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Toronto Vs. Vancouver

Carl asks:

I’m currently in Vancouver after moving there from England about a week ago. I can relocate to Toronto easily enough, so I’m trying to work out which is a better place to start out, given that I don’t know anyone in either city. Do you have any idea on the relative states of each market?

I don’t have a clue. I know one’s in my time zone, and one’s on East Coast time, but otherwise, they both say, “Aboot,” they both play ice hockey, and neither are in America. Why would I want to go to America Jr. when I’m already in America?

Perhaps one of my more worldly readers can give you some insight.

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8 Responses

  1. Toronto productions tend to cast leads out of Toronto. Vancouver productions tend to cast leads out of LA. So you may get day player stuff on bigger American productions, but typically you won’t get much more than that.

  2. What a great question!

    From what I have seen from experience (being an actress in Toronto) and researched (while considering a move to Vancouver), Vancouver has on average more productions happening throughout the year than Toronto – both in Film and Television. Toronto has more Canadian productions (“Rookie Blue”, “Degrassi”), while Vancouver has more American productions (“Psych”, “Supernatural”, “Smallville”, as well as many American films.).

    Productions Currently Filming in Toronto:
    http://www.toronto.ca/tfto/currentlist.htm
    Productions Currently Filming in Vancouver:
    http://www.bcfilmcommission.com/about_us/film_list.htm

    I personally think that Vancouver provides more work opportunities, especially if you are just starting out and looking to move up. However, that is my view as a Toronto actress and you have to take into consideration that the grass is always greener on the other side of the country (especially since Vancouver has a milder climate).

    Best of luck on your endeavors! 🙂

    Toronto Actress
    http://toronto-actress.blogspot.com/

  3. I’m not the original poster but I have a couple of questions if no one minds answering them, will probably think of more later too. I’m planning on moving to Vancouver in September, for a year. I am not planning on staying there long term but would like to try and get some PA work while there. Is that a really bad time to arrive there if looking for PA work? I guess the start of the summer would be better but isn’t possible. I was wondering do a lot of students work as PAs in the summer before going back to school? Is it essential to do the BC Film Industry Orientation, Safety Awareness course (Actsafe) and a Traffic Control Certificate to be considered for PA work even if I have no plans of ever becoming a member of the DGC? (Not possible since I’m not going to permanently live there and I’m not Canadian). Obviously I am happy to do the courses if they will help, especially the traffic control one as I am sure I would learn a lot on that.

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  4. The summer is always busy in Vancouver although no one is really sure what this year is going to look like although it looks like three or four big features plus half a dozen series. Toronto has somehow managed to take almost every single Canadian show, but we still get most of the American shows shot in Canada. It’s often not hard to find location PA work in the summer, especially since there is always a bunch of people who leave the industry for good when there are dead periods due to the whole family to support, bills to pay deal.
    It’s also wayyyy nicer out west (judging from the fact that everyone I know is from Ontario originally). Either way, good luck in whatever you choose.

  5. lolz canadien stereotypes funnee!

    Anyway.

    I’ve been working as a full-time Assistant Art Director (which translates to Production Graphic Designer) for a few years now after coming out from Burnaby, working as a commercial graphic designer.

    Started as a PA, because that’s how you do it, then realized my previous skills could still apply in the film world and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Toronto is definitely far more production-heavy than Vancouver. Vancouver I’d say just beats out Toronto as far as post- and VFX, but for productions themselves Toronto can’t be beat.

    Take a look at Mandy, always lots there: http://www.mandy.com/1/jobs2.cfm?terr=caon

    For cold-calls, try these. May need some dailies, depending on what you’re looking for.

    Toronto Film Permits Office list of current production:
    http://www.toronto.ca/tfto/currentlist.htm

    Ontario Media Development Corporation list:
    http://www.omdc.on.ca/Page3679.aspx

    Keep in mind with these two that 99% of the time they’ll be DGC (Director’s Guild of Canada) shoots, and so unless you know somebody on the crew that will hire you using petty cash (or you’re looking for PA work), you’ll need to be a member of the DGC to be allowed to work on the shows.

    I’d offer an email address if you’ve got more questions, but I’d rather keep the anonymity thus provided — I’ll keep checking this post for another two to three weeks if you want to post questions here.

  6. 1 feature, 3 TV pilots, 9 TV series and 1 reality show. That’s what the BC Film Commission is showing as actively shooting at the moment.

    For more info: http://www.bcfilmcommission.com/index.htm

    The Olympics forced many shows to take a hiatus. But they’ve increased some tax bonuses, so hopefully it’ll pick up soon.

  7. Hey there, as an actress who just left Vancity for greener pastures in Toronto, I’d say make the 5 hour plane ride to Toronto and check it out. I don’t work in production but I do follow the industry, and BC just made sweeping cuts for fundung to the arts province-wide. Toronto has a sustainable film industry, lots of TV and feature films from the States here, and Ontario government treats it as a moneymaking venture.

    And if you mean by America Jr that as a general rule Canadians are fitter and have less debt than America, then I’m good. 😉

    I blog about my life as an actress in TO, you can check it out at http://dreamevenbigger.wordpress.com/

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