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WIA Vancouver Announces Animation Career EXCELelerator Shortlist

Sponsored by Netflix Canada, the ACE program supports animation professionals who identify as women and non-binary; 32 applicants were selected to participate in Phase 1, which includes workshops, pitch training and mentoring.

Women in Animation Vancouver (WIA Vancouver) has announced its shortlist of candidates for the Animation Career EXCELelerator (ACE) training program’s third iteration, with Netflix Canada as the premiere sponsor. WIA Vancouver’s immersive training program is for animation professionals who identify as women and non-binary.

Submitted applications showcase the diversity of animation talent that exists across Canada. This includes identifying as women (83.3%), LGBTQ2+ (25.8%), non-binary (16.7%), Latin American (13.6%), Southeast Asian (10.6%), Indigenous and Métis (combined is 4.5%), disabled (6.1%), among others.

Thirty-two applicants were shortlisted to participate in the first phase of the program, which includes workshops, pitch training and mentoring.


  • Courtenay Crane
  • Erika Thompson
  • Leanne Cohen Fogel
  • Stephanie Hodgson

Concept Creator:

  • Cindey Hu
  • Heather Thompson
  • Jaida Salmon
  • Maria Christina Cruz
  • Moniquea Marion
  • Shona Kavi

Short Film Writer:

  • Nattasha Shrestha
  • Sunita Balsara
  • Chelsea Laufer
  • Jasmine Blair
  • Gayoung Yang


  • Beatriz Martin
  • Daniela Fischer
  • Sonia Furier
  • Morgan Shandro
  • Thalia Tomlinson
  • Sunita Balsara

Art Director:

  • Laura Andrea De Pascale
  • Lorena Salas Reyes
  • May-Yun Ong
  • Erin Miller Hawryluk

Animation Director:

  • Molly Lacoursiére
  • Natasha Armolavicius

Storyboard Supervisor:

  • Ana Bohac
  • Morgan Shandro


  • Maria Isabel de Melo Ribeiro


  • Amanda Cawley
  • Julie Reich

ACE was created to support mid-level professionals to advance into key creative and senior roles and create opportunities for new and diverse voices to tell their story. The program provides participants a key credit in the creation of their own short film, TV proof of concept or web series pilot, as well as mentorship and training to ensure their success.

“Every application was passionate, articulate and told a unique story,” commented WIA Vancouver advisor & ACE Program founder/co-executive producer Rose-Ann Tisserand. “ACE is so honored to witness our program grow and reach animation professionals across the country, allowing us to empower underrepresented communities to lead authentic content creation.”

More information about Women in Animation Vancouver and the ACE Program is available here.

Source: Women in Animation Vancouver

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.