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Creative opportunities: Canada vs. USA


i’m wondering if there are major differences between working in the US and working in Canada as an art director/copywriter. i’m interested in working in vancouver or toronto, but don’t agencies in chicago, miami, and san francisco offer more opportunities to work w/ better talent and higher profile clients? i guess what i’m asking is, does canada’s market offer many opportunities to work on interesting and challenging print and tv advertising?

intro Creative opportunities: Canada vs. USAO-Canada-your-home-and-native-land offers the best of all possible worlds. For now. Pretty much the entire advertising/marketing industry is located in Toronto (this being the centre of the universe and all) so you can try your hand at all the big brands and many small ones without having to work in one of the monstrous NY shops or chase work around from city to city. All the high profile clients are here. We think is a great advantage. Vancouver has fewer accounts, but outstanding agencies, as they prove year after year.

We think there’s tons of talent north of the 49th. So we never feel lacking in our writers, art directors, directors etc. Sometimes the limited size the talent pool forces us out into the wider world, but this is rare. And fun. What we don’t have compared to the Americans is money. But maybe this forces everyone to think harder and come up with stronger ideas.

Having said all that, we do have to work hard to keep the industry vital and viable in Canada. Global advertising is definitely taking its toll on our industry. Work developed in the States is shipped all over the planet, which is fine if you like the ads and not so fine if you don’t. We always need to keep our antennae up so we do what’s right in our market.

Nancy is from the U.S. She worked in U.S. agencies before moving to Toronto and found working here more interesting and more challenging. That’s why she stays.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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