Letter From Your Council President
Dear Equity Colleague,
Equity is owned by you and me — along with almost 6,000 other artists from coast to coast to coast. Together, we all decide what the goals and priorities of our Association should be by electing a national Council, made up of members like you, to enact the collective will of the entire membership. These elections happen once every three years, and that time is fast approaching!
Have you ever considered running for Council yourself? Do you have: Energy? A passion for new ideas, collaboration, community, and good governance? Then Equity needs you to help shape the Association's focus!
These are challenging and inspiring times for our Association, and for our members. Our collective creative spaces are changing for the better. Our art form is evolving. Our membership is more connected than ever before. And Council’s job is to further all of that.
Speaking personally, my time on Council has been rewarding and educational. We’ve done a lot together, and I’ve never been prouder to be a member.
Please consider standing as a candidate in your region. Or… perhaps you know somebody else that you think would be a good representative? Consider approaching them with an offer to nominate them as a candidate instead (or, as well!).
I invite you to familiarize yourself with all the information on this page and consider serving your fellow members. Our Association needs excellent Councillors, and the membership deserves an excellent Council. You can help make that happen.
Your drive will help ensure that we have elections in every region.
Your choice of a Council is a fundamental right of membership, and perhaps the most important choice you will be called upon to make as an Equity member.
Scott Bellis, Council President
On behalf of your national Council
Council Nominations Open September 1 to October 15
Nominations for the 2021 Equity Council elections are now open. We need your help to find great candidates! Declare your candidacy or support a nomination of a fellow Equity member. Make a selection below to get started.
Have you ever considered running for Council yourself? Do you have: Energy? A passion for new ideas, collaboration, and good governance? Equity needs you to help shape Equity's future!
Know a colleague who would be a great representative and candidate for Council? Why not offer to nominate them? Help us find great candidates!
Do you have questions about the nomination process?
Please contact email@example.com.
Promoting inclusivity: Equity is dedicated to the election of a Council, representative of the rich diversity of our membership, inclusive of all demographics. Council particularly encourages communities historically underrepresented within Equity’s membership, including but not limited to Indigenous and racialized identity, D/deaf and persons with disability, and LGBTQ2+peoples, to seek nomination for election.
Let's Talk Council! - Back in April, Equity hosted a members' meeting to address the work that Council does on behalf of membership. Several current Councillors discussed Council's function as a governing body and the day-to-day work of being on Council. It's a great primer for anyone interested in becoming a Councillor. The meeting was recorded and is available here.
Nominations & Election Timeline
- September 1: Nominations open
- October 8: Last day for members to update electoral regions
- October 15: Nominations close
- October 20: Last day to submit late candidate statements to Equity
- October 21: Final list of candidates announced
- Late October - early November: All-candidate meetings
- November 2: Election ballots (mailed) to membership (for members with a MAIL essential information preference)
- November 9: Election ballots sent by email (for members with an EMAIL essential information preference)
- November 9: Elections open
- November 17: Last day to come into good standing to vote
- November 25: Elections close and results announced
Learn More About Becoming an Equity Councillor
Only Life or Regular members in good standing, of at least 18 years of age, are eligible to run for Council.
Equity Council is looking for members with the following strengths:
- Collaboration - Engage in respectful, open and honest discussion and commit to collective decision-making
- Dedication - Regularly attend and prepare in advance of meetings
- Eagerness - Serve on committees and Council projects
- Knowledge - Understand the workings of the industry and the Association with a willingness to learn more
- Leadership - Envision the future and take a “big picture” approach
- Passion - Be a voice for your region/discipline at the Council table
- Responsibility - Be dedicated to fulfilling Equity’s priorities
- Stewardship - Serve on behalf of all members with Equity’s best interests front of mind while ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of Equity
Council is an ongoing body, even as the people on it change. Its job is to carefully shape the Association's focus by creating policies with input from membership and in collaboration with the Executive Director and staff.
Council activities include:
- Attend meetings of Council and its committees on a consistent* basis. Quorum is essential for Council to conduct its business effectively, so a high standard of involvement is expected
- Prepare for Council and committee meetings by reading materials (including reading and understanding key governance documents, Constitution & Bylaws, Council Policies) in advance of meetings
- Serve on at least one Council committee
A Councillor is the representative of their region at Council. While Council speaks with one voice, each Councillor brings the issues and concerns of their region at the table.
Other Councillor responsibilities include:
- Welcome new members to the Association in their electoral region
- Organize at least one membership meeting per year for the region
- Co-ordinate the Recruitment Committee for their electoral region in preparation for elections
Communicate regularly with regional members in whatever way works best for their electoral region (in-person meeting, regional newsletter, Facebook page, electronic town hall, etc.) Councillors are provided with an email address to use for corresponding in their capacity as elected members.
- Adhere to deadlines, submit regular written committee reports and respond to emails and meeting scheduling requests in a timely fashion (within 72 hours of receipt where possible) either directly or through an up-to-date auto-respond
- Volunteer for additional outreach activities, such as serving as Council liaison for a committee, presenting talks about Equity to students, contacting members who have RRSP funds on hold, consulting with staff on concession requests, sitting on a disciplinary committee, representing Equity at local activities affecting their members
- Respect confidentiality as appropriate to issues of a sensitive nature
- Declare and update any conflict of interest**
*Although consistent meeting attendance is mandatory, Council appreciates there may be times when circumstances make this difficult. Accordingly, Councillors may request a leave of absence from their duties for a maximum of three consecutive meetings no more than twice per term. Details may be found in Council Process-6 Council Members’ Code of Conduct
**Councillors must declare any industry or other involvements that might be perceived as a conflict of interest with regard to their fiduciary responsibilities.
In general Councillors can expect:
- Regular Council Meetings: 10 per year
- Three that are 2-day meetings (held by videoconference or in-person – circumstances permitting - travel and accommodation covered by Equity)
- Seven that are 2-3 hours each, held by videoconference
- Meeting preparation: 2-3 hours per meeting
- Committee Work: 2 – 4 hours/month, depending on the level of involvement with committee meetings, consulting with members, responding to emails, etc.
- Each individual will approach tasks differently, so of course, the time commitment may vary from month to month or person to person. Normally there are no Council meetings held in December and July.
Equity’s Council uses a flexible slate of issue or action based committees and task forces that report directly to Council.
These Committees are automatically renewed at the start of each term of Council:
- Member Engagement and Education
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Directors, Choreographers, Fight Directors and Intimacy Directors
- Honours (normally consists of Council members only)
- Finance Monitoring (normally consists of Council members only)
- Council Education and Renewal (normally consists of Council members only)
- Joint Standing Committee with ACTRA (normally consists of Council members only)
- Joint Standing Committee with AEA (normally consists of Council members only)
These Committees and Task Forces currently exist, but it will be up to the new term of Council to decide whether they will be renewed (or extended to complete their tasks):
- Benefits, Fundraisers and Awards Events Research Group
- Complaint and Disciplinary Process Review Task Force
- Council Governance and Policy Review Task Force
- Mental Health and Wellness Task Force
- Member Activism Task Force
- Safe and Respectful Workplace Task Force
- Senior Artist Support Task Force
- Stage Management Committee
- Theatre Agreements and Engagement Policies Committee
Stories are about relationships and Equity is, too. As a two term Councillor and member of the SAFE Taskforce, I was able to share my passion for restorative processes, which are now an important part of our disciplinary bylaws. Equity proud.
Sitting on council for this term has afforded me practice in capacity building and worked thoses deep listening skills. Servicing my community during this time has been rewarding and reconnecting for me. Whether it be serving on the DCFI committee, the SAFE committee or supporting Indigenous members to fully participate in CAEA through the formation of the Indigenous committee to raise awareness of concerns specific to that community, I have reaffirmed for myself the fullness of the meaning of membership.
Being a multi-term councillor as a BIPOC artist has been very fulfilling. Getting to hear the needs and concerns of the members in my region and then working with Councillors from across Canada to voice and resolve them. Sitting on Council over multiple terms has shown me how to really listen to a person who is representing many and experience how I am given the same time and respect to be fully heard.
Other Important Information