ACTRA Toronto’s Respect the Artist campaign invites all Ontarians to:

  • Celebrate the work of Ontario’s performers on film, television and new media;
  • Support appropriate investment and other necessary measures to maintain Ontario’s competitive position in a globalized media production industry; and
  • Secure the basic protections envisioned in UNESCO’s Status of the Artist Recommendation.


Current Campaigns:


October 13th – ACTRA Toronto Day of Action

One Day of Action. Three levels of government and three asks:

  • Promote our stories
  • Invest in Production
  • Create Jobs
Click OCTOBER 13TH – ACTRA TORONTO DAY OF ACTION to sign up and find out how you can help create more and better work opportunities.


ACTRA has a long history working for Status of the Artist laws in Canada.


Respect the Artist Timeline


“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.


We’re asking Ontario’s provincial legislators to:

  • Support the film, television and new media industry through continued application of the tax credit program.
  • Make artists’ negotiated agreements enforceable under the Ontario Labour Relations Act.
  • Enact legislation to ensure the full protection children performers.
  • Introduce measures that would provide income tax relief for artists.
  • Include artists under the Employment Standards Act so they can rely on basic labour standards such as minimum wage.
  • Give independent artists access to re-training programs so they can adjust to mid-career transitions.


ACTRA’s former General Secretary, Paul Siren, was a pioneer who helped draft the 1980 UNESCO Recommendation on Status of the Artist. He went on to co-chair the federal government’s Task Force on Status of the Artist. The Task Force’s report, released in 1986 led to the passing of the federal Status of the Artist Act in 1992.


In Ontario, ACTRA Toronto participated in government consultations in the 1990s. In 2005, ACTRA Toronto presented a brief to the Ontario government Subcommittee on Status of the Artist.


A long-awaited Status of Ontario’s Artists Act was introduced at Queen’s Park in March of 2007. Unfortunately, the Act fell short of what ACTRA and other artists had hoped for.


Since then, ACTRA Toronto has continued to pursue rights and benefits for Ontario’s artists. Our most recent campaigns have sought basic labour rights for artists.


Ontario’s government made a commitment to Status of the Artist legislation. Let’s make it possible for professional artists to continue to produce the art, film, television, music, literature and digital media we love.

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