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QAS 40th ANNIVERSARY REUNION

Join us a for a weekend of screenings, exhibitions, panels and parties as we celebrate 40 years of animation in Southern Alberta. We're reflecting on our past, and dreaming about the future - and you're invited!

illustration of various members of the Quickdraw Animation Society - promotional poster image for the 40th anniversary reunion

When

June 28, 2024July 01, 2024

Gallery show, Panels, Screenings, and a workshop to celebrate Quickdraw!

Where

Various, check schedule for more details!

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Way, way back in 1984, a group of Calgarian animation enthusiasts decided to start a film club for screenings of animated films. From these humble beginnings, the Quickdraw Animation Society was born!

Featuring:

  • Songs of the Quickdraw Animation Society - Gallery exhibition of historic QAS posters and promo, member artwork, retrospective film screenings, and other oddities!

Gallery Hours:

  • June 29: 11:00am - 5:00pm
  • July 1: 11:00am - 7:00pm
  • July 2-5: 12:00pm - 6:30pm

In partnership with The Bows and sponsored by AMAAS.

  • Panel Discussions with Quickdraw founding and current members - Talking about QAS's history, Careers in Animation, Independent Filmmaking.

Sponsored by Calgary Economic Development.

  • The 17th annual Animation Lockdown Screening - Flashbacks Edition AND retrospective screenings from the QAS archives!
  • AND MORE!

Admission to all events BY DONATION (except for the workshop)

WORKSHOP REGISTRATION HERE

EVENT SCHEDULE

at cSpace (1721 29 Ave SW 4th Flr, Calgary, AB T2T 6T7)

  • 5:00pm - 6:30pm - Quickdraw Founder's Panel
  • 7:00pm - 9:00pm - Lockdown: Flashbacks Screening
    After the frenzied creativity of our Animation Lockdown, we're screening the resulting films at the cSpace Theatre! See the mind-bending films from the FLASHBACKS edition of the Lockdown and vote for your favourites to win the coveted Audience Choice award
  • Along with the Lockdown films, we're the FOUNDERS of the Quickdraw Animation Society represented by a panel discussion between Rita Egizii, Greg Lucier, Brandon Blommaert, Kevin D.A. Kurytnik. Conversation moderated by Peter Hemminger. 

at Platform (407 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2K7)

  • 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Careers Panel
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm - Independents Panel
  • 7:00pm - 8:00pm - QAS Retrospective Screening
  • 8:30pm - LATE - DJ Helen Young and Drinks

at Quickdraw HQ (2011 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3C 0K4)

  • 12:00pm - 4:00pm - Cameraless Animation Workshop (REGISTER HERE)
  • 7:00pm - 10:00pm - Wrap up BBQ

PANELIST INFORMATION

In 1984 a group of research scientists gathered together at the Foothills Hospital sharing in their mutual love and fascination with the wonderful art of animation. A few months later the Quickdraw Animation Society was born (aka incorporated as a society). Fast forward a bunch of years later and the society took new and unimaginable shapes as the society would bring Education, Production, and an Independent International Festival into its mandate.

he Founding President of Quickdraw, is a research neurophysiologist who began using animation to explain complex medical concepts. Frustrated by the lack of interest in this medium within the Calgary film community in the early ‘80’s, he partnered with Rita Egizii and John Edstrom to unite animation enthusiasts. For a time, he and Rita operated a production company specializing in animated PSAs.  Greg honed his animation skills by creating an animated teaching film at the National Film Board in Montreal.  He joined Walt Disney Animation Canada as Executive Director (Operations), and was responsible for establishing direct-to-video production studios in Toronto and Vancouver.  Now retired, he continues to follow the evolution of the animation industry.

co-founder of Quickdraw, was instrumental in turning a small group of animation enthusiasts into a not-for-profit society. She was responsible for incorporation, membership, event-planning and the grant-writing that resulted in funding for workshops, initial equipment and our first ‘studio’ space. Rita is a social innovator with a background in business, arts, and education.  She established and served as CEO of Chromacolour (North America), and later, COO of Chromacolour International, the world’s largest animation supply company. These roles involved working with major animation studios around the world. She now spends her time teaching entrepreneurship, design-thinking, and innovation and working with her two therapy-certified Scottish Terriers. Rita is a highly sought start-up consultant.

Kevin has been a member since 1988 and at one time or another did everything at QAS. Highlights include developing and curating the QAS animation Library, which has been described as the best in Western Canada while at the same time establishing and initially teaching what eventually became QAS' comprehensive Adult and Quick Kids education programming. As QAS President he spearheaded the fundraising and acquisition of QAS' first 35mm animation stand and as a Producing Member his hybrid production of Mr. Reaper's Really Bad Morning brought the Society into the digital age. His most recent animated film is the award winning folk horror short Skin for Skin created with the NFB. Kevin is currently an assistant professor of storytelling and animation at AUArts here in Calgary. He continues to believe wholeheartedly in the primacy of visual story creation made with intelligence, craft, and heart.

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Brandon Blommaert got his BFA from Alberta University of the Arts in Calgary. Brandon discovered animation at the Quickdraw Animation Society where he took an intro to Animation elective. He continued to pursue his interest in Art and Animation after graduation and eventually founded Western Canada's largest animation festival (the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival). In 2008, his involvement in the National Film Board of Canada's Hothouse young-animators mentorship program spurred a move to Montreal, Quebec, where he still resides with his son. His practice focuses on experimental animation and the many forms it can take on. With a heavy interest in visual music, surrealism, and sci-fi tropes, he easily jumps between a diverse range of mediums, from stop-motion to pure digital abstraction. He continues to make short films and do work for clients. Along with showing work online, his work has been exhibited in gallery spaces such as The Alberta Art Gallery, and International Film Festivals such as Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Animafest Zagreb, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. 

headshots of the panelist for the careers panel at the 40th anniversary. Malcolm Sutherland, Keltie Duncan, and Warren Leonhardt.

When setting out to work in creative industries there can be a lot of uncertainty of what the future holds in store. This panel of professional animators have charted their own paths into working on some of the world’s largest animated films and production studios. Quickdraw is proud to have played a small part in the careers of these artists, and to share their successes with the Calgary community.

I discovered animation at QAS while I was an art student at (what was then called) ACAD. I was majoring in print making and took an intro animation class that Kevin Kurytnik was teaching. Kevin blew my mind. He was like a mad scientist, exploding with enthusiasm and information and the animation bug bit me hard. I spent ALL my freetime at QAS, hanging out with all the other animation weirdos, experimenting and trying different techniques. While I was there I made a short film called Robot City with paper cutouts and a jerry-rigged plexiglass multiplane setup, shot on a Lunchbox video assist setup, straight to MiniDV tape.Kevin encouraged me to submit it to OIAF, and it got into the competition so, of course, I had to attend. In Ottawa I met a bunch of cool professional animators, several from the NFB, including Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby. I think it was around then that I realised not only was animation something I deeply loved, but seeing my work up there among the other films, that it was maybe something that I could actually do as well. Not long after the festival the Montreal office of the NFB was kicking off its first ever Hothouse program, and at the recommendation of Amanda and Wendy I was selected as one of the filmmakers. So without a second thought I up and moved to Montreal. There, I continued to draw and animate, making my own short films and working sporadically with the NFB, but I also began directing and animating commercial projects. In the 20 years since then I have directed a wide range of short films, commercials, music videos, installation pieces, feature and documentary animation, and am currently directing the first season of a television series. For me it all started at QAS.

Keltie Duncan is a former President of QAS and current Ottawa-based freelance film and animation programmer. After her time at Quickdraw she had an 11-year stint with the Ottawa International Animation Festival. A general fan of timing, she is also a drummer in a few local bands.

I was a member of QAS in the earlly 1990s interested in learning everything I could about animation. I would spend days and days pouring over the largest collection of international animation I have ever seen, to this day. It still boggles my mind how QAS gathered all of that esoteric material pre-internet.

I arrived at Sheridan College and blasted through almost the entire four year curriculum because I’d spent two years prior taking courses at QAS. I wasn’t learning new techniques at Sheridan, it was more like I was refining them, drawing on references from animated films my colleagues had never heard of. It confused my professors and I nearly flunked my first year.

I’ve worked both as a Story Artist and Head of Story in the US, Canada, and Europe on series, games & hybrid films, and I’ve been lucky to be a part of four different Oscar-nominated story crews with studios like DreamWorks, Annapurna, Lucasfilm, Netflix, Sony Pictures Animation and Blue Sky Studios. I’ve also served as an associate professor at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, an adjunct professor at Sheridan College, and as a mentor at Blue Sky Studios. I’m currently pivoting to a position as a VP of Client Creatives at House of Cool in Toronto.

independents panel: Brian "Bunny" batista, Richard Reeves, Tank Standing Buffalo, Chad VanGaalen

In the arts there isn’t just one right way to do anything. Our panel of independent animators will talk about their strategies, successes and challenges of being an artist, and how hard work, dedication, and a little support can build to a rewarding artistic life.

I had worked down the hall from Quickdraw at EMMEDIA as Production Coordinator and was teaching lighting, video production and editing. We shared a screening room and we often had to borrow things from each other. So I would take a daily visit down the hall to the "happy place”. I applied and won the Production Scholarship and with that I took all the classes offered for a year, learning under Kevin and Carol, I took workshops, attended festivals, co-founded CUFF, volunteered a lot, I worked on countless projects, got some support to make my own film and eventually had the skills to become a teacher myself.  I was President of QAS for a term and I still offer classes and help out where I can. I love being part of the community and look back on nearly 25 years of involvement with QAS. I think the thing I appreciate the most is being able to pass on my knowledge of the art and science of animation to future creatives.

I am a kinetic film scratcher, visual music maker, animated traveler of time and space, light sensitive, spinner of zoetrope’s, looper of loops and collector of projection bulbs for total enlightenment. 

In 1989 I was living in Canmore and called ChromaColour in Calgary to inquire about animation supplies and it was Rita Egizii who answered the phone. She mentioned QAS was having a meeting if I could attend. Then I signed up for an animation workshop mentored by Kevin Kurytnik. He inspired us to try all sorts of animation techniques and always reminded us to do something with animation that live action cannot do. During this time I would bring handmade optical soundtracks on 35mm film to listen to on QAS Intercine machine late at night…often sleeping under the machine.

From 1994 to 1996 I was part time Film Production Coordinator and drove back and forth from Canmore to help people with their projects, all being shot on film as there were no computers at QAS during this time. By the end of 1996 I moved to the west coast and returned about once a year to provide cameraless animation workshops. In 2002 the Film Production Coordinator job came up again and we moved to Calgary for the next 6 years. 

Since then I continue to produce independent animated films and have collaborated with artists often involving dancing human projection screens, interactive animation installations, online animation jams and large outdoor projections. I've been Artist in Residence at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá Colombia, and Iris Film Collective in Vancouver BC.

I was selected for the Chris Melnychuk scholarship in 2015 and took advantage of what QAS had to offer…I was there almost everyday for a couple years honing my skill as an animator. Most recently I have a cartoon with HBO Max entitled “Monstr”….now I live in California still plugging away at cartoons.

Hello! 

I am Chad VanGaalen.

I live in Calgary and first was introduced to QAS by friends who were in some animation classes while I was attending ACAD. 

At the time 2001? 2000? They had these hard drive things called ‘lunch boxes’ that would capture images from digital cameras. 

Kevin and Carol were running QAS at the time and noticed my enthusiasm. They let me have freedom to work in the studio late into the night and I was hooked! Soon after that I realized that I could be soundtracking my own animations. Then others musicians began to ask me to make animated videos for them. By this time I had been introduced to a program called toon boom and a Wacom tablet as well as a scanner. Over 50 animations later I’m still doing it! I owe Quickdraw for all my back pain and flat bum, but I also owe quick draw for opening my mind to the world of animation. 

Volunteer at the Reunion!

Jobs include merch table management, helping with the end-of-the-weekend-bbq and more!

A vector image of a pencil twisted into an oval, on a transparent background.