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Women’s March 2018

On January 21, 2017, people of all backgrounds–women and men and gender nonconforming people, young and old, of diverse faiths, differently abled, immigrants and indigenous–came together, 5 million strong, on all seven continents of the world.

On January 20, 2018, we march again.

Women’s March Canada recognizes there is no true peace, freedom, or inclusion without equity for all. Events across the country on January 20th will feature music, art, community booths, and speakers in a shared voice of resistance with advocacy aligned with the national Women’s March Unity Principles: ending violence, protection of reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, Indigenous people’s rights and environmental justice. We look forward to sharing this experience with you and engaging our many communities even further.

ACTRA Branch groups

All times local.

ACTRA Maritimes
Halifax (12noon to 2pm)
Meet at Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall – look for the ACTRA banner that will be proudly visible.

Vancouver (10am)
Please meet at 9:45am at the Olympic Cauldron at the Jack Poole Plaza – look for the yellow and red UBCP/ACTRA flags.

If you would like to attend a march but will not be in one of the cities listed above where an ACTRA branch is participating as a group, please click here for a list of others cities across Canada with marches.

Call for submissions

ACTRA harassment policy review

ACTRA is seeking a qualified individual or firm to work with us to improve our current harassment policies, reporting tools, training, resources, and further support ACTRA’s work with industry stakeholders on harassment and institutional change in our industry. The scope of the review will include work on the following items:

  • Existing training/expertise of staff for handling reports of sexual harassment;
  • Existing training for members and industry stakeholders;
  • ACTRA’s member discipline process;
  • ACTRA’s procedures for taking reports of incidents of harassment, discrimination, bullying or violence;
  • ACTRA’s constitution and bylaws, where they pertain to harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence;
  • Language pertaining to harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence in ACTRA collective agreements.

The expected work includes, review, recommendations and proposed new procedures and policies. The successful bidder will have the following qualifications:

  • Expert knowledge and experience in harassment policy, training and complaints;
  • An established track record of assisting leading organizations in shaping harassment policies and practices;
  • The ability to interview a diverse population of participating members to gather firsthand accounts with respect to their experiences in the industry;
  • The ability to ensure this work is carried out across Canada;
  • A detailed understanding of harassment legislation; and
  • Experience dealing with collective agreements and/or in unionised, multi-stakeholder work environment.

The proposal should include briefly, a statement of work, timelines, fees and other resources necessary to carry out such a review.

The following are assets, but not requirements for the successful submission:

  • Experience in, or firsthand knowledge of, the film & television industry, labour organizations or the labour movement;
  • Proven ability dealing with harassment issues in high-profile organizations or cases and/or the ability to communicate publicly on complex or controversial issues;
  • General legal expertise; and
  • Firsthand experience with programs and policies dealing with gender violence prevention.

ACTRA will accept submissions until Monday, January 22nd, 2018.

Submissions may be sent electronically or by mail to:

Research and Bargaining Department
ACTRA National
625 Church St.
Suite 300
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1

ACTRA is an equal opportunity employer that proactively seeks candidates with diverse backgrounds.


President’s Message – September 2017

September 29, 2017

Unpacking the Heritage Minister’s speech: A Vision for Canada’s Creative Industries

Hello ACTRA members,

On Thursday, September 28th, I had the opportunity to represent ACTRA members in Ottawa as the Liberal government laid out its policy framework for Canada’s Creative industries in a speech delivered to the Economic Club of Canada by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

There is much to be thankful for:

  • The decision to support the Canada Media Fund (CMF) is a step forward in addressing the fund’s declining revenues, and will help ensure the continued creation and diversity of Canadian content programming.
  • The decision to support emerging writers through the CMF is an important move that will help develop strong Canadian voices and productions.
  • Creating an export fund to explore distribution options to help increase the availability and discoverability of Canadian productions in our own country and around the world is long overdue and will be helpful to our industry.

We have a government that is listening to the creative sector and recognizes the value arts & culture bring to the Canadian economy and to the Canadian soul. (Film & TV alone accounts for over $7B of production and creates over 140K full-time equivalent jobs each year.)

Committing to continued dialogue with artists and the industry is especially important as 2018 will bring reviews of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts along with a fresh mandate for the new CRTC chair and the renegotiation of NAFTA. These are all files on which our industry will either wane or flourish.

Well done! However, the devil will always be found in the details.

While this new framework seems generally positive, it still leaves a number of unanswered questions. Will there be a cap on investment in the CMF? Will this investment rise with inflation? Will the CBC’s new mandate ensure it continues to invest in new creative production? Are regulations for our independent producers and Canadian broadcasters to be applied to Over-the-top broadcasters like Netflix? On that last question, it seems the answer is “no.”

Negotiating investment into CanCon production from large foreign players is always welcome. A $500M investment in CanCon from Netflix over five years is an impressive number and may see some positive results. (Our Foreign Service partners bring many billions of dollars in production to our Canadian industry every year. We celebrate it, and when this production meets our CanCon requirements we celebrate its success even more.)

However, in this announcement, Netflix – a multi-billion-dollar, foreign multi-national company – is being allowed to write/negotiate its own rules. Unlike traditional broadcasters, Netflix and other Internet broadcasters will continue to be completely unregulated. They will not be making contributions to the Canada Media Fund. This also raises another concerning question: Will Netflix be required to invest in uniquely Canadian programming or hire Canadians in key creative roles? It seems this Netflix deal only confirms that while we must abide by the rules and regulations for our own industry, the biggest players get to make up their own.

Netflix is not stupid. It will produce here because it is profitable, and because it can rely on our exceptional professionals in front of, behind and after the camera. However, if the math changes, Netflix may stop investing in production while continuing to sell subscriptions in Canada.

As Canadians, we have always charged a levy for access to our Canadian homes, audiences and marketplace. We did this for content delivered over-the-air, on cable, via satellite and then… the CRTC of the 1990s didn’t understand the Internet… so, no regulation. But we know the Internet is simply just another pipeline. The content is what people tune-in to watch. Content costs money to make, and Canadian content projects Canada to the world and supports every other type of business we do. Last year, over $730M left Canada in the form of Netflix subscription fees. The company paid no HST, no corporate tax and nothing into the CMF. Is this fair?

The time has come for a level playing field that regulates all those profiting from access to Canadians, including OTTs, to invest in the creation of our excellent Canadian content.

The 2018 reviews of the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts, and the new CRTC mandate and the renegotiation of NAFTA will each challenge our industry’s ability to remain relevant and competitive in a global marketplace. We must remain vigilant and ensure Canada, as a sovereign nation, sets its own cultural agenda.

We are exceptionally talented! We have built a remarkable industry. ACTRA is a big part of this success. Great Canadian shows like Murdoch, Private Eyes, Mohawk Girls, Rookie Blue, Orphan Black, Little Mosque, Motive, Heartland, 19-2, Republic of Doyle, Corner Gas and so many others are seen in hundreds of countries and territories around the world. Some are even seen in primetime on American carriers. We make great, world-class content! Let’s make sure this trend continues and grows.

We welcome these positive steps laid out by our government, however, we will have to watch these files closely and pay attention to the details. Thanks for your ACTRAvism!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow

Click here to read the minister’s speech and the government’s Creative Canada policy framework. To read ACTRA’s DigiCanCon submission, click here.

President’s Message – July 2017

July 13, 2017

Hello ACTRA members,

I wanted to provide you with a quick update on negotiations for the National Commercial Agreement.

As you’ve likely heard, the Engagers – representing commercial agencies and advertisers – walked away from the table on June 28. Tomorrow, we’re heading back into further talks. This time with the help of a professional mediator.

Your bargaining team believes we can find a deal, but we need the Engagers to meet us halfway and show ACTRA members – ACTRA members who make their industry work – the respect that we deserve.

We’re looking for some basic things:

  • proper compensation for all ACTRA performers – especially in Digital Media, which is becoming a greater and greater part of the commercial industry;
  • simplifying and modernizing the agreement to capture the work that is not currently going to ACTRA performers; and
  • improving Health and Safety.

What we don’t want to see, and can’t accept, are proposals that take us backward:

  • reducing session fees for certain performers;
  • eliminating residuals for other performers; and
  • making it easier to replace ACTRA performers with non-union performers or “real” people.

Our incredible bargaining team has been working long and hard and is ready to reach a deal.

We hope that, with the help of a mediator this week, we’ll get one.

Thanks to all ACTRA members for standing strong and staying united and offering their support.

Watch your email for more details.

Together we are stronger.

Thanks for your support.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow

ACTRA stands in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA during their Interactive Media Agreement negotiations

Last year, SAG-AFTRA launched strike action against video game companies. In solidarity, ACTRA instructed our 23,000 members across Canada not to accept any struck work from the videogame companies involved in these negotiations.

SAG-AFTRA has now reached a tentative agreement and suspended the strike, ACTRA members are free to resume working for the companies that were struck on all titles effective immediately.

ACTRA has been proud to stand in solidarity with our SAG-AFTRA sisters and brothers during their job action over re-negotiation of their Interactive Media Agreement.

For ACTRA Members who have any questions, please contact your local Branch.

Labour Day 2017

Labour Day is coming up fast and ACTRA Branches across the country are once again participating in parades, picnics, and a host of other fun and exciting activities.

On Monday, September 4th, ACTRA invites YOU and your fellow members to join in the festivities at your Branch. Local events are listed below:

CLC Labour Day Events – Pacific Region:

Ottawa District Labour Council notice

Regina Labour Day Picnic: Wascana Park –  12PM-4PM
Saskatoon Labour Day Picnic: Victoria Park 11AM – 1PM


Toronto Labour Day Parade
Meet at Armoury Street and University Avenue (please arrive between 8:15am-9:15am):

Labour Day is a great time to celebrate all Canadian workers. Find out what is happening in your neck of the woods on the CLC events page… CLICK HERE FOR INFO

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.

Upcoming screenings

Women’s Int’l Film &
Arts Festival
New York, NY
March 8-12, 2018
Women in Entertainment
Celebration & Fundraiser
Vancouver, BC
March 10-11, 2018
Vancouver Int’l Women
In Film Festival
Vancouver, BC
March 6-11, 2018
Transitions Film Festival
Melbourne, Australia
March 5, 2018 (@6pm)
Women & Gender Studies
University of Regina
Date TBD


Past screenings

Elles Tournent: Int’l
Women’s Film Festival
Brussels, Belgium
January 25-26, 2018
All Access 2018
(On Screen Manitoba)
Winnipeg, MB
January 15-17, 2018


Open World Toronto
Film Festival (photos)
Toronto, ON
Nov 19, 2017
St. John’s Int’l
Women’s Film Festival
St. John’s, NL
Oct 22, 2017 (@4pm)
Vancouver Int’t
Film Festival
Vancouver, BC
Oct 7, 2017
Calgary Int’l Film
Calgary, AB
Sept 30, 2017
Edmonton Int’l Film
Edmonton, AB
Sept 30, 2017


China Women’s Film Festival
Beijing, China
September 16-24, 2017
Regina Int’l Film Festival
Regina, SK
August 16-19, 2017
District 6 Women’s Conference
Toronto, ON
July 23-25, 2017
Female Eye Film Festival
Toronto, ON
June 20-25, 2017

ACTRA Manitoba AGM
Winnipeg, MB
June 6, 2017


Yorkton Film Festival
Yorkton, SK
May 25-28, 2017
Cast/Crew Screening
Toronto, ON
May 25, 2017
Screen NS Awards
Halifax, NS
May 4, 2017
MayWorks Festival
Halifax, NS
April 28-May 10, 2017
Cast/Crew Screening
Vancouver, BC
April 25, 2017



China Women’s Film Festival promotes female directors and tells women’s stories (September 19, 2017)








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


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