The AFC March 2016 e-Newsletter View this email in your browser.

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In This Issue:

March 2016

Letter from the Executive Director
Testimonial - Mark Cowling
How people were helped
On Board - Fiona Reid, C.M., D.C.L.
The Actors' Fund of Canada is now simply The AFC
Registration is open for the 20th Annual Big Swing Golf Tournament
Supporter Spotlight: Stratford Festival gives back to the community
In the community - Long Reach Long Riders
Celebration of life for co-founder William "Bill" Needles
Volunteer for the 20th Annual Big Swing Golf Tournament
Participate!
Do you know someone in need?

Letter from the Executive Director

February was an extraordinary month

Dear friend,

February was an extraordinary month for all of us here at The AFC. Not only did we launch our new brand on February 1 but, as you’ll see below, we also provided $73,132 in compassionate aid to Canadian entertainment professionals and their families in the midst of a personal or professional crisis. This represents a near-record for the amount of assistance we have provided in a single month at any time in our history.

"In February 2016 you helped us provide $73,132 in compassionate aid to Canadian entertainment professionals. This represents a near-record for the amount of assistance we have provided in a single month at any time in our history."

As you know, the emergency financial aid The AFC provides is generally short-term in nature. However emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. An extraordinary thing about The AFC that enables it to be so helpful in a crisis is that we have the capacity to increase the amount of assistance we provide as the need arises.

Your support allows us to do this. Because you contribute to The AFC, we have the resources at hand to help keep the lights on and food on the table for Canadian entertainment professionals. 

"Because you contribute to The AFC, we have the resources at hand to help keep the lights on and food on the table for Canadian entertainment professionals." 

Because you support us, The AFC can play a critical role in helping the most vulnerable people in our industry maintain their health, dignity and ability to work.

Thank you for caring, 

David Hope
Executive Director

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Testimonial - Mark Cowling, Actor

"Assistance from The AFC made me feel like reinforcements had arrived and I was no longer alone."

Anxiety and severe depression can really take its toll on you as a person and as an artist. I’ve dedicated myself to the craft of acting for over 30 years in the theatre and, more recently, I’ve also had principal roles in film and TV. I believe that art is very important – to lose it is unthinkable – so I fight every day to continue sharing my talents. But every so often major depression and my panic disorder cause me to struggle with my finances, bills and even basic housing. The industry is so uncertain at times and I felt like I was slowly sinking...

"Anxiety and severe depression can really take its toll on you as a person and as an artist..."

The AFC was, quite simply, a ‘life preserver.’ Assistance from The AFC with my rent, phone bill, transportation and food made me feel like reinforcements had arrived and I was no longer alone. I think without The AFC some very talented and dedicated people would no longer be able to share their art…which would be tragic.

"I’m due to start shooting a film soon and so I’m grateful to The AFC for helping me find the strength to continue sharing my talents."

I’m due to start shooting a film soon and so I’m grateful to The AFC for helping me find the strength to continue sharing my talents. You have helped me more than you know: thank you, thank you, thank you!

"You have helped me more than you know: thank you, thank you, thank you!"

MARK COWLING
Actor

AFC

How people were helped

In February 2016 your support helped distribute $73,132.18 to entertainment professionals facing illness, injury and other personal hardships. 

$32,301.88 for shelter to help keep a roof over people’s heads
•$14,687.40 in emergency dental work
•$10,632.56 for groceries and other necessities
•$4,326.93 to cover transportation
•$3,483.89 to keep the power on and pay bills
•$2,713.27 to keep the phone connected
•$2,526.76 in medical expenses to help people recover from illness/injury
•$2,459.49 in dues to help people get back to work 

On Board

Fiona Reid, C.M., D.C.L. 
President

Fiona Reid is one of Canada’s best known stage actors, having performed in the top theatres across the country, including five seasons with Stratford and eleven seasons at Shaw as well as theatres in the US and the UK. Over her career, she has twice won Dora Mavor Moore awards, as well as a Jessie Award from Vancouver and a Sterling Award from Edmonton for her performances.

Click here to read more

AFC

The Actors’ Fund of Canada rebrands as The AFC

On February 1, 2016, Fiona Reid, President of the Board of Directors, announced that the Actors’ Fund of Canada has evolved its branding and will now be known simply as The AFC. 

Click here to read more

Big Swing

Registration is now open for the 20th Annual Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament

The tournament will be held on Monday, June 20, 2016 at the Royal Ontario Golf Club in Milton, ON. The tournament will have an 8 a.m. shotgun start and will end at approximately 4 p.m. 

Click here to register

Supporter Spotlight: Stratford Festival gives back to the community by raising $61,545 for The AFC

Seana McKenna

Seana McKenna as Fräulein Doktor Mathilde von Zahnd in "The Physicists" from the Stratford Festival's 2015 season. Photography by David Hou.

The Stratford Festival continued its leadership role in the Canadian arts and entertainment community in 2015 by raising a remarkable $61,545 for The AFC – the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. 

Individual company member giving through payroll donations, proceeds from Discovery Mug sales, audience collections at nine different performances and a benefit performance of She Stoops to Conquer raised funds to provide a much-needed lifeline to entertainment professionals in crisis.

In September and October 2015, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney graciously dedicated nine performances for audience collections including performances of The Sound of Music, The Physicists, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Alchemist, She Stoops to Conquer, Carousel and Hamlet. Seana McKenna, Board Member of The AFC and Stratford Festival veteran, led the payroll donation and audience collection fundraising initiative for The AFC. “On behalf of everyone who has and will receive assistance from The AFC, I extend my deepest gratitude,” said McKenna. “The success of this initiative was made possible by all the individuals from the Stratford Festival – both onstage and off – involved in the audience collections, by all those who gave through payroll donations and, of course, by our wonderful Stratford patrons who gave so generously!” 

Click here to read more

In the community - Long Reach Long Riders

 The Long Reach Long Riders (LRLR) describe themselves as "a horde of theatre technicians/motorcycle enthusiasts from around the USA, Canada and beyond. We ride to raise money for charity and have been doing so since 2004." 

The annual charity motorcycle ride raises money for The AFC – the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry, the ESTA Foundation’s Behind the Scenes program and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.  

Scott "Shifty" Miller from Vancouver, BC is riding to fundraise for The AFC. 

The 2016 Long Reach Long Rider ride begins on June 4th in Las Cruces, New Mexico and finishes back in Las Cruces on June 12th. 

To sponsor Scott "Shifty" Miller, or any other rider, click here

Celebration of life for William "Bill" Needles

William Needles, C.M., LL.D., was the last surviving co-founder of The AFC (previously known as the Actors' Fund of Canada). Mr. Needles founded the Fund with Donald Davis, Barbara Hamilton, Jane Mallett and Barry Morse, who each put $1 into a pot to start up the benevolent organization which was incorporated on May 27, 1958. Mr. Needles died on January 12, 2016.

A celebration of the life of William Needles will be held next month, as follows: 

DATE: Sunday, April 17
TIME: 2 p.m.
PLACE: Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street, Stratford 

Speakers include Colm Feore, Geraint Wyn Davies, Benedict Campbell, Seana McKenna, Lucy Peacock, and Jon Lovitz (by video), with performances by Loreena McKennitt, Gerald Isaac and Berthold Carrière, and Nicholas Van Burek, Trent Pardy, Roger Shank, Jesse Aaron Dwyer and Jean-Michel Le Gal. 

Volunteer for the 20th Annual Big Swing Golf Tournament!

Volunteer Katie Toksoy (R) with AFC staff member Rebecca Russell (L) at the 19th Annual Big Swing Golf Tournament in 2015.

The AFC is looking for volunteers to help out at the Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament! Volunteering is a great way to show your support for the work of The AFC, learn some new skills and meet new people. The tournament will be held on June 20, 2016 at the Royal Ontario Golf Club in Milton, ON. 

Contact us for more information 

Participate!

Donating isn't the only way to give back - you can also hold a fundraiser or volunteer! If you have a passion for the compassionate aid that The AFC provides, and have just a bit of spare time, we would love for you to join The AFC's advocacy team.

Learn more here and here on our website. 

Know someone in need?

Do you have a friend, colleague or family member who’s in need?

The AFC provides compassionate aid to Canadian entertainment professionals working in all aspects of film, TV, music, theatre and dance. If you see someone who you think might be seriously affected by an injury, illness or other personal or professional hardship, one of the best ways you can help is to let them know about The AFC. Thank you for helping us to help those in need in our community.

Visit AFChelps.ca or call 1.877.399.8392 for more information


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