ACTRA National’s Diversity Committee promotes and realizes the principles concerning the casting of People of Colour, Aboriginal Peoples and Actors with Disabilities.
Who We Are
What We Do
Who We Are
As a Standing Committee of the ACTRA National Council, the ACTRA Diversity Committee recommends policies and advocates for support structures for diverse artistic communities to help create an inclusive environment and right historical inequities within Canada’s recorded media sector.
The ACTRA Diversity Committee is a volunteer committee made up of ACTRA Members from across Canada who are professionals in the entertainment industry. The ACTRA Diversity Committee considers ‘diverse artistic communities’ include, but not be limited to: ethnic minorities, First Nations, Métis, Inuit and performers with disabilities. The Diversity Committee strives to create an inclusive working environment that will foster more opportunities for ACTRA Members from diverse communities.
To draw from the personal experiences of Committee members who represent diverse communities to help to identify and articulate contemporary challenges. To recommend support structures for professionals from diverse communities who are experiencing challenges. To discuss and recommend policies and initiatives that will help create a national agenda on diversity.
What We Do
ACTRA National Diversity Committee Short Film Script Competition
This is initiative part of the Committee’s mission to help create a national dialogue and get issues of diversity on the agenda. The competition invited ACTRA Members to draw from their personal experiences with the goal of identifying and articulating contemporary diversity challenges that exist in the industry and for Canadians at large. Members from across Canada were asked to submit a script that answered a specific diversity question. Successful candidates were provided with funding to create a short film based on their winning script.
The Short Film Script Competition 1.0 was launched in August 2014. Members were invited to submit a script that answered the question “why is diversity our strength?” and what this means to them. In February 2015, ACTRA launched the four new National Diversity Committee winning advocacy videos: Dressed to Impress by ACTRA Saskatchewan member Dawn Bird; Hearing Diversity by Manitoba member Fernando Dalayoan; A Token Asian by Manitoba member Alan Wong and Diverse World by Toronto member Kristina Esposito. Click here to watch all four videos.
The Short Film Script Competition 2.0 launched in May 2015. ACTRA Members were invited to submit a script that answered the question, “How are diverse Canadian stories important for our screens and our society?” In January 2015, ACTRA launched the three new National Diversity Committee winning advocacy videos: Give Physical Diversity a Shake by UBCP/ACTRA Member Darren Howarth-Chapel; Drum With Us by ACTRA Ottawa Member Christine Mao; and Family Tree by ACTRA Maritimes Member Gordon Patrick White. Click here to watch all three videos.
Click below to watch ACTRA’s diversity videos; see how we’ve been using digital platforms to drive home our diversity messages:
diversity.ACTRAonline.ca is an online searchable database of diverse professional performers. It is FREE to ACTRA Members, agents, casting directors and producers thanks to the generous support of our sponsors.
Guide for Auditioning Deaf Actors
Online, interactive practical ‘Guides,’ like the one developed to help casting professionals audition deaf actors, eliminate barriers and promote a more inclusive work environment. Deaf actors face unique obstacles when auditioning or performing on set. The Diversity Committee developed a postcard campaign and online interactive ‘guide’ to help casting professionals understand the needs of deaf performers. Understanding where to place the sign interpreter and how to frame a shot of the signing performer ensures deaf performers get the best audition or performance possible. Click here to read the online interactive guide!
Various diversity issues are highlighted in the following ACTRA Magazine articles:
Jani Lauzon & Rita Deverell Q&A (pg. 22)
The best initiatives are member-driven. We can better shape initiatives to support you by getting to know our membership and understanding your experiences. We welcome your input and your stories.
Angelica Lisk-Hann, ACTRA Diversity Committee Chair