TOSketchFestBlog

A blue, white and purple graphic. The white text reads Learning + Fun, Workshops + Panels and just above it to the right is a stylized a TOsketchfest icon

Learning and Fun at TOsketchfest21

Learning and Fun is the Professional Development program for the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival – join us online for skill building workshops and community building panels. 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.

These low cost learning opportunities put you front and centre with comedians and writers featured on CBC, Netflix, BBC, TBS, Crave, NBC and more. Our workshops and panels have a strong focus on comedy skill building, collaboration and cultivating professional relationships.

Thank you to CBC for supporting the Learning and Fun Program.

 

2021 Learning and Fun Workshops


Meet The CBC Comedy Team

A photo grid with four photos: Top row: Nadine Bhabha, Greig Dymond Bottom row: Zach Feldberg, Jennifer Shin

A photo grid with four photos: Top row: Nadine Bhabha, Greig Dymond
Bottom row: Zach Feldberg, Jennifer Shin

CBC recently announced a new scripted content leadership team that will oversee development and production of comedy work at the public broadcaster.

Join Jennifer Shin (Director of Development, Comedy), Greig Dymond (Executive in Charge of Production), and Zach Feldberg (Executive in Charge of Production – Digital Originals) as they outline the current vision for comedy at CBC, and how you can pitch your work across various platforms.

Wednesday, March 24 at 12:30pmET
Online panel via Zoom

This panel will include a moderated Q&A.
Cost: $10 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the purple “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

 

News Travels Fast

A photo grid with six photos. Top Three: Candy Palmater, Aba Amuquandoh, Erika Ehler. Bottom three: Ghazal Ghiami, Nelu Handa, Allana Harkin.

A photo grid with six photos. Top Three: Candy Palmater, Aba Amuquandoh, Erika Ehler. Bottom three: Ghazal Ghiami, Nelu Handa, Allana Harkin.

How do you write, and keep your jokes pointed, when the news cycle is ever changing? Join a panel of writers and creators from satirical comedy outlets from online to radio to television.

Hosted by Candy Palmater, News Travels Fast will feature panelists from notable comedy properties including Aba Amuquandoh (This Hour Has 22 minutes), Erika Ehler (Netflix’s Death To 2020), Ghazal Ghiami (The Beaverton), Nelu Handa (A Little Late With Lilly Singh), and Allana Harkin (Full Frontal with Samantha Bee).

Wednesday, March 24 at 3pmET
Online panel via Zoom

News Travels Fast will include a moderated Q&A.

Cost: $10 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the blue “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

 

Claiming Space 

A photo grid with six photo. Top Row: Liza Paul, Nikki Bailey, Surer Deria Bottom row: Shannon DeVido, Alia Rasul, and Rachel Strauss-Muniz

A photo grid with six photo. Top Row: Liza Paul, Nikki Bailey, Surer Deria
Bottom row: Shannon DeVido, Alia Rasul, and Rachel Strauss-Muniz

Claiming Space is a panel featuring comedy creators from across North America who are forging ahead to make space for community and craft in their city.

Hosted by Liza Paul, Associate Artistic Director at The Theatre Centre, Claiming Space will feature panelists including Nikki Bailey (Los Angeles), Surer Deria (Toronto), Shannon DeVido (Philadelphia), Alia Rasul (Toronto), and Rachel Strauss-Muniz (New York).

Thursday, March 25 at 3pmET
Online panel via Zoom

Claiming Space will include a moderated Q&A.

Cost: $10 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the blue “Buy Tix” button below!

 

 

 

Fierce & Funny   

A photo grid with six photos. Top: Marshall Lorenzo, BOA, Bombae. Bottom: Ocean Giovanni, Miss Hunni Kruller, Toddy

A photo grid with six photos. Top: Marshall Lorenzo, BOA, Bombae. Bottom: Ocean Giovanni, Miss Hunni Kruller, Toddy

Fierce & Funny is a panel with drag queens, performers and producers discussing the world of sketch, stand up, improv as it relates to the exquisite art form that is drag. Because comedy is what? FUNDAMENTAL!

Hosted by Marshall Lorenzo (writer, Canada’s Drag Race) Fierce & Funnywill feature panelists BOA aka Bitch On Arrival (Toronto), Bombae (Toronto), Ocean Giovanni (Toronto), Miss Hunni Kruller (Toronto), Toddy (Vancouver), and more!

Friday, March 26 at 2pmET
Online panel via Zoom

Fierce & Funny will include a moderated Q&A.

Cost: $10 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the purple “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

How To Produce an Online Show

Alice Rose smiles, looking towards the right, past the camera. She wears a pink floral patterned dress and stands in front of white and green wallpaper, in a fern or palm tree greenery pattern.

Alice Rose smiles, looking towards the right, past the camera. She wears a pink floral patterned dress and stands in front of white and green wallpaper, in a fern or palm tree greenery pattern.

Alice Rose will lead this 101 workshop that is a basic intro to producing an online comedy show. If you have no idea where to start, this workshop will give you some basic tools and know-how to get started in the right direction. From streaming platforms to tech requirements, this workshop features tips and tricks on what to consider when creating a live comedy show online.

Saturday, March 27 at 1pmET
Online workshop via Zoom

Instructor: Alice Rose is a transgender comic fueled by third-wave coffee and estradiol. A storyteller at heart, Alice combines introspective personal narratives with larger observations to create an intimate comedy experience. As the creator of Comic Sans Productions, Alice is dedicated to creating inclusive and accessible live comedy events and content, while highlighting the many diverse and intersectional voices of Canadian performance artists.

Cost: $25 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the blue “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

Hatching, Matching and Dispatching Cast Reunion

A black graphic with white text that reads “Hatching, Matching & Dispatching”. The cast photo features nine cast members, standing on the shore. In the background are boats at dock, an ambulance, and a hearse the the back doors open revealing a coffin.

A black graphic with white text that reads “Hatching, Matching & Dispatching”. The cast photo features nine cast members, standing on the shore. In the background are boats at dock, an ambulance, and a hearse the the back doors open revealing a coffin.

Join select cast members from CBC’s cult hit as they reminisce and discuss the everlasting impact of Hatching, Matching and Dispatching.

In outport Newfoundland, it was often left to one enterprising family to literally taxi the residents of the town from cradle to grave – offering wedding, funeral and ambulance services. A classic comedy that starred Mary Walsh, Sherry White, Mark McKinney, Rick Boland, Joel Thomas Hynes, Jonny Harris, Shaun Majumder and Susan Kent.

Saturday, March 27 at 4:30pmET
Online panel via Zoom

Hatching, Matching and Dispatching will include a moderated Q&A.

Cost: $10 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the blue “Buy Tix” button below!

 

 

 

Grant Writing for Comedy

A photo of Meg MacKay from the shoulders up, who looks directly at the camera.

A photo of Meg MacKay from the shoulders up, who looks directly at the camera.

Learn how to navigate the grant and funding process from a comedian’s point of view. Meg MacKay will lead this workshop where you can gain insight and knowledge including how to write a proper grant application, how to frame yourself as a comedian in the existing granting frameworks, and where you can access funds on a municipal, provincial, and federal level.

Sunday, March 28 at 1pmET
Online workshop via Zoom

Instructor: Meg MacKay is a comedian, comedy writer and arts administrator who is trying her best. She has written for a bunch of Canadian sketch tv shows. Her album Probably a Witch is out on Howl and Roar Records. She’s also been an arts administrator and grant writer for nearly a decade, most recently working with the Ontario Arts Council and the Indigenous Screen Office as a granting program administrator. She knows a little bit about this stuff. 

Cost: $25 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the purple “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

 

Process and POV: Video Workshop for BIPOC Creators

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.

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.

Process and POV: Creating Meaningful Characters in the Digital Space, is a video workshop for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) comedy creators.

The class will be an interactive exploration of creative writing in the digital space with an emphasis on Process and POV. The class will examine video projects from prep to production to post, with a focus on creating a pitchable product for broadcasters and streaming platforms. Attendees can look forward to tips and tricks on creating video work from your point of view, writing, shooting, branding, tools and tech, and industry insights.

Sunday, March 28 at 3pmET
Online workshop via Zoom

Instructor: With over 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Darrell Faria is a triple threat: director, writer, and comedian. He has a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Performance in Digital Media (2016) and a Canadian Comedy Award nomination (2015) in the same category. His directorial work has won T.O. Webfest awards (2020), and the TOSketchfest award for Outstanding Comedy Short (2020). Last year he completed his third digital series as a director: Bit Playas on CBC Gem, a comedy about nerds-of-colour trying to make it in showbiz. He is currently guest directing on CBC’s Tallboyz.

Cost: $25 + fees / Pre-Registration Is Required.
Tickets can be purchased using the blue “Buy Tix” button below!

Button: Buy Tickets

 

 

Scholarships

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 the Scholarship Form.