After dedicating nearly two decades to the film and creative industry, Jason Mackay observed a disappointing lack of diversity among both cast and crews. What started as an Excel spreadsheet of people to call when he was looking for a production crew grew quickly and the Collective Bunch Society was born.
“At first, I just wanted to build a sense of community for crews and creatives in the industry who identify as Indigenous, Black, People of Color and LGBTQIA2S+,” says Jason.
“My mission is to showcase unrepresented talent and help drive business to them. It also makes good business sense for companies to tell stories from a diverse lens.”
Alongside community partners, Vancity helps Black Canadian business owners and entrepreneurs with financing to grow their business. By 2023, the Collective Bunch has an impressive directory of diverse talent providing producers, production managers, development executives, and broadcasters access to an inclusive pool of professionals.
Vancity provides financing for the Black Entrepreneurship Program offered by FACE, a Black-led national non-profit organization with the aim of accelerating wealth creation for Canadians of African descent. The program provides wrap-around support including access to capital, tailored advice, mentorship, education, networking opportunities, and more.
The Collective Bunch received capacity-building support from Vancity to reach more people in their community who may benefit from it. In collaboration with Black Business Association of BC, Collective Bunch members gain access to pre- and post-loan training and education for Black entrepreneurs, such as business plan preparation and marketing support.
“So many creatives never look at themselves like a business, so they don’t know how to manage their money like a business,” says Jason. “I want these individuals to have that view, so they can build wealth for themselves and their families.”
It was more than just financial support.
“It was the first time someone outside the creative field believed in what I was doing,” says Jason. “Vancity’s support – the fact that a financial institution has our back – signaled to our community that we have allies.”
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