As Canadians, we often get to sit back and watch our beloved country play parts of Europe and the United States. She dons many hats that aren’t her own, and seldom actually gets to play herself. Frankly, she may be better at disappearing into a role than Meryl! Ya, I said it.

We’ve sat in dark theatres and whispered “that’s Toronto!” as if it were a secret. “That’s Alberta!” as Clint Eastwood strides across the planes in Unforgiven. We pretty much all jumped for joy when Toronto got to play itself in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, CN Tower, Sonic Boom, Honest Ed’s and all! But we seldom take real credit for how much of Hollywood’s celebrated films are actually our own.

Enter MADE | NOUS, a new initiative led by the Canada Media Fund to promote all things Canadian. From film and television to video game production, the initiative hopes to shine a loud and proud spotlight on Canada for all she has to offer.

In a beautiful press release sent out today, I’m reminded of some of Canada’s biggest gems. American Psycho, Kick Ass and its sequel, Good Will Hunting, Chicago, Spotlight, Room, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding were all shot largely, if not entirely, in Toronto alone. The horror community goes beyond fandom, with Canada playing home not only to Canuxploitation and Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS but Black Christmas, The Changeling (1980) the entire Resident Evil franchise, IT (2017) and IT: Chapter Two, Heavy Metal, The Fly remake (well, most of David Cronenberg’s filmography) and My Bloody Valentine.

Let us not forget that Guillermo del Toro has shot virtually every one of his films since Pacific Rim in Toronto, including Best Picture winner The Shape of Water.

We felt it when Denys Arcand won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for The Barbarian Invasions, when Xavier Dolan’s Mommy or Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat wowed the world at the Cannes International Film Festival, when Sandra Oh made history as the first person of Asian decent to host the Golden Globes; when Saskatchewan’s own Tatiana Maslany received her first Emmy Award.

We felt it because we have not one but two Ryans on the Hollywood A-list.

“They’re ours! They’re Canadian!”

I find myself saying this a lot. “That’s Canadian!” or “that’s this neighbourhood in Toronto!” or “did you know The Edge was shot entirely in British Columbia and Alberta?” Over the last several weeks in particular I’ve been worrying about things like this, and the fact that Hollywood North doesn’t get the same universal love, the admiration it really deserves. Then, last night before the Oscars, I saw this promo and I kvelled.

MADE | NOUS is a movement that celebrates the creative talent from our country, both at home and abroad. It’s a call to Canadians to recognize the impact of our actors, writers, directors, game developers, special effects artists, and so many others who make up our vibrant arts, culture, and entertainment industry. 

Canadian-made content is no longer limited to stereotypes about hockey or heritage moments. Our content stands shoulder to shoulder with the world.

We’re home to Christopher Plummer, the Sutherlands, Finn Wolfhard and Jacob Tremblay. Ryans Gosling and Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Celine Dion, Anna Paquin, Seth Rogan, Matthew Perry, Jason Priestley, Kim Cattrall, KEANU FREAKIN’ REEVES! In television, Schitt’s Creek is getting international recognition. The X-Files was predominantly filmed on the West coast of Canada, save for a couple of seasons to accommodate Duchovney’s schedule. It’s because of Canada’s multiculturalism that Jim Henson decided to film all of Fraggle Rock right here in Toronto. Jean-Marc Vallée gave the world Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, Denis Villeneuve Arrival and Blade Runner 2049. Canadian cinematographer Chayse Irvin worked on both BlacKkKlansman and Lemonade!

Canada is home to FIFA 19, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5 and Mass Effect, some the biggest video games in the world. We’re home to visual effects compositors who worked on The Force Awakens and Pacific Rim. We’re home to authors, musicians, numerous production, VFX, and sound studios, actors, directors, producers, … the list is truly endless. So it’s about damn time we started taking credit for our contributions!

You can follow the initiative on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit the website, and don’t forget to use the hashtags #ThisIsMADE and #celebronsNOUS!