TORONTO -- Thousands of artists based in Canada will have another resource to turn to for their financial needs.
Canadian artists, film and television industry professionals are celebrating the recent approval to incorporate Ontario's newest entity, the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union.
Creative Arts is poised to begin operations after it raises $2.5 million in startup capital through investment shares, according to the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists-Toronto, which represents more than 11,000 of Canada's 21,000 professional performers. After raising capital, the credit union will be prepared to offer financial products and services tailored to working artists.
"This is great news for artists," said Peter Keleghan, Creative Arts board member and artist whose film roles include parts in "Made in Canada," "The Newsroom" and "Billable Hours."
"In the past, traditional banks have tended to overlook our needs," he said. "It's high time an institution was created to give artists a leg up, by providing access to the financial services many other people take for granted."
The credit union's approval marks a key milestone in a long process spearheaded by ACTRA and other film and television industry guilds and unions.
"The Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union is an idea whose time has come," said Steve Mumford, CEO of Creative Arts. "It says something about the strong fundamentals of our business plan that our proposal would be approved in such uncertain financial times. Now artists, and other entertainment industry professionals, can look forward to being treated with the respect they deserve."