Canadian Family Entertainment Mogul Michael Hirsh to be Honoured with 2016 Animation Hall of Fame Award

Newly Appointed CEO of WOW! Unlimited will be Celebrated by Industry Peers

LOS ANGELES and TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Dubbed "the Father of the Canadian animation industry", entertainment mogul Michael Hirsh today will be celebrated for his achievements and contributions to the global animation industry, receiving a 2016 Animation Hall of Fame Award at World Animation & VFX Summit Gala. He will be honoured on November 1, 2016 at the Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, California.

The Gala will bring together other distinguished recipients, Cartoon Network's founding president Betty Cohen, 'Fairly Odd Parents' creator Butch Hartman, LAIKA president and CEO Travis Knight, VFX visionary Ellen Poon, and Cyber Group Studios chairman & CEO Pierre Sissmann.

"I am honoured to join Betty, Butch, Travis, Ellen and Pierre with this recognition who have contributed immensely to our industry. It's with much gratitude I receive this award, and an honour to be part of this great rewarding and challenging industry which is now enjoying a new 'Golden Age' with more exciting things to come," says Michael Hirsh, recipient, CEO of WOW! Unlimited.

The award comes on the heels of the announcement that Michael Hirsh will be taking the role of CEO for the newly formed WOW! Unlimited Media Inc., which is positioned to become the definitive next generation global kids and youth entertainment media company. Michael is joined by a team of proven entertainment executives, Fred Seibert, Bob Ezrin and Neil Chakravarti, who have collaborated to create the next industry disruptor.

"It is an absolute pleasure to present this award to an industry figure and long time friend that we hold in such high regard. We have witnessed Michael's unwavering reputation as one of the most exceptional professionals in global animation and his career continues to exceed the expectations for an Animation Hall of Fame inductee," noted Jean Thoren, President and Publisher of Animation Magazine.

Michael's award will be present by long time collaborator and colleague, Toper Taylor. Toper is the CEO of Media Disrupted Inc., and concurrently President of Network of One, a YouTube focused data science, technology and content aggregation business in Culver City, California.

Taylor of Media Disrupted Inc. stated: "Michael Hirsh lifted the animation business to extraordinary heights in his 40 year career, building two evergreen businesses, Nelvana (Corus) and Cookie Jar (DHX) and now is ready to spring from the launch pad of his third endeavor, 'Wow'.  His impact is global and positively affected the creative community, shareholders, broadcasters, publishers, licensors and tens of thousands of employees who can thank Michael for launching their careers and a long list of hit brands.  With great joy and deep respect, I am presenting this award to my long-time partner and close friend, Michael Hirsh."

Michael Hirsh is considered the Canadian product of mixing Warren Buffett with Walt Disney. An innovator in the realm of animated children's entertainment, Michael's illustrious career is a testament to his undeniable ability to foresee industry trends and create the best in animated programming.  Programming that includes Franklin, Rolie Polie Olie, The Care Bears, Babar, Rupert, Beyblade and The Adventures of Tintin. He is recognized industry wide as a leading business and brand builder and his achievements have shaped today's era in animation production and distribution in Canada and internationally. Michael is the co-founder of Nelvana Limited,Cookie Jar Entertainment, TeleTOON Canada, and was Executive Chairman of DHX Media. He is currently Chairman of The Entertainment and Finance Group (TEAM), Chairman of CineCoup, and now CEO of WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.

The fifth annual summit and gala will bring together the most high profile creators and decision makers in the animation and VFX industry to celebrate the careers of these award winners, and participate in the innovative panel discussions and networking events that the summit offers. Michael presented a master class at last year's World Animation & VFX Summit where he approached the animation industry from a business point of view, with considerations of the current period of disintermediation and disruption in the industry.

SOURCE WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.

Image with caption: "Michael Hirsh - CEO of Wow! Unlimited and Chairman of The Entertainment and Media Finance Group (CNW Group/WOW! Unlimited Media Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161031_C1145_PHOTO_EN_808421.jpg

For further information: Media inquiries and further information please contact: James Tessier, Ireland + Hall Communications, 416.887.1636, lowell@irelandandhall.com; For Los Angeles Contact: Mandy Cheetham, 647.272.5702


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