ACTRA will be updating this page regularly with information related to the COVID-19 health crisis as it becomes available. Please check back frequently for updates.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Dear ACTRA Members,

It has been four months since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic and our industry came to an abrupt halt. Since then, everyone in our union has gone digital as we moved to emergency videoconferences to manage our day-to-day business.

On July 6 and 7, our National Council met virtually for the first time in our union’s history. Your elected leaders from across Canada have embraced the challenges facing all of us and worked together on an ambitious plan to keep ACTRA moving forward during this historic time of social change. With new energy and focus, our member-led union discussed what role we will play in effectively challenging anti-Black racism. Read more…


SAFETY ON SET RESOURCES

As conditions on each set or workplace vary, members should contact their ACTRA Branch directly with any questions.

As production resumes across the country, provinces and industry stakeholders are releasing return-to-work health & safety guidelines for the screen-based media production sector:

ACTRA Branch Guidelines:
UBCP/ACTRA
ACTRA Alberta
ACTRA Toronto
ACTRA Montreal

Provincial Guidelines:
British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland/Labrador

Industry Guidelines:
DGA, SAG-AFTRA, IATSE & Teamsters (USA)
Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force (USA)
International Federation of Actors (FIA)


GOVERNMENT INCOME SUPPORT

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) provides financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. The program was launched as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 economic response package. If you are eligible, you can receive $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week). If your situation continues past 4 weeks, you will need to apply for the CERB again.

New update: the Government of Canada announced the CERB will be available for an extra 8 weeks – it will be extended from 16 weeks to 24 weeks for workers who:

  • stopped working due to COVID-19 or
  • are eligible for Employment Insurance regular or sickness benefits or
  • have exhausted their Employment Insurance regular benefits or Employment Insurance fishing benefits between December 29, 2019 and October 3, 2020.

Who can apply
Who can get the CERB

Eligibility update: The CERB is now available if you earned $1,000 or less during an eligibility period. If this applies to your situation, you may be eligible to apply for a previous period, starting March 15, 2020.

Note: You cannot apply for the CERB with CRA if you already applied through Service Canada. If you have already applied for Employment Insurance (EI) or for the CERB through Service Canada, you cannot apply for the CERB with the CRA.

Eligibility periods: you must re-apply for the CERB for each eligibility period. Eligibility period start and end dates are as follows:
July 5, 2020 to August 1, 2020
August 2, 2020 to August 29, 2020
August 30, 2020 to September 26, 2020

How to apply
When and how to apply for the CERB.

Keep getting your payments
How to re-apply for the CERB and when you can expect it

Note: These benefits are taxable and you will need to report any payments received on next year’s tax filing. An information slip will be made available for the 2020 tax year in My Account under Tax Information Slips (T4 and more).

Return or repay CERB
Why and how to return or repay the CERB

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency about CERB
How to contact the CRA with your questions about the CERB

Questions & Answers
A list of Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.


HEALTH & SAFETY SURVEY REPORT

This spring, ACTRA Members were asked to complete an anonymous survey created by ACTRA to assist in our understanding of our Members’ health and safety concerns about returning to work once our screen-based industry reopens.

ACTRA created a Health & Safety Survey Report, which outlines the measures our members feel would reinforce their sense of safety in the workplace, including when auditioning, on set, in studio or in scenes with physical contact.

The data obtained in this report will allow ACTRA to share the key health and safety concerns of our membership with government and industry stakeholders as work opportunities return within our industry.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is ACTRA open?

Yes, ACTRA remains at work servicing the needs of our members across the country. ACTRA staff are working remotely and continue to respond to phone calls or E-mails from members to support them through this difficult time.

ACTRA remains at work servicing the needs of our members across the country and staff can be reached through their E-mail, voicemail or our general inquiry line at 416-489-1311 or E-mail at actra@actra.ca.

Will I be paid if I had work cancelled?

Our various agreements contain language as it applies to the cancellation of work or rescheduling of days. If you have had work cancelled during this time, we ask that you contact your local ACTRA branch so we may address each situation on a case-by-case basis, per the terms of the appropriate agreement.

Are projects still in production?

While the majority of TV and film projects have temporarily shut down or wrapped their seasons early, other projects continue to operate. Voice work, while impacted, appears to be affected to a lesser degree by the current situation.

Is it safe to go to work?

Given the current situation, ACTRA has advised all productions to adopt increased hygiene standards to ensure the health and safety of every person in all work environments, be it at an audition, on set or in studio. When working, feel free to verify that these standards are being maintained, and if you have any concerns, contact your Business Rep immediately. And remember – at no time are you expected to continue working in an environment if you feel your health and safety are at risk! Click here to download a copy of ACTRA’s advisory.

Am I eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit?

To be eligible for CERB, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You did not apply for, nor receive, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period
  • You have not quit your job voluntarily
  • You reside in Canada
  • You are 15 years old or more when you apply
  • You earned a minimum of $5,000 (before taxes) income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
    • employment income
    • self-employment income
    • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave

AND

  • You stopped or will stop working due to COVID-19, and:
    • You are applying for the first time For at least 14 days in a row during the 4-week payment period, you do not expect to receive more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income
    • You are re-applying for another period You do not expect your situation to change during this 4-week period and you do not expect to receive more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income

KKKKOR

    • You received regular EI benefits for at least 1 week since December 29, 2019 You are no longer eligible for EI benefits

Click here for more information about how to apply. Please also check your eligibility for similar Emergency Packages available through your provincial government.


MEMBER RESOURCES

Government of Canada: COVID-19 Information

Financial Resources
AFBS
The AFC
Canada Media Fund (Assistance Programs Directory)
Canada Performers (National Arts Centre)
Canadian Artist + Musician Relief Fund
CASCU
COVID-19 Black Emergency Support Fund
Emergency Survival Fund for LGBTQ2S artists, performers, tip-based workers and Glad Day
Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund
MBT

Health & Wellness Resources
Anxiety Canada
HAVEN Helpline
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Calltime Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Ending Violence Association of Canada
ShelterSafe
WellCan
Wellness Together Canada

Other Resources
Actsafe
Broadbent Institute
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre – COVID-19 Fraud
Canadian Labour Congress
Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC)
National Film Board of Canada (Education Resources)
Telefilm Canada (Event Updates and Industry Resources)
Toronto & York Region Labour Council


ACTRA BRANCH COVID-19 UPDATES

ACTRA Alberta
ACTRA Manitoba
ACTRA Montreal
ACTRA Newfoundland/Labrador
ACTRA Ottawa
ACTRA Toronto
UBCP/ACTRA