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My First Barbie My First Barbie

Workers in Canada continue to gain momentum in their efforts to organize the country’s animation industry.

The most recent victory for workers is at Vancouver-based Kickstart Entertainment, which will join IATSE’s Canadian Animation Guild (CAG) Local 938.

Here are details:

  • Workers filed an application with the BC Labour Relations Board last month and the results confirming the successful unionization effort were released last Wednesday, January 3. This means that studio workers can shortly begin bargaining their first collective agreement with the company.
  • In a written statement, IATSE International vice president and director of Canadian affairs John Lewis said, “Bargaining strong collective agreements is what we do best. We look forward to a fulsome bargaining process with this company.”
  • Kickstart is the third animation studio that CAG 938 has successfully organized in Vancouver. The other studios are Titmouse Vancouver (which kicked off the CAG local in 2021) and Wildbrain Animation Studios (which organized just a few months ago). Separately, IATSE also organized vfx production at DNEG Vancouver through another branch, Local 402. This made DNEG the first vendor-side vfx shop in Canada to form a union.
  • Kickstart produces children’s animated series. Among its productions: StarBeam (Netflix), Deepa & Anoop (Netflix), Brown & Friends (Netflix), My First Barbie (Youtube), American Girl (Youtube), Itsy Mitsy (Prime Video), and Lucas the Spider (Max).
  • British Columbia animation workers at other studios who are interested in organizing their workplaces are encouraged to contact CAG 938 secretary Eddy Pedreira at secretary [at] cag938 [dot] ca.

Image at top: Still from Mattel’s My First Barbie, for which Kickstart provided animation services.

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