- A tale of unusual encounters - from a violent childhood, to the audition rooms of Julliard, to Hollywood, and back to Toronto
- Tells the story of a lesbian woman coming out in Hollywood, even before Ellen DeGeneres had
- Very timely exploration of abuse, mental health, women's rights, feminism, troubled childhood, grief, and love
Joanne Vannicola began her professional career at the age of twelve (eight really, as a child on sesame street and in vocal studios), where she made her television debut in her hometown of Montreal. She ended up in Toronto to study and pursue her career and by the age of 17 had written her first play. Credits include Love and Human Remains, written by Brad Fraser and directed by Denys Arcand, which earned Vannicola a Genie nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Joanne reunited with Arcand for his film, Stardom, and won an Emmy for her work in Maggie's Secret directed by Al Waxman. Joanne was also nominated for a Gemini award for best actress in a continuing role for the CBC series 9B, as well as an ACTRA award nomination for best voice/animation as Toot in the animated series Toot and Puddle.
Among her 70 credits in film and television is her most recent role as Sam, in CBCs Street Legal the reboot, and as Amber in Season 3 of Slasher: Solstice on Netflix, a recurring show with new characters each season. You can see her as Renee in Season 2 of Slasher: Guilty Party, currently streaming on Netflix. She was also in the feature film, Stonewall, directed by Roland Emmerich, which premiered at TIFF: Sea Change, shot in Nova Scotia and directed by Chris Grismer for Lifetime TV. Joanne also worked on Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, Rookie Blue, Degrassi, Derby, Ultimate Betrayal, PSI Factor, and the hit series, Being Erica, as Doctor Naadiah by Jana Sinyor and Aaron Martin, also streaming on Netflix.
Vannicola also enjoys her work in numerous cartoons including My Dad The Rock Star, Crash Canyon, Superwhy, Maurice Sendaks Seven Little Monsters, Timothy Goes to School, and Max and Ruby.
Joanne is the chair of the LGBTQ+ subcommittee at ACTRA for queer performers, outACTRAto ( a division of the Diversity committee), which was a committee she started after the encouragement by Executive council member and executive on the LGBTQ+ committee, David Gale. You can learn more about outACTRAto by clicking this link. The goal is to raise awareness of what it's like in the film industry for LGBTQ+ performers. We need screenwriters and people in positions of power to help us tell authentic stories, and to cast queer performers to play those roles. We encourage people to come out (literally), and stand with us, help us. Please visit the ACTRA site to learn more.
Joanne also sits on the sexual assault adhoc committee at ACTRA.
Vannicola runs workshops, and is a public speaker, having hosted numerous events including the York Film Festival, the METRAC fundraising campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence, the 10th year anniversary celebration of the Whychwood Barns, and more.
Vannicola is represented by literary agent, Sam Hiyate, at The Rights Factory. Diane Terrana who works as in house editor at the Rights Factory, also co-publishes the free online literary mag: Don't Talk To Me About Love, with Sam Hiyate and Alexandra Risen. You will find an excerpt of Joanne's memoir and many other short stories, poems, and interviews.
Joanne is also passionate about raising awareness around the issue of child abuse and founded, Youth Out Loud, that had an annual stage event and walk for four years between 2004-2008. She continues to focus on equity issues including LGBT rights.