Luminaries to promote Telefilm private donation fund

Five high-profile business people will encourage corporate support for the recently established fund.

Telefilm Canada is bolstering the visibility of its private donation-backed Talent Fund with a new honourary committee of five Canadian business leaders including Dr. Anil Gupta, president and CEO of Ontario’s Trillium Health Centre, and Mark Dobbin, founder and president of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Killick Capital Inc.

In addition to the heads of the hospital and the private equity firm, also on the committee for the recently established $5 million private donation fund are David Aisenstat, owner and CEO of B.C.-based Keg Restaurants; James Richardson and Sons Ltd. President and CEO Hartley Richardson in Manitoba; and Quebec-based corporate director Micheline Bouchard.

“Within the context of today’s financing challenges for the industry, we are committed to finding innovative options to fulfill our investor role by offering the Canadian industry new tools to help it diversify its funding sources,” said Telefilm exec director Carolle Brabant in a statement late last week.

“The expertise, experience and prestige of our five inaugural honorary committee members, who hail from across the country and who represent a diversity of business sectors, will greatly strengthen the mandate of our Talent Fund,” she added.

The committee will seek to raise the profile of the private donation fund, launched March 2 at the Prime Time conference in Ottawa, among potential donors and look for new ways to encourage investments from corporations.

The fund, which Telefilm says could be endowed with an annual budget of $5 million once it is fully up and running, consists of two streams; one to support emerging filmmakers and one for established filmmakers to better promote their projects in Canada and abroad.

Telefilm will administer private sector investments, which can come from corporations as well as individuals.

Investors in the fund will benefit from tax deductions or credits, according to Telefilm Canada.

The CRTC in April certified the fund, which is endorsed by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as an independent production fund.