What are your Canadian Essentials? Make the case for your own favourites by creating a Listmania list of the Canadian CDs, DVDs, or books you consider the best.

What are the most essential Canadian books, CDs, and DVDs of all time? In 2004, the Amazon.ca editors put together our choices for the 50 titles in each category--some familiar and some surprising--that represent the best that Canada has to offer: Books, Music, and DVDs. Find old favourites and new discoveries, and consider what you would put on your own list of Canadian Essentials.

Canadian Books Essentials

Our list of the 50 most essential Canadian books includes novels, memoirs, poetry, histories, a rhyming picture book, a dictionary, an art survey, and a graphic novel--among others--but our choice for the most essential Canadian book is a collection of short stories by perhaps the English language's greatest working practitioner of the form. (The hardest part was choosing just one of her remarkable collections as the best.) Check out our full list of the 50 Canadian Books Essentials to see who else made the cut (and, since ending the list was even harder than beginning it, you can also see our honourable-mention books, as well as lists of essential books we wish were back in print and second-best books by authors who made our main list).

1. The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
2. St. Urbain's Horseman by Mordecai Richler
3. The Selected Stories by Mavis Gallant
4. Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
5. The Game by Ken Dryden

See all 50 Canadian Books Essentials

Canadian Music Essentials

Thanksgiving Day, 1976. Members of the Band gather for their final concert in San Francisco. Few at the time knew that this evening would become one of the most significant in Canadian music history. Joining the Band onstage that night, and captured forever in Martin Scorsese's landmark film, The Last Waltz, were fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Now, almost 30 years later, classic recordings by the Band, Young, and Mitchell occupy three of the top five spots in Amazon.ca's list of the 50 Canadian Music Essentials of all time. Who else made the list?

1. Music from Big Pink by the Band
2. A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations 1955 & 1981 by Glenn Gould
3. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young
4. Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen
5. Blue by Joni Mitchell

See all 50 Canadian Music Essentials

Canadian DVD Essentials

Consistently rated by critics as the best Canadian feature film ever made, Claude Jutra's masterpiece portraying a boy's coming of age in a mining town in pre-Quiet-Revolution Quebec is our selection for the most essential Canadian DVD. Mon Oncle Antoine won an unprecedented eight statuettes at the 1972 CFI Awards, including best picture and best director, and has twice been voted "The Greatest Canadian Film of All Time" in polls commissioned by the Toronto International Film Festival. Drama, sports, comedy, and tragedy each made the top five in our list of 50 Canadian DVD Essentials. See what else made the list.

1. Mon Oncle Antoine
2. Canada's Team of the Century
3. Trailer Park Boys: Complete First and Second Seasons
4. The Sweet Hereafter
5. Goin' Down the Road

See all 50 Canadian DVD Essentials

Our Canadian Essentials project has brought out the High Fidelity list-making geek in all of us. We made more lists of our own and asked our writers to contribute even more: everything from Moe Berg's 11 Canadian Books to Read by Age 25 and the Essential Almost Canadian Books to Canadian Classic CDs for Your Customized Van and the Essential Canadian Horror Movies. Browse through the boxes on the left and right of this page for many more lists of essentials and personal favourites.

Canadian Top Sellers

When we put together our choices for the Canadian Essentials, we also checked to see how our customers had voted (with your pocketbooks at least). Take a look at our top-selling books, CDs, and DVDs between mid-2002 and mid-2004. The top finishers? Yann Martel, Sarah McLachlan, and the Trailer Park Boys.