We’ll address how the unique comedy “workplace(s)” present amazing communities for creative support, as well as toxic cultures for health, safety, harassment and discrimination concerns. Plus, examine the role of freedom of expression and censorship in the comedy industry.
In 2018 Wassim was a part of the Montreal Gazette's list as one of the artists to watch and was featured on the BBC Arts Hour and CBC's Laughter at the Lion D'Or. He has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival three times and in 2019 was the opening act for Sugar Sammy on a Canada-wide theatre tour. He recorded tracks for the JFL Originals comedy album recording: Doula, Midwife, Fullwife (which can be streamed on Sirius XM). This summer he was featured on the New Faces Canada show at the Just For Laughs festival.
Heralded as ‘one of the country’s best’ by the ‘Montreal Gazette’, Heidi is a four-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee for Best Female Stand-up Comic in Canada. Her dry,deadpan delivery has earned her four televised CBC galas asa part of the International ‘Just For Laughs’ Festival, numerous appearances on CBC radio, television, CBC’s‘Halifax Comedy Festival’, CTV’s ‘Comedy Now’, and on CBS’s‘Comic’s Unleashed with Byron Allen’! In addition to screenwriting, story editing and series development for shows on HBO, FOX, PBS, FAMILY, YTV, NICKELODEON, and the BBC, Heidi won a Canadian Comedy Award as part of the staff writing team on CBC’s hit series ‘This Hour Has Twenty Two Minutes’. Heidi wrote multiple episodes of the animated series ‘Toon Marty’, which is currently airing on Teletoon,and story edited the fifth season of the prime time series ‘Mohawk Girls’ for the APTN Network, as well as the first season of Air Bud’s ‘Pup Academy’, which recently launched on Disney Plus.
Heidi’s animated feature film script‘Butterfly Tale’ won the 2021 ‘Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film’ Screenplay Award. The film is now being produced and is scheduled for release in the spring of 2023. Heidi is currently developing a television series based on the feature film.
Dana Saleh is a Palestinian-Canadian stand-up comic and content creator from Montreal. A regular at the Comedy Nest and Montreal Comedy Club, Dana was the opening act for stand-ups Chris Locke, Arthur Simeon, and Joey Elias among others. She has written and performed sketch comedy for Montreal Sketchfest and is a veteran performer at the Ladyfest comedy festival.
Since the beginning Rodney Ramsey has approached his career less like a standup comedian and more like a mad scientist, the stage being his laboratory. In 2012 Rodney created Canada’s first all-black comedy tour “The Underground Comedy Railroad” which tours the country annually during black history month. Soon after Rodney produced and wrote the "Language Police" web series which received international acclaim.
Rodney Ramsey has appeared on Kevin Hart's LOL channel and BBC's Summer Comedy event. Rodney has also starred in the movie Race, appeared in the Mile Enders, and "Absofreakinglutley" on CBC. He has recently created The Unknown Comedy Club, Canada’s first virtual comedy club.
Oren Shbiro is a Montreal comedian making waves in the local stand up scene. His energy, combined with his unique perspective on everything from his Jewish upbringing, to the details of his love life, have allowed him to open for some of Canada's greatest headliners. This past summer he was featured on JFL Originals, which was recorded live at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. He is a weekend regular at The Comedy Nest and has had multiple appearances on Just For Laughs Zoofest.
Carly Baker has been writing and performing comedy for over 19 years. Her self deprivational style is both sweet and raw, always striving to balance honesty with entertainment. Comedy is her passion and it translates on stage and in her love of the craft. Lucky enough to start her career in 2005 at the legendary Houston Laff Stop, she then relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland to become a regular at the famous Stand Comedy Clubs.
She has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as well as festivals around the globe. After that she lived in both Germany and Amsterdam, producing and performing all over Europe. She has called Montreal home since 2021 where you can find her as a regular MC and performer at The Comedy Nest and Yuk Yuk’s Ottawa as well as preforming for the prestigious Just For Laughs Festival Montreal 2022and recording for the JFL Originals comedy album: Heavy Petting Zoo (available for on Sirius XM).
Sara is a Coptic-Egyptian comic and producer. She has performed as an improviser, storyteller, and stand-up. She also write and acts with sketch comedy troupes Inside Scoop and Madame. She has performed in festivals ranging from OFF-Just For Laughs to Montreal Sketchfest to the Big City Improv Festival!
Sara produced improv show Colour Outside the Lines, and now focuses on producing They Go Low, We Go Laugh - a comedy show uplifting women of colour. She is the festival director or Ladyfest Montreal and is passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the arts.
Sandi Armstrong is a teacher and performer based in Montréal. An alumni of Loose Moose Theatre Co. in Calgary, she was taught storytelling improv from Keith Johnstone.You can see her perform weekly in Montréal's longest running English improv comedy show; Sunday Night Improv of which she is a founder.Sandi has 25+ years of experience and has been teaching her craft in Montréal for over 15 years. As a mother of 2, improv is less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle.
Nazeer Khan (he/him) is a Indo-Canadian stand up comedian and improviser based out of Montreal, QC performing at various clubs and theatres around Eastern Canada. Having taken the stage for the first time in 2017, he caught the comedy bug and became addicted to the craft and worked his way to becoming a weekend regular at the Comedy Nest and at Theatre Saint-Catherine’s flagship Sunday Night Improv show.
Donna-Lynn Turner (she/her/hers) is an equity, diversity and inclusion consultant who works to create more equitable spaces in a variety of sectors including government, health care organizations, corporations and non-profits. She started working in DEI 13 years ago as a health promoter focusing on LGBTQ+ health disparities.
Donna-Lynn’s education includes completing the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate with the University of South Florida, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace through ESSEC Business School, People Analytics through the University of Pennsylvania, and Indigenous Canada through the University of Alberta.
Donna-Lynn is also an adult education specialist, with a certificate in Teaching and Training Adults from Durham College.
Her career started as a communications professional, and she has a diploma in Public Relations from Algonquin College.
Jordyn Samuels is a background and commercial performer who also specializes in providing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion-based education. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from University of Toronto where she double-majored in Equity Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies.
Jordyn has over 16 years of experience providing Anti-Oppression, Anti-Racism and 2SLGBTQ+ education to schools, organizations and communities and is currently the Owner and Lead DEI Consultant of her 7 year old consulting service, Journeys InEquity.
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