoints ANGELA C. SANTOMERO  As Chief Creative Officer Out of the Blue to be Rebranded 9 Story USA Toronto, Canada – June 18, 2018 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Angela C. Santomero to the newly established role of Chief Creative Officer. As CCO, Santomero… »

RIP Dominic Kardasiewicz

By Mike Valiquette

We shared some troubling news recently about a member of our animation community who went missing a week and a half ago. Dominic Kardasiewicz was found a few days ago, and sadly, he has passed on. A gofundme campaign that was launched to help pay for the search efforts has now been aimed at helping… »

press release: Oasis Animation Announces Major Expansion in Montreal

By Mike Valiquette

Reports are popping up in the usual places about some interesting news out of Quebec. Oasis Animation is expanding in a big way. Here’s the press release. OASIS ANIMATION LAUNCHES A MAJOR EXPANSION PROGRAM AND ANNOUNCES NEW AGREEMENTS WITH LEADING BROADCASTERS Highlights Creation of 100 jobs. 2 new television series contracts: o Kulipari (Season 2)… »

TAAFI Presents: EXCLUSIVE SCREENING AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES TALK BY PIXAR’S DOMEE SHI, DIRECTOR OF “BAO.”

By Mike Valiquette

DIRECTOR IN ATTENDANCE: TAAFI ANNOUNCES AN EXCLUSIVE SCREENING AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES TALK BY DOMEE SHI, DIRECTOR OF “BAO.” Toronto, ON (May 30, 2018) – Today, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) announced an exclusive event with Toronto-raised director, Domee Shi. The screening includes an exclusive, behind-the-scenes talk with the director of the latest short from… »

Missing: Dominic Kardasiewicz, Toronto

By Mike Valiquette

One of our own went missing in Toronto on Friday night. Dominic Kardasiewicz was last seen in Toronto’s west end, around 11:30 pm on May 25th. He was walking home from Bloor and Landsdowne, and was heading east towards Dufferin. Home is Dovercourt and Queen. Dominic worked at Industrial Brothers, and before that he was… »

from the internets: Catching Up on Canadian Animation News

By Mike Valiquette

2018 is in full force, and there’s been a lot going on. Here’s a little sampler. -Nelvana signed a big ole deal for the exclusive Canadian broadcast rights to Sesame Street. Read about it here. Here’s what I find interesting about this. It’s Nelvana, and not Corus, that made the deal. Nelvana isn’t a broadcaster,… »

Industry Vets Unveil New Prodco: Headspinner Productions

By Mike Valiquette

HEADSPINNER PRODUCTIONS SPINS ONTO the SCENE WITH THREE NEW PROJECTS TORONTO, ON, April 17, 2018– Industry veterans Michelle Melanson and Ken Cuperus have joined creative forces to launch HEADSPINNER PRODUCTIONS, a full-service development and production company based in Toronto, Canada. Emmy nominated and multi award winning creators and producers, Melanson (Stella and Sam, Yup Yups)… »

Studio Day at Algonquin College: April 25th, 2018

By Mike Valiquette

Algonquin College School of Animation Studio Day! It says by invitation only, but they sent it to me to post up, so here you go!! Algonquin’s got a great program, full of amazing people, I’m going to try to get to Ottawa for this myself. If you’re doing any hiring, it’s somewhere you should be…. »

Kidscreen Magazine Appoints New Editor: Mike Drach

By Mike Valiquette

Kidscreen is a publication familiar to most of us in the kids media industry. They run a big conference every year in Miami, and they’re pretty much the go-to publication for the business. And now, they have a new editor! Mike Drach is a well known face in the animation industry, and a fixture of… »

Guru EVP Mary Bredin Exits Studio

By Mike Valiquette

A surprising announcement this week from Guru Studio in Toronto: Mary Bredin, who has held the title of EVP of Content and Strategy for the past 10 plus years, will be leaving the company at the end of April. Mary is one half of the leadership at Guru, next to studio founder Frank Falcone, and… »

GLAS Animation Launches Grant Program

By Mike Valiquette

This is some very cool shit. GLAS Animation (Global Animation Syndicate) has taken a simple, but fairly unprecedented step, and has launched the GLAS Animation Grant Program, currently consisting of two separate grants of $2500 each. It’s limited to American applicants, but I wanted to mention it here on the site because I think it’s… »

Upcoming Events: TOON HALL, Toronto, April 25th

By Mike Valiquette

This is coming up soon, and the timing is pretty great. The intention behind it is pure and honest, just a safe place to discuss the realities of the business, the hurdles we face, the issues we’d like to see addressed. No recordings, no streaming, just show up and share. Here’s the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/179160406209694/… »

DHX Media Restructures Upper Management

By Mike Valiquette

The Toronto Star is reporting that DHX Media, one of a small handful of Canada’s media giants, is restructuring after a disappointing fiscal year: https://www.thestar.com/business/2018/02/26/dhx-media-shakes-up-top-management-amid-strategic-review.html Co-Founder Michael Donovan is stepping back into the Chief Executive position as Dana Landry departs. Rumours of a sale have been around since October of last year. We’ll report on… »

Canadian Screen Awards 2018

By Mike Valiquette

The CSA’s wrapped up last night, after a series of ceremonies over the last week. Here’s the animation rundown. The Breadwinner picked up 4 awards out of a possible 6: – Anita Doron for Adapted Screenplay – Qais Essar & Joshua Hill for Original Song – Jeff Danna & Mychael Danna for Original Score -Nelson… »

from the internets: Mysticons Comic Book, Seneca Celebrates Alumni, Daughter of Bells Next for Breadwinner Producers

By Mike Valiquette

Dark Horse publishing Nelvana’s Mysticons. Cool and progressive move for Nelvana. Good call. Comics!! Seneca celebrates Oscar-winning alumni for Shape of Water and Coco. Congrats! Aircraft Pictures (The Breadwinner) announces next animated feature: Daughter of Bells… »

2018 Oscars: Coco and Dear Basketball Win Animation Categories

By Mike Valiquette

That’s the news. Pixar’s Coco took the feature animation award, and Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant’s Dear Basket ball won for short animation. I’m sorry that the Breadwinner didn’t win. Coco is a terrific movie. And when Pixar makes a good movie, this category is theirs. I personally feel that The Breadwinner is a superior… »

from the internets: LA Times On Point Analysis of Bravest Warriors Via Nelvana

By Mike Valiquette

I’ve been throwing around a lot of big talk lately about creative risk-taking in Canada and how we inevitably play it safe in pretty much everything we make. It’s tough, but it’s a fact we have to face, and one that we seem to understand really well in the trenches. We hear about how people… »

Press Release: Reboot is Back. Netflix Premiere of Reimagined Series March 30th

By Mike Valiquette

NELVANA AND WOW! UNLIMITED MEDIA’S MAINFRAME STUDIOS REIMAGINE 90S CULT CLASSIC WITH NEW SERIES REBOOT: THE GUARDIAN CODE Series Set to Debut Worldwide March 30 Toronto, CANADA – Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana is excited to announce that the hybrid live-action/CG animated hybrid ReBoot: The Guardian Code will premiere as a Netflix original series worldwide excluding Canada on March… »

The Future of Canadian Animation Resources, and maybe the future of animation in Canada too!

By Mike Valiquette

We got a little chatty on Twitter this week, with a bit of a rant about creator-driven content and creative control in the Canadian industry. It took off a bit, so I thought I’d share it here too, for those who are interested. We opened with a comment about the site itself. It’s old and… »

from the internets: Frederator Interview with Mathieu Hains

By Mike Valiquette

Frederator sure is taking an interest in Canadian creators lately. First, it was Elise Simard, now it’s Mat Hains! Mat’s an Ottawa-based animator/board artist/creator who made a big splash in the first season of Startoon with his second place finisher, the Angry Little Cupcake. I like Mat. And I like this interview. Check it… »

from the internets: the Secret to Paw Patrol’s Success, Origin of Cuphead, Canadian Films, blahblahblah

By Mike Valiquette

The Globe and Mail looks into the massive success of Spinmaster’s unavoidable hit series, Paw Patrol: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/television/whats-paw-patrols-secret-how-it-captivated-children-and-conquered-theworld/article37417532/ The origins of Cuphead, and StudioMDHR, via Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/12/7/16745144/cuphead-artists-illustrate-five-year-development-cycle More Globe and Mail from December. This one’s a discussion of what needs to happen to make Canadian films successful. This conversation is eternal, but I’m always glad we’re… »

press release: NFB PAYS TRIBUTE TO FILM AND ANIMATION LEGEND GRANT MUNRO

By Mike Valiquette

December 11, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB) The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) mourns the passing of Canadian film and animation legend Grant Munro, O.C., who died in Montreal on December 9 at the age of 94. Born in Winnipeg on April 25, 1923, Munro attended the Musgrove School… »

press release: Youth Media Alliance Announces New Board Members and Andra Sheffer Scholarship Winner

By Mike Valiquette

Youth Media Alliance welcomes new board of directors and unveils the YMA Andra Sheffer Scholarship winner Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its board of directors: Jonathan Finkelstein (President and Executive Producer, Apartment 11 Productions), Marney Malabar (Director, KidsTV, TVO) Jennifer Twiner-McCarron (President, Atomic Cartoons). They… »

from the internets: Add John Lasseter to the “terrible men” list.

By Mike Valiquette

Alright, we’re going to share this news too. Not with the obvious glee that Cartoon Brew is indulging in, but it’s real, and it’s big. Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, has taken a six month “sabbatical” from the company amid numerous allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Rarely have I seen my social media feeds react… »

events: Leadership Skills Workshop, Vancouver, November 29th

By Mike Valiquette

Coming up in Vancouver. Drawn Together Vancouver is hosting a Leadership Skills workshop On Wednesday November 29th. You can get tickets here…. »

from the internets: Former CBC Kids Exec Lands at Titan1, Women in Animation launches Vancouver Chapter, Animation Art Collection At Risk in Sault St Marie

By Mike Valiquette

Kim Wilson, who ran CBC Kids for a decade, has signed on at Titan1 Studios to help develop their various graphic novel properties into other media. Consulting Producer Christina Rotsaert is attached in a non exclusive capacity. Titan1 bills itself as an incubator, but is largely unknown in kids media circles. They also seem to… »

press release: 9 Story Secures Multiple Sales for Animated Series 3 AMIGONAUTS

By Mike Valiquette

9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it has secured multiple international sales for the animated comedy 3 AMIGONAUTS (52 x 11’), aimed at children 6 to 11 years old. New licenses include Sony Pictures Television Networks (UK, Italy and Sub Saharan Africa), Canal+ (French-speaking Europe and Africa), RTP (Portugal), Disney (CEE), DKids… »

press release: YMA Conference, November 15 to 17, Toronto

By Mike Valiquette

Children, Youth & Media conference: A look at the program, November 15 to 17 Once again this fall, Youth Media Alliance (YMA) presents a major event for youth screen-based media professionals: the Children, Youth & Media (CYM) conference, now in its seventh edition. Scheduled from November 15 to 17 in Toronto, the conference addresses the… »

from the internets: Cuphead in Rolling Stone

By Mike Valiquette

Cuphead. Seriously, how long have we been waiting for this? Since 2014, when the trailer blew up online. You can finally get your hands on the game tomorrow. And it’s from Canadian developers Studio MDHR. The team is scattered all over Canada and the “virtual studio” model seems to have worked for them. Rolling Stone… »

from the internets: Joan Lambur Exits Breakthrough, Forms Prodco Backed by Sinking Ship

By Mike Valiquette

Some interesting news from Kidscreen and other sources. Longtime Breakthrough Entertainment Exec, Joan Lambur, has left the company along with ex-Breakthrough VP of family entertainment Suzanne Wilson. Joan has launched Lambur Productions, with backing from Sinking Ship Entertainment. Sinking Ship has taken a minority stake in the new company, and they’ll be based out of… »

press release: ATOMIC CARTOONS BRINGS THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH TO TELEVISION

By Mike Valiquette

September 25th, 2017 / VANCOUVER – Thunderbird Entertainment announced today that its animation studio Atomic Cartoons has optioned the rights to bring Max Brallier’s New York Times bestselling book series THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH to television. Max will write the animated series and Executive Produce alongside Atomic’s Jennifer McCarron and Matthew Berkowitz. Atomic is… »

press release: NFB at OIAF 2017

By Mike Valiquette

A leader in auteur animation for over 75 years, the NFB has 12 new short films showcased at the 2017 Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), including eight in official competition: Matthew Rankin’s THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT; Chintis Lundgren’s Manivald; Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home; Christopher Auchter’s The Mountain of SGaana; Malcolm Sutherland’s Simulated Life; and three… »

The Breadwinner.

By Mike Valiquette

The Breadwinner had its world premiere yesterday at TIFF and the reviews are coming in. Oscar talk is already happening. This is an important film, for a variety of reasons. It’s the latest from Cartoon Saloon, the studio behind Secret of the Kells and Song of the Sea. Both those movies were nominated for Academy… »

Tomorrow Night! Toronto! Amblin’ Along Art Show at the Gladstone!!!!

By Mike Valiquette

Every year or two, Tammy Semen finds time in her very busy schedule to put together an amazing themed art show at the Gladstone Hotel in the west end of downtown Toronto. She always gets a great turnout of inspiring talent, and, in turn, a great turnout for the show. This year looks to be… »

CROWDFUNDING: A World Without End, by Pasquale La Montagna

By Mike Valiquette

Toronto Animator Pasquale La Montagna is trying to raise a few bucks to produce a cartoon. You know how this works. A World Without End – Episode One, A Beginning A Mad man. A King. The pursuit of truth. An evil intention. And a world which never seems to end! It looks great, and it’s… »

Kyle Marshall’s 3 Amigonauts, FULL EPISODE

By Mike Valiquette

Is the best cartoon to come out of Canada in eons? Maybe. Is the creator, Kyle Marshall, currently living in Los Angeles and working for Nickelodeon? Darn right he is! Did this get made at 9Story? Yes indeed. Watch it. We can discuss… »

TAIS 2017 Artist in Residence Call for Proposals

By Mike Valiquette

Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) announces its CALL FOR PROPOSALS for Year Four of its Artist in Residence program This program supports the production of new animated work by artists through a combination of funding and in-kind resources. After the success of the first three years of TAIS’ artists in residence, anticipation is high for… »

from the internets: NFB’s Michael Fukushima Answers Questions, and the Breadwinner is Coming to TIFF

By Mike Valiquette

Over on AWN, OIAF Creative Director Chris Robinson asks NFB Animation Executive Producer Michael Fukushima a handful of questions. Michael was good enough to answer them. And Animation Magazine, among other outlets, is reporting that Cartoon Saloon’s latest feature film, the Breadwinner, will be premiering at TIFF. The Breadwinner is directed by Nora Twomey, and… »

press release: Brown Bag Films announces production of animated holiday special ANGELA’S CHRISTMAS

By Mike Valiquette

Based on the popular children’s story from Pulitzer Prize winning author FRANK McCOURT. Oscar Nominated RUTH NEGGA and Lucy O’Connell set to star. Oscar nominated Brown Bag Films, a subsidiary of 9 Story Media Group, is pleased to announce that it is in production on the animated holiday special, ANGELA’S CHRISTMAS. The half hour CG… »

press release: NFB announces three-year plan to redefine its relationship with Indigenous peoples

By Mike Valiquette

Key commitments include: 4 percent of NFB workforce to identify as Indigenous by 2025; Indigenous-led production to represent a minimum of 15 percent of overall production spending; and the creation of protocols/guidelines for production and distribution and use of archives   The National Film Board of Canada has announced a three-year plan outlining a series… »

press release: Wow Unlimited Media and Bell Media Teaming for Kids and Youth Channel

By Mike Valiquette

Wow Unlimited Media and Bell Media Announce Strategic Partnership in Kids and Youth Entertainment TORONTO, ON and VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – June 07, 2017) – Wow Unlimited Media Inc. (“Wow“) (TSX VENTURE: WOW.A) (TSX VENTURE: WOW.B) and Bell Media (“Bell Media”) are pleased to announce that they have entered into a term sheet (the “Term Sheet“)… »

press release: Youth Media Alliance 2017 Awards of Excellence – Winners Announced

By Mike Valiquette

Winners of the 2017 Awards of Excellence Montréal, May 31, 2017 – This year’s Youth Media Alliance gala unfolded before an enthusiastic audience on May 31 at the CBC Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. The evening was hosted by the vibrant Studio K trio of Tony Kim, Janaye Upshaw and Victor Verbitsky under this year’s… »

from the internets: DHX Buys Peanuts and Strawberry Shortcake for 345 Million Dollars.

By Mike Valiquette

This is all over the internet today. Canadian media giant, DHX Media just made a deal to buy Iconix Brand Group for $345 000 000.00 (I’m assuming USD). Iconix owns 80% of Peanuts, and 100% of Strawberry Shortcake. Here’s Deadline Hollywood on it: http://deadline.com/2017/05/peanuts-strawberry-shortcake-acquired-dhx-media-1202088595/ Here’s Variety with the same info: http://variety.com/2017/tv/global/dhx-media-acquires-peanuts-in-345-million-purchase-of-iconix-1202422001/ CBC with more of… »

press release: Matthew Rankin’s THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT (NFB) selected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week

By Mike Valiquette

So this is pretty cool. The Tesla World Light, Matthew Rankin, provided by the National Film Board of Canada Here’s the press release. Matthew Rankin’s THE TESLA WORLD LIGHT (NFB) selected to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics’ Week Matthew Rankin’s animated filmTHE TESLA WORLD LIGHT, produced at the National Film Board of Canada… »

STARTOON is BACK! Submissions are open!

By Mike Valiquette

Alright. It’s time to talk about Startoon. I always struggle a bit when it comes to cross-promotion. Startoon is my day job these days, so I get a little wobbly about promoting it here. But then I have to step back and tell myself to stop being a dummy and share what we’re doing. Because… »

events: VANIMATIC! April 18th, Grahaeme Cowie Talking About the Impotents, and how they ran a SUCESSFULL KICKSTARTER!

By Mike Valiquette

If I were in Vancouver on April 18th, I’d be here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1892151544392891/ Last year, Grahaeme Cowie and his partner Jeff Cooper set out to get their idea for an adult comedy animated series funded via Kickstarter. They pulled it off. They also made a funny cartoon. I supported it. I got a t-shirt. All this… »

from the internets: APOLLO GAUNTLET ON ADULT SWIM!!!!!!

By Mike Valiquette

YEAH! Adult Swim Greenlights New Animated Series From ‘Robot Chicken’ Producers & Mondo Canadian Myles Langois’s awesome show, Apollo Gauntlet, which I love, is going to be on Adult Swim. Good fit. Congrats to Myles. Keep being awesome…. »

OIAF 2017 Poster!

By Mike Valiquette

I think it’s lovely. Here’s the info provided by Kelly Neal via Facebook: The 2017 poster is here! The stunning new poster was created by Montreal-based animator Elise Simard, a film director who has contributed visual signatures and handmade special effects for documentary features and animated shorts. For the past 10 years she has been… »

press release:BOAT ROCKER/INDUSTRIAL BROTHERS ANNOUNCE NEW SERIES MASTER TOY PARTNERSHIP WITH FISHER-PRICE

By Mike Valiquette

New Original Series Kingdom Force solidifies early-stage partnership with Fisher-Price as part of an innovative strategy for funding multiplatform IP TORONTO – March 21, 2017 – Boat Rocker and Industrial Brothers today announced a master toy partnership with Fisher Price as part of a unique development strategy for their ambitious new original series, Kingdom Force…. »

press release: Youth Media Alliance Announces Nominees for English Language Awards of Excellence

By Mike Valiquette

Montreal, March 21, 2017 – Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is pleased to announce the television series as well as digital and interactive productions in the running for an Awards of Excellence. The winners will be revealed at the awards gala to be held on May 31, at the CBC Glenn-Gould Studio, in Toronto. Based on… »

press release: peopleWatching on Cracked.com

By Mike Valiquette

TORONTO, Feb 22, 2017 – For the second week in a row, Cracked.com, the popular humour and satire website viewed by millions of people each week has aired the latest episode of peopleWatching, an anthology-styled animated webseries based on author Winston Rowntree’s hit web comic Subnormality. People Watching deals with the lives of various 20… »

Press Release: Cinesite Studios acquires Vancouver animation studio Nitrogen

By Mike Valiquette

Cinesite Studios is pleased to announce that it has acquired the full service animation facility Nitrogen Studios Canada Inc., based in Vancouver. The studio employs 70 creative and production staff and is known for animating many episodes of the iconic children’s show Thomas and Friends, and more recently Seth Rogen’s ground breaking R-rated Sausage Party…. »

OIAF 2017 Submissions OPEN!!

By Mike Valiquette

ALL-OUT CALL-OUT: OTTAWA INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL OPENS SUBMISSIONS FOR 2017 OTTAWA, ON, CANADA (February 21, 2017) – The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival, is now accepting entries for competition in 2017! Entries are due May 26, and there is no entry fee. From September 20-24, Ottawa will become the… »

2017 Animated Oscar Winners

By Mike Valiquette

Zootopia and Piper. Both good films, both very safe, mainstream picks. No huge suprises. Piper’s got a Canadian director, Alan Barillaro, Sheridan grad from Chippawa, Ontario. Here’s the Toronto Star coverage: https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2017/02/26/ontario-animator-alan-barillaro-wins-best-animated-short-oscar-for-piper.html Congrats to the winners, and big congrats to all the nominees. We had a really strong group of Canadians representing this year. And… »

from the internets: CBC Kids Makes It Official, Marie McCann In Top Job.

By Mike Valiquette

Kidscreen is reporting that acting Director Marie McCann is taking over the position permanently. Marie’s a great pick, she’s been with CBC for years, off and on, and really has a sense for the brand, including how it’s moving forward. Here’s the article. Congrats to… »

press release:9 Story Media Group Secures a Raft of Digital Sales for Animated Shorts Series SWEET TWEETS

By Mike Valiquette

I like this press release. Sweet Tweets is a series of shorts produced in BC at Yeti Farm. They produced it themselves, with Jon Izen providing the creative chops. And now they’re selling it. Congrats! -mike Toronto, Canada – February 6, 2017 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it has secured… »

Len Cochrane Passes Away at 71

By Mike Valiquette

The Hollywood Reporter is sharing the news that legendary Canadian kids broadcast executive, Len Cochrane, has passed away at the age of 71. Len was a pioneer of the kids broadcast sector, founding Teletoon and presiding over Family Channel from 1990 to 2001. He retired in 2014. cartt.ca has an obituary that touches on how… »

press release: Theodore Ushev Receives Oscar Nomination for Blind Vaysha

By Mike Valiquette

NFB receives 74th Academy Award nomination Theodore Ushev’s Blind Vaysha is headed to the Oscars with a nomination for Best Animated Short Film January 24, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB) Theodore Ushev’s multi-award-winning Blind Vaysha (NFB) has been honoured with an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film. It’s… »

from the internets: Dierdre Brennan Leaves CORUS For Sprout

By Mike Valiquette

This is a tough one. It happened last week and was shared around a lot, but we should post it too, for good measure. Deirdre Brennan joined CORUS less than a year ago, so her departure is somewhat troubling. Here’s a link to Kidscreen’s sharing of the press release. Deirdre is a world class exec,… »

Youth Media Alliance 2017 English-Language Awards of Excellence: Jury Members Wanted!

By Mike Valiquette

2017 English-Language Awards of Excellence: Jury Members Wanted! Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is looking for youth media professional to sit on the nomination jury for its 2017 English-Language Awards of Excellence. The involvement of the industry would be invaluable to us, and it’s also essential that our industry take part in the selection process. Nomination… »

press release: Guru Studio’s Big Blue in Development at Kids’ CBC

By Mike Valiquette

GURU STUDIO DIVES INTO THE BIG BLUE WITH CBC Toronto, ON., Oct 12, 2016 –  Guru Studio’s latest project Big Blue is now in development with Kids’ CBC. This fresh original show follows sibling underwater adventurers Lettie and Lemo and their quirky submarine crew as they explore and protect a vast ocean covered planet from… »

press release: 9Story Makes a Deal For Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter

By Mike Valiquette

 9 Story Media Group to produce new LITTLE CRITTER® animated series based on Mercer Mayer’s beloved book series Toronto, Canada –November 1, 2016 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Little Critter, LLC to produce a new animated series based on Mercer Mayer’s beloved Little Critter… »

press release: New Content Focus At Nelvana

By Mike Valiquette

We got this press release a little late, but I thought it would be important to share it. Honestly, I’ve never been very excited about what happens at Nelvana, but this news is interesting. I firmly believe that the real change in our industry towards creator driven production will only occur in a place that… »

from the internets: VICE on NOVA SEED

By Mike Valiquette

I finally saw Nova Seed at OIAF about a month ago. I missed it at TAAFI back in the spring, and have had a post in the drafts folder of the site half-written ever since. It’s amazing. The movie, not the post. The post starts by saying that Nova Seed is an important movie. And… »

from the internets: BRON Studios Expands to London Ontario, Director Kris Pearn at the Helm

By Mike Valiquette

CTV News out of London, Ontario shared a short story featuring Feature Director Kris Pearn, who’s currently working with BC-based BRON Studios on their upcoming feature release, the Willoughbys. Pearn’s a graduate of Sheridan’s animation program, an accomplished story artist with credits like Arthur Christmas, Hotel Transylvania, and the upcoming Han Solo movie for Lucasfilm…. »

press release: Counterfeit Cat Goes Global On Disney XD and Disney Channel

By Mike Valiquette

Toronto, Canada – September 19, 2016  – Tricon Kids & Family’s award-winning original animated comedy series Counterfeit Cat  (52×11′ and 11×2′ shorts) pounces onto Disney XD and Disney Channel in multiple territories including France, South East Asia, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and Latin America. Counterfeit Cat received its world premiere in May on Disney XD UK… »

press release: 9 Story Media Group appoints ALIX WISEMAN to Vice President, Business Development & Acquisitions

By Mike Valiquette

Toronto, Canada – August 30, 2016 – 9 Story Media Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Alix Wiseman to the newly created position of Vice President, Business Development & Acquisitions.  Reporting to Chief Strategy Officer Natalie Osborne, Wiseman will be responsible for leading distribution and acquisitions efforts in EMEA with a focus on… »

What now? Martin Markle out at KIDS CBC after less than a year. UPDATED: Marie McCann named Interim Senior Director.

By Mike Valiquette

I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. Kidscreen’s got the news, but that’s really all there is. http://kidscreen.com/2016/08/12/martin-markle-out-at-kids-cbc/ Updated with news from Kidscreen again: Marie McCann, who’s been at CBC and TVO off and on for years, is stepping in as interim senior director…. »

ARC update: Jam Filled To The Rescue?

By Mike Valiquette

Both Kidscreen and Playback are reporting on some very interesting news that is developing following two of last week’s big animation stories. After the shocking story of Toronto CG studio, Arc Productions’ sudden collapse into bankruptcy, it was announced that Jam Filled Entertainment, a thriving mid-size 2D shop from Ottawa, known for being a very… »

press release: Corus Entertainment Appoints Athena Georgaklis New Head of Development for Nelvana

By Mike Valiquette

Toronto, Canada – Corus Entertainment announced today the appointment of Athena Georgaklis to the role of Head of Development for Nelvana. Georgaklis, a highly respected animation executive, will lead the acquisition of rights and the development of all original content for Nelvana, working with the studio’s producers, creators, and talent around the world. Georgaklis assumes her… »

Good News Department: BOAT ROCKER BUYS JAM FILLED ENTERTAINMENT!!!! WHAT!?!?!

By Mike Valiquette

Could not happen to nicer people. Congrats to Jamie and Phil and Kyle, and congrats to Boat Rocker for having the smarts to see how great a studio they’ve built. BOAT ROCKER MEDIA ACQUIRES JAM FILLED ENTERTAINMENT Animation Studio Behind Multiple Hit US and Canadian Shows Strengthens Media Company’s Animation & Family Content Capabilities August… »

BREAKING NEWS: Arc Productions Files for Bankruptcy (updated)

By Mike Valiquette

This is one of those tough ones. Toronto’s Arc Productions is closed. We were sent a photo just now of a notice taped up to the front door, courtesy of www.torontovfxjobs.com UPDATE (August 5, 2016): The Globe and Mail has the most comprehensive coverage so far of the facts leading up to Arc’s closure. It’s… »

Press Release: Okanagan International Animation Festival to Launch in 2017

By Mike Valiquette

International animation festival set for October 2017 in BC’s spectacular Okanagan The Okanagan International Festival of Animation is on! Kelowna, B.C. ­ The Okanagan International Festival of Animation (OkIFA) is an annual five-day animation and digital media festival, market and conference set to launch from October 2 ­ 6, 2017, in Kelowna, British Columbia. This… »

showcase: IMPOTENTS PILOT IS ONLINE! from Vancouver’s Smoking Doors

By Mike Valiquette

Independent animation production wins again! After a successful crowd-funding campaign, Vancouver studio Smoking Doors has just completed and released their adult-animated comedy pilot for the Impotents! Check it out!… »

press release: VIFF announces $20,000 award for Call-To-Action Films re: Refugee Crisis

By Mike Valiquette

$20,000 Prize to be Awarded in Refugee Crisis Film Competition Frank Giustra, Founder of the Radcliffe Foundation, and the Vancouver International Film Festival, urge film-makers to participate – Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Sarah McLachlan, Louise Arbour, Craig Kielburger, Ivan Fecan, Atom Egoyan among others lend their voices to the crisis as part of the competition’s jury… »

press release: Thunderbird (Atomic Cartoons) Showcases All Star Musical Lineup for Beatles-Inspired Beat Bugs

By Mike Valiquette

Thunderbird’s Netflix Original Beat Bugs Brings Reimagined Beatles Songs to a New Generation Vancouver (July 27, 2016) – Thunderbird, Grace: A Storytelling Company and Beyond Screen Productions are pleased to bring the highly anticipated animated children’s series Beat Bugs to Netflix on August 3. Inspired by the songs of The Beatles, the show will feature musical… »

OIAF 2016 Official Selection

By Mike Valiquette

This year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival has announced both their feature and short film official selections. Here are the press releases: FEATURE COMPETITION This is a ground breaking year for Canada at OIAF with three feature films competing for the grand prize. Jean-François Laguionie, who won at OIAF 1978 with his film La Traversée de… »

Theodore Ushev and Moïa Jobin-Paré Win at Annecy 2016

By Mike Valiquette

As awards go, picking up a prize at Annecy is just about as big as it gets. The French festival has just announced its winners and congratulations are due to the 2 Canadian picks: Blind Vaysha by Theodore Ushev (Jury Award), and 4min15 in the Developer (Off Limits Award), by Moïa Jobin-Paré. Jury Award Vaysha,… »

Startoon Character Development Initiative Launches in Canada

By Mike Valiquette

For those readers who don’t know me, when I’m not maintaining this site I also work as an animation producer and director in Toronto. Occasionally what I do in that identity overlaps with what I do here, and I try my best to be really transparent about it. This is one of those times. I’m… »

gradfilm showcase: Jack the Rabbit, by Steven Woolley (Algonquin)

By Mike Valiquette

A few months back I was visiting my hometown, Ottawa, and booked in a few hours to go and pay a visit to my pals over at Algonquin College. I taught there for a while, about 6 or 7 years ago. I had a strange cross section of classes. Acting for Animation, and Business of… »

Democracy in Action? Canadian Heritage Ministry Contemplates Overhaul to Content Industry Incentives

By Mike Valiquette

It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks, TAAFI happened, now there’s gradfilms to share and, as usual, we can barely keep up with the job posts. But while all this has been going on, all wonderful symptoms of a very healthy and thriving animation industry, which is part of a larger cultural industry, our… »

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