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A Life (so far) In Canadian Television

by Mikperlus, almost 4 years ago

I began my life in Canadian Television at age eleven when I appeared on the series Katts and Dog. I played a young boy who accidentally brushed my teeth with heroin while on a sleepover. Apparently, my choking cough was second to none. The experience was formative and began a love affair with Canadian Television that has lasted nearly thirty years.

During that time, I worked as an actor on classic Canadian shows like Road to Avonlea and Student Bodies, as a voice actor on numerous Canadian-made cartoons like Sidekick, as a writer and developer of international hits such as Degrassi: The Next Generation and Splatalot, and currently as a Producer of local series such as Hi Opie and the upcoming Opie's Home. Every one of these shows was wholly or partially written by, performed by, and produced by Canadians. I summarize my resume only to show how important Canadian television has been, and continues to be, to my life and livelihood. Without it, I would be a very different person with a very different life. Canadian TV made my life possible, and support for Canadian TV has made it possible for me to remain here in Canada.

What I love about Canadian culture is its diversity of voices. It would be unfairly reductive to group all Canadian-made content under one umbrella, but our voices are there in everything we create. As I have travelled around the world pitching and selling Canadian shows, I have seen first hand the respect and admiration that the international community has for Canadian content. They admire our production values, they admire our talent, but most of all, they admire our cultural values. We tell stories that people around the world want to see because they feel "American" but are somehow different from the shows that come out of the US. WE are different.

In Canada, some see this difference as a weakness, but in fact it is a strength. Canadians and world want and need more Canadian culture, not less. Canadian TV has given me a career - several careers actually - but it's given me something much more valuable. Perspective. Without Canadian culture to provide an alternative to that which comes out of the US, Canadians and audiences around the world might not believe that a culture like ours, a people like us, a country like Canada can exist. As a proud Canadian, I think that would be a disservice to the entire world.

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