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Treasurer’s Report for the Fiscal Year Ended February 28, 2019

A brief overview of the financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2019

Your union has been very active this past fiscal year (2018-2019) – negotiating improvements in the Independent Production Agreement including improved measures on harassment prevention, nudity and respectful workplace language and a rate increase of nine percent over the three-year term; advocating for increased work opportunities for Canadian performers at the CRTC, on Parliament Hill, and in international trade negotiations; and improving our information systems to better serve the ACTRA membership and the industry.

Revenue:
Fiscal 2018/19 Revenue of $5.9 million decreased by $56,200 or from the prior year. The decrease in revenue is attributable to a decrease in Equalization Revenue of $201,000 (12.65%) which was offset by an increase in Full Member per capita payments of $122,700 (3.2%) due to an increase in Full Member count and an increase in Apprentice Member per capita payments of $16,000 (4.0%) due to an increase in Apprentice Member count. Interest Revenue increased by $6,100. Consistent with Canadian accounting principles the investments held for trading were adjusted to their market value at year end.

Expenses:
Total Fiscal 2018/19 expenses of $5.8 million increased by $35,700 from the prior year.

In Fiscal 2018/19 Collective Agreement Negotiation and Administration costs were $76,300 (30.9%) lower than the prior year. The IPA was negotiated in Fiscal 2018/19 in one round of bargaining which resulted in significant costs savings compared to the NCA negotiations which took place in 2017/18.

National Organizing costs in Fiscal 2018/19 were $145,400 (90.1%) lower than the previous year. In 2018/19, ACTRA National discontinued the practice of sharing 50% of Industry Relations staff costs with ACTRA Montreal, ACTRA Toronto and UBCP/ACTRA.

Research expenses are $75,000 (20.9%) higher than last year. This is mostly due to the addition of a data analyst to the department.

External Relations costs are $145,100 (43.5%) lower than the previous year.  As the CLC Conference occurred in the 2017/18 fiscal year, there were cost savings of $58,400 in the current fiscal year. In addition, as ACTRA CLC affiliation fees are now based on working members, CLC affiliation fees for 2018/19 were $80,900 lower than the prior year.

Finance, Human Resources and Administration costs were $53,700 (4.2%) higher than the previous year due to increased staff costs for a maternity leave and an Accounting Manager which is shared with the Performers’ Rights Society.

A new line item was added for Sexual Harassment/Institutional Change in 2018/19 resulting in increased costs of $56,300.

Transfer payment to the Branches increased by $96,700 (584.6%) from the previous year. In addition, a transfer payment of $86,700 was made to the Performers’ Rights Society in the 2018/19 fiscal year.

All other Fiscal 2018/19 expenses account for an increase of $34,100 from the prior year.

Final results:
ACTRA National’s Fiscal 2017/18 Operating Surplus is $65,800. Consistent with the surplus policy established in October 2007, operating surplus in excess of $2 million will be distributed to the Branches and $65,800 will be distributed in this fiscal year. Consistent with Canadian accounting rules, the transfer to the Branches is recorded on the balance sheet.

Fiscal 2018/19 Compared to Budget 2018/19
The Operating Surplus for the fiscal year ending February 29, 2019 is $65,800 compared to the budgeted deficit of $155,984.

Revenue is $358,800 (5.7%) lower than budget due to lower equalization revenue.  Equalization Revenue for non-members working under the IPA is $277,600 (23.1%) and for non-members working under the NCA $77,600 (15.0%) lower than budget.

Total expenses are $580,600 (9.1%) lower than budget. National Organizing expenses are $25,700 (61.6%) lower than budget. Research Department costs are $33,300 (7.1%) lower than budget.  Collective Agreement Negotiation and Administration costs are $128,100 (42.8%); IPA and CBC negotiation costs were lower than budget as well as collective agreement administration costs. Public Policy and Communications expenses are $82,500 (9.1%) are lower than budget due to lower lobbying, 75th Anniversary and ACTRA Awards/Special Events costs. Sexual Harassment/Institutional Change expenses are $48,700 (46.4%) lower than budget due to a delay in the implementation of National Hotline. External Relations expenses are $48,800 (20.5%) lower than budget. Finance and Administration expenses are $46,600 higher (3.6%) than budget due to higher salary costs.  ITDS expenses are $227,000 (14.7%) lower than budget due to lower staff and capitalization costs. Other expenses were $33,100 (2.5%) lower than budget.

 

Federal Election 2019

The federal election on October 21 may be a pivotal point in Canada’s cultural history. Now is the time to step up, make our voices heard and to collectively shine a spotlight on issues affecting Canadian performers and the film, television and digital media industry.

Together, with the DGC and IATSE, ACTRA has launched the Just Ask campaign (justask2019.cajemimplique2019.ca) with the goal of mobilizing our combined 50,000+ members across Canada to make sure this election counts. Every voice matters. Your voice matters. Pledge to attend one election-related event this fall and to ask your local candidates at least one question about our industry.

Get involved! Challenge your local candidates. Put them on the spot. Whether you go to a debate or a town hall, run into them at the farmers’ market or when they come knocking on your door, take the opportunity to ask them a question about their position on the film and television industry.

Such as:

  • Why is Canadian culture important to you?
  • If elected, what will you do to ensure the sustainability and growth of Canadian culture?
  • Where do you stand on investment in Canadian content production?
  • Has your party made culture-specific commitments part of their platform, specifically creating a level playing field so all content producers – domestic and foreign, traditional and digital – are held to the same high standards in terms of taxation and contributions to Canadian content production?
There’s a lot at stake for our cultural industries in this election. Over the last four years, numerous studies and reviews were launched about key legislation affecting our industry, including the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and the Copyright Act. Even the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was sent back to the table to rework a decision it made about Canadian content spending. Problem is, although public consultations took place, legislation has yet to be changed.

If we, as Canadians, don’t elect a government that supports arts and culture, Canadian culture, Canadian voices, the CBC, the NFB and CanCon are all at stake, period. We need to ensure the next generation of Canadians can not only enjoy a robust Canadian culture but can continue to project it to the world. Let’s vote for a government that will Keep Canada on our Screens.

So, have your say in this election! Vote for your industry; the industry that helps pay your bills. Vote for your career and for the betterment of Canada through culture. Don’t leave the choice of government up to others. Demand more from your government. Ask questions. VOTE!

Just Ask and I’ll see you at the polls!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

President’s Message – August 2019

August 2019

Labour Day Message

This year, ACTRA will be celebrating Labour Day from coast to coast. Why do we march and celebrate? Because actors are workers too. Arts workers have helped weave the fabric of our nation and project Canada to the world.

Participating in a Labour Day parade or event is not only fun but a great opportunity to network with your fellow ACTRA members and show you’re an important part of our strong cultural labour union. Events like this strengthen our industry and community and show the public that labour unions in Canada are enduring and still advocating on behalf of all workers.

Showing support for your union, industry and the broader labour movement helps send a powerful message to all levels of government that the rights of workers need to be protected. Our collective voices make us stronger, especially in an election year.

To me, participating in a Labour Day event means lending my voice, being an advocate, being an activist, being an ACTRAvist… getting out of my armchair to play one of the most important roles in my acting career. It’s about making sure politicians and the community know we’re more than characters on the TV. We’re their neighbours, their constituents, and we’re workers.

Canadians should be proud of the strong union presence we have in our country. Every job, union or not, has been made better by the work of unions. And with the federal election coming up on October 21, it’s a good time to remind everyone about the importance of having a government that puts the environment, social responsibility and the rights of workers above corporate profits.

Your professionalism and our work with governments and industry partners continue to attract production from around the globe. Last year we saw $9 billion in production and almost 179,000 FTE jobs in film and TV. There have never been more work opportunities for ACTRA members than right now. That’s worth celebrating!

Still, Canadian performers will face more bargaining challenges in the coming years. New, disruptive technologies are changing our industry, which makes it even more important our union stays relevant, adapts to change and remains a leader in bargaining. We will continue to unabashedly negotiate for better health and safety, respect on set and anti-harassment clauses, and fair compensation including future-proofing Use fees. Your performance has real monetary value. You should always share in it.

This Labour Day, take a minute to recognize the people – past and present – who have contributed to the creation and longevity of our business, our union and the labour movement in Canada, and the resulting rights and benefits now enjoyed by all Canadian workers and every ACTRA member. Have a wonderful and safe Labour Day!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

DO NOT WORK NOTICE: SPINNING GOLD

Please be advised that ACTRA, in accordance with the Independent Production Agreement, has declared Spinning Gold LLC and 9388-2132 Quebec Inc., producers of the feature film Spinning Gold, unfair engagers for failure to meet payroll obligations.

As such, ACTRA members are hereby prohibited from accepting work on the aforementioned production. Violating this order may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the ACTRA By-laws & Constitution.

The Unfair Producer Declaration shall be revoked by ACTRA once the Producer is in full compliance with their payroll obligations, including late payment penalties and bond assurances. At that time, ACTRA will remove the Do Not Work Notice for Spinning Gold.

Should you have any questions about the notice, please contact Carmela Algeri, Assistant Branch Rep, at calgeri@actra.ca or 514.844.3318.

President’s Message – May 2019

New NED, New Helpline, Next Government

As your National President, I am pleased to welcome Marie Kelly as our new National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator. Marie brings to us years of leadership expertise in the labour movement and a strong vision for our future as unionized professional performers. Marie is a labour lawyer who possesses strategic foresight in the areas of bargaining, promoting gender equity and fighting for workers’ rights. She comes to ACTRA after six years at the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) where she represented more than 65,000 nurses and most recently held the role of CEO/CAO. Prior to ONA, Marie worked for the United Steelworkers where, over the course of 22 years, she became the first woman in North America to be appointed Assistant Director.

Marie replaces Stephen Waddell who, for almost 40 years, helped lead our union in the creation of some of the most ground-breaking collective agreements in the world. We thank Stephen for his devotion to ACTRA. He will stay with us to share his knowledge in the role of Executive Advisor for the next 17 months.

I hope you each have an opportunity to meet Marie over the next few months as she travels to attend branch AGMs and award celebrations. I thank the members who stepped up to be a part of the Succession Planning Committee: National Vice President Keith Martin Gordey, National Treasurer Theresa Tova, National Past President Ferne Downey, National Councillor Jan Skene and National Councillor Francine Deschepper. It was a pleasure to lead such a knowledgeable and responsible team. We should all thank them and our staff advisors, Anna Bucci and Stephen Waddell, for their strong insights and wise council. With Maire’s guidance, our member-led union will continue to set the industry standard for performer rights and respect anywhere in the world.

New leadership opportunities for our country are also on the horizon. We’ve been to Ottawa many times over the last three years asking the Trudeau government to consider real changes to the Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Copyright Acts along with new directives for the CRTC. While the Liberal government did hold consultations, Canadians are now being told any possible changes stemming from these consultations will not be initiated until after the upcoming election. It’s disappointing… but, it’s also motivating. Make sure you seek out your local candidates from every party; ask them where they stand on a strong Canadian film and TV industry, on a well-funded CBC/Radio-Canada, and on a level playing field for Canadian domestic and over-the-top content providers. Our Public Policy and Communications Director Lisa Blanchette’s article on how to lobby is a good starting place!

Our cultural businesses are complex. Governments can make or break our industry. We flourish when supported and can be devastated in an instant. Let’s flashback to 2015 when the Nova Scotia Liberal Government blindsided the industry by cutting the film tax credit, which undid the province’s production industry in just 20 minutes… a high-functioning industry that had taken 20 years to build. ACTRA member Jonathan Torrens noted in his “Demolished Film Communities” ACTRA Magazine article, “In the blink of an eye, in one ill-conceived budget, we were rendered non-competitive by a group of people I’m still not convinced could explain how the system even worked.”

Let’s use this pre-election window as our opportunity to both educate and interview candidates. ACTRA is not affiliated with any one party so when you meet with a Liberal, NDP, Conservative or Green party candidate, I encourage you to ask them if they agree that a strong Canada depends on a strong cultural sector. Ask them if they realize our Canadian entertainment industry is an economic driver with huge potential. Let’s face it, if they haven’t included these answers in their campaign platforms, maybe they’re not ready to lead our country.

In June, we’ll be rolling out our new national joint ACTRA-DGC helpline. We’ll be offering 24/7 critical incident reporting as well as confidential counselling services for our members. I encourage you to read Theresa Tova’s story, “ACTRA’s new helpline.”

I am also excited to report we recently launched ACTRAonlinecommercials.ca! Our new website was created specifically for advertisers and advertising agencies to work ACTRA with ease. This will support the popular ACTRAonline Opportunity Pilot Project (AOPP), negotiated in the last National Commercial Agreement (NCA), which was created to entice the digital commercial jurisdiction to “go union”. Non-union commercials – or any non-union work in our jurisdiction – is simply not acceptable. We have stood by SAG-AFTRA during its strike against advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Inc. for this very reason.

We’ve saved trees this year starting with the launch of our first digital-only edition of ACTRA Magazine (if you haven’t already, check out our Winter 2019 issue). And… we’ve decided to move from two to three digital issues per year! Watch for member e-blasts, visit actra.ca and follow ACTRA on TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube! I encourage you to get involved and stay informed about what’s happening across your favourite union.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

President’s Message – January 2019

January 2019

ACTRA Members are the Champions, My Friends!

Two thousand and eighteen was a year of true celebration marking 75 years of impressive ACTRA advocacy on behalf of performers and the arts in Canada. It was also a year of important negotiations that led to better compensation and respect for all. And, it was a chance to meet and hear from talented ACTRAvists from every branch, who are excelling at their craft, projecting our Canadian talent to the world and working hard for their fellow members across this great land.

First, to every elected member of the branch councils and National Council and to every passionate performer who gives of their time to sit on a committee or advocate for a cause or volunteer at an event, I thank you on behalf of our 25,000 members. You make a difference and are helping us build a stronger union and industry for future generations.

Last year saw far too many champions to name here… but let’s give it a try.

Shelley Thompson was selected as the recipient of the Woman in the Director’s Chair Feature Film Award, which will support the creation of her first feature to be shot in Nova Scotia this summer. This win underlines her exceptional work starring in numerous films and TV roles, including eleven seasons on The Trailer Park Boys. And if she wasn’t busy enough, Shelley formerly served on the ACTRA Maritimes Council and is past Chair of the Women’s Committee.

Don Jordan opened doors for a generation of diverse performers in Canada and received the 2018 ACTRA Montreal Award of Excellence. An accomplished actor, singer, dancer and choreographer, Don served as President of ACTRA Montreal from 2007 to 2016.Industry mentor Jennifer Clement received UBCP/ACTRA’s Lorena Gale Woman of Distinction Award. As Head of the Acting Department at the Vancouver Film School, Jennifer’s passion is to train, nurture and empower the next generation of performers. She spoke passionately at the UBCP/ACTRA Awards Gala about the advancement of women in our industry.Two thousand and eighteen saw ACTRA Toronto Councillor Tantoo Cardinal win both the Toronto Film Critics Association Award and the Whistler Film Festival Award. This internationally recognized star continues to advocate for indigenous performers and for all diverse members and speaks to advance the true history of Canada through cinema.
At 19, Mustafa Alabssi is one of ACTRA Saskatchewan’s newest members. He has an incredible story to tell. As a deaf performer and a Syrian refugee, he has faced his share of challenges, however, just three months after his first stage play, he was cast in the Netflix series Black Summer. The “genuineness” of his performance won him the role. I’m sure we’ll see much more from Mustafa.

Heartland won the 2018 Alberta “Rosie” for Best Dramatic Series and… returning in 2019 for season 12, is the longest-running one-hour drama in Canadian television history. Congrats to Amber Marshall, Graham Wardle, Michelle Morgan, Shaun Johnston, Alisha Newton, Nathaniel Arcand and to all of the exceptional ACTRA Alberta members who make this series so compelling.

Out on the rock, Robert Joy was honoured with the 2018 ACTRA Newfoundland & Labrador Award of Excellence. A true gentleman, Robert is known for his mentorship of local performers as he often returns home to support the film work of emerging artists. Television audiences may best recognize him for his role-playing Sid Hammerback on CSI: NY for eight seasons or from the hit series Codco or from a little movie he did with Madonna called Desperately Seeking Susan.

Rita Shelton Deverell was our 2018 ACTRA National Woman of the Year. She has done so much throughout her career to promote diversity in every corner of the media.

In the coming year Jayne Eastwood’s five-decade long career will be celebrated as she receives the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence. A much-welcomed lobbyist on Parliament Hill, Jayne speaks strongly on ACTRA’s behalf and is known industry-wide for roles in Goin’ Down the Road, SCTV, The King of Kensington and so many more.

Montreal’s Jay Baruchel is the 2019 ACTRA National Award of Excellence winner this year. Starting as a child performer, he is now a celebrated writer and director with a passion for Canadian storytelling.

Last fall you voted and made a difference. The team of Blair Young (Alberta), Tristan D. Lalla (Montreal), Shawn Doyle (Toronto), Theresa Tova (Toronto) and Richard Young (Toronto), along with our Alternates, Eleanor Noble (Montreal), Catherine Disher (Toronto) and David Gale (Toronto), negotiated a new Independent Production Agreement (IPA) with the help of Observers Paul Dzenkiw (UBCP/ACTRA), National Vice President Keith Martin Gordey, Toronto Background Advocate Shereen Airth, stunt performers Angelica Lisk-Hann and Steve Shackleton, and voice actor Linda Ballantyne. It was a pleasure to work with this thoughtful group and I thank each of them for their wise counsel and for the many late nights. Thanks also to those members who shared ideas at focus groups across the country.

The advances we made during this round of negotiations will serve our members well into the future. As chair of the negotiating committee and on behalf of our 25,000 members, I extend our deepest gratitude to our 2018 ACTRA IPA negotiating committee and to our dedicated and knowledgeable staff for a tough job done well.

In this first digital issue of ACTRA Magazine, you’ll read about many more members who are doing selfless work on behalf of us all. Please check out our applause section and then, I bet you know of many others who are champions for our industry. So we encourage you to share your stories and accolades about your peers, our exceptional members – be sure to tag us @ACTRAnat and include the hashtag #actra.

Two thousand and nineteen promises to be an exciting and challenging year. With new studios in the planning stages in many jurisdictions, we must keep our chops up and be ready for when work opportunities come a-knockin.’ With a federal election also in the offing, we must all be active, vocal and diligent. The future of our member-built union and our industry relies on the efforts of ACTRA members just like you.

Have a fantastic year!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow
President
@davesparrow14

Your cheque is in the mail

Canada Post has resumed regular mail service as of November 27, 2018. ACTRA and production offices will continue to send cheques through regular mail service going forward.

Thank you for your understanding.

ACTRA National 2019 Woman of the Year Nominations

Nominations for the 2019 ACTRA National Woman of the Year are now closed.

Each year since 2010, the ACTRA National Women’s Committee recognizes one ACTRA member as “Woman of the Year” ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8. Next year (2019) will mark the 10th recipient to receive this honour.

The ACTRA Woman of the Year Award shows recognition to a cis or transgender woman of notable acting presence who has made significant contributions to advance women within ACTRA and the recorded media industry, and has been influential in her advocacy and volunteer work within society.

Nomination Criteria

You are invited to nominate an ACTRA member who fits the following criteria:

  • Is a female identifying ACTRA Member;
  • Predominantly resides in Canada or actively advocates for Canadian work/performers;
  • Has a history of volunteer work and/or advocacy;
  • Has worked to forward gender equality/parity* and has made significant contributions within the recorded media industry;
  • Is working/has worked in the film/TV industry; and
  • Must not be earning any stipends/honorariums within ACTRA and cannot have a role in governance within any of the ACTRA branches.

*The theme for the 2019 International Women’s Day is #BalanceForBetter (to build a gender-balanced world).

Deadlines

The deadline for nominations is Sunday, December 16, 2018, at 11:59pm, Pacific Time. Late submissions will not be considered.

Selection Process

Nominations will be reviewed by a jury of ACTRA National Women’s Committee members. The jury will create a shortlist and the ACTRA National Women’s Committee will vote on who will receive the award. ACTRA will announce the recipient ahead of International Women’s Day 2019 (March 8).

Past award recipients

2018 – Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell (ACTRA Toronto)
2017 – Tina Keeper (ACTRA Manitoba)
2016 – Catherine Joell MacKinnon (ACTRA Toronto)
2015 – Amanda Tapping (UBCP/ACTRA)
2014 – Jean Freeman (ACTRA Saskatchewan)
2013 – Mary Walsh (ACTRA Newfoundland/Labrador)
2012 – Sandi Ross (ACTRA Toronto)
2011 – Tantoo Cardinal (ACTRA Toronto)
2010 – Shirley Douglas (ACTRA Toronto)

For more information the ACTRA National Women’s Committee initiatives as well as our past award recipients, click here.

Question?

If you have a question or would like further information about the nomination process or eligibility requirements, please contact Champi Sevathiar (csevathiar@actra.ca).

ACTRA Stunt Performers’ Canadian Academy discount

Calling all Fellow ACTRA Stunt Community Members,

It is time to help move our community forward and we need all of you to pitch in!

The ACTRA National Stunt Committee has embarked on a pilot project with the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (Canadian Academy), with full support of ACTRA, to have members of our stunt community recognized for the incredible contribution our community makes to the film industry here in Canada and abroad.  The end goal is to have stunt categories officially recognized by the Canadian Academy’s awards committee, alongside our other ACTRA sisters and brothers, at the Canadian Screen Awards.

The first proposed category is for our esteemed Stunt Coordinators.

This is long overdue and initial talks with the Canadian Academy finds there is much common ground and appreciation for the work and contribution of our stunt community.  What would film be without action!

This is a historical first step to galvanize recognition at the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards and we need to show our support by being enthusiastic supporters and part of the process.

We can do this! To have a say, you have to have a vote.  Similar to the Academy Awards, you have to be a member to have a vote.  The Canadian Academy has made accommodation for a discount for our ACTRA stunt members.

There are fantastic Canadian Academy member benefits as well, aside from our end goal.  The Academy provides a host of free workshops, movie screenings, industry discounts and are eager to design stunt-specific projects to serve our members.

The U.S. Academy has historically shunned stunts.  How very tired are we that the important contributions of stunt performers are continually ignored and even exploited.  Seems the Canadian Academy sees things differently and does indeed treasure our stunt community!

Fitting that we as Canadians can come together as a community and wholeheartedly embrace this important initiative in support of all artists.

Click on here for more information and join the Canadian Academy! Use STUNT2018 as your code for a 25% savings on membership.

Questions?  Contact, Angelica Lisk-Hann or Tania Cardwell.

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