Canada at Cannes: Bigger and better than ever

Canadians can already be smug about a few Lions accomplishments: our first Canadian titanium and integrated judge, TAXI CCO Steve Mykolyn; and the most Canadian entries ever.

As the judges get ready to make the journey to the Cannes International Advertising Festival next week to start the marathon of screening, listening to, and poring over the best advertising from around the world, they head off knowing that Canada bucked the economic trend and showed more confidence than your average nation with the largest number of Canadian entries to Cannes ever. Canadian entries topped 800 for the first time in 2009 – exceeding last year by 30 (4%), when countries like the US are down by 25%, and total entries this year (22,652), are down 12% from last year’s tally.

Cannes Lions 2009 also boasts the largest jury contingent that Canada has ever sent, marking the first time Canada has had a titanium jury member, TAXI CCO Steve Mykolyn, who has been a Cannes film juror in the past and spent the last year hopping the globe judging a myriad of global shows. We also have our first design judge – GJP Advertising & Design CD Lisa Greenberg, who was a winner in that new category last year.

Returning to serve on this year’s media jury is Starcom MediaVest Group CEO Lauren Richards, while Taxi Montreal CD Stephane Charier judges cyber and Syncapse VP, strategy and creative Janice Diner judges promo. Target associate CD Jenny Smith is on the radio jury, John St. CD Stephen Jurisic is the Canadian press judge, Ogilvy & Mather CCO Janet Kestin sits on the film jury and Philippe Meunier, CD at Sid Lee, adjudicates direct.

Canada also has the most Young Lions ever registered this year, sending 26 to compete and learn. Canadian delegates to the fest, running June 21 to 27, have exceeded 100 this year, which is a dip of 37.5%, however, most countries are experiencing a 50% decline in the size of their contingents. Meanwhile, Canada ranks seventh in terms of volume of entries – surpassed by USA (2,726), Germany (2,131), Brazil (1,519), UK (1,316), India (982) and Spain (882).