It’s never been more exciting to be a Canadian. From the small screen to the airwaves, our countrymen and women are repeatedly proving that we are a force to be reckoned with. Check out our favourite and most patriotic Canadian media moments from the past year–maple syrup not included.
Noted as one of the best new and politically-timely TV series this year, The Handmaid’s Tale, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, shocked audiences everywhere. The chilling, dystopian series led by the brilliant Elisabeth Moss, was praised for its feminist viewpoint and faithful representation of Atwood’s work. The series cleaned up at the Emmys, taking home eight titles, including Outstanding Drama. – Celina Torrijos
Jessie Reyez has experienced a 2017 that only the most exciting and talented new voices in music can dare to dream possible. Thanks to the release of her debut EP Kiddo, as well as her stunning and emotionally poignant short film Gatekeeper, Toronto native Reyez has gone from underground cult favorite to Rolling Stone’s list of top 10 artists to watch this year. The Canadian singer’s unique raspy growl paired with her honest and relatable lyrics have made her one of the most refreshing voices of the decade and earned her sold-out shows across North America and coveted timeslots on late night TV. What’s most exciting about Reyez is that from where we stand, the singer is just getting started. – Allison Bowsher
When the nominations for the 2018 Grammy awards were released the trend of #GrammysSoCanadian was evident from the start. Newcomers like Alessia Cara and Daniel Caesar not only received their first nominations, but both earned multiple nods for their incredible work in 2017. The Weeknd’s partnership with French duo Daft Punk earned the Toronto native a nomination, while the late great Leonard Cohen also earned a posthumous nod. Canadian icons Michael Buble and Sarah McLachlan are both nominated in the same category this year and we’d be thrilled to see either talented artist when. As for Justin Bieber, the popstar didn’t release an album this year but he did jump on to two of the biggest tracks of 2017, earning a nomination for DJ Khaled’s “I’m The One” and multiple nods for the breakout Spanish track “Despacito.” – Allison Bowsher
Drake meeting Celine Dion is all of us meeting Celine Dion. Drizzy had the opportunity to chat with Canada’s premier French-Canadian belter backstage at the Billboard Music Awards in May, and he was so in awe that he actually grasped her hand and bowed. As you should, Drake. During the meeting, he confessed that he’s this close to getting a Celine tattoo and later brought his father in for a group photo. Earlier that month, Drake also met late Canadian rock legend Gord Downie at a Raptors game. After bowing down to Downie (of course), Drake pulled him in for a tight hug. We have no idea what the two of them talked about, but it was probably smarter and more insightful than anything us mere mortals could come up with. The last couple of years have been pretty great for Drake in terms of random Canadian celebrity encounters (he met Shania Twain in 2016). Who will he meet in 2017? Alanis Morissette? William Shatner? – Sara Cristiano
When something involves both of the Canadian Ryans, we have no choice but to talk about it. At the 74th Golden Globe Awards ceremony back in January, Ryan Gosling won the Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy award for his turn as Sebastian in La La Land. Ryan Reynolds, who was nominated in the same category for his loveably snarky performance in Deadpool, leaned in and planted a huge kiss on Hacksaw Ridge’s Andrew Garfield when Gosling took the stage to accept the award. Blake Lively’s overjoyed response when she saw the kiss made the entire moment even better. A few weeks later, Garfield explained that the kiss was originally only supposed to happen if Reynolds won the Golden Globe. Fortunately for us, Garfield suggested they go through with the plan despite Reynolds’ loss. And everyone—even Garfield’s ex Emma Stone and Gosling himself—apparently loved it. Gosling may have won the award, but Reynolds and Garfield definitely won our hearts. – Sara Cristiano
Gord Downie passed away this year following a long, courageous battle with brain cancer, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of Canadians. The poetic singer-songwriter Downie gifted audiences with more than we can possibly list, including 13 studio albums with his band The Tragically Hip; five solo albums, with more still to come; books of profound poetry and prose and, most recently, awareness about Canada’s dark residential school era and the road to reconciliation. At the root of everything he did—his fearless lyricism, onstage antics and activism—Downie embodied courage and left everyone he touched better off because of it. We’ll be eternally grateful for the courage Gord Downie shared, and couldn’t be prouder of the impact this great, great Canadian made. – Jess Huddleston