ABOUT AFCOOP

AFCOOP is an accessible member-run centre for the production and presentation of creative films. We offer an e-newsletter, two web sites, socials, screenings, festivals, and volunteer opportunities in a collaborative, learning environment that acts as a resource centre for media artists where people can meet, network, view films, and exchange ideas. AFCOOP also has the most accessible film production equipment and facilities in Nova Scotia, providing our members and the public with access to a wide range of equipment and facilities at reasonable rates, 24-hours a day.

We are a registered charity with a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Our use of peer assessments for grant and program applications strengthens the quality of our decision-making, our engagement in professional arts practitioners, as well as our relevance and responsiveness. Innovation and creative control are the most important considerations when AFCOOP awards financial grants and program entrances.

Our organization’s core activities are film production programs, workshops, and screenings, including the 16mm One Minute Film Program, the 35 mm FILM 5, the Filmmaker In Residence Program, and the Open Grants Program. These activities serve filmmakers and media artists at all experience levels and all ages, including under-served and Aboriginal artists through various outreach programs. AFCOOP also offers dynamic programs for artists of other disciplines to try filmmaking for the first time, and we provide outreach programs to develop new audiences and new artists. AFCOOP annually presents one of the largest slates of film workshops in Canada, covering a myriad of topics, and our film training programs are some of the most comprehensive in the country. Our screening presentations are diverse, challenging, and engaging.

Artistic development and expression and the pursuit of excellence and innovation is at the heart of AFCOOP. Media artists at all levels of development receive funding, equipment, training and education, and professional presentation opportunities through AFCOOP. Our staff works to create opportunities so that filmmakers can control more of the process of creating and screening artistic and challenging films of exceptional quality.

History

“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

In 1973, 17 ambitious artists gathered at the Seahorse Tavern in Halifax to chat about filmmaking. The 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 initial funding provided by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative 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.

Close to 40 years later, AFCOOP is the oldest English-speaking film co-op in Canada. Thousands of films have been created with AFCOOP’s help and our members and community 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.

Governance

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.

Board of Directors

  1. Jennifer Comeau (Chairperson)
  2. Bretten Hannam (Vice-Chairperson)
  3. Ann Bernier (Treasurer)
  4. Peter Gaskin (Secretary)
  5. Tarek Abouamin
  6. Sean Doyle
  7. Sobaz Benjamin
  8. Megan Wennberg
  9. Andrew Burgess
  10. Jeff Wheaton
  11. Evan Jobb (Ex-Officio)
  12. Carolyn Thomas (Ex-Officio)
  13. Ruby Boutilier (Ex-Officio)
  14. Rob Tough (Ex-Officio)
  15. Robert Brushett (Ex-Officio)

Staff

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Executive Director
Martha Cooley - director@afcoop.ca

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Technical Coordinator
Alex Balkam – techcoordinator@afcoop.ca

Digital Media Coordinator
Herb Theriault – herb@afcoop.ca

Volunteer Coordinator – volunteer@afcoop.ca

Volunteer

Whether you are interested in finding out more about the co-op, 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 co-op and must continue to perform ten volunteer hours per year. For each additional hour of volunteer work, full members receive $11 towards equipment rental.

Volunteer tasks include things like serving on a committee, teaching workshops, postering, general office work setting up events and screenings and volunteering on an AFCOOP Full Member film shoot. Individuals are responsible for recording their own hours in AFCOOPs’ Volunteer log.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator: volunteer@afcoop.ca