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ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee

You can cast the world in Toronto. If there’s a language, it’s spoken here. If there’s a look you need, you can find it here. Because the world lives here. In all its diversity. You really can have it all. All the people in the world. Right here in Toronto.

ACTRA Toronto. Diversity is our strength.


The ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee began as the New Standing Committee on Equal Opportunities, founded in 1984 to address the challenges faced by the Physically and Culturally Diverse artistic community within the film and television industry in Canada.  We are dedicated to initiating policies and advocating support structures in order to provide a better understanding of the need for change both within ACTRA and the industry at large.



The ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee is a volunteer committee made up of ACTRA members who are professionals in the media industry, supported by ACTRA staff.  As committee members, we envision a better working environment and more opportunities for Physically and Culturally Diverse actors who are ACTRA members. We draw from our personal experiences as members of the Physically and Culturally Diverse community, and/or our knowledge and understanding of the administration at ACTRA to identify and articulate the contemporary challenges in order to then create policy and circumstances to support change. We will use our work to contribute to the long term goal of shifting the consciousness of colonial thinking with the hopeful outcome of an industry and association that is inclusive of all its membership no matter what culture or diverse background.



The ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee supports the following objectives:

  • To build policy and initiatives within ACTRA that will help to create a national agenda that includes issues of Diversity.
  • To liaise with the Physically and Culturally Diverse communities to help identify and articulate current challenges.
  • To liaise with industry personnel to ensure that they are aware of the issues faced by members of ACTRA who are from Physically and Culturally Diverse communities.
  • To initiate support structures within ACTRA that directly support the Physically and Culturally Diverse communities in dealing with these challenges.


Current Initiatives


ACTRA has created online searchable database of diverse ACTRA professional performers. is offered at NO COST to ACTRA Toronto members and our partner agents, Casting Directors and Producers, thanks to the generous support of various sponsors. Register and create your profile today!


The Audition

From Reality to Set

Diversity Committee Co-Chairs

ACTRA Toronto Councillor and Diversity Committee Co-Chair Lisa Michelle CorneliusLisa Michelle Cornelius is an actor, singer and film producer, with a background in advertising. After earning an Advertising Diploma from Sheridan College, she began her career analyzing the effectiveness of commercials, before deciding to star in them instead. She became an ACTRA member over 13 years ago and has never looked back.


ACTRA Toronto Diversity Committee Co-Chair, Samora SmallwoodSamora Smallwood is an actor, writer, and cool feminist. She graduated from the University of Windsor’s Theatre Arts Program with a Minor in both French and Women’s Studies. Samora looks forward to being part of a movement that is demanding more equality and diversity onscreen and in real life.

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