Canada on Screen


A year-long program celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday and its rich cinematic heritage.

The Cinematheque is proud to celebrate Canada’s 2017 sesquicentennial with Canada on Screen, an exciting national initiative co-produced by TIFF, The Cinematheque, Library and Archives Canada, and the Cinémathèque québécoise.

Canada on Screen is the most ambitious retrospective of Canada’s moving-image heritage ever mounted. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, a list of Canada’s 150 essential moving-images works, based on a countrywide poll of critics, scholars, and industry professionals, has been compiled across nine categories: feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation, experimental films and video, moving-image installations, music videos, commercials, and television shows. These 150 masterworks, many of them newly restored, will be made available to Canadians everywhere in 2017. A full list of the essential 150 is available at

Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, The Cinematheque will present special free screenings showcasing many of these 150 works. Please join us and discover — or rediscover — the breadth, boldness, and wealth of Canada’s cinema history, a remarkable cultural legacy.


As we commemorate Canada 150, The Cinematheque acknowledges that Vancouver is located on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples, including the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.



Une année complète de programmation célébrant le 150e anniversaire du Canada et la richesse de son patrimoine cinématographique.

The Cinematheque est fière de célébrer en 2017 les 150 ans du Canada avec Canada à l’écran, une initiative nationale stimulante coproduite par le TIFF, The Cinémathèque, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada et la Cinémathèque québécoise.

Canada à l’écran est la rétrospective consacrée au patrimoine cinématographique et vidéographique canadien la plus ambitieuse jamais organisée. En l’honneur du 150e anniversaire du pays, une liste de 150 œuvres canadiennes essentielles a été établie selon un groupe pancanadien de critiques, de chercheurs et de membres de l’industrie. Elles sont présentées en neuf catégories : longs métrages de fiction, documentaires, courts métrages, films et vidéos expérimentaux, installations vidéo, vidéoclips, films publicitaires et émissions de télévision. Ces 150 œuvres, dont plusieurs ont fait l’objet d’une restauration récente, seront présentées aux Canadiens partout au pays en 2017. Une liste complète des 150 œuvres essentielles est disponible ici:

À partir de janvier et tout au long de l’année, The Cinematheque présentera gratuitement des séances de projection spéciales mettant en vedette plusieurs de ces 150 œuvres. Venez découvrir – ou redécouvrir – avec nous la portée, l’audace et la richesse de l’histoire cinématographique canadienne et de son héritage culturel.


Tandis que nous soulignons le 150e anniversaire du Canada, The Cinematheque reconnaît que Vancouver est située sur les terres ancestrales des Salish du littoral, y compris les territoires traditionnels des nations Musqueam, Squamish, et Tsleil-Waututh.


Click for film notes + showtimes

Recent Showings

FREE! Sandy Wilson’s charming film à clef is preceded by Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis's animated NFB short, When The Day Breaks.
FREE! André Mélançon's holiday classic is one of Canada’s most cherished children’s films.
FREE! Larry Kent's scandalous debut, the first modern English-Canadian feature, screens with Peter Bryant's 1976 comedy, The Supreme Kid.
FREE! Jennifer Baichwal’s devastatingly beautiful film, a profile on photographer Edward Burtynsky, is preceded by Colin Low's NFB milestone, Corral.
FREE! Michel Brault’s prize-winning second feature is preceded by Joyce Wieland's experimental short, Rat Life and Diet in North America.
FREE! Ted Kotcheff’s lively adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s serio-comic novel is preceded by Sheldon Cohen's NFB favourite, The Sweater.
FREE! Montreal iconoclast André Forcier's breakthrough film is preceded by postmodernist John Paizs's Springtime in Greenland.
FREE! Sarah Polley’s celebrated, highly-personal documentary is preceded by Ann Marie Fleming's signature work, You Take Care Now.
FREE! Guy Maddin’s wild and warped tale of obsessive love is preceded by Chris Landreth's mind-blowing short, Ryan.
FREE! CBC’s fan-adored miniseries, an adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Victorian-set novel, is one of Canadian television's perennial works.
FREE! Anne Claire Poirier’s key work of feminist cinema in Canada is preceded by Michèle Cournoyer's troubling animated film, The Hat.
FREE! David Cronenberg’s most influential and conceptually ingenious film is preceded by Mike Hoolboom's dazzling short film, Frank's Cock.
FREE! Atom Egoyan’s low-budget marvel, one of his most playful and most rigorous films, is preceded by the innovative short, Noah.
FREE! Michael Snow’s milestone, one of avant-garde cinema’s most celebrated and influential works, is followed by Ellie Epp's elegant Trapline.
FREE! Alanis Obomsawin's behind-the-barricades look at Canada’s Oka crisis of 1990 is preceded by Peter Foldès's pioneering animation, Hunger.
FREE! Claude Jutra’s evocative coming-of-age tale, set in a remote Quebec mining community in the 1940s, is a national treasure.
FREE! Don Shebib’s hoser classic, a critical and commercial success, is preceded by the NFB's infectious animated short, Log Driver’s Waltz.
FREE! Denys Arcand's satirical drama, a send-up of big media, organized religion, and contemporary mores, won the Jury Prize at Cannes.
FREE! A boy finds refuge in his imagination in enfant terrible Jean-Claude Lauzon’s memorable — and memorably bizarre — second feature.
FREE! Atom Egoyan’s spellbinding adaptation of Russell Banks’s haunting novel is routinely cited as one of Canadian cinema’s greatest works.
FREE! Back by popular demand! CBC's Emmy-winning miniseries is one of Canadian television’s most prized, perennial works.
FREE! Xavier Dolan’s fondness for extravagant melodrama and exuberant meta-cinematic stylization is on display in his fifth feature.
FREE! Joyce Wieland's epic, visionary, experimental road movie.
FREE! Mireille Dansereau’s superb debut feature was the first fiction feature in Quebec (and only the second in Canada) to be directed by a woman.
FREE! Guy Maddin’s wondrous film, a fantastical mock-memoir, is preceded by Steven Woloshen's exuberant, abstract Cameras Take Five.
FREE! Music is a principal element in this programme of five essential Canadian films.
FREE! François Girard and Don McKellar reinvented the movie biography in this bracingly original portrait of the late Canadian pianist.
FREE! David Cronenberg decisively left grindhouse for arthouse with this deeply unsettling, formally precise psychological horror-drama.
FREE! Two of CBC's most beloved television shows — one for tots, one for teens — are featured in this all-ages program.
FREE! Don Owen's rough and ready tale of youthful rebellion is preceded by Richard Condie's off-the-wall cartoon, The Big Snit.
FREE! Gilles Groulx’s milestone first feature, a mixture of documentary traditions and New Wave trends, is preceded by Caroline Leaf's The Street.
FREE! Michael Snow’s cosmic exploration of nature, perception, and technology is preceded by Daïchi Saïto's Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis.
FREE! Canadian painter and filmmaker Jack Chambers's magnum opus is “one of the few GREAT films of all cinema” (Stan Brakhage).
FREE! Francis Mankiewicz’s remarkable tale of a complex mother-daughter relationship is preceded by Jacques Drouin's Mindscape.
FREE! Alberta filmmaker Gil Cardinal's award-winning documentary is preceded by Norman McLaren's pixillated classic, Neighbours.
FREE! Donald Brittain and John Spotton's moving account of the Holocaust is preceded by Stuart Legge's Oscar-winning Churchill’s Island.
FREE! Québécois poet and filmmaker Pierre Perrault's portrait of male savagery is preceded by Arthur Lipsett's Very Nice, Very Nice.
FREE! Deepa Mehta’s Oscar-nominated film takes place in an ashram where widows are forced to live out their lives as impoverished outcasts.
FREE! Allan King’s classic (and controversial) fly-on-the-wall portrait of a marriage in crisis is a landmark of direct-cinema documentary.
FREE! A group of Montreal intellectuals talk sex and politics in Denys Arcand’s celebrated film.
FREE! The free-spirited, autobiographical first feature of Quebec master Claude Jutra.
FREE! Gilles Carle's absurd, trenchant allegory is one of the greatest Québécois films of the 1970s.
FREE! The second feature from Atlantic Canada’s William MacGillivray is a humorous and insightful celebration of the life-affirming qualities of art.
FREE! Monique Mercure is the wife of a travelling photographer in Jean Beaudin's honoured film.
FREE! This direct-cinema masterpiece records the traditional practice of beluga whale hunting.
FREE! Adapted from a play by Gratien Gélinas, this beloved Québécois classic was the first feature to win Best Film at the Canadian Film Awards.
FREE! Rodrigue Jean’s uncompromising documentary about Montreal's male prostitution industry sent shock waves through the media.
FREE! Allan King’s explosive “actuality drama,” shot at a home for emotionally disturbed children, is an essential work of modern documentary.
FREE! Montreal filmmaker Tanya Ballantyne Tree’s documentary, a powerful account of urban poverty, is preceded by Peter Foldès's Hunger.
FREE! A harrowing melodrama about a girl’s suffering at the hands of her stepmother.
FREE! A Montrealer makes a pilgrimage to France in this poetic work by Jean Pierre Lefebvre.
FREE! Falardeau and Poulin’s gleefully vulgar short is preceded by Arthur Lipsett's Very Nice, Very Nice and the direct-cinema landmark La lutte.
FREE! Bonnie Sherr Klein’s tough-minded interrogation of pornography is preceded by Arthur Lamothe's Bûcherons de la Manouane.
FREE! Visionary Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler's awe-inspiring documentary is preceded by David Rimmer's Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper.
FREE! The second feature from Swiss-born Léa Pool is a rumination on cinema, identity, loneliness, and desire in the mode of Marguerite Duras.
FREE! Denys Arcand first made a name for himself with this socio-political documentary, one of Canada’s most notorious cases of film censorship.
FREE! LIVE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT! Female film pioneer Nell Shipman had her greatest international hit with this Far North adventure.
FREE! Zacharias Kunuk’s spellbinding epic, the first-ever feature in the Inuktitut language, is a memorable and timeless milestone.
FREE! A Canada on Screen media-literacy workshop presented by The Cinematheque’s Education and Outreach Department.
FREE! Bruce Elder’s maximalist 7-hour film-poem epic screens in two parts over two nights.
FREE! DIRECTOR IN PERSON! Anne Wheeler’s powerful drama, set in a small Alberta town, is preceded by Martine Chartrand's Black Soul.
FREE! ARTIST IN PERSON! The first film work by acclaimed artist Rodney Graham throws into relief the mechanics, labour, and economics of cinema.
FREE! Achbar and Wintonick’s dynamic exploration of the life and thought of Noam Chomsky.
FREE! Clement Virgo’s debut feature is an ambitious exploration of Black Canadian identity. Preceded by Virgo's Save My Lost Nigga Soul.
FREE! Patricia Rozema’s much-loved debut feature, winner of the Prix de la Jeunesse at Cannes, is preceded by Co Hoedeman's The Sand Castle.
FREE! Micheline Lanctôt's atmospheric second feature is a beautiful, strangely haunting film about alienated teens venturing into the world of adults.
FREE! Claude Jutra’s evocative coming-of-age tale, set during Christmas in a remote Quebec mining community in the 1940s, is a national treasure.
FREE! An unknown killer stalks the halls of a sorority house at Christmas time in this Canuxploitation classic and box-office hit.