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President’s Message



Greetings fellow members!

I hope you are all keeping good and busy these winter months. For all of our members in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, ACTRA Maritimes is your local union branch, and from all of our Council and the staff at our office in Halifax, we look forward to 2019 together and work in our region.

Our new ACTRA Maritimes Council was elected this past November and I am looking forward to the next 2 years as your new President. Our past President Francine Deschepper has always been an incredible leader for our Branch, and an energetic and tireless advocate for our film and television industry. With Francine at the helm, our voices from the Maritimes were heard loud and clear as we celebrated our 75th ACTRA Anniversary this past year, and as ACTRA implemented an industry-wide Code of Conduct, and successfully negotiated both our National Commercial Agreement and our Independent Production Agreement. Francine continues her amazing work in the all-important role as our National Councillor. Always making sure we are fully represented at the National ACTRA table in Toronto, Francine also sits at our local Council table for all of our meetings, so we have the pleasure of her knowledge and experience right here with us!

And it was so wonderful to see so many excellent candidates come forward for our election in November. We had the highest voter turn-out that we have ever had, and we thank all the nominees for offering. Every candidate had an impressive resume and biography and we are pleased that some of the candidates are now joining some of our committees.

And our newly elected Council is a wonderfully dynamic group! Full of inspiring experience in both their acting and in their other professions in life, they are a pleasure to work with and we recently completed our second meeting. Returning for another 2 year term are Joanne Miller (our new Vice President), David Christoffel (our new Treasurer), Koumbie (Chair of our Diversity Committee), Amy Trefry (Chair of our Special Events Committee) and Jacob Sampson. Joining our Council for the new term are Gillian Anderson (our new Secretary), Kirstin Howell (Chair of the Training Committee), Matthew Lumley (Chair of the Awards Committee), Bob Mann (Chair of the Discipline Committee) and Lesley Smith (Chair of the Women’s Committee). Oh yes, we have them all up and running and working away already!

Our wonderful office staff continues with our Branch Representative Richard Hadley, our IPA Business Representative Eva MacGregor, and our Commercial and Business Representative Tami Thomson.

And with every new Council term, we see new faces at the table, as past Councillors that have served us so dearly, depart to continue in their careers and work. It is with pride that we reflect on the wonderful contributions and legacy that they leave us with. Their important decisions made at the Council table and longtime work for ACTRA Maritimes, are with us now and for the future!

Along with their acting careers, our past Councillors are now busy with other creative endeavors – Andrea Dymond, (our past Treasurer Extraordinaire!) is now the Operations Co-ordinator at the Director’s Guild of Canada Atlantic Regional Council. Past Councillor Shelley Thompson was very active in the development of modern revisions on our ACTRA MIP and AIP agreements that will help local producers choose ACTRA talent. Shelley is currently busy with many projects, including recently receiving the Women In the Director Chair’s annual WIDC feature film award, adding to the funding for her upcoming debut feature film, Dawn, Her Dad, & the Tractor. David Rossetti, our fabulous event planner and Training Committee co-chair, was with me in Toronto speaking at the ACTRA National meetings in July. David hosts the best trivia nights in the City, and is also very busy with his music company. Oh yes, and he also renovated a house this past year!

Longtime Past-Councillor Geneviève Steele has championed many committees and events during her tenure including her outstanding work chairing the ACTRA Awards committee. Geneviève recently appeared in Below the Salt’s production of Hamlet, and is also busy working with corporations as the Partner and Associate Director of the inPractice Ready to Role company. Past-Councillor Kathryn McCormack wowed us all with her diligence as our recording Secretary, and is currently Directing the upcoming production Fox at The Villain’s Theatre.

And Past National Councillor and ACTRA Maritimes life member Jeremy Webb, who served our branch so generously and diligently for so many years, has been wowing audiences bringing his vision, energy and inspiration to his role as the Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre. Incredible productions made under Jeremy’s watch include KAMP, Mama Mia!, Cinderella, Shakespeare in Love, The Bridge, Chasing Champions and Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells).

And I personally know many of you, and a brief introduction of myself for those of us meeting for the first time. I worked for many years as a producer and writer for a technology based Television show in Vancouver that aired on CTV and Air Canada, and I wrote and produced a feature film with Telefilm Canada, Showcase Television and Super Channel. I have made short films that aired on CBC and the Comedy Network, and this past year I directed 2 corporate video projects with ACTRA Maritimes members – a PSA video for NSCC (Nova Scotia Community College) featuring Amy Trefy and Robbie Delano, and a video series for the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association, featuring Dylan Bailey, Tamara Fifield, Laurie Hanley, George Green, Kevin Gerrior, Ann Doyle, Ann Merritt, Carol Chan Bezanson, John Alexander Baker, Becca Babcock, Michele Mockler, Joel Diamond and Sébastien Poissant Labelle. Previous versions of these videos were made without union involvement and it is my continued goal to have projects both big and smaller, employing our members!

Sincerely yours and in Solidarity,

Chris Cuthbertson

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