The largest IATSE Local in Canada, we have 9,000+ professional artists and technicians... people like you who want to do good work in a good way for good pay.

IATSE 891 works to promote BC as a premier filming destination and delivers well-trained, world-class talent and a stable labour relations climate. You can feel a lot of pride as a member of a union that has had such a positive impact on the industry in BC. And you can contribute to continuing that tradition in the industry of tomorrow.

  • The health benefits package alone is worth the price of admission.
  • IATSE 891 training and skills upgrading keeps the BC industry rocking and you ready to roll.
  • When our members hit bumps in the road, we have some Assistance provisions to help them out.
  • Start on the Journey - from application, to permittee, to full-fledged member
  • Frequently Asked Questions

The health benefits package alone is worth the price of admission.

During the early 1990s, the membership established an extensive health benefits package (HBP) –an enormous relief for workers who have no single employer to provide such benefits. As part of this initiative, the HBP provides an Employee and Family Assistance Program to assist members and their family members who struggle with personal issues of almost any type.

In 2004, in a move designed to help members plan for retirement, the Local established a group RRSP plan to which employers contribute and members can top-up on a voluntary basis. The Plan is called CEIRP and now has 25,000 entertainment workers enrolled across Canada.

The benefits provided by IATSE Local 891 include:

  • Health benefits, including extended medical, dental, life insurance, short-term disability, long term disability, and counselling services
  • Retirement Plan, funded through RRSP contributions
  • Free or subsidized skills and safety training
  • Financial assistance for qualified members
  • WorkSafeBC support including assistance in filing claims and appeals
  • Scholarships for members and their dependents
  • Discounts and promotions for various goods and services.

For members covered under the hour bank*, the Plan includes:

  •  Extended Health Care (EHC) and dental benefits.
  •  Emergency Medical Travel Assistance (included in Extended Health Care)
  •  Short Term Disability (STD) benefits and return to work support.
  •  Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits and return to work support
  •  Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance.
  •  Critical Illness Benefit.

* The Plan is based on an hour bank system. Employers contribute for each hour worked under the collective agreement. These hours are accumulated in members' hour banks to provide coverage once the eligibility requirements have been met. Members can maintain coverage by self-payment if their hour bank drops below the required number of hours to provide monthly coverage.

IATSE 891 training and upgrading keeps the BC industry rocking and you ready to roll.

IATSE Local 891 keeps BC competitive by supporting members in maintaining and improving their skills, safety, and knowledge of industry policies, procedures and protocols. Of course, it works for you in a second way in that it keeps you ready for hire with skills that stay relevant.

Types of training include:

  • Safety (usually 100% subsidized and available to all members)
  • Skills Upgrade Training, chosen by departments and available to primary members of the department (usually 50% subsidized)
  • Additional training is delivered ad hoc and is advertised through the IATSE Local 891 eBulletin, group emails, and Kinetoscope magazine.

When our members hit bumps in the road, we have some Assistance provisions to help them out.

Faced with difficult personal circumstances, members may benefit from the following:

  • Medical Leave A reduction in quarterly dues for members who are unable to work due to illness or injury. More information is on the medical leave policy and request for medical leave form.
  • Free Financial Counselling and Consultation Financial and debt counselling for members and eligible family members. Provided through the Employee and Family Assistance Program and also part of the Benefits of Film Active Plan and Benefits of Film 60+ Plan. More details
  • EI Claims when not working Members who find themselves without work can apply for Employment Insurance. EI requires details of hours worked which is available from payroll companies Cast & Crew and EP Canada. More details.
  • AFC In an act of goodwill, the AFC distributes emergency financial aid to entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable due to injury, illness or other personal hardship. More details.
  • IATSE Local 891 Short-Term Loan Interest-free loans up to a maximum of $1000 for three-month terms. More information is available on the membership loan application form.
  • WorkSafeBC Support IATSE Local 891 supports members with WorkSafeBC claims by providing advice on initiating a claim, providing a record of earnings, or appealing a decision to deny a claim. More details.

Start on the journey - from application, to permittee, to full-fledged member

So, how does membership work?

1. First, you must apply to the department(s) appropriate to your skills and experience. See the Join Us page and request the application package you need. It will have information about the necessary qualifications for the department(s).

Generally speaking, you will need:

  • a high school diploma, 
  • a motion picture industry orientation certificate More Details
  • ACT Safe certification More Details
  • WHMIS certification More Details
  • skills-specific qualifications or experience as required by the department. You can apply for more than one.

2. Second, as need arises, you will be called to work on motion pictures projects signed with IATSE891. Once you reach 90 days of work within a single department, you will qualify for full membership.

3. Third, you must submit your membership application and prepare to be inducted into the IATSE 891 family.

4. You will be asked to take an oath and pay a one-time initiation fee.

5. Benefits are made available through an hour-bank system. Under the collective agreement, employers contribute to the benefits bank for each hour a member works. Once the hour requirements are met, the member is eligible for benefits coverage. If working hours drop, members can maintain their coverage by paying the low monthly premium themselves.