Dozens Of Actors Say A Toronto Talent Agency Never Paid Them & They're Out More Than $500K

Police are investigating 65 different reports.

Ontario Editor
Compass Artist Management.

Compass Artist Management.

A group of actors has alleged that a Toronto talent agency owes them thousands of dollars in wages, and the company has since abruptly shut down.

Former clients of Compass Artist Management have told Narcity they were never paid for their work, and according to a GoFundMe, their combined losses have surpassed $500,000.

The Toronto Police Service (TPS) has confirmed its financial crimes unit is investigating and said so far, approximately 65 reports have been filed related to this situation.

Roughly 230 members of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Toronto were represented by Compass Artist Management.

Andrea Gallo is one of the actors who was never paid after she joined the agency in January of 2022 and filmed a Christmas movie in Ottawa in July.

She said she is owed $2,314.58.

"I only booked one job with them and I didn't see a dime," Gallo told Narcity as she explained her numerous attempts to contact Compass Artist Management about her payment in August, some four weeks after filming, and then again in September.

The closest she ever got was being sent a paystub — but no money was ever sent her way.

"That was the last time I heard from them, September 13th, with a paystub of my payment," Gallo said and explained that she was told they were going to try and get the money to her within a week. "Needless to say, I never got my money. I contacted them again multiple times, and after that, I was like, 'there's something going on.'"

Compass announced to its clients in October that the company had shut down.

Gallo quickly found out she was not alone and was among many other actors who were out thousands of dollars.

"Thankfully, I guess I'm not owed as much as other people," she said. "The fact that I'm saying I'm lucky because I'm not owed much makes my blood boil."

Fellow actor Kenton Blythe told Narcity he is owed $2,631.00.

Golden Madison, another actor formerly represented by Compass, said she is owed somewhere between $10,000 and $15,000 for work that was completed between July and September of 2022.

Madison told Narcity the loss has "greatly impacted" her and detailed warnings she had received from the company about what would happen if she or other actors slandered the business online.

"They were losing money fast," Madison said in an email to Narcity. "My next call was to my lawyers."

A GoFundMe has been launched in support of these former clients of Compass Talent Management that explains how a group of artists lost thousands of dollars due to the "gross and possibly criminal negligence" of the company.

The fundraiser surpassed $26,000 as of early December, with nearly 200 donations made.

The actors have also launched a petition that calls on the Government of Ontario to require talent agencies to be licensed before they can operate.

"Up to now, anybody can just open up a talent agency, and things like this can happen again," Gallo said "What we want is to at least make a change. Nobody should ever go through this again."

Gallo said they are considering taking legal action.

So far, TPS has laid no charges in their ongoing investigation and none of the allegations have been taken to court.

ACTRA Toronto told Narcity it is currently helping former Compass clients, "whether or not they are union members" to recover missing payments by "helping them get their supporting documentation to the productions that originally issued the cheques."

Narcity reached out to the co-founders of Compass Talent Management, Robyn and Danny Friedman, but did not receive a response from either of them before publishing.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Stuart McGinn
Ontario Editor
Stuart McGinn is Narcity’s Ontario Editor and focuses mainly on covering major provincial and local news stories across the province. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.
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