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

Presented by:


CASO - Surviving and Thriving

Fri, Nov 3rd

2:15PM - 3:15PM


The past year has seen tremendous changes in our industry that have affected everyone from artists to owners. However, despite this, our industry continues to persevere and grow. How are the big studios making it work? What are the risks and challenges they face? Where are the opportunities? Join us for the first in a series of talks exploring what it takes to run a successful animation business, including insights on scaling a studio from startup to success, the ABCs for competing in the big leagues, and how to stay on top of the ball through the good times and the bad. Presented by the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario.


Jonas Diamond, Executive Producer, Smiley Guy Studios

Jonas Diamond is the Executive Producer of Smiley Guy Studios. For over 15 years, Jonas has been instrumental in growing the company’s production business and arranging financing for its many original properties. Jonas joined up with the Guys in 1999 and successfully arranged financing for and produced the award-winning animated series “Odd Job Jack.” The series received a Gemini, CFTPA Indie, Banff Rockie and Canada New Media Award for Best Cross Platform Project. Additional accolades for “Odd Job Jack” include a nomination for Best Interactive Program and Best Animated Show at the Banff Rockie Awards, Best Convergent Project by the Banff Institute as well as multiple Canadian Comedy Award and Gemini nominations (including 2 for Best Comedy). Jonas’ Producer credits include: “Odd Job Jack,” “Space Riders,” Corner Gas: The Movie – Digital for Bell Media; “Pillars of Freedom” and “Finding Stuff Out” – Online for TVO; “Turbo Dogs,” “Chirp,” and “The Curse of Clara” for CBC; “The Dating Guy,” “Skatoony,” and “GeoFreakZ” for Teletoon; “Dad Drives” and “Operation Unplugged” – Digital for Blue Ant; “Überdude” and “Teleporting Fat Guy” for Smosh; Baby Cow co-productions “Warren United,” “SOS: Save Our Skins” and “Wussywat;” and the Emmy/Rockie/Digi/Canadian Screen Award winning “Guidestones.” Jonas is also a board member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & TV.


Lori McIndoe, Executive VP, Finance & Studio Operations, Jam Filled

An experienced professional accountant, Lori McIndoe has spent her entire career working in finance and operations in the Canadian film and television industry. Since joining Jam Filled (under the Boat Rocker umbrella) in 2018, she has worked closely with her fellow senior leadership team members in managing the day-to-day operations of Jam Filled’s successful animation services business, across its three Canadian studios in Ottawa, Toronto, and Halifax.


Matt Bishop, Co-Owner & Head of Animation and Visual Effects, Sinking Ship

Matt Bishop is an Emmy Award winning producer and partner at Sinking Ship Entertainment. Matt began his career in live-action focused on pushing technology from HD to 4K. From there he moved into animation where he started and leads Sinking Ship’s animated production division. At Sinking Ship, Matt and his partners have created 15 original series and over 600 half-hours of children’s television. With shows airing in every country and in over 40 languages, Sinking Ship has grown to become one of North America’s premier kids entertainment companies and has been selected as Playback’s 2016 Kids Company of the Year. Matt has been the recipient of the prestigious Emmy Award, Gemini Award, Canadian Screen Award, Banff Rockie, Shaw Rocket Prize, Toronto Met Top 30 Under 30 Award, Youth Media Alliance Award and a few Tara Awards.


Ricardo Curtis, President and Co-Founder, House of Cool

Ricardo Curtis is one of the animation industry’s most successful professionals, and has played a pivotal role in the production of over 20 successful feature films.

Jamaican born and Toronto native, Curtis relocated to Los Angeles after graduating from Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program. Working with Pixar, DreamWorks Animation Studios, Fox, Miramax and Warner Bros, he contributed to a number of projects as a story artist (The Incredibles, Monsters Inc.), Head of Story (Book of Life, Horton Hears A Who), Supervising Animator (Osmosis Jones) and was an animator and designer on The Iron Giant.

Curtis returned to Canada in 2004 to launch House of Cool with Wesley Lui. As Co-Founder and Creative Director, his keen eye for talent and artistry have cultivated long-term relationships with Dreamworks, Netflix, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal and Apple.

Curtis has developed and sold properties to Disney, Bravo!, DHX and Teletoon, earning accolades at MIPCOM for his work. He has produced, written and directed short films, pilots, television series, specials, a novel and commercials. Curtis is a member of Sheridan College’s board that sets the educational curriculum, as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Most recently Ricardo directed Ice Age: The Great Eggscapade for Fox/Blue Sky Studios. Curtis has written and is slated to direct an original House of Cool property currently titled Amoeba and the upcoming Clive Barker film, Night of the Zoombies


Ben McEvoy, Executive Producer, Friends & Enemies

Ben leads creative initiatives for agencies, brands, media companies, entrepreneurs and educators, providing brand and content strategy, as well as hands-on creative production in animation, live-action, interactive web, apps, VR/AR, game development, events and interactive public activations, on projects throughout Canada, and internationally in the US, India, Singapore and China. 

As partner / executive producer, Friends & Enemies, Ben works with his team of senior creatives and a broad network of multi-disciplinary production partners creating original and branded content experiences for brands, agencies and media clientele. 

Notable clients include: Google, VICE Studios, 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, CBC, Doc Channel, Teletoon, YTV, CTV, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, TVO Kids, Shaftesbury, and the National Film Board of Canada.

Ben is also co-founder of the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) and a former board member.


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