Evan DeRushie


Evan DeRushie, is a stop-motion specialist living in Toronto. He has worked on multiple TV series, commercials and short films, and both his first independent short film The Fox and the Chickadee, and his second, Birdlime, have played in festivals around the world. More info on Evan’s work is available at www.evanderushie.com

Eli Schwanz


Eli Schwanz is an artist, animator, director and designer living in Toronto. He received his BFA from Ryerson University and his MFA from OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Arts, Media and Design program. Eli continues to work as a director for MTV in Canada. His practice, working through media theory and animation methodologies, explores short, looped, experimental animation, installation, sculpture and patterning. His work seeks to open up conceptual spaces for viewer engagement with media through subtle and often passive interactivity. Eli’s portfolio is available at www.elischwanz.com.

Hugo Ares


Hugo Ares is an independent visual art curator, programmer and art administrator based in Toronto, Ontario. He completed his degree in Multimedia Arts at the National Institute of Art, University of Buenos Aires City and a Postgraduate degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has been working as a curator and programmer for cultural associations that include Espacio Ecléctico; Southern Currents Film and Video Collective; aluCine – Toronto Latin Media Arts Festival; Digital Event by e-fagia-Visual & Media Art Organization; and ArtsXplosion Cultural Society.

Niki Sehmbi


Niki Sehmbi graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Minor in Expanded Animation from the OCAD University. Her work can be found online at vimeo.com/nikisehmbi and nikisehmbi.blogspot.ca.

Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea

Board Member

Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea is a Toronto-based animator, digital media artist, and teacher. He specializes in computer animation, installation, and drawing. His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. He currently teaches at OCAD and Brock University.

Tara Dougans

Board Member
Tara Dougans is a Montréal-based artist and writer. With interest in the pattern that connects, her work explores the relationship between inner and outer reflections of the natural world.

Working in Europe from 2009, and maintaining a studio practice in London from 2010 – 2012, in Amsterdam from 2012 – 2013, and in Berlin from 2013 – 2016, Tara is self-taught as a filmmaker and works across a variety of sound, visual and text-based media. Her short films have been screened with the Van Gogh Museum (NL), the Gardiner Museum (CAN), online at NOWNESS.com and LaFabriqueCulturelle.tv and at film festivals such as Sommets du cinéma d’animation – Festival international de Montréal (CAN), the International Short Film Festival Berlin (GER) and Animac: Mostra Internacional de Cinema d’Animació de Catalunya (SPN). Her drawings have been exhibited at the Pitzhanger House Gallery, Material Gallery and SHOWStudio Gallery in London (UK) and Galerie Pien Rademakers and Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam (NL).

For more on Tara, visit taradougans.com

Felix Heeb

Board Member

Felix grew up close to Zurich, Switzerland and studied and worked in Social Work in the French-speaking town of Fribourg. He moved to Canada in 1998 and worked in film post-production, doing high-resolution film scanning and film recording for both independent and Hollywood productions. Felix was commissioned by TAIS and Le Labo to participate in the L’Errance project in 2005 where he completed the short claymation film Le Bonheur – Happiness.

Felix has volunteered for art galleries in Toronto, The Images Festival, and Trinity Square Video. He joined the Board of the Toronto Animated Image Society in 2006. Felix is also an independent contractor and helped TAIS complete construction on the 1411 Dufferin studio.

Kathryn Wehrle

Board Member

Kathryn Wehrle is an artist and educator living in Toronto. She received her BFA from Queen’s University and a post-grad in Computer Animation from Sheridan College, where she is now a member of the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design. Kathryn has worked at Toronto studios Cuppa Coffee, IMAX and Nelvana. More on Kathryn is available here.



Myfanwy Ashmore

Managing Director

Contact for all general operations, strategic directions, programming, and co-presentations, TAIS memberships, and all community-based projects.

Email: Myfanwy@tais.ca
Phone: 416-533-7889


Tommy Truong

Workshop and Studio Support Technician

Contact for studio bookings, equipment bookings, as well as in studio workshops through TAIS Studio Skills program.

Email: Studio@tais.ca
Phone: 416-533-7889




Placements @ TAIS

Offered through OCAD University, Sheridan College, Seneca College, and/or the University of Toronto

Each year, TAIS partners with local post-secondary and secondary schools to provide opportunities for students.

2018 TAIS Spring & Summer Student
Animation Studio & Workshop Assistant: Leo Levine
Animation Programs Assistant: Fahmina Israt
Outreach Assistant: Tristen Parodi

2017/18 TAIS Fall & Winter Students
Program Coordination Assistant: Annalissa McConville
Program Coordination Assistant: Simone Northey
Production/Technical Assistant: Dorsa Bidhendi

2016/17 TAIS Fall & Winter Students
Program Coordination Assistant: Kiyoe Tamashiro
Animation Events Assistant: Stephanie Reynolds
Studio & Communications Assistant: Cheryl Ann-Aiken
Production/Technical Assistant: Jawa El Khash

2016/17 TAIS Summer Students
Production/Technical Assistant: Adso Almeida Papandrea
Design Studio Assistant: Thais Leiros Costa
Studio & Communications Assistant: Martin Roger Nkpwang Ze

2015/16 TAIS Fall & Winter Students
Production Assistant: Raphael Sanchez
Outreach Assistant: Niya Vaillancourt
Workshops Assistant: Brian Kouhi