The Learning and Fun Professional Development program is back online! We will gather some of the comedy tastemakers and industry leaders for skill building workshops and community building panels March 23-27, 2022. Learning and Fun is packed with stimulating, comfortable and informative professional development opportunities.
Whether you are a Festival performer, an emerging comedian, or you are just starting to write and perform sketch comedy on stage or online – there is something for you in the Learning and Fun Program.
March 23 at 11amET
Meet the CBC Comedy Team
Meet the CBC Comedy Team panel: Ben Sosa Wright, Sarah Quan, and Sandra Picheca.
Host: Ben Sosa Wright
Jennifer Shin, Director of Development, Comedy
Sandra Picheca, Director of Production, Comedy
Join Jennifer Shin (Director of Development, Comedy) and Sandra Picheca (Director of Production, Comedy), as they outline the current vision for comedy at CBC, and how you can pitch your work across various platforms.
March 23 at 1pmET
How to Pitch Comedy at Bell Media: Crave, CTV and CTV Comedy
Ennis Esmer, Alison Korogyi
Panelist: Alison Korogyi, Development Executive, Original Programming, Scripted & Unscripted
Host: Ennis Esmer
Join Alison Korogyi, Development Executive, Original Programming, Scripted & Unscripted, for an intimate info session about how to pitch your comedy work across various Bell Media platforms. This informative chat hosted by Ennis Esmer will introduce best practices and tips for pitching your ideas, and what the current opportunities are at this major broadcast hub for comedy content.
March 24 at 11amET
TikTok Masterclass for Comedians
TikTok Masterclass for Comedians: Photo grid featuring Margarita Brighton, Lindsay Lynch, Blair McGregor, and Emily Richardson.
Host: Margarita Brighton
Blair McGregor – Public Figures, Content Partnerships
Lindsay Lynch – Director, Creator Partnerships & Community
Emily Richardson – Comedian, Content Creator
Hosted by Margarita Brighton, join Blair McGregor and Lindsay Lynch from TikTok Canada, with comedian Emily Richardson, as they discuss achieving success on TikTok and how comedians can use the platform to amplify their content. Whether you’re just starting on TikTok or working to grow your existing audience, you will leave this panel with a deeper understanding of the platform and the opportunities it presents for comedians – plus some tips and best practices!
March 24 at 1pmET
Welcome ABROAD: Filipino Sketch Comedy Series Panel with Isabel Kanaan
ABROAD is an all-new satirical sketch comedy series produced by Longhope Media and slated to air in Spring 2022 on OMNI Television. TOsketchfest is proud to present this special sneak peek event with co-creator and star Isabel Kanaan. Join Isabel, and select cast and creative crew (to insert names when confirmed) of ABROAD, as they discuss the creation, execution, and importance of this groundbreaking sketch comedy show based on Isabel’s experience as an immigrant, driven by her comedic perspective.
March 25 at 1pmET
Hot Off The Press: Comedy Journalism Panel
Hot Off The Press: Clare Martin, Glenn Sumi, Jourdain Searles, Jason Zinoman, and Vish Khanna.
Clare Martin, Assistant Comedy Editor, Paste Magazine
Jourdain Searles, Freelance, Thrillist, Hollywood Reporter and more
Glenn Sumi, Acting Managing Editor, NOW Magazine
Jason Zinoman, Comedy Columnist, New York Times
Vish Khanna, Comedy Editor, Exclaim! Magazine
Musicians and actors hope for a five star review, or a perfect 10 from Pitchfork. But who is criticizing the comics?
A panel of journalists discuss the role that media coverage and criticism plays in the development of the comedy scene. Join Glenn Sumi, Clare Martin, Jourdain Searles, Jason Zinoman, and Vish Khanna to hear about the current landscape of comedy in news media, and why comedy does not hold the same space as other art forms. Attendees will learn what kind of stories journalists are looking for, and the benefits of publicity beyond social media.
March 25 at 5pmET
What if Grant Was One of Us? – An Intro to Grant Writing for Comedians
Instructor: Tom Hill
In recent decades, while the comedy community has generally flourished in Canada, comedians have rarely been the recipients of significant government funding. Comedians were left to wonder–to misquote Joan Osborne–what if grants was one of us?
Thankfully, the landscape is beginning to change, in part thanks to advocacy from organizations like CANCOM, CASC, and TOSketchFest. Some grants allow comedy-forward projects to apply, and some comedians have even received funding to create new work. It remains an uphill battle, but it is time for the comedy community to level up its grant literacy now that these career-altering doors are cracking open.
Tom Hill is one half of Hip.Bang! and Artistic Director of Blind Tiger Comedy, two groups that have managed to receive funding for comedy-first projects. In this workshop, you will learn about the fundamentals of the grant opportunities in Canada, and some of the approaches and skills Tom uses in planning and writing grants. This workshop is suitable for comedians brand new to grant writing or mid-way through an application. The workshop will start with a presentation by Tom and then follow with a Q&A section for participants.
March 26 at 3pmET
Comedy Road Trip
Comedy Road Trip: host Alia Rasul, and panelists Veronica Dang, Ronald Dario, Curt Riedy, Kyle Romero, Deirdre Trudeau, and Lauren Vernea.
Host: Alia Rasul
Veronica Dang, New York
Ronald Dario, Vancouver
Curt Riedy, Philadelphia
Kyle Romero, Austin
Deirdre Trudeau, Montreal
Lauren Vernea, Los Angeles
Comedy Road Trip is a virtual meet-up with comedians and festival producers from across North America discussing the current landscape of sketch comedy, with a glimpse into their local scenes. Attendees will get a sense of what is going on in various comedy communities across North America, as we all consider traveling for performance opportunities again.
March 27 at 3pmET
Shoot-At-Home Production Kit workshop with Darrell Faria
Darrell Faria looks at the camera. He wears a black hooded shirt under his jean jacket and he is pulling his hood up using his left hand.
Instructor: Darrell Faria
Calling all sketch comedians in the GTHA! Do you have hilarious content in these not-so hilarious times LOL (but LOL?). Then the TOsketchfest Shoot-At-Home Production Kit is for you! We’ve brought on comedy director Darrell Faria (Dir. Bit Playas, Tallboyz, etc.) to create a series of digital shorts using our shiny new TOsketchfest Shoot-At-Home Production Kit, which is a camera/lighting/sound essentials set that we created with the intention of loaning out to you, the Toronto comedy community, to make your own digital films!
This workshop will begin with a screening of one of the digital shorts Darrell made with the Shoot-At-Home Production Kit. He’ll then walk you through his process, in detail, from-concept-to-production-to-post and provide a useful take-away document for when it’s your turn to make your own content. You will leave the workshop with a solid understanding of the tools and resources available to you, with a real-life case study of how they were used!
TOsketchfest aims to keep our Professional Development Program inclusive. As such, a limited number of scholarships are available. If the registration cost is a barrier to participation in a panel or workshop, please fill out this form.