Think what you will about the Canadian film and television industry – love it, hate it, whatever. Here’s what the rest of the world thinks: Canada, Toronto in particular, provides a deep reservoir of industry talent. When you need skilled lighting techs, and grips, and composers, and 3D cinematographers, and every other motion picture position you can think to fill, Canada is a fine place to start. And it is organizations like The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design (CAFTCAD) that make sure that message is know and broadcast far and wide.
CAFTCAD was founded in 2008 when a small group of designers got to together and thought what if? What if there were a professional association of designers, assistant designers, and stylists in Toronto? What if this association provided seminars and speaking series, allowing passionate professionals to meet, share knowledge, and network? What if that association worked with other organizations and the public to promote the great work and talent available in the custom arts field in Canada? Thus, CAFTCAD was born and the organization has been meeting those mandates ever since.
For their industry members, CAFTCAD routinely offers workshops, symposiums, networking events, and a constant stream of industry related information. Through discounted student memberships, CAFTCAD offers the next generation of Canadian costume designs to bump shoulders and benefit from the knowledge of Canada’s most talented professionals. CAFTCAD also produces an annual series of weekend seminars known as Caftcademy for professionals to workshop, connect and learn from one another. To best serve the entire community of costumer designers and stylists, from neophytes to seasoned veterans, CAFTCAD offers a varied menu of membership levels and options.
Now, I know what you’re thinking? Seminars and industry workshops are great, but what’s in it for me? If by ‘me’ you mean ‘the public’, CAFTCAD’s got you covered. While the foundation or the organization’s mandate is to serve as an association for industry professionals, CAFTCAD also aims to raise public awareness about the value of costume design, the place costumes hold in the collaborative creative process of filmmaking, and promoting recognition of Canadian talent in the field. Parts of this hearts and minds campaign is a roster of community events, parties, and exhibitions of that Canadian talent and their extraordinary work.
Most recently, CAFTCAD partnered with TIFF to present Otherworldly: The Art of Canadian Costume Design, a free exhibition at TIFF Bell Lightbox. From January to March of 2012, the public was invited to take an up close look at costumes, sketches, artifacts and photos from some of the finest Canadian costume design talent. The exhibit included pieces from Johnny Mnemonic, Saw VI, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Videodrome, just to name a few. The exhibit also included talks and presentations from the designers themselves, and special events for elementary and grade school students.
For all the fashionista film fans out there, CAFTCAD hosts a roster of sales. From the annual Movie Wardrobe Sale held each June, to designer sample sales, to decorator fabric sales, a CAFTCAD sale allows you the opportunity to score a great bargain, dress up like your favorite television or movie character, and to find out just how tiny your favorite actress really is. As a matter of fact, there’s probably no better place to work on your film shopping fantasies after being inspired by all the film fashion content in the TFS this month.
For more information on CAFTCAD membership, events, and community programs visit http://www.caftcad.com.
This month Toronto Film Scene is unzipping the mystery surrounding Fashion in Film. Who are the people behind the clothing choices, where in Toronto do they shop and what are some examples of great costuming? We’ll also check in with CAFTCAD, revisit the relationship between Edith Head and Alfred Hitchcock and look at films that have inspired fashion trends.
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