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President’s Message

Tim Southam

Welcome to the 2016 Annual Report from the Directors Guild of Canada to its 4,800 Members across the country.

This year I am using my Annual Report President’s Message to make the case for the DGC as a National organization.

The foundation of all successful labour organizations is member solidarity. Solidarity is nourished by a sense of shared purpose and community. In our Guild, we develop our sense of community even while we work on short-term teams, moving from one production to the next and working in different locations all across Canada.

The more our Membership gets engaged in shaping our collective agenda and our national voice, the stronger that voice becomes, and the easier it is to mobilise our collective strength.

I believe that in 2016 we took important steps to strengthen the Guild. We put in place a framework that will lead to a more cohesive, effective organization, better positioned to promote, defend and advance the interests of its Members.

In his comments in this Annual Report, Brian Baker introduces the Guild’s new DGC Three-year Strategic Plan: 2017 – 2019 which has at its core a renewed commitment to Member engagement.

In 2016, your elected leadership – the Guild’s National Executive Board – approved a proposal for electoral reform* that will provide every Member the opportunity to vote directly for their leaders either in person or online.

The NEB also launched a thorough review of the organization to find ways to optimize member services and ensure consistent contract enforcement for DGC Members everywhere in Canada. The review will focus on three broad areas of renewal – organizational reform, Board reform, and administrative reform. This renewal effort compliments the electoral reform already underway. Taken together, these initiatives help the Guild deliver on its commitment to remain relevant and accountable to its diverse and growing membership.

There were other activities in 2016 that encouraged Member engagement.

Eligibility for DGC Awards – the signature event on our annual calendar – was opened up to more Guild Members with new criteria to better reflect the broad range of high-quality productions our Members work on across Canada.

We continued to search for ways to make hiring and production financing in the Canadian film industry fair and inclusive.

The Guild worked with stakeholders and key agencies such as Telefilm Canada, the Canada Media Fund, the National Screen Institute, and Canadian Unions for Equality on Screen to enhance professional development, diversity, gender equity and career building opportunities for talent at all stages of their careers.

Regarding labour-relations, DGC National and Regional Councils worked together to develop a disciplined and coherent nation-wide approach to bargaining and contract enforcement across Canada. This is the most effective way to protect Members in every region from the proverbial ‘race to the bottom’.

The benefits of national solidarity extend beyond the bargaining table. Member solidarity has also enabled DGC National to build a strong unified voice – strong enough to be recognized by government as a significant industry stakeholder with a legitimate say on national issues.

This recognition has been useful in our ongoing campaign to engage with the Government of Canada to ensure all of the players in the system are contributing to system building. The DGC is part of an active industry coalition working on this issue, and by the end of 2016 we saw the first clear signs that the federal government has heard our concerns.

* The electoral reform package is subject to approval of Constitutional Amendments at the DGC AGM in April 2017.