The AFC: October 2019 Newsletter View this email in your browser.


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 In This Issue:

October 2019

Message from the Executive Director 
How people were helped: September 2019
Testimonial: Dan Dumouchel
Financial Wellness Month: November 2019
Support The AFC this theatre season

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends,

If you’re reading this, you and I likely have a common understanding that arts and entertainment are deeply embedded in our lives: they shape our ideas, enrich our experiences, and bring us together in a conversation about how to make the world better. The people who make this possible, however, often don’t have the support system they can fall back on.

In my daily encounters with people who work in Canada’s entertainment industry, I am struck with how unbelievably skilled, talented, and dedicated they are. There is a very powerful community behind every single movie, TV series, theatre production, dance show or concert.

I am also well aware that they do their tremendous work in demanding, high-stress environments that come with plenty of physical and mental health hazards and very few safeguards and supports.

Vancouver Director of Photography Dan Dumouchel, whose testimonial you can read below, says: “Many people in the entertainment industry have no benefits package to fall back on in case of a crisis and often face a real possibility of significant financial hardship. Too many industry members and their families are only a handful of paycheques away from being homeless, facing poverty or bankruptcy.”

In a time of crisis, arts and entertainment industry members often have nowhere to turn. The AFC exists to be that support system. The compassionate support that forms the foundation of our Emergency Financial Aid program, Personal Support and Advocacy services, and Financial Wellness program is crucial for the health and well-being of our community.

The only way we can continue to provide crucial support to Canadian entertainment professionals is with your help. Your gift to The AFC will make a direct impact on the lives of those who make the work we love so much. If you, like me, cannot fathom a world devoid of the richness that arts and culture bring to our lives, I hope you will make a donation to The AFC today. 

Thank you for caring, 

David Hope
Executive Director

How people were helped: September 2019

Last month, your support helped us distribute $34,372.90 in emergency financial aid to arts and entertainment professionals facing crisis situations. Here's how people were helped:

  • $20,457.34 to help keep a roof over people’s heads
  • $4,050.00 for groceries and other necessities
  • $592.77 to cover utilities
  • $1,428.45 for travel and transportation
  • $1,638.74 to keep the phone and internet connected
  • $5,035.10 for emergency dental care, prescriptions, and physiotherapy
  • $1,170.50 to cover other expenses, like child care, union dues, counselling, etc.

Testimonial of the Month: Dan Dumouchel

When we donate to The AFC, it means that we are directly helping our colleagues at a time when their health should be at the forefront of their concerns, not their bills.

In May 2017 I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. I had a major surgery scheduled in 3 weeks. My wife was on maternity leave with our second child. We were barely making ends meet when the crisis struck, so I decided to reach out to friends and family for help and set up an online funding campaign.

Fast forward to May 2018 – I am back in the hospital with metastatic tumour thrombus, scheduled for a second surgery. I knew I couldn’t lean on my friends and family again, so soon. That’s when a friend from Calgary told me about The AFC.

The AFC helped us pay our mortgage and covered 3 months of childcare while I recovered from abdominal surgery. Their compassionate support allowed me a stress-free recovery. It gave me and my wife peace of mind that we wouldn’t have to lose our kids’ daycare spots. It brought a sense of normalcy for our young family, as much as it was possible in our situation.

Illnesses like cancer take a significant toll on people’s lives – physical, emotional, and financial. It is comforting to know that there is someone to turn to in times of need, that there is an organization directly linked to the industry we love and make our careers in. There isn’t another charity like The AFC. I don’t know how long it would have taken us to dig ourselves out of the financial hole without their support.

Many people in the entertainment industry are self-employed and/or non-union. This often means no benefits package to fall back on and a real possibility of significant financial hardship. Too many industry members and their families are only a handful of paycheques away from being homeless, facing poverty or bankruptcy.

When we donate to The AFC, it means that we are directly helping our colleagues at a time when their health should be at the forefront of their concerns, not their bills.

Financial Wellness Month: November 2019

Free financial wellness workshops for artists and creatives in 6 cities across Canada

We are so excited to be able to offer workshops as part of our Financial Wellness Program. This November, we team up with the Dancer Transition Resource Centre and local partners to send financial planner and opera singer Chris Enns and his “How to Connect with Money when You’re a Creative Person” workshop across Canada! 

  • November 7, 4:15 PM | The Dance Centre | Vancouver
  • November 12, 7 PM | Calgary Arts Development | Calgary
  • November 14, 7 PM | Creative Manitoba | Winnipeg
  • November 15, 6 PM | Dance Saskatchewan | Saskatoon
  • November 18, 11:30 AM | DANSpace | Halifax
  • November 19, 6 PM | The AFC | Toronto

Here are just some of the things Chris will cover in these free workshops:

  • Setting financial goals
  • Mapping the cost of your life and figuring out irregular expenses
  • How to separate your business and personal life
  • How to manage variable income
  • The fundamentals of tax: what you need to know as a self-employed person
  • What tools can help manage your money

Please note that the workshops in Vancouver and Toronto are sold out but we have waitlists going and will let you know as soon as a spot opens up! Spots still available in all other workshops - click here to find out more and register today.

P.S. for those unable to attend, we are planning to host a digital follow-up with Chris - watch this space for more details soon!

Support The AFC this Theatre Season

The new theatre season is here - we love hearing about the bold, exciting productions playing across the country!

The live performance and theatre community have been great supporters of The AFC's work, raising funds through audience collections, benefit performances, opening night donations, and other efforts for the last six decades. Today, we want to say THANK YOU to every Canadian theatre and live performance production company - big and small - that chooses to support their community by fundraising for The AFC.

Your support empowers and enables us to provide emergency assistance and crucial services to Canadian arts and entertainment professionals. 

Happy new theatre season! We hope you will be able to join in the efforts by holding an audience collection or a benefit in support of The AFC. Head over to our website to find out about other ways to get involved and to donate! 

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