They might fuel stereotypes (like certain ones involving igloos and hockey), but snowy winters are also a ubiquitous part of the Canadian experience. There are no southern provinces that stretch close to the equator to bring winters full of sun and warmth, but there is lots of northern land swathed in snow and ice. As such -- loved or loathed -- snow is a yearly and universal Canadian gift, one that runs straight through the heart of Maple Leaf cinema.

To dig into Canadian filmmaking is to dig a comfy fort into the snow, one that screens any number of wintry treatments -- a meandering and pensive look at dangerous wintry accidents, Inuit resolve, hypnotic danger or the verbose dangers that befall a lonely little Ontario town. In one vision, the white landscape will evoke a sense of peace and comfort, and in another, a sense of isolation and menace.

Stuck in the middle of a cold and blizzard-packed winter, there's no better time to dig into that snowy cinema and bask in the cinematic light when it's so cold and dark outside. Hit the jump for our 10 essential wintry Canadian tales.
The Sweet Hereafter Movie Poster
The Sweet Hereafter
R1997
Based on 23 critics

A small mountain community in Canada is devastated when a school bus accident leaves more than a dozen... Read More

Watch on DVDAmazon.com
The Saddest Music in the World Movie Poster
The Saddest Music in the World
R2003
Based on 33 critics

In this experimental musical set in 1930s Winnipeg, Canada, amputee baroness Lady Port-Huntley (Isabella... Read More

The Snow Walker Movie Poster
The Snow Walker
PG2003
In Theaters on February 8, 2004

A bush pilot (Barry Pepper) agrees to take a young Inuit (Annabella Piugattuk) to a hospital, but the... Read More

Away From Her Movie Poster
Away From Her
PG-132006
Based on 36 critics

Long married, Fiona (Julie Christie) and Grant (Gordon Pinsent) find their mutual devotion tested by... Read More

Snow Cake Movie Poster
Snow Cake
2006
Based on 15 critics

Traveling through Canada, ex-con Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) picks up a vivacious young hitchhiker, Vivienne... Read More

My Winnipeg Movie Poster
My Winnipeg
2007
Based on 25 critics

Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin conducts a personal tour of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the town where he grew... Read More

The Tracey Fragments Movie Poster
The Tracey Fragments
R2007
Based on 10 critics

Tracey (Ellen Page) sits traumatized on a bus, scanning the streets for her lost younger brother, Sonny... Read More

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Movie Poster
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
PG-132010
Based on 38 critics

As bass guitarist for a garage-rock band, Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) has never had trouble getting... Read More

Pontypool Movie Poster
Pontypool
2008
Based on 11 critics

When disc jockey Grant Mazzy (Stephen McHattie) reports to his basement radio station in the Canadian... Read More

categories Features