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Canadian performers call on new government to support Canada’s creative economy

February 24, 2016

Reinvest in CBC, ensure Netflix’s support for Canadian programming among top priorities

Ottawa, ON — Canadian performers from ACTRA are meeting with members of Parliament to urge the federal government to support Canada’s creative economy.

“Our first step is to form a strong and positive relationship with our new government,” says ACTRA National President Ferne Downey. “It is crucial in this time of unprecedented change to set policies to assure the survival and ongoing growth of our industry.”

Downey will be joined by some of Canada’s leading performers at a reception on Parliament Hill this evening, including award-winning actor Sarah Gadon (Map to the Stars, Cosmopolis and 11/22/63). Ms. Gadon also appeared with ACTRA National Executive Director Stephen Waddell before Canada’s Heritage Committee in May 2015 to advocate on behalf of her fellow members. “Culture is not a frill, it is a major industry based on renewable resources,” says Ms. Gadon. “Given the right tools, Canada’s content creators and cultural industries will continue to play a leading role in economic innovation and growth, job creation, and the development of new digital technologies.”

ACTRA lobbyists also include: Benz Antoine (19-2 (both English and French productions), Rookie Blue); Nigel Bennett (Murdoch Mysteries, Rookie Blue); Ellen David (Brooklyn, This Life); Art Hindle (Paradise Falls, No Deposit); Shannon Kook (Degrassi: the Next Generation, 19-2); Tristan D. Lalla (Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 2); Huse Madhavji (Saving Hope, Call Me Fitz); Michelle Nolden (Saving Hope, Republic of Doyle); Rick Roberts (This Life, Republic of Doyle); and more!

ACTRA is asking all MPs and federal parties to support “More Canada on ALL Our Screens — big, small and mobile.” ACTRA’s strategic priorities for this lobby trip include:

  • Reinvesting in our cultural institutions: ensure the government delivers on its pre-election commitment to increase funding from cultural institutions that have suffered from cutbacks – the CBC, National Film Board and Telefilm Canada;
  • Reviewing broadcast regulation to protect consumers and support Canadian content creation: in a changing media landscape, Canada needs to ensure Internet broadcasters, like Netflix, pay their fair share when it comes to supporting Canadian culture;
  • Protecting performers’ intellectual property rights: ensure audiovisual artists are granted the same protections as audio artists when the Copyright Act goes under review in 2017.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of 22,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly-acclaimed professional performing community.


Media contact: Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, tel: 416.644.1519,

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