Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design
Degree: Music Theatre Performance
Year of graduation: 2006
Kat Stefankiewicz can count many highlights among her five consecutive seasons as the in‐game host for the Toronto Raptors. “But the 2015-2016 season was by far the most special for me with the NBA All-Star coming to the city and the country for the first time,” says the 2006 graduate and one of Toronto’s most recognized sports personalities. “I was honoured to be selected as the host for the Rising Stars Challenge, All‐Star Saturday Night and the All‐Star Game itself. And of course, with the team making it far in the playoffs, it was definitely a season I know the fans and I won’t forget any time soon.”
Kat is also a TV personality and reporter with NBA TV Canada, most recently covering the excitement in Jurassic Park during the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Additionally, she is the host of Open Gym Fastbreak on Bell Fibe TV1. Through her years with the Toronto Raptors, Kat has been heavily involved with the MLSE Foundation supporting sports and recreational programs for children.
Trained as a competitive dancer, Kat’s passion for performing began at a young age growing up in Burlington, Ontario. After graduating from Sheridan’s renowned Music Theatre Performance program, she started her career at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) as a member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak, standing as captain for three of her five seasons with the group.
In 2009, Kat was asked to be the host of a new show called Raptorspace, marking the start of her transition into television. Her on-screen appearances also extend to commercials and feature films. “I grew up in an active sports family so here I was meshing two passions together,” recalls Kat. “I am still using the skills I learned from the triple-threat program at Sheridan which has allowed me to be multidimensional and pursue a variety of paths.”
Her training has also helped Kat roll with the unpredictable nature of live broadcasting, an aspect of her work that she embraces wholeheartedly. “The high of a live show is one of my favourite feelings in the world. I’m on the mic in front of 20,000 people in Air Canada Centre or with thousands in Jurassic Park during the playoffs and anything can happen!” says Kat. “I adore the part of my career where every day is a different beast. Bring it on!
Along the way, Kat has also faced the challenge of earning respect in a male-dominated environment. “Not only was I a woman but I was also battling the so-called ‘cheerleader stereotypes’ with ‘captain of the Raptors Dance Pak’ still attached to my name. Now I enjoy sharing my story with other women trying to break into the world of sports. I have nothing but support for them and I hope that my words of guidance and encouragement can help them reach their dreams.”
Follow Kat on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @MatterofKAT
Learn more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance