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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 or 514.844.3318.

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

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).


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.


If you have a question or would like further information about the nomination process or eligibility requirements, please contact Champi Sevathiar (

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.

IPA Ratification 2018

ACTRA has successfully reached a tentative settlement with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) with respect to the Independent Production Agreement (IPA).

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

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


  1. You need your ACTRA Member ID (the number on your membership card) and PIN (sent by email at 9:00am EST on Monday, November 26, 2018; check your email inbox and/or spam folders and please ensure emails from the domain are enabled). If you haven’t received a PIN, please contact the IPA help desk between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday by phone (416-489-1311 x4037 or 1-800-387-3516) 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, the Memorandum of Agreement and accompanying Highlights document 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 3:00pm EST on Friday, December 14, 2018.


  1. Letters and paper ballots were delivered to the post office by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 26, 2018. Mail-in ballots were only mailed to eligible members who do not have an email on file with ACTRA. If you know you do not have an email on file with ACTRA and have not received a mailed ballot by Friday, November 30, 2018, please contact your local Branch. If you are eligible to vote, you will need to complete a Declaration of Non-Receipt and a new mail-in ballot will be issued;
  2. Please review the information on Why Vote YES section below, and/or review our list of FAQs, the Memorandum of Agreement and accompanying Highlights document 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, December 14, 2018.


With already one of the best performer agreements in the world, our goal is always to secure a fair deal for our hard-working members. We successfully worked through a complex series of issues to negotiate an excellent settlement. This deal comes to you for ratification from both your Negotiating Committee and the ACTRA National Executive with the unanimous recommendation to vote YES. Ratification of this settlement will bring significant improvements to the IPA, including:

  • Improved measures on harassment prevention, nudity, and respectful workplace language;
  • An annual general increase of 3% in each of the 3 years;
  • Stunt Coordinators rates will increase 5% in the first year and 3% in each of the subsequent two years;
  • Recognition for ACTRA Additional Background Performers; and an increase in the Background Performer Count;
  • For Series Optioned Performers, the maximum RRSP Engager contribution per series cycle will increase to $8,300 (from $7,920);
  • A self-tape will be considered an audition or audition recall when the Producer requires the Performer to submit a self-tape; and
  • Two additional Use options have been added for Animation Productions to increase work opportunities for ACTRA Animation Voice Performers.

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

Please read the documents listed above (cover letter, Memorandum of Agreement and accompanying Highlights document as well as the list of FAQs) then exercise your right to vote on the 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 3:00pm EST on Friday, December 14, 2018.


Monday, November 26, 2018: 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)
Monday, November 26, 2018: online ballot credentials emailed at 9:00am EST to those who are eligible to vote (to those who are eligible to vote and have an email address on file with ACTRA)
Monday, November 26, 2018: voting period begins at 9:00 a.m. EST
Friday, December 14, 2018: voting period ends at 3:00 p.m. EST
Monday, December 17, 2018: consolidated results from scrutineer delivered to ACTRA National Council


ACTRA members were represented in these negotiations by an exceptionally-skilled and capable group of performers who, like you, work under the IPA. These members worked long, difficult hours and remained united in their commitment to stand strong against Producer demands for significant concessions.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the members of the 2018 ACTRA IPA Negotiating Committee:

David Sparrow (National President); Blair Young (Alberta); Tristan D. Lalla (Montreal); Shawn Doyle (Toronto); Theresa Tova (Toronto); and Richard Young (Toronto).

Alternates: Eleanor Noble (Montreal); Catherine Disher (Toronto); and David Gale (Toronto).

Observers: Paul Dzenkiw (UBCP/ACTRA); Keith Martin Gordey (National Vice President; UBCP/ACTRA).

Member Resources: Shereen Airth, Background (Toronto); Angelica Lisk-Hann, Stunts (National); and Steve Shackleton, Stunts (Toronto).



IPA Negotiations 2018 FAQs: Ratification


Click on the following questions relating to the 2019-2021 IPA to see its respective answer:

Harassment Prevention:









Work Conditions:



Health, Safety and Stunts:



Background Performers:


Animation and Off-Camera Voice Performers:




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

  • A Full Active Member in good standing who has worked under the IPA from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018;
  • An Apprentice Member who has two (2) engagements in a residual category under the IPA from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018;
  • An Apprentice member in a background role who has worked the required number of days under the IPA from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018;
  • An Additional Background Performer who has worked the required number of days under the IPA from January 1, 2016 to September 30, 2018.

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 2016-2018 Independent Production Agreement remains in effect until December 31, 2018. If ratified by eligible members, the 2019-2021 Independent Production Agreement will take effect January 1, 2019.


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




For any technical-related questions (including issues related to the voting portal or your PIN), please contact the IPA help desk between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST Monday to Friday by phone (416-489-1311 x4037 or 1-800-387-3516) or email ( If you require further information about the Memorandum of Agreement, please contact Jennifer McLaren with your question(s) by phone (416-489-1311 x4046 or 1-800-387-3516) or email (

President’s Message – October 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

Update on progress in creating respectful workplaces

Over the past year, ACTRA has been and remains dedicated to preventing and reducing harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence within our union and the broader Canadian creative industry. While progress has been made over the last 12 months, there is still more work to be done.

The first step was to convene a group of creative industry stakeholders to collaborate on an industry-wide response to sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence. After this meeting in November 2017, the group released a joint statement committing to zero tolerance for harassment in all its forms and established working groups to develop an industry Code of Conduct, explore safer reporting measures, and review opportunities for industry-wide education and training.

A series of industry stakeholder meetings continued over the winter months and, on March 8, 2018, the Canadian Creative Industries released their Code of Conduct (, which lists useful steps to better identify, address and prevent harassment.

Since becoming signatory in March, our union has remained dedicated to executing these steps to better serve our members. These include identifying and implementing policies and procedures for members to report experiences of harassment as well as creating a process to quickly address reports.

In spring 2018, ACTRA contracted a Respectful Workplaces Advisor who, along with ACTRA’s legal counsel, have guided us through a review of our union’s policies and procedures. They have advised us on making the necessary changes to ensure our union has appropriate guidelines and measures in place to assist and protect members who have experienced harassment or assault.

In June 2018, ACTRA’s National Council unanimously passed amendments to our Constitution and By-Laws to better protect our membership. Specifically, By-Law #17 was amended to set clearer guidelines to ensure respect on set as well as consequences for members who engage in harassing behaviour.

Additional changes to this By-Law include:

  • Clearly laying out members’ responsibilities to uphold workplace, industry and union environments free from harassment and discrimination;
  • Creating a separate and expedited process for complaints of harassment and discrimination;
  • Giving the union the ability to initiate or pursue a complaint even if there has been no formal complaint; and
  • Creating a separate and expedited process for complaints of harassment and discrimination including proportional consequences and reporting of discipline decisions.

Our branches have also undertaken various initiatives within their own memberships to create respectful workplaces, including holding safe space membership meetings, town halls, and education and training sessions as well as providing access to other resources. If you are interested in learning more about other initiatives available to members, please contact your branch.

Your union remains committed to continuing a dialogue and working with our industry partners on this shared responsibility to address these issues. We will provide further updates on any future ACTRA initiatives as they become available.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow

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Treasurer’s Report for the Fiscal Year Ended February 28, 2018

A brief overview of the financial statements for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018

Your union has been very active this past fiscal year (2017-2018) – negotiating improvements in the National Commercial Agreement; leading the industry’s reaction to the Weinstein sexual harassment revelations; 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.

Fiscal 2017/18 Revenue of $6 million increased by $103,300 or 1.8% from the prior year. Equalization Revenue increased by $51,800 or 3.4%.  Full Member per capita payments increased by $26,800 from the prior fiscal year due to an increase in Full Member count of 0.8%. Apprentice Member per capita payments increased by $22,800 from the prior fiscal year reflecting an increase in Apprentice Member count of 6%. Consistent with Canadian accounting principles the investments held for trading were adjusted to their market value at year end.

Total Fiscal 2017/18 expenses of $5.8 million increased by $230,000 or 4.1% from the prior year.

 In Fiscal 2017/18 Collective Agreement Negotiation and Administration costs were $157,200 higher than the prior year. The NCA was negotiated in Fiscal 2017/18.

ACTRA participated at the Canadian Labour Congress Convention held in Toronto in May 2017. Related expenses in Fiscal 2017/18 were $58,200.

Fiscal 2017/18 Salaries are higher than last year by $85,100 or 2.5% due to contractual increases.

Public Policy & Communication expenses are $21,900 or 7.3% higher than last year. This is mostly due to expenses incurred to review the impact of NAFTA renegotiation on ACTRA’s members and the industry. In addition, ACTRA Magazine costs were higher than the previous year due to a larger publication to celebrate ACTRA’s 75th Anniversary.

Research & Bargaining expenses are $13,300 or 38.7% higher than last year. In FY 2017/18 ACTRA began a review of its policies and procedures related to bullying and harassment, which contributed to Research costs being higher than the prior year.

Information Services department expenses decreased by $35,400 or 12.2% from the prior year mostly due to lower director expenses and no external consulting expenses.

The Apprentice Member credit in FY 2017/18 was $17,900 or 30% lower than the prior year; both the number of Apprentice members becoming Full Members and the Credit decreased, by 4.5% and 22% respectively.

Transfer payment to the Branches decreased by $16,500 or 49.9% in FY 17/18 from the prior year.

All other Fiscal 2017/18 expenses account for a decrease of $35,900 from the prior year.

Final results:
ACTRA National’s Fiscal 2017/18 Operating Surplus is $157,700. Consistent with the surplus policy established in October 2007, operating surplus in excess of $2 million will be distributed to the Branches and $157,700 will be distributed in this fiscal year. Consistent with Canadian accounting rules, the transfer to the Branches is recorded on the balance sheet.

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