Member Handbook – 4 – The ACTRA Advantage
ACTRA Toronto offers five courses to better acquaint members with the union’s resources, benefits, contracts, and rules.
ACTRA Additional Background Performer Orientation
A short course for all new AABP members providing an introduction to ACTRA. Free.
A session for all new Apprentice members covering your rights on set, your obligations as a member, pay, benefits, paperwork, and who’s who at ACTRA. Free.
Respect on Set Workshops
ACTRA Toronto and the Directors Guild of Canada Ontario (DGC Ontario) have teamed up to offer two joint sessions to equip members with the tools they need on set. The first session covers preventing and dealing with harassment and the second session covers set etiquette and health and safety. Free.
Full Member Session
This course grounds new full members in the business of being a professional performer. Topics include audition protocols, self-promotion and marketing, an overview of ACTRA’s collective agreements and how ACTRA works. The course runs over 1 ½ days and costs $200.
A session with AFBS to familiarize members with their insurance, health and dental coverage, RRSPs, scholarships, special needs, and counseling services. Free.
Health, Retirement and Other Benefits
In addition to minimum fees, being an ACTRA member means you are eligible for health care and dental coverage, life insurance, RRSPs, and scholarships. These benefits are administered by our third-party insurance and retirement provider, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society.
Extended Health Care Coverage
Paid for by Engagers, members have access to extended health care and dental benefits. A member’s level of coverage is defined by their earnings. Every three years, members have an opportunity to buy into a higher level of coverage.
Every full member has death benefits.
Under all of ACTRA’s contracts a deduction is made from the member’s pay and a generous Employer contribution is made to your RRSP administered by AFBS. AFBS has two RRSP funds for members to choose from: a bond fund and a balanced fund, both managed with one of the lowest Management Expense Ratios in the investment industry.
AFBS has scholarship funds available for members and their dependents.
Arts & Entertainment Plan
Apprentices have access to the Arts & Entertainment Plan, a competitive health care and dental benefit program administered by AFBS.
Twice a year, ACTRA Toronto holds conferences for the benefit of its members. The conferences include many exciting professional development workshops with industry professionals as panellists and instructors giving you tools and information to further your career. Workshops have been presented by Casting Directors, Agents, Coaches, Tax Experts, Stunt and Weapons specialists, Assistant Directors, Directors of Photography, Directors and other industry professionals.
ACTRA Toronto’s general meetings are held at the conferences. These “plenary” meetings keep members informed about union business, Council activities and the industry environment.
The conferences are a great opportunity to network with friends and fellow performers. Breakfast, lunch and childcare are provided and the conference is followed by a wine and cheese reception.
ACTRA members can receive a wide range of discounts with their ACTRA card. The Member Advantage Program has discounts on acting workshops, attractions, car rentals, clothing, fitness, hotels, technology, industry publications, travel, tickets, aesthetics and more.
AND, be sure to ask for an arts worker discount at participating stage performances in Toronto.
ACTRA Awards in Toronto
ACTRA Toronto presents three juried awards annually: Outstanding Performance Male, Outstanding Performance Female and Outstanding Performance Voice. The Award of Excellence is awarded to a performer with a significant body of work who has volunteered their time to advocate on behalf of performers. The ACTRA Toronto Stunt Award honours a seasoned stunt performer who has given back to the community and is chosen by the Stunt Committee.
The ACTRA Awards are peer-nominated and peer-juried. It is an extra special honour when the quality of your work is recognized by your peers. Submit outstanding performances for consideration as soon as you see them through an easy online form.
Gordon Pinsent Studio
Available exclusively to ACTRA Toronto members, the Gordon Pinsent Studio (GPS) is an on-site recording facility located at ACTRA Toronto where members can rehearse on-camera or record self-tape auditions, and it’s FREE!
The studio includes professional lighting, a state-of-the-art digital camera, a monitor for playback in order to view your work, and a voice booth.
To book your time slot, call ACTRA Toronto at 416.928.2278.
ACTRA Online Performer Databases
When you become a member your profile is automatically uploaded to ACTRAonline. You can update your profile yourself; add credits and links to your personal website and demo reel. If you specialize in stunts, voice, or background work or self-identify as culturally or physically diverse you can also choose to create a profile on any of ACTRA’s micro talent databases:
ACTRA’s Online Performer Databases are free for you and free for signatory producers and Casting Directors to use to find talent for their productions.
ACTRAonline.cashowcases thousands of ACTRA performers - Canada's premier talent pool. Each performer's detailed, searchable profile may feature up to three (3) photos, contact and agent information, a full résumé, credits, and audio and video clips. Performer details available on ACTRAonline.ca are provided and updated by individual performers.
background.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of professional background talent. If you work background, create a profile and upload your photos, resume and other information.
diversity.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Diverse Professional Talent. ACTRA Toronto members who are people of colour, Aboriginal persons, and performers with disabilities are invited to post their photo, ethno-cultural background, agent contact information, special skills, credits, and links to online self–promotion.
stunts.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Professional Stunt Performers. ACTRA Toronto Stunt Performers and resident and visiting Stunt Coordinators can create a profile and upload resumes , photos and other information.
voice.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Professional Voice Performers. ACTRA Toronto Voice Performers can create a profile and upload resumes, demos and other information.
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