Underlying our efforts is a strong belief that the policies and programs we advocate are in the broader public interest. A strong domestic production, distribution and exhibition system is absolutely vital to Canadian culture and our sovereignty as a nation.
The film, television and new media industry plays a significant role in nurturing, developing and celebrating Canada and Ontario’s culture. A strong industry allows Canadians to tell their own stories, see themselves reflected on our screens and develop their own sense of identity.
Our work is essential, not only to performers, but to our economy and our society. Arts and culture are big business in Ontario. In 2014, the film and television industry contributed $1.29 billion to the provincial economy and accounted for almost 30,000 full-time jobs.
You can see much of our work on our screens. Anchored by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Toronto hosts some 75+ film festivals throughout the year. We’ve seen films like Pixels, Crimson Peak, Total Recall, Pacific Rim, Carrie, and RoboCop shot here. We also produce some of the leading TV series including: Beauty and the Beast, Bitten, Covert Affairs, Cracked, Defiance, Degrassi, Hannibal, Hemlock Grove, The Listener, Lost Girl, Murdoch Mysteries, Orphan Black, Reign, Rookie Blue, Saving Hope and Schitt’s Creek.
The Motion Picture Association – Canada has launched Where to Watch in Canada, where you can find your favourite movies and TV shows online. Canada Screens has also launched an all-Canadian video-on-demand service at canadascreens.ca and nfb.ca. The catalogue of homegrown favourites has been curated by Canadian actors, filmmakers and movie insiders. Click and connect with the content you want.
In spite of our work being in demand, performers, as a group, are underpaid, unfairly taxed and often lack the basic protections that other workers take for granted. Artists in Ontario are still struggling for the basic protections outlined in UNESCO’s 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist.
“Status of the Artist” is a term describing a category of government legislation and programs which improve the economic and social status of professional artists. ACTRA has a long history working for Status of the Artist laws in Canada. Click here to see our timeline.
ACTRA Toronto is committed to working for dignity and respect for all workers. ACTRA is a member of the International Federation of Actors (FIA); is affiliated to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC); and has a strategic alliance with the United Steelworkers (USW).
To find out Who’s Who of unions, associations and guilds in Ontario’s film, television and digital interactive/games sector, check out our Creative Partners and learn more about their work in Toronto.