Become an ACTRA Additional Background Performer (AABP)

ACTRA Toronto is made up of over 15,000 independent performers working in dozens of different performance categories, from on-camera to voice to stunts to background and more. Our professional membership is proud to have helped bring productions to life in Toronto for over 70 years. We are also proud to include our ACTRA Additional Background Performers (AABP) as members of ACTRA.

Whether on set, at auditions or in their professional relationships, ACTRA Toronto supports and defends wages, working conditions and respect issues for all its members, be they Full Members, Apprentices or AABP. When our members display their ACTRA Toronto card, they are representing and have the support of over 21,000 ACTRA members across Canada.

Our AABP members have made a pledge to perform only in UNION productions. They work ACTRA. They may not be submitted for non-union work.

Why become an AABP member? Luba Goy explains the benefits


Did you know…

As members of ACTRA, AABP are eligible to do background in commercials, something that non-union performers may not do. Anyone can audition for the Principal or SOC roles in a union commercial, but only ACTRA members, including AABP, can be hired to work as Background or Group Background in those union commercials.

AABP members also have the opportunity to develop their acting skills auditioning for or performing in Toronto Indie Productions, Co-ops, Digital Self Promotion or Student productions in any performance category.

If you have questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to contact ACTRA Toronto’s Membership Department at (416) 928-2278 or by emailing


Nicole Valentin
Director of Member Services

ACTRA Additional Background Performers are Members of ACTRA.

Joining AABP helps Background Performers become a stronger force within our industry by standing together around issues such as:

    • Safe sets
    • Fair pay
    • Meal breaks
    • On-set insurance
    • Work opportunities
    • Professional training & advancement

We believe all performers have the same right to fair pay and decent working conditions as other workers. Please treat our AABP members with the courtesy and respect that all members of the professional production community deserve and have come to expect.

Becoming an AABP Member

To join the AABP, you must prove that you have worked fifteen (15) days as a background performer within the 12-month period immediately preceding your application for membership.

You can complete, print and sign this application form in advance or visit your local ACTRA Branch office to apply. You will need to give ACTRA:

  1. proof of at least fifteen (15) work days as a background performer during the past twelve (12) months and
  2. proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status (passport or birth certificate)

The Benefits of AABP Membership

  1. Union membership. AABP members are ACTRA members.
  2. Representation. AABP members are represented at the ACTRA Toronto Council table by an elected AABP Executive.
  3. Professional Training, including the Respect on Set Workshops.
  4. Access to union work:
    • AABP members can work BG in union commercials – non-union performers can’t.
    • AABP members can work in Toronto Indie Productions (TIP) – non-union performers can’t.
    • AABP members can work in Toronto Co-op productions – non-union performers can’t.
  5. Promotion without exploitation. AABP members can strut their stuff online safely via the Digital Self Promotion Registry.
  6. Professional development. Attend workshops and master classes at ACTRA Toronto Members Conferences – FREE!
  7. Community, networking & Celebration. Attend the ACTRA Awards in Toronto – FREE!
  8. Information! Receive Performers and ACTRA magazines – FREE!
  9. Studio facilities! Use ACTRA Toronto’s Gordon Pinsent Studio to self-tape an audition – FREE!
  10. Save! Enjoy retail discounts from ACTRA’s Member Advantage Program.
  11. Full service banking and performer-friendly financial services from the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union.
  12. Group rates on Home & Auto insurance and extended health benefits from the Arts & Entertainment Plan from Actra Fraternal Benefit Society.
  13. Advancement. Earn your first ACTRA Apprentice credit by working 200 days/1600 background hours as an AABP Member. (Note: ACTRA has removed the 4 year time limit to accumulate these hours.)


 Read our “ACTRA Additional Background Performers’ Advantage” factsheet for more information (pdf)

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