Up to the Minute: Denise Rossetto named NABS chair

Plus, Raptors draw record NBA viewership and BPR will lead public relations ahead of Eataly Toronto opening.
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Hires and promotions

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has made a pair of senior appointments in Western Canada. Stephen Smart joins as general manager of the Vancouver office and Matt Wolf as VP in Calgary. Smart arrives from Citizen Relations, where he was VP and a national corporation communications lead. Wolf was most recently a member of the United Conservative Party during the provincial election campaign in Alberta and deputy chief of staff to the UCP caucus.

Public affairs firm Crestview Strategy is opening an international office in Washington, D.C. and has named Maryscott Greenwood to lead operations as partner and managing director for Crestview in the U.S.

Senior editor Izzy Ehrlich has been hired at School Editing. Having started her career at School, Ehrlich has most recently worked at Rooster Post, editing work for brands including Gillette, Tourism Nova Scotia, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Budweiser

Alanna Homuth h.as joined Toronto-based studio Rooster Post as a producer. She began her career in post production at Alter Ego and later sought opportunities in online and visual effects, producing work for Tim Horton’s, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Keg, Loblaws and other brands.

New business and other news

Denise Rossetto, chief creative officer of BBDO Canada, has been elected chair of NABS’ board of directors for a three-year term beginning July 1. She takes over from outgoing chair Jeremy Gayton, president of Lg2 Toronto.

Cannabis holding company TREC Brands has picked PR agency NKPR as its agency of record. TREC’s brand portfolio includes Blissed, a cannabis oil products line intended for women, and WINK, a luxury brand entering the market this month. NKPR will lead media relations, strategic partnerships and brand events, a social media strategy to launch Blissed in Ontario and the development of TREC’s CSR strategy.

Following an RFP process, BPR (formerly Butter Public Relations) has been selected as agency of record for Italian marketplace Eataly. The PR agency will be responsible for promoting the retail dining company’s arrival in Canada, with the launch of Eataly Toronto later this year.

Montreal’s Agence Braque will create a brand image for Expo Entrepreneurs Pro, a two-day gathering of entrepreneurs and professionals in Quebec City.

Content creation and influencer marketing agency Image Motion has picked up Premium Soccer, a soccer clothing and accessories store, as a client. The Montreal-based agency developed the company’s branding, website and communications. It will continue leading content marketing and digital strategy for the brand.

Media

Canadian broadcasters continued to roll out their 2019 Upfronts this week. Corus Entertainment announced plans to launch a multi-channel TV package though a deal with Amazon Prime Video Channels. The entertainment company also revealed a partnership with Complex (a U.S.-based media group targeting Gen Z) and expanded social and digital initiatives with in-house social agency So.da and recently acquired Kin Canada. Also this week, Bell Media unveiled the new brand identities of four of its speciality networks. The intent to rebrand was initially announced during last year’s Upfront season (stories available through Media in Canada).

Now that The Big Bang Theory has come to an end, viewers’ attentions are turning to CTV and Global dramas and HGTV’s Island of Bryan. But with more than 2.5 million viewers, the Toronto Raptors Eatern conference finals showing against the Milwaukee Bucks drew the most Canadian eyeballs across several markets for the week ending May 26. And viewership continues to grow, with the team’s second finals appearance against the Golden State Warriors fetching an average audience of 3.3 million viewers – a record for the NBA in Canada – according to other outlets.