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Old 07-01-2019   #5
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 293
Default Re: History of Canadian voice acting

I can only theorize why Montreal became the second stop for English VO. It is Canada's second largest city population-wise and the population is more bilingual than you might think (though, that probably wasn't the case back in the '80s). It may be due to the NFB being based there, thus facilitating media production from the late '50s onwards. The city's French connection is very important, as well. It is the hub for French Canadian media. Many shows recorded in Montreal have been Canada-France co-productions, which is still the case to this day. It's also hard to believe Haim Saban's life in France had nothing to do with Montreal being one of his company's preferred spots to do things in the early days.

What I find most interesting about Montreal's English VO pool is how good it has been at retaining talent. You look at the names active today and many have been working since the '80s. There's never been a big exodus of actors to other Canadian cities or Los Angeles, even during the slow times. If actors leave, it's usually because they've retired. I don't know if that's just because Arthur provided a lot of on-and-off work for 20+ years or if people just like living there.

Originally Posted by martyyahar View Post
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.
Depends on which actors, but the ones you hear in Blue Water's stuff are notably cheaper than the Vancouver ones. That's because they're not signed to ACTRA, Canada's dominant acting union.

Originally Posted by martyyahar View Post
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.
I think you might be overstating Alberta's impact. I'm not an expert on the nitty-gritty of the province's media industry, but from my perspective, there doesn't appear to be a tonne of companies doing work there. Pretty much every animated project from there is done at Blue Water. Bioware is the biggest game developer there, but like some of Canada's other AAA game studios, they don't seem to care for Canadian actors ... There are younger indie companies, like Next Machine Studios and the Hermit Collective, but they've yet to do something big.

You might've seen an increase in Alberta actors doing stuff this decade, but that's probably because of Ocean. At the beginning of the 2010s, they expanded Blue Water to Edmonton and started casting projects jointly between Vancouver and Alberta. This may have been a cost-cutting move, though I'm sure they appreciate having a wider pool of actors to choose from.
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