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Treasurer’s Report for the Fiscal Year Ended February 28, 2017

A brief overview of the financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2017

Fiscal 2016/17 Revenue of $5.9 million increased by $305,500 or 5.5% from the prior year. Equalization Revenue increased by $181,400 or 13.4%.  Full Member per capita payments increased by $97,300 from the prior fiscal year due to an increase in Full Member count of 2.7%. Apprentice Member per capita payments increased by $20,500 from the prior fiscal year reflecting an increase in Apprentice Member count of 5.9%. Consistent with Canadian accounting principles, the investments held for trading were adjusted to their market value at year end.

Total Fiscal 2016/17 expenses of $5.6 million increased by $153,200 or 2.8% from the prior year.

ACTRA’s Information Services costs increased by $492,400 or 55.1% from the prior year. The IS focus in Fiscal 2016/17 was the MFTS and AMS integration, and ACTRAonline.  The increase in costs was mostly due to resources needed for the two projects; 3 intermediate developers, 1 department manager and 1 project manager were added to the IS staff in Fiscal 2016/17. The integration of the MFTS and AMS systems went live on January 1, 2017. Congratulations to all involved in the project! The benefits of integrating the systems will serve the membership well. Development of ACTRAonline, an exciting new approach to how ACTRA works with engagers and membership services, began in the fiscal year. ACTRAonline will provide long-term benefits to ACTRA members. This increase in costs also reflects ACTRA’s ongoing commitment to provide excellent service to members across the country by upgrading software, hardware and network connections. Such upgrades will ensure the efficiency, stability and security of all systems.

In Fiscal 2016/17 Collective Agreement Negotiation and Administration costs were $238,600 lower than the prior year. The IPA was negotiated in Fiscal 2015/16.

Fiscal 2016/17 Salaries (excluding IS) are lower than last year by $70,000 due to vacant positions not filled.

All other Fiscal 2016/17 expenses account for a decrease of $30,600 or 1.7% from the prior year.

ACTRA National’s Fiscal 2016/17 Operating Surplus is $284,400. Consistent with the surplus policy established in October 2007, operating surplus in excess of $2 million will be distributed to the Branches and $284,400 will be distributed in this fiscal year. Consistent with Canadian accounting rules, the transfer to the Branches is recorded on the balance sheet.

Click here to view the audited financial statements.

Theresa Tova
ACTRA National Trea$urer

New ACTRA PRS payment policy

ACTRA PRS launched direct deposit in 2015 for Use fee payments to reduce the costs associated with issuing and mailing paper cheques. Paper cheques are now only issued once per year in December. Effective in the December 2017 cheque run, ACTRA PRS will only issue cheques to performers who have accumulated at least CAD $20 net in Use fees.

Payment policy details:

  1. Performers who have registered for direct deposit at a bank in Canada will continue to receive Use fee payments throughout the year as they become available (i.e. your Use fee payments via direct deposit will not be affected by this minimum amount for cheques).
  2. Performers who have not registered for direct deposit will receive a cheque at the end of the calendar year only if their net Use fee payments are equal to or greater than CAD $20. Amounts under $20 will be held until:
  3. All performers are encouraged to register for direct deposit to avoid any delay in payment.

President’s Message – May 2017

May 18, 2017

Hello ACTRA members,

This past weekend, your leaders from across the country met at National Council to agree again on the strategic direction of our great union. They identified priorities and suggested strategies to support work opportunities for every member, to champion diversity on all our screens, to adapt to changing technologies, to address the growth of non-union work, to ensure our governments know artists and culture matter, and to build our own national solidarity. We also chose a new National President when Ferne Downey, after eight exceptional years, moved into the role of Past-President.

My name is David Sparrow and I look forward as your new National President to working along-side our Executive 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, but I know when we stand together and face challenges head-on, we can make a difference. I have seen that when we have unity of purpose and focus on our primary goals, we can achieve great things. I am very optimistic that our union will continue to be a respected voice for performers and culture in Canada and around the world. If you have a constructive idea or concern, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by email ( I look forward to working with you to build a stronger ACTRA.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow

Reel Women Seen


A nation-wide collaborative effort by the ACTRA National Women’s Committee, Reel Women Seen takes a comedic look at how women are underrepresented in all areas of screen-based media, most notably: as protagonists; behind the scenes in creative, writing and directorial roles; and in key technical roles.

While telling the stories of realities faced by women in the film and television industry, the film also shows solutions for change.

The talented crew and all-female cast include members of: ACTRA; IATSE locals locals 667 and 669, 873, 891; DGC BC; DGC ON; WGC; NABET; Screen Composers Guild of Canada; and Teamsters.






Valerie Sing Turner
Carmen Moore
Kristin Lehman
Jennifer Podemski
Rosemary Dunsmore
Krystal Hope Nausbaum
“Teen Daughter”
Saara Chaudry
“Young Daugther “
Gabrielle Rose
“Dr. Old”
Veena Sood
Jodelle Ferland
“Dr. Young”
Rukiya Bernard
“Dr. Minority”
Heather Allin
Jajube Mandiela
Samantha Wan
Amanda Joy
Ellen David
“1st Assistant Director”
Cary Lawrence
Karen Robinson
Tommie Amber Pirie
“Director of Photography”


Directed By
Amanda Tapping
Written By
Elvira Kurt
Produced By
Heather Allin
Director of Photography
Kim Derko, C.S.C.
Edited By
Lara Mazur, CCE
Original Score By
Janal Bechthold
Diana Magnus
Production Designer
Cary Lawrence
Associate Producer
Catherine Lough Haggquist
Associate Producer
Farah Merani
Associate Producer
Freya Ravensbergen
Associate Producer
Jodi Sadowsky
Associate Producer
Christine Willes
Associate Producer
Daintry Dalton (ACTRA)
Associate Producer

Production Managers and Line Producers

Maura G.C. Ferrand
Patti Poskitt


Denise Lee Hutchinson
Post Production Supervisor
Claire Dobson
Sound Editor
Dondrea Erauw
Music Supervisor
Julia Niendorf
DI Post Project Manager


Christina Kasperczyk
Camera Operator
Tammy Jones
Camera Operator
Sylvaine Dufaux
Camera Operator
Kerri Coombs
Maya Nadine Chang
Key Grip
Sarah Beck
Best Boy Electric
Randi Lee Reilly
Best Boy Grip

Click here to download select cast and production team bios.

This short film would not have been possible without the hard work of a large team of dedicated people. For the full list of everyone who helped make this film, visit

The following materials are available for download:
Cast/production team bios
Pre-Production news releases: Vancouver / Toronto
Production photos (low-res only; please contact Heather Allin to request high-res copies)
Film poster (low-res): PDF / Image (please contact Heather Allin to request high-res versions)
Cast/Crew interviews

Are you interested in organizing a screening of Reel Women Seen for your union or guild? Please contact Heather Allin ( or Daintry Dalton ( to be provided with a copy of the film.








And financial contributions from:

Heather Allin Catherine Lough Haggquist Jina Johnston Lara Mazur Douglas Newell
 Patti Poskitt Gabrielle Rose Jodi Sadowsky Amanda Tapping  Christine Willes


Protected: NCA L&R Negotiations 2017 FAQs: Ratification

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Protected: Local & Regional Addendum NCA Ratification

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NCA Negotiations 2017 FAQs: Ratification

Click this link to be taken to the secure voting site:


Click on the following questions relating to the 2017-2020 NCA to see its respective answer:



Pursuant to the current Constitution and By-Laws, you may vote on the ratification of the NCA if you are:

  • a Full Active Member in good standing who has worked under the relevant collective agreement for the previous three-year period (i.e. June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017) for the current NCA ratification;
  • an Apprentice Member who has two (2) engagements in a residual category under the relevant collective agreement for the previous three-year period (June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017);
  • an Apprentice Member in a background role who has worked the required number of days under the relevant collective agreement for the previous three-year period (June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017); or
  • an Additional Background Performer who has worked the required number of days under the under the relevant collective agreement for the previous three-year period (June 1, 2014, to May 31, 2017).

If you have questions about your eligibility or you think you should have received a ballot, please contact your local Branch.


If you have questions about your eligibility or you think you should have received a ballot please contact your local Branch.


Click on the following questions to see its respective answer:



Yes. The 2014-2017 National Commercial Agreement remains in effect until a new Agreement is reached. The new Agreement will come into effect once it is ratified.


Click on the sections below for information related to voting by online ballot:



Please contact the NCA help desk between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday by phone (647-943-1126 or 1-800-387-3516 x 4911) or email (

NCA Ratification

*Voting on the 2017-2020 NCA has now closed*

ACTRA has successfully reached a tentative agreement with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA).

This deal comes to you for ratification with the unanimous recommendation from both your Negotiating Committee and the ACTRA National Executive to vote YES.

This page contains some key details on the new agreement and how you can vote to support the new agreement. Click the links below for key details on the new agreement:

**Note: as the NCA Local & Regional Addendum (L&R) will be negotiated separately from the NCA, the L&R referendum will be sent at a later date for ratification once a deal is reached. Only those who are eligible to vote on the L&R will receive the information (i.e. just because you are eligible to vote on the NCA, does not mean you are eligible to vote on the L&R – please see the FAQ page for more information on eligibility)**


  1. You need your ACTRA Member ID (the number on your membership card) and Password (sent by email at 9:00 AM (EST) on Wednesday, July 19, 2017; check your email inbox and/or spam folders and please ensure emails from the domain are enabled). If you haven’t received a Password, please contact the NCA help desk between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday by phone (647-943-1126 or 1-800-387-3516 x 4911) or email ( to see if we have your correct email address on file;
  2. Please review the information in the Why vote YES section below and/or review our list of FAQs and the Terms of Settlement to make an informed decision about your vote;
  3. Visit our Online Voting Site ( to cast your ballot. Votes must be submitted no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 2017.


  1. Letters and paper ballots were delivered to the post office by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. If you do not have an email address on file with ACTRA and have not received a mailed ballot by Monday, July 24, 2017, please contact your local Branch. If you are eligible to vote, you will need to complete a Declaration of Non-Receipt and a new ballot will be issued;
  2. Please review the information on Why Vote YES section below, and/or review our list of FAQs and Terms of Settlement to make an informed decision about your vote;
  3. Vote on the paper ballot and return it in the pre-paid, addressed envelope so that it may be received by the office of the scrutineer no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 2017.


This historic deal comes to you for ratification from both your Negotiating Committee and the ACTRA National Executive with the unanimous recommendation to vote YES. The ratification of this agreement will bring significant improvements to the NCA:

  • An increase of 275% in the made-for digital media Use rate – from $450 to $1,250 for one year’s Use;
  • Creation of an ACTRAonline Opportunity Pilot Project to combat the growth of the non-union sector. This side-letter to the NCA will allow our signatory engagers to compete for lower budget digital work they are currently losing to smaller, non-union agencies and offer that work, currently going to non-union performers, to ACTRA members. This project will allow members to put themselves forward for lower budget digital media work posted to agents and ACTRAonline by our signatory engagers. This project will be tracked and reviewed at quarterly meetings and will expire with the term of the agreement;
  • In all other areas of the agreement, an increase of 6% over three years – commencing with an immediate 2% increase upon ratification;
  • Increased opportunities for voice-over performers on commercials using Stock Footage;
  • The term New Media has been replaced with Digital Media throughout the agreement; and
  • The new deal for Group Background means more work for ACTRA members. We’ve known for some time that more and more large-cast commercials were going to foreign locations to avoid paying the NCA Group Background rate. What we agreed to with respect to Group Background will bring those commercials back to Canada to shoot, and will engage ACTRA members. The first 30 engaged per commercial per day will be ACTRA members, and those over 30 will also be ACTRA members and are protected by the National Commercial Agreement. It’s important to note that fewer than 1% of commercials produced under the NCA in 2016 employed more than 30 people in Group Background. The goal of this change is to create work opportunities: by bringing work that has been shooting abroad back to Canada, and by ensuring that more work is shot under a union contract.

Those who are eligible to vote are urged to vote YES” based on the solid reasons outlined above. Another good reason to vote YES is because of what was NOT included in this Agreement. We said “no” to proposals that would:

  • Strip some Silent-on-Camera and stunt performers of their residuals;
  • Eliminate extra session fees when more than two spots are being shot or when commercials are shot over multiple days;
  • Eliminate the first cycle payment when a performer is downgraded or cut from a commercial;
  • Eliminate the first Callback fee (You would only be paid for a 3rd audition);
  • Reduce Background rates by almost 40%;
  • Increase flexibility around the use of “real people” and employees of the advertiser;
  • Reduce travel compensation for our performers;
  • Drastically cut fees and residuals to voice performers.

For more information on who is eligible to vote on the ratification of the NCA, please visit the FAQ page for more information.

Please read the documents listed below under “Additional Information” then exercise your right to vote on ratification of this Agreement by voting by online ballot, or completing the paper ballot and mailing it in the envelope provided so all votes may be submitted or received by the office of the official scrutineer no later than 3:00 p.m. EST on FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 2017.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017: paper voting package ready and delivered to post office by 5:00 p.m. (to those who are eligible to vote who do not have an email address on file with ACTRA)
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
: online ballot credentials emailed to those who are eligible to vote (only to those who have an email address on file with ACTRA)
Wednesday, July 19, 2017: voting period begins at 9:30 a.m. EST
Friday, August 4, 2017: voting period ends at 3:00 p.m. EST
Tuesday, August 8, 2017: consolidated results from scrutineer delivered to ACTRA National Council


ACTRA’s Members were represented in these negotiations by an exceptionally-skilled and capable group of Performers on the NCA Negotiating Committee. These Members worked long, difficult hours and remained united in their commitment to stand strong against the ACA/ICA’s demands for massive concessions. We extend our deepest gratitude to the following members of the Negotiating Committee:

Ian Finlay (Montreal); James Madge (Toronto); Alvin Sanders (Vancouver); Joanna Swan (Toronto); Richard Young (Toronto)

Alternates: David Gale (Toronto); Keith Martin Gordey (Vancouver); Miranda Handford (Montreal); Jeff Lumby (Toronto); Theresa Tova (Toronto)


Ubisoft referendum balloting extended to January 19, 2017

Given that the Ubisoft referendum is being conducted over the holiday period, ACTRA has extended the ballot return date by an extra 10 days to permit eligible members more time to vote to approve the settlement with videogame maker Ubisoft.

A cover letter and Memorandum of Agreement outlining the terms of settlement as well as a ballot were mailed on December 20, 2016, giving members until January 9, 2017, to return the ballot. Due to post office closures over the holiday period, ACTRA is extending the ballot return deadline to Thursday, January 19, 2017, no later than 5:00pm EST.

ACTRA’s new Agreement with Ubisoft includes significant rate increases and other improvements that benefit ACTRA Members. Your ACTRA bargaining committee and National Executive are encouraging Members to vote “yes” for the new Agreement.

If you believe you are eligible to vote* but have not received a ballot, please contact your Branch and complete a Declaration of Non-Receipt.

If ratified, the new three-year Agreement will be effective retroactively from January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2019.

*to be eligible to vote on this agreement, you need to have worked on a Ubisoft contract within the last three (3) years.

Click here to read the Memorandum of Agreement.

President’s Message – December 2016

December 20, 2016

Sometimes it is hard to be heard. We know the value of what we do but sometimes others don’t recognize how important the cultural community is to our identity as a country and as a people. When we speak out together, it becomes a little easier to understand.

It’s been a thought-provoking year. Some bureaucrats, culturecrats and others from across the country have been very publicly picking apart the most fundamental values of our cultural infrastructure. I am proud of how we have come together to speak up for what we do and how we do it, and posit potential improvements that can be made to our already successful cultural infrastructure.

I want to offer a special shout-out to members Yannick Bisson, Jean Yoon and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee for making the trek to Ottawa last month to appear before the CRTC. They took time from their busy professional schedules to bravely provide a personal perspective on how important sustainable investment in Canadian content is for all of us. We owe them a debt of gratitude – regulatory hearings are an odd environment for actors and I was sorry to be out of the country when we were called to appear.

Yannick steadfastly reminded the CRTC that a series that began life with a private broadcaster, and continues to be one of our most-watched series under the wing of our public broadcaster, has lessons to teach those who might disparage our current system:

thank-you_inst“Murdoch Mysteries is unique – not just in Canada – but around the world. And it is the product of talented performers and creators who have chosen to live and pursue our craft here, despite the fact that making a living as a Canadian actor is not always easy.

Unique Canadian programs don’t make it into Canadian homes by accident.  As working Canadian performers, we know that ensuring Canadian stories are seen and heard in the shadow of Hollywood can be challenging.”

Yannick, Jean and Paul deserve a standing ovation for their passionate appeal to the CRTC to consider the value of Canadian talent, and demonstrate this value by ensuring we maintain and improve upon a sustainable, long-term investment in Canadian production.

These are sentiments we all can share and have shared in the last few months. Thank you to everyone who participated in Canadian Heritage’s Canadian Content in the digital world consultations. Whether you entered a formal submission, shared a unique Canadian story, attended a face-to-face consultation meeting or supported our efforts through social media, the combined value of your actions ensured that industry and government decision-makers heard us loudly and clearly. And that’s a Christmas present the whole country deserves.

After such a busy year, I wish all of you a joyful holiday season, and health and happiness in the year ahead.

In solidarity,
Ferne Downey
ACTRA National President

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