With the guidance and support of the ACTRA Toronto Council and Ad hoc Committee on Preventing Sexual Harassment, ACTRA Toronto continues to play a leading role in helping to change the culture in the industry.

HAVEN Helpline

On June 1st, the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and ACTRA, launched HAVEN Helpline (Harassment and Violence Emergency Network), a national 24/7 bilingual incident report line with integrated access to counselling and other support services. The helpline is operated by LifeWorks (formerly Morneau Shepell), the leading provider of assistance programs in Canada. Members can access assistance by phone or chat, speak with a counsellor immediately or book an appointment. Calls are answered by trauma informed professionals and with the members permission, incident reports are forwarded to the union. In the first 3 months of the helpline, members have reached out to us across the country to report incidents of harassment. We are very glad to see that members, who otherwise do not have access to healthcare benefits, have been able to receive counselling services through the helpline.

Best Practices for Scenes involving Nudity, Intimacy, Simulated Sexual Activity and Sexual Violence

Following the successful bargaining of improvements to prevent harassment in the Independent Production Agreement (IPA), ACTRA met with the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) to identify and address issues when Performers are engaged in scenes involving nudity, intimacy, simulated sexual activity or sexual violence. Consultations with Performers and industry partners, such as the Talent Agents and Managers Association of Canada (TAMAC), the Casting Directors Society of Canada (CDC), Intimacy Coordinators, and other industry Unions and Guilds, have led to the development of a document on Best Practices for Scenes involving Nudity, Intimacy, Simulated Sexual Activity and Sexual Violence. The document will be announced to the membership at the Members Conference on September 21, 2019, and posted to our website this fall. We look forward to working with members and industry partners to provide further input and feedback as we continue this important work.

What is an Intimacy Coordinator?

As the ACTRA Toronto Council learned in a moving and informative session with ACTRA member, Lindsay Somers (Intimacy Coordinators Canada), more and more Productions are engaging Intimacy Coordinators. From the early days of contracting through rehearsals and production days on closed sets, “ICs” are trained to help prepare, coach and support Producers, Performers and crew members to ensure interactions are consent-based and that sets are safe and respectful. Intimacy coordination is a new and evolving area. ACTRA will be monitoring and supporting these positive developments.