All children need encouragement and recognition and to know they are loved and accepted.

Performing demands focus, determination and hard work. Working on set involves long hours and sometimes difficult working conditions. Because of these things, it is important children and their parents/guardians pursue this career path for the right reasons.

Many children become performers because, from an early age, they are outgoing, confident and want to perform. Under the watchful eye of a responsible, caring parent, these children can have a rewarding experience working in film, television, digital media or commercials.

Click on the links below to be taken to the relevant section of this page:
ACTRA Toronto’s Child Advocate
ACTRA Toronto Stage Parent webinars
The Stage Parent Survival Guide
Four Simple Points for Parents to Remember
Parents’ FAQs
Tips for Parents and Children on set
Ask Tabby and Tova!
Children’s Property Rights in Ontario

Resources for Parents

ACTRA Toronto’s Child Advocate

Angelica Alejandro is ACTRA Toronto’s Advocate for Child Performers, as well as a working performer herself. Contact Angelica at 416-928-2278, ext. 6605 or by E-mail.

ACTRA Toronto Stage Parents Survival Seminar

Watch the recording of the ACTRA Toronto Stage Parents Survival Seminar held on July 15, 2021.

ACTRA Toronto and Holland Bloorview Parent Session

Watch the recording of the ACTRA Toronto Stage Parent Zoom seminar held on January 26, 2021, in conjunction with Holland Bloorview.

The Stage Parent Survival Guide

First published in 2002, The Stage Parent Survival Guide by Robyne Baruchel is an invaluable resource for parents and guardians of school-aged children working in the Canadian film and TV industry.

The Guide spells out all of the rules negotiated and enforced by ACTRA to protect and support underage performers.

Click on the image to the left to view the Guide or download a PDF version, or stop by the ACTRA Toronto office to pick up your own copy. Either way, you’ll be glad you did.

Four Simple Points for Parents to Remember:

Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions:

Tips for Parents and Children on set

Work on a film, television, radio, digital media program or a commercial is work, so please encourage your child to take it seriously.

  • Help your child understand the nature of their role and follow instructions if needed. Although a child’s mood can be unpredictable, as an attending parent or chaperone, it’s your responsibility to ensure your child cooperates with any reasonable request. Always keep in mind that your child has been hired to perform as instructed, provided these instructions don’t violate ACTRA agreements and are not uncomfortable for either you or your child.
  • If your child is asked to do something that feels wrong, trust your instincts. You have a right to say ‘no,’ or call ACTRA Toronto.
  • If your child has a potential emotional or physical reaction, such as fear of heights, which may affect his or her performance, or an allergy, always tell the producers at the time of booking. ACTRA agreements contain clauses that protect minors from performing subject matter of a psychologically damaging nature.
  • It’s your right and responsibility to be near where your child is working and to have contact with them between takes. Don’t leave, even if production staff say “stay clear” on a tight set.
  • Make sure your child is well rested and prepared to do their best work. Producers rely on you to honestly tell them how your child is feeling and whether this may jeopardize the next day’s shooting schedule. If your child is old enough to be asked to work overtime (ages 12 to 15) but they are overtired – just say no! Note: Under the IPA, Minors aged 12-17 must be provided a minimum 12-hour rest period between the end of one workday and the beginning of the next workday or the start time of tutoring (if the Minor is scheduled to attend tutoring that is provided by the Producer the next day). Minors under 12 years of age must be provided a minimum 12-hour rest period between the time the Minor arrives at home and the time the Minor leaves for the set for the next Call or the start time of tutoring (if the Minor is scheduled to attend tutoring provided by the Producer the next day).
  • The set is not a social club or childcare centre. Siblings, friends and relatives should not be invited to come to set to watch your child perform. Obtain clearances long before the production date if you must bring another individual with you.
  • Make sure you know exactly when and where your child should report for work and note this in your diary.
  • Make sure you know what you’re expected to provide for your child on the shoot, such as clothing and toys.
  • There may be a lot of waiting time on set, so bring books, quiet games and other material to occupy younger children.
  • Although you may be told the shoot may take less time than the maximum allowed time for children stated in ACTRA agreements, you should be prepared to stay until the contracted and allowable time limit for your child is reached. Productions frequently take longer than anticipated, so book babysitters and other activities accordingly.
  • Ask if transportation is provided. If it is, make sure you know when and where to get the bus or van. Leave yourself lots of time to get there and remember to account for travel time when booking babysitters.

Here’s a one-pager you can print out with Tips for Parents!

Ask Tabby & Tova!

Tabby Johnson is a former ACTRA Toronto Child Advocate
Theresa Tova
Theresa Tova is the ACTRA National Child Advocate

Together, they are Tabby & Tova! A fountain of knowledge and a great resource for child performers and their parents.

Below, you’ll find some of their answers to frequently asked questions from parents of children who work as performers. Or click on the video link below and get the full Tabby & Tova experience.

Learn more about Bill 17, Ontario’s Protecting Child Performers Act. The law includes protections for minors working in the live and the recorded entertainment industries.

Important Info for Parents and/or Guardians

If you’re a parent and/or guardian of a child performer in Ontario, here’s some information you need to know.


As a parent and/or guardian who receives money or property on behalf of a minor in Ontario, you may have specific obligations under the law. It’s your responsibility to know and understand these obligations and to act in accordance with the law.

While ACTRA Toronto cannot provide you with legal advice, here are some starting points for learning about your obligations:

Guardianship of Property of Minor Children Brochure

Please note the disclaimer: This brochure is not intended as a substitute for legal advice from your lawyer. It has been prepared to assist parents, caregivers of children and members of the legal profession. This brochure describes guardianship of property of minor children in Ontario only; each province of Canada has its own laws about children’s property.

If you have further questions after reviewing the brochure, you may wish to contact: The Office of the Children’s Lawyer

The Office of the Children’s Lawyer is a law office in the Ministry of the Attorney General, which delivers programs in the administration of justice on behalf of children under the age of 18 with respect to their personal and property rights.