Who we are

Society’s preoccupation with youth means older actors are too often forgotten. This is not just a shame for the actors themselves and a terrible waste of their abilities, but it’s also a serious blow to our understanding of ourselves as a society and of the aging process that is part of life.

Without public role models and a visible and positive “place in the story,” it is all too easy for aging people to become invisible to themselves and to others and to fall prey to feelings of shame, isolation and loneliness.

Formed by some of ACTRA Toronto’s senior members, Act Your Age (AYA) is a volunteer advocacy committee formed with a mission to:

  1. Celebrate our talents by embracing the history, dignity, and richness of our stories of survival.
  2. Provide opportunities through an active actors’ gym to keep our skills facile and our focus sharp.
  3. Educate the industry and marketers, over time, on the needs and concerns of senior performers.
  4. Establish strong liaisons with other ACTRA Toronto committees, such as YEAA, Diversity and TAWC.
  5. Explore and spotlight the new reality of what it means to be a senior.
  6. Advocate for a change in the perception of senior performers – from invisible and easily dismissed, to capable, hirable, and fun.


Photo of AYA Co-Chair, Heather Dick

Heather Dick

As a senior artist, I want to work just as often as I did when I was younger.  For me, that means finding classes, workshops and opportunities that will help me to keep my voice, body and mind sharp so that I’m ready and able to submit for every audition that comes my way.  I also want to embrace and see technology and making self-tapes as positive challenges rather than obstacles to be overcome.  I’ve volunteered again to be a co-chair of AYA so that I can bring you workshops and opportunities that will keep us all ready and eager to use our creativity and experiences in the industry for as long as we choose to do so.  We deserve to be seen and heard as the talented artists that we are!

If you’re not yet a member of the Act Your Age committee, please join us.  We look forward to welcoming you at our next event.

Anne Wootten

I am honoured to be asked to Co-Chair the AYA Committee. Together with wonderful Co-Chair Heather Dick, I am looking forward to creating initiatives with and for the AYA membership. Let’s stay relevant, curious and keep our skills honed for what the future brings. And let’s have some fun along the way!


Older workers: Exploring and addressing the stereotypes. Commissioned by the Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Seniors to inform policy discussions and program development, the evidence compiled in this report provides insight into common stereotypes about older workers, stereotype holders, and factors that perpetuate the stereotypes.
An examination of the social and economic impacts of ageism. Commissioned by the Forum of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Seniors, this report examines social and economic impacts of ageism through a review of literature to better understand the impacts of ageism related to employment, health and health care, social inclusion, safety and security, media and social media; and initiatives to counteract age-based discrimination against older adults.
This article is a good example of why advertisers should be speaking to seniors: “The number of people aged 65 and over is projected to double to more 1.5 billion by 2050, greatly increasing their economic impact. The total spending power of the older population globally … is expected to grow to US$14 trillion over the next decade.”


Let’s See and Hear More “Senior” Voices (You may be surprised)

As a society we can put seniors in a box based on pre-conceived notions. But what does today’s senior really sound like? Check out these AYA “This is What _ Sounds Like” spots. ACTRA Toronto’s AYA Committee recorded this series of promotional audio spots to showcase (and sometimes surprise) the listener. The spots were directed by ACTRA Toronto member Tracey Hoyt.

Spin Class

Written by Tracey Hoyt
Instructor: Cari Haim
Client: Mike Hanson
Anncr.: Valeri Kay

Horseback Ride

Written by John McGrath
Son: John McGrath
Mom: Pam Hyatt
Wife: Patricia Wright Domingue
Anncr.: Tony Fletcher


Written by Tracey Hoyt
Boss: Heather Dick
Applicant: Elva Mai Hoover
Anncr.: Mike Hanson

Speed Date

Written by Tracey Hoyt
Female: Nina Keogh
Male: Gord Milroy
Speed Date
Moderator: Sylvan Valladares
Anncr.: Jorie Morrow

ACTRA Toronto’s Act Your Age Committee rejects this limiting social narrative and offers instead a very different vision of seniors and senior performers, through a series of entertaining and thought provoking short videos.

Connect with us

Email Us
Interested in joining or have a question? Please email us at:  AYA@actratoronto.com.