OAF News

Cassandra DeStellis Awarded the Tim Sims Encouragement Award

Toronto, November 22, 2021 – Cassandra DeStellis is the 2021 recipient of the $2,500 Tim Sims Encouragement Award.  The Tim Sims Encouragement Award honours a promising Canadian comedic performer who is in the early stages of their career.  Cassandra DeStellis was selected for the award by the faculty of Humber College’s Comedy Writing and Performance program.

About Cassandra DeStellis

Cassandra DeStellis is a writer, comedian, musician, storyteller, dungeon master, and all-around geek. Fresh on the Toronto comedy scene, Cassandra is a recent honours graduate from Humber College's Comedy Writing and Performance program and is eager to get her hands into everything she can. 

While interested in everything from improv to YouTube sketch comedy, the circumstances of the pandemic are now turning Cassandra's attention to refining her written scripts and rewriting most of her stand-up material. Her comedy has been described as a blend of self-deprecation and social commentary, and she is a big believer in teaching through humour. She has performed for FRESH New Comedians Showcase, Replay Storytelling, Humber Nights at Yuk Yuk's, and can be seen popping into various shows around the city.

"Receiving this award is an incredible honour. I am so grateful to be chosen and recognized for my work and the progress I've made in my art,” says Cassandra. “For what should be obvious reasons, going through more than a year of a performance program in online classes was a struggle to say the least, and being chosen for this award makes me feel like I made the right decision sticking with it through these tough times. For someone this early in their career, the recognition and financial support that this award brings means a great deal and will go a long way towards launching my career. I hope I can live up to what this award stands for and be an example for anyone who might follow."

About the Award
The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund was founded by Lindsay Leese and established in 1995 in the spirit and memory of Tim Sims, a well-known comedic performer, writer, director, and charity fund-raiser from Toronto. From 1996-2014, the Fund awarded prize money totaling $65,000 to young comedians in the early stages of their careers at the annual Cream of Comedy award show at Second City.  Beginning in 2015, the $2,500 award is given annually to a graduate of the Comedy Writing and Performance program at the Humber College, School of Creative and Performing Arts and until 2019, to a Conservatory Program Graduate at the Second City Training Program.

Previous Tim Sims Encouragement award winners from Humber College include Nate Friedman (2020), Bria Hiebert (2019), and Glenys Marshall (2018). See the full list of past recipients.


For more information, please contact:
Bruce Bennett, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation

416-969-7413 | bbennett@oafdn.ca


Established in 1991, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) is passionately committed to building long-term support for the arts in Ontario. In 2020-2021, the OAF paid out over $5.2 million in endowment income and $220,000 in awards and scholarships.

BLOG: Light at the end of the tunnel... Read more »