7 Reasons You Should Study Advertising in Canada


March, 2021

Written by Jocelyn Mendez
Illustrations by Simone Hummel

Oh Canada? You might have heard of that little (not so little) country hovering above America. Land of the most Canada Goose jackets per capita, ketchup flavoured chips, bagged milk, and oh I don’t know maybe home to every major music artist on the billboards – Drake, the Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes, Alessia Cara, Jessie Reyez, just to name a few.

But did you know that we also have a really amazing and powerful advertising industry that has been making waves across the globe? Canada is home to a roster of award winning advertising agencies, and has been collecting shiny silverware for a long time..still waiting on a stanley cup return though.

So what’s it like studying advertising in this mystical land? We asked a few of our instructors, mentors, and students to share what they believe makes Canada so different from everywhere else when it comes to advertising.

Here are the top 7 reasons on why you should study in Canada:

1. It’s not the size of the wallet that counts.

Who says more money equals better work? Not us. Team up with creative and savvy problem solvers, and learn to stretch your dollar further.

If you really want to be great at advertising, work in Canada. Sure, the US has bigger budgets. But all those do is teach you how to spend. Canadian budgets teach you how to think. When you can’t throw money at a problem, you have no choice but to develop ways to solve them with your wits. Your toolbelt of problem solving skills will give you distinct advantages over creatives who haven’t had to work those muscles. And at the end of the day, no matter what the budget looks like, nobody can resist a resourceful, clever creative who saves the client money.”

Stephie Coplan

Associate Creative Director / Writer, The Garden

2. Close Knit Community

The advertising community in Canada is very tight knit so the networking opportunities are great.”

Victoria Lyons

Graduate & Art Director , Publicis Sapient NY

If you are looking for real connections, the advertising community in Canada acts like a real community. No one is out of reach, and everyone is willing to lend a helping hand.

3. Different Ideas Are Welcomed

Working in the Canadian market provides the opportunity to connect with diverse audiences and learn about many cultures”

Jen Stack

Social Media Director , Anomaly

Canada is home to hundreds of languages and ethnicities, which makes for stronger and more interesting work. Here you will find a mixture of styles and ideas. All of which will help you become a stronger creative or strategist.

4. No shortage of winners here

“Working in Canada is very unique. We’re a small market with small budgets, but given the right opportunity under conditions of intense heat and pressure, this country’s talent has been known to cause carbon atoms to crystallise forming some very rare diamonds.”

Anthony Atkinson

Creative Director , Cossette

The talent in this country has not gone unnoticed. With Canadian agencies sweeping up global award competitions, like Cannes, year after year, with no signs of stopping anytime soon.

5. Being nice is more than just a stereotype

Having worked in China, USA, and Canada I can definitely attest that each country has their own attributes. At Thinkingbox, our teams stretch across the border as well, so it’s interesting to note the different approaches as well. I would say that Canadian clients are maybe a bit more congenial whereas American clients are a bit more transactional? (no moral judgement for either side both just are).“

Ben Percified

Junior Strategist, Thinkingbox

Maybe it’s in the maple syrup, but whether you’re a client, coworker or passerby on the street, you’re sure to be met with politeness and a friendly attitude.

6. Work Life balance exists!

Sure, things can get a little intense the closer you are to a deadline, but agencies in Canada understand that it’s important for your physical and mental health to strike a perfect work life balance.

Teko Mamaladze, M.AD Art Direction Graduate exchange student shares with us her experience of working in both New York and Toronto.

People know how to chill here, and it was tense in New York. It was all about work, there was no time for personal life.”

Teko Mamaladze

Creative Intern, Wunderman Thompson Tokyo

7. Smaller Teams, More Effort

Two people together can accomplish so much in Canada. In new york, there are mega agencies with 800+ staff and they don’t have as much work as some of the smaller agencies in Toronto.”

Teko Mamaladze

Creative Intern, Wunderman Thompson Tokyo

Your professional abilities and portfolio will develop faster in Canada, because you will be exposed to more clients, and more work. If you are looking to expand your book, look no further than Canada.

Find out more reasons when you get here! 

Whether it’s a career in Art Direction, Copywriting, or Strategy, there is no shortage of great reasons on why you should build up your skills in the Canadian advertising industry.
Take advantage of the community, mentors, diversity, work life balance, and start your career in the best place on earth to study advertising.

Art Direction

2 Year Portfolio + Placement Program


2 Year Portfolio + Placement Program

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Info for International Applications

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