About Us

Our Union

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 30,000 members across the country - the foundation of Canada's highly acclaimed professional performing community.

We are actors, recording artists, comedians, announcers, stunt co-ordinators and performers, dancers, narrators, voice performers, hosts, choreographers, models, singers, background performers, puppeteers and more.

ACTRA’s principal role is to negotiate, administer and enforce collective agreements to provide performers with equitable compensation as well as safe and reasonable working conditions.

ACTRA is proud to be a leading voice for Canadian culture and the development of Canada’s audiovisual industries. We lobby for regulation and government policies that protect our culture and encourage audiovisual production in all genres, thereby expanding work opportunities for Canadian performers.

ACTRA Performers’ Rights Society (PRS) operates as a performer collective management organization (CMO) with a mandate to represent the rights and interests of artists who perform in audiovisual productions and on sound recordings.

Our History

In the early 1940s, radio performers were forced to work long hours for as little as $15 a day. This prompted a small group of performers to form the Radio Artists Societies in Montreal (RAMS) and Toronto (RATS). They fought long and hard to win better fees and improved working conditions for their members.

By 1943, radio artist groups in Winnipeg and Vancouver were also organized. They joined with RATS and RAMS to form the first national performers’ organization, the Association of Canadian Radio Artists. This organization evolved to become the Association of Canadian Radio and Television Artists; then the Canadian Council of Authors and Artists; then the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists…and finally, in 1984, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).

ACTRA and its predecessor organizations have fought to protect the rights of Canadian performers and to make ACTRA the strong national union it is today. Over the years, ACTRA has made important gains including regulated work hours, minimum pay rates, safer sets, meal periods, residual and use payments, comprehensive health and insurance plans, and protection for children and other performers on set.

In the heady days of a “dollar a holler” paid to radio artists, a group of performing artists came together in solidarity.


For more information about ACTRA’s history, check out these special anniversary issues of ACTRA Magazine 

Person holds up phone that says 'ACTRA 75 Years of Canadian Storytelling' on the screen
Special 75th anniversary issue of ACTRA Magazine (winter 2018)
image of blue sky with clouds and a girl standing with a virtual reality headset (a giant, chunky piece of technology that goes on your eyes like goggles) that says the number/year 2093 on it
Special 75th anniversary issue of ACTRA Magazine (summer 2018)
Inter ACTRA Magazine 60th anniversary cover that is very golden/yellow overall, text says '60 years' along with a montage of photos behind it.
Special 60th anniversary issue of Inter ACTRA Magazine (2003)

What does ACTRA National do?

Have you ever wondered what kind of work ACTRA National does for members? Check out the ACTRA National Explainer, our interactive guide to all parts of the organization. Just click on any of the circles and you’ll see all of the information and convenient links you need.

Have a question about our union?

Contact us:
Tel: 416-489-1311 E-mail: actra@actra.ca