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Just Ask! Campaign

Together, ACTRA, the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) are mobilizing our more than 50,000 members across Canada to attend all-candidates’ meetings and town halls from now until the federal election on October 21.

Cast, crew and creators from Canada’s film and television industry are banding together for the Just Ask campaign, calling on members to pledge to attend one election-related event this fall and to ask federal candidates/potential representatives in all 338 ridings at least one question on key issues facing our industry. Will candidates and political parties support the modernization of Canadian broadcasting rules for the digital era? We encourage you to Just Ask.

Canadian stories are at stake in this election. We must be able to continue to tell our stories in the digital age. “Creative industry workers are seeking out candidates from all political parties to Just Ask them where they stand on supporting a strong Canadian film and TV industry,” said David Sparrow, ACTRA National President. “With original Canadian programming like Letterkenny, Anne with an E and Schitt’s Creek finding audiences around the world, we’ll be asking federal election candidates to share their plans to ensure the continued growth of our Canadian entertainment industry.”

Visit Just Ask 2019 to take the pledge, sign-up for updates, and find out about the key issues facing our industry. For example, funding of cultural agencies, film and video production tax credits, copyright protection, support for CBC/Radio Canada, protections for precarious workers, and promoting diversity in the cultural sector are all important issues affecting our members and the industry. Backgrounders and sample questions will be available on the site in the coming weeks.

Members are encouraged to share candidate answers on social media using #justask2019 (#jemimplique2019) to track commitments.

We need to make our voices heard in as many places as possible. Take the pledge to Just Ask!

STAND! American Cinematographer focuses on Manitoba

American Cinematographer published an excellent feature on Stand! in their September 2019 issue. Click on the attachment to read.
STAND Article

ACTRA Manitoba at 2019 Labour Day March

ACTRA Members: Show your commitment to the Labour Movement and join us on the Labour Day March this coming Monday, September 2nd.

It’s a big year for unions, with the centennial anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike and elections just around the corner! Let’s show our support and wave our flags proudly for the work our union does for us! Everyone who comes out to the march on Monday will receive a free ACTRA Manitoba t-shirt to wear!

Where: Gathering at the Street Car Monument (180 Market Ave)
When: Monday, Sept. 2nd at 11:30 AM
What: March down Main to Broadway, then head West on Broadway to the Legislative Building.

2019 ACTRA Manitoba MIP Showcase

It’s time for our annual ACTRA Manitoba 2019 “Member Initiated Production” Showcase. Come and support our ACTRA member short film entries.
April 12, 2019
Franco-Manitoban Cultural Centre (340 Provencher Blvd.)
Doors: 6:30pm Screening: 7pm
Reception to follow. Audience participation is encouraged after our screenings for a brief audience “Best Picture” VOTE. The winner will then be revealed at the conclusion of our screenings.

New residential building in downtown Winnipeg to include artist units

“…(S)everal arts and several non-profit service agencies, such as Artspace and Performing Arts Lodges (PAL) Manitoba, are partners in the project, which will also feature several units for use by visiting and local artists, the U of W said.”

Manitoba Tax Credit made permanent

Global News

Manitoba tax credit for local film and video productions made permanent

January 15, 2019

By Sam Thompson

A tax credit for filmmakers is set to become permanent.

The Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, a refundable credit for labour in local film and video productions, previously had a ‘sunset clause’ – an expiry date for the credit, set for Dec. 31.

Culture Minister Cathy Cox and Finance Minister Scott Fielding Tuesday announced Tuesday that the sunset clause will be eliminated.

“Manitoba’s cultural sector is an important contributor to the provincial economy, accounting for $1.6 billion in GDP,” said Fielding.

“We recognize the positive effect that film production has on our economy and creative community, and this action will bring long-term certainty to the industry.”

The elimination of the tax credit’s expiry date brings Manitoba in line with other Canadian jurisdictions, including the federal government and provinces like Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

“By making the tax credit permanent, we’re ensuring there is stability and predictability for Manitoba’s media production industry,” said Cox.

“It’s important to ensure the industry has what it needs to respond to growing demand for content from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Apple, as well as broadcasters across the globe.”

Manitoba has offered some form of refundable tax credit for film and video productions since 1997, with a number of enhancements over the years.

Carole Vivier, CEO of Manitoba Film & Music, said this will specifically help with long-term projects considering Manitoba.

“With a series you’re hoping you’re going into season one, two, three and four and if they’re coming in and they’re not sure if the tax credit is going to be there the following season, it just creates a bit of uncertainty,” she said.

“With this new announcement that uncertainty has completely gone away, which is fantastic news for us attracting series and creating series here. So on all levels that’s fantastic.”

She added there are more than 2,000 people working in the industry here in the province.

“I do believe there will be a boost. I think it’s such a strong message out to the rest of the world that Manitoba is open for business,” she said.


For Immediate Release: Winnipeg, October 13, 2018 – ACTRA Manitoba announced the winners and special recipients of their 2018 ACTRA Awards, held last night at the Met Event Center. These awards are held every two years, recognizing the accomplishments of ACTRA Manitoba’s talented performers and celebrating Manitoba’s vibrant film industry.  ACTRA nationally represents over 23,000 of Canada’s professional performers working in recorded media in Canada.


Outstanding Performance By A Female Artist In A Feature (Theatrical Or Tv)

Andrea Del Campo, Diane “Stegman Is Dead” – Julijette Productions

Outstanding Performance By A Male Artist In A Feature (Theatrical Or Tv)

Darren Wall, Dr. Faffard “Lovesick” – Eaglevision

Outstanding Performance – Female Artist In A Series Episode

Marina Stephenson Kerr, Mrs. Booth “Channel Zero – Candle Cove”Universal Pictures/Original Pictures

Outstanding Performance – Male Artist In A Series Episode

Dave Brown, Tim Hazel “Channel Zero – Candle Cove”Universal Pictures/Original Pictures

Outstanding Performance By A Female Artist In A Short

Daina Leitold, “The Interrogation”

Outstanding Performance By A Male Artist In A Short

BJ Verot, “Fisher Cove”

Best Stunt Performance

Jeff Strome, “Channel Zero -No End House”


Phyllis Laing received ACTRA’s Wayne Nicklas Award for Ongoing and Outstanding Contribution to ACTRA for her 30 year investment into Manitoba’s film community. LOVESICK (Eagle Vision) and STEGMAN IS DEAD (Julijette Inc.) tied for ACTRA’s newly launched Manitoba Award, recognizing exceptional engagement of our Manitoba talent in feature films or series. Carole Vivier was honoured for her work with Manitoba Film & Music in light of her recent retirement announcement.

“This red carpet, hosted by Lisa Durupt and Erik Athavale, exceeded all our expectations”, says ACTRA MB President Jan Skene.  “Over 450 members of our Manitoba film community came out to recognize the achievements of our peers.  We celebrated ACTRA Manitoba’s 60th Anniversary and ACTRA National’s 75t;  we were honoured with the presence of Mayor Brian Bowman and the Honourable Minister of Culture, Heritage and Sport, Cathy Cox; and we had the industry party of the decade!  Our film industry in Manitoba is flourishing, and I couldn’t be more proud of our Manitoba film family!”

ACTRA Manitoba Announces 2018 Awards Nominees

For Immediate Release: Winnipeg, September 5, 2018 – ACTRA Manitoba presents the nominees for their 2018 ACTRA Awards taking place at the Met Event Center (281 Donald St.) on Friday, October 12, 2018.  This year’s Awards & Gala will also mark ACTRA Manitoba’s 60th Anniversary and the 75th Anniversary of ACTRA National.  These awards are held every two years, recognizing the accomplishments of ACTRA Manitoba’s talented performers and celebrating Manitoba’s vibrant film industry.  ACTRA nationally represents over 22,000 of Canada’s professional performers working in recorded media in Canada.

The Gala Event, at the Met on October 12th, will be hosted by Lisa Durupt (Heartland, Less Than Kind) and Eric Athavale (Sunnyside).  Two special industry awards will also be given out on the evening, recognizing outstanding contributors to Manitoba’s thriving local film industry.

*Cocktails: 6:30 PM

*Awards: 7:45 PM

*Dance party to follow

$25 Early Bird tickets available until October 1st! Ticket includes 2 drinks, hors d’oeuvres, & treats.

For tickets go to

Nominees for Outstanding Performance By A Female Artist In A Feature (Theatrical Or Tv)

Andrea Del Campo, Diane “Stegman Is Dead” – Julijette Productions

Lauren Cochrane, Isabelle, “Snowmance” – Independent

Ali Tataryn, Nora, “Lovesick”,  Eagle Vision


Nominees For Most Outstanding Performance By A Male Artist In A Feature (Theatrical Or Tv)

Adam Hurtig, Nick, “Snowmance” – Independent

Ross McMillan, Dr. Goldberg, “Lovesick”, Eagle Vision

Darren Wall, Dr. Faffard, “Lovesick, Eagle Vision


Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Female Artist In A Series Episode

Gwendolyn Collins,  Daphne Bell

Abigail Pniowsky, Lily Painter

Marina Stephenson Kerr, Mrs. Booth (all) “Channel Zero – Candle Cove” – Universal Pictures/Original Pictures


Nominees for Outstanding Performance – Male Artist In A Series Episode

Dave Brown, Tim Hazel

Connor Peterson,  Jacob Booth

Luca Villacis, Eddie Painter   (all) Channel Zero – Candle Cove – Universal Pictures/Original Pictures


Nominees For Outstanding Performance By A Female Artist In A Short

Cheryl Gensiorek,“Blackout”

Annika Elyse Irving, “Hard Way Girl”

Daina Leitold, “The Interrogation MA”


Nominees For Outstanding Performance By A Male Artist In A Short

Stephen McIntyre, “Echoes In The Ice”

Karl Thordarson, “The Interrogation MA”

BJ Verot, “Fisher Cove”


Nominees for Best Stunt Performance

Kristen Sawatzky, “Channel Zero -Candle Cove”

Jeff Strome, “Channel Zero -No End House”

BJ Verot, “Channel Zero – No End House”

    – 30 –


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Trevor Kristjanson

Congratulations on the BravoFACT grant that you received for your film Platypus! Can you tell us about the film?

Thank you! Platypus is a fictional short film following Jensen Murphy (wonderfully brought to life by Nancy Sorel). Jensen, the world’s premier Human Taxidermist, struggles to find human connection as she straddles the world of the living and the dead. The film was written by Joshua Benoit and Chaz Beaudette, and produced by Jessica Gibson and Chaz Beaudette.

You have been involved in creating a number of films. What was your inspiration to be a filmmaker and has being an actor influenced you as a director/producer?

As a teenager I made videos with my friends in Gimli, basically emulating the CKY skateboarding videos of the early 2000s. It taught me how to create, from both sides of the camera. Being an actor has a big influence on how I direct. I find a lot of directors are sort of afraid of actors and of giving direction. Being an actor has given me a lot of confidence and ability in working with other actors.

Who is a filmmaker that you admire, and why?

Danishka Esterhazy. She makes the movies that she wants to make, seemingly without compromise. They’re dark and stylish and her voice shines through. I’ve worked with her as an actor a few times, and she’s very caring, clear and confident.

Who is an actor that you admire, and why?

Darcy Fehr. I saw him on stage a few years ago in a production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, and it was the best acting I’ve seen. I’ve trained under him (as many have), and he is generous in sharing his knowledge with others who want to act. He’s humble, hardworking, sensitive and talented.

When did you become an ACTRA member, and what was your first union gig?

My first union gig was on the feature film “Radius”, and I believe I became an ACTRA member around that same time.

How has being a member of ACTRA benefited you?

You can go into a production as an actor, and be confident that the union has your back. From a filmmaker standpoint, programs like the Member Initiated Projects help us all create our own work.

What does it mean to you to be a Canadian artist, telling Canadian stories?

I’m grateful to be Canadian, and I feel like I have the power to tell any story, about any subject matter I choose. I believe the Prairies in particular produce some of the strongest filmmakers and artists in North America. Places like the Winnipeg Film Group and unions such as ACTRA have really nurtured a lot of great Canadian artists.

Do you have any advice for other actors out there who are interested in creating their own projects?

As important as grants for artist are, I don’t think you can always afford to wait on somebody to give you money. There’s a number of reasons why a project may or may not receive funding, many of which are irrelevant to the quality of the project. I say just make the stuff. Find like-minded crew and actors who are willing to help you make your project, keeping in mind that it is a pretty big thing to ask sometimes. Help each other out. Make good work, and make everybody else play up to that level of quality.

Diversity News

April 19, 2018



This will be ACTRA Manitoba’s first juried competition for a MIP (Member Initiated Production). Applicants are asked to submit a short-film script based on the theme of INTERSECTIONALITY and the winner will receive $1000, on top of their $1000 MIP grant, based on their fulfillment of the MIP guidelines. That film will be screened along with the rest of the MIPS in 2019.

The topic of INTERSECTIONALITY examines the roots of discrimination based on ethnicity, sex, gender-orientation, size, age, or ability, and recognizes that they are related. It is the goal of ACTRA Manitoba to encourage and support diverse stories to be shared, and inspire the next generation of film-makers, actors, and creative geniuses.

Interested members should contact the office at to be sent the application package, or for more information.


Congratulations on your role in Nellie Bly! Can you tell us a little bit about the part? Also, how did you prepare for this and other auditions and for being on set?

In Nellie Bly I played Nurse Grupe, a sadistic nurse in a women’s lunatic asylum in the 1800s. Grupe is part of a group of three nurses that carry out the orders of the head of the hospital, Matron Grady. Grupe is the meanest of the lot and does everything that her boss tells her to do, no matter how depraved. I initially auditioned for Matron Grady, which I prepped for days, and I was called back for Grupe with only a day’s notice. I felt underprepared for the callback because I had less time, but when I walked in the room the director Karen Moncrieff was so fantastic and just let me play. As a theatre performer, I’ve often felt restricted by the camera and having to stand on a tape line on the floor and only one actor to read with. Much of the time I feel like I’m in a straitjacket at film auditions. Karen Moncrieff was the first director who said “don’t worry about where the camera is or the reader or the tape line – you just do your thing and we will follow you”. This totally released me and I think I did the most fun audition of my life. I left the room not even caring if I got the part or not because I felt like I was given permission to be free and do what I wanted. It was very empowering. I took that spirit of freedom to the set and just stayed open to my fellow actors, the creativity of the director and stayed true to my instincts.

What has been your favourite or most memorable role thus far?

Nurse Grupe is my favourite role I’ve played in film so far. Karen and I spent some time discussing why this nurse has become the way she is, and I think we developed a character that on paper may come off as pretty archetypical, giving her some dimension and nuance. I say this not having seen the film yet, so I just hope that the layers come across. I loved working with all the amazing women on set and there was a great camaraderie that developed between everyone. The fact that the story was based on a true story was not lost on anyone and I’ve always connected with these kinds of suffering, slightly mad characters. Some people might find this disturbing or depressing but I have always found these types of characters fascinating.

When did you become an ACTRA member, and what was your first union gig?

I think I became an ACTRA member in 1991. My first role was a clerk in a corner store who is tormented by some young punks that mess with her Slurpee machine. This was John Kozak’s film Hell Bent.

How has being a member of ACTRA benefited you?

I belong to three associations: CAEA, ACTRA and PGC. While all of these associations have wonderful protections in place, ACTRA is by far the most comprehensive. I have always been proud to belong to this association. I appreciate how well we are paid and, if you take the time to learn about all of the benefits of being a member – such as our RRSP and Insurance policy – you will be amazed at how well we are covered for our health and for our future. ACTRA has your back!

How do you stay sharp? Do you have any training suggestions?

I have always been the most afraid of losing my memory, so I am constantly trying to find ways of keeping my memory sharp and challenging my brain with new ways of learning. I did a one woman play this year with over 6000 words playing 30 different characters which was a great brain workout. I am also learning how to play the violin – they say music re-connects pathways as you age. I have a language program on my phone so I am trying to increase my vocabulary in French and Spanish. I feel like my greatest asset as an actor is my imagination – everything we do is generated from our mind, so keeping it stimulated and fed is essential! Training is great – the Actor’s gym is fantastic and there are some great teachers in the community. If you can’t afford workshops, practise in front of a camera – record yourself and watch it back – that is the best teacher.

Do you have any advice for other actors out there?

Advice for other actors…this is a tough business and it will never appreciate you and it doesn’t owe you anything. It’s only good to you when it needs something from you. Money and attention and awards are great but I’ve seen lots of people go down the road of feeling like they deserve more. This will make you miserable. It’s good to want things and work hard to realize your dreams, but always have something real in your life that can fulfill you. For me this is my family and community. They will always come first.

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