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Sheridan celebrates Animation Day as alumni head to Oscars

By ROBERT KOUMARELAS

If you’ve ever been to the A Wing, you’ll know that it is mostly quiet, the only sounds being students as they work away on their many creations, be it pen and paper, or keyboard and mouse. An exception is made however once every year, as they put down their tools to mingle and celebrate the creation of the Animation program.

Students practicing on their own art during the celebration. (Photos by Robert Koumarelas/Sheridan Sun)

The event was a party in every respect, with balloons, games, cake, and work areas for program students to keep in practice, or visitors just beginning to find their inner artist.

Alumni of the 2009 Honors Bachelor of Animations program who attended the event have gone on to work at big name studios such as DreamWorks, Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Warner Bros. and Corus Entertainment.

Among the 2009 graduates is Yuri Siver, now working as creative director for Kongregate in San Francisco. “The first time I tried I didn’t get in, so that pushed me even more, it got me intrigued. The school has a reputation, and once I finally got into the program, there was the challenge of supporting that reputation as a new generation of artists,” said Siver.

The Animation program was created in 1968, and since then has received praise from industry figures such as Michael Hirsh, co-founder of Nelvana, who has referred to it as the “Harvard of Animation”, both for how much it demands from its students, and the reputation alumni of the program hold.

“Animation encompasses a lot of skills. To learn to animate, you have to know anatomy, you have to know how to design a character, how to move a character, how to create a world in which that character’s performances work. Its just such an amazing skillset,” said Siver.

Many of the program’s alumni were honored at the event for their work, but those who really stood out were Trevor Jimenez (Bachelor of Animation ‘07), Domee Shi (Bachelor of Animation ’11), and Michael Funkushima (Animation ’85), all of whom were nominated for the Oscars for their respective short-films Weekends, Baoand Animal Behaviour.

Sheridan alumni Yuri Sivers, Kayla McIlwaine, Kenny Kuang, Nad Ghodrati-Azadi, Alysia Avey, Trevor Spensor, Chris Darnbrough, Rachel Chalk, and Ben Hu were joined by Janet Morrison (Centre).

Another Sheridan grad nominated for his work at this year’s Oscars is Craig Henighan (Media arts ’95), for Best Sound Mixing for his work on Roma. Henighan has won two Emmys for his work on Stranger Things.

The nominees were unfortunately unable to attend the event, but that didn’t stop staff and students from mainly celebrating them and their success for this anniversary.

They are the latest in a long history of Sheridan post graduates whose work has been recognized by the Oscars, six of whom have won.

The anniversary was also attended by Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s eighth president and vice chancellor.

The Oscars will be held on Sunday Feb. 24, and many at Sheridan will be holding their breath to see if Animation’s 50thanniversary will end on a high note.

Written by
Robert Koumarelas

Robert Koumarelas is a Journalism student at Sheridan College. Motivated to bring a bit of progress and hope to the world, Robert was inspired to become a journalist so that people in the world knew what was happening, and through that information, bring about progress and positive change.

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Written by Robert Koumarelas

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