Toronto Animation Film Festival

Toronto Animation Industry Conference

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Where: Toronto Reference Library & Online

When: November 2-4, 2023

Previous Events:

Toronto Animation / VFX Job Fair

TAAFI Meet & Greet

Sat, Nov 12th

9:30AM - 11:30AM

Reference Library: Novella Room

The TAAFI Industry Meet & Greet is a special chance to have a 10-minute one-on-one meeting with various industry experts from around the world from such studios as Guru, Headspinner, Epic Story Media, CBC, Industrial Brothers and more!



Andrew Strimaitis, Studio Animation Director, Guru Studio

Andrew Strimaitis has animated and directed animation for several shows over his 15 years in the industry, including MTV fan-favourite Celebrity Deathmatch, musical adventure series The Backyardigans, Mattel’s Ever After High, Guru’s own Emmy nominated series Justin Time, and the global smash hit PAW Patrol. With a background in stop-motion, Andrew brings a unique approach to 3D, specializing in animation workflow. Always eager to help animators improve their skills, he enjoys sharing his unique method of animating which finds the ideal acting choices to best perform scenes.


Cara Bleskie, Senior Development Manager, Nelvana

Since 2016, Cara Bleskie has been an instrumental member of Nelvana’s development department. Cara is dedicated to identifying and fostering the growth of up-and-coming creative talent and partnerships. She is a founder of the Nelvana U program and helped launch the Talent Incubator: Black Write Edition.


Christine Thompson, Head of Animation, Dark Slope

Christine is the Head of Animation at Dark Slope. She has 17 years of experience in animation production, overseeing high profile animated television series and interactive projects. With extensive knowledge of media production and passion for creating high quality entertainment experiences, Christine has played a vital role in the evolution of Dark Slope’s virtual animation production pipeline.


D'Arcy Cooney, Director of Marketing, Pipeline Studios

Over the last decade, D'Arcy has overseen the launches of some of the hottest children's content in the world. He has successfully led the creation and execution of integrated, consumer-facing marketing campaigns across North America.

While at Phase 4 Films, D'Arcy helped relaunch kaboom! Entertainment, the company's flagship kids and family home entertainment line. During his time at eOne, D'Arcy oversaw the global digital release strategies for Peppa Pig and PJ Masks. He also successfully partnered with Google Play on their first ever free exclusive global film release.

During his time at Corus, D'Arcy managed the company’s linear kids’ brands, including YTV, TELETOON, Treehouse, Disney Channel Canada, Cartoon Network Canada and Nick Canada. He also assisted in launching Adult Swim's first ever 24-hour channel, the Nick+ subscription video on demand platform, and the YTV x Retrokid "Keep It Weird" Collection collaboration.

As the Director of Marketing at Pipeline Studios, D’Arcy leads consumer marketing for the Pipeline brands. This includes the recent exciting launch of the preschool series Doggyworld on Disney+ in Latin America. D’Arcy also oversees trade marketing initiatives for the studio - including key sponsorships with TAAFI, Kidscreen, and the OIAF.


Holly Nichols, Development Manager, WildBrain

As WildBrain’s Development Manager, Holly Nichols is the key contact for all incoming content submissions. Holly ensures WildBrain’s creative-slate needs and content strategy are communicated clearly to external producers and creators. Working closely with WildBrain’s development teams covering animation, live-action and short-form digital content, Holly seeks to find distinct creative voices and partners that align with the company's overall needs. Based in Toronto, Holly brings over 20 years’ experience in the industry, with a focus on animation. Prior to joining WildBrain, Holly was a Producer at eOne Family, where she solidified her passion for children's content after years producing short-form animation at various boutique studios.


Josh Bowen, Managing Director/Executive Producer, Look Mom! Productions

After graduating university in 2010 Josh wrote and Executive Produced the hit short format animated comedy series Goodwin vs. Badwin. In 2013, Josh joined Blue Ant to launch the adult animated comedy shorts program Bite on Mondo. The shorts were compiled into a series called Night Sweats, which airs on Teletoon and Adult Swim in Canada. Josh is currently spearheading Look Mom! Productions, which is best known for producing the original animated series' Gary And His Demons (Amazon) and Doomlands (Roku).


Phil Moorhead, Development Manager, 9 Story Media Group

Phil Moorhead is Development Manager at 9 Story Media, Toronto. With a background in comedy and screenwriting, he has written for shows on Cartoon Network, Netflix, Amazon Prime, YTV, Teletoon and Treehouse. Phil has studied Children's Media at Centennial College, Sitcom Writing at the G. Raymond Chang School, and Comedy Writing & Performance at Humber College. He lives in Toronto with his wife and 3 kids.


Sally Walker, Business Development Manager, Yowza! Animation

Sally Walker leads business development at Yowza, which entails client relationship building, managing communications with schools and awesome industry organizations such as TAAFI, shepherding new projects through development and pre-production. She started in production coordination in 2012, and has since worked in management and recruiting, working instrumentally toward the rebirth of Yowza Animation. She is proud of the team's amazing animation work for clients such as Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, Netflix, PBS, Dreamworks, Sesame Workshop, NBCUniversal, and more. She is especially happy when meeting directly with recent grads and current students.


Tanya Green, Head of Preschool, Mainframe Studios

Two-time Emmy Award winning producer, Tanya Green, has been working in the animated arena for over 15 years. In that time, she has overseen and managed many projects from development to final delivery for broadcasters and streaming services all over the world. Tanya fell in love with animation while working on the series Atomic Betty at Breakthrough Films and, following her passion, managed a variety of series at the company until moving to head up production at 9 Story Media Group. During her tenure at 9 Story, she rose to VP. As VP Production at Brown Bag Films (a 9 Story Company), she produced hundreds of hours of animated television including both the Emmy Award winning preschool series Peg + Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood for PBS, as well as rebooting such legacy properties as The Magic School Bus Rides Again for Netflix. In her current role as Head of Preschool for Mainframe Studios, she develops and produces content for the young and young at heart audiences.


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