2023

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2023 ACA Gold Medal Award will be awarded to Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada.

Michael’s career in marketing has been nothing short of illustrious. With a rich and diverse background in leadership roles, he has made significant contributions to several prominent organizations, having held leadership positions with the Toronto Raptors, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Molson Canada, and Tennis Canada

Under his leadership, Michael led negotiations in securing ten and seven-year corporate partnership agreements with National Bank and Rogers respectively, which consolidated the future of Canadian tennis at a time of great uncertainty.
On top of that, a historic commitment was made to provide equal prize money for women and men starting in 2027 at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.

These transformative initiatives not only elevated Tennis Canada but also propelled the sport towards a more inclusive and equitable future, leaving a lasting legacy of positive change.

Read the media release

Watch the congratulatory video for Michael Downey

2022

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, the Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2022 ACA Gold Medal Award will be awarded to Mark Harrison, Founder of T1 and the global sponsorship conference, SponsorshipX.

Mark Harrison and Ron Lund with the Gold Medal certificate
Mark Harrison & Ron Lund

With over 30 years’ experience as a sponsorship and marketing leader, Mark Harrison has dedicated his career to working with purpose. In addition to Harrison’s work in marketing and his commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in society, he founded the Black Talent Initiative, a movement dedicated to facilitating change and creating opportunities for young, Black Canadians in the business.

Staying true to his commitment to working with purpose, he is also Board Chair at Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto, co-chair of the Black, Biracial, Indigenous Task force for Ontario University Athletics, and a Board Member at CAMH Foundation – three organizations that are near and dear to his heart. Harrison serves as a Board Member of Playmaker Capital, an advisor to Crankworx Events and wonderMakr.

Mark Harrison makes his acceptance speech at the strategy awards
Mark Harrison makes his acceptance speech at the strategy awards

Read the media release

2019

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2018 ACA Gold Medal Award will be awarded to Shannon Hosford, Chief Marketing Officer at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Shannon Hosford and Ron Lund
Shannon Hosford and Ron Lund

Over the last five years, in her role as Chief Marketing Officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Shannon Hosford has led the rebranding of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors, including the introduction of ‘We The North’, a campaign that has been recognized as one of the top Canadian marketing campaigns in history and played a significant role in the direction of the Raptors which culminated with the team’s first NBA Championship last June.

Hosford leads all marketing and communications for MLSE, one of the largest and most diverse sports portfolios in North America, including The Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC, Toronto Argonauts, MLSE LIVE and MLSE Foundation.

Among Hosford’s accomplishments are a successful bid for the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend and the erection of Leafs Legends Row, statues that celebrate the most iconic players in Toronto Maple Leafs history. Under Hosford’s leadership, the MLSE marketing team was awarded the CLIO Sports Awards Grand Prize and the In-House Agency Forum Awards Gold Prize. She has also led the charge in ensuring MLSE’s commitment to highlighting the cultural diversity of its fans.

In recognition of her actions, Hosford was nominated for the 2017 Premier’s Award for Outstanding Ontario College Graduates and was name Adweek’s “33 Media, Marketing and Tech Stars Who’ve Helped Make Toronto a Vibrant Creative Hub” in 2018.

In addition to her work in marketing, Hosford is involved in many philanthropic and community endeavors, including serving on the boards for MLSE Foundation and Canada Basketball as well as volunteering over the years with Habitat for Humanity and Free The Children, which took her on missions to Kenya, New Orleans and Jamaica.

Read the media release

Watch the congratulatory video for Shannon Hosford

2018

Susan Senecal and Tom Newitt

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2018 ACA Gold Medal Award will be awarded to Susan Senecal, President & CEO and Tom Newitt, Senior Director Brand Communications at A&W.

Dynamic duo, Susan Senecal & Tom Newitt have taken A&W’s marketing and strategy to new heights. In 2013, they repositioned the brand as the leader in great tasting natural food for burger lovers in Canada. Their determination was most recently captured by A&W’s Mission:

“To be loved for our natural ingredients, great taste, convenience, and for doing what’s right, making A&W the #1 choice for millennial burger lovers.”

First presented in 1941, the ACA Gold Medal Award is the Canadian marketing industry’s most prestigious honour. It is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marketing communications in Canada.

Senecal and Newitt were honoured at the Strategy Awards, as part of ACA’s new partnership with strategy magazine on September 20 at the Omni King Edward Hotel in Toronto.

Read the media release.

Watch the congratulatory video for Susan Senecal & Tom Newitt.

2016

Linda Nagel

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2016 ACA Gold Medal was awarded to Linda Nagel, President and CEO of Advertising Standards Canada (ASC).

For more than 21 years, Linda Nagel has helped strengthen and transform advertising self-regulation in Canada. Under Nagel’s watch, the not-for-profit ASC affirmed its mandate and rebranded to focus on the fundamentals of responsible advertising self-regulation, overhauled the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards to ensure its continued relevancy, embraced transparency in consumer complaints reporting and launched major public awareness campaigns, cementing ASC’s position as a self-regulatory body respected by consumers, industry and government.

First presented in 1941, the ACA Gold Medal Award is the Canadian marketing industry’s most prestigious honour. It is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marketing communications in Canada.

Nagel was presented with her award at the 2016 Marketing Awards gala, on June 2, 2016 at the Carlu in Toronto.

Read the media release.

Watch the congratulatory video for Linda Nagel from her peers.

2015

Paul Lavoie

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2015 ACA Gold Medal was awarded to Paul Lavoie, Co-Founder, Chairman and CCO of creative agency TAXI.

Lavoie has been instrumental in advancing Canada’s advertising community on the global stage. He was the first Canadian jury president at Cannes, is the youngest person to be inducted into the Marketing Hall of Legends and In 2008, Marketing Magazine named him as one of the 10 most influential pioneers in Canadian marketing over the past century.

First presented in 1941, the ACA Gold Medal Award is the Canadian marketing industry’s most prestigious honour. It is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of marketing communications in Canada.

Lavoie was presented with his award at the 2015 Marketing Awards gala, on June 4, 2015 at the Carlu in Toronto. ACA members enjoyed a 20% discount for individual tickets to the event.

Read the media release.

Watch the for Paul Lavoie from his peers.

2014

William H. Moir

The Association of Canadian Advertisers is pleased to announce that the 2014 ACA Gold Medal was awarded to Bill Moir, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer for Tim Hortons.

Moir has seen the company grow from 500 stores to nearly 4,500 in his 24 year tenure. He is respected as a pivotal figure in building one of the nations most beloved and iconic brands, taking its place in the popular ‘moose, mountains and Mounties’ mindset of Canadians everywhere.

Moir was presented with his award at the 2014 Marketing Awards gala, on May 29, 2014 at the Carlu in Toronto. ACA members enjoyed a 20% discount for individual tickets to the event.

Read the media release.

Watch the for Bill Moir from his peers.