Heartland raises money for Actors’ Fund

From a media release:



The cast and crew of CBC-TV’s Heartland have made their mark as the first entrants in the 2008 Canadian TV Charity Challenge raising $11,700 for the Actors’ Fund of Canada in a fundraising barbeque held on October 5. Three hundred and fifty members of the Calgary film & TV production community and their families attended the barbeque at the Heartland Ranch location, which featured a silent auction and other fundraising events.

The Challenge pits productions against each other in a good-natured rivalry to raise money for the Fund through auctions, karaoke nights, pool tournaments and many other fun activities, each vying for bragging rights as the production that can have the most fun while raising the most money for the Actors Fund.

The Actors Fund is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Performers and others who work behind the scenes in film and television, theatre, music and dance can apply for emergency financial aid from the Fund, which recently set a new record for the amount of financial aid delivered to industry members in a single year, topping $500,000 in the 12-month period that ended on March 31, 2008. The Fund has helped over 10,000 entertainment industry workers recover from illness, injury or other circumstances causing severe economic and personal hardship since it was founded in 1958. The Fund marks its 50th anniversary in 2008 with an effort to raise its national profile and unite entertainment industry members in support of its financial aid program.

Actors’ Fund of Canada Executive Director David Hope, delighted by Heartland’s impressive showing, reacted enthusiastically to the results: “Heartland has done incredibly well in this year’s Challenge and we’re extremely grateful for their efforts. The money they have raised will go a long way toward helping talented entertainment industry workers who need a chance to bounce back after they have been sidelined by the kinds of situations that can easily end a promising career.”

Heartland Producer Tina Grewal spearheaded the show’s fundraising effort and is a veteran of the TV Charity Challenge, having worked on the Eleventh Hour in the Challenge’s early years. She commented: “We’re very proud of what we have accomplished with the Challenge and the great community support we had. Whether they are aware of it or not, everyone who works in the film and television industry has a friend or colleague who has been helped in some way by the Fund. There are lots of great productions out there. I challenge everyone who’s lucky enough to be working on a series this year to get into the spirit and see if they can match, or better yet, beat what we’ve raised.”

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.

For TV Charity Challenge updates, visit: http://actorsfund.ca/charitychallenge/