The Atlantic Filmmakers’ Cooperative is a member-run arts-centre for the production and presentation of creative films in a collaborative, learning environment. It is also an inclusive, welcoming organization that has undertaken outreach efforts to reach artists who are members of under-served communities. AFCOOP’s Objectives are to:

  1. Provide assistance to members for the production of independent, non-commercial films
  2. Provide facilities and instruction for the training of filmmakers
  3. Provide film-related programming within the community.

AFCOOP’s Primary Funding Sources are:

  • Canada Council for the Arts
  • The Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage
  • The National Film Board of Canada
  • CBC Television Atlantic
  • The Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation
  • Membership fees
  • Fund raising


In 1973, 17 ambitious artists gathered at the Seahorse Tavern to chat about filmmaking. The drinks and conversation flowed and someone came up with the idea of establishing a filmmakers’ co-operative in Halifax.

Thanks to the dedication of these 17 filmmakers, and funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, AFCOOP was incorporated a year later on June 3rd, 1974. Some of the original members were Chuck Lapp, Don Duchene, Bill MacGillivray, Chuck Clark, Lionel Simmons and Ramona MacDonald.

More than thirty years later, AFCOOP is the oldest film co-op in English-speaking Canada. Hundreds of films have been created with AFCOOP’s help and our members have received national and international recognition for their work. Many of Nova Scotia’s most prominent directors and producers have been or continue to be associated with AFCOOP.

"the Co-op constantly reinvented itself and carried on, much to the amazement of the older alumni. AFCOOP’s independence, energy and ability to give access to new creative artists is what makes it constantly relevant."
Founding member, Chuck Clark

Some AFCOOP achievements

  1. Jim MacSwain and Bonnie Baker established the Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Atlantic. This later became Atlantic Independent Media.
  2. Gordon Parsons started independent film screenings as an AFCOOP activity, and eventually formed Wormwood’s Dog and Monkey Cinema-the first independently owned cinema in Atlantic Canada (sadly, it closed down in 1998). AFCOOP continues to help show repertory cinema and hold regular film screenings of limited release and independent films, including member projects, at a number of locations throughout Halifax.
  3. AFCOOP was a key supporter of the Atlantic Film Festival in its early days and lobbied to create the Nova Scotia Arts council.


AFCOOP is the most accessible film production facility in Nova Scotia. We provide the community with access to a wide range of film equipment 24 hours a day and at reasonable rates. Members receive greatly reduced rental rates.

AFCOOP also provides education and training in the art of filmmaking, offering a broad range of workshops and courses that are open to the public and are offered on a cost recovery basis. AFCOOP’s education initiatives also include scholarship and production / training programs for beginning and intermediate level filmmakers.

The Open Grant Program provides filmmakers at all levels of experience with access to production funds and equipment rental. The Open Grant awards up to $3,000 four times per year.

Most importantly AFCOOP provides a community and an open, friendly environment where people can meet, network and obtain information. We maintain a crew binder, talent binder, a film and video library, filmmaking books and magazines. AFCOOP staff are available to help with technical support and general filmmaking advice.



As a Cooperative, AFCOOP is governed by its members. Every member has the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors or Committees, and full members are entitled to voting privileges at AFCOOP’s quarterly meetings.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held once a year and is the supreme governing body of the organization. The AGM is responsible for electing a Board of Directors (no less than seven and no more than ten) responsible for the governance of AFCOOP in between Annual General Meetings


Our Board of Directors


  1. Jeff Wheaton (Chair-person)
  2. Rob Tough (Vice-Chair)
  3. John Hoar (Treasurer)
  4. Tara Thorne
  5. Ivy Ho
  6. Cory Bowles
  7. Solomon Nagler
  8. Lisa Morse
  9. Herb Theriault
  10. Ex Officio
  11. Kris Gilbert
  12. Floyd Kane
  13. Christopher Fost


Whether you are interested in finding out more about the Coop, are a member fulfilling the required volunteer hours, or simply interested in contributing to the community, everyone is welcome to volunteer at AFCOOP.

In order to become a Full Member you must donate ten volunteer hours to the Coop and must continue to perform ten volunteer hours per year. For each additional hour of volunteer work, full members receive $10 towards equipment rental.

Volunteer tasks include things like serving on a committee, teaching workshops, postering and general office work. Working on AFCOOP member productions does not qualify as volunteer time.

If you are interested in volunteering, or are a full member who wishes to receive a volunteer credit certificate write membership@afcoop.ca

Individuals are responsible for recording their own hours in AFCOOPs’ Volunteer log.



Answering the main phone line, greeting guests/members, retrieving guests/members from the 2nd floor door, answering general inquiries, issuing receipts for workshop sign-ups, and similar tasks.

You will need to familiarize yourself with a few basic procedures (like where receipts are kept) and know where to find information (most of which is on the website or in a brochure).


Two things really, but both at once is efficient!

First, dropping off flyers at any and all flyer racks you can think of (and we have a list). These would be for Workshops, Monday Night Movies, and other events.

Second, stapling up posters along major pedestrian routes in the South End, North End, Downtown/Barrington/Waterfront, Downtown/Spring Garden, and around the universities.

During the September to April season we need a lot of postering and flyer distribution done – this activity is truly valuable to the success of AFCOOP’s events.