The Tomato

Just a few of the key elements of CANCozy. Photo: CC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Abby Kihano, Pexels, Kurt Bauschardt, masatoshi, edits by Christine Wang.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Government begins CANCozy initiative, teaches Canadians how to be warm

Inspired by Denmark’s hygge and Scotland’s cosagach, the Canadian government is now looking to cash in on the coziness trend with their own uniquely Canadian way of getting snuggly, dubbed CANCozy.

Heritage minister Melanie Joly is spearheading the latest attempt by a Northern country to market being warm in the winter, proclaiming the “idea of staying warm in winter” as something that Canada—and no one else—is uniquely qualified to teach.

“I was just seeing this massive market for basic comfort,” said Joly in a press briefing after the national strategy was announced. “We’re always looking for ways to grow our economy and help Canadians just like you.”

Joly expressed jubilation in the potential for CANCozy to spread the “liberal gospel of warmth and comfort” to people who have apparently been suffering in sub-zero temperatures for millennia. In fact, the government is already exploring ways in which they can scale back their peacekeeping missions and instead focus on spreading the radical notion of warmth to other countries in the Global North.

Joly and her team toured Canada in search of coziness, and assembled their findings in the seminal Report on Canadian Coziness, which divides coziness into different levels.

The highest level of comfort, according to the report, can be achieved by lounging in a Mountie outfit while watching Anne, a show with 13 Canadian Screen Award nominations, on the CBC, fresh from a vigorous cross-country ski. A toque from The Bay should be substituted for the Mountie hat. The voice of Leonard Cohen should be lulling you gently into a stupor. Hot chocolate and apple cider, both provided by Tim Hortons, both tied for max coziness, so either drink is acceptable here. Something light, like Stephen Leacock, should be read. Avoid moodier books, such as literally any other Canadian author’s work.

Scott Snugs, a professor of leisure studies at the University of Ottawa who specializes in research on coziness, stressed the importance of CANCozy as a lifestyle philosophy, a way of living that uniquely compliments Canadians’ Northern temperaments.

“There’s no part of me that sees this a marketing ploy,” Snugs said. “Some people might say that using apple cider to bring people from around the world to Mt. Tremblant is just a way to make money, but honestly—apple cider is a lifestyle.”

“A Canadian lifestyle,” he added menacingly.

Of course, there has been opposition to the trend. A lobbying group known as Canadians for the Cold has mounted an attack from various angles. One of their arguments is that our addiction to warmth is in fact fueling global warming.

“Canadians have become accustomed to a certain level of warmth and comfort ever since the economic booms of the postwar period, which we are now taking for granted,” said spokesperson Lisa Dumchill. “To consolidate power, the neoliberal governments of the world are artificially raising global temperatures to keep people happy. It’s sort of obvious: if they weren’t behind it all, I think they’d actually do something to stop global warming.”

However, Canadians for the Cold seems to be splintering as internal division takes root, with a break-off group claiming that any warmth is essentially impossible under capitalism. Another faction, however, claims that the basic futility of the universe itself precludes any chance of coziness. The frigid dark nights, as they like to say, are frigid dark nights of the soul.  

But if frigid isn’t exactly in your vocabulary, then why not try Kim’s Convenience and a Canada Goose jacket, while enjoying a Tim Hortons chili from the comfort of your sugar shack?