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Supporter Spotlight: Trent Thomas

Transportation driver and Teamsters 155 pension trustee Trent Thomas entered the film industry after a fortuitous meeting.

While umping a baseball game in Vancouver, the man that he got paired with worked in the industry and invited him to “come out and give it a try on a crane,” which eventually led to a job in transportation.

Twenty four years later, Thomas is still working in Vancouver’s now booming film and television industry.

Thomas says he’s seen huge growth in the industry over the last three years.

“Our membership has grown by almost 600 members in that period of time,” he says. “We’ve also noticed that there isn’t a lull around Christmas time. Usually, we would have a real slowdown for a month and a half, but now we start right back up with 16 TV series and two or three features.”

Prior to embarking on a career in the entertainment industry, Trent was a dedicated athlete. In high school, he played hockey, football, rugby and soccer, which led to a partial athletic scholarship to an American university.

Teamwork is important on the field and on set and Thomas credits his high school, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask., for teaching him how to work well with others.

“My high school is a big part of my life. It touched my life when I was having some turmoil and it gave me a path to live by and I think that’s helped me a lot with my public service and my career,” he says.

“Living in a boarding school really allowed me to understand the group dynamics of a culture and a working environment that’s very close knit and has a lot of hours together. Being able to operate in that environment has been able to help me in my career for sure.”

Part of Thomas’s public service is his active involvement with his union.

“I have always been politically active and I took my oath very seriously when I joined Teamsters. I began attending lot of meetings and got elected as shop steward when I was 25,” he says.

It was through his work with the union that he first heard about The AFC.

While exploring setting up a benevolent fund for Teamsters, he and former secretary treasurer Ken Marsden came across The AFC. The union decided to help their fellow film workers in need by supporting the work of The AFC and Thomas also began making personal donations through the Reel Friends Voluntary Payroll Donation Program.

“I try to encourage others to give to Reel Friends and to access The AFC’s services if they need them,” Thomas says. “I know that a few of our members have turned to The AFC when they’ve had tragedies in their life or when things have been at their lowest and you guys have been there to pick them up.”

The AFC is extremely grateful to Trent Thomas for his ongoing support, which enables us to help entertainment industry workers get back on their feet!


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