When the Actors’ Fund was formed in 1958 theatre benefits were the primary fundraising mechanism and formed the financial backbone of the Fund. Today, over 50 years later, theatre benefits raise tens of thousands of dollars annually to help entertainment industry members in crisis. That there are so many theatre benefits every year shows just how strong the sense of community is within Canada’s theatre landscape.
There are two common ways to host a benefit. The first is to donate the proceeds from a regularly scheduled show, or one in addition to the regular schedule of performances to the Actor’s Fund of Canada. The second is to hold curtain speeches designed to solicit individual donations from the audience for a set period of time. Both type of benefits can be successful, the trick is finding the one that works best for your theatre.
For more information and resources on how to hold an additional show click here. >>
For more information and resources on how to hold a successful audience collection, click here. >>
In addition to the two usual ways of holding benefits, some theatres have found unconventional ways of making a contribution to the Fund that is suited to their theatre. Click here for more information and ideas.
Tell us what you’re doing in advance and we’ll do our best to publicize your efforts to help ensure your event is a success and spread the word about the important contribution your company has made to the health and welfare of Canada’s arts community.
The CTA and ITA both contain provisions requiring either an annual Actor’s Fund benefit performance or curtain speeches designed to solicit individual donations from the audience. With appropriate notice, Equity members may rehearse and appear in Actors’ Fund benefit performances without remuneration. Provided that an Actors’ Fund benefit performance has been scheduled for that season, the Theatre may schedule other benefit performances with the prior written approval of Equity.
You can read the CTA’s provision for benefit performances here >>
You can read the ITA’s provision for benefit performances here >>
By contributing to the Fund through benefit performances or curtain speeches and audience collections, your company is making a contribution to Canada’s theatre community and everyone in it. It’s not only in the CTA and ITA, it’s also the right thing to do.
Are you an individual, an indie theatre company or other organization that wants to host a live performance fundraiser for the Actors’ Fund? Click here for more information and resources for planning a special event.
The Actors’ Fund is not just for actors. The Fund helps playwrights, stage managers, directors, technicians and other members of creative, administrative, and production teams working in theatre, film & television, music and dance.
If you require assistance from the Actors’ Fund, please read the FAQ and application documents online here
Aside from benefits, there are two other great ways to support the Fund while you’re working. Voluntary payroll donations are a terrific way to support the cause you believe in while you are working. Simply fill out a form, give it to the person in charge of payroll and donations to the Fund will be automatically deducted from your paycheque for the number of weeks and at the percentage or fixed amount you specify. At the end of the year you will receive a tax receipt from the Actors’ Fund. Most people who give this way love the convenience and the fact that they never miss the small deductions. You can find out more about payroll deductions and download the form here
Why not choose to celebrate opening night with a donation to the Actors’ Fund? On such a happy occasion wouldn’t it be great to know that your money is going to help somebody who desperately needs it so that they can have the chance to get back on stage (or behind it) and have many more opening nights in their future? You can find out more about opening night donations here