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WINTER 2018 



President’s Message

Now, as we celebrate 75 years of union activ-

ism in the arts, we stand on the shoulders

of those early members and all the others

who have since volunteered tomake things

better and more secure for performers

working in the audiovisual sector. Those

first inspired activists probably never im-

agined what their walkout would become.

In 2016, the film& TV sector in Canada grew

to over $7 billion in production spending

and created over 140 thousand Full-time

Equivalent (FTE) jobs. ACTRA has and con-

tinues to play a large role in building our

important domestic industry. Performers

have always been and remain the face of

Canadian culture. Through the diversity

of our performances, we have helped to

define what it is to be Canadian. We project

Canada to the world, supporting all kinds

of Canadian business pursuits, including

tourism, immigration andmore. Our indus-

try is an important driver of the Canadian


ACTRA is also the go-to voice on the arts

in Canada, andwe punch above our weight

on the international stage too, taking a

leading role in discussions surrounding the

best of contract provisions and on intellec-

tual property rights for audiovisual artists.

Our union was the first to negotiate terms

for Internet Use. We were the first to land

a national contract for videogame produc-

tion . . . the only such contract to include

terms for residual Use. Our last Independ-

ent Production Agreement (IPA) landed Use

provisions that now see work broadcast

in Digital Media treated the same as work

done for conventional broadcast. Similarly,

our latest National Commercial Agreement

(NCA) sees members better compensated

with full session fees and increased Use

fees for digital commercials. We do this im-

portant work because change is happening

 . . . constantly.

With each change, we’re told by our pro-

ducer/engager partners, “Thismay not catch

on. We’re not sure how tomonetize this. Be

flexible.” Fortunately, successive groups of

member volunteers and staff have figured

out the necessary steps and always worked

to put performers first. Their efforts include

work done on everything from contracts, to

work opportunities, health & safety, respect

on set, diversity, inclusion, accessibility,

political lobbying, industry relations, pen-

sion & retirement (AFBS), CASCU—the bank

for performers—and somany more import-

ant initiatives.

So, YES! As self-employed workers in the

ACTRA’s January presser to

discuss combatting sexual

harassment in creative industries:

Sedina Fiati, Mélanie Joly,

Theresa Tova, David Sparrow.

Jay Smith with Don Iverson,

Mayor of Edmonton, on Labour

Day in 2014.

Keith Martin Gordey (left)

promotes ACTRA at 2017 CLC.

Ellen David and Tristan D. Lalla

lobby MPs in 2016.

Mark McKinney at


2009 Parliament Hill rally.


Radio, recorded on wax tubes,

records; TV, live and recorded;

cassette tapes, 8-track,

videotape, laser discs, CDs,

DVDs, thumb-drives; cable, satellite,

Internet; streaming via AVOD,

SVOD; social media . . . we’ve been

adapting and negotiating new

technologies into our contracts

since the dawn of ACTRA.