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skills using social media and YouTube;

andmuch, muchmore. Your Councils have

been busy anticipating the future and

adapting to it while alsomaking sure you

are properly and fairly compensatedwhen

you work.

This year the theme for the Canadian

Labour Congress Convention was “Working

for a Fair Future,” and that’s what we do

every day at ACTRA. The approved CLC

resolution onMedia, Culture and Communi-

cations included components specific to

the work done by ACTRA members, with

Alvin Sanders, Ayla Lukic-Roman and

myself stepping up to speak passionately

at the Convention about these issues. Clara

Pasieka spoke about the issues faced by

precarious workers—especially how young

performers are affected. The resolution

onWomen’s Economic Justice was passed,

with Ferne Downey speaking about critical

issues affecting all women workers.

I want to shine a light on the work of the

excellent Ferne Downey. She served as our

National President for eight years. She has

been an example and an inspiration. She

Facing our


head on

By David Sparrow

ACTRA National President

Hello ACTRAvists across Canada. We have

a great union! For almost 75 years, members

just like us have worked hard to build a

strong and active recordedmedia industry

in Canada. We bring life to Canadian ideas

and voices, and we project our culture and

stories to the world. Our work results in a

stronger Canadian identity and a stronger

national economy. These are the messages

we bring to governments at every level from

St. John’s to Vancouver . . . 

Artists matter. They make a difference.

Culture matters. It is our legacy.

Canadian performers brand and market

Canada across the globe.

My name is David Sparrow and I am hum-

bled to joinour Vice President, AlvinSanders,

our Treasurer, Theresa Tova, and National

Councillors from across the land to lead

our union of professional performers over

the next two years. We have a lot of work to

do to ensure our contracts and business

practices keep pace with evolving technol-

ogy; to address the growth of non-union

work; and to continue to improve our

own union solidarity in every corner of our

wonderful country.

For many years now, my goals around

our Council tables have been to champion

success for themiddle-class actor, to ensure

your union card is not a barrier to your

creativity and to improve work opportun-

ities for every member of ACTRA no mat-

ter where they call home. Simplifying and

modernizing our agreements and how our

industry partners can access them will

make us stronger as we move further into

the 21st century—because regional issues

are National issues and local challenges

demand National support.

We have beenworking hard together too.

We have prioritized gender and diversity

equity on screens and in our own govern-

ance; we secured a 105 per cent prepayment

for IPA work produced for the Internet;

we fought to reinstate a full session fee for

made-for-commercial work; we created

flexible pilot projects to promote voicework;

we developed a Digital Self-Promotion

Guideline so members can market their

raised the bar and took us forcefully on to the

international stage. Her work as President

of FIA and her efforts to build a stronger

relationship with SAG-AFTRA have made

us stronger and allowed us to punch way

above our weight. I amglad she will remain

part of our leadership team as Past Presi-

dent where she will be able to continue to

share her wisdom and help guide my steps

in the early going.

I know our work empowering performers

and promoting Canadian culture will never

be done, but I believe there are exciting

times ahead for ACTRA over the next 75

years and beyond. And, as Canada celebrates

150 years, we must recognize the history

of this land is thousands of years old and

the stories of this land are just as old and

must be told. That is part of the important,

inclusive work we must do together. Yes, I

am optimistic about our future as a union,

and as a cultural voice and leader in Canada.

I know when we stand together and face

challenges head-on, we can make a differ-

ence. I knowwhenwe have unity of purpose

and focus on our primary goals, we can

achieve great things. If you have a construct-

ive idea or concern, please do not hesitate

to contactme directly. I look forward towork-

ing with you. Thanks for your confidence.

Simplifying and

modernizing our

agreements, and how

our industry partners

can access them, will

make us stronger as

wemove further into

the 21st century.

An ACTRA member since

1992, David Sparrow has

served on ACTRA National

Council since 2007 and as

a member of several ACTRA

negotiating teams. With over

100 Canadian and U.S. film

and TV credits, and extensive

experience in commercials

and animation, David is

equally at home in front of

the camera or behind the

microphone. David is also a

proud member of EQUITY