Downey takes top job at ACTRA

The longtime union insider has been elected national president of ACTRA, stepping in for Richard Hardacre...

Ferne Downey has been elected national president of ACTRA, stepping in for Richard Hardacre.

The longtime actress and insider with the actors’ union was elected by its national council on Monday, starting her two-year term immediately.

‘I feel truly privileged to accept this responsibility,’ she said in a statement. ‘Our union has never been stronger, but we will not sit idle. I will work with performers from across the country, to build on ACTRA’s role as a powerful protector of performers’ rights and a champion of Canadian identity.’

Downey has held elected roles with the union for almost 20 years, including stints on bargaining committees, two terms as VP of communications and three as national treasurer. Her 29 years as a performer have included roles on stage, screen and radio.

Ruth Lawrence, an ACTRA official for Newfoundland and Labrador, replaces Downey as the national treasurer.