Canadians creators in film & television face a myriad of unique obstacles to achieving work-life balance. This passionate, creative and, yet, precarious workplace brings challenges that can be both thrilling and fulfilling, but also too often stressful or overwhelming: a fast-paced, even chaotic work environment; unpredictable short-term employment as the norm; pressure not to refuse work; greater risk of implicit retaliation for asserting one’s workplace rights; and work days that can extend up 17 hours per shift.

The Directors Guild of Canada (“the DGC”) represents a broad swath of the audio-visual sector including direction, design, production and editing from entry level positions to the most senior creative roles.

On Sunday November 18th, the National Executive Board of the Directors Guild of Canada approved a motion to contract with a qualified specialist in the area of mental health & work/life issues to engage with DGC Members across Canada and craft an action plan for connecting members in need with available options and services.

The review of the existing mental health and work/life services already available to members and consultation with membership will begin in January 2019. A draft action plan must be prepared by the mid-February 2019 with work on execution and implementation to begin thereafter.

The review and action plan will consist of three parts:

  1. Proactively engage DGC Members and canvass both our membership and key stakeholders to report on the unique set of challenges individuals in our industry face;
  2. Review the services currently available to DGC Members and assess the extent to which members are aware and accessing existing tools and services; and
  3. Propose an action plan for outreach to DGC Members to better connect them with services and help ensure those who need assistance make use of available options.

The successful submission will include:

  • A brief proposal (1-2 pages) including timelines, fees and other resources necessary to carry out such an audit;
  • Expert-level knowledge and experience in mental health and work-life balance;
  • The ability to interview a diverse population of participating DGC Members to gather firsthand accounts with respect to their experiences in the industry;
  • The knowledge-based and disposition to help connect any interviewees who may, themselves, be experiencing distress with appropriate services should the need arise;
  • Identify gaps and canvass members on recommendations for enhancing those supports;
  • Provide recommendations for a communications initiatives to increase awareness and access to services going forward;
  • The ability to ensure this work is carried out in all regions and in both official languages (whether through one candidate or a combination of candidates);
  • A detailed comprehensive understanding of existing mental health and related services provided under public/private insurance benefits, MAPs/EAPs such as the Care Access Centre at Morneau-Shepell and non-profit organizations; and
  • An established track record shaping mental health policies and practices, or strategies to encourage those in need of assistance to seek help.

The following are assets, but not requirements for the successful submission: 

  • Experience in, or firsthand knowledge of, the film & television industry, labour organizations or the labour movement;
  • Experience dealing with collective agreements and/or in unionised, multi-stakeholder work environment; and
  • A working knowledge of both official languages;

The Guild will accept submissions until Friday December 14th, 2018 including the 1-2 page proposal described above.

Submissions may be sent electronically or by mail to:

Directors Guild of Canada c/o Mental Health Action Plan
111 Peter Street, Suit 600 
Toronto, Ontario 
M5V 2H1

The DGC is an equal opportunity employer that proactively seeks candidates with diverse backgrounds.