Collective Statement by the Board and Staff of LIFT – Actions to Support Black Lives Matter


Collective Statement by the Board and Staff of the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT)

June 4, 2020

The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) stands in solidarity with our Black members, Black colleagues, and Black-led organizations. We extend condolences to the families and communities of loved ones whose lives have been lost during these past few weeks. That includes Regis Korchinski-Paquet, the young Toronto woman who died last week in the Toronto Police Services’ presence. We want to acknowledge all the lives that have been tragically lost and traumatized at the hands of systemic violence and discrimination for generations.

As an organization that aims to prioritize diversity, we do so while knowing there is a lack of true plurality in the arts and that there is persistent harm caused to Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) in our community and beyond due to white privilege. The current calls for support by Black activists, organizers, and allies is a call to action that LIFT hears and takes seriously.

We will hold ourselves accountable and appreciate that there is no time to waste in creating change. LIFT is one of the most established artist run centres in Canada and has benefited from the support from all levels of government for nearly 40 years. This is a privileged position to occupy and even more incentive to use our resources to work towards decolonizing the independent media arts in Canada.

There is a lot more to do.

That is why LIFT is dedicated to the ongoing work of anti-racism by:
– Sharing resources to increase our support of Black-led arts organizations and community initiatives.

– Amplifying the voices and work of our Black staff, colleagues, and members through our social networks.

– Remaining diligent and continuous in our commitment to support our Black membership by ensuring that the environment and services LIFT provides is consciously affirming to Black artists and dismantles anti-Black racism by listening and responding to feedback by BIPOC staff, members, and Black-led organizations in our arts community with mindful and swift action.

Ratifying our new Code of Conduct by the end of this summer, which will aim to protect the well-being and safety of everyone who engages with our organization.

We are thankful to the members of our community who actively engage with LIFT and our community through your art practices. We will hold ourselves to a higher standard as we work together to create a more equitable space in what can be a competitive and exploitative industry.

Below is a list of organizations, educational resources, petitions and charities in which you can donate and stand in solidarity with, both today and during the ongoing fight to a more equitable future.

Black and Indigenous focused arts organizations amplifying filmmakers and media artists across the Greater Toronto Area,  which also happen to accept donations:


Black Women Film! Canada

Black Youth! Pathway 2 Industry (BYP2I)


Film in Colour

The Film Stars Project

imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Indigenous Screen Office

Nia Centre for the Arts

Reel World Film Festival

Regent Park Film Festival

Toronto Queer Film Festival

Toronto Black Film Festival


Black Canadian Organizations Accepting Donations

The Black Health Alliance

Black-Led Mental Health Support Fund:

Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC)
Non-Profit Legal Clinic for Low-to-No Income Black Residents of Ontario

Black Lives Matter Toronto

Black Youth Helpline

Caribbean African Canadian Social Services (CAFCAN)

Justice for Regis:

Local Toronto Black-Owned Businesses to Support

The Most Nurtured

Non-Profit Legal Clinic for Low-to-No Income Black Residents of Ontario

Toronto Protestor Bail Fund

Women’s Health in Women’s Hands

Bail funds split between 70+ communities in the United State  of America:


Demand an Inquiry into the Death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet:⁠

2020 Toronto Police Budget – Call For Action / Defunding Template


WITNESS – Brooklyn, New York
Resources for Documenting Protests and Ethically Using Video

Authority Collective – United States of America
Resources for Photographers (Readings, safety, actions to take)

LIFT Board of Directors and Staff