About IATSE 856

Our history

The IATSE is the largest union in the entertainment industry, representing behind-the-scenes workers across film, television, live performance, and tradeshow. From cinematographers to costume designers, or riggers to ushers, our members are the people who make sure the show goes on.

For years the presence of an independent union, the Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople (ACFC), made it harder for Canadian IATSE members to achieve gains at the bargaining table in the area of motion picture and television production. All that changed in 1996 on two fronts. Locals 63, 295 and 300 waged a successful organizing drive that resulted in the end of the ACFC contingent operating in their jurisdiction. At that time, members of the ACFC chose to dissolve the Prairie Region of their organization in favor of joining any of the three IATSE local unions. One hundred members of the local ACFC joined IATSE Local 63 and from there we became a mixed union of film production and stage technicians.

From 1996 to 1999, IATSE 63 represented both stage and motion picture workers in Manitoba. During that time, motion picture workers organized and decided to branch into a separate local.

On July 1, 1999, IATSE Local 856 was established and many members became dual-cardholders of both locals here in Manitoba. Eighteen months later, 856 took over its governance from IA International and held an election.