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Stratford Festival gives back to the community by raising $61,545 for The AFC

STRATFORD, Ont. – March 23, 2016 – The Stratford Festival continued its leadership role in the Canadian arts and entertainment community in 2015 by raising a remarkable $61,545 for The AFC – the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry.

Individual company member giving through payroll donations, proceeds from Discovery Mug sales, audience collections at nine different performances and a benefit performance of She Stoops to Conquer raised funds to provide a much-needed lifeline to entertainment professionals in crisis through the work of The AFC.

In September and October 2015, Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino and Executive Director Anita Gaffney graciously dedicated nine performances for audience collections including performances of The Sound of Music, The Physicists, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Alchemist, She Stoops to Conquer, Carousel and Hamlet. Seana McKenna, Board Member of The AFC and Stratford Festival veteran, led the payroll donation and audience collection fundraising initiative for The AFC.

“On behalf of everyone who has and will receive assistance from The AFC, I extend my deepest gratitude,” said McKenna. “The success of this initiative was made possible by all the individuals from the Stratford Festival – both onstage and off – involved in the audience collections, by all those who gave through payroll donations and, of course, by our wonderful Stratford patrons who gave so generously!”

The Stratford Festival is a long-time supporter of the work of The AFC and Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino is pleased that the Stratford Festival continues to help provide compassionate aid to entertainment professionals in need. “The high standard of work that we, and other theatres across Canada, continue to produce is made possible by the talent and ingenuity of our company members,” said Cimolino. “The AFC ensures that when an entertainment professional is faced with a potentially career-ending situation, like an injury or severe illness, there is somewhere to turn for help.”

The AFC thanks Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino, Executive Director Anita Gaffney, Seana McKenna, Stratford Festival company and staff members, Stratford Festival patrons and everyone involved for their continued support.

The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Through compassionate and confidential support, The AFC helps Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. The AFC is an expression of the community’s good will, helping entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable due to injury, illness or other personal hardship. In the last 24 months, The AFC (previously known as the Actors’ Fund of Canada) has distributed over $1 million in emergency financial aid to help entertainment professionals working in all aspects of film & TV, music, theatre and dance. The AFC believes by supporting the health and well-being of arts and entertainment professionals, the industry as a whole will benefit.

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Seana McKenna as Fräulein Doktor Mathilde von Zahnd in The Physicists. Photography by David Hou-cropped-01

Seana McKenna as Fräulein Doktor Mathilde von Zahnd in The Physicists from the Stratford Festival’s 2015 season. Photography by David Hou.



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