ACTRA’s Apprentice Program

ACTRA’s Apprentice Program allows performers who are new to ACTRA to work on ACTRA sets and earn credits toward Full membership.

How the Apprentice Program Works

  1. Land a qualifying role in a production shot under ACTRA’s jurisdiction. Qualifying categories of work include:
    • a contracted Principal, Actor, Stunt, Dancer, Singer, Host, Off-Camera Performer role shot under the Independent Production Agreement (IPA). The IPA covers film, television series, industrial videos, animation, movies-of-the-week and digital media.
    • a contracted Principal or Silent-On-Camera commercial role shot under the National Commercial Agreement (NCA).
    • a speaking role under one of our broadcast agreements (such as CBC, CityTV, or CTV).
    • off-camera voice work in ACTRA’s jurisdiction.
  2. Once you get the role (but before you work), apply for a work permit through the appropriate ACTRA Toronto department (ex. Film, TV and Digital Media or Commercial Agreement). To indicate your intent to join, please ensure you check the box beside “Please select to join ACTRA Membership” on the work permit.
    [NOTE: There is a 6-week window to join as an Apprentice on an approved permit in a qualifying category of work.]
    You will pay a yearly Apprentice fee of $75 and will be required to complete an orientation session for new Apprentice members. As well, before you become a Full Member, you will be required to complete the Respect on Set Workshops.
  3. Once you have registered in the Apprentice Program, you need two more qualifying credits (a total of three) to become a Full member. There is no time limit between joining the Apprentice Program and becoming a Full member so long as you maintain your Apprentice membership and pay your annual fees.
  4. When you purchase your third* work permit, advise the ACTRA Membership Department that you want to become a Full ACTRA member. The initiation fee is $1,600 plus annual dues. Apprentice Members may deduct from their $1,600 Full membership fee: the cost of any qualifying Apprentice member credits used toward earning their Full membership and their initial Apprentice membership fee.

*Qualifying work permits towards ACTRA membership are now capped at three (3) for Canadian permittees who choose not to join the union.

Education Credits

Apprentice members can earn an additional credit through education or training. Check here to see if your school is recognized by ACTRA. If you attended a Canadian school or institution not on the list, please contact us.

Apprentice Member Rights

Apprentice members can participate in ratification votes on ACTRA agreements under the terms of which they have worked. Apprentice members may also serve on ACTRA Toronto’s various committees. Apprentice members are not eligible to vote in ACTRA Toronto Council elections nor can they hold elected positions on the ACTRA Toronto Council. However, Apprentice members are eligible to run for and/or vote in the election for the Apprentice Caucus chair and other Caucus Executive positions.

ACTRA Apprentices can attend ACTRA Toronto’s free member conferences and take advantage of discounts available to ACTRA members. ACTRA Apprentice members are protected by ACTRA’s collective agreements and enjoy improved wages and working conditions, preference of engagement, enhanced work opportunities and all the advantages that flow from our union’s constant activism, advocacy and collective bargaining power.

ACTRA Apprentice members are not entitled to health and insurance benefits through AFBS until they become Full members, but AFBS offers the Arts and Entertainment Plan to Apprentice members interested in purchasing a benefits plan. Once an Apprentice member becomes a Full ACTRA member, the performer’s retirement contributions paid to AFBS over the previous two years will be credited to the member’s RRSP account administered by AFBS.

ACTRA Apprentice Member Advantage FAQs

ACTRA’s Apprentice program allows performers who are new to ACTRA to work on ACTRA sets and earn credits toward full ACTRA membership.