5 Super Canadian Stories That Need A Movie, Stat

There’s a Rob Ford movie now. Here are some other ideas.
From left to right: Emergency goalie David Ayres, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould and Peace By Chocolate founder Assam Hadhad all have experiences that could drive movie plots.
From left to right: Emergency goalie David Ayres, MP Jody Wilson-Raybould and Peace By Chocolate founder Assam Hadhad all have experiences that could drive movie plots.

There’s a Rob Ford movie now.

“Run This Town” is about a corrupt “mayor” — played by Damien Lewis — who smoked crack in a photo and the journalists who brought him down. But we all know it’s a Rob Ford movie — even if it wrote out the main journalist who did the investigating.

Canadians love it when our stories make their way to the U.S., our older, bigger sibling we’re always trying to get the attention of for some reason or another.

But Canada has many stories that would make for a great movie. From sports heroics and government scandals, to the weird and wacky things that could only happen in Canada, we have endless fodder for screenwriters both north and south of the border for “based on true events” stories.

So what other homegrown stories could make it to feature film? And who might they star? Let’s explore.

David Ayres

This one basically writes itself. Local Zamboni driver gets a kidney transplant in 2004, assuming he’ll never play professional hockey again. After years waiting in the wings, his chance comes when both of the goalies for the visiting Carolina Hurricanes go down.

Wearing a freshly printed No. 90 jersey, he takes to the ice for a period and a half, leading Carolina to a storybook win in the heart of the playoff race. His wife enthusiastically tweets along from home. New teammates shower him with water after the win. He gets a day named after him in North Carolina.

You can’t script this stuff.

Ryan Reynolds as David Ayres? Forget “Rudy,” this is the inspirational sports film of a new generation.

The grandpa who taught his sons to build a log cabin in 56 days

In 2018, Tony Vilcsak approached his grandchildren with a request to teach them how to build a log cabin. They agreed, wanting to learn the skills their grandfather had spent decades honing.

The only surprise was the timeline — 56 days to build a 1,500 sq.-ft. structure.

But they did it, and grew closer as a family over the course of long work days on the site near Golden, B.C.

“I mean, how often do you get to spend two months with your grandfather learning his greatest skill to pass onto the next generation?” Andrew Vilcsak told HuffPost Canada in 2018. “It’s the stuff of dreams, basically.”

It also could be the stuff movies are made of. This could be a project for indie darling film distributor A24, responsible for everything from “Midsommar” to “Uncut Gems” and “Eighth Grade.”

Write a slow meditative score, throw in some lens flares and thematic resonance around building up yourself and the connections between memory and physical space. Maybe use some dialogue about how memory lives in wood and generations of hands building something for the future.

Sounds like a hit — “Uncut Logs,” anyone?

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

It doesn’t even explicitly have to be about Canada’s most beloved ice dancers. Simply the story of a pair who grew up together, won Olympic gold as a team and skated into the hearts of a nation would be enough.

WATCH: How Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir built their 21-year partnership. Story continues below.

A movie could trace their friendship and partnership over the decades, involve classic sports tropes of self-doubt, perseverance and friendship. There’s a nation rallying behind them, and the question of when to stop. It’s frankly a fairytale.

And for all those shippers out there, they could alternatively rewrite the ending so the two actually end up together.

(Don’t worry, we’re still happy for your engagement, Scott!)

The SNC-Lavalin Affair

The Academy Awards love a good high-stakes government scandal, full of whispered conversations behind closed doors that balloon into national scandal.

Enter, the SNC-Lavalin Affair.

Most of us know the story by now. Then-attorney general and justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould speaks out, saying she was unduly pressured by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office to go easy on engineering mega giant SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould and ally Jane Philpott are kicked out of the party.

It’s full of political twists and turns, secretly recorded phone calls, emotional testimony on the stand. Basically everything you’d want in a prestige drama.

Could Meryl Streep play Jane Philpott? She’ll find a way.

Peace By Chocolate

In 2016, Trudeau opened his speech to the United Nations Leaders Summit on Refugees with the story of a chocolate shop in Nova Scotia.

The Hadhad family came to Antigonish, N.S. in 2016 after fleeing to Lebanon from Damascus, where Tareq’s father Isam ran a successful chocolate factory that was destroyed in a bombing.

The new shop in Antigonish was called Peace By Chocolate. It quickly grew with the support of the local community. Last year, as business continued to boom, the family pledged to hire 50 refugees by 2022 to provide safe and stable employment.

Syrian chocolatier Tareq Hadhad greets children at the door of Peace By Chocolate factory in Antigonish, N.S. on Sept. 9, 2017.
Syrian chocolatier Tareq Hadhad greets children at the door of Peace By Chocolate factory in Antigonish, N.S. on Sept. 9, 2017.

“They (refugees) come here to contribute, they come here to give back to the community, and as a family that lost everything in the world we know how they feel,” CEO Tareq Hadhad said in an interview with CP last year.

“Being a refugee is not a choice, it’s not a decision, it’s not a life goal. These people are fleeing their homes because of war, because of persecution. It is substantial and it’s the responsibility for everyone to do his role in supporting these newcomers to Canada.”

A story following Hadhad and his family from Syria to Canada would be sweeter than any chocolate, and could give a showcase for an up-and-coming Canadian first- or second-generation actor.

Actually, too late. Hadhad has just announced that a movie about the family’s story is being made and is expected to be released this fall.