The Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

Canadian comedians were hit hard by the pandemic. Live performances were among the last to return, and artists who dared to reinvent themselves for online work did so largely without support.

Comedians had to reskill, invest in equipment and develop new ways of distributing their work online… and they did this largely unsupported by relief funding earmarked for the arts.

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 making us laugh.

From day one, and throughout the pandemic, TOsketchfest has been that ally: paying comedians, creating opportunities, funding their projects, amplifying their work, and advocating for their interests at all levels of government.

TOsketchfest needs YOUR support to continue to be comedy’s best ally.

TOsketchfest is Canada’s Comedy Incubator

Each year, TOsketchfest serves more than 200 comedians from Toronto, across Canada and North America through a live comedy festival, digital programming, learning and development, networking and social events, and direct project funding.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic - abruptly dropping the curtain midway through our 15th annual festival. Comedy, as we knew it, ground to a halt that day. Our stages and festivals were dark for the better part of two years, but throughout it all, TOsketchfest continued to deliver on our mandate - to support the development of Canada’s comedic voices… in innovative ways.

Since the start of the pandemic here’s some of what TOsketchfest has delivered for comedy artists:
$29,500 in direct payments to comedy creators across our programs

$8,000 in direct funding for comedy projects

100+ paid digital presentations as part of TOsketchfest21 - Screen Time Edition viewed by 1,500 audience members from around the world

2 Seasons of innovative, award-winning live comedy experiences as part of Comedy Country providing paid performance opportunities for 41 comedians

12 low-cost or free comedy and career-development workshops delivered digitally including paid opportunities for 45 artist-instructors

A new permanent Digital Producer added to the TOsketchfest team

A community consultation process led by Bespoke Collective to help us learn about opportunities for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within TOsketchfest and in the comedy community

This is what TOsketchfest has been able to accomplish in these challenging times. Imagine what more we can do as we return to live stages… and with YOUR support!

The Goal

Our goal is to raise $30,000 in donations by March 2022 to help TOsketchfest achieve these outcomes:

  • Double Festival artist payments – help us pay out $30,000 in guaranteed artist payments at TOsketchfest22 (more than double payouts from 2021). With limited capacity at shows, we can only do this through your donations.
  • Make investments in Accessibility features– invest $7,000 in adopting and expanding services like Captioning, ASL and Described Video to make Canadian live comedy more accessible to Deaf and disabled communities.
  • Focus on health & safety – contribute to offsetting $5,000 in incremental costs associated with the live production in the time of COVID.
  • Skill-up in the digital space – create more opportunities for comedians by investing  $15,000 todevelop skills needed to create quality broadcast and streaming productions – both in our staff and the comedy community

How You Can Help: Kick-Start the Comedy Comeback

This #GivingTuesdayCA, make your gift to TOsketchfest and help KICK-START THE COMEDY COMEBACK

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