Women in Animation (WIA), the largest group dedicated to the advancement of women in the animation and vfx industries, has set up a new chapter in Montreal. It was launched in April, becoming the ninth local WIA organization.

The Montreal chapter will work to implement WIA’s targets in the Canadian city, one of North America’s animation hubs and the home of the National Film Board of Canada. It will run panels, workshops, mentorship schemes, student outreach programs, and many more initiatives besides. While women are relatively well represented in managerial and executive roles, they only occupy 20% of the creative jobs, according to WIA. The group wants to see a 50/50 balance by 2025.

WIA Montreal’s executive committee is composed of:

  • Chelsea Itaya, creative executive at ON Animation Studios
  • Lauren McCallum, global managing director at Mill Films
  • Natasia Schumacher, senior facilities manager at Method Studios

The directors are:

  • Diana Garcia de Alba (membership and student outreach)
  • Diana Roldán (programs and events)
  • Diana Tapia Munguía (marketing and public relations)
  • Isabelle Turcotte (finance)

“Women in Animation is a group of animation and vfx professionals committed to making a change towards greater diversity on creative teams,” said McCallum. “Diversity and inclusion are no one company’s point of difference; to really make a change for the better, we need to work together across brands. WIA Montreal gives women, men, and gender-fluid folks at every seniority level the opportunity and agency to really bring about a change.”

Launched in 1995, WIA has grown since a restructuring in 2013, gradually expanding the scope of its activities. For the past three years, it has hosted a symposium on the first day of Annecy Festival. This year’s event saw the publication of “Increasing Inclusion in Animation,” the first study of its kind into women’s roles in the industry. Jointly conducted by WIA and the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, the research set out, in great detail, the gains women have made and the challenges they continue to face.

Keep up to date with WIA Montreal’s activities on its official official Facebook and Instagram pages.

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