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Launch of the John Rooney Creator Fund

John Rooney - Creator Fund Memorial | Jan 6, 2021

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) and Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) are combining forces to establish the John Rooney Creator Fund to support emerging LGBTQ2S+ and underrepresented talent in the kids, youth and adult animation field.

Recently John Rooney, the Executive Director at Toronto Animation Arts Festival International and a tireless supporter of animation and kids media passed away.

Many will remember John as a kind, smart and exceptionally giving personality whose love of cartoons was infectious. He was also a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and a champion of LGBTQ2S+ representation in programming. 

John was a friend to the Youth Media Alliance, most recently serving on the Advisory Committee and as Jury President for the Awards of Excellence. He was always looking to create bridges and access for marginalized voices. John was the quintessential caring connector, someone who always found time to support emerging talent because he understood that for the future to brighten, new voices needed to be heard.

In honour of John’s legacy the YMA and TAAFI are establishing the John Rooney Creator Fund to support emerging LGBTQ2S+ and underrepresented talent in the kids, youth and adult animation field.

Please contribute to John’s legacy by contacting Chantal Bowen at cbowen@ymamj.org.

About Youth Media Alliance

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) seeks to enrich the lives of Canadian children and teens by helping improve the quality of the content created for them on all screen-based media. The Alliance pursues its mission of encouraging high-quality content by presenting annual awards of excellence to the best productions targeting young English- and French-speaking Canadians. It offers ongoing training tailored to the special needs of youth production professionals through workshops, seminars, and special events such as the Children, Youth & Media and Média-Jeunes conferences. Since 2015, the Youth Media Alliance has developed and now offers four scholarships: the YMA Andra Sheffer, the YMA Thérèse-Pinho, the YMA Steven DeNure and the new John Rooney Creator Fund. YMA also conducts original research investigating the impact of screen-based media on young people. Finally, Youth Media Alliance advocates for the needs of Canada’s child and youth media consumers in matters of public policy.


About the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI)

Founded in 2012, the Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) is a not-for-profit arts organization whose mission is to make Toronto the premiere international destination for animated arts and entertainment. TAAFI hosts a film festival and a variety of recurring industry and public events throughout the year to create unique opportunities that connect animation artists and enthusiasts, and transform the way people create and view animation of all forms.



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