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 is an MFA candidate at the Ontario College of Design University, in the 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.

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.

Niki Sehmbi

Board Member

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.

Tara Dougans

Board Member

Tara Dougans is an animator, writer, and artist currently based in the Canadian Rockies. Her work explores the relationship between inner and outer reflections of the natural world. 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.


Jenn Snider, Managing Director

Contact for all general operations: programming and co-presentations, TAIS memberships, studio space bookings, workshops, and general questions regarding TAIS equipment and services.

jenn@tais.ca (office hours Monday to Friday – 10am-6pm)
Phone: 416-533-7889

Andrea Vela Alarcón, Outreach Coordinator

Contact regarding TAIS Animation City project, and all other community-based projects and workshop partnerships as well as off-site workshop requests

outreach@tais.ca (office hours Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 10am-6pm)
Phone (mobile): 416-543-5494

Placements @ TAIS

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

Each year, TAIS partners with OCAD University, Sheridan College, Seneca College, and/or the University of Toronto to offer educational placement learning opportunities for post-secondary students.

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 *Harbord Collegiate Institute
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