Highlights from Amazon Canada’s 2023 Tech Trends event

Highlights from Amazon Canada’s 2023 Tech Trends event

Including a panel discussion with Amazon Music Artist to Watch Nemahsis

Forty-seven storeys above the bustling King Street West, Amazon Canada’s Toronto Tech Hub welcomed a group of global thought leaders for the latest rendition of the Future of Work Series on February 15. Together with TECHNATION Canada and Toronto Life, the Amazon Canada 2023 Tech Trends event kicked off with a chat on this year’s Amazon Music Artists to Watch initiative in Canada.

Creative Niche founder and CEO Mandy Gilbert moderated the event and was joined on stage by John Murphy, Head of Music, Canada, Amazon Music; Joëlle Bertrand, Senior Music Curator, Amazon Music, Canada; and Nemahsis – one of the Amazon Music 2023’s Artists to Watch in Canada.

To the point of curating this high-profile list, Bertrand shared what makes an Artist to Watch. “We seek out those who are making a buzz in Canada and have earned an audience but we believe are on track to global emergence.”

The program aims to support artists at a crucial point in their careers. Beyond a feature in the Canadian iteration of the Amazon Music “Artists to Watch 2023” playlist, the six recipients receive a bespoke promotional plan that includes editorial content creation, a billboard at Yonge–Dundas Square, paid social media campaigns and opportunities for collaboration with other artists. “What makes this program unique are all of the tools we get to use in tandem,” says Murphy. “Amazon Music differentiates here with voice on Alexa-enabled devices, Prime Video and Twitch to help ignite the fans artists have now, and reach prospective fans or turn casual listeners into super fans.”

“It still surprises me that anyone is even listening,” says Nemahsis, whose debut EP was born during early lockdowns of the pandemic. “I sometimes think that my stories aren’t important enough or too niche, so, when Amazon Music tells me I have global potential, it’s incredibly reassuring and gives me the motivation to keep going; it’s such an honour.” On the eve of her sold-out Toronto show, Nemahsis went on to share the challenges and advantages of using social media as a platform for building a career—including the algorithms of TikTok and forming a community.

From left: Patrick Rogers, CEO, Music Canada, and Miranda Mulholland
Amazon’s YYZ16 Toronto Tech Hub office
From left: Joelle Bertrand, Nemahsis, John Murphy
From left: Nicky Banks, Microsoft, and Greg Dubejsky, Amazon Ads
Left: Mandy Gilbert, Founder & CEO, Creative Niche

Following the panel and an engaging audience Q&A, Gilbert welcomed two new panellists to the stage: Greg Dubejsky, Director of Global Ad Sales Product, Eng, and Ops at Amazon Ads, and Nicky Banks, Director of Consumer Marketing at Microsoft.

Canada’s tech sector is one of the most fast-paced industries in the country. Sharing their insight into the online marketing and advertising trends shaping the industry, Dubejsky and Banks spilled on navigating a post-cookie world and the latest tools and marketing trends that will breathe new life into your brand.

“As I look across the media landscape, there’s a lot of conversations about how consumers are feeling, what’s happening in the economy and what that means for consumer spending and engagement with brands,” shared Dubejsky. “Finding ways to connect with customers in a way that feels authentic and relevant has become increasingly important at a time when consumers have more choice than ever before.”

“The pace of change is so accelerated in our space,” added Banks, “so, any opportunity you have to learn, seek it out and apply that to a pilot project; always remain curious.”

Wrapping up the night with a cocktail reception overlooking the city skyline, the Amazon Canada 2023 Tech Trends event was ultimately a celebration of Canadian talent—from the curators and advertising experts amplifying Canada’s tech and media landscape, to the artists and creatives that inspire them.