In case you are wondering if you should donate to the festival, or how donations affect the Advance Order process, this article describes the benefits and impacts. Full information on the donation levels can be found at http://tiffg.ca/support/default.aspx.
Notable benefits for donors include:
- As of June 1, 10:00 AM, donors can start purchasing ticket packages; all others have to wait until July 6.
- As of August 27, 10:00 AM, donors of $1,000 or more can start purchasing individual premium tickets (i.e. premium screenings at Roy Thomson Hall and the Visa Screening Room); all others have to wait until September 4. A lot of the literature out there seems to imply all donors can purchase early, but the TIFFG site states the benefit is only available to $1,000 donors and above.
- Tax receipt for donations above $10.
- Priority in the Advance Order process at the Benefactor level and above (i.e. a minimum donation of $250); priority increases with the donation level.
Donor levels include:
- 52/7 Circle Level: $5,000
- Gold Level: $3,500
- Silver Screen Level: $2,000
- Film Club Level: $1,000
- Associate Level: $500
- Benefactor Level: $250
- Ambassador Level: $100
- Supporter Level: $25
I had the chance last year to talk to Jesse Hawken, Assistant Manager of Customer Relations at TIFF about the donor benefits in the Advance Order process. Previously, donors were served out of the industry box office, and had a private allotment of tickets. However, as of last year, the process changed in that any unused donor-allotted tickets were returned to the pool available for the general public.
In 2008, there were 78 boxes in the draw, with an additional 7 boxes for donors, separated by donor level. None of the donor boxes were full, and each donor box is about 1.5 times the size of a normal box. No screenings were completely cleared out by donor orders.
One benefit resulting from donations is providing student and senior pricing for screenings at the festival.
On a separate note, Hawken also talked to the Visa Screening Room, and that the changes there for the 2008 festival were a consequence of not wanting to raise prices. He did say the festival would look at the Visa Screening Room for 2009, and their published commitments so far would seem to indicate they followed through on that, especially the guarantee that there won't be any gala films that can't be accessed by the normal ticket packages.