Top Canadian Producers

From Avatar to Saturday Night Live, Canadians can be proud of their hometown creative minds.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

It should come as no surprise that some of Hollywood's most famous and successful TV and film producers hail from the Great White North. Responsible for titles like "Avatar," "The Black Donnellys," and "Saturday Night Live," these are just a handful of the top Canadian producers.
James Cameron
Likely Canada's most successful movie producer (and director… and creator… and writer), James Cameron hails from Kapuskasing, Ontario and moved to the States in the early 70s. He may have attended university and earned a degree in Physics however it was his job driving a truck whilst pursuing dreams of becoming a screenwriter that were the story of his "humble beginnings." Some of his more well-known projects include "The Terminator," which he wrote and produced, as well as "Aliens" and "Titanic." His producer credits go to titles like "Avatar" (and "Avator 2" and "Avator 3," which are both already in production), "Point Break," "True Lies," the TV series "Dark Angel," and a myriad of successful documentaries such as "The Last Tomb of Jesus."
Denys Arcand
A household name in Quebec for years and now in a national context, Denys Arcand was a history student at Université de Montréal before he co-directed "Seul ou avec d'autres" in the early 1960s with Denis Héroux. One of his more recent projects, "Les invasions barbares" from '03, is undoubtedly his most celebrated work, winning two awards at the Cannes Film Fest as well as TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and a Best Foreign Film Oscar. He was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2005 but unfortunately, Arcand hasn't worked on anything major since 2007.
Paul Haggis
London, Ontario native Paul Haggis is both a successful director, producer, and writer, but during his formative years he thought that he wanted to pursue fashion photography. However, it's a good thing he realized his true passion in film, as he has earned a number of accolades for his variety of work – in 2006, Haggis became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back with "Million Dollar Baby" (2004), directed by Clint Eastwood, and "Crash," which Haggis directed. His most popular producer-roles came on shows like "The Facts of Life" and "thirtysomething" in the 80s, "City," "EZ Streets," and "Due South" in the 90s, and most recently "The Black Donnellys."
Lorne Michaels
Lorne Michaels' name may be synonymous with the long-standing sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live," but this Toronto-born producer has been in the biz for decades and his resume is veritable who's-who of film and television. Becoming an American citizen in the 1980s, Michaels is also the executive producer of "30 Rock" starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," and the new series "Up All Night" with funnyman Will Arnett and Christina Applegate of "Married With Children" fame.


Photo Credit: Lamberts Photography /