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Film and TV Charity Challenge

The Charity Challenge is an annual event that mobilizes cast and crew of productions shooting in Canada in support of the Film & Television Relief Program. The Program provides emergency financial aid for film & television workers who are experiencing a personal financial crisis due to illness, injury, sudden unemployment or other extreme hardship. Film & television industry workers whose health, housing or ability to work is in jeopardy can apply under the Program for short-term emergency assistance with rent or mortgage payments, utility payments, grocery money, uninsured medical expenses and other immediate needs.

There are many ways for productions to get involved in the Challenge, including:

  • Running a weekly 50/50 or $5 Friday draw for cast and crew and donating the proceeds. For a great example, click here
  • Raising money through collecting donations at the wrap party (or any time at all, in fact)
  • Raising money from producer donations to match what is raised by cast and crew
  • Encouraging cast and crew to sign up for the Reel Friends payroll donation plan. For more information click here.
  • Donating proceeds from a prop or costume sale after the production wraps

or organizing any other kind of fundraising social event, fan event, auction, stunt, sport or tournament that’s fun and works with the project’s production schedule.

The Charity Challenge creates an opportunity for everyone on set to work together to assist their colleagues in need. Recently, the  Challenge has received support from series and features across the country including Flashpoint, Blackstone, How to Be Indie, Men With Brooms, Heartland, Rick Mercer Report, Being Erica, The Ron James Show, Hiccups, Dan For Mayor, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, The Kennedys, Skins, Committed, Perception, King and I’m Yours.

The Charity Challenge is your chance to put your creativity and innovative spirit to work for a good cause.

The Film and Television Relief Program is a program of the Actors’ Fund of Canada, a registered charity that has provided emergency financial aid to over 10,000 entertainment industry workers in film & television, theatre, music and dance since it was founded in 1958.

Charity Challenge Ideas

Any type of event, from simple to elaborate is eligible for the Challenge. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Click here for a few of our favourites.

Hints And Tips For A Successful Event

Let us help you

If you’re thinking of taking part in the challenge, contact our office right away. We can provide any advice you might need and send you materials to help you get started. Once your challenge is up and running, we’ll work with your show’s publicist and the media to help generate interest on other sets and good publicity for the charitable work your cast and crew are doing. Be sure to take lots of photos of what you’re doing as we’d love to use them on our web site and in the press.

Challenge others

Do you want to add a friendly competitive spirit to the mix? If you have contacts on other shows in production that you can persuade to compete against you, more fun will be had by everyone. We have production and cast lists at the office that can help you find out who’s working on what. Getting another production to vie for bragging rights means everybody wins – the more productions that are involved the more money is raised to help provide emergency financial aid to entertainment workers who have fallen on hard times and need a chance to bounce back from adversity.

Build a team

Any kind of fundraising project will be easier if you have a good team around you. Be sure to invite all cast and every technical department to get involved. Try to get some promotion for your fundraiser on the call sheets – it’s a great way to get the word out on set about what you’re doing.

If you need more volunteers to help out or other kinds of local support for your challenge efforts, you might want to reach out to the local professional theatre community, the film and television unions or local colleges offering performing arts or technical production courses – we can help you to get in touch with all of them.

Ask the producers to match what you raise

If you’re a member of the cast or crew, you’ll want to talk to the producers early on to get them on board with your fundraising project, especially if it’s happening during working hours. Many producers already support the Film and Television Relief Program- why not ask them if they’re willing to match what your raise, either in part or dollar for dollar.

Gather online support

Planning a social or fan event? Your fans may be willing to give online support and publicity to your cause. Try posting information on your fundraising effort on your show’s web site, fan sites and blogs and the personal web sites of anyone involved in the production. Online donations can be submitted at – any donations coming in from fans and earmarked for the Challenge will be counted towards your Challenge total.

Tax receipts

Tax receipts for the Film and Television Charity Challenge are issued by the Actors’ Fund of Canada. Although the Fund is a registered charity and can issue receipts for income tax purposes, Canada Revenue Agency has very strict rules that dictate how tax receipts may be issued and what kinds of donations are ineligible for tax receipts. We will be happy to issue tax receipts for any eligible donations but please check with us first before offering a tax receipt to anyone.

After the Challenge

How to send the money you raised

Please send a cheque or money order payable to The Actors’ Fund of Canada to:

The Actors’ Fund of Canada
1000 Yonge St., Suite 301
Toronto, ON M4W 2K2

You can also drop money off at our office, or call us to make alternate arrangements.

Ready to enter the Challenge? Have another good fundraising idea?

Let us know! You can get in touch by e-mail or by phone (416) 975-0304 or toll-free 1-877-399-8392