History of Sheridan Animation
What does it take to organize an international conference at Sheridan? As you can imagine, plenty of work. In the case of our forthcoming Society for Animation Studies conference—work that has spanned two years.
We are grateful to Angela Stukator (Associate Dean of Animation and Game Design) and Tony Tarantini (faculty in the Bachelor of Animation) for their energy and leadership.
There is also plenty of serendipity around this conference. For one, it has been planned to coincide with the centenary of Norman McLaren, who did so much pioneering animation work for the National Film Board of Canada. So, in addition to hosting the conference, we will be marking that anniversary together with the NFB.
More serendipity: the occasion of such a conference becomes an opportunity to reflect on how far Animation at Sheridan has come. As we host over a hundred animators and animation faculty from around the world, this is the moment for us to tell the story.
We decided to write and illustrate this history and publish it in a book format that our visitors can take in visually and verbally and then easily take away with them as they return to distant homes.
Telling this story has taken on a life of its own over these past months. It has also been an exciting adventure that has involved many of us in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design. A book is a narrative. It must start at the beginning, and through its unfolding, bring us to where we are today. That narrative was built from numerous interviews with founders, faculty, alumni and partners in industry. Many of our veteran faculty had archived a treasure trove of photos and memorabilia to add richness to our narrative.
This book is an opportunity to showcase the outstanding talents of our animation students and faculty. It is also a richly illustrated volume that photographically and poetically depicts the experience of our students as they complete their animation education.
The history of Animation at Sheridan is a unique accomplishment of this institution. The vision of its founders has been realized: they founded a program that spawned an industry. Neither could have happened without the other. This interdependence is also what defines applied education at Sheridan. Animation has led the way, and defined our signature contribution to Ontario, and beyond.
Finally, the very act of conceptualizing and producing such a compendium was exhausting at times, always exhilarating Now that we have sent it off to our printers, (thank you Grenville!) we recognize that the gift of this project has been the creation of a process, one that can and will be repeated in the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design. We thank Associate Dean Donna Braggins for her art direction and indefatigable project management, and Associate Dean Angela Stukator who connected with so many past and present practitioners and players in this great cluster of programs: Sheridan Animation.
(We are thrilled to celebrate the publication of this book at the Sheridan Animation alumni event, June 14 at Corus Quay. Copies of the book available upon request.)
Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design