Amanda Parris is a Canadian broadcaster as well as a writer. She is of Grenadian and Venezuelan heritage and was born in London, England. Her family is originally from England. She spent her childhood at the south side of the Jane Street neighborhood in Toronto, which is located in Canada. Before she was honored with one of the most prestigious literary awards in Canada, she was best known for her work in the media as the presenter of CBC TV’s Exhibitionists and CBC Radio 2’s Marvin’s Room. In recent years, she has been honored with both of these roles again.
Amanda Parris’s hosting duties include the CBC Television shows Exhibitionists, The Filmmakers, and From the Vaults, as well as the CBC Music radio series Marvin’s Room. She shared the hosting duties for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize presentation with Tom Power. She contributes her writing to CBC Arts on a weekly basis with her piece titled “Black Light.”
Amanda Parris’s first production as a theatrical writer, The Other Side of the Game, was produced in 2017 in Toronto by the Obsidian Theatre and the Cahoots Theatre. At the 2019 Governor General’s Awards, the English-language drama category was awarded to it, and she won the Governor General’s Award afterward. The book was released after it had already won the award. PlayME, a theatrical podcast, adapted Other Side of the Game, and on February 24, 2021, all three sections of the adaptation were made available to listeners.
The Death News is a videotaped stage monodrama that was written by Amanda Parris and directed by Charles Officer. It is set in the not-too-distant future, in a world where the death of Black people at an earlier age is an unavoidable reality.
This piece was commissioned by Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, the creative director of Obsidian Theatres, for 21 Black Futures, an anthology series featuring 21 Black playwrights that started streaming on CBC Gem in February 2021. The answer to the question “What will the future of blackness look like?” may be found in The Death News. Amanda Parris drew his motivation from broadcasts on radio and television in Grenada, in which broadcasters discuss recent deaths and offer information on funeral arrangements. Parris envisioned her work as a weapon of resistance against the mainstream media and its inability to portray complex tales about black people.
Amanda Parris co-founded Lost Lyrics with Natasha Daniels before joining the CBC. Lost Lyrics was an arts education program that used theater, dance, poetry, video, and music in order to reach adolescents who were at danger of dropping out of school.
At the 10th Canadian Screen Awards in 2022, she was recognized as one of the beneficiaries of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s first Changemaker Award, together with Kathleen Newman-Bremang and Kayla Grey. This honor was presented to her along with the other winners of the award. She was also nominated for the award for Best Host, Talk Show, or Entertainment News for her work as the host of Exhibitionists, and she took home the prize for Best Writing in a Web Program or Series for her work on “The Death News.”
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