Join ACTRA and become a member of the strongest cultural union in Canada. There are three ways you can become an ACTRA member:

1. Join ACTRA as a Full Member

Full membership in ACTRA guarantees access to 80+ years of bargained benefits like RRSP contributions, health and safety protections, and professional development. Other Full Member benefits include:

  • No permits are required to work under ACTRA’s jurisdiction;
  • Preference of engagement over  non-member performers;
  • Receive health insurance and retirement benefits through AFBS;
  • Guaranteed rights and protections under ACTRA agreements, including minimum rates of pay;
  • Access to ACTRA’s Deals & Discounts program, including a discount on your IMDbPro membership;
  • Participate in ratification votes for the ACTRA agreements you work under;
  • Vote in local ACTRA Branch elections;
  • Play a direct role in governing your union by holding elected positions in ACTRA National and your ACTRA Branch;
  • Participate in free professional educational programs and opportunities; and
  • Eligibility under ACTRA’s reciprocal agreements to join other performers’ unions.

If you are a Full Member in good standing of a sibling organization, such as Canadian Actors’ Equity Association or SAG-AFTRA, and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for Full membership in ACTRA. Please contact your local ACTRA Branch for more information.

To join ACTRA as a Full Member, there is a one-time $1,600 initiation fee. Full Members also pay basic annual membership dues of $195 plus working dues of 2.25% of gross earnings (up to a combined maximum of $4,000) each year.

NOTE: As a condition of membership, Full Members may not accept non-union work.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MEMBERSHIP FORMS


2. Join ACTRA as an Apprentice Member

Apprentice membership ensures your eligibility to work on ACTRA sets and gives you the applicable rights and privileges of an Apprentice Member, including:

  • Protections under ACTRA’s collective agreements, including improved wages and working conditions, preference of engagement and enhanced work opportunities;
  • Participation in ratification votes on ACTRA agreements under the terms of which you have worked;
  • After becoming a Full Member, an Apprentice member’s RRSP deductions paid to AFBS over the previous two years will be credited to the member’s record;
  • Participation in free professional educational programs; and
  • Access to ACTRA’s Deals & Discounts program, including a discount on your IMDbPro membership.

You can apply to become an Apprentice Member if you hold at least one qualifying work permit. This includes work permits in a residual category under an ACTRA agreement (ex. principal, acting and stunt roles) or completion of a course of studies from eligible schools and post-secondary schools and institutions (within one year of completion). Work permits issued for background performing are excluded. For more information about the definition of a credit, please see ACTRA By-Law 1, Section II.

Apprentice Members pay a $75 Administration fee at the time of registering with their Branch/Local Union. To maintain your Apprentice Member status, this fee must be paid annually on or before your joining anniversary month.

An Apprentice Member or non-Member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can apply for Full membership once they have a combination of three* qualifying work permits and/or credits. There is no time limit between joining the Apprentice Program and becoming a Full Member so long as you maintain your Apprentice membership and pay your annual renewal fee. Please contact your local ACTRA Branch for more information about qualifying work permits and credits.

NEW: Apprentice Members may deduct from their $1,600 Full membership fee: the cost of any qualifying Apprentice Member work permits used toward earning their Full membership and their initial Apprentice membership Administration fee.

*Effective September 15, 2022, qualifying work permits are now capped at three (3) after which time an Apprentice Member or Non-Member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident will be required to apply for Full membership with ACTRA. Once an Apprentice Member or Non-Member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident has been issued three (3) qualifying work permits, they will not be granted any future qualifying work permits without the Branch/Local Union’s permission or in accordance with an exception noted in ACTRA’s Constitution. For more information about changes to qualifying work permits, please click here.

NOTE: As a condition of membership, Apprentice Members may not accept non-union work.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MEMBERSHIP FORMS


3. Join as an ACTRA Additional Background Performer

There are many advantages to becoming an ACTRA Additional Background Performer. You will be protected by ACTRA collective agreements and have input in the bargaining process as it affects your wages and working conditions.

To be eligible for ACTRA Additional Background Performer membership, you must prove you have worked as a Background Performer under ACTRA’s jurisdiction for 15 days within a 12-month period immediately preceding your application for membership.

To apply, please contact your local ACTRA branch to set up an appointment. You will need to complete an application form, present proof of your 15 workdays as a Background Performer and provide a current photo and résumé. If you are an ACTRA Additional Background Performer with well-documented proof (i.e. vouchers or cheque stubs) of 200 on-set engagement days or 1,600 hours, you may apply to become an Apprentice Member.

NOTE: As a condition of membership, ACTRA Additional Background Performers may not accept non-union work.

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MEMBERSHIP FORMS


Changes to qualifying work permits

For more information about changes to qualifying work permits, please CLICK HERE.


Frequently Asked Questions

How will this impact performers who have previously worked on permits?
  • During the transition period (September 15, 2022, to February 28, 2023):
    • Performers seeking a qualifying work permit under the National Commercial Agreement (NCA) who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will only be permitted to work if they become Full Members or qualify under exceptional or extraordinary circumstances. Their initiation fee will be reduced by the equivalent of the last two (2) permit fees paid (not including surcharges).
    • Performers seeking qualifying work permits under our other agreements who have previously worked on three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as Full members on their next qualifying work permit and have the equivalent of their last two applicable permit fees deducted from their Full member initiation fee. If they choose not to join, there is a maximum of three permits allowable during this transition period and surcharges will apply.
  • After the transition period (March 1, 2023, onwards):
    • Performers with three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be invited to join as Full members. Additional qualifying work permits will not be granted.
    • Please note: additional qualifying work permits may be issued due to exceptional or extraordinary circumstances, as stipulated in our reciprocal agreements or in accordance with ACTRA’s Constitution.
After February 28, 2023, to be eligible to work under an ACTRA agreement, will performers with three (3) or more qualifying work permits be required to join as Full members?
Yes. Effective March 1, 2023, any performer with three (3) or more qualifying work permits will be required to join as a Full member.
Are Apprentice Members required to join as Full Members after earning three (3) credits or can they remain as Apprentices?
In accordance with the ACTRA National Constitution and By-Laws (By-Law #2), Apprentice members are required to join ACTRA as Full Members upon receiving their third qualifying work permit. Branches may negotiate a payment plan to assist the performer in paying their Full member initiation fee.
Isn’t union membership voluntary?
The ACTRA National By-Laws have been amended to protect the interests of the union's members. Canadian non-members have the right to join the union in accordance with these rules. Conversely, Canadian non-members also have the choice to not join the union. However, if Canadian non-members wish to enjoy the benefits ACTRA members have fought for and that are provided under ACTRA's collective agreements, they can only do so three (3) times under a work permit. It is then their choice whether or not they join ACTRA.
Can I still join ACTRA after September 15, 2022?
Yes! ACTRA welcomes into the union anyone who has been issued a qualifying work permit and will continue to do so.