An Unsafe Space After Talks

The producers of An Unsafe Space are pleased to announce that following each performance of the play, there will be an After Talk.

These talks will address some of the various issues in the play, with a particular emphasis on the role of free speech and expression,  and will give the audience an opportunity to participate in a Q & A with the author. and others.

Each An Unsafe Space After Talk will feature a brief talk from a prominent member of the community. 

Updates will be added as new speakers are confirmed, and we already are off to an incredible start!


Sky Gilbert - Jan 10



Novelist, poet, filmmaker, director, actor, and drag queen extraordinaire.... Sky Gilbert is one of Canada's most controversial artistic forces. 

He was the co-founder and Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for 18 years. In 1997 Sky Gilbert left Buddies to have more time for creative pursuits.

At Buddies, Mr. Gilbert wrote and directed his own hit plays: THE DRESSING GOWN (published by the Playwright's Union 1989), PLAYMURDER (published by Blizzard in 1995), DRAG QUEENS ON TRIAL (published by Playwright's Canada Press in 1996), BAN THIS SHOW (about the controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe) , PASOLINI/PELOSI and CAPOTE AT YADDO (published by Coach House Press). Many of his plays enjoyed international touring. 

Mr. Gilbert's plays have been produced in New York City (at 'The Glines'), Chicago (at Bailiwick Theatre), San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Vancouver, and Montreal.

As a director of other's work, Mr. Gilbert's list of credits is also extensive.. Mr. Gilbert received Ontario's prestigious Pauline McGibbon Award for directing in 1985 and the Dora Award for the production of his play SUZIE GOO: PRIVATE SECRETARY in 1992.

Sky Gilbert started making films in 1990 and has written/directed/ /produced three films which have played at film festivals around the world including Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, L.A. and Melbourne. He describes his own work as "quirky cinema verite which documents the drug and sexual underground of Toronto". His films star his friends in the theatre and the sex trade industry. His fourth film - I AM THE CAMERA, DYING - premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1998, and his third feature length film My Summer Vacation was released on video in 1999 by Waterbearer Films.

Sky has published 5 novels -- his most recent novel Brother Dumb (2007 ECW Press) was described by Canada's Quill and Quire as "a well paced and provocative book that sets itself an enormous creative challenge." His fourth novel An English Gentleman received Canada' ReLit Award in 2005, and his first novel Guilty was described thusly by The Village Voice thusly: "Guilty is pleasure." Sky is much in demand reading his own work at "performance poetry" sessions, and his collection of poems, DIGRESSIONS OF A NAKED PARTY GIRL, was published by ECW Press in October 1998 and his second collection of poems Temptations for a Juvenile Delinquent was published in 2003.

Since leaving Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1997, Sky has worked as an Assistant Professor in The School of English and Theatre Studies at Guelph University. In 2005 Sky received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. In 2006 Dr. Gilbert was honoured to be named University Research Chair in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies at Guelph.

Jonathan Kay - Jan 17



 Jonathan Kay is Canadian Editor at Quillette, and co-host of the Wrongspeak podcast. His work appears in the National Post, the Washington Post, The Atlantic,, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Maclean’s and Canadian Jewish News. His books include “Among The Truthers,” “Legacy: How French Canadians Shaped North America,” and the forthcoming We The Meeple



Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo - Jan 15



First elected into the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in 2006, she was re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2014.

Cheri is known for her 2006-2007 $10 minimum wage campaign, through which over a million Ontarians saw their income increase by 28% over three years, and as the “Queen of tri-party bills” for tabling the most bills in the Legislature that have all three parties’ support. Cheri has also passed more Private Member’s Bills than any other MPP in Ontario’s record, and has passed more pro-LGBTQ legislation than anyone in Canadian history. Cheri was voted NOW Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Best MPP for 2016, her third time winning the title. She has also twice been voted Runner-Up Best MPP.

Cheri has been a 40+ year activist for LGBTQ issues. She was the only woman in Canada to sign the ‘We Demand’ statement in 1971—the first demand for gay rights on Parliament Hill. In 2012, Cheri succeeded in getting Toby’s Act passed, an amendment to the Ontario Humans Rights Code to include gender identity and gender expression–the first of its kind in North America. She made history again in 2015 by successfully passing Bill 77, which prohibits “Conversion Therapy” for youth (therapy intended to prevent young people from identifying as LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual or queer]). This ground-breaking legislation also de-listed “conversion therapy” from OHIP. Following DiNovo’s introduction of the Bill, President Barack Obama called for a ban of the practice in the United States, and Manitoba tabled legislation to ban the practice as well. DiNovo has championed Parental Equality for LGBTQ parents with her Bill, Cy and Ruby’s Act. The government recently announced that they would bring in legislation and pass parental equality law by end of 2016. Cheri has also been honoured to be the Grand Marshal in Toronto’s Pride Parade.

Cheri successfully proposed a bill to fast-track benefits for workers suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). After 7 years, 4 tablings and 1 second reading, the government finally passed legislation to recognize PTSD as a workplace injury in April 2016. Similarly, Cheri is the author of the original Bill on inclusionary zoning, which gives municipalities the tools to address the affordable housing crisis. Her Bill, which tabled 5 times and passed 2nd reading twice, has the support of municipalities and organizations across Ontario. Recently, the Ontario government finally announced it was acting on inclusionary zoning. Cheri has been an outspoken advocate for cyclists and cyclist safety, including her “1-metre rule”, which the government finally passed as part of their larger transportation bill in 2015.

Cheri is an ordained United Church Minister who performed the first legalized same sex marriage. Cheri also founded Girls’ Government, a non-partisan initiative aimed at getting young girls engaged in the political process. Cheri has also been a staunch advocate for Tibetans, Roma, Ukrainian and other immigrant communities in Parkdale-High Park and Ontario.

She is the winner of several major awards – the Lambda Literary Award in Washington, D.C. for spirituality and religion for her book Queerying Evangelism, the Award of Merit by the government of Ukraine for her work on Canada’s first tri-party bill recognizing the Holodomor as genocide and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Inspire Awards for her lifelong work as an activist for equal rights. Cheri has also received the Bicycling Leadership Award from the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, the Community Hero Award from Jer’s Vision, the Rainbow Health Advocate Award from Rainbow Health Ontario, the History Maker Award from Brockville Pride and the PFLAG Ally Award, presented by Rosie O’Donnell.

Nazneen Sheikh - Jan 9 (preview)


Nazneen Sheikh has written several books of adult and young-adult fiction, including Ice Bangles, Chopin People, Heartbreak High, Camels Can Make You Homesick and Other Stories, Tea and Pomegranates, and Moon over Marrakech. Born in Kashmir, Sheikh was educated in both Pakistan and Texas and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Kinnaird College, University of Punjab. She lives in Toronto. 

Closing Matinee Talk

Shaun Proulx - Jan 20

Shaun Proulx (born August 1, 1968) is a Canadian media entrepreneur, speaker, author, publisher, int

Shaun Proulx lives well and by his own rules. Called “the epitome of a visionary entrepreneur” by The Toronto Star and “Canada’s gay Oprah” by The Huffington Post, Shaun is an in-demand empowerment speaker, author and publisher, leading a #ThoughtRevolution about personal limits at SHAUNPROULX.COM