This week our Dream Job Diary feature highlights media personality Kat Stefankiewicz!
Kat Stefankiewicz is recognized as more than just one of the city’s most familiar sports personalities. A Burlington native who now calls Toronto home, her passion extends beyond the basketball court. Trained as a competitive dancer, Kat’s passion for performing began at a young age. A graduate of the renowned Music Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College, she started her career joining the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment family in 2006 as a member of the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak. She dedicated her passion and choreography to the team for five seasons, standing as captain for three.
In 2009, she was asked to be the host of a new television show called Raptorspace marking the start of her transition into television. In the same year, she joined the NBA TV Canada family as a host and reporter covering the Toronto Raptors, NBA and events within the community. These roles opened up a slew of opportunities for Kat including being named as the in-game host of the Toronto Raptors as well as hosting a weekly show called The Raptors Rundown and Open Gym Fastbreak for Bell Media. Additionally, Kat has been credited in the film and television world making appearances in blockbuster films such as The Incredible Hulk and several commercials.
Through her years with the Toronto Raptors, Kat is also heavily involved with the MLSE Foundation which provides backing for the refurbishment of local athletic facilities and funds charities that support kids through sports and recreational programs.
Kat Stefankiewicz tackles the entertainment world with genuine enthusiasm, class and diversity and audiences and fans alike can expect to see much more of her this year.
What is your official title?
Toronto Raptors In-Game Host, Television Host & Digital Personality.
How did you get into your current line of work?
If you ask anyone in the entertainment world how they got to where they are, everyone’s story is incredibly unique. From a young age, there was a daily dose of both performing and sports in my life, and I knew that I was passionate about both. But to combine the two? It never crossed my mind. So I decided to focus on performing. 4/5 people assume I went to school for broadcast, but, surprise! I graduated from the triple threat Music Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. The next step was to tackle the audition circuit and with my strength and comfort zone being dance, a few weeks later I set foot in an audition for the Toronto Raptors Dance Pak and made the squad. Boom! The combination of performing and sports showed up. I stood as captain of the Dance Pak for three years and credit that time for launching me into the next steps of my career. Doors kept opening for me with the Toronto Raptors organization and NBA TV Canada and I kept saying yes to the new challenges, landing me where I am today; hanging up my dance shoes and setting focus on a mic.
Is this a job you attained or did you create it for yourself?
A little bit of A and a little bit of B. I followed in the foot steps of the in-game host before me who I admired very much; stepping off of the Dance Pak and into a new in-game spotlight. As for the digital personality role, it was the first for the Raptors with social media still growing a following as a whole. It was exciting that I could really contribute to what the position was all about. It was also important to me to be someone the Raptors fanbase could relate to and go to with questions, comments or just to talk to about last night’s match up and get excited for the one on deck. We are all fans of the game and the truth is, I’m just like you. The title ‘brand ambassador’ is attached to my name but I legit live and breathe the ‘we the north’ culture everyday. If you love the Raps, you’re included. It’s a family feel and it runs from coast to coast (and beyond!) I get excited when I see people rockin’ Raptors jerseys around the world and my instagram account (matterofkat) proves that I rock mine no matter what country I’m in too. Like if you have an extra ticket and need a friend to go to the game with, holler! (just kidding, there is no one to take my shift 😉
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Storytelling, creating and performing somewhere else. I have more than a number of passions and you should see the length of my bucketlist (flipping homes, designing a clothing line..) but I can’t put a finger on another career I would want to be engaged in right now. I think it’s completely healthy that your passion may change over time too. I care about if the work I let out into the world is bringing a positive response. That’s why I do what I do; to make other people happy and in this case it’s bringing them closer to their NBA idols. So I feel like I will always be doing this but the realm may change; entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, maybe theatre again…
What accomplishment/achievement are you most proud of?
When it comes to an accomplishment attached to my title, hosting NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, when it came to Canada for the first time in history was a big moment for me. (and recently hosting NBA All-Star Saturday Night in New Orleans a year later). Aside from that, an accomplishment for me being ten years into the entertainment world game is staying true to myself and continuing to practice what my parents taught me; always stay humble and kind. I’m just like you; I think like you, I get excited over little silly things like you, I just speak on a mic and on television. I forever want to be relatable, someone that you don’t hesitate to reach out to and to carry the values I believe in through my career and this crazy little thing called life.
Keep up with Kat on social media below!