canada day canadians tv gi Happy Canada Day! How to identify Canadians in the wilds of television

July 1 is Canada Day, the official celebration of Canada’s existence as an independent country. In honor of this day, here are some tips to spot the wily Canadian actor in the anarchic world of television.

The accent

Don’t let the jokes on “How I Met Your Mother” fool you: It’s hard to pick out a Canadian based on accent alone. For one thing, the standard accent sported by those from Canada sounds an awful lot like an American accent. You know those Midwestern accents so exaggerated in “Fargo”? It’s like that, crossed with the precision of New England.

It’s often hard to catch.

There’s also the fact that most Canadian actors are awfully good at disguising those accents.
Spot the Canadian!

Find the answer at the end of this article.

The shows

While Canadians appear in literally dozens of programs on today’s television, there are a few places that those actors tend to congregate. These include:

  • Programs on The CW — This is mainly because a) many CW shows are filmed in Canada, and b) the CW casting division is obviously a huge fan of the long-running “Degrassi” television franchise.
  • Anything that airs off-season — American networks, wanting to avoid development costs in the low-rated summer months, often import programming for this period. The easiest source of such programming? Canada. Recent examples of this trend include “Rookie Blue,” “Flashpoint” and “Lost Girl.”
  • Certain basic-cable shows — Some cable networks like Syfy are programmed in great part using foreign programming. In addition to the aforementioned “Lost Girl,” programs like “Continuum” and “Haven” film in Canada. There are lots of Canadian actors as a result.

The Internet

In the information age, no Canadian can fully hide his or her identity. There is an actual list of “Canadian actors” on Wikipedia. It’s not even remotely complete, of course, but many northerners are outed this way. As for the rest, the individual pages are dead giveaways.

Alternatively, sites like this one really like to make lists. Lots and lots of Canadian lists — here is the most recent list from Zap2It.

What other Canadians are on television? Leave a comment to identify any that aren’t on this list.

The Canadian actor in the above video is Evangeline Lilly (Kate), a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

Posted by:Laurel Brown