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Effie Canada’s renewed mission to inspire marketers and agencies

Effie Canada has announced two new co-chairs for its 2024 program and beyond. Here Kate Torrance, the VP, head of brand, content and communications, at SickKids Foundation talks us through the importance of the Effie awards and the ambitions she shares with Effie Canada co-chair Adam Reeves, chief creative officer, TBWA\Group Canada.

The pool of creative and marketing talent in Canada is extremely broad and deep, and the country is such a diverse and unique marketplace. The importance of the Effies is that it gives us a platform to both recognize and share that work – so that marketers and agencies alike get better.

Canada needs to promote the Effies – because of the rigour required to win, it’s an awards program that gets all of us to up our game. Plus, there’s the wider point that  effective work contributes to a thriving healthy economy in our country, and we all need and want that.

My appreciation of effectiveness comes from working in the charity sector where it has a double meaning. At the SickKids Foundation our KPIs are dollars raised and donors acquired, but that isn’t really the end game. It’s more about granting those dollars to the hospital where the true impact of the work begins. From where I sit, effective work means lives saved.

More selfishly, the opportunity with Effie Canada to be exposed to the most creative and most effective work is really exciting – as a brand marketer, I learn something from the winning cases every year. 


Shining a light on great work

I also see being a co-chair as a way for me to give back to an industry that has given so much to me – specifically for an organization that prioritizes impact of our work versus just creativity for creativity’s sake (which I think we still see a lot of).

I know my co-chair Adam, who will bring a fantastic perspective as an agency creative leader, shares this view too. Having just arrived back in the Canadian agency world after a very successful time in the US he says: “As an important tracker of success I want to help the community get involved as much as possible and to shine a light on the great work agencies are creating.”

Adam adds: “Over the next few years I hope we help highlight innovative and interesting work and shine a light on Canadian creativity and the work we make. Hopefully we can be seen as a leading small market.”

As the new co-chairs we have a head start in that we get to build on the great work of our predecessors in elevating the profile of the Effies to encourage the development and Effies submissions of  “work that works” with the ultimate goal of putting Canada on the map globally as a creative effectiveness leader.

This means, in the words of former co-chair, Ali Leung, working hard to “push the judges to be like forensic accountants when scrutinizing business results in the cases” and to “hold the bar high – we want to be proud of the work that’s deemed best of the best in Canada.”

Sharing best practice

Meanwhile, former co-chair Dustin Rideout urges Effie Canada to continue on its journey of raising the standard of submissions, while ex-chair Brent Nelson adds: “We need to educate people on why winning an effectiveness case matters, and how to write a winning effectiveness case. The world is producing brilliant work with staggeringly good results. Share Global Effie Winners, IPA Effectiveness winners, and Cannes Creative Effectiveness Cases. It is possible, and if you’re not writing about how effective your marcom investment is…others are!”

I’m in total agreement with these points and would also like to help shape how we share and disseminate the marketing innovation and best practices that we see in our winning Effies cases as broadly as possible within the industry.


We have excellent platforms here to build on in the shape of research such as The Institute of Canadian Agencies’ Alchemy of Effectiveness reports, and the Canadian Effectiveness Summit. After all, these studies teach us new ways of thinking and inspire us towards our ultimate goal of doing better in our own work.

Effie Awards Canada is licensed to and run by the Institute of Canadian AgenciesTBWA\Group is a member of the ICA and SickKids Foundation is a client of ICA member CossetteReport on Marketing is where leading Canadian agencies showcase their insights, cutting-edge research and client successes. The Report on Marketing provides a valuable source of thought leadership for Canadian marketers to draw inspiration from. Find more articles like this at the Report on Marketing.

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