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President’s Message

Dear Fellow ACTRA Maritimes’ Members,

I am writing to you today while sitting on the deck of my family cottage overlooking Nova Scotia’s lovely Grand Lake. We are technically in the first few days of Autumn, but the sun is shining, the temperature is 26 degrees, and the cicadas are chirping. Sure feels like those ‘Lazy Days of Summer’.

I am trying to kick back and relax, and yet an underlying current of urgency keeps interrupting my zen. A niggling sense of purpose telling me to get back to work. I’ve always felt this way in the Fall. Perhaps it’s a natural instinct – harvest and prepare. Or maybe just my memories of the excitement of returning to school. In any case, I’m ready to once again put my nose to the proverbial grindstone.

Your ACTRA Maritimes’ council & staff strive to make the job of creating more work for you our number one priority. So let me give you a few updates:

Firstly, I am happy to announce that ACTRA has voted in favour of ratifying the 2017-2020 National Commercial Agreement’s (NCA) Local and Regional Addendum (L&R), which covers production and use of local and regional commercials. In the words of our National Executive Director (and Chief Negotiator), Stephen Waddell, “Unions around the world continue to face employer demands for cutbacks at the bargaining table as well as increasing competition from the non-union sector. ACTRA members are the best in the business, and this Agreement will help make it easier to hire the most talented performers in Canada and ensure they are compensated fairly for their work”.

Secondly, I want to extend a big congratulations to Jeremy Webb on his new job as Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre. Jeremy has been a fixture at ACTRA for no less than 18 years! He has served on numerous committees, was President of ACTRA Maritimes for 8 years, and your National Councillor for the last 6 years. Due to the demands of his new position, Jeremy has decided to step down from council a few months before the end of his official term. His insight, humour, and ‘get it done’ spirit will be greatly missed around our council table. We wish him much success and happiness!

It was Jeremy who first inspired me to join council, and so it seems fitting that I should run with the baton for him now. As President, I will be taking over as Interim National Councillor until we hold the next election. (Keep an eye on your email boxes, as it will be announced very soon). As part of my new duties, I will be attending the National Executive meeting in November, and I have joined the National Magazine Editorial Committee, as well as the Constitution Committee.

And finally, your council is currently organizing a couple of events to boost work opportunities and champion our industry. Specifically, the Political Action Committee is scheduling meetings with MPs and MLAs, and the Training & Special Events Committees are putting together a very exciting and informative series of workshops for early in the new year. So stay tuned for further developments and then let’s all get back to doing the work we love!

In solidarity,

Francine Deschepper
Branch President
ACTRA Maritimes

 

 
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