Like many other job sectors in Canada, it looks like the professional Santa industry is facing a shortage of talent right now.
According to several companies that provide professional Santas in Canada and the U.S., many qualified Saint Nick performers haven’t returned to work since the start of the pandemic, and the ones that have are working harder than Rudolph on Christmas Eve.
Especially in provinces like Ontario and B.C. where restrictions have recently loosened, Santas are booked solid for the rest of the season but the requests are still pouring in.
Vancouver-based Hire a Santa employee Rozmin Watson told CBC she has “never had so many bookings in the period of 10 or 12 days” as she did earlier this month.
British Columbia’s Santa Bob told Global News that his schedule is completely full until Christmas, sometimes with several gigs on the same day.
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Another U.S. company told Insider that they’ve had a 121% spike in the number of Santa requests this year, but their roster of availabls Santas is down by 10%.
One quick job search shows that the search for Saint Nick is still on in cities like Toronto and Vancouver. In what seems like an effort to get more candidates to apply, one company says that you don’t even need a beard to get the job.
“Imagine this… we supply everything to get you into character,” the job description says. The minimum age to apply is 18, so even if you don’t fit the bill, you could still have a shot with the right costume.
Santas aren’t the only Christmas tradition in short supply this year. Canada is facing an ongoing Christmas tree shortage, which could mean fewer options and higher prices in the coming years.
There may be fewer Santas and trees to go around, but many provinces can at least be hopeful for a white Christmas this year.