Spark Computer Graphics Society (Spark CG) and Women in Animation (WIA) are pleased to announce the inaugural WIA Diversity Awards which will be presented at Spark Animation 2017 taking place from 26 to 29 October, 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Established to celebrate outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion in the animation industry, the inaugural WIA Diversity Awards will be awarded in three categories: to an organization, to an individual and to a film. The WIA Board will select the winners of the organisation and individual categories. The winner of the film category will be selected from Spark Animation 2017 festival submissions by the festival jury which will be announced shortly. In its ninth year,Spark Animation is the largest animation conference and festival in Western Canada. It is a partnership of Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH and Spark CG. “Spark CG has always been a supporter of diversity,” says Spark Animation festival director Marina Antunes “and we are pleased to support WIA on their ‘50-50 by 2025’ initiative by presenting the WIA Diversity Awards at this year’s festival.” “WIA’s commitment to bringing balance to creative leadership in the animation industry is built upon a foundation of inclusivity, and we aspire to create a working culture in which diverse talent can thrive and share their stories. We advocate for an inclusive rather than exclusive community of artists and filmmakers,” explains WIA co-president Marge Dean. “We are thrilled to inaugurate the WIA Diversity Awards at Spark Festival 2017 with like minds. Sly Provencher and the team at Spark are such great supporters of diversity and inclusion. The power of animation is more than just making audiences laugh. It’s about having filmmakers of all kinds share stories to make a better and safer world,” adds secretary Jinko Gotoh. Submissions are currently open for Spark Animation 2017. The festival provides a lot of diversity, ensuring a mix of animation styles, a diaspora of cultures, languages and a wide range of storytelling from CG, the traditional to the abstract. Regular submission deadline is 1 September, 2017 while the extended deadline is 11 September, 2017.