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The Insider’s Guide to the Ottawa International Animation Festival 

September 12, 2023

Ottawa’s Original Downtown is always playing host to some of the most storied and highly anticipated cultural events that the city has to offer. To this end, animation lovers are gearing up for this year’s iteration of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, which is a massive celebration of everything that inspires creativity, engages communities and fosters transformative experiences through the power of art. 

OIAF is one of the most highly anticipated events for animation lovers not just in Ottawa, but the world over!
(Image: Petr Maur) 

From Humble Beginnings 

Over the past 48 years, OIAF has transformed from a humble art showcase to a globally renowned event, screening over 130 films made by animators from over 30 different countries – many of them will be attending in person as well!  

This year, the OIAF will be conducting a retrospective screening of some of Masaaki Yuasa’s most celebrated works. This is in addition to screenings of films made by established animators as well as students and even some features that make use of virtual reality technology. 

With over 100 screenings scheduled to take place at this year’s edition of OIAF, you’re certain to find something that piques your interest!
(Image: Petr Maur)

More Than Meets the Eye 

Moreover, there’s a wide assortment of events and programming that take place throughout the course of the festival!  

Everything kicks off with an Opening Night Party at Pub 101 that features karaoke and dancing all night long. OIAF has also partnered with Pique for its fall edition and have brought back their “Drink & Draw” event where attendees can put their sketching skills to the ultimate test! 

Due to popular demand, OIAF’s “Drink and Draw” event will be making a re-appearance this year!
(Image: Petr Maur) 

Perhaps the most highly anticipated event, however, is the OIAF’s Animators’ Picnic. Make your way down to Strathcona Park, enjoy a picnic lunch with your friends and show off your creativity in their pumpkin carving contest! 

To Infinity…And Beyond! 

Aspiring animators will also have access to a variety of informational resources at the festival such as Art + Biz Day, which will feature programming “focused on breaking, reinventing, impacting, and changing the animation industry.”  

Other panels include “The Art of Pitching You” and the “Meet a Mentor Sessions,” which allow attendees to meet with representatives from Nickelodeon, HBOMax, Sony Pictures and more! 

If you’ve recently moved to Ottawa for school and settled in at one of the university residences along Rideau Street, this is the perfect place to meet like-minded people and enjoy a night of spectacular art and film screenings as well as potentially launch your own career in animation!  

Purchase your tickets here and find out where you can park in the area over here.

Make sure to visit our Events page as well to keep on top of everything that’s happening in Ottawa’s Original Downtown!