ACTRA is a union of Professional Performers
How do I Join ACTRA?
ACTRA is a union of professional performers standing together to negotiate better pay, work conditions and respect. We welcome new members and look forward to working with you as you develop your career as a background performer, actor or stunt professional.
There are several ways to join ACTRA:
1. New acting graduates can apply to become an Apprentice member within 60 days of receiving a degree or diploma in acting from an eligible post-secondary institution.
2. Land a qualifying role in a production under ACTRA’s jurisdiction and apply to become an Apprentice member.
3. Become an ACTRA Additional Background Performer. Upon meeting the requirements, apply to become an Apprentice member.
Apprentice members require permits in order to work under ACTRA’s jurisdiction.
Becoming a Full Member
An Apprentice member needs two more qualifying credits (a total of three) to become a Full member. There is no time limit between joining the Apprentice Program and becoming a Full member so long as you maintain your Apprentice membership and pay your annual fees.
When you purchase your third work permit, advise Member Services that you want to become a Full member and pay your initiation fee: $1600 minus the permit fees you paid for all qualifying credits you have earned as an Apprentice in good standing, plus basic annual membership dues of $195.
Benefits of Full Membership
ACTRA’s Full members in good standing:
• do not require permits to work under ACTRA’s jurisdiction;
• gain the many rights and protections negotiated through ACTRA agreements, including minimum rates of pay;
• enjoy preference of engagement over all other non-member performers;
• can participate in ratification votes for the ACTRA agreements they work under
• can vote in ACTRA Toronto elections;
• can play a direct role in governing their union by holding elected positions at ACTRA Toronto;
• receive health and insurance benefits through the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society;
• participate in free professional educational opportunities provided by ACTRA Toronto;
• are eligible to put forward fellow performers or be nominated for the ACTRA Awards in Toronto; and,
• are eligible for consideration by other performers’ unions under ACTRA’s reciprocal agreements.
ACTRA’s Apprentice Program
ACTRA’s Apprentice Program allows performers who are new to ACTRA to work on ACTRA sets and earn credits toward Full Membership.
How the Apprentice Program Works
1. Land a qualifying role in a production under ACTRA’s jurisdiction. Qualifying credits include:
• a contracted Principal or Actor role shot under the Independent Production Agreement (IPA). (The IPA covers film, television series, industrial videos, movies-of-the-week and digital media.)
• a contracted Principal or Silent-On-Camera commercial role shot under the Commercial Agreement
• a speaking role under one of our broadcast agreements (such as CBC, Citytv, CTV or CTV)
• off-camera voice work in ACTRA’s jurisdiction.
2. Once you get the role (but before you work) apply for a work permit through ACTRA Toronto’s Membership Department and advise them that you want to apply to become an Apprentice member. You will pay a yearly Apprentice fee of $75 and will be asked to attend an orientation session for new Apprentice members.
3. If you are 16 years of age or older, you must complete the ACTRA Toronto Member Training Intensive, a short course dealing with the business side of being a professional performer.
4. Once you have registered in the Apprentice Program you need two more credits (a total of three) to become a Full member. There is no time limit between joining the Apprentice Program and becoming a Full member so long as you maintain your Apprentice membership and pay your annual fees.
5. When you purchase your third work permit, advise the ACTRA Membership Department that you want to become a Full ACTRA member. The initiation fee is $1600, less total permit fees paid for all qualifying credits earned as an Apprentice in good standing, plus your annual dues of $195.
6. Attend a Full members’ meeting. You are now a Full ACTRA member! You will receive your membership card in the mail.
Apprentice members can earn an additional credit through education or training. Contact the Membership Department to see if a school is recognized by ACTRA.
Apprentice Member Rights
Apprentice members can participate in ratification votes on ACTRA agreementsunder the terms of which they have worked. Apprentice members may also serve on ACTRA Toronto’s various committees. Apprentice members do not have voting rights in elections and can’t hold elected positions at ACTRA.
ACTRA Apprentices can attend ACTRA Toronto’s free member conferences and take advantage of discounts available to ACTRA members. ACTRA Apprentice members are protected by ACTRA’s collective agreements and enjoy improved wages and working conditions, preference of engagement, enhanced work opportunities and all the advantages that flow from our union’s constant activism, advocacy and collective bargaining power.
ACTRA Apprentice members are not entitled to health and insurance benefits through the ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society. Once an Apprentice member becomes a Full ACTRA member, the performer RSP contributions paid to AFBS over the previous two years will be credited to the member’s record.
For Further information visit the ACTRA website here
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