The Changing Face of Canada: An Opportunity for the Entertainment Industry

Statistics Canada’s recent release of 2016 census data on ethnicity, culture, and immigration together with its previous release on mother tongue is yet another reminder that the face of Canada is very different from the one the entertainment industry thinks it is catering to (i.e. White Anglophones only). At times too it feels that the Canadian entertainment industry is trying to cater to the demographics of The United States. But note that their demographics are radically different from ours. It is perhaps for these reasons that the industry is failing to engage the masses and ring in the big bucks.

Canadians who reported their ethnic origins (in whole or in part) as Asian make up 14.5% of the country’s population. Let us repeat that: at least 14.5% of Canadians are of Asian descent. European origins accounted for 46.7% (less than half). American origins (including both South and North America, indigenous peoples, and multigeneration Canadians) made up 36.1% in the census. Oceanic folks (including Australians) made up only 0.2%. Africans made up 2.5%. It should be noted however that many people from places like the Caribbean owe their more distant ancestry to Africa and Asia (India in particular). Statistics Canada says that as of 2016, 21.9% of Canadians are foreign born and from all over the world speaking all kinds of different languages and of course lots of cultures. The Top 3 are The Philippines, India, and China.

The restaurant industry has already done a smart job at serving cuisines from around the world. It may seem like a radical idea to some, but making Chinese pop music, Korean soap operas, and Indian movies in Canada, doing an even better job at it than they are doing overseas, and playing them on our radio stations, TV sets, and cinemas, in addition to exporting them overseas, just might be a gold mine in the waiting. Fasten your seatbelts, the times they are a-changin’. Here’s to a beautiful and exotic future!