We’ve previously compiled several lists of famous celebrities with Lebanese roots. But with a famously large concentration in Canada, the accomplishments of our expats in mastering the visual arts aren’t restricted to Hollywood. Who knew having a fanned-out community would make us this proud?!
Here is a list of 8 authors, playwrights, and filmmakers of Lebanese descent or origin who are based in Canada:
#1 Wajdi Mouawad
Oscar-nominee and multi-award recipient, Wajdi Mouawad is a world-renowned actor, playwright, and director.
He is known in Canadian and French theaters for his politically engaged, moralistic drama that often revolves around family trauma, war, and the betrayal of youth.
Born in Lebanon in 1968, Wajdi moved to Montreal at the age of 15 where he attended the National Theatre School.
Aside from the several awards and Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film for the movie version of ‘Incendies’, Mouawad was honored with the title of Knight of the Order National des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
He was also honored with the title of Officer of the Order of Canada by the Canadian government “for his contributions as a writer, actor, stage director, and playwright, known internationally for the quality and scope of his theatrical creations.”
#2 Mark Ghanimé
Raised in Montreal, this mixed Lebanese Canadian actor is a director’s dream catch; He is a tri-lingual performer, incredibly versatile, and has impressive acting chops, not to mention the fact that he’s easy on the eyes.
Ghanime immersed himself in the movie industry, choosing to play a myriad of roles and archetypes.
The general consensus is that his personality and piercing green eyes command attention when he’s on the screen, big or small.
After scoring success in a number of network TV shows in Vancouver for the CW, Mark booked the series regular role of Major Sergio Balleseros in the SyFy network’s Helix.
He also starred in various successful shows like Private Eyes, Reign, and Slasher, and performed in films for Syfy and Netflix along the way.
#3 Arsinée Khanjian
Arsinée Khanjian is a Lebanese-Armenian of Canadian nationality, born on September 6, 1958, in Beirut, Lebanon. She is an actress and producer, known for Ararat (2002), Exotica (1994), and The Captive (2014).
She also stars in The Sweet Hereafter (1997), a film produced by her husband Atom Egoyan, who would go on to earn two Oscar nominations for the film.
#4 Emeraude Toubia
Model and actor Emeraude Toubia was born to a Lebanese-American father and a Mexican mother. Her paternal grandparents were from the Koura District, in the North of Lebanon.
The sultry beauty has been featured in ads for major brands like Maybelline, J. C. Penney, and Garnier to name a few.
Recently, she booked the main role of Isabelle Lightwood on the breakout TV show Shadowhunters, which is based on The Mortal Instrument’s book series.
#5 Garen Boyajian
Another award-winning multifaceted actor, Boyajian was born in Toronto to a Lebanese-born Armenian father and an Italian Canadian mother.
He played lead roles in several TV series such as Radio Free Roscoe, ReGenesis, and The Border.
His role in The Cross Road won him “The Best Actor Award” at the Monaco International Film Festival.
#6 Amber Fares
Amber Fares is a Lebanese Canadian filmmaker, documentarian, director, and cinematographer, currently based in Ramallah, Palestine.
Her first feature-length documentary, Speed Sisters, follows the all-female Palestinian racing team and tackles issues of gender and Palestinian life under occupation.
#7 Ziad Touma
Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1974, Ziad Touma is a Lebanese Canadian film director, producer, and screenwriter based in Montreal, in La Belle Province of Quebec, Canada. He is the founder of the film, television, and digital media production company Couzin Films.
#8 Ann-Marie MacDonald
Born to a Lebanese mother, Ann-Marie MacDonald is a successful playwright, novelist, actress, and broadcast host who also lives in Montreal, Canada. Her first novel, Fall on Your Knees, won her the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was selected by Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club.
MacDonald hosted the successful CBC documentary series Life and Times for seven seasons and CBC’s flagship documentary program, Doc Zone for eight. She also appeared in the films I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing and Better Than Chocolate, among others.