With consultation from industry executives in Canada and around the world we have developed 5 panel discussions, each exploring a current and internationally-relevant topic. Bios and additional speakers will be added shortly.

The Canadian Market: Meet the Broadcasters
Boutique Studios: Reinventing the Scene
Planet Sketch : A Co-production Case Study
Distribution Alternatives: Animation for the Digital Masses
The Great Debate: Business and Cartoons



The Canadian Market: Meet the Broadcasters
Presented by Playback Magazine
Wednesday, September 21, 9:00 am - 10:30 am (Adam Room)
One of the most important elements of a successful pitch, and ultimately a licensed show, is knowing the broadcaster. This is an opportunity to hear from Canada's top animation broadcasters about the leading trends in today's television animation climate, the kinds of properties they are currently seeking and where they believe the market is headed in the coming years.

Speakers to date:
Carole Bonneau, Vice President of Programming, TELETOON Canada Inc.
Patricia Ellingson, Creative Head of Children’s & Daytime Programming, TVOntario
Phil Piazza, Vice President Programming, Children’s Television, Corus Entertainment
Annick Snell, Manager of Coproductions and Acquisitions – Children, TFO - TVOntario
Sandra Walmark, Manager, Original Production, Astral Television Networks, The Family Channel Inc.
Kim Wilson, Deputy Creative Head of Children’s and Youth Programming, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Moderated by Jocelyn Hamilton, VP of Creative Production, Nelvana Limited


Boutique Studios: Reinventing the Scene
Wednesday, September 21, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm (Adam Room)
Gone are the days when the networks' production units and the major studios ran the show entirely. Going beyond service work alone, boutique studios around the world are contributing in a big way to commercial animation fare and are even at times the preferred choice. Equipped with creative vigour and affordable tools, business savvy entrepreneurs are finding ways of making the programs they want AND selling them. What do these studios have to offer? What role do they fill within the industry at large? How do they survive?

This panel presents the creative heads behind such studios and examines how the face of commercial animation production is changing around the world.

Speakers to date:
Michael-Andreas Kuttner, Commissar, Chief Executioner, Collideascope Digital Productions Inc.
Adam Shaheen
, Owner & Executive Producer, Cuppa Coffee Animation
Richard Winkler, Partner & Executive Producer, Curious Pictures
Moderated by Dan Sarto, Co-Founder & Co-Publisher, Animation World Network


Planet Sketch : A Co-production Case Study
Wednesday, September 21, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm (Adam Room)
After more than 20 years, Aardman Animation is once again venturing into children's' TV series with their first CGI production and first full TV co-production - and what better partner to realize this kooky kids' show than Toronto's award-winning DECODE Entertainment.

The two powerhouse studios are currently in production on Planet Sketch, a CGI and Flash-animated comedy sketch show for 7 - 11 year-old girls and boys that is set to air on CiTV (UK) and Teletoon (Canada) this fall. Each episode presents a gang of madcap characters in a series of vignettes and a unique high-energy format. Join some of the key players from both studios as they delve into the production process and share insights into how they keep the creative, financial, and logistical elements in check.

Speakers to date:
Helen Brunsdon, Co-creator (Planet Sketch), Aardman Animation
Madeleine Lévesque, Director of Original Production, TELETOON Canada
Beth Stevenson, Partner & Executive Producer, DECODE Entertainment
Andy Wyatt, Series Director, Planet Sketch
Moderated by Ramin Zahed, Editor-in-Chief, Animation Magazine


Distribution Alternatives: Animation for the Digital Masses
Presented by the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund
Thursday, September 22, 9:00 am - 10:30 am (Adam Room)
Moving pictures are finding their way into the most unlikely of places. As broadband and wireless delivery technologies mature and find their way to the masses, new windows for distribution are created and, with this, a demand for suitable content. By design, animation is ahead in this still unrefined development, not only because of the compatibility of animation production with digital distribution technologies, but also in terms of 'user' demographics.

What are the various internet-based distribution models currently in use? How are these expanding possibilities for content development and viewership? How do you create substantial, inventive content for these platforms? What are the implications to conventional broadcast?

This panel delves into the ever-more relevant realm of internet-based distribution models, exploring innovative approaches to “narrow-casting," how these can generate profits, how they relate to other revenue streams, and what this all means for the future of animation creation.

Speakears to date:
John Evershed
, Co-Founder and CEO, Mondo Media
Molly Chase,
Executive Producer, Cartoon Network New Media
Kenneth Locker, Senior Vice President of Digital Media, Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc.
Megan O'Neill, Vice President of Acquisitions and Development, AtomShockwave
Moderated by Andra Sheffer, Executive Director, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund


The Great Debate: Business and Cartoons
Thursday, September 22, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm (Adam Room)
What does it take to be the mediator between art and commerce? As a producer, how do you maintain the creative essence of a project while juggling financial setbacks, artistic temperaments and other challenges? As a programmer, how do you know when a project is ‘good', or at least promising? How much do the actual pitch and the pitch-er have to do with it? What is the risk factor? What are the costs of too much compromise? Why does all this matter?

This is a behind-the-scenes look at how creativity and commerce compete in the high-risk commercial animation industry.

Speakers to date:
John Andrews, Senior VP /Creative Director animation & design, Ka-chew! Animation
Blair Peters, Partner & Executive Producer, Studio B Productions
Linda Simensky, Senior Director of Children's Programming, PBS
Moderated by Richard O'Connor, Asterisk