Any Canadians?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by thingsaregonnachange, Apr 17, 2012.

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  1. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I've written here before about my problems with my personal life and trying to break into the film business.

    I'm currently at the biggest crossroads of my life. I'm on the brink of suicide (I'm not going to go deep into that in this thread), and me and my mother are trying to come up with some solution to change my life around (she doesn't know about my suicidal thoughts, of course).

    I live in a really large city in a third world country and the idea came up that perhaps it would be good for me to try to start over from scratch somewhere else. I've tried everything but my life here is in shambles, both personally and professionally.

    I'm considering trying to apply for a Masters degree in Vancouver or Toronto and supporting myself with some regular job while I try to get something in the business. I'm thinking Vancouver because I read that due to the proximity to Los Angeles there are a lot of Hollywood productions shot there, so there should be jobs and opportunities in the feature film business, as well as in advertising, web and corporate video, etc.

    I'm well educated, I speak perfect english (I don't have any kind of foreign accent) and I'm caucasian, so I should blend in with the "average" Canadian pretty easily. (not that Canada seems to be a xenophobic country, but still)

    My question for Canadians is... is this too crazy? I'm not expecting Canada to be some promised land, but at least I think that good old fashioned hard work and character is valued more in Canada than where I live at least.

    And I figure that if I end up failing and not being able to thrive in the film business I might still find some other line of work and lead a happy and comfortable life.

    Is it actually possible to get a job over there these days? How is Vancouver like? I'm attracted to it not only because it looks beautiful but because it's reasonably close to the US and California and Japan isn't too far off either. =)

    I'm not ruling out Toronto, I'm still researching.

    PS: I know this might seem off-topic but trust me, it isn't. I would love if sensible Canadians could give me some insight as to whether this makes any sense.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2012
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    If you are mentally strong enough to travel and to relocate i think Vancouver would be the place to go There are more jobs there but it is more expensive to live there too. I think Vancouver would be a good start as you say it has more to offer for your field of work you are looking for
  3. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply, though it seems there aren't many Canadians here.

    I'm still looking into it, but I'm considering Toronto because it's the country's largest city, biggest cultural centre and a very multicultural city, which is something I loved about the Bay Area/San Francisco when I lived there for a few months years ago.

    I realize that moving away isn't the end all solution, but I am trapped and without any perspectives here, even though I busted my ass off in every possible way to be in a good position.

    I guess that for someone who is at the ledge any change should be positive.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2012
  4. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    Bumping this to see if there is any insight out there from Canadians.
  5. shyguy.

    shyguy. New Member

    Actually Toronto was hoping about 5-10 years ago but I hear the movie business is pretty slow now... You would get a lot more luck in Montreal actually.
  6. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    I don't speak French.

    I don't know what to do, my prospects of getting ahead here are pretty slim.

    I considered Toronto because at least I would be in an English speaking country from where I could maybe try to sell scripts and survive by working in commercials and stuff.

    Jesus Christ.
  7. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    Just bumping this to see if anything else pops up.
  8. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Hi, I live in Toronto. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I hate this city but pretty much have to stay here anyway. The people are just horrible to one another. They are so unfriendly and rude. And the city is just plain ugly and boring. Go to Vancouver if you're going to come to Canada. It's probably much nicer. You would blend into Toronto no matter what your colour was, by the way. It's become very, very ethnically diverse. Whites are now less than half the population and there's every ethnicity under the sun here. Not sure about Vancouver, except that I know there's a lot of Asians.
  9. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    According to what I read it's much easier to find a job in Toronto, because it's far larger than Vancouver so I've made it my priority.

    The fact that it's close to New York and Montreal is also a plus.

    I also have to consider the corporate and advertising video production, not just films. Since the Canadian economy seems to go through Toronto I suppose there the variety of jobs involving media should be greater.

    I have read in several places that Torontonians are a closed people, but I'd rather have closed people that you built meaningful relationships with than "happy" people that you have superficial friendships with.

    I've always had a huge affinity towards Canada, I'd love to be able to stay and raise my kids there someday, speaking both English and French they could pretty much go wherever they want when they become adults.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2012
  10. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Well, if you have to, you have to I guess. It helps if you have money. There are just too many poor people here and there's compassion fatigue. The city has become very split between the have and have-nots with the middle class disappearing fast. They've proven this unequivocally with statistical analysis of income data since the 50's. It seems like almost everyone is here because it's where the jobs are, where the post-secondary education is, or because it's where the services are for the very poor, ill and marginalized. I'm in the latter category, unfortunately , although I was here also to go to U of T initially. It has many things to offer I suppose-- a lot of top notch world class stuff--art, culture, cuisine, education, research, health care. I just find it impossible to connect with the people. And there's a real lack of green space, if you find peace and solace in nature as I do. And it's crowded everywhere, so people get on each other's nerves because of that. The transit system is better than in the suburbs in terms of frequency but it's crowded, old and far more expensive for the user than any other North American transit system. They say dining out here is great, due to the diversity of ethnic cuisines. The library system is probably finest in all of North America with the highest circulation rate on the continent. I love the way you can place a hold on anything in the whole system and have it delivered to your local branch for pick-up. It means that your little local branch really contains the entire system for possible books, movies etc. to borrow. Anyway, good luck if you come here. I'm sure the film industry must be a very interesting place to work and perhaps you'll meet some nice people in an industry that's more open and creative than most.
  11. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    I'm from vancouver so I'm going to be a bit biased, also I haven't been home in over 5 years really so I'm not 100% on the work situations.

    You want to start/complete your masters degree where you go? Have you looked into the costs of the universities you would be applying for? UBC is the primary one in the lower mainland, but I think there are a few more specialised ones that venture into the arts.

    When it comes to "equality" you won't have any problem in Vancouver. Racism is awkward at best in my opinon there, it's just normal to have different people from different cultures. The oriential population is huge, same with a degree of middle eastern cultures and other ones from across the world. If someone has a racist beef, they're not really with it. The only places you'll start to get hints of that are on the outskirts well away from vancouver. I'm meaning more rural areas, but even then, they're rare, and most people are extremely easy going when it comes to culture as long as it's not being forced on them.
    We have richmond city which is below Vancouver, that's 90% oriental in population it seems as times :) No one gives a shit really. You just need to care about the country and people there. Sides that, the rest is just on who you are, not on where you're from.

    As far as work goes...well it's vancouver. There's massive competition, but there's also alot of old roots in the film industry. I don't know how strong it is today, but it'll still be going at the very least. There's been a ton of movies and massive tv shows filmed there because of the scenary. That's the main thing of BC, it's beautiful. If you'r going to go there, try to let your curiosity of that environment grow. It's always good to have a want to just get out and experience what's around you out there. It can help if you ever get home sick or feel a bit boxed in. There's loads of things to do over there.

    For money... Well it's not cheap. You can find rooms for $350 in shared accomidations, but those are privatley rented places and finding those rooms can be a little challenge. Generally you're sharing with 2-6 other people depending on the size of the accomidation. I dont know your budget but aim for a room that's $5-600 a month tbh. The minumum wage apparently rose from $8/hr to $10.25 hr. <-- that's our transportation company. For bus/sky train services, it's divided into zones. Vancouver is one zone, then the surrounding cities are another zone, ect. One bus pass was $2.50 which allows you to ride any number of bus's in one zone for 1hr1/2. Alternatively, and this makes more sense is to get a monthly pass. The pass gives you unlimited free access to all public transportation for the entire month. 1 zone passes were $70 5 years ago, now it's $81.
    It just helps to know that UBC is in vancouver, and you can primarly find cheap student housing in vancouver itself without having to go to the surrounding cities. Such as Burnaby or richmond. If you go any further, you have a long travel time imo.

    Job wise, there was always work in construction, you just needed to be determined and physically fit. Also able to put up with the rugged workman mentality and be able to hold your own. I couldn't give you an honest opinon of anything else now a days because of what the economy has endured in the last 5 years, but you can always browse online postings for work on adaily basis for vancouver to see what the general trends are. Construction pays ranged from $16+/hr without any training.

    Anyhow.. that's just some info. The other thing you should look into is food costs. If you can plan out how much food you need and get the monthly costs off of safeways online listings, you should get a decent figure for how much money you'll need. You'll always find cheaper and better places to get food than safeway, but it's a good grounder to finding out how much money you'll be spending monthly. Hopefully you can find a job that pays enough for your rent/food/transportation that doesn't start to eat into your savings while you go to school.

    There's also student housing programs where you can stay with a family and they prepare your meals and such. I think those are only accessable through educational institutions, and they are more expensive.


    I think one thing you could do is to find out which unis/educiational institutions offer the programs you are interested in, and contact them or look at their track records. Find the one which is best for you and aim to hit. Also if you have any skills in those fields, contacting them and seeing if there are any volunteer positions or jobs that you can apply for. I would aim for vancouver if it's in the arts tbh, but then again I don't know anything about Toronto.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2012
  12. thingsaregonnachange

    thingsaregonnachange Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Moving to Canada is my last shot at life. I'm still relatively young (late 20's) that I can press the "reset" button on life and see what happens.

    Maybe - just maybe - I'll be lucky enough that I'll be able to make some good friends and find good work there and lead a happy life.

    If it doesn't work out there either, I am more than prepared to do what needs to be done, the plan was drawn long ago.
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