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Speakers

Each year we’re proud to present speakers that inspire next-level thinking in sponsorship and experiential marketing. Not shy in our pursuit of superstars, we scour headlines, pluck from awards lists, and take full advantage of friend-of-a-friend relationship benefits to procure best-in-class speakers with broad perspectives who put thinking first.

And we’ve done it again. These are the men and women who’ve exemplified pushing the limits of thinking, doing, and knowing.

 

This is your CSFX17 dream team.

Don Amero

Singer / Songwriter / Entertainer
View Biography

Don Amero is a powerful vocal stylist, Juno nominee, and engaging storyteller. With silky vocals, a lovable stage presence, and a soulful/ country sound that’s been called a blend between Ed Sheeran and Keith Urban. Don brings his own brand of percussion-style guitar play and delightful approachability to every event he plays.

Music is Medicine

Through a mix of stories, songs, short videos and inspiring examples, JUNO nominated singer/songwriter Don Amero will share his findings on how music encourages and motivates us all. This moving presentation will explore what is happening within us when we listen to music and the research that shows how music benefits people in all areas of life. A powerful tool that we’re only beginning to see as a form of medication, music lifts you up and literally moves you in unexpected ways.

Mike Armstrong

Brand Strategy Lead
Google
View Biography

Mike Armstrong is a professional marketer with a diverse background, curious nature, and data obsession. He works at Google as a Brand Strategy Lead, engaging with clients to help propel their businesses forward.

Prior to Google, Mike was Director of Sports Marketing & Digital Innovation at the CBC/Radio-Canada. There he and his teams were responsible for marketing and business development efforts tied to sports initiatives in addition to deriving new digital concepts, partnerships, and products for the organization as a whole.

Armstrong has extensive brand marketing experience and a proven track record working in brand management across many leading global brands such as: BudweiserStella ArtoisDentyneStride, and Kraft Foods. He currently works out of Google Toronto’s office and is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

 

Connecting Through Sponsorship in the Digital Age: How Google Can Help you Amplify Your Efforts in a Mobile-First World

Most Canadians are now mobile first. Are you? We’re experiencing a startling change in how we consume content, yet some marketers are still focused elsewhere. With the sheer growth in mobile, introducing digital at events gives consumers the opportunity to immerse themselves further into music festivals like Coachella and live events like YouTube FanFest. Using case studies on those events, Cristie and Mike will talk about leveraging digital and innovation to create connections with audiences and to amplify events.

Hear from Google’s thought-leaders on what’s next for digital and innovation. They’ll discuss changes and trends in consumer behaviour and then offer advice and tips on how to amplify your marketing and sponsorship in a mobile-first world. Knowing how much time we spend on our phones, we should understand the importance of building amplification platforms for them.

Rebecca Basi

Director of Business Development
Plastic Mobile
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Basi isn’t afraid of hard work. In 2011, while completing her bachelor of business administration in marketing at Toronto’s York University, she was hired as a marketing intern at Plastic Mobile. Quickly promoted to marketing coordinator, Rebecca worked full-time downtown and commuted to York for evening classes, using her vacation time to write exams and graduate in 2012.

Today, Rebecca is the Director of Marketing at Plastic Mobile, guiding the marketing department through the competitive world of mobile. After being named to Marketing Mag’s 30 under 30 list, Rebecca has not shown any signs of slowing down, working tirelessly to articulate Plastic Mobile’s brand while also finding and developing new industry-leading partnerships.

Among Rebecca’s notable Canadian Brands are OLG, BMO, Pizza Pizza, Shoppers Drug Mart, and most recently, LCBO.

A Unique Boutique: Enhancing the Customer Experience Digitally

When it comes to customer experience in retail, digital integration is the new norm. But in a crowded marketplace, how can Canadian retailers ensure that they are correctly leveraging new technologies to increase consumer engagement? For Plastic Mobile, it meant creating a suite of digital apps, with the support of Yorkdale and Metropolis Avenue Shopping Centres, to help take some stress out of the holiday shopping season with the Avion Holiday Boutique.

Sharing insights from the project, Rebecca Basi will discuss how they met their objectives of enhancing the customer shopping experience, and digitizing the Avion Boutique, while also covering how they measured ROI, and how this project can evolve down the road.

Kenneth Bérard

CEO
Optimy
View Biography

Kenneth Bérard is the CEO at Optimy and a passionate Belgian entrepreneur, with over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship and business development.

Back in 2011, surfing the wave of the digital transformation, Kenneth founded Optimy together with Christophe Deliens, CTO of the company. Their goal was simple: make the life of sponsorship and grant professionals easier and increase their efficiency by automating and digitalising their processes. Under his leadership, the company has grown fast over the past 5 years being trusted by more than 170 organisations worldwide with a retention rate of 98%. Optimy is now looking forward to accelerate its growth and reach new horizons.

Prior to funding Optimy, Kenneth participated in the launch of other innovative start-ups and engaged in the Global Business Solutions service team at Accenture where he contributed in delivering innovative procurement strategies for key accounts worldwide.

Sponsorship Decision-Making in the Ever-Transforming Digital Age

Even Autobots would be overwhelmed by the rate of the digital transformation these days. Sponsorships and partnerships are great opportunities to build a brand image, but as data-driven information and analysis becomes more important, sponsorship professionals are required to have or acquire the knowledge of selecting the best projects and assessing their performance based on their collected data. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to. Kenneth Bérard will show you examples of sponsorship decision-making done well and share insights on how to collect and leverage data to roll out your next project successfully.

Elisa Beselt

Consultant
T1
View Biography

Elisa has been a co-author of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study for over five years, playing a critical role in shaping the shared knowledge of the Canadian sponsorship industry.

In Elisa’s role at T1, her analytical and strategic development skills have allowed her to lead some of the Consulting team’s largest and most high profile projects. She works on both sides of the table to ensure properties and corporations reach their overall marketing and business objectives through sponsorship. Specializing in sponsorship analysis, strategy development, and research, her clients have included the Habitat for Humanity Canada, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, and Nike Canada.

11th Annual Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study

The Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study (CSLS) was founded in 2006 for the CSF-X Vancouver conference at the Grey Cup. Since then, the study has become Canada’s benchmark for sponsorship trends and areas of concern. Now in its 11th iteration, the CSLS has measured investment in sponsorship growth from $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion in 2015.

In this session, Elisa Beselt & Dr. Norm O'Reilly from T1's Consulting Group will present the full results from the 11th annual version of the CSLS. The CSLS is a nationwide analysis of sponsors, properties, and agencies that is shared openly and includes both quantitative assessments and qualitative deep dives. In the 2017 version of the study, delegates will hear about recent trends in sponsorship spending and get a look at global sponsorship from a Canadian perspective. Elisa and Norm will report on findings from the 2016 year, sharing the newest information on the sponsorship industry and key lessons on what it all means for sponsorship professionals.

Dana Brochu

Director of Marketing
Sleeman Breweries
View Biography

Dana Brochu is Director of Marketing at Sleeman Breweries, responsible for brand management & marketing promotions for the flagship Sleeman brands and Old Milwaukee. Prior to joining Sleeman, she has had a 20-year career in advertising and marketing, working for several leading North American retail & CPG companies.  Most recently she worked at Tim Hortons as Sr. Director of Marketing, where she directed communications, product innovation and marketing programs, including one of the most successful consumer promotions in North America, Roll Up the Rim.

Dana’s greatest strengths are her passion for her brands, creativity and her laser focus on the consumer.  She is relentless in the pursuit of strong insights to drive the development of products and communications that capture the heart and mind of the consumer.

Dana currently resides in Oakville with her family and in her down time enjoys the outdoors, the perfect occasion for a great cup of coffee or Sleeman Railside Session Ale.

From Surfing the Web to Riding the Rails: How Sleeman Launched a New Product With a Younger Demographic

Last summer, Sleeman was looking for an atypical way to promote its new Session Ale. Flipping the switch on traditional hiring practices, they used specific media to engage a new target and got them to compete to become the Sleeman Railside Reps. From concept to Canada-wide adventures, join Betsy Cooper and Dana Brochu as they take you through the ins and outs of the socially driven promotion. One that kicked off an awesome cross-country tour while engaging consumers, customers and their sales force along the way.

Ryan Burella

Senior Manager, Arts & Culture Sponsorships
Scotiabank
View Biography

Scotiabank markets itself as Canada’s hockey bank, but thanks to Ryan Burella it has become Canada’s photography, film and avant-garde art bank, too.

As the senior manager of the Bank’s arts and culture sponsorships, Ryan is instrumental in building and growing partnerships with organizations like the CONTACT Photography Festival, the Giller Prize, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Hot Docs film festival.

Ryan joined Scotiabank in 2014 from Sears Canada and has over 10 years of experience in Marketing and Sponsorships. In 2015, Marketing Magazine named him one of the Top 30 under 30 professionals in the Canadian marketing industry.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

Beyond the Frame: The Art of Engaging Photography Sponsorships

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But how do you get photography sponsorships to speak authentically about your brand? Scotiabank has long invested in the arts, introducing new ways for Canadians to experience culture.

With a new lens on photography, Ryan Burella will break down two cases to explain how Scotiabank has successfully told meaningful stories about the Canadian photography landscape, while engaging consumers through powerful brand activations. Interested in tech integration? Beyond the Frame turned the outside of a Toronto branch into an interactive gallery to showcase finalists of the Scotiabank Photography Award. Want to learn more about native content? The brand worked with The Globe and Mail to shed light on 10 real, must-read Canadian and international stories. Learn the art of partnering brands and cultural properties to retain artistic integrity, engage consumers, and drive ROI.

Mark Cohon

Chairman
CARAS, The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts
View Biography

Mark Cohon is an experienced sports and entertainment executive, proven turn-around expert, active public speaker, proud builder of Canadian brands and entrepreneur at heart.

In sports, Mark is best known for his leadership as the 12th Commissioner of the CFL.  Mark was the driving force behind the renaissance of the league. His eight-year stewardship of the CFL was a remarkable run that saw the CFL’s business model transformed and its brand rejuvenated.

Strong attendance, record television ratings, $2 billion in new stadiums, strengthened corporate partnerships, a return to the nation’s capital and the almost tripling of team distributions from the league office were are all part of Mark’s legacy.

Mark is routinely listed among the most influential people in Canadian sport. He is a former executive with Major League Baseball International (MLB), where he was Director of Corporate and Game Development, and the National Basketball Association, where he was recruited by then Commissioner David Stern to serve as Director and Group Manager of International Marketing, Managing Director of NBA Europe, and Vice-President of Business Development.

Former Chief Development Officer for Petopia, a multi-channel retailer in the United States, Mark was also the President and CEO of AudienceView, an event ticketing firm that grew under his leadership to claim such prominent international clients as the Toronto Blue Jays, the new Wembley Stadium, Churchill Downs and MGM Inc.

Mark, a music industry outsider, was appointed the Chairman of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, to oversee the transformation of the Juno Awards, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and MusiCounts. He serves on the Board of World Wildlife Fund Canada, and is past Chair of the Ontario Science Centre, one of the world’s largest centres devoted to science and its impact on our lives.

In the corporate world, Mark sits on many important boards. He is the Chairman of the Georgian Bay Spirits Company, a fast growing Canadian craft spirits company bringing mixology to the masses.  He served as a board member of Cirque du Soleil Russia, is on the board of Ryerson Futures, the accelerator for Ryerson University and is Chair of Sensibill Inc, a leading digital receipts company.

In 2013 Cohon was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the most prestigious official honour in Canada’s most populous province.  And in 2015, he received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada for his transformative leadership of the CFL.

A former zookeeper at the Toronto Zoo during his high school years, in 1990 Mark led a three-month expedition in Siberia and the Canadian High Arctic.  In 2001, he lived in the rain forests of Sumatra for a month to assist field scientists studying wild and semi-wild Orangutans.

Mark lives in Toronto with his wife Suzanne, their daughter and their two crazy dogs, a 15-year-old Golden Retriever and their 3 year old German Shepherd.

Backstage: The Story Behind the JUNOS and the Global Impact of Canadian Music

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the JUNO Awards? What the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' role is? How they select talent and secure the artists that perform? What they do to ensure the broadcast runs smoothly? And what really goes on during those JUNO after-parties? Hear from a music industry vet and business leader, Allan Reid and Mark Cohon as they take you through a backstage look at the making of The JUNOS. Also hear the important roles The JUNOS and MusiCounts play in an artist’s career, in evolving Canada's music ecosystem and in developing meaningful partnerships. Listen as they share their goals, vision and their passionate belief in the power of music - just try to sit still.

Betsy Cooper

Managing Director
Kwittken
View Biography

Betsy Cooper brings more than 15 years of experience as a strategic communications expert to her role as Managing Director at Kwittken. Her extensive experience in the food, travel and lifestyle communications realms has allowed her to create innovative and integrated media relations, social media and crisis communications strategies on both the agency and client side of the business.

In her role at Kwittken, she is responsible for the management of the company’s Canadian office and provides strategic counsel to clients and staff alike. Kwittken Canada boasts a roster of high-profile clients including Sleeman Breweries, Cervélo, American Express Global Business Travel, Orangetheory Fitness, DIALOG Design, Bushnell, and many others. Over the years, Betsy has also had the opportunity to develop, oversee and execute programs and campaigns for clients such NABOB Coffee Company, Atlantic Canada House, Tourism PEI, Molson Coors, Labatt Breweries, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Yahoo!, Nike, Unilever and more.

From Surfing the Web to Riding the Rails: How Sleeman Launched a New Product with a Younger Demographic

Last summer, Sleeman was looking for an atypical way to promote its new Session Ale. Flipping the switch on traditional hiring practices, they used specific media to engage a new target and got them to compete to become the Sleeman Railside Reps. From concept to Canada-wide adventures, join Betsy Cooper and Dana Brochu as they take you through the ins and outs of the socially driven promotion. One that kicked off an awesome cross-country tour while engaging consumers, customers and their sales force along the way.

Stefanie Crispino

Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Carter Work Project
Habitat for Humanity Canada
View Biography

Stefanie Crispino is an impassioned non-profit professional. She is currently the lead fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Canada’s largest build project ever, the 2017 Carter Work Project. Prior to that she spent many years working with Habitat in the GTA. Her other sector experience includes several roles at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and a role with the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Stefanie is a former Board Member of Lymphoma Canada, an organization whose cause is close to her heart.

Currently she volunteers her time as a “kid-coach” with Future Possibilities for Kids. Her varied educational background complements a deep passion for personal development. As a life-long learner, she is also a Certified Coach. Her personal development coaching practice, Life Fully Lived, offers clients a space to explore and break down limiting beliefs, allowing them to leap into territory that sets them on a journey of self-discovery and enhanced living.

Rallying a Community to Build Social ROI for Your Brand

For over 30 years, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have traveled the world building and repairing homes for Habitat for Humanity. With over 4000 builds or renovations, and help from over 100,000 volunteers in 14 different countries, the Carter Work Project has been rallying communities across the world. This year, Habitat for Humanity will embark on its biggest build project yet when the Carter Work Project comes to Canada to build homes in partnership with 150 families in every province and territory in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary.

Stefanie will take you through how every dollar invested into Habitat turns into four dollars of societal benefits and how the incredible impact of the project develops social ROI for this initiative. Listen to Stefanie as she tells their story and how the movement has created a viable solution to the affordable housing crisis.

Joe De Sena

Founder & CEO
Spartan Race, Inc.
View Biography

Joe De Sena – the founder and CEO of Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing company – has demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive since his pre-teens. From selling fireworks at age eight, to building a multimillion-dollar pool business in college, to creating a Wall Street trading firm, and now the world’s fastest growing sports movement, De Sena is a living definition of the word entrepreneur.

Following a successful career on Wall Street, De Sena moved his family to Pittsfield, Vermont to operate an organic farm, a bed and breakfast, and a general store for hikers. It was here his passion grew for ultramarathons, adventure races, and endurance events; and thus the idea for the Spartan Race was born.

With more than 200 events in 30+ countries planned for 2017, Spartan Race has more than 1 million global participants offering open heats for all fitness levels and ages, as well as competitive and elite heats. The company has more than 5 million passionate social media followers, health and wellness products, and two popular NBC television series, making obstacle racing one of the fastest growing sports—and lifestyles— in the world. As a leader in the sport, Spartan Race is the first obstacle racing company to feature timing and global rankings.

Joe’s message of inspiration and personal transformation, combined with his status as a two-time New York Times Best Selling Author of “Spartan Up” and “Spartan Fit.”, makes him a popular keynote speaker and public figure.
Throughout his lifetime, Joe has competed in any extreme sports adventure he could find, testing his mental and physical endurance against nature. Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion. His racing resume is the stuff of legend – over 50 ultra-events overall and 14 Ironman events in one year alone.

Joe currently lives in Tokyo, Japan with his wife Courtney and their four children.

Overcoming Adversity: How to Level-Up in Life

Get inspired by Joe De Sena’s tenacious story and can-do attitude. From selling fireworks at age eight, to building a multimillion-dollar pool business in college, to creating a Wall Street trading firm. Now, as the CEO and Founder of the world’s fastest growing sports movement - Spartan Race - Joe is a living definition of the word entrepreneur. De Sena lives by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt “you must do the thing you think you cannot do”. Joe created the Spartan Race to draw parallels to life; that when you start the race you know it will be a challenge, you know it will be physically and mentally hard, but you choose the experience anyway because every obstacle and roadblock you overcome is another opportunity to move yourself along to the next level. Learn what events inspired Joe to create an adventure race of his own and then write two New York Times Best Seller books about it.

Marc Dinsdale

Head of Media Partnerships, Canada
Facebook & Instagram
View Biography

Marc is the Head of Media Partnerships in Canada for Facebook and Instagram, which gives him the great privilege of engaging with partners in sports, news, entertainment, music, and with public figures throughout the country.

A Digital Media industry veteran of nearly 20 years, Marc began working specifically in sports in 2005 as the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games’ first digital specialist. Since then, Marc has also been a leader in digital strategy and product development for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Media Consortium and with Rogers Media at Sportsnet. Most recently Marc led the team that launched the over-the-top streaming platform shomi, leaving in late 2014 to join Facebook.

You’ve Captured Great Event Content. Now Use it to Achieve Your Revenue Goals

Okay great, you get it. You understand that capturing event content is a means to extending your audience much further, but then what? What you do with it afterward is just as important as the capture in the first place because, bottom line, you want to know you’re driving revenue. Right? Start by knowing your audience and speaking to them where they are. Being able to track that is the beginning of the journey towards conversion and meeting goals. Marc will demonstrate how tapping into audiences that already love your content can lead to a better understanding of them and ultimately, their conversion. Understanding how to best use your content will save you time and money. And that’s the bottom line.

Francis Dumais

Co-founder & CEO
Elevent
View Biography

With his experience on both the client and the agency side, Francis has a knack for seeing the big picture. After completing his M. Sc. in Marketing, he worked in the sponsorship divisions at Loto-Québec, after he managed that account, at the agency of record, to after work at TELUS, managing sponsorship and events for the East. He earned a number of industry awards for the innovative work he developed for both brands. Francis then went on to found his own sponsorship agency, providing clients with one-of-a-kind tools to maximize their sponsorship strategies. He sits on the Quebec chapter of the Sponsorship Marketing Council Canada.

The 90s Called, They Want Their Sponsorship Strategy Back: Using Tech to Empower Decision-Making

How do you know you’re making the right sponsorship choices? It’s a complex industry with many moving parts, but when you start with the data and use tech to track your progress, it empowers you to make better, more informed decisions. Francis is going to talk to you about how sponsorship has evolved and where it is heading, and how to use these shifts to help events and brands work together to make sure sponsorship objectives and metrics are met. Francis and Lucie will bring this to life through a case study on Lowes that looks at both evaluation measurement and request management, with automation as a driving factor for results. If the ultimate vision is to make more informed decisions, you should start by streamlining the process to give managers the data they need to make the right choices.

Kristy Fletcher

Director
MusiCounts
View Biography

Kristy Fletcher is a values-driven leader who brings over 20 years of experience in sales, premium client & partnership service and corporate community engagement to her role as Director, MusiCounts.

After spending her career in sports and entertainment, Kristy was thrilled to take on the role of Director, MusiCounts earlier this year. MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity associated with The JUNO Awards, is helping to keep music alive in schools and communities across Canada. MusiCounts’ mission is to ensure that all children and youth in Canada have access to a music program through their school or community. To date, MusiCounts has awarded over $9M of musical instruments to more than 800 schools and communities from coast to coast.

In her role, Kristy aims to create lasting and sustainable partnerships with corporate sponsors, Canadian artists and individual donors to create innovative programs, drive revenue and generate national awareness about the importance of music education for young people, and the need to keep music education alive in Canada.

Prior to joining MusiCounts, Kristy spent 20 years with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. She started her career shaping the Community Relations strategy for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors. During that time, she was instrumental in forming the Maple Leafs charitable arm, The Leaf Fund, raising millions of dollars to support children’s charities in Ontario.

As Senior Director, Premium Sales & Service, Kristy was responsible for one of the most diverse sports and entertainment ticketing service portfolios in North America, where she implemented an integrated membership experience for over 20,000 customers across four professional sports teams. Kristy and her team were consistently recognized as a league leader for revenue and renewal rates within the NHL, NBA and MLS.

Kristy has a BA in Psychology from Carleton University, and received her Certificate in Corporate Community Relations/ Corporate Citizenship from Boston College. She is the proud mother of 2 boys who share her passion for both music and sports.

Youth, Music & Engagement in Canada

Music is essential to children’s development with studies showing that music can help with language skills, develop fine motor skills, build self-confidence, boost creativity and improve overall IQ. Yet despite all its positive impact, youth music engagement is steadily declining in Canada. Join TD Bank and MusiCounts as they talk about how their partnership is tackling this issue, working to engage youth in music at various levels within their communities. This is a studio session which means you as delegates will be part of a hands-on brainstorming session following the talk to tackle the issue head on and create real solutions to this problem. Canadian youth need your help!

Allen Gannett

Founder & CEO
TrackMaven
View Biography

Allen Gannett is a leader in the science of marketing and creativity, and a sought-after investor in innovative technology companies.

Gannett founded and is the CEO of TrackMaven, a marketing data and intelligence platform used by some of the world’s biggest brands including General Electric, Microsoft, Marriott, Fidelity, and other Fortune 500 companies. TrackMaven is the leader in data-driven marketing, helping brands unlock the science of their social, content, and digital advertising by analyzing millions of pieces of marketing content and uncovering actionable insights.

Allen is a General Partner at Acceleprise Ventures, an early-stage fund that invests into emerging software companies. Through Acceleprise and his personal investments, he’s invested in nearly fifty startups.

He is a frequent writer on creativity, leadership, and marketing with his work appearing in Fast Company, The Washington Post, The Next Web, and more.

Laws of Creativity: The Hidden Science of Creative Genius

Why do most ideas fail when it comes to creative ideation? You might be surprised to find out there’s a creative process that our culture’s so-called creative geniuses follow in order to ensure repetitive success. But what are the secrets to commercial creative success?

Allen Gannett, Founder and CEO of TrackMaven interviewed dozens creative geniuses about their creative processes, and found some distinctive trends. Join Allen, as he discusses actionable steps you can take to make your own creative endeavors more successful and reliable.

Casey Gartland

Vice President, Global Sports & Entertainment Consulting
GMR Marketing
View Biography

Casey is responsible for developing strategic entertainment-based platforms and marketing initiatives for GMR’s clients, including overseeing celebrity endorsements and influencer programs, music and event sponsorships, performance and appearance bookings, media integrations, music/entertainment property partnerships, IP and music licensing, and film integrations/product placement.

Casey has been with GMR since 2001 and has vast experience collaborating with major record labels, music publishers, film studios, production companies, awards shows, promoters, entertainment guilds, and managers/agents/publicists. He has worked alongside many of the world’s most influential personalities on behalf of GMR’s clients.

From Sports Fans to Music Lovers: How Evolving Your Sponsorship Portfolio Equals Smart Growth

It was a surprise for many when Comcast – well-known for sports sponsorships – partnered their Xfinity brand with Taylor Swift’s 1989 tour, but what wasn’t surprising to GMR’s Casey Gartland was how successful their strategic approach would be. Using the 1989 tour, Billboard Music Awards and other Xfinity-sponsored properties as examples, he will take you through their approach to music partnerships, the experiences they create to bring fans closer to entertainment and how they manage all relationships (labels, artists, managers, agents, publishers, etc.) so that the rights are clearly defined, all parties see the value and the brand promise comes to life across all touch-points.

David Harris

Principal
Shed Creative Agency
View Biography
Dare to Dream. Connecting is Easy When you Start With the Data

How do you know what your audience wants? Well, you have to put in the time to find out. The importance of starting from data to deliver a successful execution is something Dave Harris knows intimately. That’s why he’s going to talk to you about creating and amplifying ideas that connect with your audience like the OLG Lotto Max Dare to Dream campaign. When OLG was trying to figure out how to connect with Millennials, they turned to data to create an experience that brought fans closer to the brand story through the music they love. Dave will take you through the Dare to Dream campaign where fans could immerse themselves into the band’s music video by taking selfies, and get the chance to go backstage and sing with them live. He’ll discuss why OLG, and many other brands are moving towards music for its ability to connect from an emotional perspective. Because, when you start by listening, your brand’s message becomes so much easier on the ears.

Mark Harrison

President & CEO, T1
Chair, CSFX
View Biography

A leading figure in the Canadian sponsorship and marketing industry, Mark Harrison is the founder and chair of the Canadian Sponsorship Forum Xperience.

For more than 20 years, Mark has worked with some of the world’s top brands, sports properties, and causes. As President and CEO, Mark has led the T1 team in developing outstanding marketing and sponsorship strategies and award-winning activations — work that engages people in memorable new ways, and all built on sound brand and business strategies. A big believer in giving back, Mark lends his expertise and passion for the business through guest articles for industry publications, a well-followed blog and as a keynote speaker at special industry events.

Sophie Kotsopoulos

Senior Director, Integrated Marketing
NHL
View Biography

As Senior Director, Integrated Marketing – Sophie Kotsopoulos leads the strategic, long term development of many of the League’s largest and most complex business partners including: Rogers, Scotiabank, Tim Hortons, Kraft Heinz, Samsung and Honda. She is directly responsible for driving the quality and quantity of scale based advertising and sport marketing activation profiling the National Hockey League. Leading emerging media sponsorships, she managed the League’s first commercial project in Virtual Reality while also overseeing NHL community based programming such as Kraft Hockeyville. Most recently she served as primary lead on sponsor activation tied to the World Cup of Hockey Fan Village and NHL Heritage Classic. In 2016 she was recognized as one of Canada’s Sport Business Awards – 5 To Watch.

Taking Shots and Scoring Big: Activating Partnerships On and Off the Ice at the World Cup of Hockey

World Cup of Hockey 2016 was the NHL's biggest undertaking yet and it confirmed the old saying ‘go big or go home’ still holds merit in the sponsorship game. With the introduction of new tech that brought rinkboards to life and the Fan Village that turned a hockey tournament into a cultural festival, Sophie will take you through the impact decisions like those had in terms of ROI for the NHL and their partners. You'll learn how offensive thinking and extensive research brought the property along with its partners to new levels.

Meriko Kubota

Director of Sponsorships & Community Investment
MEC™
View Biography

Meriko Kubota is the Director of Sponsorships and Community Investment at MEC, Mountain Equipment Coop. She oversees national sponsorships and new store opening activations, community investment programs including granting, partnerships and the Outdoor Nation program which inspires 18-35 years to be more active outdoors. Meriko’s experience spans the fields of corporate social responsibility, community investment and sponsorships – managing projects, establishing strategic partnerships, and conducting community engagement. Meriko has a graduate degree in Social Innovation from the University of Waterloo and is a board member of Greenpeace Canada. Prior to MEC, Meriko was the Director of Strategic Partnerships & Community Investment at TELUS and the Manager of Grants & Special Projects for the Vancouver Foundation.

Connecting Communities: Partnerships for Social Purpose

MEC’s mandate is to inspire and enable Canadians to live active outdoor lifestyles and they’ve been doing just that. Join Meriko Kubota as she talks about how the core social principles of the company extend through their grassroots level community initiatives and sponsorships. MEC’s partnerships are focused on reducing barriers to get Canadians outside and encouraging them to explore the outdoors and get active. Their mandate also includes educating Canadians on their impact and responsibility to the environment when they are outdoors. Meriko will bring these initiatives to life through case studies and review of key success metrics. She’ll also speak about the importance of knowing your consumers to align with the right partnerships as an effective extension of your brand and your brand’s social purpose.

Guy Laflamme

Executive Director
Ottawa 2017
View Biography

Guy Laflamme specializes in the creation, production and marketing of cultural, recreational and tourism products, with 25 years’ experience in the field.

He is Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, an organization initiated by the City of Ottawa and responsible for the production of Canada’s 150th celebrations in Canada’s Capital. With the support of a multidisciplinary team, Mr. Laflamme will produce and promote a year- long celebration with potential direct consumer spending of more than 300 Million dollars and over 11 million participants. The program will be composed of a variety of performing arts, sporting, social and large-scale events as well as legacy projects generating a lasting impact on the Ottawa region.

Guy has attended festivals and events in over 25 different countries, providing a global perspective on best practices in the industry.

Dreaming Big and Creating Bold Engagements

How do you turn a commemorative event into an entire year of incredible experiences that not only address a momentous occasion, but also celebrate it in a big way? You talk to Guy LaFlamme, Executive Director of Ottawa 2017. They’re working on a yearlong series of immersive experiences that engage both partners and consumers in celebrating Canada's 150th. And it won’t be something to miss. Guy will be speaking about Ottawa 2017’s plans to celebrate this incredible Canadian milestone, while creating a positive economic impact on the city of Ottawa. He'll also be discussing plans with their partners including Red Bull, the NHL and Moment Factory. Join Guy as he brings to life some of the key experiences that will be happening in Ottawa and how you can harness the power of engagement to connect with your consumers.

Lucie Lamoureux

Corporate Director of Sponsorship & Social Commitment
Loto-Québec
View Biography

Lucie Lamoureux is the Corporate Director of Sponsorship and Social Commitment at Loto-Québec since 2003.

Prior to joining Loto-Québec, Lucie was General Manager of Corporate Sponsorship for Bell Canada. She has progressed through a number of assignments in Multi Brand Consumer and Business Communication strategies, Sponsorship, Philanthropy, Advertising, Customer Relations and Community investments programs. She is a frequent speaker on sponsorship and activation programs.

Lucie is well known in Canada for her passion and expertise in the Sponsorship field where she brings more than 20 years of experience.  She believes that companies who excel in the sponsorship arena share characteristics like the ability to utilize insights to discern the degree of relevance to their audience and the expertise to deliver measurable brand experiences.

The 90s Called, They Want Their Sponsorship Strategy Back: Using Tech to Empower Decision-Making

How do you know you’re making the right sponsorship choices? It’s a complex industry with many moving parts, but when you start with the data and use tech to track your progress, it empowers you to make better, more informed decisions. Francis is going to talk to you about how sponsorship has evolved and where it is heading, and how to use these shifts to help events and brands work together to make sure sponsorship objectives and metrics are met. Francis and Lucie will bring this to life through a case study on Lowes that looks at both evaluation measurement and request management, with automation as a driving factor for results. If the ultimate vision is to make more informed decisions, you should start by streamlining the process to give managers the data they need to make the right choices.

Graham Lee

Creative Director, T1 Motion
Chief Creative Officer, T1
View Biography

Graham has lived his entire working life in the field of creativity. Starting very young as an Art Director, he eventually grew to hold a senior creative position at one of Canada’s most celebrated agencies, Roche Macaulay & Partners. There, he was proud to have played a part in multiple Agency of the Year Award wins, an International Agency of the Year decoration and title of Canada’s Top Art Director. In San Francisco, he led a creative group at an agency that specialized in youth-focused advertising, with EA Sports and EA Games being two of his biggest clients. Moving back to Toronto as a Founding Creative Partner of Grip Limited, Canada’s fastest growing agency, he helped create brand advertising for blue-chip clients in a variety of high-profile sectors, including Labatt Breweries, Honda, Acura and Bell Canada. Most recently, Graham is Chief Creative Officer of T1, one of the country’s top tier experiential agencies, where he fills his day shaping the creative future of the company. Graham is also Partner and Creative Director of T1 Motion, a new company devoted exclusively to innovative and strategically sound brand video content. Throughout his career, Graham has been honoured with countless creative awards from all parts of the world, has held teaching positions at OCAD University and is the current Chair of the OCAD University’s Advertising Advisory Board.

Technology for Social Justice

A billboard in a desert that pulls clean, drinkable water right out of the air. Or a projector so intense, it was used to project the image of crying baby’s faces onto the smoke billowing from a factory smokestack hundreds of yards away. New technology can certainly be a powerful tool for marketing, but what about when that marketing can also serve a part of the greater good. Graham Lee will look at a few brilliant examples of times when technology didn’t stop at selling a product, but instead, furthered a worthy cause.

Dan MacKenzie

Vice President & Managing Director
NBA Canada
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As Vice-President and Managing Director of NBA Canada, Dan MacKenzie is responsible for the development and growth of the league’s business in Canada through the platforms of television and digital media, marketing and retail partnerships, licensing, special events and basketball development. Under Dan’s leadership, both the popularity and business of the NBA are at all-time highs.

Dan is an active member of the NBA’s International Leadership Team (ILT) along with the heads of NBA China, Europe, Asia, Latin America, India and Africa. The NBA ILT is responsible for the development and execution of the NBA’s strategy to grow NBA fans across the globe. In addition, Dan manages the league’s relationship with the Toronto Raptors, given their unique position as the lone NBA team in Canada.

Dan has driven record growth in NBA Canada’s business operations including signing marketing partnerships with some of Canada’s leading brands including Air Miles, Bell, BMO, Molson, Cara Foods and Wrigley. Dan has overseen strong growth in the NBA’s media business as national broadcast viewership has more than doubled since 2014 and Canada ranks #2 in the world in subscriptions to NBA League Pass, the league’s signature digital product.

Dan was instrumental in the success of All-Star 2016 held in Toronto – the first All-Star to take place outside of the U.S. As the NBA’s local media spokesperson, Dan promoted All-Star and raised the profile of the event through a variety of activities including a cross-Canada tour that reached more than 1 million fans. NBA All-Star 2016 was the most viewed All-Star Game ever in Canada and the weekend generated 3.1 million unique viewers. Dan also acted as the league’s on-the-ground liaison to the local organizing committee and NBA Events staff.

Dan has been responsible for the launch and development of the following programs designed to grow the NBA’s profile and fan base in Canada including:

  • The NBA Canada Series, created to bring live NBA basketball to Canadian markets outside of Toronto each October. One of the key elements of the NBA Canada Series is the community development that takes place under the NBA Cares umbrella. Since its inception in 2012 the NBA Canada Series has consisted of nine games in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Winnipeg and Ottawa.
  • The Jr. NBA Rookie Division, the NBA’s first-ever development program for children ages 5-7 years old designed to make the game easier for them to play. The program is now being implemented internationally through the Jr. NBA global network. In Canada, the program is being operated in 125 communities.

Dan began his career at NBA Canada in 1998 and spent five years managing NBA Canada’s event properties and basketball development initiatives. In 2003, Dan moved to Paris, France to lead the NBA Europe Games, an exhibition series that featured the San Antonio Spurs and the Memphis Grizzlies playing games in Paris and Barcelona.

From Europe, Dan moved to TSN to be the Senior Marketing Manager for the group’s sports specialty channel. In 2005, Dan returned to NBA Canada, where he assumed the role of Director of Marketing. In 2007 he was promoted to General Manager, and in January 2011 was promoted to Vice-President and Managing Director.

Dan has donated many hours to the Canadian sports and sponsorship industries through the following volunteer activities:

  • Dan is currently on the Advisory Board of the Licensing International Manufacturer’s Association (LIMA) dedicated to raising the profile and professionalism of the Canadian Licensing industry.
  • Dan spent six years on the board of directors of the Sponsorship Marketing Council of Canada (SMCC) and held various leadership positions including President of the SMCC and Chair of the Business Development committee. He is also a volunteer mentor, part of the SMCC Mentorship Program which is designed to match leaders of today with the leaders of tomorrow. He led the SMCC through a transition from being operated by the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) to an independently run organization with chapters in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.
  • Dan was instrumental in the establishment of the “5 to Watch Awards” in 2012 sitting on the inaugural organizing committee and securing the Globe and Mail’s presenting sponsorship. He was the co-chair of the event the following year in 2013 and has sat on the selection committee for 5 to Watch since 2014.

Dan holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education degree from Brock University and is a graduate of George Brown College’s Sport and Event Marketing program.

Dan currently lives in Guelph with his wife Nancy, his two children Ben and Ella and their dog Oakley (named after Dan’s favourite Raptor of all-time).

How the NBA Changed the Game With an Incredible Year of Basketball in Canada

In 2016, the NBA celebrated the 125th year of the invention of the game, presented Canada’s first-ever NBA All-Star weekend in Toronto, and successfully host-partnered CSFX. Dan will give you the inside scoop on the realities of planning and executing NBA All-Star outside of the US, share their never-been-done–before moments in NBA history and what they managed to achieve as a result of their efforts. As you may imagine, the impact a year of planning had on the City of Toronto, the NBA, their fans, and the game – well, it was a slam dunk.

Don Mayo

Global Managing Partner
IMI International
View Biography

Don Mayo is brought back by popular demand after delivering multiple top-rated keynotes over the past 10 years. Since joining IMI International over 30 years ago, Don has dedicated his career both to amplifying the voice of the consumer and building context for brands big and small through a proprietary database of 12,000+ global activations. Known for his candid, real, tell it how it is style, Don has become a key figure in the sponsorship industry, and earned a reputation as a trusted advisor and expert in optimizing ROI and driving brand results.

The Truth About Marketing in 2017: Live + Virtual = ROI and Success

IMI insights on how to drive performance and ROI in 2017 based on a global study of over 8,000 consumers.

The $1,000 Challenge
Do you follow and know about today’s marketplace? Do you follow the trends and what is actually happening or do you prefer to apply your personal thinking to the world? Well, IMI will give you the opportunity to back up your knowledge for a chance at a sweet thousand-dollar payoff. IMI will execute a live multiple-choice quiz to all attendees – asking questions about the reality of today’s marketing environment, with anyone achieving 7, 8 or 9 out of 10 questions correct being immediately entered in a draw for $1,000. If you go 10 for 10 – you will immediately earn $1,000 with a six figure+ job offer in the next few days.

The Market Learning
After the IMI Quiz, you will be led on a 20 minute overview of the a) market b) the opportunity c) the pitfalls/avoid and d) the case studies that will bring these 2017 insights to life.

The Music / Festival Opportunity
The final 10-15 minutes will be focused on the key insights and learning from IMI’s recently completed work on the consumption of music and festivals and the $450MM sponsorship/activation opportunity that is in front of music.

The Payoff
If that’s not enough – IMI International’s happy hour follows up this discussion.

Erin McKeever

Senior Digital Engagement Strategist
Nestlé Purina PetCare
View Biography

Erin has spent the last decade immersed in all things digital, a passion she currently funnels into her job leading the in- house digital communications agency, HyperLab, at Nestle Purina Canada, and which recently earned her a spot on Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30.

As a strategic planner with a focus on digital & emerging channels, her experience includes technology, creative & content, user experience, research & data science, media, PR, shopper marketing, and more. She has worked on major brands and at top agencies with clients across CPG, Media & Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Non-Profit, B2B, Financial Services, Retail, QSR, and Healthcare. Her diverse experience across categories and capabilities allows her to bring a unique perspective to her work that embraces today’s omnichannel world by viewing consumer behavior, technology, creative and data holistically.

When she’s not working, she can be found researching and testing the latest technology and gadgets, following her artistic passions through photography, video and writing, or simply spending time with friends and family. She is a self-proclaimed Netflixaholic, and loves to read blogs, online magazines, and scroll endlessly through Instagram.

Swiping Right: How Purina Thought Outside the Box to Score Big

At a time when some people were still asking ‘what’s Tinder?’ Purina turned an unconventional dating app into a means for good. Leveraging its Toronto PawsWay pet center and partnering with the Toronto Humane Society, they profiled 5 pups and used Tinder to help them find their forever homes in a new marketing campaign.

Using the latest trendy tech in a campaign can be tricky for a CPG brand, but done right, can create great buzz on a small budget. A Top 30 under 30, Erin McKeever will guide you through Purina’s Tinder process. Learn how to get the most bang for your buck by thinking strategically with new platforms and executing with excellence to engage your target in unexpected ways.

Tim McLaughlin

Brand Manager
Steam Whistle
View Biography

Working at Steam Whistle since 2004 Tim has played a key role in Steam Whistle’s growth from a small Toronto community based brewery to its position now as the largest single craft beer brand in Canada. Known for their “Do one thing really, really well” philosophy Steam Whistle has been able to achieve success in an ultra competitive industry through their focus and commitment to only ever producing one style of beer, a Pilsner.

Tim is responsible for building and shaping Steam Whistle’s brand through identifying and executing community based sponsorships. Steam Whistle sponsors over 550 events a year, that run the gambit from small local art gallery openings to national properties like the JUNOs. Tim also leads all of Steam Whistle’s media strategy and advertising activity.

Working alongside Steam Whistle’s senior team, Tim contributes brand strategy, business development and helping establish Steam Whistle as the most respected premium beer in Canada.

When not working he can be found doting on his newborn son Leo.

Making Great Friends: The Benefits of Aligning Your Brand with Canadian Leaders

There’s a lot of equity in being a Canadian brand in Canada, but who you hang out with says lot about you. That’s why a big part of Steam Whistle's sponsorship strategy is to partner with leading Canadian brands to bring Canadians more of what they want – arts and culture. As official beer of the JUNOs, and through their Canada 150 partnership with HBC, Tim McLaughlin will talk to you about how Steam Whistle is leveraging partnerships to help position themselves as the most respected beer in the country. Tim will take you through case studies and talk to you about how they activate around these partnerships and use them to elevate customer awareness, build brand equity and drive sales in multiple channels. If you start your sponsorships with a shared value, your relationship will know no bounds.

Komal Minhas

Producer, Dream, Girl Film
President, KoMedia
View Biography

Komal Minhas is an Indo-Canadian entrepreneur, media maker, and investor who lives in Brooklyn, New York. She’s the founder of KoMedia, a digital consultancy that focuses on telling women’s stories worldwide. In 2014, Komal became producer and distributor of Dream, Girl, a documentary that tells the stories of ambitious female entrepreneurs. In May 2016, Dream, Girl premiered at the White House as part of the United State of Women Summit.

Komal was named one of Oprah’s SuperSoul100, a list featuring awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity, and is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. She has spoken on panels and at events about entrepreneurship and women in media, including at the White House, and the Cannes International Film Festival.

When she’s not working on all things Dream, Girl, you might find Komal writing about her life, advocating for healthier ways of doing business (she survived cancer earlier this year), or laughing non-stop with her partner, Mitch.

Navigating Careers and Developing Leaders: Five Actionable Takeaways

Hear from three inspirational women on everything from career navigation tips, influential mentors, cultivating new skills, evolving leadership styles, balancing work/life and staying motivated in good times and bad.

Then, in smaller groups you’ll create a personalized list of five actionable ideas on how to best navigate your career to become a leader on your team, department, organization and industry. This incredible opportunity truly exemplifies girl-power and has been a favourite session each consecutive year we’ve hosted.

Mimi Ngo

Senior Sponsorship Manager
Shopify
View Biography

Mimi Ngo is a Senior Sponsorship Manager at Shopify. She is responsible for identifying global sponsorship opportunities that align with Shopify’s mission to make commerce better for everyone. In this role, she builds the shopify brand through the development of community partnerships and sponsorships. Additionally, Mimi is responsible for developing value propositions for inbound sponsorships for Shopify owned events and manages partner relations and negotiations. Since joining Shopify, Mimi has worked to roll out executions for The Weeknd and ComplexCon. Previously, Mimi spent 16 years working at Universal Music Canada in a variety of roles in marketing, sales, brand partnerships and executing high profile media events with artists such as Drake, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Think Bigger: How E-Commerce can Elevate Your Activations

Shopify’s Mimi Ngo has Arati Sharma in the hot seat in this Q&A session on how partners can use e-commerce platforms to build their business. Learn how Shopify develops B2B and B2C relationships through partnership activations. Then see for yourself what e-commerce can do for your business or property through case studies demonstrating the value of on-site activations.

Norm O'Reilly

Fox Professor of Business, Ohio University
Partner Consultant, T1
View Biography

Dr. Norm O’Reilly holds a PhD, is a Partner of T1 Consulting and Chair for the best sport business graduate program, globally. In his spare time, he’s published hundreds of Sports Marketing books and articles combined. Norm is recognized internationally as one of the foremost scholars on sport business, sponsorship and marketing strategy, he leverages his academic experience as a senior advisor to the T1 Consulting Group. Norm is Chair of the Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business at Ohio University and holds the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business. The Department is home to the world #1 ranked Masters of Sports Administration program and the world #2 ranked Bachelor of Sport Management program. Norm taught previously at the University of Ottawa, Stanford University, Laurentian University, Ryerson University, and Syracuse University. As lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, the author of seven books, more than 90 management journal articles and a dozen published business case studies, Norm brings a broad perspective on nationwide trends and best practices to all client projects.

11th Annual Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study

The Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study (CSLS) was founded in 2006 for the CSF-X Vancouver conference at the Grey Cup. Since then, the study has become Canada’s benchmark for sponsorship trends and areas of concern. Now in its 11th iteration, the CSLS has measured investment in sponsorship growth from $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion in 2015.

In this session, Elisa Beselt & Dr. Norm O'Reilly from T1's Consulting Group will present the full results from the 11th annual version of the CSLS. The CSLS is a nationwide analysis of sponsors, properties and agencies, that is shared openly and includes both quantitative assessments and qualitative deep dives. In the 2017 version of the study, delegates will hear about recent trends in sponsorship spending and get a look at global sponsorship from a Canadian perspective. Elisa and Norm will report on findings from the 2016 year, sharing the newest information on the sponsorship industry and key lessons on what it all means for sponsorship professionals.

Allan Reid

President & CEO
CARAS, The JUNO Awards, MusiCounts
View Biography

Allan Reid is a passionate supporter of Canadian music. Having been in the industry for over 30 years, he holds an essential voice as the President & CEO of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), the JUNO Awards, MusiCounts and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

CARAS’ mandate is to promote and celebrate Canadian artists and their music, and in 2016, Allan’s dedication to artist development was the driving force behind the creation and success of the Allan Slaight JUNO Master Class. Prior to taking on his role at CARAS in 2015, Reid served as the Executive Director for MusiCounts, Canada’s music education charity from 2012-2014.  MusiCounts has awarded over $9 million worth of musical instruments to more than 800 schools and communities from coast to coast.

Allan spent 25 years of his career at major and independent labels in Canada as the head of A&R and was instrumental in the careers of many of today’s top Canadian artists’ careers. including Jann Arden, Sam Roberts Band, Sarah Harmer, Hedley and The Tragically Hip to name a few.

After a career spent cultivating and supporting artists in Canada, Allan is honoured to be at the helm of Canada’s Music Awards as President and CEO of CARAS/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts.

Backstage: The Story Behind the JUNOS and the Global Impact of Canadian Music

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at the JUNO Awards? What the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences' role is? How they select talent and secure the artists that perform? What they do to ensure the broadcast runs smoothly? And what really goes on during those JUNO after-parties? Hear from a music industry vet and business leader, Allan Reid and Mark Cohon as they take you through a backstage look at the making of The JUNOS. Also hear the important roles The JUNOS and MusiCounts play in an artist’s career, in evolving Canada's music ecosystem and in developing meaningful partnerships. Listen as they share their goals, vision and their passionate belief in the power of music - just try to sit still.

John Rocco

Vice President, Marketing
Sonnet Insurance
View Biography

With more than 18 years of marketing experience, John Rocco has helped leading brands navigate the digital age with his pioneering attitude and big creative vision. Most recently at Target Canada, John was captivated by the opportunity to join Sonnet and craft an empowering brand through compelling stories. Now, he’s on a mission to deliver the promise that Sonnet is built upon – to change the way Canadians feel about insurance.

John’s brand vision extends to all aspects of marketing from brand identity and advertising to sports and culture partnerships and Sonnet’s unique and engaging social media presence. He empowers his hardworking team to develop innovative ideas and enjoys acting as a mentor to help them reach their full potential.

John envisions himself someday sharing his knowledge and expertise with the next generation as a marketing educator.

Thinking to Connect: Tapping into Consumer Emotions

How can you leverage the equity of properties to give your brand a boost? Well one brand, Sonnet, has partnered with properties like the Toronto Blue Jays, Osheaga and the International Balloon Festival to not only boost their brand, but to launch it.

John Rocco, VP Marketing at Sonnet Insurance, will talk about aligning Sonnet’s brand platform with properties to enhance fan experiences and connect emotionally with consumers. He’ll bring real examples of this strategy to his presentation, and lift the veil on this new way of optimistic thinking.

Hamida Sachedina

Manager, Community Relations
TD Bank Group
View Biography

Hamida Sachedina is the Manager of Community Relations at TD Bank Group. As part of the team that oversees TD’s corporate giving, Hamida manages the company’s donations in the areas of Music, Children’s Literacy, Children’s Miracle Network, People With Disabilities and Women in Leadership. In her role, she has the privilege of working with outstanding charities that are making a real difference in Canada.

Hamida has an Honours Bachelor degree in International Development and Globalization from the University of Ottawa and a Masters of Public Policy degree from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance.

In her free time Hamida loves to travel, listen to music and spend quality time with friends and family.

Youth, Music & Engagement in Canada

Music is essential to children’s development with studies showing that music can help with language skills, develop fine motor skills, build self-confidence, boost creativity and improve overall IQ. Yet despite all its positive impact, youth music engagement is steadily declining in Canada. Join TD Bank and MusiCounts as they talk about how their partnership is tackling this issue, working to engage youth in music at various levels within their communities. This is a studio session which means you as delegates will be part of a hands-on brainstorming session following the talk to tackle the issue head on and create real solutions to this problem. Canadian youth need your help!

Cristie Schultz

Program Manager, Sponsorship Programs & Packages
Google
View Biography

As Program Manager, Sponsorship Programs and Packages at Google, Cristie Schultz is responsible for developing impactful, results-driven sponsorship programs that tap into the power of Google’s platforms, insights and innovation to help brands reach, engage and connect with Canadian consumers. Cristie brings a holistic view of sponsorship marketing with experience property-side at the National Hockey League, agency-side at Cossette, at the broadcast level with TSN & CTV and most recently, client-side with Scotiabank’s hockey sponsorship team. In her role at Google, Cristie is focused on partnering with sponsors to amplify their programs and to elevate and innovate the sponsorship landscape in a digital-first, innovation-driven world.

Connecting Through Sponsorship in the Digital Age: How Google Can Help you Amplify Your Efforts in a Mobile-First World

Most Canadians are now mobile first. Are you? We’re experiencing a startling change in how we consume content, yet some marketers are still focused elsewhere. With the sheer growth in mobile, introducing digital at events gives consumers the opportunity to immerse themselves further into music festivals like Coachella and live events like YouTube FanFest. Using case studies on those events, Cristie and Mike will talk about leveraging digital and innovation to create connections with audiences and to amplify events.

Hear from Google’s thought-leaders on what’s next for digital and innovation. They’ll discuss changes and trends in consumer behaviour and then offer advice and tips on how to amplify your marketing and sponsorship in a mobile-first world. Knowing how much time we spend on our phones, we should understand the importance of building amplification platforms for them.

Arati Sharma

Director of Marketing, Offline & Product
Shopify
View Biography

Arati Sharma is the Director of Marketing, Offline and Product at Shopify, focusing on the strategy, conception and production of Shopify’s real life activations around the word. She oversees event and experiential marketing, sponsorships, and community development, helping to push Shopify’s brand to influential audiences. To date, one of her largest projects has been leading the strategy, content and development of Unite, Shopify’s inaugural partner and developer conference, which reached over 23M impressions globally. Arati joined Shopify in August 2013, through the acquisition of Jet Cooper where she was leading operations, culture, and strategic programs. When she’s not producing an event, you can find her making home-cooked meals at her condo in downtown Toronto, chatting with Shopify merchants in the wild, and listening to Drake.

Think Bigger: How E-Commerce can Elevate Your Activations.

Shopify’s Mimi Ngo has Arati Sharma in the hot seat in this Q&A session on how partners can use e-commerce platforms to build their business. Learn how Shopify develops B2B and B2C relationships through partnership activations. Then see for yourself what e-commerce can do for your business or property through case studies demonstrating the value of on-site activations.

JP Shoiry

Chief of Content Strategy
Republik
View Biography

JP is Chief of Content Strategy and partner at Republik, a content & influencer marketing agency in Montreal. With a Bachelor Degree in Law and a Masters in Taxation, the former quarterback is not your typical Content Strategist. His background and sharp mind mean your business objectives are always the center of his attention.

Under Jean-Philippe’s leadership, Republik has recently won numerous awards in creative, strategy & digital while becoming the 1st Quebec-based agency to obtain B-Corp certification, awarded globally to businesses with a higher sense of purpose. His forward thinking vision of the industry had him mentioned in Infopresse’s “Top 30 under 30” in 2015.

He is an active board member for Pour3Points, Let’s Bond, Montreal’s Museum of Contemporary Arts and Montreal’s General Jewish Hospital where his creative approach to content-driven sponsorship has helped raised more than 2M over the past 3 years.

Opportunity Knocks: Why Content Planning Should Never be Absent From Your Brand or Property Strategy

Don’t make the mistake of creating your content as an afterthought. Whether you are a brand or property, JP Shoiry will use case studies to demonstrate how to grow your sponsorship value, leverage your investment and further connect with your audience through strategic content planning. He’ll delve into three types of activation content – from property, sponsor and audience perspectives:

Properties: Raise your value. How to use content to build your platform for future years and attract more sponsors.

Sponsors: Show your value. The importance of investing in quality content for your audience to activate partnerships.

Audience/Crowd: Be valued. Give your audience the tools – and a reason – to communicate about their experiences.

Ryan Smolkin

Founder & CEO
Smoke’s Poutinerie
View Biography

Ryan Smolkin attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where he studied and participated in the Business Co-Op Program. After graduating with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at WLU in 1995, his Entrepreneurial spirit could not be suppressed, and Smolkin established AmoebaCorp, a Graphic Design and Branding company in Toronto, Ontario. With Smolkin as its leader, AmoebaCorp emerged as a Nationally-recognized, industry-leading firm with a client list including Nike, Molson, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Corus Entertainment, YTV, Sims Snowboards and Nelvana.

As its President and Chief Executive Officer, Smolkin spearheaded and negotiated the merger of AmoebaCorp with John Street Advertising in November 2006. Subsequent to the merger, Smolkin remained with the company for six months during which time he was directly instrumental in expanding the company well beyond all estimates and forecasts before leaving in May 2007.

After enjoying a couple years hanging out and bonding with his newborn twin boys, Nate and Sam, Smolkin began the development of the Smoke’s Poutinerie Franchise, building an entirely new QSR experience and a whole new food category. Smolkin is very proud to state that The World’s Largest & Original Poutinerie was the spark that ignited the Poutine trend across Canada…and the World!

As Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Smolkin’s primary goal has always been to bring the Canadian National Iconic dish to the rest of the World in an original and unique way and to ultimately achieve GLOBAL DOMINATION! With Smolkin at the helm, Smoke’s Poutinerie has been growing at an astounding fast pace and has been recognized within the industry by receiving a number of prestigious accolades, such as the Pinnacle Award for Company of the Year in Canada, the Hospitality Award for Fastest Growing Company in Canada and the Canadian Franchise Association’s Franchisees’ Choice Designation and Award of Excellence.

There is absolutely no slowing down the Gravy Train and this exceptionally devoted Entrepreneur! Smolkin takes pride in all of his achievements; leading the Smoke’s Poutinerie Brand into its success as a Global Poutine Empire and opening over 100 locations Coast to Coast in Canada in just 6 short years! Smolkin and his team have been primarily focused on Smoke’s Poutinerie’s expansion into the U.S. and International markets as well as building upon the newly introduced Smoke’s Poutinerie Sports & Entertainment Division that is handling all the Non-Traditional markets and exploding exponentially.

Proof is in the Poutine: Strategic Brand Building Through Entertainment

What does plaid decor, 80s music and poutine all have in common? They exist together within Smokes Poutinerie, Canada’s eclectic and whacky go-to stop for gravy-laden fries topped with only the finest of cheese curds. And this recipe for a good time is no mistake, but rather a result of creative brand marketing to help stand out and gain consumer attention in a competitive market.

Join Ryan Smolkin, Founder of Smokes Poutinerie, as he highlights the strategic development behind one of Canada’s most recognized brands. He’ll explain how he built a brand first, and a restaurant chain second, and suggest ways to make your brand stand out by making a truly unique impact.

Mark Stewart

President & Chief Innovation Officer
wonderMakr
View Biography

Mark Stewart has an extensive background in creative technology, digital strategy, event production, content marketing and building future-forward interactive brand experiences. Over the past 15+ years, Mark has worked with clients in identifying and deploying innovative experiences, products and platforms that connect the digital and physical worlds. He’s humbled and darn proud to have collaborated with awesome brands like IKEA, Disney, Dyson, Mattel, Benefit Cosmetics, Canadian Tire, General Motors, Nissan and Twitter.

Technology Tune-Up: Instruments of Innovation

Ever wonder what makes tech work? Find out in this hands-on jam session featuring what’s good in the world of wearables, physical web connected beacons, RFID, LEDs, VR, and socially reactive installations. Play, learn and explore technologies that combine physical and digital with actual hardware and software you’ll build and keep. This informal, open discussion will give you an insider’s knowledge of the newest, coolest tech that you can show off at your next event or activation. And we know nothing says, ‘engaged audience’ like the flashiest new tech.

Amy Terrill

Executive Vice President
Music Canada
View Biography

Amy plays a leadership role in the development and implementation of Music Canada’s government and stakeholder relations portfolio and is responsible for overseeing Music Canada’s research and communications.

Music Canada’s latest research project, The Mastering of a Music City, a global study that identifies the key elements and benefits of a music city along with effective strategies to build the sector at the local level, has won worldwide acclaim.

Amy regularly works with cities and regions in Canada and abroad to help them chart a course toward developing a music strategy.

Amy serves on several Boards of Directors including Music Canada Live, the Unison Benevolent Fund, and music advisory committees for Creative BC and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada. Before joining Music Canada, Amy was an award-winning chamber of commerce executive.

Navigating Careers and Developing Leaders: Five Actionable Takeaways

Hear from three inspirational women on everything from career navigation tips, influential mentors, cultivating new skills, evolving leadership styles, balancing work/life and staying motivated in good times and bad.

Then, in smaller groups you’ll create a personalized list of five actionable ideas on how to best navigate your career to become a leader on your team, department, organization and industry. This incredible opportunity truly exemplifies girl-power and has been a favourite session each consecutive year we’ve hosted.

Rhiannon Traill

President & CEO
Economic Club of Canada
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Rhiannon Traill is the President & CEO of The Economic Club of Canada. Each year, more than 160 key global policy makers and business leaders seek out The Economic Club of Canada to make major keynote addresses. Under Mrs. Traill’s leadership the club has successfully expanded operations across Canada, making it the only National Public Policy Platform in Canada. The club now successfully stages events in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Moncton, Yellowknife and Nunavut.

In 2012, Mrs. Traill launched the Annual Voice of Hope awards in Ottawa. This award was designed to recognize outstanding humanitarians that have dedicated their life to the equality of women and children around the globe.

Mrs. Traill also founded The Jr. Economic Club of Canada which is organization designed to inspire Canadian youth to become financially literate, civically engaged and socially responsible. The Jr. Economic Club now runs 6 diverse programs under its banner including its flagship experiential learning programs “A Day on Bay Street” and the summer program “Bay Street Boot Camp”. To date over 35,000 students from across Canada have been a part of Jr. Economic Club of Canada programming and the club has granted over $100,000.00 in academic scholarships. Mrs. Traill has successfully developed three financial literacy tool kits to aid educators in teaching important financial skills to high school students. The Jr. EC toolkit “Your Money, Your Wellness, has now been successfully delivered in over 75% of the classrooms in Ontario and the “Me & My Money” toolkit for Inuit youth is currently being rolled out across all 53 arctic communities of Canada, in partnership with the National Inuit Youth Council of Canada. In September 2014, Mrs. Traill launched Jr. ECTV, a television program that provides a platform for young Canadians to talk about important issues. Mrs. Traill serves as the show’s host, writer and community producer. The show has included such high profiles guests as The Honourable Charles Sousa, Ontario Minster of Finance, Craig Alexander, Former Chief Economist of TD Bank & The Right Honourable John Turner, Former Prime Minister of Canada. The Jr. Economic Club has been nationally recognized by business and government leaders across the country and Mrs. Traill has appeared numerous times on BNN and CTV News to speak about the success of the program and the importance of financial literacy.

In 2013, and again in 2015, Rhiannon was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Business by the Women’s Executive Network in the Telus Future Leaders and the Sunlife Trailblazers & Trendsetters categories. She was also named one of Canada’s Change Agents by Canadian Business Magazine in 2016. She served on the Toronto committee for Canadian Blood Services Campaign for All Canadians, which successfully launched a national public umbilical cord blood bank in Canada and she currently serves as a member of the Council of Champions for the national not for profit, Children First. In 2014, Rhiannon was elected to Ryerson University’s Board of Governors where she is responsible for the governance of the university; control of its property and revenues and the conduct of its business and affairs. She is also a singer, golfer, runner and a Ryerson University graduate. She currently resides in Markham with her husband Eric and her two sons Luke and Bennett.

Navigating Careers and Developing Leaders: Five Actionable Takeaways

Hear from three inspirational women on everything from career navigation tips, influential mentors, cultivating new skills, evolving leadership styles, balancing work/life and staying motivated in good times and bad.

Then, in smaller groups you’ll create a personalized list of five actionable ideas on how to best navigate your career to become a leader on your team, department, organization and industry. This incredible opportunity truly exemplifies girl-power and has been a favourite session each consecutive year we’ve hosted.