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

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In This Issue:

  • Message from the Executive Director
  • COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall
  • Big Swing 2020: Platinum Sponsor Spotlight
  • Big Swing 2020 Raffle 
  • Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative
  • Financial Wellness E-zine

Message from the Executive Director

Dear ,

This feels like a transitional moment for us. A transition from the extreme crisis conditions of historical proportions we saw in the spring to...what, exactly? The massive disruption in our industry caused by the pandemic is far from over. Though we continue to see signs of recovery and a gradual return to work for some in film & TV production, prospects remain dim for so many others and I can’t help but feel that amidst the optimistic notes we are hearing, we have yet to learn or fully appreciate the true cost of the damage that has been done to our institutions and our people by COVID-19.

In what seems like an intermission between acts, we are using this time to prepare for what may come. Thousands of our industry colleagues, especially in the live performance sector, will be unemployed through the fall and early winter. With the possibility that government assistance programs that have been so vital to this point may fade before they have jobs to go back to, entertainment professionals and their families will be faced with tough choices as they struggle to maintain their health, dignity and, eventually, their ability to return to the creative work that is their calling. The mental health impacts of this period of extreme stress are as yet unaccounted for. The hard-won ground we have gained through months of physical distancing may be eroded by a second wave.

Whatever comes next for our industry and our people, The AFC will be here and we will continue to help as many people as possible get through the worst of this.

Next month will see the return of our important annual fundraiser (and morale booster), the Big Swing Golf Tournament. We have relaunched our financial wellness e-zine and are participating in an essential initiative launched by our friends at Behind the Scenes. You can read about all of this below. But most importantly of all, this edition of our newsletter gives us an opportunity to thank and recognize the financial contributions of you, our supporter, and the hundreds of others like you who have rushed to our side and helped us succeed in meeting the biggest challenge our organization has ever undertaken. You make it possible to do what we do.

And we’re not done yet.

Thank you for caring,

David Hope
Executive Director

COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall

The outpouring of support that we've seen from within our industry and beyond has been tremendous. We have all, collectively, responded to the challenge this pandemic threw at us. Our donors and supporters make our work possible, inspire us, and feed the fire to power through and carry on.  

Today, we are unveiling our COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall which features the names of the people, organizations, foundations, and groups who have donated to The AFC to support the many members of our community hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Please take a moment to scroll through to thank them for their contributions.

As always, we would like to thank every organization and every individual who has fundraised, offered to volunteer, shared information, tweeted and posted, protested, cared, and helped a friend or a stranger. THANK YOU.

Big Swing 2020: Platinum Sponsor Spotlight

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 to our Membership, and the industry as a whole.

We are especially grateful to The AFC’s continued and exceptional support for our film and television professionals during the industry-wide shut down imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Big Swing 2020 Raffle

The registration to play in the Big Swing 2020 is full but you can still show your support by purchasing tickets for the Big Swing 2020 Raffle! Get a ticket or a ticket pack today to back a great cause and have a chance to win fabulous prizes, including:

  • Golf Town Gift Card
  • Best Buy Gift Card
  • Golf Foursome at the Lionhead Golf Course
  • Golf Foursome at the Royal Niagara Golf Course
  • Sony Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
  • Bose Headphones
  • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar Gift Card and more!

The raffle draw will be on Saturday, August 29th during Big Swing Golf Tournament. Ticket purchasers do not need to attend the golf tournament to purchase raffle tickets or to be eligible to win. Raffle tickets are on sale until Friday, August 28th at 12:00 noon (ET.)

Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative

Even without the uncertainties of life in a pandemic, the unique environment and stresses of working in the entertainment industry are extremely challenging. It’s critical to make sure people in our communities stay healthy; mentally, emotionally and physically.

The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative provides tools and resources specifically for entertainment industry workers:

  • Be Scene – Be Heard, a 24/7/365 anonymous peer-to-peer chat app that helps entertainment professionals find support by connecting with others in the industry;
  • Online free, confidential behavioural health screenings and self-assessment tools;
  • Easy to navigate links to mental health information, supports, and resources;
  • Suicide prevention information, practical guidance, and posters to help save lives.

You can find all of these and more at btshelp.org/mentalhealth.

Financial Wellness E-zine

To say that we have been stressed about our finances during this pandemic is an understatement, so we've been excited to restart our Financial Wellness E-zine!

In the latest issue of the e-zine, we've rounded up some resources and tips that could (hopefully) help us manage financial stress and improve our emotional well-being during these difficult times - check it out here

The subscription to the e-zine is normally available to the participants of our Financial Wellness Program but we are opening it up to everyone now! Subscribe here for your monthly dose of financial wellness delivered straight to your mailbox.

The AFC is a charitable organization with a mission to help Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity, and ability to work.

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