Register for ACTRA Toronto's Winter Conference 2020 today

ACTRA Toronto Members Conferences are held in September (Fall Conference) and February (Winter Conference).

Members Conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from your representatives on ACTRA Toronto Council, improve your professional skills and connect with fellow performers.

If you haven’t been to a conference, you owe it to yourself to check it out!

Free childcare is available.

The next conference is:

2020 Winter Conference (February 19-21, 2020)

Table of Contents:

 Conference Program
 How to Register
 Master Class Registration
 Getting There
 Organizing Committee

 The Winter Conference Program


Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Ted Rogers School of Management (7th floor, 55 Dundas Street West, Ryerson)

8:30 a.m.  – Registration & Breakfast

9:00 to 10:00 a.m.   

MEMBERS MAKIN’ MOVIES: Shorts for Breakfast

Kick off the conference with some coffee, breakfast, and a screening of short films by proud ACTRA members: Anna Maguire’s It’s Nothing (TIFF Short Cuts ‘19), Rebecca Applebaum’s Spooning (ACTRA Award nomination), James Fanizza’s Sebastian (Inside Out Film Fest — later expanded to a feature), Marianna Phung & Rong Fu’s May Flowers (Best Director, 48 Hour Film Challenge) and Linda Kash & Gina Dineen’s Nine Letters (People’s Choice, Cabbagetown Film Fest). Please enter quietly.

Hosts: Amy Keating & Pierre Simpson

Content Warning: May Flowers contains coarse language and depictions of violence. 


10:15 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. –


“Words to live by, in this great city.”

Come as an actor, or wear another hat — director, producer, or writer. The possibilities are endless, and we encourage you to have fun, while making something great! This year’s challenge comes with a few new twists: parameters will be revealed to teams at the start of the challenge. Then be prepared for one of the most amazingly challenging 24 hours of your life! After the challenge is completed, we’ll select one of these Hollywood North original shorts to screen the next day at this year’s annual general meeting. Lights, Camera, Action!

Bring a team or build a team. Some crew volunteers will be present.

PLEASE NOTE: All performers, directors and writers must be ACTRA members, but there are no membership requirements for the rest of your crew. 


10:15 am to 12:00 pm. – Morning Sessions

(1) MEMBERS MAKIN’ MOVIES: Morning Musings

Follow up the breakfast screenings with a panel of actors who are also filmmakers: directors, writers, and producers who have created their own work. Screenwriter Sarah Kolasky (Great Great Great, CSA nomination – Best Original Screenplay) joins creators of some of the morning’s shorts as they share their tips, tricks and takeaways. From writing a script to submitting a feature to film festivals – take your career into your own hands and start creating!

Moderators: Amy Keating & Pierre Simpson
Panellists: Marianna Phung, Rong Fu, Linda Kash, Gina Dineen, Sarah Kolasky

(2) MASTERCLASS: GET INTO THE GAMES — Nail It with Ron Leach and Ivan Sherry

If you want to know how to nail your next video game audition, this is the master class for you! Join producer, director, acting coach, and award-winning casting director Ron Leach, and actor, instructor and found of MoCap U Ivan Sherry as they helps you bring your A game to the world of motion capture. They’ll walk you through the best strategies and skills to work in video games and as you watch actors being coached, you’ll learn the secrets to landing your next gaming role. Game on!

Participants will be pre-selected.
Please see MASTER CLASS application for details

(3) PERFORMERS WHO PARENT: How to Survive and Thrive

Join this amazing panel of busy actors who are also parents as they talk about their experiences having kids while navigating a career in this industry. You’ll also learn tips about self-advocating for accommodations, working with a bump, flexible childcare, AFBS benefits for parents who just gave birth, and how to carve out meaningful time with your children when you’re working long hours. Whether you have kids, are considering it, or just want to be in the room for what promises to be a fascinating and inspiring conversation, this session is for you!

Host: Freya Ravensbergen

Panellists: Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters), Mayko Nguyen (Hudson & Rex), Amy Matysio (Save Me), Vanessa Matsui (Ghost BFF)

(4) TAX TACTICS FOR ACTORS: Explaining your craft to the CRA

An invaluable conference favourite, updated just in time for your 2019 tax filing! It can sometimes feel agonizing — and expensive — trying to explain a creative career’s financial complexities to the Canada Revenue Agency. But entertainment accountant extraordinaire Brian Borts is here to help. In this workshop, he’ll provide the information you need to avoid tax-season traps and keep your fair share of industry earnings. The session will cover recurring risks and new developments on topics like HST, RRSPs vs. TFSAs, business expense deductions, and CRA audits. 


12:15 am to 1:15 pm. – Lunch

Lunch & Live Podcast Recording with Award of Excellence Recipient Jean Yoon

Eat your lunch and be part of a live recording of ACTRA Spotlight – ACTRA Toronto’s star-building podcast. Join Spotlight host and ACTRA Toronto VP David Gale as he interviews 2020 Award of Excellence recipient and outspoken star of Kim’s Convenience, Jean Yoon. Find out what it’s like to travel the world promoting a hit Toronto show and be a working mom on and off set. Plus, so much more! Don’t miss it. 


1:30 pm to 3:15 pm. – Early Afternoon Sessions


A story is like a house. Every house needs a solid foundation. You have the plans (your idea), but along the way you can forget what you’re building. This session provides some tools to develop that all important middle of your story. We all know how it begins and ends. But somehow, we get stuck in Act Two. Together we’ll explore, theme, conflict, character, and pitch documents, using a live example as a group to consolidate session info. This session is for all levels.

Instructor: Allison Wilson-Forbes

(2) AFBS Presents Ann Kaplan on Managing your Personal Brand and Making Social Media Work for You

Media personality, author, and entrepreneur. Dr. Ann Kaplan has a strong social media following and gets paid to market other brands. Ann will host an interactive session on how to get the most out of your social media accounts, including using them to generate an income. She will also explore the importance of managing your personal brand. Whether you’re still trying to figure out the world of social media, curious about generating an income from your accounts or well on your way to attaining that coveted verified blue seal, this session is for you.
Ann will be introduced by AFBS after a brief overview of some of their unique services and programs that members may not be that familiar with.

(3) CASTING Q &A: Inside the Minds of Casting Directors, with Deirdre Bowen and Tina Gerussi


Join actor Brendan Beiser (Star Trek Discovery, Murdoch Mysteries) as he talks with Deirdre Bowen (Kim’s Convenience, Disappearance at Clifton Hill) and Tina Gerussi (Suits, Suicide Squad) about casting for film and TV. Discover the process from start to finish, get the inside scoop to help you stay on track and boost your confidence. Ask your own questions in person or anonymously by emailing us at We want to hear from you! This session is for actors at any stage in their career – from new to experienced.


Sit down with creator-writer-actors Sam Wan and Amanda Joy as they talk about their experiences seeing their coming-of-age comedy series Second Jen (Citytv, Omni) from concept to pitch to being greenlit and broadcast on a major television network. Stuck on how to get your own television or web series project started? Bring your questions for the Q&A! Amanda and Sam would love to share their wisdom on possible ways to move forward, and who knows, the answer could be helpful for a lot of other member-creators in the room.

Host: Angelica Alejandro 


3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. – Late Afternoon Sessions


Hey you! Isn’t it time to take action, and bring that amazing idea you’ve been carrying around out into the world? This panel’s web series experts can help you finally deliver. You’ll benefit from their wisdom: from popping the idea out of your pen to taking it successfully out in public! How do you get funded? What does a good pitch look like? What platform is right for you? They’ll tackle these and many other pressing questions.

Host: Katie Uhlmann (My Roommate’s an Escort)
Panellists: Michael P. O’Hara (Talent Drivers), James Stewart (Chateau Laurier), Fab Filippo (Save Me), Natasha Negovanlis (CLAIREvoyant)


Finally! There is an increasing demand for performers of diverse backgrounds to voice characters in animation and video games. Let’s meet that demand by growing the talent pool of skilled, diverse voice performers. If you’re new to the voice industry or have been eager to get started, this introductory session will bring you up to speed and set you up for success. ACTRA Toronto Diversity Chair Lisa Michelle Cornelius (Hero Elementary) will host a discussion with some of the voice-over industry’s top performers about how to get started, basic mic technique, character work, tools of the trade (is your smartphone enough?) and more!

Panellists: Lindsay Owen Pierre (Assassin’s Creed IV), Tajja Isen (My Big, Big Friend), Deven Mack (Hotel Transylvania: The Series) and the Vice Chair of ACTRA Toronto’s Voice Committee, Krystal Meadows (Arthur). A Q&A will follow the panel discussion.

(3) COMEDY PANEL: The Good News About Your Ridiculous Career as a Comedian

Building a career in comedy can be challenging, especially in Canada. Join an experienced panel of professional comedians who will share their unique perspectives and strategies for transforming challenges into opportunities for success. Plus, learn about the amazing organized advocacy work being done by comedians for comedians at the Canadian Association of Stand-up Comedians (CASC), and The Foundation for Canadian Comedy (CANCOM). The horizon for a sustainable comedy career is looking a lot better when we work together.

Bonus: A screening of a clip from The Mayor of Comedy, a documentary directed and produced by Matt Kelly.

Host: Adam Growe (Cash Cab)
Panellists: Ann Pornel (Baroness von Sketch), Darryl Hinds (Royal Canadian Air Farce), Chris Robinson (The Amazing Gayl Pile), Sandra Battaglini (The Communist’s Daughter)

(4) MASTERING THE ART OF COLD READS: A Multigenerational Master Class with Chris Owens

Mastering the art of the cold read can really help you hone your skills as an actor. Doing a good cold read requires you to quickly find small moments, make instinctual choices, stay present and listen intently. And if you can do that, you’ve got a real edge in an audition and on set. Watch and learn from renowned actor and coach Chris Owens as he guides pairs of younger and older actors, who will work through the process of bringing a stellar performance straight off the page. Participants will be pre-selected and scenes will be provided day-of.

Presented by Act Your Age (AYA) and the Young Emerging Actors Assembly (YEAA)

Participants will be pre-selected.
Please see MASTER CLASS application details. 



Thursday, February 20, 2020
Ted Rogers School of Management (7th floor, 55 Dundas Street West, Ryerson)

Registration & Breakfast 9 am

9:45 pm to 11:45 am. – Morning Sessions


No longer considered just a “make work” project from your agent, self-tapes are an important way for actors to showcase themselves, regardless of the size of role. During this master class, Jesse Collin from The Craft Self-Tape Studio will teach you how to love the unique opportunities afforded in a self-tape audition, so you can showcase your best work possible. Scenes will be demonstrated by master class participants with ample opportunity for questions and a discussion about the upsides and downsides of self-taping.

Participants will be pre-selected.
Please see MASTER CLASS application for details


How does the casting process really work? Who makes the decisions? What are some tricks of the trade for actors navigating the process? For answers to these questions and more, join the creative team and select cast of Utopia Falls – a new genre-bending teen sci-fi drama streaming February 14 on Hulu and CBC Gem. Featuring a culturally diverse, multi-disciplined ensemble cast, the series is the first-ever performance-based sci-fi series for socially and politically minded young audiences. This is a unique opportunity to hear how a top production team works, demystify the casting process, and discover why diversity in television is key. Panelists include: Creator/Executive Producer/Director R.T. Thorne, Executive Producer Andrea Gorfolova (Sonar Entertainment), Casting Director Stephanie Gorin, and cast members Robyn Alomar, Humberly Gonzalez, and Mickeey Nguyen.

Host: Romeo Candido (Senior Producer – CBC Arts: The Exhibitionists, Director – Second Jen, Writer – Another Life, Composer and Sound Designer – Wendy & Peter Pan at the Stratford Festival)

(3) THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Filming on a planet in peril

The news is full of ecological crises, from sea turtles choking on plastic to wildfires and climate change. It can feel overwhelming. But instead of just tuning out or panicking, more and more people are searching for solutions. This panel gathers artists, experts, and industry professionals who are already working for change — including a greener film and television industry. Together, they’ll lead a conversation about personal, professional, and collective actions that can help our planet. Bring your passion and ideas to the table, so we can strategize together!

A clip from Michelle Latimer’s documentary series: Rise “Sacred Water: Standing Rock” will also be screened.

Host: Liisa Repo-Martell (Actor and Founding Member of Artists for Real Climate Action [ARCA])Panellists: Sarah Margolius (President, Sustainable Media Production Canada), Rick Roberts (Actor and Founding Member of ARCA), Alexis Grieve (Development Manager/Co Producer, Sinking Ship Entertainment), Sarah Lazarovic (VP Marketing at Clean Prosperity), Megan Flynn (Manager, Government Relations and Digital Strategy, Pathway Group and Founding Member of ARCA)


Whether you’re headed to an audition, on set, or even at a networking event, it can be hard to put the rest of your life aside and put your best foot forward when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or distracted. In this session, presented by The AFC, participants will learn some simple techniques for recognizing and quieting those stubborn troublesome thoughts. Host Christine Rossi-Wright (MSW, RSW), a performer and social worker, will discuss the personal and professional effects of stress with guests Neil Foster (actor, director, audition session director and reader) and Ryan Goldhar (agent, producer). Plus, learn more about self-care and mental health support resources. 


12:00 pm to 1:00 am. – Lunch courtesy of ACTRA Toronto


1:15 pm to 3:15 pm. – ACTRA Toronto’s AGM

Guest Speaker: Marguerite Pigott, Film Commisioner and Director of Entertainment Industries, City of Toronto
ACTRA Toronto’s Operating Plan & Budget
CO-OP Film Screening


3:30 pm to 5:30 pm. – Late Afternoon Sessions


Come for a once in a lifetime opportunity! A live table read of the hit animated show Cupcake and Dino. The stars of the show, along with the show’s voice director Alyson Court will take you through what goes into recording the show, from re-directs to improvised moments. Come experience the hilarious behind the scenes creativity that goes into making a hit animated series. Stay for the moderated Q&A, where members can learn more insights into the world of animation voice over. The panel will be moderated by funny person and Voice Committee Vice Chair, Scott Farley.

Performers: Julie Lemieux, Mark Little, Kyle Dooley, Justin Collette, Julie Sype

(2) TAKING THE NEXT STEP: A Master Class on Transitioning from Background to Principal

Join us for a two-part master class for new actors. In the first part, casting director Marsha Chesley will discuss the audition process from breakdown to casting. Learn how to prepare for an audition, slate, work with a reader and a camera person, and book your first big role! Six participants will be pre-selected to audition, with redirects and feedback provided. Then, sit in on a panel with agents Amy Hines and Colin McMurray as they discuss how to secure principal representation when you have little to no resume, how to stand out to new agents, and the Do’s and Don’ts for new actors. This master class is ideal for background performers as well as other performers such as dancers, stunt performers, singers, and hosts, who are putting in the work to transition into becoming principal performers. Members who wish to participate will need to apply.

Hosted by Elle A, with Shereen Airth

Participants will be pre-selected.
Please see MASTER CLASS application details.


TAMAC (Talent Agents & Managers Association of Canada) President Sandra Gillis and past President Yanick Landry will discuss the film and TV industry from the agent’s perspective — including how agents find work for their actors, and how actors can have the best relationship with their agent. You’ll also learn about the standards TAMAC strives to uphold, and whether or not you truly need a new agent.

Hosts: Bonnie Wong and Colin Doyle


Join some of Canada’s leading actresses as they discuss personal empowerment and the importance of being your own advocate. Hear how they learned to ask for what they want and need as women in this industry — without apology. They’ll also cover the consequences to your self-esteem and mental health when you don’t speak up. Discover how finding your voice — and having the courage to use it — can be a game changer for your career and life.

Host: Jocelyne Zucco (Utopia Falls)
Panellists: Natalie Brown (Ransom), Angela Asher (Bad Blood), Vanessa Matsui (Shadowhunters), and Kaniehtiio Horn (Letterkenny)


Please join us for a discussion about upcoming negotiations on the National Commercial Agreement. We want to hear your suggestions and feedback on proposals to improve terms and working conditions and create more commercial work opportunities. 


5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. – Reception



Friday, February 21, 2020
ACTRA Toronto offices (2nd floor, 625 Church Street)


9:30 am to 11:30 am


Join your 2018-2020 AABP Caucus Executive at the ACTRA Toronto offices for a meeting and special presentation by a Member Mentor Panel to learn about tips and tricks that may help you get hired, get asked back and move through the levels of membership.

This is also an Election Year! Your AABP Executive for 2020-2022 will be elected at this meeting. As many as seven (7) executive members may be elected. Appendix D of ACTRA’s Constitution and By-Laws states that members interested in putting themselves forward for election must show proof of 15 days of work in the preceding 12 months.

Come on out and cast your vote!

Please note, this session is now FULL


12:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Come out to the ACTRA Toronto offices to discuss issues important to Apprentice Members of ACTRA Toronto.

This is also an Election Year! Your Apprentice Executive for 2020-2022 will be elected at this meeting. Apprentice members in good standing are eligible to run. As many as seven (7) members may be elected to the Apprentice Caucus Executive. Please come out and cast your vote!

Please note, this session is now FULL



 How to Register

The conference is FREE to ACTRA Toronto members who register.




 How to apply for a Master Class

Master Classes have both an audience and selected participants. To be in the audience of a Master Class, select a Master Class as your workshop choice. To be considered as a PARTICIPANT, you must apply with your picture and resume.

You may apply as a participant and register to be in the audience of the same Master Class, so you can attend if you are not selected as a participant. We encourage performers with disabilities to apply.



  1. Web address: If you have a website with your picture and résumé, email the web address to
  2. Email your picture and résumé to
  3. In Person: Complete and print out this form – Drop off your picture and résumé and this application form at: ACTRA Toronto, 625 Church Street, 1st Floor. *Be sure to indicate which master class you are applying for.
  4. We encourage members to submit using profile


 Register for Childcare

Childcare for attendees is being provided by Improv Care Group Child Care Services. Improv Care Services for Children is providing ACTRA Toronto exceptional group child care services at the 2020 Fall Conference. Activity plans are developed according to the age and the interests of children and are delivered in an active, engaging way by the Improv Care Team.To register please complete the following online form, or call 416-642-6741 for more details. Space is limited, and will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis.



 Getting There

The Fall members conference is being hosted at Ted Rogers School of Management (55 Dundas Street West).

**Entrance to parking located on Bay Street, south of Dundas**


 This conference is brought to you by…

The following members of ACTRA Toronto’s Conference Committee

Rebecca Applebaum (Co-Chair, Executive Liaison), Jocelyne Zucco (Co-Chair)

Alison Wilson-Forbes, Amy Keating, Angela Asher, Angelica Alejandro, Barbara de la Fuente, Bonnie Wong, Clara Pasieka, Cory Doran, David Gale, Débora Demestre, Don Lamoreux, Elle A, Freya Ravensbergen, George Alevisoz, John McGrath, Krystal Meadows, Lisa Michelle Cornelius, Paula Kaye, Pierre Simpson, Samora Smallwood, Scott Farley, Shereen Airth, Sochi Fried, Zan Coy


 2020 Members Conference Sponsors

  • Office Location
  • 625 Church Street, 1st and 2nd Floors
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada · M4Y 2G1
  • Hours: 9:00 am to 4:45 pm, Monday to Friday
  • Click for Google Map & more info
  • © 2013 ACTRA Toronto
  • All Rights Reserved.
  • Telephone: 416-928-2278
  • Toll-free: 1-877-913-2278
  • Fax: 416-928-2852
  • HAVEN HELPLINE: 1-855-201-7823
  • Email: