Added Vanessa Kelly, media spokesperson for The Animation Guild, IATSE Local 938, “There has been enthusiasm in Vancouver to form an animation union for years. This overwhelming mandate from Titmouse workers is part of a groundswell across our industry. This vote is the first step in acknowledging animation workers as vital members of our industry, deserving a voice in shaping and improving it. The courage of Titmouse workers made this first step possible.”
The watershed moment will undoubtedly encourage workers at other Canadian studios to follow in the path of Titmouse’s workers. Vancouver, as we’ve previously profiled, is a powerhouse on the Canadian animation scene, employing thousands of animation workers in 2d television, feature cg, gaming, and vfx. Its talent base rivals other major global hubs of animation production.
IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts, has for the last 68 years operated The Animation Guild, Local 839, which represents animation workers in Los Angeles. Their efforts have provided animation workers in L.A. the highest standard of living for industry workers anywhere in the world.
IATSE will now work with Titmouse management and workers to negotiate a collective agreement. It encourages workers across the Canadian animation industry to contact them if they want to be put in touch with an organizer to begin discussions about forming a union at an animation studio. The union says, “As we have seen with Titmouse Vancouver – it is possible!”
Titmouse opened its studio in Vancouver in 2013 and at last count, employed over 300 workers at that location. It also operates multiple studios in Los Angeles, as well as another satellite in New York City. Recent Titmouse Vancouver tv productions including Captain Underpants, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, and Archibald’s Next Big Thing.
Image at top: Titmouse Vancouver workers listen to studio co-founder Chris Prynoski give a talk in 2018. Photo by Ben Kalina.