TORONTO – At IATSE’s Canadian Convention in May, then-International President Thomas C. Short announced a $10,000 contribution to the Actors’ Fund of Canada. The 2008 contribution doubles the amount the Fund normally receives from the IATSE and was made in honour of the Fund’s 50th anniversary.
Now, commenting on the IATSE’s support of the Fund, newly-elected International President Matthew D. Loeb has remarked: “In making a contribution to the Actors’ Fund of Canada, we recognize the important work it does serving members of the IATSE in Canada. Over and over again, the Fund has proven itself to be a relevant and necessary resource to members of the IATSE who have found themselves in financial difficulty. I would heartily recommend this organization and encourage all Canadian members and Locals to support it to the greatest extent possible.”
The Actors’ Fund is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Over 10,000 professional members of the industry from all over Canada in the fields of theatre, film & TV, music and dance have been helped by the Fund, which provides emergency financial aid to assist cultural workers in recovering from an illness, injury or other circumstances causing severe economic and personal hardship.
Although it was started with the needs of actors in mind, the Fund has expanded its mandate to encompass performers and those working behind the scenes throughout the entire entertainment industry.
The Fund recently set a new record for the amount of financial aid delivered to entertainment industry workers in a single year, topping $500,000 in the 12-month period that ended on March 31. The Fund marks its 50th anniversary in 2008 with a campaign focused on raising awareness of its emergency financial aid program and uniting industry members in support of the organization.
Says Actors’ Fund of Canada Executive Director David Hope, “We are truly grateful to President Loeb and the IATSE for the vote of confidence they have given us in the form of the generous contribution made earlier this year and President Loeb’s strong endorsement today. Members of the IATSE are a growing part of the Fund’s constituency and it is crucial that we have the support of IATSE International and the Canadian Locals in order to continue serving IATSE members in the way that we have. We look forward to many more years of working with the IATSE and its Locals for the benefit of members in distress.”
The Actors’ Fund of Canada is a registered charity that has paid out over $3.5 million in rent payments, grocery money, utility payments and other basic living expenses in the last 10 years. Performers, creators, technical staff and other production team members can benefit from the Fund, which receives no government funding and is wholly sustained by support from individuals and entertainment industry organizations.