“A Day in the Life” with Toronto actor / producer Sydney van Delft

Growing up in the Beaches area of Toronto, Sydney van Delft was a surprisingly shy kid. She started to gain confidence and come out of her shell as she trained hard as a rhythmic gymnast and became a Canadian Champion. On a whim, she auditioned for the National Ballet School of Canada and was accepted into the full time program. She gave up her gymnastics career and started training to be a professional ballet dancer. At the school, she earned the opportunity to perform with the National Ballet of Canada in ‘The Nutcracker’, ‘Pastorale’, and the world premiere of James Kudelka’s ‘The Contract’. It was through these performances that Sydney discovered her love of acting and playing different characters.

At 5’2” (just like Lady Gaga) she is a tiny ball of energy… but at 14, was kicked out of ballet school because she wasn’t tall enough to become a professional ballet dancer. After this devastating news, Sydney threw herself into other styles of dance, studying contemporary and jazz, performing in musicals and becoming a total Gleek. She started to take acting seriously and eventually landed roles on both Disney and Family channels, as well as Degrassi: The Next Generation. Sydney then took a break from acting to focus on school and get her HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. School led to a job, and a job led to working as a financial consultant in San Francisco, and gaining her Chartered Accountant designation.

Feeling off and unsatisfied with the life she had built, she up and left, moved back to Toronto, and dove right back into acting. She hustled all over the city and picked up work as a fitness instructor to stay afloat, performed on stage in Toronto and in China, and shortly after landed roles on “Reign” (CW), “Falling Water” (USA) and worked on various films including “The Truth About Christmas”(Freeform). Using her business and finance experience, she started to work with her creative colleagues to produce their films and found it was the perfect marriage of all her interests and skills, and allowed her to work on interesting acting roles her friends were writing. She has produced projects such as “The Talk” (Amazon Prime, Kevin Hart Laugh Out Loud finalist), “Extreme Actor” (Bell Fibe TV, Fearless.com), and was chosen by the Toronto Actra Women’s Committee to produce “Moon Dog” (National Screen Institute, Canadian Film Fest), starring Martha Burns.

Her latest short film, “Dystonia”, which she acted in and produced, will premiere at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival in November and is being developed as a feature film. When Sydney isn’t acting and making films, she is likely prepping for acting class or auditions, reading Rupi Kaur poems, lighting all her candles at once, or forcing her dog, Buzz, to snuggle. Apart from all that good stuff, she travels as often as possible, pets all the animals, and loves this beautiful planet.

At the Maison Birks TIFF event honouring women in film and television.
Sydney van Delft
Producing on the set of “Moon Dog”. This was shot in a tiny cabin with LOTS of character in the woods up in the Rideau Lakes.
Sydney van Delft
Sydney and her pal Buzz enjoying the fall sunshine at the Scarborough Bluffs
Sydney van Delft
Deep in the woods visiting Big Sur in northern California, a beautiful place I called home for the better part of a year.
Movement is the best medicine.
Sydney van Delft
Paddling around the lake in the Kawarthas. There’s nothing more peaceful than being out on the water enjoying the sunset.
Behind the scenes on “Dystonia”. Sydney with writer/ actor Kenny Wong
Another behind the scenes on “Dystonia”. Sydney getting some touch-ups for the last shot of the film, an intense emotional scene.

What hood are you in?

I’m in the thick of it at King and Spadina. I think they call this the “entertainment district”? It’s very entertaining indeed. I live near a chic, overpriced, grocery store with salads I am addicted to and cannot afford… and it couldn’t be a better location to take advantage of TIFF events while pulling off three outfit changes per day.

What do you do?

I am currently and actor and producer working in film and television. I also grew up doing ballet at the National Ballet School of Canada, and performing in musicals, so I still do a whole lot of dancing and singing, be it professional classes to stay in shape or kitchen dancing with a glass of wine and a few best friends.

What are you currently working on?

I recently wrapped, “Dystonia”, a short film I acted in and produced with my good friend and talented writer, Kenny Wong, and Beanduck Productions in Montreal. The film will have its world premiere at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival on November 15th . We are super excited to be a part of the festival and busy preparing for that. We are also developing the feature film version of “Dystonia”, an award winning screenplay written by Kenny. In addition to that, I worked on a film called “Canadian Strain” that will be at the Whistler Film Festival in December, am developing another Canadian feature film, auditioning for lots of amazing projects, and working hard in acting class!

Where can we find your work?

You can find us at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival on November 15 th ! You can also find some of my work on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @sydneyvandelft

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1786 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography