TAC 2022

Sept. 21 – 23

TAC is back! Returning to Ottawa’s famous Château Laurier, TAC 2022 is your chance to reconnect with industry contacts and establish new relationships with the producers, broadcasters, artists, executives, and buyers in attendance.

This year’s programs include the return of everybody’s favourite boat cruise (thanks Toon Boom!); TAC’s signature pitching events Fast Track and Pitch THIS!; and a copro focus with a spotlight on the recently renewed Canada-France treaty and a delegation of French producers in attendance.

Stick around on Friday for a networking breakfast courtesy of WIA Vancouver, an artist talk with Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker Hugo Covarrubias, and a “Meet the Festivals” panel before you catch the shuttle to the Animators’ Picnic.

With generous support from

Wednesday, September 21

9:00am – 11:30am

Pitch THIS! Semi-Finals

Presented by Mercury Filmworks

Venue: Château Laurier L’Orangerie

Pitch THIS! is TAC’s signature pitching contest. Ten semi-finalists present their projects to a jury of industry professionals, who will determine the two projects selected to compete in the next day’s finale.

The semi-finals jury includes:

9:30am – 10:20am

CoPro Focus #1: Legal Considerations for International CoProduction Agreements

Presented by Canada Media Fund and Edwards Creative Law

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Presenters: Mark Edwards (Entertainment Lawyer, Managing Partner, Edwards Creative Law), Byron Pascoe (Entertainment Lawyer, Partner, Edwards Creative Law)

Navigating international coproduction treaties comes with unique challenges and new concerns for producers at all stages of their careers. Entertainment lawyers Mark Edwards and Byron Pascoe from Edwards Creative Law will walk you through the key legal considerations for international coproductions. Focusing on partnerships between Canada and the European Union, with a particular emphasis on France, they will provide you with the resources and knowledge you need to enter into your next coproduction agreement.

10:30am – 11:20am

CoPro Focus #2: Spotlight on Canada-France CoProductions

Presented by Canada Media Fund and the French Embassy in Canada

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Archita Ghosh (CFO, Executive Producer, E.D. FILMS), Stéphanie Launay (Producer, Komadoli), Sébastien Onomo (President and Producer, Special Touch)
Moderator: Camille Gueymard (Deputy Director, Business Affairs and Coproduction, Telefilm Canada)

The new coproduction agreement between Canada and France went into effect earlier this year on May 1, bringing with it a renewed framework for coproductions in the areas of film, television, and on-demand audiovisual services, continuing the rich and long creative partnership between the two countries.  

This panel will highlight French producers discussing the current state of the industry in France, provide insights from a VR coproduction that Canada’s E.D. Films currently has in development, as well as offer an overview of the new treaty and relevant resources from Telefilm’s Deputy Director of Business Affairs and Coproduction, Camille Gueymard.

11:30am – 12:20pm

WIP: The Horde of Counterwind

Presented by the French Embassy in Canada

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Presenter: Pierre Cattan (Creative producer, Small Bang)

Paris-based Creative Producer Pierre Cattan (Small Bang) will share a first look at the scrolling comic adaptation of the popular French fantasy novel, The Horde of Counterwind. The multilingual adaptation aimed at young audiences will take the form of a scrolling graphic novel, an immersive comic book format accompanied by sound and animation.
Hear from Pierre about this innovative storytelling format that blends comic book and animated film to create an immersive reading experience for global audiences.

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch

Presented by the French Embassy in Canada and Unifrance

Venue: Château Laurier Canadian Room

Enjoy a delicious meal and good company courtesy of the French Embassy in Canada and Unifrance.

1:30pm – 2:20pm

Future Tense: New Challenges and Opportunities in Animation

Presented by CASO

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Eran Barel (Snowball Studios), Matt Bishop (Sinking Ship Entertainment), Tanya Green (Mainframe Entertainment), Samara Melanson (Guru Studio)
Moderator: Ben McEvoy (Friends & Enemies)

Recent years have seen a huge boom in opportunities for the Ontario (and Canadian) animation industry, led in no small part by the COVID pandemic, a massive appetite for more new content from audiences around the world, and the massive demand for more content from leading streamers. Unfortunately, it seems that the shine is wearing off the golden era of animation production, as streamers face increased competition and audiences are being served an overflowing cornucopia of new content to consume. Add to this the realities of post-pandemic production and shifting opportunities and challenges in platforms and content, and it’s clear that we are in for some interesting times.

Join a panel of diverse industry perspectives as we engage in a lively debate exploring what new opportunities and challenges will emerge in the world of animation in the coming year.

2:30pm – 3:20pm

Breaking Barriers: EDI in Action

Presented by Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Barry Bilinsky (Filmmaker and Theatre Creator), Desirée Green (Writer, Director, Producer, Nelvana Talent Incubator Participant), Wahid Ibn Reza (Writer, Director, VFX/Animation Production, Erica Miles (Animator/Animation Director, Atomic Cartoons)
Moderator: Diarra Konaté (Socials & Operations – Programs Asst., Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada)

Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives have sprung up across the continent over the last few years, yet historical inequities run deep and barriers to entry in all industries still remain for folks from equity-seeking groups. 

Four up-and-coming creatives (writers, animators, directors) from underrepresented communities will take the TAC stage during this panel to share their experiences breaking into the animation industry, provide resources that have helped them in their professional and creative journeys, and discuss the ways that producers and studio executives can make working conditions and workplace culture more accessible and equitable. 

2:30pm – 4:30pm

Fast Track

Presented by Tonic DNA

Venue: Château Laurier MacDonald Room

Fast Track gives you the opportunity to meet privately with all of your targets in one shot. The line-up consists of producers, broadcasters, and distributors from around the globe! Pre-registration is required.

3:30pm – 4:20pm

Case Study: Pinecone & Pony

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Jocelyn Geddie (Writer/Producer, Freelance), Stephanie Kaliner (Executive Producer/Writer, Pinecone & Pony), Wayne-Michael Lee (Director, Atomic Cartoons), Julie Soebekti (Supervising Producer, First Generation Films)
Moderator: David Gerhard (Studio Creative Director, Atomic Cartoons)

Hear from the team behind Apple TV+’s pwettiest new series, Pinecone & Pony. Adapted from a children’s book by Canadian cartoonist and NYT-bestselling author Kate Beaton and produced by DreamWorks, Pinecone & Pony champions inclusivity as it tells the story of a young girl and her farting pony who are learning that you can be a “warrior” in any way you want.

Showrunner Stephanie Kaliner, writer Jocelyn Geddie, director Wayne-Michael Lee, and supervising producer Julie Soebekti will delve into the development process, comedy in kids’ animation, getting picked up by Apple TV+, and diverse representation in kids’ content today. 

4:30pm – 5:15pm

Toon Boom Boat Cruise, Bus Shuttle Service

Take a quick walk from the Chateau Laurier to Sparks St and Elgin St for pick up.

5:30pm – 7:30pm

Toon Boom Boat Cruise

The perfect opportunity to catch up with other TAC delegates and grow your network in an informal and intimate setting. This 2-hour sightseeing cruise tours Parliament Hill, The Canadian Museum of History, Rideau Falls, and other popular sites in the beautiful Capital. Guests will be treated to drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Thursday, September 22

9:30am – 10:20am

Reimagining the Iconic Muppets of Sesame Street Into Supersized Mecha Robots

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa
Speakers: Olexa Hewryk (VP and Head of Animation, Sesame Workshop), Yurie Rocha (Series Director, Mecha Builders), Andrew Strimaitis (Head of Animation, Guru Studio)
Moderator: Lisa Jones (Animation Producer)

From feathered and furry friends to robo-superheroes-in-training, find out how the iconic Muppets of Sesame Street got supersized into CGI animated characters for Sesame Street’s newest series Mecha Builders

With over 4,500 episodes, 214 Emmy Awards, and 11 Grammy Awards, Sesame Street has touched the lives of millions of children around the world. In 2020, animation powerhouse Guru Studio was tapped to help reimagine the beloved characters for a new generation.

Join Sesame Workshop’s Olexa Hewryk, Guru Studio’s Yurie Rocha, and Andrew Strimaitis as they discuss how Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Abby Cadabby were re-imagined to expand the Sesameverse.

9:30am – 11:30am

Fast Track

Presented by Tonic DNA

Venue: Château Laurier MacDonald Room

Fast Track gives you the opportunity to meet privately with all of your targets in one shot. The line-up consists of producers, broadcasters, and distributors from around the globe! Pre-registration is required.

10:30am – 11:20am

The Great (Canadian) Adult Animation Boom

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Jacques Bilodeau (President, Sphere Animation), Joshua Bowen (Managing Director, Look Mom! Productions), Cory Morrison (Partner, EVP of Development, and Chief Creative Officer, Big Jump Entertainment), Courtney Wolfson (Head of Production, Lakeside Animation)
Moderator: Jordan Pinto (North American Editor, C21 Media)

Between 2020 and 2021, the adult animation TV series on order grew by over 100% according to John Evershed’s assessment in his 2021 “Adult Animation White Paper,” which led him to conclude that the industry is currently experiencing “The Great Adult Animation Boom.”

Bringing together four Canadian studios producing animated content for adult audiences, this panel will explore the effects of the so-called adult animation boom on Canadian producers, exploring the opportunities and challenges in engaging today’s adult audiences. 

11:30am – 12:20pm

State of the Industry

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Kim Dent Wilder (Executive VP, Mainframe Studios), Karen Fowler (VP Development, EP Series, 9 Story Media Group), Chantal Ling (VP, Production & Co-Productions, Mercury Filmworks), Jennifer Twiner McCarron (CEO, Atomic Cartoons/Thunderbird Entertainment), Pam Westman (President, Nelvana)
Moderator: Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos (Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office)

Hear from leaders of Canadian animation studios discussing the key topics, trends, and concerns facing the industry today. From business affairs to content creation, get ready to deep dive into this timely discussion about all things animation.

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Lunch

Presented by the Ottawa Film Office

Venue: Château Laurier Canadian Room

Enjoy a delicious meal and good company courtesy of the Ottawa Film Office.

1:30pm – 2:20pm

The Vertical Video Trend

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa
Speakers: Bruce Alcock (Executive Creative Director & Owner, Global Mechanic), Howard Huxham (Owner / Executive Producer, TONIC DNA), Sierra Martin-Persi (Supervising Producer, Bento Box Entertainment), Andrew Strimaitis (Head of Animation, Guru Studio)
Moderator: Linda Simensky (Head of Animation and Scripted Content, Duolingo)

One of the biggest changes brought on by the ubiquity of smartphones and social media is the shift from landscape to vertical video. With traditional cinema and television, video has always had a horizontal orientation. Yet with phones and apps, a new aspect ratio means we now must reorient our way of thinking, as well as our way of producing for these platforms. This panel will consider the shift to vertical video and how it’s impacting the animation industry.

2:30pm – 3:20pm

Case Study: Super Wish

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Speakers: Vanessa Esteves (Creator, Nelvana), Lydia Ferreira (Producer, Nelvana), Adrian Thatcher (Creator, Nelvana)
Moderator: Pat Burns (Executive Manager and Supervising Producer, Redknot)

Hear from the team behind Redknot’s delightful new series, Super Wish, Nelvana’s first entirely remote pandemic production. Moderated by Redknot’s Executive Manager and Supervising Producer Pat Burns, creators Vanessa Esteves and Adrian Thatcher will reflect on the wins and worries of a completely virtual pipeline, with additional insights from Producer Lydia Ferreira.

As we venture out from our pandemic bubbles, the panellists will discuss what aspects of remote production are here to stay, what they’ve learned throughout the process of pivoting, and their (super) wishes for a post-pandemic production pipeline.

Stick around afterwards for a cake (and coffee) break.

3:30pm – 4:00pm

Cake Break

With coffee. Grab a cup and say hello to the Callipeg team and guest animator, Jamil Lahham! 

4:00pm – 5:00pm

Pitch THIS! Finale

Presented by Mercury Filmworks

Venue: Château Laurier Drawing Room

Pitch THIS! is TAC’s signature pitching contest. The two finalists will present their projects to the TAC audience and a jury of industry professionals, who will determine the winning pitch.

The winner will be awarded a grand prize including:

  • $5,000 cash prize from Mercury Filmworks
  • Toon Boom Harmony Premium Annual license and online training
  • $1,000 in legal services from Edwards Creative Law
  • Two TAC Animapasses to OIAF 2023

The runner-up will also receive a free 1-hour consultation with Edwards Creative Law.

The finale jury includes:

  • Sam Chou, Director, Creative Director of Development (Look Mom! Productions and Blue Ant Media)
  • Lisa Cinelli, Executive in Charge of Production, Children’s and Youth Programming (CBC)
  • Kirsten Hurd, Content Acquisitions, Production Executive (TVO Kids)
  • Alfredo Marun, Director of Development (Disney Television Animation)
  • Leslie Wishnevski, Development Manager (Nickelodeon Animation)

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Corpay Closing Cocktail

The TAC Closing Cocktail is your last chance to meet exclusively with other TAC delegates during the formal TAC program. Grab a cocktail on Corpay and close those business deals you’ve been working on!

Friday, September 23

9:30am – 10:30am

Networking Breakfast

Presented by WIA Vancouver’s ACE Program

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa

Start your morning with a hot breakfast and a hot topic, WIA Vancouver’s Animation Career EXCELerator Program. Learn about the ACE Program, why it is so successful in advancing careers of diverse candidates, find out what exciting things we have switched up with ACE 3 thanks to the generous support of Netflix Canada and finally, get to know the ACE 2 candidates. We’ll screen their short film, chat about their experiences and how the program set them up for success.

10:30am – 11:20am

Artist Talk: Hugo Covarrubias

Presented by LatinX in Animation and ASIFA-Hollywood

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa
Speaker: Hugo Covarrubias (Director and Animator)
Moderator: Bryan Dimas (Co-Founder & Co-Director, LatinX in Animation)

Oscar-nominated Chilean filmmaker Hugo Covarrubias will give us a behind-the-scenes look at his Annie Award-winning stop-motion short, Bestia, which OIAF audiences might remember from last year’s competition. Hear about Hugo’s career development, his creative process and influences, and what he’s getting up to next.

11:30am – 12:20pm

Meet the Festivals

Venue: Drawing Room, Fairmont Château Laurier – 1 Rideau St, Ottawa
Speakers: Sean Buckelew (Head Programmer, GLAS Festival), Marco de Blois (Artistic Director, Les Sommets du cinéma d’animation), Marcel Jean (Artistic Director, Annecy International Animation Film Festival), Aneta Ozorek (Artistic Director, Kaboom Animation Festival)
Moderator: Stephanie Berrington (Director of Industry Programming, OIAF)

Animation festivals are back! Join representatives from some of the world’s coolest animation fests as they shed light on the film selection process, outline the professional development opportunities for artists on offer, and share tips for networking.

12:30pm – 4:00pm

Animators’ Picnic

Presented by Cartoon Network Studios

Venue: Strathcona Park

You can’t miss the OIAF signature social event, the world-famous Animators’ Picnic presented by Cartoon Network Studios. Passholders can jump on a double-decker bus from the ByTowne or the Arts Court and head to Strathcona Park, one of Ottawa’s most scenic green spaces along the Rideau River! Chef Ric and his team will be providing a delicious menu including vegetarian and vegan options. Enjoy some beverages and don’t forget to show off your artistic talents in our pumpkin carving contest.