Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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The Equity membership has elected new Councillors for the 2015-2018 Council term. The newly elected Councillors took office at the first meeting of Equity's incoming Council, November 29 to December 1, 2015 in Toronto. Links: Elected Councillors / Vote count return / Equiflash announcement - October 30, 2015.
Equity has been active throughout the 2015 Federal election campaign. On this page, you will find information about federal issues of concern, media coverage on Arts & Culture issues and pertinent editorial commentary. Vote Arts & Culture!
In order to bring the ITA more into concordance with the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA), the new 2015-2018 ITA will include basic material changes that will come into effect January 4, 2016.
All information for the 2015 Equity Council Elections is now available here: Candidate statements and Council election FAQs.
The 2015-2018 election nomination period is closed and a complete record of nominated candidates is listed here.
Equity's Canadian Dance Policy and Guest Artist Policy are extended to Sunday, January 3, 2016. The current terms of the Canadian Dance and Guest Artist policies will remain in force for the extension period.
Equity's CTA and ITA fee calculators, created to assist members and agents in calculating their contractual fees, applicable deductions and HST/GST, are now complete.
In order to bring the ITA more into concordance with the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA), the new 2015-2018 ITA will include basic material changes that will come into effect January 4, 2016.

New fees for the Independent Theatre Agreement (ITA) came into effect June 29, 2015. Please contact Equity for more information regarding anticipated changes for the 2016-2018 ITA.
ACTRA and Equity have begun preliminary discussions in a small Joint Committee of our respective Councillors on the possibility of a closer organizational relationship.
Recently negotiated changes to the 2015-2018 Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA) with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) were ratified by the eligible Equity membership in an Internet and telephone vote which concluded on June 18, 2015.
Members voted 95.5% in support of the proposed changes.
Kristian Clarke, Equity's Senior Projects Manager, is pleased to share his experiences in attending the FIA conference in June. Click here to continue reading.
Equity has received the same information from Vancouver Opera as did the public earlier today (June 16). We will work with representatives from Vancouver Opera to determine what effect the programming changes will have on the Equity membership. At this early date we don't know what the ramifications will be for the Equity members working at the Opera and it may take some time before we see the impact of the new festival model.
On June 4, 2015, for only the second time in its history, FIA affiliates gather for a four-day international conference solely dedicated to live performance issues. Read more about FIA's survey and status report on live performance.
Equity recently presented its Country Report at the FIA Live Performance Conference in Dublin. The report is available here.
The Equity Census is closed as of 2:00 p.m. Monday, May 25. Thank you to all members who participated - contributing to a 55.3% response rate. A grand total of 3,126 Equity members took the CENSUS! Equity Census information page (archival reference only)
Equity members are invited to meet with Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan, Director of Business Rep. Services Keith Davidson, Business Representative Alistair Hepburn, local Council representatives and members of the CTA negotiating team (as available), for an update on proposed changes to 2015-2018 CTA and other issues of interest to members.
Equity and PACT announce that bargaining for the 2015 - 2018 Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA) has successfully concluded. The negotiated changes to the Agreement will soon be sent to each association's respective membership for ratification.

The Guest Artist Policy is one of the most highly used of all of Equity's policies and provides hundreds of work weeks for the membership. As part of the ongoing review of all of Equity's agreements and policies, the time has come for a thorough review of the Guest Artist Policy. Member input is wanted in this process. NEW SUGGESTION DEADLINE: April 17, 2015.

Equity is delighted to announce that Kristian Clarke, former CARFAC Ontario Executive Director, will be joining Equity as the new Senior Projects Manager.
Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan stated "We are delighted to have someone of Kristian's calibre and experience join our staff. His demonstrated commitment to the arts community is laudable and we look forward to him bringing his organizational skills to this job and to Equity."
The Senior Projects Manager will initiate and implement projects for enhanced member service. Upcoming activities include harassment outreach and diversity/inclusion-related initiatives.

The Canadian Theatre agreement is set to expire June 28, 2015. Negotiations between Equity and PACT began in February 2015. Voting on the negotiated changes will commence as soon as possible after the conclusion of negotiations.
Life and Regular Equity members, in good standing and who were engaged under the CTA or another theatre agreement or policy *NEW* (Artists' Collective Policy and Festival Policy excepted) since June 29, 2009, will be automatically enumerated to vote.
Life and Regular Equity members in good standing but who are not eligible for automatic enumeration, were able to register to vote on the upcomping CTA ratification until midnight on April 2, 2015.

Thank you very much to all those who took part in our recent national survey on Safe and Respectful Workplaces. Now that the survey results are in, Equity Council has put together a preliminary overview of the key survey findings. Read the Spring 2015 Council Link for more information.

Equity's National AGM was held on February 23, 2015. The Council President and Executive Director reports are now available in video and written format here.

The Banff Centre Agreement and the National Arts Centre Music Department Agreement were ratifited in ballot counts held on February 12, 2015. Links: Banff and NACMDA

At its meeting of January 26, 2015, Council approved a bylaw change. Click here to learn more.

Equity members are encouraged to contribute to the development, negotiation, review and revision of agreements and policies.

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and Canadian Actors' Equity Association announced December 8th, 2014, the signing of a modernized Reciprocal Agreement between the two unions.
Changes explained here. Updated Equity/ACTRA Reciprocal Agreement is on page 9 and 10 of this document.

As a benefit of membership, Equity members in good standing now receive an Equity Advantage card enrolling them in DentalCare and VisionCare discount programs.

Equity encourages all members to be familiar with the bylaws that govern membership in our Association. Click here to view recent bylaw changes.

On October 20th, 2014, Equity's Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan joined arts advocates from across Canada on Parliament Hill to put arts and culture in the federal spotlight. The year 2014 marks the 4th annual Arts Day on the Hill led by the Canadian Arts Coalition.

Equity is pleased to announce the updated INDIE 2.1, Artists' Collective Policy and Festival Policy. Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan's letter to the membership, and the synopsis of policy improvements are available.

Playwrights Guild of Canada, in partnership with Canadian Actors' Equity Association and some of the arts industry's most vital organizations, is proud to announce the launch of Equity in Theatre (EIT), a campaign to help redress gender inequities in the theatre sector.

The Toronto municipal election is October 27. ArtsVote provides an overview of candidates' understanding of the issues facing the arts community.

Before the Ontario Legislative Assembly adjourned for summer recess, ACTRA Toronto and the Canadian Actors' Equity Association (Equity) welcomed the introduction of Bill 17 - Protecting Child Performers Act by NDP M.P.P. Paul Miller (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek). Click below to read the full media release.

The recently negotiated Vancouver Opera Agreement was ratified by the eligible Equity membership in a ballot count held September 11.

On September 26-27, 2014, Equity participated in a global dialogue to discuss trends, challenges and ideas with actors' associations from around the world. Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan's Country Report is now available.

The recently negotiated Royal Winnipeg Ballet Agreement was ratified by the affected Equity membership in a ballot count held on August 13, 2014.

The proposed changes to the recently negotiated Vancouver Opera Agreement are now subject to ratification by the affected Equity membership.

Equity announces that applications for PD funds for the remainder of the 2014-2015 fiscal year will no longer be accepted.

Equity has streamlined the Deputy election and release process - from the Stage Manager's first day to the close of a production. Deputy Resources are now available online only.

Equity announces that the 2014-2017 Alberta Ballet Agreement was ratified by the eligible Equity membership in a ballot count held on Thursday, July 17th, 2014.

As promised during the Dues Referendum, Equity members are now able to pay dues online with Visa or MasterCard. This new feature allows members to log in to EQUITYONLINE and securely pay dues in a few simple clicks.

Members may now update agent name and contact information online in the Members Only zone. You may also now indicate if you are HST/GST registered and add your HST/GST number.

The Government of Ontario will now require all workers (employees and independent contractors) to take Health and Safety Awareness Training in accordance with the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act. More info: visit the Ontario Ministry of Labour

Equity responds to the cancellation of Helen Lawrence at Festival TransAm�riques. Continue reading: Statement 1, and Statement 2.

Please be advised that increases to basic dues and working dues come into effect May 1, 2014 and May 5, 2014 respectively. Basic dues will be increased to $180 ($90 x 2) annually, and working dues will be increased to 2.25%.

Reports from Council President Allan Teichman and Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan to the Equity membership are now available.

The 17th annual Stage Managing the Arts (S.M.Arts) Conference took place April 3 to 12, 2014 in Toronto, Ontario. S.M.Arts held an "Equity day" on Tuesday, April 8th to provide S.M.Arts participants with a solid understanding of the Equity-Stage Manager relationship.

In March, Equity Members received tax receipts for medical insurance premiums for the 2013 tax year. We discovered that there was an error in the calculation - and Equity issued new medical insurance receipts the same week. Equity also sent personal emails to each affected Equity member (for whom we have email addresses on file), and who paid insurance premiums in 2013.

For media release and photographs of the 2013-2014 Honours and awards, please click here. For documents from the 2014 NAGM, click here

On February 20th, 2014, Equity members supported the proposed bylaw changes to implement an increase in the basic (annual) dues to $180 per year and to increase the working dues rate to 2.25%, with 71.9% voting in favour. View the dues referendum home page here for all background information.

Information Session webinars brought to you by Equity and Great West Life.

Equity announces the "Equity Dental Network," a new savings program designed exclusively for the Association. Equity members in good standing, and their dependents, may now save 25% off the cost of dental services. Members in good standing and who have paid their November dues will automatically receive their dental card in the mail. The plan comes into effect January 1st, 2014.
On June 26-27, 2013, Equity participated in a global dialogue to discuss trends, challenges and ideas with Actors' associations from around the world. Executive Director Arden R. Ryshpan's Country Report is available below.

Bill 71 (Protecting Child Performers Act) is now closer to becoming law in Ontario.
On Friday, August 2nd, Equity and ACTRA jointly submitted a brief to the Federal Government's Standing Committee on Finance for the pre-budget consultations for the 2014 budget. The submission calls for specific improvements to funding and support to performers and artists in Canada.
At its meeting of September 23, 2013, Council made changes to Equity's bylaws.
Equity Council plans to hold a referendum in February 2014 on an increase of both the basic and working dues.
May 13, 2013: Canadian Actors' Equity Association (Equity) is proud to announce that it has been granted certification by the Commission des relations du travail to represent the dancers at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal (Quebec).
There are currently 34 dancers in the company. Negotiations for a first agreement will commence mid-2013.
As the result of considerable consultation, research and negotiation undertaken by Equity's Council, staff, and most importantly the Association's membership, Equity is pleased to announce a new and improved core insurance policy. This new core Plan is underwritten by ACE INA Life Insurance.
Also available is a new voluntary and member paid comprehensive health, drug, dental and travel plan, as well as home, auto and pet insurance options for Equity members and their families. This new optional Plan is underwritten by Actra Fraternal Benefit Society.
Claims for services already submitted but not yet paid or claims for services received prior to April 1, 2013 will be paid under Equity's previous insurance plan. Disability claims will transfer to the new plan but previous terms will apply.
Equity members were advised of their eligibility for year-round sickness coverage in 2013 on their insurance premium tax receipt for 2012. Any member who was insured for a minimum of eight (8) weeks in 2012 is eligible for year-round benefits in 2013.
In July of last year, Equity received an Application under Section 34 of the Human Rights Code by member Araxi Arslanian, alleging that Equity and two of its officers had violated the Human Rights Code. Equity filed a response requesting a summary dismissal, stating that the allegations were totally without merit, and further, that the Application was made outside of the prescribed timeframes for filing.
The Tribunal held a teleconference hearing on Tuesday, March 12th, to review the request for dismissal. On Thursday, March 14th, we received the decision of the Tribunal, which found in favour of Equity, specifically that: there were no allegations made that would constitute a violation of the Code, that the Application had no reasonable prospects for success, and that the Application was barred by reason of delay in filing. The Application was dismissed and the matter is now concluded.
Equity's National AGM was held on Monday, February 25 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, ON.
Important and valuable improvements have been added to Equity's insurance plan.
2011-2012 Financial Statement presentation
The INDIE 2.0 and the Artists' Collective Policy now replace the Indie, the Co-Op and the SSTA.
The requirements and process for Equity membership changed in January 2013.
As the culmination of the work of Equity's Council, Independent Theatre Review Committee, staff, and most importantly the Association's membership, Equity has created two new policies designed for small-scale theatre productions. The INDIE 2.0 and the Artists' Collective Policy replaces the Indie, the Co-Op and the SSTA.
Equity is pleased to announce important and potentially valuable improvements being made to the Equity members insurance plan, starting April 1, 2013.
President Allan Teichman's regular blog entries share the doings of Council with the Equity membership.
On December 3rd, 2012, Equity honoured its own who have made significant contributions to Canadian theatre as well as to Equity.
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