ACTRA disappointed with ICA’s approach in mediation of National Commercial Agreement dispute

Major advertising agencies continue to lock out top talent and harm performers

TORONTO (July 13, 2022) – The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the union representing professional performers who make commercials, participated in a mediation session yesterday in hopes of renewing an agreement to help get Canada’s performers back to work. Yesterday, the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) declined to renew the National Commercial Agreement, a collective agreement that preserves the minimum rights and protections of performers in the commercial industry.

ACTRA and the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) have a longstanding partnership through the collective agreement. In April 2022, the negotiations hit a critical point when the ICA declined to renew the collective agreement, insisting a clause be included allowing agencies to effectively ignore the agreement’s terms and conditions. The ICA’s actions demonstrate they do not value the minimum rights and pay of Canada’s commercial talent.

“The outcome of yesterday’s mediation session only reinforced that ICA is not interested in moving forward and negotiating with us,” said Marie Kelly, ACTRA National Executive Director. “The ICA’s unwillingness to join the rest of the industry has a direct and detrimental impact on the wellbeing and livelihoods of Canadian performers.”

At a time when governments are looking at methods to better protect precarious workers, agreements in the film, television and commercial industry have set a standard across industries. With ICA’s refusal to recognize the collective agreement, workers’ basic rights, pay and benefits are being jeopardized by this dispute and as such, the industry can no longer lead as an example.

On Monday, July 11, 2022, ACTRA and UBCP/ACTRA held direct-action rallies outside of Leo Burnett’s Toronto office and Cossette’s Vancouver office, two of the agencies who remain unwilling to abide by the collective agreement that has preserved minimum protections for over 60 years. ACTRA members just want to get back to work and end the lock-out of performers.

“The instability caused by ICA is detrimental to Canada’s foothold as a global creative powerhouse,” said Kelly. “A2C, ACA and ACTRA will continue working together to preserve and stabilize the industry, and we invite ad agencies to join us and work towards a beneficial solution. There’s nothing more important than protecting the rights of Canadian performers, and we intend to win this fight.”

About ACTRA:
ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) is the national union of professional performers working in English-language 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.


Media Contact: Shane Madill, Account Manager, Kaiser & Partners, tel: 705.930.2132