Workers of the World… sunscreen!

1 September 2008


Last year I marched (only part way, thanks to a problematic foot) in Toronto’s Labour Day parade with ACTRA, my union for film and television. And this year they were there again, in good numbers and with signs taking Stephen Harper’s government to task for cuts in arts funding. Stupid government.

Both Katharine and I kept company this year with the members of the theatre union, Canadian Actors’ Equity Association—a rather smaller contingent, but every bit as important as far as I’m concerned. Yay theatre, I like theatre.

As a member of both groups, I can choose with whom to march. (I later learned that the American political/social group Democrats Abroad were there, too, giving me a third option.) Katharine came along to offer support as a non-member and non-actor, but looked like she fit right in. Clever shape-shifter girlfriend-partner.

Seemed to be a lot of groups this year, making for a l-o-o-o-n-g parade. And more than a few marched with bagpipe accompaniment. Charles Ives would have loved hearing a bagpipe band on one side and steel drum calypso on the other. There were Marxist newspapers offered, NDP candidates out in force, and protests against various wars and world injustices (which had nothing to do with labour unions, but hey, here’s a lot of people so grab your soapbox).

After an uncomfortably long wait for our group to be called into motion, we trekked Queen Street West beneath a hot sun. With sore feet we finally arrived at the Canadian National Exhibition, where one beer, a dozen Tiny Tom doughnuts and two bubble teas later, we then dragged our way home. Tired? Whew.

But a nice day for actors and union supporters like me. 


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