ProminentCanadian actors and other representatives of the Canadian performers guildACTRA are calling on their fellow citizens to demand action on the culturalfront as the nation heads into a federal election on January 23. Wendy Crewson,Fiona Reid, RH Thompson were among the speakers at a press conference today.

'It is ourculture that defines us as a nation - it is what makes us who we are," saidCrewson, a familiar face on Canadian television screens whose US films include TheSanta Claus franchise andAir Force One.

"Unfortunately,Canadians are overwhelmed by Hollywood content from American broadcasters;they're dumping their product into Canada. We're being culturally integratedinto the US and our politicians are not doing anything about it. Our nextgovernment needs to take immediate action."

The actors toldof the "devastating decline" in Canadian dramatic television and the lack ofCanadian films in cinemas. Said Thompson, who stars in the upcoming WhoLoves The Sun with LukasHaas and Molly Parker, 'U.S. programming dominates our privatebroadcasters' schedules and Canadian drama is disappearing from our own TVscreens."

He askedpoliticians and candidates to pledge to improve the situation by re-imposingquotas for both dramatic content and spending on private broadcasters. Thegroup called on Canadian voters to cast their ballots accordingly.