Arbitration of ACTRA’s Hair and Makeup Grievance filed against the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) and the Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique (AQPM) took place on May 18 and 19, 2023 in a hearing before Arbitrator William Kaplan, reaching a settlement on May 19, 2023.

The settlement includes multiple items intended to bring about systemic change in the industry. One of the key terms of the settlement include five full days of pre-bargaining on hair and make-up issues prior to the renewal of the Independent Production Agreement (IPA). This will give all parties the opportunity to make joint recommendations to the parties’ respective bargaining teams when IPA bargaining commences in Fall of 2024. This will ensure that ample time will be allotted to finding joint solutions to create systemic change on sets.

“Finally, there is important progress in the fight for hair and makeup equity, and that needs to be highlighted” says Eleanor Noble, ACTRA National President. “We stand by the members who have spent years shouldering the responsibility of speaking up and advocating for change in this area. The industry is finally listening. However, meaningful progress is going to require industry-wide cooperation, and ACTRA is pleased to be leading the way in coordinating these efforts to help create work environments that are free from harassment and discrimination for all performers.”

The settlement also includes:

  • the creation of a recommended standard of products and equipment necessary for the provision of hair and makeup services to BIPOC Performers;
  • the creation of a tool to help Producers ascertain the skills and competencies required to work with any BIPOC performers who have been cast;
  • the commitment to work with industry partners to explore opportunities and support the development of existing training initiatives with virtual workshops to address the principles of equity in the provision of hair and makeup services;
  • the creation of a “Know your Rights” campaign, to remind performers of their rights on set;
  • joint efforts from all parties to lobby the provincial governments to update the certification standards for hairstyling and college course offerings for makeup services for BIPOC individuals; and
  • address allegations of discrimination and harassment related to the provision of hair and makeup services expeditiously.

“The grievance was just one element within a multi-pronged approach by ACTRA in the fight for equitable hair and makeup for BIPOC performers,” says Jenn Paul, Director: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, ACTRA National. “Our hope is that the entire industry will join us in doing their part to build a more inclusive industry – because it can’t be done alone.” added Paul.

The Arbitration took place nearly a year and a half after ACTRA filed the grievance against the CMPA and AQPM in December of 2021. The grievance was filed on the basis that the Producer’s inaction contravenes ACTRA’s IPA and Human Rights legislation, after the CMPA and AQPM did not agree to the hair and makeup equity bargaining proposals made by ACTRA to resolve these issues in the 2021 Independent Production Agreement* (IPA) negotiations.

Click here to learn more about ACTRA’s fight for hair and makeup equity.

About ACTRA:

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 28,000 members across the country – the foundation of Canada’s highly acclaimed professional performing community.


Carol Taverner, ACTRA National Public Relations Officer: