HELPING CANADIAN TALENT ACHIEVE THEIR FULL POTENTIAL

Our Mission

A Personalized Video Message From Mena

If you donate $100 or more, you will receive a personalized video message from Mena Massoud himself!

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Our Mission

EDA Foundation was founded by Mena Massoud, who plays the titular role in Disney's live-action film Aladdin.

With help from fellow-industry members and the local community, EDA hopes to inspire inclusivity and diversity in the arts and entertainment industry so that young ethnically diverse artists can gain access to the tools they need to jumpstart their careers.

Our Vision

Whether it be access to mentors, aid for training, or assistance with headshots and resumes, at EDA, we believe that providing these basic necessities can make a big difference in the lives of artists in their early days.

Mena struggled for many years before landing the role of Aladdin, and he would like to use his platform to assist other artists as they pursue careers in the industry.

Making A Difference

Donations from our website and future campaigns will go directly to the foundation, and from there, eligible artists can apply for assistance.

Join EDA Foundation as we strive to create, motivate, and inspire diversity in Canadian arts and entertainment!

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Leadership

Meet the Team

Mena Massoud

Founder

Mena Massoud is an exciting young actor making his mark with distinct choices in film and television. Currently Mena can be seen worldwide, starring in the title role of the hugely successful Disney live-action reimagining of ALADDIN, directed by Guy Ritchie and co-starring Will Smith and Naomi Scott. Mena landed ‘Aladdin’ amidst a well-documented worldwide search in which over 2,000 actors from London to Egypt to Abu Dhabi to India auditioned for the role. Up next Mena will be seen in the feature film, RUN THIS TOWN alongside Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev and Damien Lewis. The film has its festival debut at the 2019 SXSW Festival.

On television he can be seen in Amazon and Tom Clancy’s JACK RYAN, opposite John Krasinski and Abbie Cornish. Other credits included Rowan Athale’s STRANGE BUT TRUE alongside Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley and Amy Ryan. Currently he is in production on the new Hulu drama series, REPRISAL, which Warren Littlefield is producing with A+E studios, also starring Abigail Spencer and Rodrigo Santoro.

Outside of acting, Mena founded a company, “Evolving Vegan” which aims to introduce people to plant-based living and help them evolve towards that lifestyle at their own pace. Through Evolving Vegan’s Instagram page and IGTV handle Mena shares episodes in which he visits all the best Vegan restaurants in the United States and beyond. They also have plans to publish a cookbook later this year.

Photo by © Alexi Lubomirski.

Ali Mashayekhi

Co-Founder

Ali Mashayekhi is a Canadian producer who grew up in Toronto, Ontario. During his university years, he pursued his passion for writing, creating cartoons for the local student paper. This experience fostered a long held fascination with film and its industry. In order to create opportunities, he formed the independent production company Landed Entertainments in 2003; he has been at the helm ever since. He has produced several short films, many music videos, feature films and documentaries.

Elma Begovic

Board Member

Bosnian born Elma Begovic is an actress/writer/producer. Due to a civil war in her home country, Begovic grew up in a refugee camp in Berlin, Germany. As a teenager, Elma and her family migrated to Canada, where she began her creative pursuits. An advocate for female focused films and projects celebrating underrepresented artist, Begovic started her own production company, Seek Refuge Productions. Elma splits her time between Los Angeles and Toronto, creating independent film and serving as a board member for the E.D.A Foundation.

Alyssa Petru

Board Member

Manager of Much Studios and YouTube Strategy at Bell Media, Alyssa Petru has been at the forefront of the influencer business in Canada, and has worked within the music community at Much and MTV Canada, operating in our evolving media industry for more than six years.

Alyssa was one of three team members who would go on to help launch Much Studios, Bell Media’s multi-channel network in 2015, and continues her journey today building Bell Media’s influence through Creator-driven content. From launching original podcasts to web series’, supporting Creator integration in Bell Media initiatives, and developing YouTube strategy, Alyssa is excited to break through barriers and pave the way for new opportunities for young professionals and creators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions. If you can’t find an answer, use a Contact form.

What is EDA’s mission?

EDA aims to provide focused support to young, ethnically diverse artists, empowering Canadian talent with the resources they need to break into the industry.

Who is this for?

EDA’s application process is open to artists (actors, musicians, visual artists, etc.) who are:

  • BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour)
  • Women
  • LGBTQ+ persons

What kind of support do we provide?

EDA will customize support to suit the needs of each artist in ways that will elevate their ability to showcase their talent in the arts and entertainment industry.

Depending on the individual’s needs, artists will receive support in the form of:

Access to mentorship offering valuable feedback from active members of the industry. For example, one-on-one advising from casting directors, talent agents, managers and/or actors.

AND/OR

Financial support in the form of targeted, strategic opportunities. For example, professional headshot and/or photoshoot sessions, gallery rentals, and/or recording studio sessions.

Who is eligible?

In addition to being a member of one of the communities noted above, artists wishing to access support through EDA must meet all of the eligibility requirements below:

  • Must be Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada.
  • Must be between the ages of 18-35.
  • Must not already be established as a professional artist (i.e. signed to an agency or major label record company).

How can I apply?

EDA’s support program considers eligible artists throughout the year and there is no formal application process. We will be working with local organizations and industry partners to identify talent that might benefit from this support.

Interested individuals can inquire at support@edafoundation.com

News

Why Seeing Yourself Represented on Screen
Is So Important

UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report reveals a few bright spots for women and minorities

The lack of diversity in Canadian media is ‘hard to ignore’ — and the numbers prove it

Ready to change lives?
Your gift will help bring ethnically diverse artists a step closer to reaching their goals.