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Canadian Actors' Equity Association
The official news of Canadian Actors' Equity Association
Bylaws Update - November 2021
Equity's Council encourages all members to be familiar with the rules that govern membership in our Association. Electronic copies of the current Constitution and Bylaws are available on www.caea.com. Hard copies of the Constitution and Bylaws are available upon request to the National Office at info@caea.com.

At its online meeting November 22, 2021, Council adopted an expansive set of proposed amendments to Equity's Bylaws, the culmination of a lengthy, determined effort to make consequential improvements to the rules governing the Association.

Most significant is perhaps the inclusion of a joining process for intimacy directors in the Bylaws, reflecting Equity’s assertion that intimacy directors are a valuable addition to our agreements, our industry, and our membership. The Bylaws now also include joining terms for directors, beyond signing an Equity contract. Other substantive changes are highlighted below.

"I am convinced these bylaw changes will help to make our Association stronger and more inclusive. I am particularly pleased to see Intimacy Direction added as a discipline within Equity's jurisdiction. This work is growing within our community and the artists who undertake it have much to offer toward the creative process and the safety of our members," said Equity Council President, Scott Bellis. "I also believe that opening up some of the joining pathways toward membership will assist artists who wish to join our Association but who have encountered systemic barriers in achieving that goal. The more we are together, the more we can accomplish."

A number of bylaws have also been updated for clarification and to reflect current practice. In some instances, text has been moved or regrouped to better organize the Bylaws, resulting in housekeeping and clerical updates.

Note: the newly amended Bylaws will only come into effect January 31, 2022.

As these significant alterations to the Bylaws require a complete renumbering and formatting overhaul, a polished version of the new Bylaws will not be available until January 2022, in advance of the Bylaws coming into effect. In keeping with the spirit of Equity’s requirement to notify the membership within two weeks of any amendments to the Bylaws (144(a)), linked here is a copy of the motions in tracked changes, so that members may see the relevant material in advance of the revised Bylaws being made available.
Material amendments to the Bylaws include:

Joining Equity and Permits
Intimacy Directors (new) - Intimacy directors were added as a new discipline under Equity’s jurisdiction and as such, joining terms and conditions were added as well. Intimacy directors may now join the Association based on a body of work that includes 30 hours of intimacy training and three engagements, one of which must be on an Equity contract. The remaining two may come from work done under recorded media or work done under the Artists’ Collective or Festival policies. Only one apprentice credit may be applied towards joining. Current members of Equity who wish to be recognized as intimacy directors, must demonstrate proof of same.

Performers (previously in 22) – New text was added, permitting artists to submit an application for membership in Equity on the basis of their significant professional career in live or recorded performance.

Directors (new) – A joining process for directors was added to allow for the accumulation of permits under both Equity’s scale agreements and engagement policies, including the DOT and INDIE, or by application for membership based on body of work. An orientation session is now mandatory as well.

Limitations on Permits (previously in 16) – The article was amended to remove the expectation of permittee stage managers to join Equity after accumulating four permits.

Member Types
The Bylaws now clearly define the distinction between members and non-members, as well as clarifying the rights and responsibilities of each member type. Equity member types are regular members, regular - extended visa members, non-resident AEA members, life members, associate members – ballet and opera, affiliate members –theatre for young audiences, and honorary members.

In addition, the following member types have been amended to reflect current practice:

Non-resident AEA Members (new) – A new member type that reflects current practice and clarifies that this membership, based on a reciprocal agreement with Actors' Equity Association(U.S.), is contingent on terms of engagement.

Associate Members – Ballet and Opera (previously in 12) – The member type name was updated to reflect current practice, as associate membership only exists under some ballet and opera agreements. While mirroring regular member rights and responsibilities, this membership type is contingent on terms of engagement and does not allow the member to run for Equity Council. An “associate member," as defined in previous Bylaws, is now a non-resident permitee.

Affiliate Members – Theatre for Young Audiences (new) – A new membership type was added, affording limited member rights, contingent on terms of engagement.

Non-Member Types
Non-member types are apprentices, permittees, non-resident permittees, and unit company permittees. While the terms and conditions applying to apprentices (performer and stage management) and permittees remain unchanged, the following non-member types have been amended:

Non-Resident Permittees (previously Non-Resident Members in 8) – The definition has been updated to clarify that non-residents of Canada cannot hold regular membership, except by virtue of a reciprocal agreement. Furthermore, non-resident permittees now pay filing fees and an amount equivalent to the applicable insurance premium (as other permittees do), in lieu of initiation fees, basic dues, and working dues.

Unit Company Permittees (previously in 9) – While the status is unchanged, the definition now reflects that, as non-residents, unit company artists are engaged as permittees and are governed the same terms and conditions as other permittees, though they may participate in the election of an Equity deputy/liaison.

Duties of Membership
Address, Discipline, Genre, and Region (previously in 33) – In addition to the prior existing responsibility of a member to select a primary work discipline (i.e., performer, director, stage manager, choreographer, fight director, intimacy director), a member now has the further obligation to select a primary artistic genre (i.e., dance, opera, theatre).

Arrears – A new definition was added to capture members who are not in good standing specifically because of accumulated outstanding dues, fees, and penalties.

Concession – A definition was added to characterize any alteration to the terms and conditions of the applicable negotiated or promulgated scale agreements or engagement policies.

Suspension – The definition of suspension has been narrowed in scope to include only those members who have been suspended from Equity membership as a result of disciplinary action.

For further information on the Bylaws or these amendments, please email communications@caea.com. For a hard copy of the motions referenced in these Bylaws, please email info@caea.com.

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