In a significant stride towards fostering gender equality in the animation industry, Netflix and Women In Animation Vancouver (WIA) proudly announce the continuation of their highly successful ACE CANADA Program with the launch of ACE 4 in 2024. This immersive Animation Career Excel-erator, tailored for mid-level animation professionals who identify as women and non-binary, has evolved from its initial five roles confined to British Columbia to a nationwide initiative featuring eight key creative roles, thanks to Netflix’s partnership in ACE 3.

Expanding Horizons: ACE 4 Introduces Production Manager Role

With Netflix’s renewed commitment to ACE 4, the program is poised for further growth, addressing critical gaps in the industry by introducing the essential role of Production Manager. This expansion not only facilitates training for five additional applicants but also supports enhanced animation festival travel for the entire team. The continued support from partners like Netflix has empowered ACE Canada to extend its influence both nationally and internationally, becoming a beacon for gender parity in key creative roles within the animation sector.

Heather Tilert, Director at Netflix, emphasizes the positive impact of ACE 3, citing the success of the participants who brought the captivating short film “Ostinato” to life. “We wish the best to the entire team as they take the next steps in their careers, and look forward to what the next group of talented animation professionals from across the country will create together,” says Tilert.

Creating Real Change: Netflix’s Role in ACE Canada

Netflix’s involvement not only broadens the program’s reach but also signifies a commitment to effecting genuine change in the gender landscape of key creative roles in animation. The ACE Canada program, with Netflix as a key partner, is proving to be a catalyst for dismantling barriers and creating opportunities for underrepresented voices in the industry.

“We are thrilled Netflix has recognized the value of the ACE Canada program and the impact it has on the animation industry by partnering with us to launch ACE Canada 4,” expresses Rose-Ann Tisserand, WIA Vancouver Advisor & ACE Program Founder/Executive Producer. “This special partnership with Netflix will allow us to not only continue the program but expand it yet again.”

ACE 3’s Legacy: OSTINATO Premiered at Spark Animation Festival 2023

The ACE 3 team premiered their short film OSTINATO at the Spark Animation Festival on November 10th and 11th. Inspired by writer Sunita Balsara’s experience with tinnitus, the film follows Nuha, a composer navigating a world filled with vibrant sounds. ACE 3’s collaborative effort brought together artists from British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario, showcasing the program’s ability to unite talent from across the nation.

Looking Ahead: ACE 4 Applications Open at Spark Animation Festival 2023

Applications for ACE 4 are set to open shortly, with shortlisted candidates announced on International Women’s Day in March 2024. The ACE Canada program continues to be a beacon of change, fostering a diverse and inclusive animation industry for the future.

ACE Canada owes its success to the support of generous sponsors, including Netflix, Canada Media Fund, Creative BC, Telefilm Canada, Toon Boom, Autodesk, Atomic Cartoons, and many others who play a crucial role in making the program a reality. Their collective commitment underscores the industry’s dedication to creating a more equitable and vibrant future for animation professionals across Canada.

Featured image is from OSTINATO.