Television & Film Industry Make up in Vancouver BC

- Make up Organizations: Unions in Vancouver, Becoming the highest paid Union Make up artist in Vancouver

Unions are an organization of workers which have joined together in a specific area to establish working regulations and conditions, wages, as well as ensure stability, safety and security in the workplace. Furthermore having union status will guarantee turnaround, meal penalties, travel time payments, professional upgrade and training coverage, extended medical and RRSP plans. Annual union dues are not collected unless the member is working under a collective agreement. Working on a union show also means you will be making more than working on an independent. Independent films do not have regulated hours or conditions; to a certain extent. Usually makeup artists are working for a flat day-rate. If the production does not have a budget for a makeup and hair assistant, one will be called in to preform both duties and this is known as a "swing". This person is required to assist both the makeup and hair department. 

In Vancouver, B.C there are two main entertainment unions for film makeup artists- ACFC west local 2020: Association of Canadian film craftspeople and IATSE local 891: International alliance of theatrical stage employees. To apply for membership requires a series of paperwork,  a WHMIS Certificate (workplace hazardous materials information system)  and an administration fee. Once submitted one will be required to pass a written exam before proceeding with a kit inspection and interview. There is no way to determine when you will receive a call for an interview. Once you are interviewed and go through the process of having several senior members thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) inspect your kit you wait for a letter in the mail welcoming you to the union as a permittee member. This process can take years, if the industry is slow the union will not take on new permittee members. 

If the Vancouver industry is so busy that all senior union members are working, you as a permittee will then be called by dispatch. You then receive production information and details and... off you go! IATSE requires a minimum of 60 days working on-set of an IA show (most commonly used when referring to IATSE) and ACFC require a minimum of 90 days in order to apply for full member status. This process again, can take years. I don't want to sound discouraging but reality is it can, or, you can get lucky and coincidently join when the film industry is booming, you never know! Again, it all depends on how many members are working. Once you have reached the required minimum days you can then apply for full membership status. Another kit inspection with a practical exam are required to pass. For more information on unions and how to apply visit: or


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