Showcasing diverse Canadian celebrities 

By: Vincent Tran

Published on: September 15 2022

Photo: PhotoMIX Company (Pexels)  

It is no secret that Canada is a very diverse nation with many different people and cultures from all over the world coming together. Being diverse is a part of being Canadian and it has never stopped some people from achieving great things in their lives. 

There have been many Canadians who come from diverse backgrounds who have been able to achieve great success in their respective fields and have achieved celebrity status. 

This is a look at some well-known Canadian celebrities who come from diverse backgrounds.   

Simu Liu 

A relatively new face to Hollywood, Simu Liu’s rise to stardom has been remarkable.  

Born in Harbin, China, Liu later moved to Mississauga, Ontario at the age of five. He originally pursued a career in accounting and worked at Deloitte until he was laid off after nine months.  

He later pursued becoming an actor and stuntman, appearing as an extra in Pacific Rim. Liu would also make appearances in numerous skits over the years for multiple YouTubers, before his first main role in the Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience.  

Simu Liu wouldn’t make his feature film debut until starring in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which ended up being a resounding success. 

Liu is now set to feature in the upcoming Barbie movie, releasing in 2023, alongside Margot Robbie and fellow Canadian, Ryan Gosling. 

Photo: Mohamed Hassan (Pexels)  

Sandra Oh 

Sandra Oh was born in Nepean, Ontario to South Korean parents. She started acting at a young age and continued trying to be a better actor as she grew up. Oh even rejected a four-year scholarship to Carleton University for journalism to pursue her career in acting. 

Sandra Oh has even stated that she is the only person in her family that doesn’t have a master’s degree in something, but that didn’t stop her from being successful. 

Oh has since become one of the more prominent actresses, starring in many movies and TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Turning Red, The Princess Diaries, and many more.  

Russell Peters 

Known for his hilarious stand-up comedy shows, Russell Peters was born in Toronto, but moved to Brampton, Ontario when he was four-years-old. 

Growing up, Peters was bullied for his ethnicity, but he was able to get past that and become a better person as a result.  

Russell Peters’ comedic content is generally about racism, stereotypes, and life in Canada as a person of Indian descent. Many of his jokes stem from his experiences being Indian-Canadian and growing up in Canada.  

Russell Peters rose to prominence in the early 2000s where many of his jokes on the show Comedy Now! became viral clips on YouTube that are still being replayed to this day.  

Today, Russell Peters’ name is often synonymous with comedy and Canada.  

Photo: Helena Lopes (Pexels)  

Winnie Harlow 

Harlow was born in Mississauga and is of Jamaican descent. Growing up, Harlow was often bullied and made fun of due to her skin condition, vitiligo, where pale, white patches develop on the skin due to a lack of melanin, which is the pigment in the skin.  

Winnie Harlow would be called many different insulting names that had a great effect on her self-esteem, as well as other people’s opinions of her. 

However, there would be people that supported her and gave her the confidence to pursue a career in modelling, and in 2014 she made her breakthrough when she appeared on Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model.  

Since then, Harlow has become a very successful fashion model, garnering over 10 million followers on Instagram and is a spokesperson on vitiligo, educating others on her condition and bringing more awareness to it.  

Lilly Singh 

Lilly Singh is from Scarborough, Ontario and was born to Indian parents. She graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  

Shortly after she graduated she started her YouTube channel under the name “IISuperwomanII”. She uploaded comedic skits and videos that garnered millions of views. 

Over the years, Lilly Singh quickly grew and became one of Canada’s most popular YouTubers and internet personalities. 

In 2019, NBC announced that a new late night show would be hosted by Lilly Singh, called A Little Late with Lilly Singh. The show contained some of the same humour and jokes that made her successful on YouTube and eventually ended in 2021 after two seasons.  

Today, Lilly Singh is still continuing her success as an internet personality, but is now also expanding into other forms of entertainment.  

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