Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little Mosque's Zaib Shaikh becomes Toronto's new film czar

TORONTO - Zaib Shaikh is now starring as the City of Toronto’s film commissioner.

Councillor Michael Thompson — the chairman of the city’s economic development committee — introduced Shaikh as the new film commissioner/entertainment industries director on Thursday at City Hall.

Shaikh is known for his starring role in the CBC show Little Mosque on the Prairie but is also a writer, director and producer.

“I know you were probably expecting Drake,” Shaikh said after Thompson introduced him.

The Toronto born actor said his goal in the new job is to turn the city into a “global media playground.”

“I’m here because I’m proud of the city and I’m looking forward to the world being proud of us too,” Shaikh said.

“We have to make Toronto not only the number one city in Canada but the number one city in the world, as far as I’m concerned, in terms of the kind of diverse, global media package that we’re talking about not just in film and television but everywhere.”

City officials confirmed Shaikh will be earning an annual salary of $163,000.

Thompson described Shaikh as “extremely passionate and also committed to his hometown of Toronto.

“He will be an excellent ambassador and representative for the great city of Toronto,” Thompson said.

Thursday’s announcement included a performance by Canadian rapper Maestro Fresh Wes. He performed two songs including his 1989 hit, Let Your Backbone Slide.

A day earlier, Councillor Shelley Carroll said she was impressed with the selection.

“It is some kick-ass, out of the box thinking and I am very pleased,” Carroll said Wednesday.
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