A Japanese Canadian from Belleville, Ontario, Alison Reiko Loader came to Montreal in 1987 to study traditional animation at Concordia University. The following year, she won a National Film Board of Canada Award of Merit for her first animated short. Upon graduation, she worked in desktop publishing and pre-press production before applying her animation and computer skills at an advertising firm, creating animated spots for LED billboards. This led to a return to school where Alison and her five classmates were among the first in the world with formal training in Alias animation software.
Alison left Montreal in 1997 to work in Japan, creating artwork and animation for Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn games. While vacationing in Hokkaido, she discovered the mountain Showa Shinzan. The experience kindled an enduring fascination that led to her return the following year, when she began conducting research for her first professional film. Alison returned to Montreal to direct at the National Film Board of Canada. The award-winning Showa Shinzan, completed in 2002, enjoyed many community screenings and showed at over sixty-five international film festivals. She also directed Roots for the NFB and the independently produced experiment 02_06 with co-director Donald McWilliams. Recently, Alison has been researching stereoscopy and animating Folding, a 3d stereoscopic animation about origami. She freelances on various commercial projects, is studying for a Masters degree in Media Studies and teaches in the Design and Computation Arts department at Concordia University.