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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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