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Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends commits to equity, inclusion and diversity 

AMA Toronto continues process of organizational evaluation and change 

Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends (CMHOL), one of the country’s most respected and renowned industry awards, is making changes to its 2021 program to help advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the marketing community.  The reform is a part of AMA Toronto’s commitment to reflect, support, and amplify its diversified membership.  

“Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends is changing to better represent and celebrate Canada’s diverse marketing community,” says Miglena Nikolova, president of AMA Toronto, the association that runs CMHOL. “We recognize there’s inequity in our marketing community and that we can do more to address it. For that reason, our organization has embarked on a journey of evaluation and change to tackle issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion which are important to our members.” 

Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends honours the industry’s most outstanding visionaries, enablers, builders and mentors who’ve had a tremendous impact on the field of marketing throughout their careers. The Marketer on the Rise award, being reintroduced this year, celebrates Canada’s top up-and-comers — the next generation of influential marketing leaders.  

To address and enhance DEI, the CMHOL significantly expanded its national outreach to attract a broader range of nominations. The makeup of the CMHOL jury has also been reformed and new standards for eligibility established — the criteria for Legend nominations and selection. One key shift is that 40 to 50 percent of the selected Legend inductees for 2021 must reflect diversity in the industry.

These changes will enable CMHOL to more accurately mirror the marketing community in terms of geography, line-of-business, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation.“We’re acting on an acknowledged need to continue to evolve our awards to reflect the fast-changing and diverse marketing industry in Canada,” says CMHOL Jury Committee Chair David Kincaid, a 2014 Legend and founder of Level5 Strategy. “The CMHOL recognizes the challenge and necessity to work harder and set stronger examples of DEI in its programs and content.”  

Reforming its flagship event, Canada’s Marketing Hall of Legends, is a noticeable and important step forward by AMA Toronto to elevate equity and improve inclusion, and recognize the important impact of diverse leaders.   

“AMA Toronto is looking at how we can unite our membership to amplify underrepresented voices and use our platform to create a more inclusive, diverse, and equitable future for the marketing community at all levels,” says Christine Andrew, who oversees AMA Toronto’s DEI Committee, created to instigate and guide the chapter’s commitment to DEI. 

Since August 2020, the DEI Committee has been spearheading initiatives such as think tank events and surveys to engage AMA Toronto members and the community on how to improve DEI in our industry. 

“We live in one of the most diverse cities in the world with over 250 ethnicities and 170 languages represented in the Greater Toronto Area,” continues Andrew. “Yet as marketers, we recognize we can do better in reflecting this diverse community in the companies we work for and within our own marketing community.”

AMA Toronto’s upcoming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Open Forum on March 24 will be an interactive, engaging discussion to help identify gaps and blind spots in our industry and collect suggestions and solutions to address these shortcomings. 

AMA Toronto is also working with other AMA chapters across North America to share DEI learnings and best practices and develop a pledge of commitment to its membership.  

“The goal is to make a difference, be a relevant and progressive influence,” says Andrew. “Use our collective voices to outline the roles marketers can play in standing for and delivering on inclusion; the ideals, values, and principles that promote equality, respect, and unity.”

The DEI Committee will be continuing to engage and consult the community, examining feedback and research to develop a member-driven, iterative and practical DEI plan for AMA Toronto that will be announced and then rolled out for the 2021-2022 season.  

More information about AMA Toronto and its events can be found at

Written by Robert MacLean.  Robert Maclean is principal, Maclean PR & Corporate Communications and VP, Public Relations AMA Toronto. 

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