The 2020 Indie List

Despite industry consolidation trends, Canada's independent agencies continue to thrive

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Two narratives impacting Canada’s agency scene have emerged over the last decade. They are both true, in their way, but they are at odds.

The first is a story of consolidation, wherein multinational networks acquire prestigious independent agencies, absorbing the talent and clients that had flocked to them. Some see this as the fate of Canada’s creative sector: to be subsumed by global players offering resources beyond the scope of our relatively small market.

The other story is about the continual stream of entrepreneurs who strike out on their own to do something different. They take risks, start small, often in an under-served niche, and use their experience to create distinct, future- looking work that breaks the status quo. They defy expectations of what an indie agency is capable of and are winning over significant work at an impressive pace, scaling up faster than decades past.

Who are the heroes of this story? Welcome to the Indie List.

Regardless of their size or specialty, the independent agencies profiled here have earned reputations as innovative partners in addressing business problems. Each one was founded by experienced execs who believe brands are served best by an agency operating on its own terms, not those of an anonymous executive in New York or London.

Some are capable of wielding global trends. Others are hyper-focused on local insights. Some are brand new but already working with national brands in unconventional ways.

Read on to learn how they are responding to the needs of Canadian marketers while keeping Canada’s creative community fiercely independent.

Indie List Profiles: