The AFC: January 2020 Newsletter View this email in your browser.


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 In This Issue:

January 2020

Message from the Executive Director 
How People were Helped: December 2019
Testimonial: Lauren Brotman
Announcing Prime Time Charity Challenge 2020
Theatre Fundraising: Thank you to Our Supporters
Get Help with Improving your Financial Wellness in 2020
Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament 2020: Save the Date!

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends, 

The beginning of a new year is a time when many of us think about what good habits we will nurture in the year ahead. Gym membership sales go up. Sales of alcoholic beverages go down (at least temporarily).

If you are a supporter of The AFC, I would like to gently encourage you to consider taking up another good habit: making regular donations through our Monthly Donation Plan or our Reel Friends Plan for film & TV workers.

Our Monthly Donation Plan allows you to donate a regular amount using your bank account or credit card and is a popular option for supporting the work of The AFC year-round. When you sign up for The AFC’s monthly donation plan:

  • The AFC’s administrative costs are reduced, which means more of your dollar goes directly to helping a colleague in need;
  • You will receive one cumulative tax receipt at the end of the year, reducing paper consumption and helping the environment;
  • You will be able to make a significant donation to a cause you believe in over the course of the year in a way that’s relatively painless.

If you work as cast or crew in film & TV, the Reel Friends Voluntary Payroll Donation Program is an easy way to make regular donations in support of The AFC. Donations are tax-deductible and will be deducted from your paycheque at a percentage and for a period you specify. Payroll donations are small, so you might not even notice them week to week, but you can feel secure in knowing that your donation will have a big impact.

Supporting Canadian entertainment industry members’ health, dignity and ability to do their best work is what we do every day here at The AFC. If you have resolved to floss your teeth, eat right, sleep better, get your steps in or all of the above, I wish you well in your personal quest to step into the new decade with a focus on improving your personal health and well-being.

It can take time and determination to make a good habit stick. I invite you to guarantee yourself some good karma in 2020 by making a resolution that will be one of the easiest to keep: supporting the people who make the work you love through regular contributions to The AFC.

Thank you for caring, 

David Hope
Executive Director

How people were helped: December 2019

In the last month of 2019, your support helped us distribute $43,321.33 in emergency financial aid to arts and entertainment professionals facing crisis situations. Here's how people were helped:

  • $25,805.68 to help keep a roof over people’s heads
  • $6,200.00 for groceries and other necessities
  • $1,435.07 to cover utilities
  • $2,301.40 for travel and transportation
  • $1,556.11 to keep the phone and internet connected
  • $3,870.57 for emergency dental, medical expenses, counselling, and physiotherapy
  • $2,152.50 to cover child care, union dues, moving expenses, and more

Testimonial: Lauren Brotman

When I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and told that I would have to undergo 18 months of aggressive treatments, several major surgeries, and wouldn’t be able to take on contracts for over a year and a half, I had no idea how my husband and I and our 5-year-old son would be able to cope, all while moving across the country. The terror I felt was inexplicable.

The AFC, without hesitation, gave us months of support that allowed a huge amount of our financial anxiety to be eased while I was undergoing the most difficult part of the journey. This incredible act allowed me to focus on my physical, mental, and emotional survival. The AFC helped to stabilize and uplift us during an impossibly harrowing time. I encourage anyone who can to contribute to this vital organization. The support they give to actors is, in the purest sense of the word, life-saving.

Photo: Lauren Vandenbrook, LV Imagery

Announcing Prime Time Charity Challenge 2020

Prime Time Charity Challenge is back in 2020! We are excited to be kicking off the new year and the new decade with a giving challenge during the Canadian Media Producers Association's Prime Time conference in Ottawa, which takes place January 29-31, 2020.

Prime Time is CMPA's annual conference and industry event for leaders in Canadian media production, broadcasting, television, and feature film. This year, the focus of the Prime Time Charity Challenge is mental health.

The challenge will officially kick off in the morning of January 30th, with all contributions pledged over the course of the conference going towards supporting The AFC's mental health initiatives:

  • Mental health support services for the entertainment industry community;
  • Mental Health First Aid Training for industry workers;
  • Research and development of innovative, industry-specific mental health resources and services.

If you are attending Prime Time in Ottawa, make sure to say hello to our Executive Director David Hope and Board President Deborah Bernstein at The AFC booth and follow us on Twitter @AFC_helps for regular updates about the charity challenge!

Theatre Fundraising: Thank You to Our Supporters

Theatres companies and organizations across the country continue their fundraising efforts in the new year - here are some of the updates that have come in the past few weeks:

A huge thank you to Cameco Capitol Arts Centre and the company of Cinderella the Panto for organizing audience collections and raising over $5,100 - what a brilliant effort! We are so grateful for your continued support.
A Christmas Cabaret by our friends at Drayton Entertainment is probably our most favourite holiday tradition. Huge thanks to all the talent and everyone at Drayton for raising over $10,000 in support of The AFC this past holiday season!
Young People's Theatre has shown steadfast support for The AFC over the years - thank you for contributing over $3,500 this holiday season! Please support YPT as they deal with the impact of Ontario teachers' strike on attendance and ticket sales - go see a show!
Canada's oldest black theatre company Black Theatre Workshop did some fundraising for The AFC last month during the performances of works by the theatre's playwright alumni - thank you very much for your support!

Get Help with Improving Financial Wellness in 2020

Every January, many Canadians set out to improve their financial health - was this on the list of your new year resolutions? 

The AFC understands the unique challenges entertainment industry workers face in setting and realizing financial goals. That’s why our Financial Wellness Program is available and free for all industry members. Whether you made it a resolution to progress towards financial wellness in the new year or are in need of a fresh look at your finances, this is the program for you.

The program offers access to financial counselling and financial coaching services with Credit Canada. Financial counselling can help you address your biggest emergencies, while with financial coaching, you can delve deeper into topics that interest you. To learn more and to sign up, please visit our website.

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

Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament 2020: Save the Date

We are thrilled to announce that the Big Swing Charity Golf Tournament 2020 in support of The AFC will take place on Monday, June 22nd at the Royal Ontario Golf Club.

Save the date and let's make this year's tournament the biggest yet! Your participation in the tournament will help raise crucial funds for entertainment professionals facing crisis situations.

Registration for the tournament opens online on February 5, 2020 - make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get the go-ahead and start practicing!

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