I am extremely proud to be President of this union. I have been a union member since 1991. In that time, I have worked as a background performer, stand in, actor (series lead and day player), I have done commercials, voice over, radio drama and animation. I have personally worked with our stunt performers, puppeteers, choreographers, and singers. Over the years I have felt a kinship with all our sister unions as we successfully, side by side, created one of the most sought-after production centres in the world.
This past year was very challenging. COVID-19 remains a primary focus for our Industry. Our Industry Relations department worked actively with ACTRA National to petition the federal government for CERB for the newly coined “gig workers” – which we are. We are very fortunate that Canada and BC in particular, have been able to maintain low enough numbers of infection to allow our industry to thrive in the new normal. The entire BC film Industry came together to create protocols that allow us to work.
This year also sees an awakened commitment to equal representation on screen for our diverse and equity seeking members. We are committed to making inroads here.
Being an artist is not an easy pursuit, but we all know the freedom and joy that is found in following our dreams. Over the 27 years that we have existed as an autonomous branch, members have stepped up to serve on the Executive Board to represent the union at the negotiating table and to oversee the business of the union. It has not always been easy, but past Presidents and past Executive Boards have forged a path to where we are now; with excellent agreements in place, an extremely committed management and staff as well as deep connections with our industry partners.
As we approach a new bargaining year we continue the work of negotiating to update and improve our agreements in the ever-changing landscape of how the TV, Film and web content are produced and distributed.
If you are a member reading this and want to get more involved in the union check out our committee meetings. We have a very engaged board who welcome you to join them in contributing to our growth as a union. www.ubcpactra.ca/committees/
If you are a future member reading this, I wish you great success and look forward seeing you on set!