A Celebration of Talent, Hard Work and Commitment: The 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory Showcase

By Cory Angeletti-Szasz ● February 27, 2018 13:40

A theatre filled with people in seats getting ready to watch a screening.

The audience waits for the 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory Showcase to begin.

Since 2009, the CBC Actors Conservatory has been shining a spotlight on exceptional Canadian onscreen talent and helping actors strengthen their instrument and craft for the screen.

Actors like Annie Murphy (2014), who stars alongside Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in CBC’s beloved comedy Schitt’s Creek, and Giacomo Gianniotti (2014), who plays Dr. Andrew DeLuca on hit drama Grey’s Anatomy. Or artists like Patrick Kwok-Choon (2014) and Emily Coutts (2015) who star in Star Trek: Discovery, Alex Paxton-Beesley (2010) who plays Anna Funk in Pure, and Emmanuel Kabongo who is seen in CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries. In fact, you’ll see alumni of the Actors Conservatory on screens far and wide, big and small.

Eight actors standing side-by-side posing for a photo.

The 2017/18 CBC Actors Conservatory residents (L to R): Thomas Olajide, Kaelen Ohm, Getenesh Berhe, Libby Osler, Tim Dowler-Coltman, Humberly Gonzalez, Nabil Rajo and Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs.

Yesterday evening, we shone the spotlight on the eight residents of the 2017/18 Conservatory – Getenesh Berhe, Tim Dowler-Coltman, Humberly Gonzalez, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Kaelen Ohm, Thomas Olajide, Libby Osler and Nabil Rajo – at the 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory Showcase at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

Slawko Klymkiw, CFC’s CEO, shared a little bit about the impact this program has had since its inception with the Showcase audience, “We have welcomed 74 actors through our doors in nine years. In the last three years alone, our actors have held 50 leading or co-starring roles in TV, 10 in feature films and eight in digital series, and one has even landed a lead role on Broadway!” We are so pleased that alumni of the Actors Conservatory are working more than ever, but even more than that, we are proud of their progress and growth as a result of the program. Larissa Giroux, CFC’s Associate Director, Programs/Talent, echoed this sentiment at last night’s Showcase, “While success can be measured in the number of roles and levels of fame, I measure your success in personal growth and change. So many of our actors enter the program as one person and leave us as another – with a stronger understanding of self, craft and determination to do what they love.”

A woman speaks at a podium on stage.

Larissa Giroux, CFC’s Associate Director, Programs/Talent, speaking at the 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory Showcase.

The showcase included the premiere screening of the residents’ “Close-ups,” three- to four-minute pieces centered around original characters that are created by the actors themselves. These pieces feature original music and scores from the Slaight Music Residents, as well as collaborations with CFC alumni directors, producers, writers and editors. Check out the Close-ups here:

Congratulations to our 2017/18 CBC Actors Conservatory residents on their dynamic and compelling Close-ups and on their incredible growth over the course of the six-month program. We look forward to seeing more of their faces on the small and silver screens and to being in the audience watching their careers flourish.

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the 2017 CBC Actors Conservatory Showcase.

We extend a special thanks to our title sponsor, CBC, as well as the Government of Ontario, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation and RBC Emerging Artists Project for their continued support of the Actors Conservatory.

And we are hugely grateful to all of the 2017/18 CBC Actors Conservatory guests and mentors who worked with our talented actors this year:


Lindy DaviesKelly McEvenue
Anders Yates
Jason Knight
Rebecca NorthanRosemary Dunsmore
Marissa RichmondStephanie Jones
Sheila McCarthyRae Ellen Bodie
Daniel MacIvorJim Allodi
John PaizsDavid Ostry
Maureen Dorey Lukie


Joshua AstrachanLesley Barber
Mark BinksDeirdre Bowen
Anne Carey
Suzy Catliff
Derby Crewe
Audrey Cummings
Damon D’Oliveira
Michael DeCarlo
Susan ForrestKevin Frank
Jennifer GoldharStephanie Gorin
Matthew GouveiaDennis Heaton
Matt Hilliard-FordeSam Hudecki
Kishwar Iqbal
John Irving
Emmanuel KabongoMarty Katz
Sara KayMichael Levine
Jenny LewisNadia Litz
Molly McGlynnLisa Merchant
Franca MiragliaLuc Montpellier
Kimberly-Sue MurrayRuba Nadda
Charles OfficerRandall Okita
Carrie Pauspt-Shaughnessy
Emily Piggford
Mika RekaiPaul Reynard
Ron SandersKiwi Smith
Clement VirgoSophia Walker
Dewshane WilliamsSteve Wilsher
Perry Zimel

Applications for the 2018/19 CBC Actors Conservatory are open. Apply by March 30, 2018. CLICK HERE for more information and to apply.

All photos by Sam Santos/George Pimentel Photograhy.

Cory Angeletti-Szasz

Manager, Communications (Mat Leave)