Digital Entertainment 2022

Skills for the future of work.

Saturday, October 8, 2022. Vancouver, Canada.
Vancouver Animation School logo


Delna Bhesania
Former CEO and Co-Founder of Bardel Entertainment
Laura LeBlanc
Lead/Senior Lighting TD
Industrial Light & Magic
Ally Robertson
CG Revisionist
Atomic Cartoons
Adrian E.
Concept Art
Tony Wu
Game Designer
Button Check
David Andrews
Animation Director
Freddy Chávez Olmos
Director at Directors Guild of Canada, VFX Compositing Supervisor at Image Engine
Jennifer Jue-Steuck
Writer, Researcher & Co-President of Harvardwood Vancouver-Seattle
Calvin Leduc
VANAS Faculty
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Mario Pochat
Rose-Ann Tisserand
Women in Animation
Jeremy Stewart
Call for Speakers

The schedule, speakers, and topics are subject to change.

Event Schedule

Registration and Welcome
Introducing Harvardwood Vancouver-Seattle Chapter — Harvardwood’s First Canadian-American Joint Chapter
Jennifer Jue-Steuck - Writer, Researcher & Co-President of Harvardwood Vancouver-Seattle

Harvardwood (Harvard + Hollywood) is a nonprofit organization for professionals in the arts, media and entertainment. Originally created by members of the Harvard University community, Harvardwood has grown to include chapters around the world for people who believe in the power and purpose of the arts.

Join us in a discussion to share your ideas, and learn how you can become involved in Harvardwood’s very first joint Canadian-American Chapter: Harvardwood Vancouver-Seattle.
Creating Opportunities: The Path from VFX to Directing
Freddy Chávez Olmos, Director at Directors Guild of Canada, VFX Compositing Supervisor at Image Engine.

Animators and VFX artists talk about ideas and projects they want to accomplish, but very few get to the finish line to complete them. This is a struggle most artists go through when trying to create their own stories.

In this talk, I will use myself as a case study to share my experiences and struggles while becoming a director with a VFX background and how I learned to achieve those goals by hustling and creating my opportunities.
Panel: With more women entering the industry, why are we losing them before their careers blossom?
Delna Bhesania, Former CEO and Co-Founder of Bardel Entertainment
Rose-Ann Tisserand, Founder Women in Animation, Flying Kraken Creative

What can employers and employees do to retain women in the industry?
Some initiatives include flexible hours, offering child care, and career development plans to help women prosper in the industry.

As a result, women can bring unique perspectives and stories to their studios. Employers should work with them and other minority groups to help them succeed in the industry.
How the pandemic opened the animation and film industry for people with disabilities.
Ally Robertson, CG Animation Revisionist, Atomic Cartoons

Before the pandemic, remote jobs in the animation industry were almost nonexistent. Instead, working remotely was reserved for experienced professionals.

When the pandemic hit, our industry had to learn to adapt to the circumstances, and it did so because it finally had the incentive to change practices. As a result, many disabled artists can re-train and enter these exciting and growing digital entertainment industries.
Breaking Game Design
Tony Wu - Game Designer, Button Check.

Attendees will gain a better understanding of what game designers do on a project and learn the process of becoming a game designer and how education can help that process.

Additionally, this session gives the audience a better insight into what a game designer does and how to become one.
5 Keys To Succeed: How to Thrive in VFX
Laura LeBlanc, Lead Lighting TD @ ILM

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. It is one thing to finally get that first job in the industry, but it is another to stand out and succeed as an artist. While talent can get you decently far, there are many other skills and traits that leadership looks for when crewing for shows. I will discuss 5 key things it takes to thrive in the industry and keep getting hired or extended at a studio.
Why Concept Art is the freedom to create?
Adrian E. - Sr. Concept Artist.

In this session, the audience will learn what concept art is. The fun, creative role a Concept Artists play in the design and creation of every visual aspect that a movie, tv-show, or game needs.

When choosing a career path, people might not understand the difference between the different roles artists take on a project (Concept, Animation, VFX, etc.). This topic will highlight the role a concept artist plays in a project.
Artists are Entrepreneurs
Jeremy Stewart - Co-founder, Animism Studios

You will learn the parallels between entrepreneurship and a career as an artist. Anyone with a career in VFX, Animation, or Videogames has much in common with someone who runs a small business. I will explain why thinking like an entrepreneur helps artists secure a thriving career in the VFX and Animation industries.
Getting There From Here: Preparing for Professional Life
David Andrews - Animation Director, DNEG.

How do aspiring artists prepare for a professional life in Computer Animation? And once there, how does one continue to develop as an artist? It's about soft skills, which are as important as hard ones.
Lunch Break & Networking
3D Product for Promotion and Advertising
Hermann Troeger - Digital Product Designer, Troeger Media

In this session, we will discuss the creative process of 3D commercial products, and how they are used today as part of sales, marketing, and generating revenue.
Speaker Awards
Drawing Competition
Private Event
Student and Teacher Awards

Please join your classes of 2020 - 2022.
Coffee Break
VANAS community

Celebrating the end of our first conference and grad accomplisments.
End of event

The schedule, speakers, and topics are subject to change.

Tickets sold out

Art Competition


Details coming soon


Details coming soon


• Goal: To find the most attractive and original designs.

• Medium: 2D Drawing

• Format: Group art battle tournament

• Judges: Audience voting and VANAS Faculty

•Timeframe: The competition will run in the afternoon for an hour (2 pm - 3 pm *)

Introduction (10 mins)

• The students receive instructions on how the competition works

• The students will split into four (4) groups (A total of 16 students*)

Round 1 (15 mins)

• All students are given a verbal description of a character (i.e. a dinosaur with angel wings).

• Students have 10 mins. to complete their conceptual art drawings

• Judges have 5 mins. to vote for the two (2) best designs from each group

• A new team of 4 students is created from the two (2) winners of each group from the last round

Round 2 ( 15 mins)

• Students receive new descriptions to draw (i.e. a wizard with magical fire powers)

• Students have 10 mins. to complete their conceptual art drawings

• Judges have 5 mins. to vote for the single best design from each group

• At this point, there are only two (2) students remaining in the competition

Round 3 (15 mins)

• The two (2) winners receive the final description (i.e. a half-human, half-robot, cyborg)

• The two (2) finalists have 10 mins. to draw.

• Judges have 5 mins. to vote for the single best design from each group

The remaining 10 minutes are allocated as a buffer in between the rounds

*Students in high school, 16 years of age or older. A professional artist is a different category.

*Subject to change due to the number of students participating

*Students competing should purchase a regular ticket

Tickets sold out


UBC - 800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A7


Tickets sold out