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2018 Branch Council candidate statements

Pursuant to the acclamation of ACTRA Montreal’s 2018 Branch Council, we present the candidate statements prepared by the eleven members who were nominated.

Tyrone Benskin (Nominated by: Cary Lawrence, Seconded by: Liz MacRae)
The work of the Montréal Council has been second to none, at home and nationally. It has been peopled by individual performers who understand and care about the unique issues that we as Quebec based performers navigate as well those issues we face as Canadian performers. Having always felt it important to respond – to act – when a need is seen, I am seeking your nod in this council election. In short, as I have returned to camera I look to return to serving you, my colleagues and to continue the work being done and to tackle the issues to come.

Thor Bishopric (Nominated by: Maria Bircher, Seconded by: Teale Bishopric)
I’ve been a member since 1971 – more than 46 years. Along the way, I’ve had the good fortune to always make my living in the film and TV industry here in Montreal, as an actor, writer, director and producer. ACTRA is a part of my family: my late father and sister were members, as are my wife, my daughter and most of my friends. I’ve served the Union as a Montreal Councillor for more than 22 years (VP for 16 years), ACTRA National President for 3‐terms (1999‐2005) and AFBS Governor for 16 years (Chairman of the Board for 7 years).

Richard M. Dumont (Nominated by: Claudia Besso, Seconded by: Thor Bishopric)
“Richard M. Dumont, a working Montreal Actor and noted Canadian Voice Director, having witnessed ACTRA’s Montreal Branch Council in action, wishes now to be involved with the finest performer’s union in the world in a much more “hands-on” manner. Richard believes that his thirty plus years as a member in good standing has made him conscious of the concerns and needs of his fellow ACTRA members and, with your support, it is his hope and strong desire to address these and other issues while on Council.”

Tristan D. Lalla (Nominated by: Letitia Brookes, Seconded by: Li Li)
Having served on council this last term, I would like to do so again. I am currently the chair of the YEAA Committee, and I co-chair the Diversity & Inclusivity committee. Over the years I’ve accompanied ACTRA national executive council members to Ottawa 4 times to lobby MP’s and senators on parliament hill about issues in our industry.

Li Li (Nominated by: Sylvia Stewart, Seconded by: Carolyn Fe)
Dear ACTRA community, thank you for letting me serve you for the last two years. With you, I was able to start new collaborations and workshops with groups such as Women’s Filmmakers’ Society, ELAN, L’INIS and Studio XX. For the next two years I want to continue building new partnerships that will create innovative projects between the various networks in our industry. The fabric of our belle province is wonderfully diverse and full of culture, let us work together to get it to prosper on our screens.

Elizabeth Neale (Nominated by: Fred Nguyen, Seconded by: Julian Stamboulieh)
I was fortunate to serve as an alternate on the ACTRA council for the past several months. This experience has given me great insight into how the union is run. I hope to put this knowledge to use in the coming years and continue to serve ACTRA moving forward.

Eleanor Noble (Nominated by: Charlotte Rogers, Seconded by: Mark Camacho)
I have been an ACTRA member in good standing for the past 25 years. I have had the pleasure of sitting on council, working diligently for our membership, and I would very much like the opportunity to continue the work I have started on the Honors Committee, Casting Standards, and workshops for Montreal members. I listen to our membership. I present issues and ideas at the table. There is always room for improvement to keep our ACTRA Montreal branch one of the strongest in this country. I’d be honored to have your vote, continuing the work on your behalf.

Simon Peacock (Nominated by: Arthur Holden, Seconded by: Jennifer Seguin)
I’ve been on Council for six years, for the last two representing Montreal on National Council and the National Executive. I have fought for increased work opportunities in this city. I have served on most of the committees in Montreal and have an excellent understanding of how everything fits together and how it can be improved. I want to return to National Council to continue to fight against the current power imbalance that tilts toward one particular branch. Our Union is just that, and it must be strong, fair and flexible.

Howard Rosenstein (Nominated by: Cat Lemieux, Seconded by: Richard Jutras)
Having served council on both ACTRA (locally) and CAEA (nationally) for several years, with focus on independent low-budget production, equity, diversity, and a desire to streamline costs to membership while maintaining or increasing benefits, this term I served on the Honours Committee (responsible for the ACTRA Montreal Awards), the Casting Standards Committee (looking to improve the casting experience and value for all) and the Discipline committee (for which I have fortunately never yet been called on). Though far from finished, I think we have made progress on many fronts. Please join with and vote for me this election. Thank you!

Sylvia Stewart (Nominated by: Li Li, Seconded by: Linda Joyce Nourse)
It is with enthusiasm that I submit my candidature in the effort to serve the ACTRA Montreal membership on our branch’s council. I am a multidisciplinary artist who has worked as an Actress, Stuntwoman and background performer. With nearly 30 years on set and 19 years as an ACTRA Montreal member, I have witnessed and experienced, first hand, how performers are treated and the issues they face. I feel a special affinity for background performers who add life to a scene and deserve to be respected. I am also a member of ACTRA National’s Diversity Committee.

Jen Viens (Nominated by: Lee Marshall, Seconded by: Li Li)
I would be honored to serve as a Branch Council Member for ACTRA Montreal. I am a proud ACTRA member and currently serve as a member of Montreal’s YEAA committee and have prior experience serving as a board member. Acting as a council member would give me the ability to represent my fellow ACTRA members and ensure that their voices are heard. I am passionate about inciting change within our industry and fighting for our rights as performers and human beings with a particular focus on gender parity, equal rights for women and equal opportunities for artists from diverse backgrounds.

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