TORONTO, ON (June 13, 2023) – ACTRA Toronto is proud to partner with Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada to launch the Permit Access Fund with the goal of reducing barriers and creating a pathway for performers from historically underrepresented communities to access full membership within the union.

The $25,000 bursary from Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada will cover 50 per cent of the cost of up to 200 work permits for low-budget productions under ACTRA Toronto’s Low Budget Guideline (LBG). The LBG is available to first-time and emerging producers working with emerging and diverse performers to create productions for theatrical or festival use. On their first qualifying work permit, a performer can join ACTRA as an Apprentice. On their third qualifying work permit, a performer can apply for Full membership.

Qualifying productions are eligible to apply to the Permit Access Fund when engaging an ACTRA Toronto Apprentice, ACTRA Additional Background Performer (AABP) or non-union performer under the LBG in a Principal Performer or Actor role when the Performer self-identifies as Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, and/or Persons with Disabilities/Disabled Persons.

“This Fund will help build the talent pool of diverse performers by reducing the financial barrier to ACTRA membership, which will directly lead to more paid work opportunities and create a pathway to higher-paid work,” says ACTRA Toronto President David Gale. “It will also allow more performers to access the benefits of Full membership within the union, including protected wages and working conditions under ACTRA’s agreements, RRSP contributions, and access to health insurance and professional development.”

“Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada is inspired by the opportunities ACTRA Toronto is developing and excited to contribute to the continued accessibility and diversification of their membership,” said Melanie Hadley, Senior Director Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada. “Our goal is to help underrepresented communities achieve access and this program will assist in those efforts.”

“ACTRA Toronto’s partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada demonstrates our union’s commitment to working with producers to create authentic and diverse storytelling,” added Luisa Alvarez Restrepo, Manager, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. “The Fund is just one initiative ACTRA Toronto is thrilled to launch as part of our commitment to help create a more diverse, equitable and accessible industry for all performers.”

The Permit Access Fund will launch in early July. Further information, including the application process and Producer and Performer FAQs, can be found at

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing over 15,000 of Canada’s 28,000 professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. 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.


Media Contact:
Jennifer McGibbon, Public Relations Officer, 416-642-6710,