The Fabienne Colas Foundation announces

THE NATIONAL BLACK ARTS FUND

A major crowdfunding campaign launched to benefit its

BLACK CANADIAN FESTIVALS & ARTS INITIATIVES

Supporters and allies can DONATE HERE directly

July 15, 2020 (Montreal, QC) – A powerhouse team from across the country have joined forces to solve a problem that has deep roots in systemic racism. Under the leadership of the Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), a not-for-profit arts organization created in 2006, the following Canadian organizations and initiatives are coming together to launch the National Black Arts Fund, a major fundraising initiative to directly support:

Being Black in Canada (Canada’s largest Training, Mentorship & Creation Program entirely dedicated to Black Filmmakers), the Montreal International Black Film Festival, the Toronto Black Film Festival, Halifax Black Film Festival, the Festival Haiti en Folie in Montreal, the Fade to Black Festival, the Halifax Black Summer Festival and the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s Youth & Diversity Program.

The National Black Arts Fund today launches with a crowdfunding initiative, which will bridge the gap needed to properly support Black Artists, Black Festivals and Black Initiatives, while still working towards the long-term, systemic changes the current #BlackLivesMatter movement is calling for. To have change, there needs to be concrete action that moves beyond the explosion of social consciousness and awakening on social media.

Supporters and allies can donate directly to the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s National Black Arts Fund HERE.

Black artists represent the most marginalized and underserved group in the Canadian arts community. Black-owned Festivals, Black arts organizations and Black initiatives have been facing systemic barriers for the longest time when it comes to funding access.

Recently, the Government of Canada has set aside $500M to help alleviate the financial pressures of affected organizations through the COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund for Cultural, Heritage and Sport Organizations. An historic announcement that gave hope to Black Artists, Black Festivals and Black arts organizations, quickly turned into a bitter pill to swallow when the reality became clear that due to governments eligibility criteria, many Black organizations across the country were not able to access any of those funds.

Situations like these perpetuate the cycle of poverty within Black Communities, enhance economic inequalities, deepen social injustice, jeopardize the inclusion of Diversity in the arts and weaken the Canadian Society. The system, as it stands right now, is set up so many black organizations will fall even further behind. This is not acceptable, and we need to take action!

The FCF is responding to a national crisis for its Black Artists, Festivals and organizations. Forced by ineffective funding rules, the FCF has brought together numerous Black festivals and events from across the country, who have been severely impacted by the current socio-economic crisis and the governments lack of dedicated financial aid for Black arts organizations and Festivals, to create The National Black Arts Fund.

The funds raised will allow the Foundation to support these initiatives and continue the important work of providing a stronger platform to marginalized Black artists, fostering more diversity in front and behind the camera as well as offering even more impactful entertainment to the masses.

“Black Canadian Artists remain marginalized and invisible. The system, as it stands right now, is set up so that many black organizations will fall even further behind. This is not acceptable, and we are taking action for massive and lasting change!” Said Fabienne Colas, President of the Fabienne Colas Foundation. “We invite the general population, other Black organizations, the private sector and the government to join this bold initiative in support of the unheard, invisible, underserved and underfunded ones.”

“This is a great initiative to create opportunities and amplify the voices of Black artists across Canada who continue to face systemic barriers in accessing funds,” said Wes Hall, Founder and Chairman of The Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic and the BlackNorth Initiative, a business-centric initiative focussed on the removal of anti-Black systemic barriers negatively affecting the lives of Black Canadians. “We look forward to our strategic partnership with the Fabienne Colas Foundation to develop solutions and strategies to dismantle these barriers, one by one.”

Donate today & make change

About the Fabienne Colas Foundation

The Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF) is a non-profit cultural organization whose vision is to build Bridges, supporting Education & promoting Diversity through the arts. Its mission is to advance education in the arts as well as to support the creation, production, promotions, and dissemination of cinema, arts and culture in Canada and abroad. The FCF is a forum for discussing the major artistic, cultural, social and socio-economic issues currently facing us. With its partners and backers, the Fabienne Colas Foundation wants to continue to leverage the power of the arts for massive inclusion, positive social change, strong community building and impactful economic impact. The FCF has created 9 ARTS FESTIVALS in Canada and throughout the world – including the Montreal Intl Black Film Festival, The Toronto Black Film Festival, the Halifax Black Film Festival, Festival Haiti en Folie in Montreal, Fade to Black Festival, Halifax Black Summer Festival, the Quebec Film Festival in Haiti, the Salvador Black Film Festival (in Bahia, Brazil), and the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s YOUTH & DIVERSITY PROGRAM which includes the BEING BLACK IN CANADA Mentorship & Training Program. Over the years, the Fabienne Colas Foundation’s initiatives and Festivals have supported over 2,000 ARTISTS and welcomed around 1 MILLION FESTIVALGOERS. www.FondationFabienneColas.org

Source: The Fabienne Colas Foundation – www.FondationFabienneColas.org

For interviews and promotional materials:

National: Talar Adams, Press Relations Coordinator – press@TorontoBlackFilm.com | 514-833-0274

Toronto: Cassie Jorgensen, publicist – cassie@nkpr.net | 647-401-1392

Montreal: Veronique Fecteau, publicist – veronique@perfecteaucomm.com | 514-893-0772

Halifax: Wendy Phillips, publicist – wendy@pprl.ca | 902-492-0960