TORONTO (September 22, 2023) – ACTRA members are appalled at the disrespectful proposal from the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) that would slash performer rates 50 to 60 per cent, as their lockout enters its 17th month.

“At a time when workers are struggling with record inflation and corporations are earning huge profits, its deplorable that these big advertising agencies are insisting on drastic pay cuts for some of the most precarious workers in Canada,” said Marie Kelly, ACTRA’s National Executive Director & Lead Negotiator.

On Monday Mediator Eli Gedalof ended mediation after two months, concluding ”the parties are simply too far apart on issues that are fundamental to each, and that the conditions are not ripe for compromise at this time.”

ACTRA says Scott Knox, ICA’s President is misleading agencies, brands and their consumers by blaming the union for the unlawful lockout that began 514 days ago. 

“While they are dangling an 8% percent increase, the reality is no matter how you look at their terms and details, they are seeking pathways where every commercial production scenario would access discounts that result in a 50 to 60 per cent reduction in performer pay compared to current National Commercial Agreement (NCA) rates.” 

“It’s shameful to see brands such as Wendy’s Canada, Sleep Country, Rogers, H&R Block, Canadian Tire and Home Hardware allowing their agencies to demand such concessions while they rake in record profits,” said Kelly. “ACTRA has received significant support from Canada’s labour movement for its boycott of those brands and the advertising agencies that represent them.”

“ACTRA members helped build these brands for 60 years,” continued Kelly. “After presenting the ICA’s shameful and draconian proposals, members have made it clear they would never accept such a demeaning settlement.”

On the urgent threat of Artificial Intelligence, one of the most important issues facing performers right now, the ICA proposed to create a committee. ACTRA proposed clear language to protect the voice and likeness of performers on and off camera and has made a substantive submission to the Federal government’s Industry Committee that is working on Canada’s new Artificial Intelligence and Data Act.

For more than 60 years the NCA has guaranteed fair working conditions, benefits, and competitive pay for on-and off-camera English-language performers in commercial productions in Canada. 

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: