The AFC Newsletter: January 2021 View this email in your browser.

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In This Issue:

  • Message from the Executive Director
  • COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall
  • Career Resilience Program: Applications Open Now
  • Share Your Thoughts at Designated Sharing Time
  • BIG GIRL & Friends is Back!

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friends, 

Back in November, The AFC offered a series of Career Resilience workshops for entertainment workers whose earnings were disrupted by the pandemic and who needed practical help to find an alternate income source to tide them over until they were able to return to making a living the way they did in pre-pandemic times.

At least, that’s what we thought we were doing.

To be clear, the workshops delivered as advertised. But our most striking observation from these events was the intensity of participants’ need to connect with one another and share experiences in some of the workshop breakout sessions.

We should have expected this. It’s obvious that, beyond the direct health consequences of the virus and the loss of income from illness and business shut-downs, a key factor responsible for much of the hardship so many people are experiencing now is isolation.

A career in the entertainment industry can be tough on people at the best of times. The disruption caused by COVID-19 has caused many of our colleagues to re-imagine how they will work and live both now and when the pandemic is over. Participants in our sessions needed to hear that they were not alone in struggling through confusion and stress right now. They needed to know that they were not the only ones worrying about what they could do to stay afloat financially in the short-term. They needed to feel that it was OK to ask whether they would want to take the work-related baggage that was wearing them down in the past with them on the voyage to the post-pandemic future.

Based on what we saw and heard in November, it felt like the right time to launch two new projects: our bi-weekly Designated Sharing Time group and a more structured Career Resilience Program, that picks up where the fall workshop series left off, goes deeper, and will provide lasting value in exchange for a greater level of commitment from participants. You can learn more about these new initiatives below.

The AFC’s mission is to provide compassionate support to help Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. This includes helping members of our creative community find ways to work and live more sustainably so they can keep doing what they do to the best of their ability, for as long as they can.

We will continue to do all we can for the many talented arts workers who will seek our help in the coming months in order to get through this distressing time. As always, we are so grateful to you, our supporter, for making all of this possible.

Thank you for caring, 

David Hope
Executive Director

COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall

This year, we continue to highlight our COVID-19 Virtual Donor Wall that features the names of the people, organizations, foundations, and groups who have donated to The AFC to help the many members of our community hit hard by the pandemic.

Please take a moment to scroll through this donor wall to celebrate the champions of compassionate support that is needed so much during these difficult times.

As always, we would like to thank every organization, every grassroots group, and every individual who has fundraised, performed to raise money, volunteered, shared information, tweeted and posted, protested, cared, and helped a friend or a stranger. THANK YOU.

Career Resilience Program: Applications Open Now

Helping Entertainment Industry Professionals Get to the What, Why and How of Career Resilience

We are very excited to launch a new educational opportunity for workers in the entertainment industry who have been experiencing employment challenges during the pandemic. 

This 4-part integrated program is delivered remotely via Zoom by highly qualified career support professionals from CareerCycles. The program includes workshops and small group sessions, self-directed learning, community building, personalized career counselling, and practical outcomes.

The program value is $200 per participant but we offer it at no cost to people who work in Canada’s entertainment industry. Admission is by application only. Applications are due February 12 at 5 pm (EST).

Click here for more information and the program schedule. Apply to participate today - spots are limited!

Share Your Thoughts at Designated Sharing Time

At the time when many of us are experiencing loss of work, isolation, stress, we seek opportunities to explore how we feel and connect with others.

That's why we've come up with Designated Sharing Time (DST), a virtual meeting space to talk, vent, problem-solve, laugh, collaborate, cry, and feel the strength of others. Join us bi-weekly on Thursdays, from 1 - 2:30 pm (EST) - our next DST is on February 11, 2021

DST is a safe space where you can:

  • Meet new people who also work in and understand the entertainment industry;
  • Explore what you are feeling in a safe, welcoming environment;
  • Share ideas about how you or other people you know remain creative during this time.

DST is not:

  • One-on-one counselling or therapy;
  • A crisis support group (if you are in crisis and need help right away, please call 911 or go to your local hospital).

Register now to attend the DST on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

BIG GIRL & Friends is Back!

Our beloved musical theatre show from the beginning of the pandemic (remember that time?) is back for a glorious second season!

Created and produced by Toronto Musical Concerts, BIG GIRL & Friends features the nation's most brilliant musical theatre artists in a limited 8-episode series streaming weekly on Mondays now until March 1, 2022, 7 pm (EST) / 8 pm (AST) on Youtube

Huge thanks to Christopher Wilson (BIG GIRL), Ryan Kelly, and all the friends for raising awareness and much-needed funds to support The AFC's vital services for those most affected by COVID-19. 

The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Through compassionate support, we help Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work.

1000 Yonge Street, Suite 301 Toronto, ON M4W 2K2
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