LCA! Receives Kudos From Its Members—and From the City of Toronto
By Leesa Levinson, founder and executive director
Lights, camera, access! (LCA!) started the new year with excitement and a flurry of activity. We are especially honoured to be an award recipient of 2011 Bob Marley Day in the City of Toronto. Here is an excerpt of the notice that we received:
Dear Ms. Levinson,
I am pleased to inform you that the Bob Marley Day Committee has chosen you as a 2011 Bob Marley Day Award recipient… Each year our list of award recipients has included the Best of the Best. This year our theme is “Diversity Our Strength” in recognition of the individuals and organizations who play a leadership role in building bridges with our diverse communities. As the diverse population continues its tremendous growth it becomes even more critical that the doors of opportunities are open to all. The Bob Marley Day Committee congratulates you on your tremendous leadership and the role you have played in making the City of Toronto a universal beacon for diversity.
LCA! Program Manager Dean Ifill agrees that we are headed in the right direction and has great plans for the future. “With LCA! getting ready to officially launch in our third operational year, our goal is to further develop programs, partnerships and workshops that include persons with disabilities,” he says. “The LCA! growth strategy acknowledges the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) of 2025 [as we move forward] on our path. Recognizing that change must be supported by the masses, LCA! will forge ahead as the lifeline to the entertainment industry for persons with disabilities. We look to our partners and collaborators to join with LCA! as we officially reveal ourselves to the nation to enable, empower and include people with disabilities.”
Here is what some of our members have to say about us:
? Tony Ojo-Aje, LCA! new member registration “LCA! is a great place for people with disabilities for inclusive participation on the world stage of media, film and artistic professionalism. I feel a sense of belonging. Everyone treats you as family and lends a helping hand to enlarge your horizon. The fact is that people with disabilities are [active] in every segment of life: doctors, mothers, politicians, teachers, engineers and administrative positions. My dream is to see a TV series that will feature many people with disabilities—even a soap opera including major roles written for us.”
- Rahima Mulla, LCA! outreach coordinator and journalist “LCA! is a great innovation. This is an inclusive place for people with disabilities to exchange ideas and stories. LCA! gives members networking opportunities and produces results that are educational and rewarding, which can lead to employment.”
- Jean-Paul Michellepis, actor and writer “Being part of LCA! allows me, and other talents with disabilities, exposure and opportunities in developing scripts and connections to the industry.”
- Catherine Girard, actress “I think LCA! is a wonderful organization. I really enjoy all of the events/gigs that I am able to participate in. It’s a great way to gain exposure in the field of media/acting/talent!”
- Ann Marie Pellat, actress and writer “LCA! is a gem of an organization within the entertainment industry. It fosters passion and talent from all involved and is a great voice advocating for inclusion. I am proud to be part of LCA! I see it as a vital key to putting persons with disabilities in the mainstream and helping to provide role models for the generations that follow.”
- George Aleviros, 13, LCA! member, enthusiast and rising star “I think LCA! is an amazing organization that [puts] people with disabilities into the film and entertainment industry, and I think that people with disabilities should have a chance to shine—LCA! offers all of that.”
We are excited to kick off a membership drive to reinvigorate our existing members and reach out to people with disabilities who are interested in becoming a part of the media scene. LCA! promotes accurate portrayal and increased inclusion and reflection of people with disabilities. Come and join our growing LCA! family.
LCA! Thanks our Premier Partner— CTV—without which we would be unable to do this incredible work. We would also like to thank the countless friends who continue to support us along this journey and those who have graciously offered guidance and assistance along the way.
If you are interested in becoming a member or sponsor, please contact us at http://lightscameraaccess.ca/ or call 416-363-9948.
LCA! Would like to thank our partners and supporters:
CTV, Ontario Media Development Corporation, Productions Without Borders, Pinewood Studios, Actra Toronto, Inclusive Design Research Centre, City of Toronto, Banff World Media Festival
LCA! is honoured with a Bob Marley Day Award. From left: Mike Perry (Executive Assistant), Leesa Levinson (Executive Director) and Dean Ifill (Program Manager)