March 15, 2020

This has been an unprecedented week with new information emerging moment to moment due to COVID-19.

Current headlines depict a world where uncertainty and fear are the dominant themes and everyone in the world, the industry, and in our closer community of performing artists is being affected in one way or another. Although we are coming out of an extremely busy production cycle, many of our members live paycheque to paycheque and this time of uncertainty may be particularly challenging for you.

Production Postponement & Health Information
As of Friday a large number of  productions have officially informed us that they are pausing or halting  production immediately. We’re tracking all production postponements as they come to us. We will provide an update to this number on Monday.
Despite the many productions that are exercising an abundance of caution under the circumstances now that COVID-19 has been declared as a global pandemic, to our knowledge there are NO CONFIRMED CASES of the virus on any set in BC.  The Health Authority has indicated that the risk of infection to those who were on the Riverdale set is extremely low.

Cross Union Communication
A task force comprised of all the BC film unions has been formed to facilitate a coordinated response by the industry.  Our aim is to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach as the situation unfolds as well as consistent messaging to all media inquiries.

UBCP/ACTRA has already postponed all face to face meetings, events and member education courses as of Thursday.  We will continue to assess on an ongoing basis what additional measures to implement.

Our national organization, ACTRA, along with IATSE and DGC Canada, have urged the Federal Government to ensure our members and workers in the Industry are top of mind when developing relief packages. UBCP/ACTRA have similarly urged our Provincial Government to remember the precarious artists and workers that drive this multi-billion dollar industry.

There are no shortage of questions surrounding COVID-19 and how it has the potential to touch all aspects of our lives – personal and professional. Many of you have questions about work cancellation payments, paying your dues, safety when at work, re-scheduling of classes and meetings, etc. We are doing our best to navigate through these uncharted waters.

The environment is rapidly evolving, and we remain committed to keeping you informed as decisions are made and information emerges, and we appreciate your patience.

We are currently in our dues period and the deadline for paying dues is April 1st as per the Union Bylaws, after which a late fee is normally applied. Due to the sudden production shutdown, we will be taking the extraordinary measure of extending the deadline to May 1st and we will re-assess the situation once we know more over the upcoming weeks.

UBCP/ACTRA is a significant contributor to AFC and we urge our Members to apply to AFC if they are experiencing hardship due to the shutdown. 1.877.399.8392 (Toll-Free),
If you need emotional support or financial counselling you can contact your Benefits provider

The MBT’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is managed by LifeWorks and is designed to help you find the support, advice, and resources you and your family need at no cost.
LifeWorks web link
LifeWorks phone: 1 877 207 8833

The AFBS Member and Family Assistance Program (MFAP) is provided by Morneau Shepell, and is available to AFBS Members who are insured for extended healthcare benefits, and their immediate family.
Morneau Shepell web link
Morneau Shepell phone: 1 844 880 9142
Additional Resources may be found at Call Time Mental

Stay safe and healthy!
In solidarity,

Keith Martin Gordey