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YMA, TAAFI Launch John Rooney Creator Fund

John Rooney Creator Fund


North America

YMA, TAAFI Launch John Rooney Creator Fund

Canada’s Youth Media Alliance (YMA) and Toronto Animation Arts Festival International (TAAFI) are combining forces to establish the John Rooney Creator Fund to support emerging LGBTQ2S+ and underrepresented talent in the kids, youth and adult animation field. The Fund is named in honor of John Rooney, a friend and colleague to both organizations who passed away at age 50 last month.

Rooney was the Executive Director of TAAFI and a tireless supporter of animation and kids media. He is remembered by many as a kind, smart and exceptionally giving personality whose love of cartoons was infectious. He was also a passionate advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and a champion of LGBTQ2S+ representation in programming.

As a friend to the Youth Media Alliance, Rooney most recently served on the Advisory Committee and as Jury President for the Awards of Excellence. The organization describes him as always looking to create bridges and access for marginalized voices — the quintessential caring connector, someone who always found time to support emerging talent because he understood that for the future to brighten, new voices needed to be heard.

Persons and organizations looking to contribute to Rooney’s legacy can contact YMA’s Chantal Bowen ( for more information on the John Rooney Creator Fund.


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