ACTRA Saskatchewan

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) is the union of more than 23,000 professional performers working in English-language recorded media in Canada, including TV, film, radio and digital media. 

ACTRA negotiates, administers and enforces collective agreements to provide performers with equitable compensation as well as safe and reasonable working conditions. Agreements establish minimum fees, terms and working conditions on behalf of members in the audio-visual industry. These agreements do more than make sure artists get paid a fair wage; they ensure artists are protected every time they step on a set, through established rules covering health and safety, work hours, set conditions, nudity and harassment. The organization has lobbied tirelessly for regulation and government policies that protect and encourage production in all genres, expanding work opportunities for Canadian performers.

ACTRA Saskatchewan was established in 1967. Since then, the branch has supported nearly 1,000 members and more than 2,500 non-members to work under their agreements, bringing a stable and profitable work environment to Saskatchewan performing artists and media production. 

In addition to working with partners across Canada to establish ACTRA agreements, the Saskatchewan team works one-on-one with local artists and producers to tailor agreements that make sense for local situations.

While production has ebbed and flowed over the past five decades, ACTRA Saskatchewan’s membership and elected council have met each challenge with a dedicated goal of improving the lives of artists in the province. 

 

Art Farm Festival, Weyburn

ArtFarm showcases Weyburn area and Saskatchewan artists by providing a venue for the public to purchase their work. Painters, potters, sculptors, photographers and performing artists come together to share their talents with the community. The outdoor festival includes live music by local artists and interactive children’s activities. Admission costs are kept low, with children admitted free, to ensure accessibility for all.

The organization encourages artists to meet their full potential and develops community awareness and appreciation of the arts. Its jurying process promotes a diverse group of emerging and professional artists, including youth and seniors.

The festival began when local artists Heather van der Breggen and Rickee-Lee Webster decided to have a Christmas sale in Heather’s rural home in 2012, along with seven other artists. Two hundred and fifty people showed up. Thrilled by the community interest, the artists formed a board to take the event to the next level.

Since its inception, ArtFarm has grown exponentially. In 2013, it featured 20 artists to an audience of 700, and by 2016, it showcased 40 artists to 2,700 people. The festival was one of three finalists for the 2015 Saskatchewan Tourism Event of the Year Award.

The impact on the local community is noticeable. Several businesses now have original art for sale, pop-up galleries are a regular occurrence, local musicians are being booked into local venues, artists are creating social media pages to sell their work and the local community is purchasing artwork.

ArtFarm’s success is proof that creation matters, live music speaks, Saskatchewan people are the optimum teammates and the most spectacular backdrop is the big sky of the Saskatchewan prairies.

 

Regina Symphony Orchestra, Regina

The Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has been advancing, presenting and promoting the arts in Regina since the Orchestral Society was formed in 1908. From humble beginnings, the RSO is the longest continuously running symphony in Canada.

Over its history, the symphony has always been innovative. From collaborative projects with other arts organizations, such as Lanterns on the Lake with the Globe Theatre, to creative approaches to advertising with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the RSO is a leader among arts organizations in the province.

Today, it is a full-scale professional orchestra led by Music Director Gordon Gerrard. During a 39-week season, the RSO presents the annual Symphony Under the Sky outdoor concert in partnership with Parks Canada, eight Masterworks concerts, five Pops concerts, three kids’ concerts, six chamber concerts and various special concerts, including the perennial favourite, Handel’s Messiah. The RSO reaches a total audience of more than 30,000 people each season.

The organization has established several programs to help people understand and better enjoy the symphonic experience. Pre-chats are available at every Masterworks concert, with a knowledgeable and interesting person discussing the forthcoming concert. Family-friendly activities are offered prior to each children’s concert to enhance the musical experience.

Through their professional performances, RSO musicians make a valuable contribution to the cultural fabric of southern Saskatchewan. The Regina Symphony Chamber Players present concerts in rural communities, offer free concerts throughout the city of Regina and reach more than 5,000 students each year through dozens of school concerts.