Attached and enclosed please find a press release from ACTRA Toronto.


July 25, 2014

Toronto, July 25, 2014 – Before the Ontario Legislative Assembly adjourned for summer recess, ACTRA Toronto and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) welcomed the introduction of Bill 17 – Protecting Child Performers Act by NDP M.P.P. Paul Miller (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek).

“Bill 17 provides protections for specific vulnerabilities facing child performers in the film, television and live performance industries,” said David Sparrow, President of ACTRA Toronto. “The Ministry of Labour has taken steps to educate and protect new Ontario workers in other industries but, without legislation, child performers remain unprotected.”

An earlier version of this bill had been ordered for Third Reading before dying on the Order Paper when the provincial election was called.

ACTRA and Equity have strong measures to ensure child performers are protected. Children who aren’t working under an ACTRA or Equity contract, however, have little protection under the law.

“Unlike other industries where children are prohibited from working until they’re at least 14 years old, the entertainment industry regularly engages children on stage and on screen from an early age. But no legislation specifically protects them,” said Equity Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan. “For the benefit of children without collective agreement protections, we ask Ontario legislators to pass Bill 17 as soon as possible when the Legislature returns on October 20th.”

“We’re counting on all three political parties to support M.P.P. Miller’s bill and continue the work begun last year,” said Sparrow. “To quote the Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, ‘Let’s not wait for adversity.’ Let’s protect all young workers in Ontario.”

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (Equity) is the voice of professional artists working in live performance in English Canada. It is a national artists’ association representing almost 6,000 performers, directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers working in theatre, opera and dance from coast to coast.

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For more information contact:

Karen Woolridge, Public Relations Officer ACTRA Toronto


Mobile: (416) 937-1437

Lynn McQueen, Communications Director

Canadian Actors’ Equity Association


Mobile: 416-476-7037