The origins of ACTRA were in the 1940s when radio artists in Toronto organized a union to improve their financial compensation and working conditions. There was similar activity in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Montréal. In 1943 the Association of Radio Artists was formed, and this evolved into the Association of Canadian Television and Radio Artists in 1963. ACTRA was restructured in 1984 and given its present name.
Some of ACTRA's activities include administering health-insurance and retirement plans for its 9000 members, lobbying for Canadian content and a strong Canadian production industry, and the promotion and celebration of Canadian talent - through such publications as Face to Face with Talent and the ACTRA Writers Guild Directory - and the sponsoring of the annual ACTRA Awards.
First presented in 1970, the ACTRA Awards honour Canadian writers, broadcast journalists and performers. Until 1986 the award was symbolized by the "Nellie," and other important categories included the Andrew Allan Award for Best Radio Actor, the Jane Mallett Award for Best Radio Actress, the Earle Grey Awards for Best Television Acting, and the Foster Hewitt Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting.
Author JAMES DEFELICE
Links to Other Sites
The website for the ACTRA Awards, presented by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists.