March 2020

Dear ACTRA members,

In this challenging and unprecedented time, it is important that our ACTRA family takes care of each other. ACTRA members are some of the most thoughtful, compassionate and creative people I know. We will get through this. So please take care of yourselves and your families and stay healthy.

As you know, most productions and events have been impacted by COVID-19. The situation is changing every day… every hour. I want you to know that the elected leaders of our national and local councils are working hard on behalf every member. We have been talking to Government leaders daily, requesting their support and advocacy for our self-employed members.

Our staff have been working tirelessly to ensure the operations of our union stay supported. They have transitioned to working from home, but are still seeing that payments owed to our performers are being distributed, even as they take care of their own families. They are answering member concerns as quickly as possible and providing us all with information as up to date as possible.

As professional performers, we want to know what our future holds. So, let’s ask… I encourage you to call and email your Member of Parliament to inquire about the timing for Emergency Care and Emergency Support Benefits for people working in the entertainment industry. Let them know how important these payments will be to precarious artists in the gig economy. Let them know that we require those payments soon, to pay for rent and food and medications.

Together, we will get through this tough time. Keep visiting and view the new webpage dedicated to the COVID-19 crisis. It will be updated regularly. I also encourage you to monitor the guidelines and protocols put forth by Canada’s public health officials. Collectively, we must take the steps necessary to protect each other and to put a stop to the outbreak.

Keep following (and tagging @actranat!) on our ACTRA social media platforms. We appreciate your updates, encouragement and support.

Do all you can to take care of yourself and those around you.

In solidarity,

David Sparrow