On Wednesday October 5th, I attended the launch of a new collaboration between the Actor’s Fund of Canada and The Actors Fund, a national nonprofit human services organization that provides for the welfare of all entertainment professionals.
The exclusive cocktail event was hosted by the Consul General of Canada David Fransen and Barbara Fransen with Maria Topalovich, President Elect, Actors’ Fund of Canada, David Hope, Executive Director, Actors’ Fund of Canada and Joseph Benincasa, President & CEO, The Actors’ Fund.
The Fund helps people in film, theater, television, music, opera, and dance. It assists performers as well as those who work behind the scenes. Its broad spectrum of programs include comprehensive social services, health services, supportive and affordable housing, employment and training services, and skilled nursing and assisted living care. The Fund also makes emergency grants for essential needs. Administered from offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, The Actors Fund’s mission is to help “all professionals in performing arts and entertainment. The Fund is a safety net, providing programs and services for those who are in need, crisis or transition.” The Fund’s future is bright and the new projects and programs under exploration are exciting. To quote founder Harrison Grey Fiske: “Even in prosperous times, the need for an Actors Fund arises.”
Actress Sheila Shah has played a lead role opposite Ving Rhames in the gritty film, Mafia.and recently wrapped up the action drama Crossroads. This multi-talented performer is fluent in English, French and Farsi and won the title of Miss Iran of Canada. Shah holds a Degree in Chemistry, with Post Graduate studies in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs. She also holds an Arts Degree in Merchandise Marketing from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. As the sister of twin brothers, one with cerebral palsy, Shah plans to dedicate her spare time to creating awareness and organizing fundraising events to finding a solution for the neurological disorder.