March 31, 2023

Greetings fellow ACTRA members! Hope you are weathering this winter well! Say THAT three times fast 🙂

I’m sure you’ve all noticed the uptick in productions and auditions lately, and we can say for certain that the busy season has officially started. I predict it’s going to be another banner year for production in our province, which means our office will be busy. A good challenge to have.

I am dedicating this President’s Message to something that isn’t happening until June but will be here before you know it… our Annual General Meeting. This will be a special one. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 6th! This meeting will be special for two reasons:

  1. It’s an election year!
  2. It’s Branch Representative Rob Macklin’s LAST AGM!

Rob’s actual last day in the office is June 2nd, but we will be doing a special farewell at the AGM so that members can wish him a well-deserved retirement. We would love for you to be there, so look out for the email to RSVP.

Now, back to the election…

Are you a member who wants to make a difference on and off the set? Do you have ideas and opinions on how to improve the working conditions and rights of your fellow performers? Do you want to be part of a democratic and representative body that advocates for the interests of your union and its members? Do you want to help build and be a part of a supportive community of film and television professionals in a growing industry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider running in the upcoming council elections. The council is the governing body of your local branch that informs the policies, priorities, and direction of your union. It is composed of elected representatives who are Stunt Performers, Background Performers, Stand-Ins, Voice Over Artists, Dancers, Singers, and Actors, just like you!

As a council member, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in debates, discussions, and decisions on important issues affecting your union and its members
  • Represent the views and needs of your sector or group on the council
  • Communicate with and listen to the feedback and concerns of your fellow members
  • Work with other council members and union staff to develop and implement strategies and campaigns
  • Attend regular meetings, trainings and events organized by your union
  • Network with other activists and leaders from other unions and social movements
  • Help create more awareness and communication within our membership
  • Help organize events that build up our community and show pride in our industry, such as:
    • the MIP Grants and Screening
    • Holiday events
    • The ACTRA Manitoba Awards Gala

Running in the council elections is not only a way to contribute to your union, but also a way to develop your skills, knowledge and confidence as an activist and leader. You will learn how to:

  • Organize and mobilize members in various committees or events such as the Labour Day March
  • Speak in public and communicate effectively
  • Negotiating and resolving conflicts
  • Research and analyze information
  • Plan and execute projects and actions
  • Work in a team and collaborate with others

Running in the council elections is also a way to challenge yourself and grow as a person. You will:

  • Discover new perspectives and experiences
  • Meet new people and make new friends
  • Explore new opportunities and possibilities
  • Overcome challenges and difficulties
  • Achieve personal and collective goals

Being on the council is not an easy task, but it is a rewarding one. You will need to:

  • Commit time and energy to meetings and duties
  • Balance your work, personal and union responsibilities
  • Accept responsibility and accountability
  • Be open-minded and respectful

But you will not be alone. You will have the support and guidance of your union staff, mentors, peers, and allies. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a positive difference in your union, your workplace and society in general.

I am proud to say that in the past two years, we have managed to accomplish quite a bit. We planned and executed numerous training events, including the first Audition Technology Micro-Conference that was held twice due to popularity, along with many other workshops and Actors Gyms. We helped facilitate an office move! The first one in over 20 years. We held our first in-person Awards Gala in 4 years, and it was the biggest one ever! We have pushed many important initiatives forward in the areas of diversity, age inclusion, gender and gender identity, and supports for young performers. It has been a busy and gratifying two years, and I must thank the other members of council, our various committees, and the staff for their hard work and dedication to our community.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are interested in running in the council elections, or if you know someone who is, contact the ACTRA office today. They will provide you with more information on how to run, what to expect, and how to prepare for the election at the AGM on Tuesday, June 6th. I, or anyone else on council, would be happy to answer your questions about what it’s like; candidly and without pressure. This is your chance to become more engaged in your union and community. This is your chance to make your voice heard.

If you are still reading this, I hope it has inspired you in some small way or piqued your interest a bit. Regardless if you run or not, I invite you to come to the AGM and vote for who you think would be a good councillor, have some appetizers and drinks with us, and wish Rob a happy retirement.

See you at the next event, our MIP screening on May 20th!



Alan Wong
President and National Councillor
ACTRA Manitoba

2015 ACTRA Manitoba AGM at the Radisson Hotel Ballroom. Rob Macklin holds a ballot box for the Council elections that year.
Members Tim Nhlazane and Kevin Longfield are in the background.