Honour bestowed annually in celebration of International Women’s Day

Toronto, ON (March 4, 2020) — Canadian performers are shining a spotlight on ACTRA member Sarah Polley by naming her their 2020 ACTRA National Woman of the Year. ACTRA bestows this honour annually on an ACTRA member who excels in both her artistic and advocacy achievements.

“Sarah Polley has made a real difference in the way performers and artists are treated and respected in this country,” said ACTRA President David Sparrow. “From her continued support and activism for everyone in our entertainment industry, to inspiring us throughout her successful career as a performer, writer, director and producer, we’re thrilled to name Sarah our 2020 ACTRA National Woman of the Year.”

“I’ve been a proud ACTRA member since I was a child,” said Sarah Polley. “It’s been inspiring to watch ACTRA evolve and grow since that time to become a strong, progressive union. I am thrilled to receive this honour from fellow ACTRA members.”

Sarah Polley’s long and distinguished career has encompassed numerous roles on screen and behind the camera. Sarah is an award-winning performer, writer, director and producer whose dramatic features include Away from Her, Take This Waltz, and Stories We Tell. Sarah’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace for Netflix and CBC, which she executive produced, garnered six Canadian Screen Award wins including Best Screenplay, Director, Actress and Limited Series. Sarah recently co-directed the popular CBC Gem series, Hey Lady!, which debuted at Sundance.

As a leading voice promoting ACTRA’s campaign to increase Canadian entertainment content, Sarah has participated in ACTRA’s federal election press conferences and government lobbying efforts. Sarah has shared her personal experiences as a child star when speaking in support of children who work in the entertainment business. In 1996, Sarah supported our union’s bargaining team in achieving significant improvements for minors within ACTRA’s Independent Production Agreement, which covers film, television and digital media production across Canada (except British Columbia). In 2008, Sarah was honoured with the ACTRA Toronto Award of Excellence.

Since 2010, ACTRA bestows the National Woman of the Year Award each year on an ACTRA member who uses her passion to support ACTRA members and women within the broader audiovisual industry. For a list of past recipients, please visit www.actra.ca.

ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. ACTRA represents the interests of over 25,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.


Media Contact:
Carol Taverner, Public Relations Officer, ACTRA National, tel: 416-644-1519, ctaverner@test.actra.ca

*Photo available upon request