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Becoming a Member

The decision to embark on a career performing as an ACTRA member is not one to be taken lightly. Performing is a challenging profession that requires discipline, continuous training and lots of hard work.

If you have the passion to be a performer and are willing to make the commitment then by joining ACTRA you will be joining a 25,000-strong family that has your back.

There are three ways that a performer can become a member of ACTRA:

1. Taking out Apprentice Membership
Your Apprentice Membership Card immediately opens up performing opportunities for you by ensuring your eligibility for all ACTRA work. Within ACTRA, you will receive all the applicable rights, privileges and mailings of a full Member including full non-voting participation in ACTRA membership meetings. More important, as an Apprentice Member you automatically join the professional ranks of your peers performing in film, television and radio.

If you hold at least one qualifying work permit, you are eligible to become an Apprentice Member. This includes work permits for principal and acting roles as well as stunt but excludes work permits issued for background performing. Apprentice Members pay an Administration Fee at the time of registering, in the amount of seventy-five dollars ($75.00), to the Branch/Local Union where the Apprentice is registered.  This fee is paid annually on or before the expiry date on the Apprentice Membership card in order to maintain Apprentice Membership status.

Once you become an Apprentice Member, your next step on the performers’ career path is to assemble the body of work, signified by work permits, necessary to advance to being a Full Member.


In fall 2010, Full ACTRA members voted to reduce the number of credits required for Full membership. As of December 15, 2010, Apprentice members need THREE credits to become a Full ACTRA member. Please contact your  Branch for more details on qualifiying credits.

Like Full Members, Apprentice Members may not accept non-union work.


2. Being a Member of a Sister Organization
If you are already a full member in good standing of a sister organization, such as Canadian Actors Equity Association (Equity) or SAG-AFTRA, and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to apply for Full Membership in ACTRA.

3. Joining as an ACTRA Additional Background Performer
The ACTRA Additional Background Performer category was created for performers who want to pursue work as professional background performers.

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

In order to be eligible for ACTRA Additional Background Performer membership, you must prove that you have worked as a Background Performer 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 work days as a Background Performer and to provide a current photo and resume.

In order to maintain your membership you will have to work 15 work days as a Background Performer during a period of 12 consecutive months measured from March 1st of each year.

Want to become a full ACTRA member? 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 the Apprentice Program.


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