Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat canola oil 30 sec. over high heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover with lid. Shaking saucepan often, pop kernels (about 4 min.). When popping slows to every 2 or 3 sec., remove pot from heat. Wait for popping to stop, then remove lid and transfer popcorn into large bowl (about 12 cups/3 L popcorn).
In medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar and brown rice syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and let bubble about 5 min., or until mixture turns a darker amber than original colour of rice syrup. Remove from heat and stir in (in this order): vanilla, salt and baking soda. Mixture will foam after addition of baking soda; continue stirring a few sec. until foaming subsides. Working quickly, pour sugar mixture, cranberries and candy canes over popcorn; mix well.
Spread popcorn mixture onto prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 min., or until coating is dark golden. Remove from oven; stir popcorn with heatproof spatula to distribute ingredients evenly. Cool completely, about 15 min. Break into pieces to serve.
For added crunch, substitute cranberries with 1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced almonds, or 1/4 cup (60 mL) each sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.