Ferne Downey elected president of global actors group

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Last Wednesday night, ACTRA national president Ferne Downey helped welcome around 150 performers from 75 countries to the 20th World Congress of the International Federation of Actors, held in Toronto.

Then on Sunday, the ACTRA topper was elected president of Brussels-based FIA, replacing out-going head Agnete Haaland, the Norwegian actor and director.

ACTRA officials were quietly confident throughout the Congress that they had enough votes to get Downey over the top during Sunday’s formal election.

And over the weekend, rival candidates one by one dropped out of the running, with Downey’s election in the end being by acclamation.

Downey in 2009 became only the second woman to head up ACTRA in its 66-year history.

She is also a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, which represents performers in live shows.

The governing body of FIA meets every four years to hammer out policies that support performers worldwide.

This week’s Congress in Toronto, which wrapped on Sunday, was led by a focus on protecting performers’ rights worldwide and ensuring intellectual property compensation.

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