President’s Message – Federal Election 2019

The federal election on October 21 may be a pivotal point in Canada’s cultural history. Now is the time to step up, make our voices heard and to collectively shine a spotlight on issues affecting Canadian performers and the film, television and digital media industry.

Together, with the DGC and IATSE, ACTRA has launched the Just Ask campaign (; with the goal of mobilizing our combined 50,000+ members across Canada to make sure this election counts. Every voice matters. Your voice matters. Pledge to attend one election-related event this fall and to ask your local candidates at least one question about our industry.

Get involved! Challenge your local candidates. Put them on the spot. Whether you go to a debate or a town hall, run into them at the farmers’ market or when they come knocking on your door, take the opportunity to ask them a question about their position on the film and television industry.

Such as:

  • Why is Canadian culture important to you?
  • If elected, what will you do to ensure the sustainability and growth of Canadian culture?
  • Where do you stand on investment in Canadian content production?
  • Has your party made culture-specific commitments part of their platform, specifically creating a level playing field so all content producers – domestic and foreign, traditional and digital – are held to the same high standards in terms of taxation and contributions to Canadian content production?

There’s a lot at stake for our cultural industries in this election. Over the last four years, numerous studies and reviews were launched about key legislation affecting our industry, including the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act and the Copyright Act. Even the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) was sent back to the table to rework a decision it made about Canadian content spending. Problem is, although public consultations took place, legislation has yet to be changed.

If we, as Canadians, don’t elect a government that supports arts and culture, Canadian culture, Canadian voices, the CBC, the NFB and CanCon are all at stake, period. We need to ensure the next generation of Canadians can not only enjoy a robust Canadian culture but can continue to project it to the world. Let’s vote for a government that will Keep Canada on our Screens.

So, have your say in this election! Vote for your industry; the industry that helps pay your bills. Vote for your career and for the betterment of Canada through culture. Don’t leave the choice of government up to others. Demand more from your government. Ask questions. VOTE!

Just Ask and I’ll see you at the polls!

In solidarity,

David Sparrow