Celeste Yim '14, Alumni of Distinction Award Recipient 2022
Celeste Yim is an award-winning playwright and comedian who uses their voice to shine a light on inequality, social injustice and identity. And they’ve been doing this since their student days at TFS, using humour and empathy to draw others in.
Celeste is a staff writer at Saturday Night Live where they continue to follow the great Canadian tradition of approaching challenging topics with humour. With millions watching, Celeste is using comedy to make us laugh at ourselves with sketches like “Bonjour-Hi,” and to help us heal, as shown in Bowen Yang’s powerful Weekend Update segment that addressed anti-Asian hate in America. “The only people who I can think of who have the responsibility, days after a national tragedy, to speak about it are news anchors, politicians … and people on SNL,” they say (Globe & Mail
, June 2021).
Celeste’s talent for writing emerged during their time at TFS; teachers remember Celeste as an intelligent, thoughtful, and outspoken advocate for students. “Celeste did not hesitate to speak up about concerns over inequality, supported others in their concerns, and worked for social justice. And they were able to do it in a way that was incredibly approachable.” In their Level V year, Celeste published in HuffPost: Do you speak Asian? focused on navigating one's identity as a Korean-Canadian through experiences with systemic racism.
Celeste was named a 2021 Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow (America’s premier LGBTQIA+ writing residency), and received the New York Foundation for the Arts' 2019 Canadian Women Artist's Award for playwriting. Celeste is also an alumnus of TheatreMaster's prestigious "Take Ten" programme for American playwrights, a Bob Curry Fellow from The Second City, and was named one of "30 Canadian Women in Comedy To Watch" in 2018. They've also been celebrated as one of Flare magazine's "100 talented, ambitious and driven women with cool jobs" and won the 2019 Canadian Women Artist's Award.