It is difficult to get a work permit because employment opportunities go to Canadians first. In most cases, you'll need to take a validated job offer from a specific employer to a Canadian consulate or embassy abroad. However, there is a shortage of workers in the hotel and hospitality industries in BC - a situation that may become serious in the run-up to the 2010 Olympics - so employers are increasingly looking overseas to fill the gap. Contact potential employers and see if they can help you with the paperwork.
Each year several thousand one-year working holiday visas are available to New Zealanders and Australians between the ages of 18 and 30. Competition is stiff, so apply as early as possible. Applications are available through Sydney's Canadian Consulate General (02-9364-3082; www.whpcanada.org.au) or Wellington's Canadian High Commission (04-473-9577; www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/newzealand).
Run by the Canadian Federation of Students, the popular SWAP Canada (www.swap.ca) program facilitates working holidays for US and overseas students and people under 30 (sometimes 35). Participants come to Canada from nearly 20 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.
Vancouver does brisk business in conventions and trade shows, with the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre (604-689-8232, 866-785-8232; www.vcec.ca; Canada Pl, downtown; Waterfront) hosting more than 350 events annually. At time of research, the facility was tripling its exhibition space with a large expansion project. Tourism Vancouver (www.tourismvancouver.com) assists business travelers and provides a useful list of suppliers (copying, printing etc) on its website.
Teach English abroad with an i-to-i TEFL Course
If you’ve ever thought about living and working abroad, then why not teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)? It could be the key to funding your travels and experiencing new cultures in a totally new way. You don’t need teaching experience or even the ability to speak the local language – although you might learn it while you’re out there.