CASC was formed in 2017 to represent the first-ever unified voice for stand-up comics in Canada. In 2019, Membership was expanded to include ALL Canadian comedians.
What is the
It’s a place where we can be serious about the business of being funny.
Our mission is to build a thriving and dynamic comedy industry in Canada by engaging aspiring and established professional Canadian comedians through advocacy, career opportunity, support for programming, as well as professional development and industry education.
There are two main objectives for CASC:
1) To advocate on behalf of professional Canadian comedy writers and performers and collaborate with private and public sector stakeholders in the comedy industry. CASC will build and maintain a “Cycle of Advancement” in the production, promotion, presentation, broadcast, and distribution of comedy content to maximize the economic benefits to the Canadian Cultural Sector and communities across the country.
2) To promote and insist on a harassment-free environment for comedy professionals that fosters racial, social, economic, physical, mental, and gender justice and equality. CASC will endeavour to address immediate and ongoing injustices, and pursue programming and development opportunities specifically directed at marginalized comedians within our own comedy communities.
As a Member, comedians will directly benefit from actions taken by The Association. We are committed to facilitating greater access for Canadian comedians to share their craft and improve their Canadian perspective on the world, both domestically and internationally.
If you would like to get involved with any of the current initiatives or Committees, or if you have an idea for an initiative or Committee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How it all started
The grassroots movement to form The Association started with the frustration many stand-up comedians experience when trying to work across Canada, as well as internationally. This sentiment was shared by Sandra Battaglini when denied arts funding and faced with thousands of dollars and bureaucratic red-tape to take her comedy into the U.S. American comedians, FYI, do not face the same restrictions when coming to Canada to perform.
Sandra wrote an open letter to Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, regarding the current state of stand-up comedy in Canada entitled: Just a Little Reciprocity. While he never responded, her Member of Parliament Julie Dabrusin did and eventually so did Heritage Minister, Mélanie Joly. Read her response here
In the meantime, Sandra was a guest on AM 640’s “Inside Jokes”, a national radio show about the comedy industry, hosted and produced by Sandra Carusi. Feedback from listeners and other guests on the show demonstrated that something had to be done. Several people recommended we form a non-profit Association in order to present a more powerful, unified voice for Canadian stand-up comedians. Not long after that, an ad hoc Executive was formed to create an official Constitution & ByLaws, and thanks to this small group of Canadian comedians, the rest is history and the best is yet to come.