The Government of Canada makes sure that Canadian artists are represented in television and movies. And I can totally tell when there is Canadian content.
I watched The Vow tonight and even though I already know that Rachel McAdams is Canadian, the second that they listed Wendy Crewson, I also knew that it was filmed in Canada. It is a gift. It only takes a second and I can say “this was filmed in Canada.” It drives C crazy.
But this talent has existed for as long as I can remember. Even when I lived in England in the 80s, I could watch a movie and within seconds know it was filmed in Canada. I do not even know where this innate knowledge comes from. Perhaps it is a lifetime of CBC and ATV and other Canadian TV stations drilling the “style” (I use the term loosely) into my brain. Perhaps it is the slightly off-color film they use, or the staccato color or word combinations that tip me off to the Canadian flavours. I do not know. But I can tell within seconds. I estimate my error rate at about 5% because sometimes it is New Zealand. Otherwise, it is Canadian. The shows have that thing that is fundamentally not American. Not flashy or fake, but still fake, but not as much. It is actors like Callum Keith Rennie (yes, born in England, but quintessentially Canadian!), Paul Gross, and Molly Parker (only a small sample!) who give it away.
And just YAY. I applaud my fellow country men and women. I love that I know it it is from Canada and has Canadian actors working hard to promote our country or city or whatever they can show in the movie or TV show. It is how we make sure that the US does not win. We exist. I am still here, in Sweden, making sure that Canada is not forgotten, or it is first remembered or known.
I have people from my past in the industry. Sam Sarkar who I know continues to shine the red and white in LA. And Sarah McLachlan who has written many songs that have touched your hearts. The Swedish film industry is similar (worthy of a separate post). The problem is that I do not, and will never be able to, understand it the same way. This is part of the Journey of Mixed Emotions. It sucks. I will always remain Canadian at my core. But who can go wrong with that when we have given the world Jim Carrey and Donald Sutherland? Oh, and my grade 5 teacher? He was Donald’s cousin. That means that I am 2 degrees away from Kiefer!
Editor’s note. There are many actors and artists who are Canadian. Just ask a Canadian for the list.