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 In This Issue:

April 2019

Message from the Executive Director 
How people were helped: March 2019
Testimonial of the Month: Sharman Yarnell
Personal Support and Advocacy
Toronto Pilot Project: Social Work Drop-in Thursdays
Big Swing 2019: Registration is in Full Swing
Natural Women: a Benefit Concert
From the community: NFMLA Canadian Film Program 2019

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Each month in this space we give a detailed report on how money you have entrusted to us through your donations is deployed as emergency financial aid to prevent homelessness, keep the lights on and food on the table for vulnerable members of Canada’s entertainment industry who need a chance to bounce back from adversity and get back doing the great work they were meant to do.

Clearly, we view the sheer volume of emergency financial aid dollars going out the door as a measure of our success in accomplishing our mission. It’s what we’re best known for and it’s what donors ask us about most frequently.

But two letters that arrived in our office this week highlighted the fact that the people we help aren’t just grateful for the money. When our clients talk about their experience of receiving assistance from The AFC, it's often HOW they were treated: the respect, care and skill with which our team assessed their needs and offered help that made a lasting impression on them. We're in the human services business so we're always aware that it's not just the money that's important, but also the people involved: our clients and our staff and board, who come together around a problem and make a difference.

Our personal support and advocacy services, which you'll read about below, are a prime example of how the human element is so essential to the work we do.

So this month as we review the details of the dollars and cents and how they were used to help our colleagues in the business survive a crisis, let's add the value of a person's dignity that was preserved in the process and the time it takes to listen, understand and respond, working with our clients to find solutions that will allow them to live and work creatively and sustainably in the long-term.

Thank you for caring,

David Hope
Executive Director

How people were helped: March 2019

In March 2019 your support helped us distribute $68,956.20 in emergency funding to entertainment professionals facing crisis situations. Here's how people were helped:

  • $34,909.08 to help keep a roof over people’s heads
  • $9,350.00 for groceries and other necessities
  • $2,403.27 to cover utilities
  • $8,320.40 for travel and transportation
  • $4,522.15 to keep the phone and internet connected
  • $6,987.55 for emergency dental and medical care
  • $2,463.75 to cover other expenses, like childcare, union dues, moving and storage, etc.

Testimonial of the Month: Sharman Yarnell

I will never forget what The AFC did for me – they were my friend at a time of my deepest need.

In August 2014, my husband, an actor, passed away after an illness that kept him and me, also an actor, from working for months.

I never knew death was so expensive. I was absolutely numb in the last weeks prior to my husband’s death and it was even worse after he died. I couldn’t think or process anything properly. The AFC simply moved in and took over. They were so kind on the phone with me when I kept breaking down.

Asking for help is something I would not normally do, nor would my husband, but it was offered to me when I had nowhere else to turn. Knowing that certain bills were taken care of and knowing that I would not have to move from the home I lived in with my husband for so many years gave me the ability to concentrate on pulling myself together and finally reach out for work. It helped so much emotionally because if I’d had to worry about how I would pay my bills, along with the terrible loss of my best friend, I truly believe I could not have gone on.

I will never forget what The AFC did for me – they were my friend at a time of my deepest need. I would urge people in and out of the entertainment business to contribute in any way they can to The AFC. Without The AFC, many talented people in the industry facing a crisis would simply have to give up and not return to the job they love – a job that gives so many Canadians such spiritual fulfilment and enjoyment. 

Personal Support and Advocacy Services

The AFC is committed to a holistic approach in providing support to artists and entertainment industry members.

Our Personal Support and Advocacy services are offered both as a crucial part of our Emergency Financial Aid Program and as a stand-alone support service.

Anyone in the arts and entertainment community can call for compassionate, confidential, non-judgmental support with a tough situation. Our experienced and accountable support workers can help people carve out a viable path to improved well-being and connect them with existing support systems and resources.

In our work, we emphasize a holistic approach to each individual case. Our Senior Program Worker Christine Rossi-Wright says: "We have the capacity and the expertise to support industry members well beyond financial assistance. People often come to us with financial need, but there is not always a clear line to recovery with just financial assistance. The crisis can permeate multiple areas of life, so we need to look at each individual holistically - their mental health, their physical well-being, how their environment is affecting them. We are very proud that we are able to support each person as a whole rather than focus on one specific area, connect them to long-term supports and resources, and help them navigate systems they are not familiar with or may not think of."

Toronto Pilot Project: Social Work Drop-in Thursdays

Walk-in hours for drop-in sessions with our social workers every Thursday afternoon at The AFC offices

  • Are you having trouble filling out forms?
  • Are you interested in finding out what types of services or supports are available? 
  • Do you have short or long-term goals and don’t know where to start?
  • Do you need help managing stress?

These are just some of the things the social workers on our team may be able to help with! Drop in on Thursday afternoons from 1-4pm (last person seen at 3 pm) to talk to a social worker in person. Social workers can provide brief counselling, information about services in the areas of housing, referrals to other supports, and assistance filling out forms and applications. This is a free service. No ID or proof of entertainment industry work is necessary. 

And always, any member of the entertainment community can call in or get in touch at any time for support during a tough time: 1-877-399-8392 |

Big Swing 2019

Registration for the annual charity golf tournament is well under way - we are hoping for a bigger swing this year!

Registration for Big Swing 2019 continues! This year’s tournament will be held on Monday, June 17 at the Royal Ontario Golf Club in Halton. It will have an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start and end at approximately 4:00 p.m.

This well-loved tournament, co-presented with DGC Ontario, brings together industry members for a fun day of golf to raise crucial funds to support entertainment industry workers going through hard times. Last year, Big Swing raised over $109,000 for entertainment professionals going through hard times. Help us top this result on June 17 register online today!

Natural Women: a Benefit Concert

One night only! The performers of the National Tour of BEAUTIFUL join together with special guests from the Toronto companies of COME FROM AWAY and DEAR EVAN HANSEN to pay homage to the legacy of many other female icons through the ages, both real and imagined, in this one-night-only cabaret.

Toronto’s intimate and iconic Jazz Bistro is a mecca for music lovers, so come early for dinner and drinks, be ready to be moved and entertained and contribute to a wonderful cause. You could even win one of several exclusive backstage experiences before BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL leaves the Princess of Wales Theatre on May 5, 2019.

All proceeds will benefit The AFC, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, with a special donation going to Toronto’s Dandelion Initiative.

Monday, April 29 at the Jazz Bistro (251 Victoria Street)
Concert: 7:00 PM | Doors Open 5:30 PM

From the community: NFMLA Canadian Program 2019

Have an indie film you want to show to audiences in LA? Submit to NewFilmmakers LA!

NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) has established itself as a strong gathering place for independent cinema screening 2500+ films from over 75 countries. The monthly festival provides a forum where independent and emerging filmmakers can be recognized for their accomplishments, gain exposure to new audiences, and connect with industry professionals for insight.

NFMLA boasts over 120,000 indie film supporters in the Los Angeles community! NFMLA has built relationships and alliances with CAA, WME, ICM, Variety Magazine, DreamWorks, HFPA, ShortsHD, FOX Studios, Disney, AMPAS, Sony Pictures, Seed&Spark, Netflix, SAG-AFTRA, KTLA and more to benefit the filmmakers who are selected as part of the festival. 

NFMLA Canadian Program 2019

NFMLA are currently programming their 2019 annual Canadian program! Submission deadline for the Canadian Program is May 10, 2019. Submit now at

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