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 In This Issue:

June 2019

Message from the Executive Director 
Big Swing 2019 Swings Big
Big Swing Sponsor Spotlight: NABET 700-M UNIFOR
Testimonial of the Month: Helen Taylor
Financial Wellness Program
Are you up for the Great Canadian Giving Challenge?

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

I had a couple of extraordinary experiences this week, both involving theatre.

On Tuesday I had the great pleasure of attending the 40th Anniversary Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Toronto.

Much has been said about the Doras. Most important to me is that when I look at who's nominated, who's winning, and what the winners have to say in that brief moment before the band plays them offstage (Makambe K Simamba!) it feels like more and more of those among us who for so long have needed to speak and who must be heard are finding their voice and their audience. I find this tremendously encouraging and it makes me optimistic about the future of the art form and its power to make change.

Later in the week, I was lucky enough to be in the company of some of our community's most distinguished and generous theatre supporters. As we enjoyed our time together in what can only be described as elegant surroundings, I was struck by their deep knowledge of – and passion for – an incredibly broad range of theatrical work.

We come to our practice of, and appreciation for, the work of theatre-makers in Canada from many perspectives and all walks of life. Wherever we have come from and whatever the reality of our day-to-day lived experience, we are here now, sharing this space and standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us.

If a defining feature of Canada is that it forges bonds between disparate people through the work of its artists, then that would feel like somewhere that I’d like to live. Based on what I’ve seen in the past few days, it seems to me that there is at least a chance that this might be true.

Happy Canada Day, and thank you for caring!

David Hope
Executive Director

Big Swing 2019 Swings Big

An incredible $106,935 is raised for entertainment professionals going through hard times. Plus, DGC Ontario doubles its annual contribution to $60,000. 

The AFC is thrilled to announce that the 23rd Annual Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament raised an incredible $106,935 for entertainment professionals facing crisis situations. Additionally, the tournament co-presenter DGC Ontario contributed an impressive $60,000, doubling their annual support of The AFC.

The Big Swing Golf Tournament is an opportunity for entertainment industry members to spend a fun day on the course in support of the work of The AFC. Producers, suppliers, directors, labour leaders, technicians, and performers enjoyed a round of golf followed by a banquet lunch. During the post-tournament session, Joanne Barrington, Membership Chair, DGC Ontario, presented a cheque of $60,000 to The AFC’s Vice Chair Sugith Varughese.

“Over the past 23 years, the Big Swing Golf Tournament has become an indispensable part of The AFC’s fundraising initiatives, helping raise much-needed funds for vulnerable members of our community,” Varughese said. “We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and prize donors for their generosity. We are extremely proud to recognize the continued partnership of our co-presenter DGC Ontario.”

“A successful tournament like this couldn’t happen without the involvement and hard work of many. I would like to thank the Golf Committee that I have the privilege to chair: the Big Swing co-founders Phil Flagler, Judah Katz and committee member Eugene Clark – our golf gurus who bring their tremendous expertise, dedication, and enthusiasm to the tournament every year,” Varughese added.

The AFC would like to thank the volunteers for donating their time and passion to help the Big Swing run smoothly and the golfers for their ongoing support of The AFC. 

Click here for the full list of sponsors, the tournament program, and photos from the event

Big Swing Sponsor Spotlight: NABET M-700 UNIFOR

NABET M-700 UNIFOR supports Big Swing 2019 at the top sponsorship level.

NABET 700-M UNIFOR is a union of film, television and new media technicians that has serviced Ontario and the world for over forty-five years. NABET 700-M UNIFOR currently has over 3,000 qualified technicians in fifteen departments of the film and television industry and is the premier local for Canadian producers who have been signatory to a Collective Agreement with NABET 700-M UNIFOR.

The AFC has been integral to assisting NABET 700-M UNIFOR Members over the years by offering support and resources specifically tailored to their unique challenges. We support and acknowledge the incredible work The AFC has achieved for the industry through the initiatives they have spearheaded. Their wellness approach to both assist members of the film/arts industry with unforeseen life challenges, and the programs that provide the tools and direction to help them better manage their finances has been invaluable.

NABET 700-M UNIFOR is a financial supporter of The AFC year-round and is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for the Big Swing 2019 and a contributor for the 10th year in a row. We look forward to a continued partnership with the AFC in a multitude of ways to maintain the integral support to our Members and the industry. 

Testimonial of the Month: Helen Taylor

I encourage everyone in arts and entertainment to give the Financial Wellness Program a go.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Financial Coaching Series by Credit Canada offered to me through The AFC’s Financial Wellness Program.

As we get older, my husband and I have been talking a lot about our future. Questions like “Will we be able to retire?”, “What if we have to take care of our parents or each other?” crop up more and more often. We’ve both struggled with understanding how important financial planning is. We’re somewhat casual about money; we have a dog but no children and we just kind of live from paycheque to paycheque. This lifestyle is fairly common for those who work in arts and entertainment, I would say.

No one likes thinking about money – we’d rather just ignore it. For me, participating in the financial coaching course was the perfect way to really start looking at money and the decisions I make about it. The course looks at various areas of financial planning using practical exercises that are offered in a stress-free, non-judgemental setting. I really wish this kind of course was taught in schools – I think it would help a lot of Canadians understand that basic money stuff is not as scary as they think.

In our industry people often think, “I’m self-employed, I live on a variable income, how on earth will I be able to save?” We think that we need to make radical changes to our lives, but educational initiatives like the Financial Coaching Series show that even the smallest changes and little steps can add up in the end. The financial coaching course helped me understand what money means to me, to us, and what money decisions we make now mean for our future.

I encourage everyone in arts and entertainment to give this program a go. We are lucky that we can access this and other financial educational opportunities for free through The AFC – it’s a great way to jump-start your journey to financial wellness. 

Financial Wellness Program

The AFC's Financial Wellness Program is a free resource open to all members of the entertainment community.

Through our Financial Wellness Program, you can get access to personalized, high-value financial counselling and educational services to start building financial resiliency and stability. The program is designed with arts and entertainment industry workers in mind and focuses on the financial challenges of people who may be self-employed, participate in the "gig economy", or live on a variable income.    

The program is presented in partnership with Credit Canada, Canada's first and longest-standing credit counselling non-profit helping Canadians avoid bankruptcy, become debt-free, and achieve financial wellness. 

Are you looking to reduce your money-related stress, renew your confidence, and improve your financial stability? Sign up for the Financial Wellness Program today! No pre-requisites or commitment required. 

The Financial Wellness Program is made possible through the generous support of Richard Rooney and Laura Dinner. 

Are You Up for the Great Canadian Giving Challenge?

There's still time to accept the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! It is a national public contest to benefit any registered Canadian charity. Every $1 donated to a registered charity in June via CanadaHelps automatically enters the charity in a draw to win an additional $10,000 donation.

We hope you show your support for causes close to your heart this month. We will be honoured if you choose to donate to The AFC as part of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! Will you accept the challenge and help us win $10,000 in support of arts and entertainment workers facing crisis situations? Make a donation today via CanadaHelps

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