Here are the steps on joining CAEA. The Canadian Actors’ Equity Association represents about 6,000 members in theater, opera and dance. The include professional actors, dancers, and opera singers, as well as thereat directors, choreographers, fight directors and stage managers.
Joining CAEA: Performers
An artist working as a performer who is citizen of or permanent resident in Canada, wishing to pursue a career within the jurisdiction of the Association has two separate but compatible streams for joining; either by signing an engagement contract under a scale agreement or through the accumulation of engagement permits and/or apprentice credits.
Performers, who have signed a contract under the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA), the Independent Theatre Agreement (ITA) or the Stratford Festival Addendum are eligible to join Equity at any time.
Joining CAEA: Directors & Choreographers
A director or choreographer, who is a citizen of or permanent resident in Canada wishing to pursue a career within the jurisdiction of the Association may join Equity by signing a contract under the CTA, ITA or Stratford Addendum, unless they decide not to join and work under an engagement permit instead.
Many director and choreographers choose to accumulate a wide range of practice and wealth of experience by working under Equity’s agreements and polices before deciding to join. Non-members may also work under on productions outside of the umbrella of Equity, without consequence, in order to gain experience.
Training and professional development of Canadian directors and choreographers is recognized in the CTA and ITA where emerging directors and choreographers are permitted to work without reference to a contract (but must be offered the opportunity to be engaged under a contract if they wish). There are no specific minimum fee requirements in this circumstance.
Equity’s Directors, Choreographers, and Fight Directors (DC&FD) Committee is currently looking in to expanding available training, apprenticing and joining opportunities and options for directors and choreographers and their assistants across all disciplines.
Joining CAEA: Fight Directors
Under the a CTA, ITA and Stratford Festival Addendum, a member Fight Directors Canada and/or the Society of Canadian Fight Directors and/or any other affiliated fight directors society shall be defined as an Equity fight director.
A fight director, who is a citizen of or permanent resident in Canada wishing to pursue a career within the jurisdiction of the Association, may join Equity by signing a contract under the CTA, ITA or Stratford Festival Addendum.
A theatre must first give consideration to hiring existing Equity member fight directors, however, a Theatre is not obliged to engage a fight director whom it judges to be incompatible with its needs. If a fight director does not want to join Equity, they may work under an engagement permit instead.
Equity’s Directors, Choreographers, and Fight Directors (DC&FD) Committee is currently looking in to expanding available training, apprenticing and joining opportunities and options for fight directors across all disciplines.
Joining CAEA: Fight Directors
An artist wishing to pursue a career within the jurisdiction of Equity as a stage manager in theatre, may only join through demonstrated experience gained when working in Equity’s jurisdiction.
There are two separate but compatible streams for joining; through either the accumulation of apprentice credits or engagement permits. Stage managers may accumulate both permits and credits as and engagement permits count as apprentice credits, including retroactively.
Non-member stage managers may apply to join Equity, without reference to a contract, upon acquisition of:
eight apprentice credits, where those credits have been acquired with a single engager, including at least two credits acquired on productions governed by a scale agreement; or six apprentice credits, where those credits have been acquired with at least two different engagers, including at least two credits acquired on productions governed by a scale agreement.
Joining CAEA: Initiation Fee
The cost of joining Equity is a one-time initiation fee of $1,000, plus payment of $90 for a half-year of basic dues, for a total payable of $1,090.
Previously paid permit filing fees and/or apprenticeship credit fees, will be applied towards the artist’s initiation fee thereby reducing the one-time payment. Any remaining initiation fees owing, plus current basic dues, must be paid when an artist applies to join the Association or an artist may provide the Theatre with written authorization to deduct an initiation fee and remit it to Equity.
If an artist completes the joining process (including submitting the necessary paperwork) before the end of the first two weeks of a CTA, ITA or Stratford Addendum contract, will benefit from RRSP contributions and applicable insurance coverage for that entire contract. Otherwise, access to insurance and RRSP benefits will not begin until the next engagement.
If an artist completes the joining process after the first two weeks of a contract, the filing fees deducted for that contract will be applied as for an engagement permit contract.
Other Things You Need to Know