ACTRA’s Commitment to Safety, Equality and Inclusion

July 20, 2020

Dear ACTRA Members,

It has been four months since the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic and our industry came to an abrupt halt. Since then, everyone in our union has gone digital as we moved to emergency videoconferences to manage our day-to-day business.

On July 6 and 7, our National Council met virtually for the first time in our union’s history. Your elected leaders from across Canada have embraced the challenges facing all of us and worked together on an ambitious plan to keep ACTRA moving forward during this historic time of social change. With new energy and focus, our member-led union discussed what role we will play in effectively challenging anti-Black racism.

Our National and Branch Diversity and Inclusion committees have shown tremendous leadership in standing up against systemic racism. The urgency for change requires a collective voice and real commitment to racial equality within our union and our industry.

In response, our National Council passed a motion to:

  • Endorse the creation of a plan that includes concrete, measurable actions designed to bring racial equality within ACTRA as we work towards building a more inclusive world; and
  • Invite the Canadian Creative Industries Coalition to reconvene and work together to end anti-BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) racism within the screen-based media production sector.

Our National Council meeting marked another milestone for our performers’ union, as we all very recently voted to change our governance model to improve representation from across all ACTRA Branches. Our governance structure needed to be updated to reflect the demographic changes our ACTRA Branches have seen over time to ensure representation from the entirety of our membership.

We welcomed four new Councillors to our table of now 28 National Councillors, and re-elected Keith Martin Gordey as our ACTRA National Vice-President and Theresa Tova as our ACTRA National Treasurer. Thank you, Keith, Theresa and all of our National and Branch Councillors, for your hard work on behalf of all of our members across Canada, especially during this challenging time.

As our industry reopens, we are also wondering what things will look like as we return to work. Thank you to our members who took part in our anonymous health and safety survey. The resulting Report outlines a number of important safety measures our members feel would reinforce their sense of safety in the workplace. 

ACTRA Branches across the country are working closely with government, industry partners and local stakeholders to establish and implement return-to-work protocols and guidelines. I encourage you to visit the dedicated COVID-19 resources page on our website, which includes links to provincial and ACTRA Branch health and safety guidelines.

Depending on where you are working, please read your province’s and your ACTRA Branch’s health and safety guidelines.

Expect to be educated daily on the COVID-related protocols being followed on the set.

We all have to do our part, both on and off set.

Please continue to stay connected with your union. As we get back to work, our health and safety is critical. COVID-19 is a serious matter.

YOU have a responsibility to inform yourself.

I wish you all good health, love and positivity.

Stay safe and stay connected.

In solidarity,
David Sparrow

President’s Message Archive

Tuesday, June 30, 2020
ACTRA Branches have been meeting with union leaders, industry stakeholders and governments across the country to establish COVID-19 guidelines that will help to protect the health and safety of cast and crew as the industry reopens and work opport...
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
ACTRA National President David Sparrow provides an update for members on the work of your union as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 health crisis.
Thursday, April 16, 2020
ACTRA National President David Sparrow provides an update for members on the work of your union as we navigate our way through the COVID-19 health crisis.
Thursday, March 26, 2020
In this challenging and unprecedented time, it is important that our ACTRA family takes care of each other. ACTRA members are some of the most thoughtful, compassionate and creative people I know. We will get through this. So please take care of y...
Tuesday, February 04, 2020
ACTRA National President David Sparrow talks about how things are heating up in Ottawa right now for Canadian performers.
Monday, January 20, 2020
Your union has spent years lobbying governments to get more Canada on our screens. Our efforts, and those of our industry partners, have been successful, resulting in nationally and internationally acclaimed CanCon shows like Trailer Park Boys, 19...
Thursday, September 26, 2019
The year 2007 was fraught with frustration as professional ACTRA performers haggled with producers for fair pay when our work was used online. Our frustration escalated and eventually led to the first strike in our union’s then over 60-year-history.