Un-Gala: A Night of Lyrics and Laughter, will be hosted by Tynomi Banks!
With over a decade of experience, Tynomi Banks is a world-class Drag Entertainer.
Recognized best for her full production performances, Banks dominates a stage while radiating a powerful, but playful energy. Her hustle lead her to become the first Drag Entertainer to perform in Toronto’s Dundas Square during World Pride 2014. In just one month, during Pride 2018, she became the first Drag Entertainer to work with Hudson’s Bay Company and the only Queen to partner with Spotify for a featured playlist, which also resulted in a billboard over Dundas Square in Toronto during Pride. She has since partnered with Sephora, Shoppers Beauty, Amazon, Absolut, Netflix, Crest, and Ikea, to name a few.
Banks became the first Drag Entertainer to be the trophy bearer at the 7th Annual Canadian Screen Awards.
In 2021, Banks was the only drag performer to be featured in a Super Bowl ad other than RuPaul herself. Then in February, she partnered with Black Lives Matter Canada to create and sell a line of merchandise where partial proceeds went to dismantle all forms of anti-Black racism, liberate Blackness, support Black healing, affirm Black existence, and create freedom to love and self-determine.
Catch Tynomi Banks on Season 1 of Canada’s Drag Race on Crave (Canada), LogoTV (USA), and BBC3 (UK).
Having scraped together 40 bucks, and much against the better wishes of his parents, Andy boarded a bus from Montreal to New York City. Andy was only in New York City for a couple of days, but he accomplished his goal. He just walked into the Brill building, into the offices of Leiber and Stoller, and asked to speak to Jeff Barry. He was given 5 minutes. Jeff liked what he heard, and Andy’s musical career got its start. Eventually, Jeff signed Andy to his Steed record label, and he produced and co-wrote Andy’s first top 20 hits, “How’d We Ever Get This Way?”, which sold 800,000 copies. That same year, he co-wrote “Sugar, Sugar” for fictional popsters The Archies. The song was No. 1 for four weeks and became Billboard’s Record of the Year and the biggest-selling record of the year. Ike and Tina Turner covered the song, and so did Wilson Pickett. And so did Bob Marley. All of this in the year of Woodstock.
In 1970, the very first JUNO Award ever given out was to Andy for Male Vocalist of the Year. In 1974, Andy wrote a new song called “Rock Me Gently,” and absolutely no one wanted to produce it. However, Andy loved the song and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He formed his own record company, called CE, and produced the record on his own. When it was released, “Rock Me Gently” went straight to #1 on the Billboard charts, and it remained on the charts for a staggering 4 months.
2019 Andy Kim was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame (The Juno Hall of Fame). And for now, Andy just keeps writing and performing his songs because that’s all he’s ever dreamed of doing.
We are excited to announce James Baley will perform at Un-Gala: A Night of Lyrics and Laughter. Toronto’s James Baley is a Juno-winning music creator and multi-disciplinary artist whose radiant energy continues to establish him as a distinctive and magnetizing performer. Sharing compelling stories through his vulnerable lyrics, James combines his R&B, gospel, and electronic influences to create soulful reflections and exuberant dance tracks for the church, club and vogue ballroom. Known in the ballroom community as Songbird Miyake-Mugler, James takes inspiration from his alternative aesthetic and joy of movement.
With the release of his debut LP, “A Story” in September 2021, Baley continues to center his creative communities and establish himself as a powerful and versatile songwriter. In 2021 Baley sold out his album release event at The Great Hall, was credited as a co-writer/ co-producer on July Talk’s Juno winning, Pray For It, and performed as direct support at their hometown date in December. 2022 continues to have much in store for James including a national brand campaign with Vizzy, a number of collaborative single releases, as well as community-driven special projects.
We are happy to announce our first performer, Michael McCreary! Twenty-six-year-old Michael McCreary is an autistic comedian, actor, author, and TEDx speaker who’s been performing stand-up comedy since age 13.
In the past eight years, he has performed stand-up shows and keynote addresses in every province in Canada – plus the Yukon – and across the United States. Michael has also written the book “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic” (Annick Press), hosted the Autism Ontario video “Autism: See the Potential”, has consulted on the TV show “Ransom” to ensure the authenticity of a character with autism and has been featured on The National and on CBC Radio’s “Laugh Out Loud”! He is currently playing the role of a neurodivergent character in the new TV series Astrid & Lilly Save the World (SYFY Network). In May, he was part of the Winnipeg Comedy Festival for CBC.
Michael McCreary gives you permission to laugh at the lighter side of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Courtney Gilmour is one of Canada’s most unique voices and sought-after comedy talents, named by NOW Magazine as “one of the top 10 stage artists to watch”. She delivered a breakout performance at the 2017 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal by winning the Homegrown Comics Competition and filming a set for Kevin Hart’s LOL Network. Courtney’s victory at the 2017 Just For Laughs Homegrown was the first by a female comic in the 19-year history of the event. In 2018 she topped it with televised performances at CBC’s Winnipeg and Halifax comedy festivals, as well as a triumphant return to Montreal to tape a set for The Comedy Network at Just for Laughs. Courtney was one of the 42 at Toronto’s JFL42 festival two years in a row with her own run of headlining shows and in April 2019, she wrapped a hugely successful tour as part of the Just For Laughs Roadshow. She returned once again to Montreal for another round of Just For Laughs shows including a televised performance on The Howie Mandel Gala airing on The CW Network.
In 2022 Courtney competed in the second season of Canada’s Got Talent, during her semi-finals performance she received the judges’ vote to go straight to the finals as one of the top 8. She has written for and made appearances on CBC’s The Debaters, CBC’S Humour Resources alongside Jon Dore and Sarah Silverman, and most recently, she can be seen on two episodes of CTV Comedy’s Roast Battle Canada.
You can catch her touring around the country with Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Clubs and heard regularly on SiriusXM and CBC LOL. Courtney’s warm, accessible, and intelligent brand of stand-up has made her a hit with audiences nationwide.
WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE UN-GALA: A NIGHT OF LYRICS & LAUGHTER WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE ACADEMY AT UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA IN TORONTO.