News & Events

Supporter Spotlight: Paul Spaven

“Everyone in the entertainment industry is my own circle,” says Paul Spaven. “I have always believed that.”

The rigging gaffer has been working in the Canadian entertainment industry since 1993 when he moved to Toronto from England.

He became a rigging gaffer around 2000 after years of working as a lighting technician.

Spaven says he got to Toronto just as the film industry was taking off. He had a strong resume and was able to start working right away. Within eight months, he was in the union and “I really haven’t stopped working since.”

Spaven is well aware, however, that not everyone is able to enjoy the stability that he has had.

“I realize this is precarious employment we’re all in; all of us, from actors all the way through.”

He recalls, for example, the effect that the 2003 SARS outbreak had on some of his colleagues.

“I managed to have work but a lot of people didn’t,” he says. “The industry just dried up and a lot of people found it hard during those times.”

He first heard about The AFC through his union, IATSE Local 873, and “just thought, ‘yes, this is a really good idea.’”

“I really believe, and this is how I treat my crew, that we are all in this together,” Spaven says. “And being in precarious and temporary employment … if we can’t look after each other, then who can?”

Spaven has been donating to The AFC through the Reel Friends Voluntary Payroll Donation  Program since 2009.

“It is only a small amount per week,” Spaven says. “You won’t notice it, you won’t notice that you are missing it, but the benefits of it might even come right back to you, just when you need it.”

Contributing to The AFC “has been a pleasure,” Spaven says. “I feel good about it.”

The AFC is extremely grateful to Paul Spaven for his ongoing support.


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