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Announcing the top 5 finalists for the 2023 Young Lions Media and Marketers categories

The Globe and Mail, the Official Festival Representative in Canada for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, is pleased to announce the Top 5 teams for the 2023 Canadian Young Lions Competition in the Marketers and Media categories.

Modeled after the Cannes Global Young Lions Competition, entrants received a brief and had to complete the challenge for their respective category within a 24-hour or 48-hour period.

Each year the competition jury chairs select a non-profit organization as the subject of the competition briefs. This year, there were two charities: the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the Media and Creative categories of Print, Film, and Digital, and The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund for the Marketers category.

Nature Conservancy of Canada Background

Nature Conservancy of Canada protects, restores, and sustainably manages the most ecologically important Canadian lands in the urgent fight against climate change and bio-diversity loss. With your donations NCC purchases and protects land – permanently, from coast to coast. In this, NCC is unlike any other environmental organization. When you donate, the difference you make lasts forever. 

Young Canadians are deeply worried about the environmental crisis. They understand that solving climate change will require a collective effort, but real progress seems to have stalled out. They want to know how they can make a sustainable difference in protecting nature, to have true impact.

They are looking to make a permanent difference and to help accelerate conservation. 

Competitors in the Media category were given 24 hours so create a media strategy, addressing the challenge of: how to build the Nature Conservancy of Canada community (goal 500,000 by 2030) among a younger demographic.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Background

In 1966, at 12 years old, Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy, ran away from Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School in northern Ontario to reunite with his family 600 kilometers away. His body was found beside the railway tracks on October 22, 1966. His death sparked the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in the residential school system, and years later, inspired Gord Downie’s album, Secret Path. 

Reconciliation became Gord’s central focus after he learned more about the history of Indigenous people in Canada and residential schools. At one of the final Tragically Hip concerts, Gord Downie asked all Canadians to look at the state of Indigenous-settler relations in this country and to “Do Something” to change them for the better.

The relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is foundational to Canada and critical to its future. The impact of residential schools is still felt today, affecting the health and well-being of Indigenous people and communities, and contributing to inequalities. Reconciliation is critical to healing this rift and enabling the well-being and prosperity of all peoples in Canada.

Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path toward reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Our vision is to improve the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all peoples in Canada.

Marketers were given 24 hours to develop a big, innovative idea and written submission that creates awareness of the collective reconciliation journey and opportunities to “Do Something” to move reconciliation forward through tangible reconciliACTIONs offered by the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, that also link with your brand business objectives.

Marketers and Media competition submission entries were judged by an esteemed panel of industry leaders, led by returning jury chairs Susan Irving (Marketers) and Cathy Collier (Media).

The semi-finalists in the Marketers category are:


    • Shweta Choudhury, Global Product Marketing Manager, Amazon

    • Alex Levy, Marketing Partnerships Manager, NBA Canada


    • Christie Stelling, Brand Manager, Twisted Tea & Truly Hard Seltzer, Moosehead Breweries

    • Sarah Smith, Creative Manager, Moosehead Breweries


    • Mike Miura, Manager, Commercial Marketing Strategy, MLSE

    • Ryan Grippo, Associate, Strategy, MLSE


    • Abigail Rigonan, National Marketing Specialist, McCafé & Breakfast, McDonald’s Canada

    • Jordyn Posluns, National Marketing Consultant, McCafé & Breakfast, McDonald’s Canada


    • Maci Levy, Brand Manager, Labatt Breweries of Canada

    • Rochelle Singer, Brand Manager, Michelob Ultra, Labatt Breweries of Canada

The semi-finalists in the Media category are:


    • Camille Recto, Media Buyer, Hearts & Science

    • Ramya sri Sethu, Programmatic Analyst, Hearts & Science


    • Béa Beaini, Assistant Media Designer, Cossette Media

    • Gabriel Lafond, Media Designer, Cossette Media


    • Thierry Lessard, Head of data and technology, Cartier

    • Olivier Houle, Media Strategy Supervisor, Cartier


    • Dustin Wilson, Associate Director of Strategy, OMD Canada

    • Kunal Jain, Paid Social Supervisor, OMD Canada


    • Geneviève Amyotte-Graveline, Media Coordinator, Media Experts

    • Geneviève Dansereau, Media Planner, Media Experts

The Marketers and Media Top 5 teams will virtually participate in the live judging stage of the competition taking place on Tuesday, April 11th, where our revered panel of judges will determine the top-3 placing teams. Those placing teams will be revealed on April 26th, at the CMDC’s Annual Canadian Media Summit at the W Hotel in Toronto.   

In addition to being crowned as Canada’s best, Gold-winning teams also win a trip to Cannes, France, to attend the five-day International Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity from June 19 to 23, 2023, the largest gathering in the creative marketing community. As the Competition Sponsor, The Globe and Mail awards a prize per Gold-winning team, which includes registration fees for the Global Young Lions Competition, delegate passes to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, and the cost of flights and accommodation.

This year’s competition saw 680 people registered, making up 340 competing teams across five categories: Digital, Film, Print, Media, and Marketers – 174 teams for Media and 41 teams for Marketers. 

To view the profiles of this year’s competition jurors please visit For complete eligibility criteria and competition guidelines, refer to the Official Rules and Regulations.

Marketers and Media Top 5 Teams pictured (top row, from left) 

Abigail Rigonan, Thierry Lessard, Jordyn Posluns, Béa Beaini, Olivier Houle

Shweta Choudhury, Alex Levy, Ramya sri Sethu, Mike Miura, Christie Stelling

Geneviève Amyotte-Graveline, Kunal Jain, Camille Recto, Maci Levy, Ryan Grippo

Sarah Smith, Gabriel Lafond, Geneviève Dansereau, Dustin Wilson, Rochelle Singer

For more information about The Globe and Mail’s Young Lions competition, visit

Twitter: @CannesLionsCAN

Hashtag: #YoungLions2023

Instagram: @globemediagroup

About the Young Lions Competition

The Globe and Mail has been the official Canadian representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity since 2005, hosting the Canadian Young Lions competitions since 2007 and the Marketers competition since 2012.

Strategy Magazine, Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA), and the Canadian Media Directors’ Council (CMDC) also support the competitions as partners of the Canadian Cannes Program.

About the 70th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, also known as Cannes Lions, is the world’s leading celebration of creativity in communications and encompasses Lions Health, Lions Innovation and Lions

Entertainment. Founded in 1954, the Festival takes place every June in Cannes, France. As the most prestigious international annual advertising and communications awards, entries from all over the world are showcased and judged at the Festival.

About The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail is Canada’s foremost news media company, leading the national discussion and causing policy change through brave and independent journalism since 1844. With our award-winning coverage of business, politics and national affairs, The Globe and Mail newspaper reaches 6.5 million readers every week in our print or digital formats, and Report on Business magazine reaches 1.8 million readers in print and digital every issue. Our investment in innovative data science means that as the world continues to change, so does The Globe. The Globe and Mail is owned by Woodbridge, the investment arm of the Thomson family.

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