The Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) 

ONE, a new album

by Michael Hart

Scripts on Fire new play competition

The Pandemic Special Edition from Fire Exit Theatre

The Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF)  awards Shirley Douglas the lifetime achievement award for 2020

Kiefer Sutherland accepting award on Ms. Douglas’ behalf.

The fourth annual Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival announced that Ms. Shirley Douglas will be awarded posthumously the Lifetime Achievement Award for her lifelong work as a great Canadian artist. This award will be accepted by her son Kiefer Sutherland.

The CIFF film festival that usually takes place at the Toronto Hotel X will be going virtual this year with the online film festival platform FestiVee. The festival will run for two days, Friday September 18th and 19th and will have over 30 films available to be viewed over the course of one month. The festival also features several online panels with industry professionals from around the world discussing their craft in a video conference platform.

Rounding out the festival will be a virtual red carpet awards show honoring the filmmakers and artists in the following categories: Best PictureBest DocumentaryBest ShortBest AnimationBest DirectorBest Lead ActorBest Lead ActressBest Supporting ActorBest Supporting ActressBest ScreenplayBest Music VideoBest Web/New Media, Faith Achievement Award.

Jason Barbeck co-founder and executive director commented, “Amidst the restrictions of COVID-19, we are thrilled to be able to showcase the calibre of talent and films through CIFF online. Ms. Shirley Douglas was a Canadian treasure and I would venture to say one of the founding members of our culture both artistically and politically. She was an advocate to the arts and fought to help shape our industry.”


The Canadian International Faith & Family Film Festival (CIFF) is a division of A.C.T. Canada & International (Artists in Christian Testimony Incorporated), a charitable not-for-profit organization. Their vision is to minister through media. They are well on their way to becoming an international leader in the faith and family-based film/music culture. CIFF is generously supported by contributors including founding sponsor A.C.T. Canada and International.


ONE  by Michael Hart

Michael Hart has paid some dues in Canada.  He’s put out eight albums between 1985-2010, played in every province in the country – even receiving several positive reviews in secular press along the way.  He’s also held two worship-leading positions over 8 years. Then he went MIA for ten years, only to resurface in May this year to release his ninth album, ONE.  Released in the thick of Covid.

Although lots of veteran artists come to mind who have taken some type of ‘mid-lfe’ hiatus, generally there’s some curiosity as to their absence?

Hart says, “I went back to Regent College 2007-2009 to finish a Masters. During that time, I got the nudge to serve beyond music and teaching and consider a form of ‘coming alongside pastoring.’  Long story short, this led to two positions in Chaplaincy, it’s a subversive form of pastoring that puts you straight into the societal fabric, I love it! Presently I am the Chaplain Music Co-ordinator for guys in drug addiction in the DTES, in the midst of the present opioid crisis. I’ve learned a lot about music as a tool to aid in the recovery and healing of the human heart. I’ve heard some real out of the box stories, reminders of the human brokenness all of us have.”

So, what motivated him to record ONE?

“It was mostly performed “live off the floor” @ Studio Downe Under in Abbotsford. I started writing a lot in 2015, and approached jazz pianist Nelson Boschman to see if he’d be willing to rehearse together to see how the new material would stand up with just acoustic guitar,/vocal and piano. We rehearsed 14 tunes off-and-on for 4 years, trying different keys and tempos, as well as revised lyrics for the ten chosen, with ONE ending up as title (Ephesians 4:5).  I feel it’s important to put the Christian narrative out there in our time. Worship songs have their needed liturgical place for the Body,  but I wanted to sing to non-churched as well. Some have said the album is worshipful and lifts them up to the One, whereas a secular person might say they like the groove or a certain song.  So, I’m happy either way, but it’s probably why this is more of a ‘crossover album’, yet there’s no vagueness about the Christian impetus of the project,” says Hart.

ONE is jazzy and uplifting, with a percussive rhythm section driven by drummer Phil Robertson and bassist Gord Lemon. Blues-rock guitarist Graham Ord embellishes each song with tasty guitar riffs.  Nelson Boschman’s piano solos are buoyant. There are also some smoking BG vocals and sweet violins interspersed, but never taking over the songs. Hart’s vocals have never sounded better, and those lyric revisions must have paid off as there isn’t anything to add to what’s being expressed.  All the professional musicians and singers on this project are believers. Plus, the sales from the album serve a great cause: 25 percent of all CD sales, or Bandcamp proceeds, are donated towards those who’ve suffered from sex trafficking.

For more info and links go to

Scripts on Fire new play competition

The Pandemic Special Edition from Fire Exit Theatre

New lower entry fee
New deadline


What are you thinking about these days? What are your thoughts, dreams, fears for the new world? Or do we just go back to the old? Is God on the move or has he gone MIA?

Fire Exit Theatre would love to know what’s rumbling around inside of you. About being broken. Being healed. Being afraid. Being courageous. Being together. Being alone. Being certain in uncertainty. Being human.

They love stories about what you believe, what you don’t believe and why. Fire Exit Theatre exists to create conversations and tell stories that matter.

Send them yours.

If you’ve never submitted to before, this is the year. Seriously, it is.

If you have submitted in the past and have done some rewrites it may be time to submit again.

The script must be accompanied by a non-refundable $25.00 CDN entry fee.

Normally the preferred script length is 80 minutes or more, but for this year they are willing to look at scripts that are a minimum of 60 minutes.

Entry deadline is September 15th, 2020 at 23:59 MST (22:59 PST)

The script must be written in English.

The script must be original. Adaptations of other works will not be accepted.

Musicals will not be accepted.

Copyright remains with the author.

The competition is open to all residents of Canada.


  • First Prize: $500, a workshop and staged reading. (Fire Exit Theatre will have the option for inaugural production as a part of their 2021-2022 season).
  • Honourable Mentions: A prize of $200 may be awarded for Honourable Mention (up to 2 per competition).

If you have any questions about what to submit, how to submit, and why you should submit, contact the Artistic Director –

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Author: P R