Up to the Minute: Brandfire names managing director

Plus, Republik makes four hires in Montreal and Lg2 snags assignment with Quebec retail chain Aubainerie.

Hires and promotions

Markham, Ont.-based Brandfire continues to grow its digital team with one promotion and two hires. With the agency since 2016, Ira Baptiste has been promoted to EVP and managing director. In addition, the agency has added Patricia Whitney as VP digital and Hardi Anand as digital strategy manager. The executive appointments follow a number of new business wins at the agency, including alcohol-free beer and wine company Hillstreet Beverages, eyewear brand Cake Eyewear, telco services marketer Comwave, and law and accounting services firm Feigenbaum Law. Finally, Brandfire CEO Rob Levy was really appointed to the steering committee of the inaugural Effie Awards in Canada.

Brand communications shop Pigeon Brands has promoted Élyse Boulet to the role of SVP and national managing director. Boulet brings experience from Lg2, Publicis, Y&R and Taxi, where she worked on brands that include Metro, Danone, Cirque du Soleil, L’Oreal and Desjardins. She will work out of the agency’s Montreal and Toronto offices.

Franco Renda joins the creative team at DentsuBos Montreal as a graphic designer, having previously worked at Lg2. He will put his digital experience to work on the Subway account, which the agency won around a year go.

Republik has welcomed four new employees to its team in Montreal. Virginie Jacques-Nadeau, whose experience spans media, digital and content strategy, assumes the role of director of strategy at Republik and will help establish a digital marketing strategy team. In addition, the agency has hired  Annie-Kim Maltais-Simard as an account executive and Loïza Luperon and Katy Ribeiro as community managers.

Notable Life Media Group has brought on Dean Harrison as director of partnerships. The former senior public relations manager at PR agency BPR has experience in marketing and PR, with a focus on luxury CPG. He joins Notable on Dec. 3 and will report to Matt Chong, VP of strategic development and partnerships. His hiring follows the company’s recent acquisition of Toronto branding agency Convey.

New business and other news

Lg2 will work on strategy and creative for Quebec retail chain Aubainerie. The agency plans to lean on its data and intelligence group for the assignment.

Faten Alshazly, CCO at Halifax-based WeUsThem, has been named to Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women for the second year in a row. The announcement comes one week after she was named Female Executive of the Year in Canada by the New York-based Stevie Awards celebrating female international business leaders, entrepreneurs and employees.


Viewership of TSN’s broadcast of the 106th CFL Grey Cup dropped by nearly 25% (the equivalent of one million viewers) this year for an estimated 3.3 million viewers. In stark contrast, last year saw a boost of 10% in viewership over 2016, making the 2017 final the most-watched broadcast since 2013.

Civilized has made a pair of acquisitions as it eyes further expansion. The St-John-based digital cannabis lifestyle magazine moves into experiential after taking ownership of the 420 Games,  a U.S.-based company that hosts sponsored athletic-type events aimed at debunking stereotypes about cannabis users. In addition, plans to acquire online news and events site Business of Cannabis are expected to close last this year and will see Civilized establish a physical presence in Toronto.