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 In This Issue:

November 2018

Message from our Executive Director David Hope
How people were helped: September & October 2018
Testimonial: David Patrick Flemming
On Board: Steve Ross
Supporter Spotlight: Stratford Festival
Join the GivingTuesday movement
Financial Wellness E-zine
From our community: C-SARN goes west

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Two important events are coming up in my calendar, and I’m hoping you can join me for one or both of them. The first one, GivingTuesday, is the date on which I make my annual personal donation to The AFC. Falling on November 27 this year, GivingTuesday is a global movement that has taken over 150 countries. It’s a day when companies and individuals join together and rally for their favourite causes through giving and volunteering.

As Executive Director of The AFC, it’s my job (and my pleasure) to be a passionate advocate for the work we do. But I’m also a donor, just like you probably are if you’re reading this. And like you, the satisfaction I get from knowing that my donation supports the creative people whose work I love is hugely disproportionate to the relatively modest sum I can contribute each year.

And the need for support is larger than ever. In our fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2018, The AFC provided a record $706,440 in emergency financial aid to the most vulnerable members of our industry to help them keep the lights on and food on the table as they bounce back from an illness, injury or other personal or professional crisis.

The day after Giving Tuesday, I’m looking forward to seeing Brian Borts for Talking Tax – What Self-employed Artists Need to Know, a seminar that we’re presenting in collaboration with our friends and next-door neighbours at the Dancer Transition Resource Centre. We are presenting this event in honour of November being Financial Literacy Month in Canada.

Brian is one of the top entertainment industry accountants in Toronto and his expertise combined with his approachable style have helped thousands of industry members stay in Canada Revenue Agency’s good books. If you are in the Toronto area on November 28 and would like to attend this very popular free event, put your name on the waitlist today.

Whether or not you’re able to join us for Brian’s seminar, anytime is a good time to enrol in our Financial Wellness Program. The program, made possible through the generous support of Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner, will connect you with understanding financial professionals who will help to reduce your stress and renew your confidence in your ability to achieve personal financial stability. In response to the community’s needs, The AFC offers services to not only help industry colleagues weather a crisis but also to live and work more sustainably over the long term.

On November 27, I’ll put my money where my mouth is. If you’re reading this and haven’t made your donation to The AFC this year, I hope you will, too.

Thank you for caring,

David Hope
Executive Director

How people were helped: September & October 2018

In the months of September and October 2018, your support helped The AFC distribute $80,487.14 in emergency funding to entertainment professionals facing crisis situations. Here's how people were helped:

  • $44,884.21 to help keep a roof over people’s heads
  • $14,155.00 for groceries and other necessities
  • $4,221.60 for emergency dental costs
  • $5,390.41 for transportation
  • $3,275.21 to keep the phone and internet connected
  • $2,048.75 to cover utilities
  • $1,917.59 for medical expenses
  • $1,249.37 for union dues
  • $3,345.00 to cover other expenses, like childcare, moving and storage, etc.
Claude Goergen

Testimonial: David Patrick Flemming

"The AFC can help shift unfortunate events into something positive and give someone hope to move forward."

In 2017, I badly injured myself while working out. I tore my pectoral tendon off of my humerus bone where it was attached, requiring surgery and a lengthy recovery. I couldn’t work and needed time to heal properly after surgery in hopes that I would be able to honour a contract for an upcoming show. I wasn’t in a financial place where I could not work for three months, so I applied to The AFC.

I received two different types of help from The AFC. The first, of course, was financial. The AFC covered two months of rent for me and one month of physiotherapy. Another thing that was surprising and much-needed was emotional support. It was a difficult time for me personally to go through this injury and The AFC showed me nothing but respect, understanding and a great deal of compassion. They made me feel like I belonged to a community and that my situation was legit.

The help from The AFC made a huge difference. It helped ease so much stress that I was feeling from not knowing how I was going to afford to live. It let me know I could focus on my recovery and give myself the rest I needed, without rushing to heal and re-injure myself. And it made me feel like I was a legitimate actor in a community, which may seem weird, but I am not sure that I had felt that until going through this process with The AFC.

As an actor, there are certain sacrifices that you make; with relationships, quality of life, emotional and mental stability. It can be difficult to stay the course. Unforeseen events like sickness, injury and divorce can be difficult for anyone to manage. But for an actor or other entertainment industry worker who has no sick leave and lives on precarious income, these events can be especially traumatic and take a long time to overcome. The AFC can help shift unfortunate events into something positive and give someone hope to move forward.

Steve Ross

On Board: Steve Ross

Our Board Director Steve Ross is a tireless champion of The AFC in the performing arts community. A graduate of The National Theatre School, Steve has an impressive number of roles and projects under his belt, across Canada and beyond. He has just wrapped up his 15th season at the famed Stratford Festival. Up next, Steve will appear as the jovial Mr. Fezziwig in Grand Theatre’s interpretation of a holiday staple A Christmas Carol. Read more about Steve.

Supporter Spotlight: Stratford Festival

"The AFC is part of the Stratford Festival DNA..."

North America’s largest classical repertory theatre company, the Stratford Festival attracts audiences from across the continent. Each year, the Festival presents a dozen or more productions of classics, contemporary dramas and musicals over a seven-month season.

The Stratford Festival is a long-standing supporter of The AFC. This year, the Festival re-affirms its commitment to supporting Canadian artists and entertainment professionals by raising a remarkable $92,000 through audience collections, ticket sales from a designated performance and individual gifts from company and crew members through payroll donations.

Stratford leadership – artistic director Antoni Cimolino and executive director Anita Gaffney – recognize the importance of supporting the work The AFC does. “The AFC is part of the Stratford Festival DNA, with many of our pioneers helping to form the organization 60 years ago. Support of The AFC is a tradition we have proudly continued over the past six decades – since our very first benefit performance in 1958,” said Cimoilino. “We are eager to do our part in raising funds to help people working in the theatre and entertainment industry when they are at their most vulnerable, facing illness, injury and other potentially career-ending situations. It’s the right thing to do.”

This year, our Board Director and Stratford company member Steve Ross has spearheaded the initiative to raise awareness and encourage audience donations to benefit The AFC. All the shows featured in the 2018 Festival season have come on board to hold audience collections to support The AFC. “It was a real group effort,” Ross says.

We are so grateful for the hard work of all the Festival company members, crew, staff and volunteers who contributed to this tremendous initiative – they made passionate appeals, told their personal stories, collected funds, stayed late after the shows, and much more. We applaud the fantastic Stratford audiences who responded to the call to give so enthusiastically and compassionately.

Steve Ross was blown away by the positive reaction from Stratford audiences: “We want to raise awareness about the unique challenges the entertainment professionals face. By appealing directly to our audience members, right after the performance, we want to help our patrons see the people behind the work – on and off stage – and emphasize the importance of The AFC, the organization that exists to help all entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable. I am truly grateful and humbled by the overwhelming response we receive back.”

Giving Tuesday is November 27!

As we plan our holiday shopping, we get excited about the shopping events and deals November has to offer. But we are even more excited that now the community has a day dedicated to giving back. On November 27, join the giving movement and back a cause that's close to your heart. We hope you consider supporting The AFC by making a donation, spreading the word on social media, or becoming a volunteer.

Financial Wellness E-zine

We've recently launched a monthly e-zine for the people who have signed up or shown interest in our Financial Wellness Program. Every month we will bring you all things personal finance - from tips and tricks from professionals in the industry to the latest technology to help you be smart about your money. Do you want in? Send us an email if you'd like to receive the e-zine or sign up for our Financial Wellness Program on our website

From our community: C-SARN goes west

C-SARN - Making Experience Count - Supporting Senior Artists 

With support from Canada Council for the Arts, C-SARN begins expanding their services beyond Ontario. This month, they will travel to British Columbia to meet with senior artists to introduce their mentorship program, seminars and salons, Seniors' Care Advisory Program and their annual conference: 

Vancouver, November 27, 1-5 pm at PAL Studio Theatre (581 Cardero Street)
Victoria, November 29, 1-5 pm at MacPherson Playhouse Lobby (3 Centennial Square)

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