Membership Resources

Membership: Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a few questions the office receives on a regular basis. If your questions can't be answered through the content on this site, please get in touch with the office!

I've never worked in the film industry - where do I start?

Everyone starts somewhere!

If you are interested in working in one of the 18 departments IATSE Local 849 represents, please read up on how to register as a referral with us!

If you're interested in working in an office environment or being a production assistant, working in the AD, Accounting, or other admin roles, you'll want to get in touch with the Director's Guild of Canada - Atlantic Regional Council to register as a permittee!

If you're interested in working with cameras - whether on the camera team, work as a stills photographer, DIT or a publicist, IATSE Local 667 is where you want to look. You may want to apply to the Camera Trainee Program

If you're interested in the acting world, ACTRA is probably a good place to start! You could also register with a casting agency

You may also want to take a look at the Screen Nova Scotia's Production Guide or register with them as an associate member to be listed in the production guide!

You may also want to get involved with the Atlantic Filmmaker's Cooperative (AFCOOP) to get some experience on smaller sets and take some courses on the behind the scenes of filmmaking.

I am a permittee with another IATSE Local - can I just transfer my permittee status to Local 849 or register as for Sister Status?

No. Each IATSE Local works differently, and the requirements of one IATSE Local may be different than Local 849's requirements to register as a referral. To register with IATSE Local 849, please apply as a referral.

Sister Status is only for full, dues-paying members of another IATSE Local. If you are just a referral or a permittee, you do not qualify for Sister Status.

Do you need to prove residency to register for Sister Status or to be a Referral?

No, residency is not required to list with Local 849 as a Referral or Sister Status.

However, individual productions may implement a residency requirement in order for them to utilize the provincial incentives. This would change from production to production - please check in with your key or production to confirm any residency requirements before starting work.

I'm a referral - how do I change the departments I'm listed in?

Please confirm you meet all of the department specific requirements for the department(s) you would like to switch to.

As a referral, you may only list in two departments at a time - please be clear on which two departments you would like to be listed in.

Once you've confirmed you meet the requirements, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your request and any relevant documentation.

Can I become a full member of Local 849 even though I'm a member of another IATSE Local?

Yes, you can do this through two ways:
  1. You can transfer your membership - meaning you would give up your membership at your original IATSE Local and become a full member of Local 849. In this situation you are only a member of one IATSE Local.
  2. You can apply for full membership with Local 849 and become a dual card holder. In this situation, you will be a member of two IATSE Locals and have to maintain both memberships, including paying dues. When applying for full membership, you will be required to meet all qualifications and provide all of the documentation any other applying member would.
There isn't a "right" or "wrong" option, it simply depends on your circumstances and what you prefer to do. Some things to keep in mind:
  • Will you return to your home local's jurisdiction to work?
  • Does your home local's medical plan offer something different that you prefer?
  • Do you meet Local 849's residency requirements?
  • Are you able/prepared to pay two sets of quarterly dues?

I'm applying for full membership - do my reference letters have to be from Local 849 members?

Yes they do - your (minimum of) two letters of reccomendations must be from Local 849 members who are in the department you are applying for. These members would also, ideally, be keys or seconds that you have previously worked with, but it is understood that in certain departments that may be difficult to accomplish.

I'm applying for full membership - do all of my hours have to be on union productions or under a Local 849 collective agreement?

No they don't! We accept hours from other jurisdictions and from non-union productions as long as the hours are paid and clearly stated what position you held.

We understand on some non-union productions it can be hard to prove hours - if you were not an employee, you can submit a combination of invoices and a letter from the key, director or producer to confirm your hours.

Additionally, there are rare instances where other experience outside of the film industry could work in your favour in the application process.

Any modification of requirements or alternative methods of proving hours need to be approved by the Executive Board of Local 849.

I'm applying for full membership - I have way more hours than required in a single department, but only have worked on two productions - can I apply?

Yes you can apply. You should submit all required materials listed on the application page, including the proof of hours you do have. Once you've submitted your materials, your application will be brought to the Executive Board for approval. Depending on a variety of circumstances, your hours may be accepted as-is.

IATSE Local 849

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Phone: 902-425-2739
Toll-Free: 1-877-425-2741



1-617 Windmill Road, 2nd Floor
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B3B 1B6

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday - 9:00am-5:00pm AT
Saturday-Sunday - Closed