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.

Tobias Williams

Board Member

Tobias Williams is an artist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. He holds an MFA from York University and currently works as an instructor at OCAD U, Humber College and Toronto School of the Arts. His work has been shown both locally and internationally including exhibitions at Material Art fair in Mexico City, The Brandscape In Toronto, the AGM in Mississauga and an upcoming exhibition with Transmediale in Berlin.

Tobias’s art and research practice uses 3d rendering and animation to explore the relationship between art, society and technology. Recent projects of his have focused on topics such as the history of Blockchain, the influence of platform based algorithms on contemporary visual culture and the ontology of virtual art spaces.

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 Montreal-based artist whose work explores inner and outer reflections of the natural world. With interest in the relationship between emotional intelligence, environmental literacy and the pre or paraverbal, her work is centred around the embodiment of audiovisual methodologies for orchestrating (performing, capturing and translating) voice, breath and silence.

Prior to Montréal, Tara devoted studio research and production time in London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Her films have screened with the Van Gogh Museum (NL), CBC Arts (CAN), at the Gardiner Museum (CAN), online at NOWNESS.com and LaFabriqueCulturelle.tv, and at film festivals in Canada and overseas.




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 animation educator living in Toronto. She received her BFA from Queen’s University, a post-graduate degree in Computer Animation from Sheridan College, and her MA in 3D Animation from The Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dublin, Ireland. Before teaching at Sheridan College in both the Classical and Computer Animation programs, Kathryn worked as a compositor and rendering Technical Director at Nelvana Studios. Kathryn is interested in experimental multi-media animation, and how 3D rendering mimics the natural world. More on Kathryn is available here.

Jenn Snider Cruise

Board Member

Jenn Snider Cruise is an artist, art administrator, writer, and art facilitator/organizer, who holds an MA in New Media Art Histories from OCAD University (2015). Her thesis research explored art administration in artist-run culture as institutional critique.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, she currently works in illustration, sculpture, and video-performance. She is a board member with FADO Performance Art Inc. and is the former Executive Director of TAIS (2015-2019). She’s excited to continue her involvement with TAIS as a member of the board of directors.




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

Caroline O’Neill

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.

2019/20 TAIS Fall & Winter Students
Animation Programs Assistant: Nikola Boiadjiev
Animation Studio & Workshop Assistant: Jay Clarke

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