actress, writer, producer, director
Born 1968 in Montréal, Québec, Canada
Emmy award winning actor and writer, Jo Vannicola, began their professional career at the age of eight. They made their television debut in their hometown of Montreal and moved to Toronto to study and pursue their career. By the age of seventeen, Jo had written their first play. Acting credits include: Love and Human Remains (TIFF), directed by Denys Arcand, which earned Vannicola a Genie nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Jo reunited with Arcand for his film, Stardom. Jo won an Emmy for their work in Maggie's Secret, directed by Al Waxman, and 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. Vannicola also received the Margaret Trudeau Advocacy Award, 2021, The Firecracker Department's Blaze Award, 2021, and the Leslie Yeo award for volunteerism and advocacy in 2020. Among their 70 + credits in film and television, they can be seen in Slasher as Renee in season 2 and Amber in season 3 and 4 (2017-2021) on Netflix. Other credits include Stonewall (TIFF), Stardom (Cannes), DNA, (TIFF), PSI Factor series, Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce, Rookie Blue, Degrassi, Derby, Ultimate Betrayal, Animal Project, the hit series, Being Erica, as Doctor Naadiah (streaming on Netflix), and as Sam in, Street Legal, the reboot for CBC. Jo is a public speaker and has hosted numerous events including the York Film Festival, the METRAC fund-raising campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence, and founded a non-profit to raise awareness about child abuse (2004-2009). Jo is also passionate about social justice and equity issues, including LGBTQ and women's rights. They started the LGBTQ+ committee at ACTRA for queer performers, and sat on the sexual assault adhoc committee in the actors union. Vannicola's memoir, All We Knew But Couldn't Say, was published by Dundurn Press in 2019, and was shortlisted for a Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in 2020. Their book was listed as a top 21 non-fiction book by Bustle Magazine, a CBC top 40 pick, and featured on numerous shows, including The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, the Toronto Star, the Globe, CTV mornings, NOW Magazine, The Girly Club, and Lambda Literary Reviews.