Who are the candidates?
There are 21 candidates running for 11 open spots at the highest decision-making body of the union in Montreal. The successful candidates will form a team that is responsible for safeguarding and advancing the interests of the union in Montreal for the next 2 years.
Click here to read Thor’s statement
Nominated by: Maria Bircher Seconded by: Teale Bishopric
ACTRA Montreal has always been a very special branch within our larger union. While we may not have the most members, or the biggest industry, we’ve always had the strongest sense of community. Although technically, we’re a collection of competing contractors, our local membership behaves more like a big, supportive family. It has certainly felt that way to me. My dad was a member, as was my sister. My wife and daughter are members. My dearest friends are members. And as a member myself since 1971, I’ve been honoured to serve the union in the following ways:
• Montreal Councillor for almost 30-years
• ACTRA National President (1999-2005)
• AFBS Governor for 16 years (Chair-of-the-Board for seven)
Over the years, I’ve witnessed and been a small part of many changes in our industry. With your support, I’ll continue to serve our ACTRA Montreal family as we confront the very serious challenges ahead.
Click here to read Eramelinda’s statement
Nominated By: Al Gravelle Seconded By: Michael Rudder
As a proud long standing ACTRA member, and a 2019 ACTRA Woman of the Year awardee I would like to submit my name for candidature. I deeply care about my acting and artist community and would like to contribute to the important work Montreal ACTRA does including ensuring a strong and sustainable future for all.
Click here to read Teneisha’s statement
Nominated by: Michaela Di Cesare Seconded by: Val Mervis
Following a productive first term on branch council devoting countless hours to support and elevate our membership, I remain dedicated to my “why.” I understand that collectively, we have the power to enact change in our industry. I continuously strive to learn as much as I can about working under ACTRA and our industry because I see the importance in understanding our rights as members. For example, I represent Montreal on the bargaining committee for NCA negotiations, and I co-chair several ACTRA Montreal committees. Under YEAA, I helped spearhead the Social Media workshop and the audition bootcamp. I’m seeking reelection to continue to seek fair, safe, and equitable working conditions for all members, and to help further educate our membership so that we can all advocate for ourselves and each other. I represent all of you, and I look forward to the honour to continuing to serve you.
Click here to read Lucinda’s statement
Davis Nominated by: Simon Peacock Seconded by: Holly Gauthier-Frankel
I am a proud 2022-2024 Branch Council member, and would be most honored for your support to return. Since joining ACTRA in 1998, whenever my union asked me to get involved, I did so most readily, as the strength of the union is only fortified by the dedication of its members. I have participated in the Ubisoft Negotiations Panel, the Honors Committee, am vice-chair of the Casting Standard Committee, stood in solidarity with ACTRA and other unions at the Canadian Labour Conference, and picketed against corporate greed in the face of this heinous lockout. Though times are uncertain, I will continue to be a voice and advocate to protect our artistry and rights to fair wages.
Click here to read Larry’s statement
Nominated by: Jayne Heitmeyer Seconded by: Thor Bishopric
Giving back is an important part of life and ACTRA has always been there for me since I became a member 29 years ago and still counting!! I have been fortunate to have been able to make a career acting and feel being on council would be a good way to give back to our Montreal acting community and the Union that I love. My 2 year goal would be to help deal with the serious problems facing our industry and Union today and make our branch even stronger and more successful going into the future.
Richard M. Dumont
Click here to read Richard’s statement
Nominated by: Claudia Besso Seconded by: Alec Dumont
I, Richard M. Dumont, a working Montreal actor and Voice-Director, having had the honour to witness ACTRA’s Montreal Branch Council in action over these past two (2) years, wish to continue to be involved with this, the finest, the most hard-working and diligent performer’s union-branch in Canada. These past two years have made me ever-conscious of the concerns and needs of my fellow Montreal members and, with your support, it is my strong desire to address these and other issues and concerns of yours as a member of the ACTRA Montreal Council.
Click here to read Holly’s statement
Nominated by: Thor Bishopric Seconded by: Lucinda Davis
Hello esteemed fellow members. I joined ACTRA in 1989, and proudly served on the Montreal council from 2004 to 2016, participating in multitudes of committees. I’m now putting myself forward to be part of the team once again. Our industry is in an unprecedented time of instability and change, and I hope to use my knowledge and experience to continue to fight for members’ rights and to help the membership through these precarious times. I bring team spirit, forthright communication, a willingness to listen and learn, and the desire to implement positive change in the industry. I believe I can be most useful in the realms of professional development for dubbing, in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, in the upcoming IPA negotiations, and wherever else the team might find my contribution helpful. I do hope you’ll consider me to be a worthy candidate.
Click here to read Karl’s statement
Nominated by: Tyrone Benskin Seconded by: Lucinda Davis
Fellow members, in January of 2022, I joined the council as an alternate member and the last two years have been very informative and inspiring. As many of you know I have been coaching actors for the past 13 years and assisting actors with selftape preparation for nearly ten years now with the goal of helping our Montreal talent put their best foot forward. Joining council has been an extension of my desire to assist and serve our members and our community to the best of my abilities. As a member of the Casting Standards committee, I will continue to advocate for improved audition conditions, namely a more equal balance between selftape and in person auditions, and more manageable selftape requirements and delivery deadlines. Thank you for your confidence.
Click here to read Alex’s statement
Nominated by: Kenny Wong Seconded by: Jen Viens
Montreal is a hub of extraordinary talent and passionate storytellers. I deeply appreciate ACTRA Montreal’s relentless efforts to showcase us as the passionate creatives we are. During my time serving on various ACTRA committees and partaking in various projects, I’ve gained invaluable insights into the complexities and challenges of our industry. And meeting so many other driven members along the way inspired me to continually push the envelope. I firmly believe that Montreal has unlimited potential to put forth, and I would be honored to take part in joining with that initiative. As a prospective branch council member, I am eager to collaborate with the team to create even greater opportunities to let our talent shine.
Click here to read Matt’s statement
Nominated by: Glen Bowser Seconded by: Adam LeBlanc
One of the benefits of the return to quasi-normalcy following the restrictions of the past few years has been the opportunity to see members in person again at meetings, in recording studios and on sets. A renewed sense of community and commitment is what inspires me to want to run for Branch Council again. The work we do still feels important, particularly the workshops and seminars I’ve helped organize as chair of the Professional Development Committee. I look forward to continue serving the membership as our industry establishes a new normal that allows actors to get back to work doing what we love. I hope I can count on your support. Thank you.
Click here to read Mariah’s statement
Nominated by: Lucinda Davis Seconded by: Tristan D. Lalla
First 20+ years of my career, lack of DEIB representation & opportunities felt overwhelming. I needed to be part of the solution! Hence began a decade long process of making sure people of diverse backgrounds were at the table, so we could heal & find our voice. When I begun under the ACTRA umbrella as Chair of DEIB, COVID hit, taking away most options to make real change. The good news is, much was still accomplished, even with COVID. Panels & workshops…Important conversations were had with executives of this industry resulting in new IPA‘s rules & more change to be implemented in our industry in the years to come, benefiting the Diversity cause. But so much more work to do. I need more time. Time to build and renew our DEIB groups & finish all the projects DEIB members have requested, so they may feel heard and seen. I’m ready to keep fighting! Please let me.
Click here to read Richard’s statement
Nominated by: Felicia Shulman Seconded by: Bill Rowat
I have been an ACTRA member for 40 years. I have served on council since 2020 and I strongly feel Now is the time. A time of rejuvenance. I feel the heart beat of Our Montreal membership. I have seen and heard the stories; the good and the despondent and I’ve witnessed the boom and bust here several times over. Right now, so much is changing in our industry, not only here, but All over the world. I am passionate about our craft in every area, be it on a film set or in the recording studio. These next years are crucial for us all and I desire to commit to two more years to be Your voice and to listen. I desire to take action on your behalf and work with other council members to bring more performance possibilities back to our jewel of a city. I Strongly Believe that ACTRA – the Alliance of Canadian Television and Radio Artists should be exactly That. An Alliance.
Click here to read Kathryn’s statement
Nominated by: Karine Dion Seconded by: Richard Jutras
I am a Montreal-er and as such I want to see more of us working here, elsewhere in Canada and anywhere we want to work. I have been part of both the Toronto and Vancouver jurisdictions over my 28 years in the business, and believe I have something to offer council because of it. Je veux prendre l’initiative de m’impliquer activement dans notre Union.
Click here to read Li’s statement
Nominated by: Emilee Veluz Seconded by: Albert Kwan
Dear ACTRA community, thank you for letting me serve you on the Actra council and committees for a bit over ten years now. Our industry experienced many turmoils over the last few years, with some big-picture items on the horizon such as the CRTC, the provincial government, and official languages. For all of you that are hanging in there, standing strong; it has not been easy, I salute you. For the next two years, I hope I can continue to serve our community by being the bridge between ACTRA council, ELAN board (English Language Art Network), and CDCE board (The Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions). Together we stand strong in solidarity.
Click here to read Eleanor’s statement
Nominated by: Tristan D. Lalla Seconded by: Olivia Lepore
It has been an honour to serve on the ACTRA Montreal Council, not only as ACTRA Montreal Vice President but at the National level, as National President, as well. These have been unprecedented but critical times in our industry and for our union. We have been working tirelessly on the important issues facing ACTRA in pursuit of a better and more secure future for all members. We have been achieving this through negotiations, lobbying at the government level and making strong ties with other unions here and around the world. I’d also like to continue highlighting the talent ACTRA Montreal has to offer, and what a great place it is to create and produce work for our members. With your support, I will carry on serving our membership with pride and dedication.
Click here to read Simon’s statement
Nominated by: Jennifer Seguin Seconded by: Holly Gauthier-Frankel
I’ve been on Montreal Council for 12 years, National Council for 10 and have been honoured to be Montreal President for the last 6. Those have been some very trying years for our Union and there are more important challenges ahead. We have the ongoing battle over our commercial jurisdiction, the threat of AI, and the renewal of our Film and TV agreements to name just a few. I want to be there to help our Union navigate through these challenges and emerge stronger. All performers have the right to make a living wage but no one is just going to hand it to us. We are going to have to fight for it and I’m ready to lead that fight.
Click here to read Julian’s statement
Nominated by: Scott Humphrey Seconded by: Elizabeth Neale
As the co-chair of the YEAA committee for these last two years, I have spearheaded the relaunch of our ACTRA Shorts Film Festival for the first time since 2019, organized the quarterly mixer events to help new members connect with staff & established veterans, and along with co-chair Teneisha Collins, began plans for expanded workshops and panels to bring information and skills to our membership. My goals for this next term include engaging our new members to get involved, as well as leveraging my experience as an independent filmmaker to contact film production schools around the city, educating about and encouraging students towards working with ACTRA (as we already do with theatre schools). Most importantly, without me, no one would be present to continue making silly jokes at council meetings, which would be a travesty for our union.
Click here to read Kathleen’s statement
Nominated by: Julie Trépanier Seconded By: Joy Ross-Jones
Sitting as an alternative on the ACTRA Montreal council has allowed me to witness our membership’s passion for better working conditions and your concern for our wellbeing, which is unparalleled in this province. As co-chair of the Women’s committee it has been an honour to help contribute to change and bolstering voices we don’t always hear. There’s still so much I want to do. I want to continue this work and help and I want to listen and I want to continue to serve this amazing membership.
Click here to read Sylvia’s statement
Nominated by: Brian Alexander Seconded by: Kevork Igidbashian
I am a former ACTRA Montreal Councilor and Committee Chair of Diversity and Inclusion (2018, 2019) who enjoys being of service to our members. After a few years hiatus from council, I would like to have the opportunity to again participate in the co-creation of ACTRA initiatives and directions. My passion for serving community began with admiring my family members in the nursing, teaching, and preaching professions, and my father, now retired, who worked for the Department of National Defense as a union representative. An ACTRA member since 1998, I wish to be of service to all members, with a focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion in the 2024-2026 term.
Click here to read Nadia’s statement
Nominated by: Richard Jutras Seconded by: Matt Holland
I’ve been acting since I was a teen, but only transitioned into acting as a career when I was in my 30s. To be honest, I found it a bit of a hard road to be taken seriously and to get seen. I’d like to think that I could help represent the people who also feel a bit outside the box, who want to be heard but don’t necessarily have the opportunity, or are worried about speaking up. I want to get a conversation going about ageism and casting pigeonholing, among other things. I think it’s about time that Montreal actors stop being regarded as second class, unable to find work in their own city. I would hope that as a council member I might actually be able to make a difference, and I’m not afraid to speak my mind!
Click here to read Jen’s statement
Nominated by: Beatrice Warner Seconded by: Simon Pelletier
I’ve had the privilege of sitting on council for several terms now, and I’ve seen some amazing initiatives take shape. Some of these are just at their beginnings, and I’m dedicated to continuing to serve Montreal so that I can see them through. As well, as a queer, non-binary ACTRA member, I think it is important to have someone on council that’s representing the queer community and what’s vital for us.