Canada has a long and celebrated history in comedy. As a nation we’ve produced some of comedy’s biggest stars recognized the world over. But within the arts and culture funding ecosystem, the pursuit of the comedic arts remains unsupported. Unlike theatre, dance and opera, comedy is not seen as worthy of support.
Canadian comedians continue to need an ally: a patron to support new comedic voices; a champion to showcase and celebrate this work; an onramp to careers in comedy and entertainment; a place to make connections; and an opportunity to earn income by giving audiences the joy of laughter.
TOsketchfest is Canada’s Comedy Incubator
The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival is that ally. TOsketchfest is a registered charity (824216808 RR 0001) – one of Canada’s only charities dedicated to fostering and developing Canadian comedic voices. We deliver on this mandate in many ways:
- by producing big public showcases for Canadian comedy
- by creating free, or low-cost workshops, panels and networking events for comedy creators to improve, learn and advance their careers
- by developing new comedy audiences, and stimulating comedy creation in new markets
- by direct funding for comedy projects
In March of 2020, the World Health organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic slamming the curtain shut on our 15th annual comedy festival. The evolution of the pandemic meant that in 2021, we delivered our first “Screen Time Edition” of TOsketchfest – a fully digital, online presentation. One year later, the emergence of the Omicron variant spoiled TOsketchfest’s return to live performances.
And even in these challenging circumstances, TOsketchfest has continued to deliver tangible, meaningful and relevant support to Canada’s comedy creators.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic here’s some of what TOsketchfest has delivered for comedy artists:
$42,800 in direct payments to comedy creators across all programs
$12,000 in direct funding for comedy projects
250+ paid digital presentations as part of TOsketchfest – Screen Time Edition in 2021 and 2022 viewed by 3,700 audience members from around the world
3 Seasons of innovative, award-winning live comedy experiences
as part of Comedy Country providing paid performance opportunities for 85 comedians
29 low-cost or free comedy and career-development workshops delivered digitally including paid opportunities for 78 artist-instructors
This is what TOsketchfest has been able to accomplish in these challenging times. Now, we need YOUR help to make our return to live stages a reality.
Our goal is to raise $30,000 in donations this season to support the return of The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival to live stages in March of 2023.
How You Can Help: Kick-Start the Comedy Comeback
Make a gift today! Most TOsketchfest donors give between $100 and $250 each year, but all donations of $10 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.
Sign up for a monthly donation of $10 or more and receive a pair of TOsketchfest socks as our thanks for your ongoing support.
Considering a larger gift? Reach out to Paul Snepsts, TOsketchfest Executive Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival Inc. is a provincially registered charity:
824216808 RR 0001
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Build the Digital Stage Donors:
Thank you to the donors who have made contributions to the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival’s 16th Season. YOU helped us Build the Digital Stage, giving hundreds of comedians a place in TOsketchfest21 – Screen Time Edition
This list includes gifts made between July 1st 2020 and June 30, 2021. Please let us know if there is an error or omission.
Anonymous, The County Cider Company, Paul and Julianne Snepsts
Anonymous, Robert Knox
Guled Abdi, Charles Armstrong, Christopher Baragar, Tim Blair, Jim JJ Johnston, Peter Hill, Damien Nelson, Megan Mackeigan, John Petcoff, Will Samson-Doel, Susan + Tim
Anonymous x2, Braeden Banks, Paul Constable, Susan Coyne, Chris Levielle, Terry & Nancy Meagher, Gord Naunton, Paula Tenaglia, Ron Tite
10 Minute Talk Show, Anonymous x17, Ryan Aldred, Laurie Andrews, Paul Armstrong, Greg Bay, Matthew Brooks, Greg Bryant, Lauren Canafrancw, Joshua Chau, Heather Comeford, Erin Conway, Sara Creaghan, Krista Dalby, Gillian Eaton, Heather Eaton, Diane Entwistle, Ryan Fabricius, Adrian Gaffierro, Jocelyn Geddie, Anthony Gilroy, Kelly Graham, Lana Graham, Susanna P Haight, Cyril Hayes, Dan Hershfield, Julianna Hobbs, Melanie Hunter, Nick Iozzo, Roberta Jennings, Liza Kockeritz, Stan Kuliavas, Elizabeth Lancaster, Danielle LeSage, Michael Lindon, Patti Magnus, Ian MacIntyre, Cat McCluskey, Marianna Miniotis, Chad Mitchell, David Nadolski, Phillip Ottenbrite, Deanna Palazzo & James Dalzell, Karen Palmer, Declan Quinlan, Zoe Randall-Rabnett, Bonnie Pinch, Cathy Rivard, Nancy Rockarts, Sam Roulston, Matthew Schmid, Candace Singh, Leah Solis, Marjah Tajibnapis, Anthony Tortorici, Vinky & Boo, Jing Wany, Renay Weissman, Gayle Wilmot