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Old 07-01-2019   #3
martyyahar's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: United States
Age: 22
Posts: 119
Default Re: History of Canadian voice acting

Disclaimer: I am NOT Canadian and have never been to Canada (or Texas, see below), so I am going off secondhand information from a variety of sources (such as people I know who have been/are from/ live there, formal encyclopedias, etc.), so take what I say with a grain of salt. I just find the topic interesting, given it combines my interests of acting, localization, and geography.

That outta the way, Calgary becoming the next most important voice acting locale after Toronto and Vancouver (I'll get to Montreal) doesn't 100% surprise me; it may not be as prestigious or really commonly used as a media town, but it is the next largest city in terms of population as far as Canada goes, and thus there's a greater chance of finding or making a workable talent pool, I assume.

I can't speak on to Calgary being cheap at all, but I'm 100% positive it's cheaper than Vancouver, from what I can gather. It also helps that it's still geographically close to Vancouver; at least relative other major Canadian cities and also anything major in the United States, besides Seattle.

I also find it amusing that an American cultural semi-equivalent to Calgary, Alberta is Houston, Texas and both wound up being voice acting centers, especially for English anime dubs. Granted, this is somewhat more reflective of the fact anime isn't a priority for many companies outside Japan; and even when it's the thing the company focusses on, the licensing costs take a gigantic bite out of dub production.

As for non-Japanese animation and any video games, a split comes in: Calgary has both a higher proportion of non-anime animation voice acting and a higher proportion of video game voice acting. However, I imagine a big reason why Houston gets voice work in ANYTHING that ADV/ Section23 doesn't feed them is because a lot of video game developers are based in nearby Austin and they can't always manage to outsource the acting. This tells me there must be a decent amount of animation studios and animation-adjacent companies in Calgary's vicinities, even if basically none of them came before Blue Water. I also know the Canadian government gives benefits to media made by just Canadians or something along those lines; but being as I'm not Canadian nor have looked into this at all, I can't describe exactly how it affects anything in Calgary.

Digression: Austin isn't a small city in the slightest, but nearby Houston seems to get a teency bit more acting work with regards to video games. I imagine it has to do with Houston being cheaper yet having a larger amount of people. Houston productions have also had an apparently longer/ easier time to find a foothold- as much of Austin's voice-acted work isn't as successful as the stuff from Houston. Why San Antonio doesn't do much, despite having more people, being comparatively cheap, and being even closer than Houston to Austin is explained by the fact San Antonio just lacks the aforementioned foothold Houston has or maybe a good amount of people in Austin-based things are technically based in San Antonio. Anyhow, back to Canada, I got out there with that one.

I am miffed a bit how in spite of the fact most major American companies focus on English-language media, and any other language being an afterthought or the job of a contractor, that a predominantly French-speaking place became Toronto's understudy (for voice acting, at least). I am aware that Montreal has a large amount of anglophones for French Canada, but what prevented Ottawa, London, Kitchener, or Halifax from being used before the west coast boom? My best guess is that French-language productions were the original meat of the Montreal scene, and English Canada talent sorta crept in when English versions of them were needed but Toronto wasn't usable for some reason; so Montreal-English dubs got a rep for outsourcer American companies early in the game and just never really faltered- unlike some other small English media production cities. That said, what I said is just an educated guess, not a certainty on my part.

Last edited by martyyahar; 07-01-2019 at 06:02 AM.
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