OAF News

2013 Winner of the Tims Sims Encouragement Award Announced

Toronto, October 29, 2013 - Arnprior, Ontario native Nigel Grinstead was awarded the 2013 Tim Sims Encouragement Award at the Cream of Comedy held Monday, October 28, 2013 at The Second City. The 18th annual Cream of Comedy was held to honour a promising up-and-coming comedy act with an award of recognition and a cash prize of $5,000 and a scholarship to the Second City Training Center.

2013 Winner of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award, Nigel Grinstead

Cream of Comedy was hosted by, Pat Thornton (CTV’s SATISFACTION) who was nominated for the Tim Sims Award in the year 2005.

The award was presented by TSEF Founder and Director Lindsay Leese. She established the award, which is administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation, in memory of Tim Sims, comedy performer, writer and director, who was as well known for his brilliant wit, as for his dedication to supporting new talent and fundraising for charitable causes.

“The Tim Sims Encouragement Fund and Award has grown into one of the most prestigious honours an up and coming comedic performer or troupe can receive."  noted Lindsay Leese. "It's been thrilling to see the nominees and winners from the last 17 years go on to achieve real success and profile in Canada's entertainment industry, and know that the TSEF played a big part in launching their careers”.

The 2013 recipient of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award has been chosen by the same jury of comedy professionals who selected this year’s five talented nominees Brandon Ash Mohammed, Diana Bailey, The Weaker Vessels, Franco Nguyen and Nigel Grinstead 

Nigel Grinstead was chosen by the jury for his flawless professional delivery and hilarious material.  Only 20 years old, Nigel has stage presence of a 20 year veteran.  Nigel is the second youngest winner of this award. 

"I feel absolutely humbled to be a recipient of the Tim Sims Encouragement Award," said Nigel Grinstead. "I don't have the proper words to describe how much it helps me where I'm at right now. I plan on using the fund to get myself out of the couch surfing rut I'm in and better my living conditions, as well as looking to the future and supporting a second tour effort next year with some hard-working, hilarious cats in the GTA!" 

Previous winners and nominees include: Nathan Fielder (This Hour has 22 Minutes, CBC), Mark DeBonis (of the 2011 $25,000 Great Canadian Laugh-Off ) Jeff McEnery (also winner of the $25,000 Great Canadian Laugh-Off),Gavin Crawford, (This Hour has 22 Minutes, CBC, The Gavin Crawford Show, TCN) Aurora Browne (Comedy Inc. CTV), Craig Lauzon and Jessica Holmes, (Air Farce, CBC) Laurie Elliot, (Popcultured, Comedy Now, TCN ) Debra DiGiovanni, (Last Comic Standing ,NBC) Fraser Young, (Comedy Now, TCN) and Levi MacDougall (Popcultured, Comedy Now, TCN). 

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List of Previous Tim Sims Award Winners

For more information, please contact:

Deanna Palazzo
Producer, Tim Sims Encouragement Award
Tel: (647) 407-8615


Alan Walker
Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
Tel: (416) 969-7413


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