If you're looking to follow your dreams of working in a bustling, massively expanding film industry, look no further than Canada. Canada is one of the best places in the world to build a film career. With a primary local film industry, one of the most significant international film festivals and some of the world's biggest productions taking place within Canada's borders, Canada is the perfect place to build up your film experience and build the necessary connections to take your film career to the next level.
According to Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC), Canada's film and television industry accounts for some $5 billion in revenue and currently has around 117 000 people in full-time employment.
However, Canada's a big country. Therefore, finding the right place for your career aspirations is vital. Fortunately, the Canadian film industry is predominantly focused on three primary provinces. According to PWC, Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia alone account for over 90% of Canada's total film production. To help you choose the best one for you, we've broken down each of these three centers to find out how the industry in each province has manifested and what opportunities they may present.
Home to one of the largest film festivals in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Ontario, is primarily considered the central seat of Canada's film industry. Toronto is home to one of North America's top 5 largest film industries and Canada's most prominent production houses. Film industry jobs in Ontario are abundant and lucrative as a considerable portion of Hollywood's major productions are filmed in Canada, as it's far cheaper and more accessible than filming in the United States.
The government partially funds Canada's film industry, allowing Canada's major production houses, like the National Film Board of Canada (NFBC) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), to reimburse and treat workers with the fairness that they may not get in other countries.
On top of this, the NFBC has been behind some world-renowned productions like the award-winning, star-studded Magnolia and the children's television behemoth, Sesame Street. In addition, the CBC is behind massive shows like The Simpsons, Boyhood and Happy Gilmore. Ontario presents the full scope of industry connections, facilities, suppliers, talent, crew, services, and locations.
What further cement Ontario as a major player in the North American film industry is the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). TIFF sees many of the international film industry's biggest stars premier the year's most talked-about independent films. Thousands flock to downtown Toronto's Bell Lightbox theatre every year to see the year's most exciting and intriguing films.
Toronto Film School
No film industry hub could be complete without a world-class film school. Suppose you want to expand your qualifications or skill base within the film industry. In that case, Toronto Film School presents a wealth of fantastic programs and connections that can help improve your chances of getting work and success in Ontario's film industry. Many Toronto Film School Graduates have achieved significant success in the Canadian and international film industries.
While Ontario's film industry is massive, it's far from alone as a film industry hub in Canada. However, if you think Ontario is where you want to start your Canadian film career, click the button below to talk to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). They can help determine if you qualify for a Canadian visa and which pathway to Canada is best for you.
One of the film industry's worst-kept secrets is that most of your favourite Hollywood movies were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia. According to Creative BC's 2020 Impact report, the Vancouver film industry employs over 65 000 people, with over 80% of production occurring in the Vancouver city region.
Vancouver's film industry has created industry giants such as Lionsgate studios and Bridge Studios - home to some of the biggest streaming shows worldwide, such as Netflix's Midnight Mass and The Haunting of Bly Manor. The Vancouver film industry also boasts some of the highest salaries in Canada and some of the best film education in North America.
Vancouver Film School
Canada is a hub for animation, and there is nowhere in the world better to build your animation skills than at the Vancouver Film School. The Vancouver film school students have gone on to work for giants like HBO, Disney, Dream Works, Google, Paramount Pictures, Netflix and Pixar. For a full breakdown of the Vancouver Film School, the qualifications offered and how it can give you the right tools to build your film career, have a look at this article.
While the Vancouver film industry is a massive hub for many international productions, the local Canadian film industry is also major and hugely exciting, with Canadian filmmakers allowing the ability to fully grow and realize their creative visions in ways they couldn't in other countries.
Quebec is home to a massive portion of Canada's film industry. As it is the center of Canada's French-speaking population, the overwhelming majority of Canada's French-language media comes directly from Quebec. The centre of Quebec's film industry is Montreal, and, as a result, many of Canada's most beloved filmmakers, like Dune director, Denis Villeneuve, are Quebecois.
Film industry jobs in Montreal are abundant as the industry is growing massively, thanks to major production houses like Telefilm Canada and Entertainment One. These companies are behind massive hits like The Walking Dead, Peaky Blinders, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, Twilight, Room, Brooklyn and, most revered of all, Peppa Pig.
However, Montreal is a major player in not only the production of Canadian films but also the support of the local industry. The most successful Canadian film ever, Les Boys, made almost all of its box office in the city of Montreal alone. Filmmaking jobs in Montreal can offer the opportunities to get involved in both giant international films and give you, as a foreign worker, the chance to get to know the heart of Canada through the expression of its best creatives.
How Can I Get a Job In Canada's Film Industry?
The industry needs workers. Like the rest of Canada, the combination of the aging population and the massively expanding industry has led to massive vacancies that the industry desperately needs to fill. Some of the film industry professionals that are in high demand in Canada are as follows:
|Producer||Production Sound Department||Hair Department|
|Production Coordinator||Actor||Makeup Department|
|Director||Stunt Department||Script Supervisor|
|Assistant Director||Animal Wrangler||Costume Department|
|Director Of Photography||Production Designer||Support Roles|
|Camera Operator||Art Department||Production Assistants|
|Grip Department||Set Decorator/Carpenter||Dit/Data Wrangler|
|Electrical Department||Prop Master|
|Post-Production Supervisor||ADR Recordist/Mixer|
|Editor||Visual Effects Supervisor|
|Composer||Descriptive Video Transcriber|
|Foley Artist||Dubbing Mixer|
The best way to apply for a job in Canada's film industry from outside Canada is online. Below are some of the top sites for film jobs in Canada.
- Reel Canada
- Entertainment One Careers
- Film Studies Association of Canada - Jobs
- Production Hub
- The Creative Mind Group
- Media Intelligence
However, like all film industries, the Canadian film industry often operates based on who you know, so applying for jobs in person through making connections in Canada may give you better results.
How can I get a work permit in Canada's film industry?
Provided you have a full-time job offer, getting a Canadian work permit is relatively straightforward. Here is a complete guide on ensuring your eligibility and the application process.
How can I go to Canada without a job offer to start building connections in the Canadian film industry?
There are multiple ways to get into Canada without a permanent job offer, each of which has its process and requirements. This article shows how you can gain permanent residence in Canada without a job offer.
However, suppose you aren't sure you want to live in Canada permanently and are from one of the 32 designated nations. In that case, you can also apply for a Working Holiday Visa, which will allow you to live and work in Canada for up to 2 years without a permanent job. To see if a Working Holiday is for you, look at this full breakdown.
How can I study at one of Canada's film schools?
The most important thing is to ensure you meet all the eligibility criteria for your chosen school. Then, if you are accepted, you will need a Canadian study permit to be allowed to study in Canada. You can find a handy guide on how to get one here.
What is the Cost of Living In Canada?
Here's a full breakdown of all the factors that make up the Cost of living in Canada.
Bring Your Dreams To The Screen in Canada
Canada is a fantastic place for your film career to flourish, with some of the most significant filmmaking hubs in North America and a wealth of opportunities for foreign workers to make their name known. Whether you're looking for film industry jobs in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, the opportunities to rub shoulders with some of the most talented people in the craft are right at your fingertips. If you think Canada is the best next step for you, click the button below to speak to an RCIC who can help you find your way to working on your next blockbuster.