TORONTO – In a great example of holiday spirit, members of Locals 58, 822 and B-173 of the I.A.T.S.E. came together at the eleventh hour to close a deal allowing the Actors’ Fund of Canada to raise over $53,000 in donations from audience members at the Toronto production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, which ended its run at the Sony Centre on January 5. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2008, the Actors’ Fund is Canada’s entertainment industry emergency fund and provides over $400,000 a year in vital financial aid to performers and other entertainment workers in film & TV, theatre, music and dance.
Over the last four years, the Fund has provided over $460,000 in assistance to I.A.T.S.E. members to help them maintain their health, housing and ability to work during a financial crisis.Says Actors’ Fund Executive Director David Hope, “I am extremely proud of how all parties worked together under a very tight deadline to make this wonderful fundraising event possible. The support of the three I.A.T.S.E. locals was crucial to the Sony Centre’s acceptance of our proposal to request donations from audience members at this venue. The project would definitely not have gone forward without it.”
The money raised from the event would be enough to buy a month’s worth of groceries for eight dozen of the entertainment workers and their families who will turn to the Actors’ Fund for support in their darkest hours after an injury, illness or sudden unemployment has pushed them into financial distress.The Actors’ Fund of Canada is a registered charity. Performers, creators, technical staff and other production team members have received over $3 million rent payments, grocery money, utility payments and other basic living expenses from the Fund in the last 10 years. The Actors’ Fund receives no government funding and is wholly sustained by support from individuals and entertainment industry organizations.