Greetings fellow members:

On behalf of the ACTRA Maritimes Branch Council, I am delighted to announce Melissa O’Neil joined us last week in the role of ACTRA Maritimes Branch Representative. Melissa will be working out of our Branch office (please note, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our office does remain closed to in-person services).

Melissa comes to ACTRA Maritimes after three years at HISTORICA Canada where she has held the positions of Heritage Minutes Officer and Heritage Minutes Coordinator. During her time at HISTORICA Canada, Melissa coordinated the production of a Heritage Minute about Oscar Peterson, one of Canada’s most honoured jazz musicians from his humble beginnings in the Black neighbourhood of Little Burgundy in Montreal to his rise to fame, as well as the Heritage Minute about Elsie MacGill, the world’s first female aeronautical engineer and Canada’s first practicing woman engineer who oversaw the production of the instrumental Hawker Hurricane aircrafts. Most recently, Melissa was also responsible for coordinating the production of a Nova Scotia-produced Heritage Minute, Acadian Deportation (featuring ACTRA members including Nancy Kenny, Murlane Carew, Fabien Melanson and Rebecca Ryan), which was filmed in Annapolis Royal.

Prior to working at HISTORICA Canada, Melissa worked as the Festivals Coordinator and Programmer then the Assistant Festivals Manager at REEL Canada. Melissa was also a founding member of The Bloody Mary Film Festival, which ran for three years.

Melissa holds an Honours Bachelors of Arts degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University.

She has a passion for our industry and is excited to join the team and serve our members.

While Melissa completes her training with ACTRA National over the coming weeks, the wonderful Marlene Cahill from our Newfoundland and Labrador Branch office will continue to assist us with the day-to-day operations of our Branch and provide support to ACTRA Maritimes members (Marlene can be reached by E-mail at Please also free to cc Melissa ( on your E-mails).

In solidarity,

Chris Cuthbertson
President, ACTRA Maritimes