Is there any composers from Canada? Would love to have a chat!

Hi everyone, hope you’re doing well amidst all this!

Just wanted to know if there is some composers from Canada here?
I am thinking to move to Canada after the current crisis to continue my career, and would love to have a chat with some of you and hopefully get some tips about getting started, finding gigs and settling in Canada.
If anyone wants to join in the conversation, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Thanks all, Romain


I know we have a few composers from Canada in here, two friends of mine are: Keith Myles @Keith and Medhat Hanbali @medhathanbali. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I think that Chris is the right guy to contact besides who Mikael has mentioned! :slight_smile:



Oh thanks Alexey, my mind went too fast, so I forgot Christopher is also from Canada. :slight_smile:

Hi Romain,
I’m from Montreal, I’d be happy to chat.

For the “finding the gigs part” it’s pretty much identical as any other city I’ve been to around the world: Have a website with demos, Attend industry events, network and build relationships :slight_smile:
It will take some time since you’re starting a brand new network from scratch.

One thing I learned recently (i wish I’ve known before) is that Canadian production companies get financing from 2 funds: Federal (Canada) + Provincial (The province you’re in) for hiring people. If they hire a composer from another province, they can only get the federal one, but won’t get the provincial financing part.

In other words, if there’s a film being produced in Toronto: unless a production or director absolutely want me and are willing to lose money, they would rather hire someone else who’s from Ontario and pays their taxes in Ontario to get their tax credits.

Another thing to know: Quebec’s demography is only 8.4 million. Therefore, French-Canadian productions have a smaller market and budget, including the composer salary.

English Canada has the advantage of working in English, therefore, bigger budgets since they can export their productions all over the world and recoup their investments.

Composers and other crew members have to have a CAVCO number (which I think requires you to be a Canadian citizen)

If I was to look for a place to stay, I would look at Toronto (Ontario) or Vancouver (British Columbia)

Hope this is useful


Hi Medhat, thank you so much for your reply!

That was really helpful. I wasn’t aware there was two types of fundings. I’m leaning more towards Toronto at the moment, and also have a couples friends in Vancouvers telling me there’s a lot going there especially with tv shows.

Is the CAVCO necessary to be able to work? Do you know if there is an equivalent for foreigners living in Canada?

I think it would be a wise move to choose Toronto or Vancouver, there are a lot more productions happening over there than in Montreal, that’s for sure.

No, the only times I’ve been asked to provide my CAVCO number were in the case of co-productions (Quebec-France for example). I have done many TV productions where i wasn’t asked to provide it.

That said, what you need to check is what type of visa you need to be working legally in Canada. I would talk to an immigration lawyer to be sure since you’re not a citizen.

Ok that make sense.

Yes I definitely will check for visas, hopefully can make the move sooner than later.

Thanks a lot for your help Medhat, if I have any other questions I’ll make sure to ask you!

1 Like