News & Events

RELEASE: Actors’ Fund of Canada appoints new Board Members

TORONTO, Ont., – September 28, 2015 – The Actors’ Fund of Canada, the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry, is pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah Bernstein and Sugith Varughese to the Board of Directors.

Deborah Bernstein – Deborah Bernstein has worked in the film and television industry for over 30 years. Currently, she is teaching at Ryerson University and Humber College. Prior to teaching, Deborah spent many years at the CBC’s English Television Network where she held a number of senior positions. Her last position at CBC was as the Executive Director of Arts and Entertainment Programming. In this capacity, she oversaw the development, production and financing of drama, comedy, variety, arts, and children’s programming. Deborah has also worked with Telefilm Canada, The NFB, TV Ontario, and C Channel. Prior to a career in media, Deborah consulted for the federal and provincial governments on the changing role of women in the workforce. She also counselled students and women re-entering the workforce at the University of Toronto. Deborah holds a doctorate in Applied Psychology from the University of Toronto.

Sugith Varughese – Born in India, raised in Saskatoon, Sugith Varughese is a veteran screenwriter, playwright, actor and short film and TV director. He is a member of ACTRA, WGC and CAEA as well as the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television. He currently sits on the board of governors of AFBS representing the Writers Guild of Canada and is a past Councillor of the WGC. He was the first minority to attend the prestigious Canadian Film Centre and the first person to receive an MFA in film in Canada. He graduated summa cum laude in theatre arts from the University of Minnesota and recently received a distinguished alumnus award. His short films, TV shows and radio dramas have won or been nominated for numerous national and international awards. He has also received Gemini nominations for acting and writing.

Actors’ Fund of Canada President Fiona Reid is thrilled to welcome Deborah Bernstein and Sugith Varughese to the Actors’ Fund’s Board of Directors. “Deborah Bernstein and Sugith Varughese are both marvellous additions to our Board of Directors,” said Reid. “Sugith is an accomplished actor, writer and director. Deborah has had a stellar career in broadcasting as well as teaching. Their depth of experience and wealth of knowledge pertaining to so many aspects of the Canadian entertainment industry will be tremendous assets to our important work at the Actors’ Fund of Canada. We are very excited to welcome them to our Board.” Reid would also like to thank outgoing Board Member the Hon. Sarmite Bulte, P.C., for her contributions to the Actors’ Fund of Canada. “We’re deeply appreciative of the dedicated work of the Hon. Sarmite Bulte, P.C., during her term on the Actors’ Fund’s Board of Directors. Her passionate advocacy for the arts in Canada, her legal acumen, as well as her prodigious fundraising skills in regard to our annual Big Swing Golf Tournament made a significant contribution to the ongoing success of our work. We wish her well.”

The Actors’ Fund of Canada is a registered charity that provides short-term financial aid to entertainment industry professionals working in all aspects of theatre, film & TV, music and dance. In the past year the Fund has delivered almost $500,000 in rent payments, grocery money, utility payments and other basic living expenses and has helped over 10,000 entertainment industry members since it was founded in 1958. Charitable Registration 118777457RR0001


The Actors’ Fund of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Deborah Bernstein (L) and Sugith Varughese (R) to the Board of Directors.



David Hope
Executive Director
Actors’ Fund of Canada
Phone: 1-877-399-8392
Email: contact@actorsfund.ca

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