British Columbia is home to a dynamic and thriving film and television industry.
Many actors, performers and technical and creative film workers, such as Directors of Photography, Production Designers, Costume Designers and Hair and Make-up Artists use an agency to represent their interests.
Talent agencies are in the business of supplying acting and technical creative talent to television commercials, music videos, TV series and pilots, movies of the week and feature films.
In British Columbia, talent agencies must be licensed by the Employment Standards Branch. The Employment Standards Regulation governs how wages are paid and how much talent agencies can charge for fees and photos.
There are a number of specific regulations that apply to talent agencies in British Columbia.
- Definition of "Talent agency"
- Definition of "Technical creative film person"
- Talent Agencies Factsheet
Talent agencies are permitted to charge fees to actors, performers, extras and technical creative film persons in return for finding them employment. The amount charged for fees cannot exceed 15 percent of wages earned by their clients. Talent agencies in British Columbia are not allowed to charge other fees, including "registration" or "annual maintenance" fees. "Booking fees" that a talent agency charges directly to a producer are not part of an actor's, performer's or technical creative film person's income.
The most an agency can charge for photos is $25 per year. Photo fees may only be deducted from actual earnings, so the agency's photo fees are only payable after a performer is hired to do paid work through that agency.
Most talents agencies receive wages on behalf of their clients from a producer. This gives the agency an opportunity to ensure that the terms of the contract of employment ("deal memo") were met in order to calculate its fee. An agency must pay a performer within five days of receiving payment from the producer. If the producer's cheque is written on a bank outside of B.C., the agency has 12 days to pay the performer.
Regulation s. 38.1 – explains Compliance requirements
- If you are a performer and require more information see our Talent Agency Frequently Asked Questions
- Talent agents in B.C. must be licensed by the Director of Employment Standards
- List of Licensed Talent Agencies (PDF, less than 1 MB)
- For more information about licensing, see Licensing - Talent Agencies.
For more information, please contact the Employment Standards Branch:
200 - 880 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC V8W 2B7
Mailing address: PO Box 9571 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, BC V8W 9K1
Employment Standards Information Line: 1 800 663-3316