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OTHER: The Festival

#ComedyNeedsUs Photo Campaign

About the project

OTHER is a monthly comedy, art, and music show happening at The Second City showcasing emerging and seasoned performers identifying as OTHER. In December 2019, we will hold OTHER: The Festival to launch a photo series campaign, #ComedyNeedsUs, which will feature portraits of a variety of local comedians (stand-up, artists, musicians, and beyond) that will also include their personal statement about why diversity in the arts matters to them. 

We've had both seasoned and emerging performers as part of past OTHER shows. These include: CHANTY MAROSTICA (2018 Juno Nominee for Best Comedy Album, 2018 SiriusXM Top Comic), BRANDON ASH-MOHAMMED (one of Now Magazine's 2018 Breakthrough Stage Artists, Just for Laughs), OPHIRA CALOF (Generally Hospital, 2018 Bob Curry Fellow), JOE VU (Winnipeg Comedy Festival, CBC The Debaters), and HOODO HERSI (Homegrown Comics, JFL42). 

OTHER currently runs out of the John Candy Box Theatre. For December 2019, we want to take the show to the next level through OTHER: The Festival. The one-day festival will be held in a 200+ seat auditorium and will include a longer exhibition beforehand with a talkback from the producers of OTHER and a few of the featured comedians about diversity in comedy. The exhibition will unveil the #ComedyNeedsUs photo campaign and the comedians featured in those potraits will be the ones on stage during the festival. 

#ComedyNeedsUs will feature comedians who have been othered. The comedians will get to share their unique voice by completing the sentence “comedy needs us” which will be transcribed in their own handwriting on a portrait of them in their artistic element. We will collaborate with the comedians featured in the campaign and they will be given co-ownership over the style of their portrait through an open process which will include a formal roundtable discussion, optional journaling prompts, and informal discussions.

What are the funds for?

We are seeking $1500 to pay our fifteen #ComedyNeedsUs photo campaign artists a $100 honorarium each. While the costs of OTHER: The Festival are going to be much higher than $1500, we believe first and foremost in paying artists for their work. 

Wait, but if honorariums are only a small slice of the pie, where are you going to get the funds for everything else? Great question! We've applied to a few grants to get this project off the ground, are exploring sponsorship opportunities, and will also have ticket sales from the festival to help cover costs. We are committed to making this project happen! On a side note: we're honored that you're even considering donating to us since you're reading these words :)  

About the project owner


Hi! We (Neha and Rabiya) are two women comedians based out of Toronto, Canada. We believe the art we consume should reflect the world around us!

Rabiya is a Calgary-born, Toronto based 27-year-old comedian and articling student. She completed the Second City Conservatory program (Guardians of the Fallacy) and is currently in the UCLA Professional Program in Writing for Television (Comedy) and the Expect Theatre's Beats + Intentions Playwriting Unit. She hopes to incorporate comedic rapping into her next creative project.

Neha is a 28-year-old, comedian, actor and writer as well as a Chartered Professional Accountant.She recently quit her job as an accountant, to pursue her dreams of...well, not being an accountant. Neha is a graduate of The Second City’s Conservatory Program as well as recipient of the 2018 Diversity Fellowship which is awarded by The Second City to the 15 brightest new, diverse voices in comedy. Neha is passionate about comedy, entrepreneurship, community building and cilantro.

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