Animation Exposé

Saturday, September 23, 2023 in the National Arts Centre

The OIAF presents, Animation Exposé, a series of daytime events curated to enhance your experience and understanding of the world of animation. While some programming is geared toward the animation industry, the Artist Talks, recruiting opportunities, and sketching activities are all interesting to anyone looking to learn what’s new in animation, meet inspiring creators, find a way to study animation, or even connect with their dream job at a leading studio.  

Artist Talks

Canada Room, National Arts Centre (NAC), 1 Elgin Street

Get the ultimate animation experience at Animation Exposé! Meet the wizards behind the curtain at the Exposé Talk Series, showcasing artists from your favourite projects, including never-before-seen surprises and tips on a career in animation! Talks take place in the Canada Room of the National Arts Centre (NAC).   



10:00 am – 11:00 am

Advice from Animators: How to Thrive in Tough Times 


Hear from experienced animation industry professionals! Discover tips on professional development, networking, interviewing, and how to get hired in the future. This veteran roundup will help you feel relief, hope, and inspiration for the next phase of your career. 


José Pou, Freelance Storyboard Artist

Brooke Keesling, Head of Animation Talent Development, Bento Box Entertainment

Emma Gignac, Supervising Director, Mercury Filmworks


Bradley Cayford, Storyboard Supervisor, Industrial Brothers


11:30 am to 12:30 pm

Behind the scenes of Nimona


Presented in partnership with Netflix

Nimona directors Nick Bruno & Troy Quane present a special behind-the-scenes “Making Of” session that illustrates the process of taking the NYT Best Selling graphic novel by ND Stevenson from book to screen while breaking barriers in feature animation storytelling.


Nick Bruno, Director, Nimona

Troy Quane, Director, Nimona


Ramin Zahed, Editor in Chief, Animation Magazine


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Hilda creator Luke Pearson in conversation with Andy Coyle


Presented in partnership with

Celebrated artist Luke Pearson talks with award-winning Director Andy Coyle about the art of Hilda, from its graphic novels to the multiple Emmy award-winning animated adaptation airing on Netflix.

Topics covered will include the series’ inspiration in Scandinavian folklore and classic comics, the process of page-to-screen visual adaptation with Mercury Filmworks, and the show’s highly anticipated third and final season, launching on Netflix later this year. The panel will be moderated by Hilda Co-Executive Producer Bryan Korn.

In addition to Hilda, Pearson worked as a writer and storyboard artist on Adventure Time and has done illustrations for leading publications such as the New Yorker and the New York Times. Pearson will be available for signings after the talk.


Luke Pearson, Artist & Creator, Hilda

Andy Coyle, Series Director, Hilda


Bryan Korn, Co-Executive Producer, Hilda


2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

Hisko Hulsing: Masterclass


With his short, dark animated films Junkyard and Seventeen, Hisko Hulsing caught the attention of studios such as Dreamworks and Disney. Since then he has directed internationally acclaimed films and series for HBO (Montage of Heck), Amazon (Undone) and Netflix (Sandman), for which he formed a creative teams of hundreds of artists. During his masterclass Hisko takes you on his path to an international stage through an overview of his animated films and series, his paintings, illustrations, music, scripts and storyboards and he will lift the curtain on some projects in development.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Mind Games: Diving into the work of Masaaki Yuasa


Presented in partnership with the Japan Foundation and Ottawa Tourism

A rare opportunity for OIAFers to dive inside the creative brainscape of Masaaki Yuasa, who will be on hand to talk about his unique and diverse career creating some of his mind-blowing cult classics (Mind Game, Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby, Tatami Express, and Ping Pong). Moderated by Chris Robinson, OIAF Artistic Director.

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Behind the Scenes of Disney Animation’s Once Upon a Studio with Directors Dan Abraham and Trent Correy


Presented in partnership with Walt Disney Animation Studios

Walt Disney Animation Studios directors Dan Abraham (Baymax!, Story Artist, Encanto) and Trent Correy (Zootopia+, Animation Supervisor, Frozen 2) take you behind the scenes of their newest animated short film, Once Upon a Studio, in which an all-star ensemble of beloved Disney Animation characters come together for a joyful, entertaining and emotional reunion as they assemble for a spectacular group photo to celebrate Disney’s 100th anniversary. Abraham, a Sheridan College graduate, and Correy, a native of Ottawa, will take you along their journeys in animation, from story artist and animator, respectively, to the directors of the Emmy-nominated short film, Once Upon a Snowman.


9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Animation Exposé Fair

Canal Foyer and Peter Herrndorf Place, NAC, 1 Elgin Street

Are you looking for the right animation school program or your next career opportunity? Pack up your portfolio and come meet with representatives from animation schools, studios, and more at the Animation Exposé Fair on September 23rd. Visit with a variety of representatives from Canadian and international companies to introduce yourself and learn about upcoming opportunities in the world of animation!

Coming soon – see the list of participating studios, schools, and companies below:

What is happening at the Animation Career Fair?

Career Fair Must-Sees

The AniBoutique Pop-Up Shop

Outside the Canada Room with the OIAF Box Office

Get that special something to commemorate OIAF 2023 at the Animation Exposé AniBoutique Pop-Up Shop! The Aniboutique has the best in animation posters, t-shirts, books and more — a little something for everyone (and every budget!) The AniBoutique Pop Up Shop is open Saturday at the NAC. You can also find us throughout the festival at Arts Court, TAC and the ByTowne Cinema too! 

Community Activities

Peter Herrndorf Place

Join fellow animation enthusiasts for live drawing of fabulous volunteer cosplayers! These sketching sessions will take place throughout the day during Animation Exposé in the Peter Herrndorf Place; bring your favourite sketchpad, bestie, and drawing materials, and get sketching!

Hosted by Alan Neal & Vladimir Jean-Gilles from All in a Day, on CBC Radio One


OIAF is actively recruiting Cosplayers to model for live drawing events, if you are interested click the form below for more information and to apply:

Live Cosplay Drawing at OIAF 2023

Hosted by Alan Neal from All in a Day, on CBC Radio One

Hosted by Vladimir Jean-Gilles, Film Columnist for All in a Day, on CBC Radio One

Animation Demonstrations

Peter Herrndorf Place

Check out the how-to animate demonstrations from friends of the festival Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) and hear about their programs and membership options. Find independent animators Bryce Hallet and Lynn Dana Wilton at their booth where they will be creating animation live and you can have a try making animation yourself! 


The Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS) is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to exploring and promoting the art of independent animation through production, residencies, screenings, workshops and exhibitions.

Artistic Vision:

TAIS is dedicated to the art of independent animation.

Our vision is shaped by our support for the ever-broadening multidisciplinary and global context of the animated arts. As the only centre of our kind in the city of Toronto and province of Ontario, TAIS’ artistic vision is decidedly community-driven. 

Annually, our public programming presents animation to audiences via screenings, exhibition, web, and through artist talks and studio visits with guest artists. We regularly partner with other groups and organizations to connect with new audiences and to inspire artists to explore animation in their artistic practice.

The focus of TAIS artistic vision is on offering artists at all stages of development the opportunity to show their work and access production resources so that they can contribute to the expanding boundaries of animation as a discipline through creation. The ongoing focus of our centre is to support innovation, experimentation, stylistic diversity and skills development in independent animation practices within a contemporary arts context.

Positions for hire: Board of Directors (Volunteer)

For more information check out



Animation Exploration with Bryce Hallett & Lynn Dana Wilton

Animation exploration! Using a variety of found materials and cutouts, create and animate character faces and shapes, morphing from one to the next and moving across the screen in this hands-on, experimental, stop-motion, animation jam. Record a quick “hello”, and then help us bring it to life!

Bryce Hallett is an independent animator with 25 years of experience creating animated shorts and motion graphics for commercials, sketch comedy, TV, educational films, music videos and documentaries. ( Specializing in hand-drawn animation, he also enjoys mixing different animation mediums together for interesting results.

Lynn Dana Wilton ( ) is a filmmaker/animator/educator for both commercial and indie animation.  For over 20 years, stop-motion has been her love & specialty.  She trained in classical hand-drawn at Sheridan after a career in institutional/healthcare design.  Her shorts screen internationally and her commercial work spans TV series & specials, docs, ads, interstitials, art installations, and jams.



Canal Foyer

Wacom: A Pioneer in Digital Creativity – For Creative World

Wacom, a trailblazing company at the forefront of digital creativity, has been empowering artists, designers, and innovators for decades. Renowned for its innovative pen tablets, displays, and stylus technology, Wacom has revolutionized the way people express their artistic visions in the digital realm. With a legacy of transforming creative workflows, Wacom’s recent accomplishments include breakthrough advancements in pressure sensitivity, precision, and seamless integration with leading design software. The company takes pride in its community of accomplished alumni and staff, many of whom have left an indelible mark on the world of digital art. From collaborations with renowned artists to pioneering projects that redefine creative possibilities, Wacom continues to inspire, enable, and elevate the global creative community.

Learn more about Wacom
Wacom Canadian Store



Canal Foyer

More participating studios for 2023 will be listed here soon!

Brown Bag Films/ 9 Story Media Group

About Us: Brown Bag Films is one of the world’s most exciting, original, and successful creative-led animation studios. With studio locations in Dublin, Toronto, and Bali, Brown Bag Films creates cutting-edge animation for the international market.

The studio’s much-loved TV shows are viewed by millions of children worldwide including titles like Karma’s World, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Ridley Jones, Ada Twist, Scientist, Get Rolling With Otis, Doc McStuffins, Peter Rabbit, Vampirina, The Magic School Bus: Rides Again, Chico Bon Bon: Monkey With A Tool Belt, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, Wild Kratts, and many more. Brown Bag Films has earned numerous awards and nominations including eighteen Emmy® Awards and two Oscar nominations.

Brown Bag Films is among the most technically advanced studios in the world, with full animation, picture and audio post-production facilities in-house. Our motto is simple: “We love animation.” In fact, we love it so much we trademarked it! ‘We Love Animation®

Now Hiring: 

  • 2D Animator – We are hiring animators to create characterful and entertaining animation.

  • Designer- We are hiring designers to create artwork that communicates the creative vision of the designated show’s director and art director, in line with the workflow and pipeline needs.

  • 3D Rigger: The position of 3D Rigger requires someone with a good general knowledge of Maya and excellent specific knowledge of its constraint, deformer, and dynamics systems, and also be proficient with Python and Maya tool development.

  • FX Artists: Successful Candidate will create FX assets based on the visual and narrative requirements from the Art Director and Episodic Director while working within the technical specifications of the show.

Find More Jobs at Brown Bag Films Here

Guru Studio

Guru Studio is a creative-driven entertainment company and an industry leader in animated storytelling. We are renowned for creating, developing and producing award-winning hit shows that captivate and inspire kids and families all over the world.

For over twenty years, our studio has brought to life some of the most recognizable and beloved children’s properties in the world including the smash hit PAW Patrol, True and the Rainbow Kingdom, Pikwik Pack, Big Blue, Justin Time, Ever After High and most recently Mecha Builders, the Sesame Street animated spin-off. Our studio was also a major contributor to the Academy Award nominated animated feature The Breadwinner.

At Guru, quality, original thinking, and respect for the artist’s workflow are at the core of our values. We are always looking for passionate and committed talent to join our dynamic and growing team!

Positions for hire: 

Asset Artists (Modeling/ Surfacing/ Rigging) – Looking for talented artists who can model, surface, groom and rig assets to meet the intended look based on the outlined guidelines and meet the set design aesthetic.

Find More Jobs at Guru Here!


Jam Filled

Jam Filled Entertainment is a full-service animation studio with locations in Ottawa, Toronto and Halifax. Working with streamers and broadcasters such as Nickelodeon, Netflix and Warner Bros on a variety of 2D and 3D productions including Clone High Season 2, Inside Job, Final Space, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Dino Ranch and Rubble and Crew to name a few. Jam Filled will remind you why you love cartoons. Every project is produced with an eye for quality and an ear for fun!

Positions for hire: 

General interest inquiries for both 2D and 3D roles

Find more Jam Filled Jobs here


Mercury Filmworks

Mercury Filmworks is an independent entertainment company that collaborates with partners across the globe to produce world-class content.

It all started with a scribble 25 years ago in a small Vancouver studio, by our CEO Clint Eland whose main goal for Mercury Filmworks was to be the best animation studio in the world.

We have brought to life some of the industry’s most memorable animated television and film properties for numerous prestigious entertainment companies, including Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Universal, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks, 20th Century Fox, SONY, Warner Bros, and more. 

Going further is what we do. We inspire business partners and audiences with emotionally charged performances and stories. Being a team of award-winning storytellers who have delivered more than 1500 half hours of stories, with more than 100’s of nominations, 13 Annie awards won and 10 Emmys. Ours is a story of quality and excellence. We are storytellers, creativity is what drives our business, and our values are our inspiration.



About Nelvana

Entertaining kids for over 50 years, Nelvana is a world-leading international producer and distributor of children’s animated and live-action content. Nelvana produces a stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands that focus on comedies, preschool and action series, and ancillary consumer products programs. Nelvana’s content airs on Corus Entertainment’s kids channels in Canada and in over 180 countries around the world. The Nelvana library has well over 5,000 episodes of programming and has received over 70 major international program awards including Emmys® and Canadian Screen Awards. Visit the Nelvana website at

We are not activity hiring, but we always encourage artists in different areas of expertise to submit their portfolio. Please contact us at for details.


Sphere Animation


Sphere Animation is one of Canada’s biggest 2D digital animation studios. Led by artists with exceptional expertise and boasting a state-of-the-art production infrastructure, it has seen its series garner success in Canada and around the world. The Montréal studio draws on two decades of experience to deliver large-scale projects for giants such as Netflix, Universal and PBS. These include well-known titles like Curious George, Arthur and F Is for Family. Sphere Animation is also behind original creations for young and older alike, including Chop Chop Ninja, ToonMarty, My Goldfish is Evil!, Ben’s City, 2 Nuts and a Richard! and, coming soon, Riley Rocket and Red Ketchup. The Sphere Animation brand belongs to Sphere, a Canadian film and television industry leader with offices in Montréal, Toronto and Ottawa.

Positions for hire:

2D Animator –  At the heart of our pipeline, animators are responsible for the animation of scenes in Harmony which typically includes characters, sets and accessories as well as cycle, draw and retakes. 

Storyboard – These artists are responsible for the illustrations of each scene from an episode or a sequence for a 2D animated series. They create the visual reference to bring our stories to life!

Character Designer – These designers create the visual representation of our 2D characters. Creating through face, body shape, clothing and body language they are responsible for the look and feel of our characters!

Rigging Artist – How our characters will move is the responsibility of these artists! They create the rigs that will be used to animate and deform the characters in our 2D series. 

Compositing Artist – These artists create the final visual of the production through various effects, lighting and colour. They are key in adding the finishing touches that make the animation pop! 

Stay Up to Date with Sphere Animation Jobs Here!



Toon Boom

Toon Boom Animation Inc.’s award-winning software is the global standard for animation, storyboarding and pipeline management. Storyboard Pro and Harmony solutions provide everyone from enthusiasts to professionals with the artistic freedom to create in any style and efficiently publish anywhere, while Producer provides real-time management for animated projects. Customers who chose Toon Boom animation software for the development and creation of their productions include Disney Television Animation, Amazon, Fox Television Animation, Nelvana, Toei Animation, The SPA Studios, Xilam and Boulder Media, to name a few. The technology is currently available in English, Spanish, Japanese and Simplified Chinese.

For more information, visit:


Atomic Cartoons

Atomic Cartoons (a division of Thunderbird Entertainment) is an internationally renowned, award-winning independent animation studio with offices located in Vancouver, Ottawa and Los Angeles. Our studio employs more than 1,000 talented artists and production crew members. We are known for our artist-driven culture that attracts, retains and promotes the best talent in the business. Atomic produces high-end animated content across both 2D and CG pipelines that spans preschool, comedy, action-adventure, adult and commercial genres, and everything in between. And we have developed a stellar global reputation for our ability to translate big brands like LEGO, Star Wars, My Little Pony, Cocomelon and many more into top-notch animation. Established in 1999, quality remains our North Star.

Please check our website for our latest postings. 



Meet the Schools

Peter Herrndorf Place


Algonquin College

The three-year Animation Ontario College Advanced Diploma program provides you with the skills needed to meet the high standards of the international animation industry. As a student attending one of the best animation programs in Canada (as ranked by Animation Career Review) you learn industry-standard technologies, drawing and animation skills. 

Learn more about Algonquin College!


Mohawk College

Experience the full animation process of character performance stories with a focus on creating finished 3D animation productions.

Program Highlights
  • Taught by industry professionals.
  • Bring stories and characters to life through cinematic animation.
What you’ll learn
  • Industry standard hardware and software.
  • Transferable skills to entertainment, gaming, virtual reality (VR), commercial and industrial productions.
  • Develop real-world industry production work practices.
  • Business of art for profit.
  • Pre-production skills:
  • Writing skills to develop character and story structure.
  • Figure drawing to develop strong drawing skills.
  • Traditional drawing skills used for visual design of environments, characters, storyboards/animatics.

Learn more about the Animation program.

OCAD University

Learn the skills to bring your imagination to life in OCAD University’s new Experimental Animation program.

OCAD U has a long history of graduating successful animators in art and film including George Dunning who directed The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine and Richard Williams who was animation director for Who Framed Roger Rabbit. More recently, alumni include computer animator Trudy Elmore and emerging VR artist Jawa El Khash. Shary Boyle, who represented Canada at the Venice Biennale, has achieved great success with her mesmerizing performances using hand-animated imagery.

In this program, you’ll develop a personal artistic vision and push the boundaries of animation as a contemporary art form. You’ll mix traditional and digital media using 2D, 3D, stop-motion, digital compositing and augmented/virtual reality.

During the Experimental Animation program, you’ll have a lot of flexibility to take elective art and design courses beyond animation. The program has growing relationships with other schools around the world and many connections with Toronto’s growing animation industry. OCAD U alumni have worked at Industrial Light & Magic, Yowza, Guru, Jam-Filled, Stoopid Buddy, The Stop Motion Department, StereoD and Moment Factory, among others. The program’s full-time faculty are active practitioners in contemporary art and animation and show their work internationally.

Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCADnow.

Positions for hire: 

Professor of Animation, Professor of Graphic Design, Professor of Digital Communication, Professor of Interactive Design and Game Development, Chair of Interactive Design and Game Development

Learn More About SCAD: The University for Creative Careers Here


School of Visual Arts NYC (SVA)

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. SVA Animation is comprised of three programs: BFA Animation; BFA Computer Art, Computer Animation and Visual Effects; and MFA Computer Arts.  Spanning disciplines across the fields of animation and computer-based arts, each program fosters creative experimentation and storytelling ability in its curriculum. Students follow high standards of academic performance and professionalism to become artists recognized worldwide.


Seneca College

Seneca Polytechnic is one of the top public post-secondary training institutions in Canada. The School of Creative Arts and Animation is a recognized global training leader in animation, interactive media, documentary filmmaking, graphic design, music, acting, and illustration. It is ranked among Canada’s top training programs for animation, gaming, and visual effects, and has been at the forefront of developing Canadian talent for more than a decade.

Seneca’s success in these areas are a result of an entrepreneurial, agile approach to providing students with hands-on practical experience that break the boundaries of traditional internships and research. In addition to providing top-quality graduates that are employed around the world at high-profile studios, Seneca also partners directly with professional content creation studios to become deeply involved in short film, gaming, interactive media, and public awareness projects. 


Sheridan College

Sheridan is a world leader in Animation education. Our Honours Bachelor of Animation, and postgraduate certificates in Computer Animation, VFX and Digital Creature Animation are consistently ranked the Top 10 in the world. With over 300 years of industry experience our faculty teach students in state-of-the-art facilities with the same software and hardware used at studios today. Around 95% of graduates are employed in the industry at studios like Guru, Disney, Nelvana, Pipeline, Pixar, House of Cool, ILM, Atomic Cartoons and Jam Filled. 

For over 50 years Sheridan has trained Academy, Emmy and Annie Award Winners including Domee Shi, the first female to solo direct a Pixar feature film, Turning Red. Gyimah Gariba creator of children’s show Big Blue. Steve “Spaz” Williams who built the digital dinosaurs in Jurassic Park revolutionizing the VFX Industry. Dean DeBlois writer/director of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. 

Visit to learn more!

Vancouver Film School (VFS)

Vancouver Film School’s programs in 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Classical Animation, Concept Art and Digital Design are consistently recognized as among the best in the world.

·  Graduate in just one year with more hands-on, practical knowledge than graduates of many 4-year degree programs.

· Learn from active creative professionals who bring the latest industry practices right into the classroom.

·  Work in studio environments that prepare you to step seamlessly into the industry.

·  Join an alumni roster that has worked on award-winning titles such as Dune, Across the Spider-verse, Arcane, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more!

·  Year-round start dates help you start your career at any time of the year, including this October.

Book Signings

Peter Herrndorf Place


1:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Join Nimona creators Nick Bruno & Troy Quane for an art signing.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Pilar Newton is back with her graphic novel Just Pilar

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Hilda creator Luke Pearson will be available to sign books and posters

3:40 pm – 4:10 pm

A special guest will be announced soon!