Toronto's Brand New Film Commissioner
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Toronto’s Brand New Film Commissioner

Little Mosque on the Prairie's Zaib Shaikh will be the City's first ever Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries.

Zaib Shaikh with his wife, media executive Kirstine Stewart. Photo by Flickr user Canadian Film Centre.

Today, the city was introduced to its very first Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries: Zaib Shaikh. Shaikh is probably best known for playing the role of Amaar Rashid in the CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie, but he’s made various other TV and film appearances (starring as Nadir Khan in Deepa Mehta’s Midnight’s Children, for example)—and once wrote, directed, and produced a TV adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello.

Previous commissioners were responsible only for television and film—Shaikh, as his expanded job title indicates, will also be taking on music and multimedia, promoting Toronto as a world-class entertainment centre. “Our plan is to make Toronto the number one city to produce, create and consume premium and internationally diverse film, television, music and digital media content. I also look forward to leading the City’s efforts to increase tourism and the positive impact of the many special events we do and could host,” he said today.

So what will go down as one of the first official entertainment offerings of Shaikh’s tenure? Why, a performance from Toronto’s own Maestro Fresh Wes.