Pokémon in Canada

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Pokémon in Canada
Pokémon logo English.png
Canada Flag.png
Flag of Canada
Languages English and Canadian French
Continent North America
Original anime airdates
EP001 September 1998
AG001 2003
DP001 August 2007

The Pokémon franchise first reached Canada in late 1998 with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue Versions and the airing of the anime.

Pokémon video games

File:HeartGold Canadian.jpg
French edition of Pokémon HeartGold released in Canada. The actual packaging features a PEGI "3+" rating rather than an ESRB "E" rating, despite the packaging being modified slightly from that of France.

All Pokémon games that have been released in the United States have also been released in Canada, with the exception of the Pokémon mini. New games are always released on the same day that they are released in the United States. Pokémon games sold in Canada are direct imports of the American versions, so spelling variations such as color and center are not changed to colour and centre for the Canadian releases. While federal laws require bilingual packaging and instruction manuals to be included with the sale of all video games in Canada, Pokémon games were available in English only until the release of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions, which received both an English and a French release. This was due to a new law in Québec province requiring any video games that have a French version available elsewhere to also be offered in French. French-language games contain exactly the same content as those from France, with the packaging slightly modified to include elements such as a "Play in French" logo (upper-left corner), although the games retain their PEGI ratings. As such, they are incompatible with a number of North American event distributions and features; the manuals for the French-language HeartGold and SoulSilver, for example, warn that Pal Park is incompatible with North American Generation III games.

There were no in-store event Pokémon distributions in Canada up until the 2011 release of the shiny Suicune, Raikou and Entei. In addition, Canadian players have also been allowed to download recent Wi-Fi events, beginning with the Secret Key in early 2009. These Wi-Fi distributions have allowed Canadian players access to event Pokémon which had been previously unobtainable without trading or cheating.

Pokémon anime

In English

YTV's current logo, in use since September 2009

The English dub of the Pokémon anime has aired in Canada on YTV since September 1998, when Pokémon - I Choose You! debuted. In addition to airing the anime series, YTV also airs the Pokémon movies on occasion during their weekend "Moovibot" segment. Pokémon is very well received by YTV's viewers. Pokémon is YTV's longest running television show and YTV has aired the anime longer than any other television network.

Currently, YTV airs five episodes of Pokémon: Battle Frontier on weekdays and one episode of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors on Saturdays. Episodes are aired on weekdays at 7:15 AM and on Saturdays at 12:30 PM.

Day[1] Time (EST)[1]
Monday 7:15 AM
Tuesday 7:15 AM
Wednesday 7:15 AM
Thursday 7:15 AM
Friday 7:15 AM
Saturday 12:30 PM

While some episodes such as The Tower of Terror, Tentacool & Tentacruel, and Holiday Hi-Jynx were aired and later banned in the United States, they have not been banned from YTV's schedule. However, YTV has not aired any episodes which were also never aired in the United States, such as The Legend of Dratini and The Ice Cave.

YTV has aired all episodes in a 16:9 widescreen format ever since the start of widescreen episodes. Since YTV has yet to create an HD feed, all widescreen episodes that air on YTV's 4:3 feed are letterboxed to maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio.

In some areas of Canada, The WB (now The CW) is available on cable. With this, Canadians were able to watch the newest English-dubbed episodes on Kids' WB! before they aired on YTV. Since Cartoon Network became the USA's provider of the Pokémon anime in 2006, Canadians must now wait until the dubbed episodes air on YTV to watch them due to the fact that Cartoon Network is only available in the United States.

Airing history

When the anime debuted on YTV, it aired on weekdays at 4:00 PM. When The Adventures in the Orange Islands debuted in the US, YTV continued to air Indigo League episodes until Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon? aired on Kids' WB!. This is due to YTV's policy of not airing new episodes until there are enough new dubbed episodes to air five days a week until the end of the season. Back around this time, Pokémon sometimes received blocks of "back to back to back to back" specials. The first time this occurred, the block was called "Pokemania".

YTV began airing new Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl episodes on Saturdays in August 2007. A 3:30 PM weekday timeslot starting with Following A Maiden's Voyage was added on April 7, 2008. Eventually, these 3:30 PM episodes surpassed the timeline of the Saturday episodes, starting with Buizel Your Way out of This!. Thus, Canada started getting five new episodes per week. The episode that made the weekday afternoon episodes pass the Saturday ones was Buizel Your Way out of This!. The first season of the Diamond & Pearl series had finished its chronological airing on Tuesday, June 17, meaning that Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension should have started on the next Wednesday or possibly Saturday. However, this did not happen, as YTV began rerunning season 10 from the beginning. This is due to YTV's episode policy as stated above.

Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension briefly appeared for three weeks, airing on Fridays at 8:00 AM starting November 7, 2008. At one point, YTV was constantly changing their schedule around from Pokémon: Battle Frontier and Diamond and Pearl episodes at the times of 3:30 PM and 8:00 AM. On Monday, March 2, 2009, YTV began to air Battle Dimension regularly and only aired Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl episodes on Saturdays. On Wednesday, June 3, 2009, YTV aired the last episode of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension. On Saturday, October 10, 2009, YTV began airing episodes of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles.[2] On the same day, they aired Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time & Darkness at 12:00 PM, and also Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky - Beyond Time & Darkness at 12:30 PM (just one day after the US airing). On November 20, 2009, YTV stopped airing episodes of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Battle Dimension and began to air only Galactic Battles. On November 28, 2009, YTV aired the Canadian premier of Arceus and the Jewel of Life. Movies 8 through 11 have yet to air on the channel, however.

Beginning in late December 2009 until March 2010, YTV reverted to airing Pokémon: Advanced Battle episodes on weekdays. Only one new episode of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles aired on Saturday at 12:00 PM. YTV later on switched back to airing episodes of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Galactic Battles six days a week. With the airing of Gotta Get a Gible! On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, YTV closed the gap between the US air date and the Canadian air date down to just three days, which was the closest YTV has ever been since the first season of Pokémon. This gap however, was widened again as YTV aired from Get Your Rotom Running! on Wednesday, May 18, 2010. On Saturday, November 6, 2010, YTV started to air episodes of Pokémon Diamond & Pearl: Sinnoh League Victors on their Saturday time slots starting from Regaining the Home Advantage! while still airing episodes of Galactic Battles on weekdays. YTV had finished the Galactic Battles weekday run on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 and on Wednesday they started to air a run of Pokémon: Battle Frontier starting from Fear Factor Phony.

YTV On Demand

YTV Anime On Demand logo used at the time Pokémon was offered.
Bionix On Demand logo

In 2005, YTV launched an on demand anime channel simply named YTV Anime On Demand. The channel contained new and old programs, including series that do not air on the normal YTV. The Pokémon anime was also available on this service. In 2008, YTV renamed its on demand service to Bionix On Demand. In December 2009, YTV canceled Bionix On Demand[3] and returned to the YTV On Demand service, which no longer offers Pokémon in its line-up.

In French

Logo of Télétoon used from 1997-2005, used when Pokémon was aired

The Canadian French dub of Pokémon is actually a modified version of the dub from France. While the Canadian dub uses most of the same dialogue as the European French version, all of the character names in the show are redubbed to match the names used in the English version (for example, "Misty" is used instead of "Ondine" and "Charmander" instead of "Salamèche"). An exception to this is Meowth, who is still named "Miaouss" in the Canadian dub. Despite the changes to character names, other proper names such as the names of cities remain the same as in the European French version (for example, "Carmin sur Mer" is used instead of "Vermilion City" or a translated equivalent such as "Ville de Vermilion"). All dubbing and other modifications required for the Canadian French version of the anime were conducted by Covitec in the province of Québec.

The Canadian French dub aired on Télétoon, a French-language children's network based in Montréal. Although Télétoon has removed Pokémon from its schedule, it still occasionally airs the Pokémon movies. Approximately around Pokémon: Master Quest, the Canadian French version of the dub ceased to be produced and distributed, although the movies continued to be released to French-speaking Canadians until Destiny Deoxys. The Canadian French version of the Pokémon anime currently does not air on any channel.

The Canadian French dub was released on VHS and DVD by Imavision Distribution Inc., but their license to distribute the series has expired and their Pokémon titles have gone out of print. The movies were distributed on VHS and bilingual DVD (with both French and English audio tracks) by Warner Brothers, although no movies have been released to Canadians in French since VIZ Media took over the distribution of the films.

Cast and Crew

Many voice actors and actresses contributed to the Canadian French version of the Pokémon anime. Although much of the dialogue from the European French version was reused for the Canadian dub, many proper names in the show were redubbed to match the proper names used in the English version of the anime airing elsewhere in Canada.

The voice actors who contributed to this redubbing included Sébastien Reding, who provided the voice of Ash Ketchum, Kim Jalabert, who provided Misty's voice, Martin Watier, who provided Brock's voice, and Joël Legendre, who provided Tracey's voice. Ash's mother, Delia Ketchum, was voiced by Nathalie Coupal.

Jessie was voiced by Christine Séguin, James was voiced by Antoine Durand, and Meowth was voiced by François Sasseville. Their boss, Giovanni, was voiced by Daniel Picard.

Professor Oak was voiced by Alain Sauvage. Another Pokémon Professor, Professor Elm, was voiced by Pierre Chagnon.

Other notable voice actors of the Canadian French dub include Julie Burroughs, who provided the voice for Nurse Joy, and Camille Cyr-Desmarais, the voice of Officer Jenny.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

Cards for the Pokémon Trading Card Game have been sold in Canada since the introduction of the Base Set. English-language cards are imported from the United States to be sold in Canadian stores. Originally, only English-language cards were available, but many French-speaking parents felt this was unfair to their children, who also did not have a French-language Pokémon video game. As a result, Wizards of the Coast, which had recently started selling Pokémon cards in France, began to import these French-language cards for sale in Québec. Today, both English- and French-language cards are recognized as tournament legal in Pokémon Organized Play.

Pokémon merchandise

Canada receives most of the same Pokémon merchandise that is available in the United States, such as plush toys and foods. All four Burger King promotions were available at Canadian Burger King outlets. Per national laws[4], all Pokémon toys and other merchandise come with bilingual packaging and instructions.

A Danone yogurt card featuring Pikachu

Several Pokémon books that have been released in English in Canada and the United States have been translated into French by Le Groupe Syntagme Inc for sale in Québec. Examples include many books from the Pokémon anime novelization series, the Pokémon Adventure Series (Pokémon Collection Adventure), Pokémon Pop Quiz (Pokémon Questions-pièges) and Extreme Pokémon: The Guide for the Ultimate Fan (Extrêmes Pokémon: Le guide ultime des vrais mordus). VIZ Media exports all of its Pokémon manga to Canada, however, no Pokémon manga have been released in Canadian French.

A bilingual Event card from the Pokémon Master Trainer board game

In 2000, collectible cards were given away in packages of Danone yogurt products. These cards contained tips for the recently-released Pokémon Stadium and were only available in Canada - not in the United States. All cards in the series are bilingual.

All Pokémon board games released in the United States, such as Pokémon Master Trainer and Pokémon Yahtzee Jr., have been released in Canada in fully bilingual versions.

In the year 2000, YTV featured Pokémon Theme on their first Big Fun Party Mix CD.[5]


  • Scott Ramsoomair, the author of the webcomic Super Effective, is Canadian.[6]
  • Pokémon.ca used to redirect to Pokémon.com.
    • It is possible that Pokémon.com will create a website for Canada via this page. Currently, if the user selects Canada as their country on the map, they will be redirected to the American website.


  1. 1.0 1.1 YTV's TV Listing (retrieved February 18, 2010)
  2. YTV - YAP! Member Boards -> Pokemon Season 12! (retrieved February 18, 2010)
  3. Bionix On Demand cancelled (retrieved February 18, 2010)
  4. Official Languages Act (retrieved February 18, 2010)
  5. Big Fun Party Mix: Big Fun Party Mix: Amazon.ca: Music (retrieved February 18, 2010)
  6. Scott Ramsooair Biography @ AnimeCons.com (retrieved February 18, 2010)

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