TORONTO actor Zaib Shaikh has been appointed Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, U.S.. He replaces James Villeneuve.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland made the announcement on Thursday, stating that Canada is enhancing its diplomatic outreach to the United States with the appointment of new consuls general in Detroit and Los Angeles.
Joseph John (Joe) Comartin becomes Consul General of Canada in Detroit, U.S. He replaces Douglas George.
These diplomats will be a part of a network of consuls general with offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle (together with trade offices in Houston, Palo Alto and San Diego).
The consuls general work with provinces, the business community, labour, Indigenous peoples and others to represent and defend Canadian goals and interests.
The new consuls general will play pivotal roles in promoting Canada’s interests to our American neighbours and bolstering Canada’s presence and profile in key centres in the United States.
Shaikh, who earned his Bachelors in theatre, acting and English from the University of Toronto in 1997, and his MFA [Directing] from the University of British Columbia in 2001, has had a long career in the Canadian and international media and entertainment industries, working as an actor and producer in theatre, film and television.
His work includes acting roles in Deepa Mehta’s film Midnight’s Children, as well as in Little Mosque on the Prairie. He co‐produced the special Long Story Short: CBC Turns 75 and co‐wrote, directed and co‐produced the film Othello: The Tragedy of the Moor.
In 2014, Shaikh became film commissioner and director of entertainment industries for the City of Toronto, where he oversaw the screen, music, live festivals and sports events support and tourism teams and portfolios.
Shaikh is currently on the board of AFC (formerly the Actors Fund of Canada) and has served on juries and committees for the Gemini Awards, ACTRA Awards, Ontario Arts Council and Theatre Ontario Youth Program.
He has served as a board member for the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and as an ambassador for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Amnesty International Canada. He also co-founded and served as an artistic producer of the Whistler Theatre Project in British Columbia.