Talent Agency Industry Terms

A performance category in the IPA defined by speaking five lines or less

Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists. Dating from 1943, ACTRA is a national organization representing professional performers in the recorded, English-language media in Canada.

ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society (AFBS)
The organization set up by ACTRA members that administers the pension and retirement plan for professional Canadian performers.

Assistant Director. Usually denoted by his/her listing with the production - as in 1st AD, 2nd AD, the assistant director is responsible for helping out the director in choreographing performers, arranging shots and other related tasks.

see ACTRA Fraternal Benefit Society.

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The organization representing television performers in the United States

Apprentice Member
A member of ACTRA who is in the process of accumulating speaking roles (or silent on-camera in commercials) in order to fulfil the requirements of full membership. Apprentice members have the same rights as full members, except they can’t vote in ACTRA elections or hold office with ACTRA.

Background Performer
A performance category defined by having no dialogue. Background performers on set come from two groups: cash extras, who receive a small hourly compensation, and ACTRA members, who receive minimum remuneration as outlined in the IPA.

Canadian Actors Equity Association. The organization representing professional stage performers in Canada.

Call Time
The specific time that performers are told to report for work on a production.

Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal. A federal body charged with overseeing disputes between professional performers and engagers on productions and networks that are within the jurisdiction of the federal government.

Cash Extras
Persons working as background performers who are not ACTRA members and are paid a low cash hourly wage (see Background Performers).

The Canadian Film and Television Producers Association changed its name to the CMPA (Canada Media Production Association) in 2010. This organization represents the interests of Canadian producers and negotiates the IPA with ACTRA.

The Canada Media Production Association (CMPA) represents the interests of Canadian producers and negotiates the IPA with ACTRA. Prior to 2010 it was known as the CFTPA (Canadian Film and Television Producers Association.)

Commercial Agreement
The national agreement signed between the ACTRA Performers Guild and the associations representing Canadian advertisers and advertising agencies. The Commercial Agreement sets minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of ACTRA members in radio and television commercials.

The physical piece of paper that outlines the specific conditions of engagement between a performer and a production. See also rider.

A time period, defined in the ACTRA commercial agreement, denoting the “run” of a commercial. The normal cycle of a commercial is 13 weeks, after which engagers have to pay performers again for the use of their performance.

Directors’ Guild of Canada. The organization representing Canadian directors.

Entertainment Industry Coalition. The organization co-founded by ACTRA that is responsible for promoting a higher standard of ethical conduct for talent agents. Other major EIC members include TAMAC, the Casting Directors Society of Canada (CDC), CAEA and Theatre Ontario.

The person and/or company that engages ACTRA members to work on a production.


Federation Internationale des Acteurs. The international organization, based in London, UK, which represents professional performers’ organizations from around the world. ACTRA, Screen Actors Guild and British Actors Equity are all members of FIA.

International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees. One of the organizations representing technicians and other on-set workers who are NOT in front of the camera. See also NABET and ACFC

Independent Production Agreement. The national agreement signed between the ACTRA Performers Guild and the producers’ associations that sets minimum terms and conditions for the engagement of ACTRA members in films, independent television series and other non-network recorded media.

Movie-of-the-Week. Usually a smaller scale production geared to television distribution.

On Set Liaison Officer. An ACTRA member who volunteers to visit sets to meet with other members and act as the “eyes and ears” of the stewards.

Production Assistant

Performing Arts Lodge. Located at 110 The Esplanade in Toronto, PAL provides geared-to-income accommodation for older performers.

See Performers’ Rights Society

Performers’ Rights Society (PRS)
The organization set up by ACTRA members to track residual monies and ensure that engagers abide by their agreements to pay ACTRA members for future usage of their product.

Principal Performer
A performance category in the IPA defined by speaking six lines or more.

Remittance Statement
Paperwork received from the payroll company or directly from the production company that outlines what monies were earned by performers on that production and how percentages of those monies were allocated to benefits, administration fees, etc.

Payment owed to a performer for the use of his/her performance. Residuals owed under the IPA are often pre-paid for a set period of time (usually four years), after which they are due to be paid again if the production is still in circulation.

An addition to a contract that establishes additional conditions for the engagement of a performer. While the contract may contain information on a specific role, a rider may contain clauses, for example, on accommodation while filming, publicity related to the role, etc.

Screen Actors Guild. The organization representing film performers in the United States.

Silent On-Camera. A performance category defined in the Commercial Agreement in which ACTRA members are visible in the finished production but have no dialogue.

A performance category defined by the IPA whereby a performer is engaged to “stand in” for another performer for purposes of scene blocking, lighting, etc.

An ACTRA staff member who is responsible for liaising with productions to ensure that they comply with the terms and conditions of relevant ACTRA agreements.

Any action, required of a performer as part of an engagement, that is physically demanding and/or potentially injurious to the performer’s health and safety.

Stunt Coordinator
An experienced stunt performer, hired by the engager, who is responsible for the safe execution of stunts.

Talent Agent/Talent Agency
A person or organization that works on the behalf of performers and is responsible for promoting them for roles. Legitimate talent agents/agencies do not offer classes, take photographs in-house or offer services other than direct representation. See also EIC,TAMAC.

Talent Agents and Managers Association of Canada. The umbrella organization representing major Canadian talent agencies.

Union of British Columbia Performers. The ACTRA branch representing performers who work in British Columbia

Union des Artistes. The organization representing professional performers in the French language in Canada.

A form issued by ACTRA to a production that serves as a contract for background roles. Vouchers come in different colours which are used to distinguish between full members, apprentices and non-members.

Work Permit
Authorization given by the local ACTRA office to non-members or apprentice members to work on a set that is signatory to ACTRA agreements. When productions agree to work under ACTRA agreements, they agree to give preference of engagement to ACTRA members. If they intend to use non-ACTRA members in certain roles, the production or performer must purchase a work permit. Work permits act as an incentive for engagers to hire ACTRA members and for non-members to join ACTRA.

Writers Guild of Canada. The organization representing Canadian professional writers.

Talent Agency Niagara

Greater Toronto Area, Southern Ontario
Located @ 182 Lake st. St. Catharines, Ontario

Being a small boutique-sized agency, this allows us the luxury of developing long-term relationships with our clients, particularly focusing on professional, creative and personal development by catering to individual needs.

Our goal is simple, “If you succeed, we succeed”

Merritt Artist Management is based on honesty and integrity. We strictly adhere to the EIC (Entertainment Industry Coalition) code of Ethical Conduct and guidelines set by TAMAC (Talent Agents and Managers Association of Canada).