Author Archives: Aaron Brindle

Giving back locally in 2019: Increasing digital skills in the Greater Toronto Area

Digital literacy is an essential skill for Canada’s future workforce. Today, a solid foundation in digital skills is critical to succeed in almost every facet of the economy. Which is why Google is committed to supporting our local communities build the skills they need to thrive and grow. Over the past year, we’ve been to 11 different communities, hosting a number of workshops around digital training. We’ve had the opportunity to work with many local organizations to train over 4,000 Canadian learners.

We’re proud to continue working with organizations dedicated to increasing the digital skills of Torontonians. This year we’ll be supporting three local organizations and, over the next year, these organizations will increase the digital capabilities and confidence of our community.

1) VentureKids

VentureKids has a mission to accelerate access to in-demand technical skills for youth in underserved areas, and provide them the skills they need to compete in the ever-changing economy.

Our funding is supporting 300 youth in the VentureStartup program - a nine-week course aimed at youth ages 14-19 to develop their product building, financial literacy, front-end development (CSS, HTML, Javascript) and growth hacking skills. Through this program, students will learn how to identify a problem or gap in their neighbourhood and work to create a technology-focused solution to help their community.

2) ACCES Employment

ACCES Employment assists job seekers from diverse backgrounds, who are facing barriers to employment, to integrate into the Canadian job market. They provide employment services linking employers to skilled people, while building strong collaborative networks with community partners across the city, province and country.

We’re supporting an enhanced training program that will help youth (ages 16-29) find employment. This program allows 40 youth to complete technology training and provide them with opportunities to connect to employers. At the end of the program, these young people in Toronto will have the technical skills needed to secure entry-level STEM roles.


3) Parkdale Centre for Innovation

Parkdale Centre for Innovation is a not-for-profit incubator and community hub that supports entrepreneurs to start and grow their business, and professionals to reach their fullest potential, with a focus on inclusion and equity.

 Google is helping to fund Parkdale Centre’s Pre-Seed Entrepreneurship Program. The 8-week program offers 60 professionals and entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a roadmap for their project, business, or startup, and will help to provide access to Parkdale member benefits, including program participation, advising, mentorship and networking. At the end of the program, successful participants will be invited to Parkdale Centre's Startup Accelerator, to scale their projects through a network of advisors, partners, and investors.


Giving back locally enables Google to support all of these outstanding organizations, as well as a range of other initiatives including The Boys and Girls Club of Canada, Let’s Talk Science, Pathways to Education and more. Many diverse community organizations help improve the lives of Canadians in unique ways, and Google is proud to contribute to the valuable work being done locally, where we work and live.

 Posted by Sabrina Geremia, VP, Country Manager, Google Canada

Typhoon Studios joins Stadia Games and Entertainment

Working with some of the best game creators in the world, we’ve learned that a successful studio comes down to great people who have a vision to execute on the best ideas. We’re always looking for people who share our passion and vision for the future of gaming, which is why I’m so excited that Typhoon Studios, the independent developers behind the upcoming Journey to the Savage Planet, is joining Stadia Games and Entertainment.

Under the leadership of its co-founders, Reid Schneider & Alex Hutchinson, Typhoon Studios has built an incredible team of industry veterans who are committed to the player experience. The Typhoon team will be joining our first Stadia Games and Entertainment studio that is based in Montreal and led by Sébastien Puel.

Typhoon Studios will continue to work on the launch of Journey to the Savage Planet for multiple platforms on January 28, 2020. Meanwhile, our priority will be on integrating the team from Typhoon Studios into Stadia Games and Entertainment. We’re thrilled to welcome this incredibly talented team to the Google family!

Élargir l’accès aux Données Environnementales partout au Canada

Google a profité de la récente COP25 pour exprimer sa volonté d’intégrer la durabilité dans tout ce qu’elle fait, et de donner à tous les moyens de participer à la création d’un monde durable.

Les villes sont maintenant responsables de plus de 70 % des émissions mondiales. Pour lutter efficacement contre les changements climatiques, nous croyons donc qu’il est essentiel de leur fournir des données et des technologies pertinentes. 

C’est pourquoi nous avons créé l’Explorateur de données environnementales (EIE), un outil en ligne permettant à des villes de partout dans le monde d’obtenir des données précises sur les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) afin de réduire leurs émissions de CO2. 

À l’heure actuelle, l’EIE fournit des données à une centaine de villes dans le monde, dont 40 au Canada. Notre analyse de 2018 établissait à 116 millions de tonnes les émissions de GES de ces 40 villes, à plus de 172 milliards de kilomètres (quatre millions de fois le tour de la Terre!) la distance parcourue par leurs habitants grâce à différents moyens de transport, et à plus de 46 gigawatts leur potentiel solaire.

Burlington, Laval, Toronto, Moncton, Nanaimo, Saskatoon, Calgary, Kitchener et Sault Ste. Marie font partie des villes canadiennes dont les données sont accessibles dans l’outil.

Soutenir l’action locale dans les villes canadiennes

Depuis l’élargissement de l’accès à ces données environnementales plus tôt cette année, nous avons collaboré avec des municipalités, des services publics et diverses organisations concernées par l’élaboration de plans d’action climatiques de six provinces, dont le Nouveau-Brunswick.

« Nous sommes ravis d’avoir collaboré avec Google pour inclure les données de Saint John, Moncton et Fredericton dans l’EIE, déclare Gaëtan Thomas, PDG d’Énergie NB. Énergie NB s’emploie depuis des années à réduire ses émissions de carbone, et nous sommes convaincus que ces données aideront les Néo-Brunswickois à trouver une foule de solutions novatrices pour lutter contre les changements climatiques. »


Au Nouveau-Brunswick, les villes de Fredericton, Saint John et Moncton se concertent pour résoudre des problèmes communs, comme les émissions de GES. 

Leurs maires voient l’EIE comme une ressource utile dans leur action conjointe pour le climat : « Pour les trois plus grandes villes du Nouveau-Brunswick, l’Explorateur de données environnementales de Google est une source de données supplémentaire pour comprendre l’empreinte carbone des collectivités. Grâce à lui, les citoyens, entreprises et chercheurs qui s’intéressent à la réduction des émissions ont un accès direct à l’information. »

Nous ne nous contentons pas de fournir aux villes des données plus complètes; nous explorons aussi des moyens d’aider les collectivités à transformer ces données en plans d’action à l’échelle locale.

« Maintenant que les données de Burlington sont accessibles dans l’EIE, nous disposons d’un outil unique pour aider la population à comprendre, dans le cadre de notre plan d’action pour le climat, notre incidence collective sur les changements climatiques. » Marianne Meed Ward, mairesse de Burlington


Transformer les données en plans d’action

L’EIE se fonde sur des données cartographiques anonymes et hautement agrégées et sur des facteurs standards d’émissions de GES pour estimer les émissions de carbone des immeubles et moyens de transport, ainsi que le potentiel énergétique solaire des villes. Les données ont été vérifiées par des organismes réputés et servent déjà à l’élaboration de mesures pour le climat allant des initiatives pour encourager l’usage du vélo à la production d’énergie solaire.

« Les données et les capacités de modélisation de l’EIE de Google fournissent à West Vancouver de l’information importante dans la lutte contre les changements climatiques, un enjeu auquel la population locale est sensible. Nous nous réjouissons de la liberté d’accès à la plateforme, qui favorisera l’émergence de solutions novatrices et nous aidera dans nos efforts pour protéger le climat et la collectivité. » Mary-Ann Booth, mairesse de West Vancouver

L’obtention des données désormais fournies par l’EIE exigeait auparavant des mois d’études et l’investissement d’un grand nombre de ressources de la part des villes désireuses de se doter d’un plan d’action climatique. En utilisant les sources de données et calculs de Google pour dresser très rapidement un état des lieux complet à l’échelle d’une municipalité, l’EIE évite à celle-ci de recourir à un processus fastidieux et coûteux de collecte et d’analyse de données.

Données détaillées sur les déplacements et les émissions connexes à Nanaimo
« La Ville de Nanaimo est heureuse de faire partie des premières municipalités incluses dans l’Explorateur de données environnementales de Google, déclare Leonard Krog, maire de Nanaimo. Nous sommes résolus à prendre des mesures concrètes pour combattre les changements climatiques. Cette plateforme permet d’obtenir rapidement les données précises dont nous avons besoin pour mettre en œuvre et maintenir les mesures visant à réduire nos émissions. »

La lutte contre les changements climatiques exige des mesures concertées immédiates

À l’heure où les villes, les collectivités et les entreprises du monde entier s’unissent pour le climat, l’accès aux données environnementales demeure crucial. Soucieux de participer à l’effort, nous tenons à remercier les autorités municipales et les leaders climatiques tournés vers l’avenir qui ont collaboré à cette initiative.
Comme Marc Demers, le maire de Laval, l’explique : « L’utilisation d’un tel outil et la collaboration avec une entreprise comme Google permettront certainement de mieux planifier l’action climatique et de sensibiliser la population à l’importance et l’urgence d’agir. Ceci est particulièrement important pour la Ville de Laval, puisque la lutte aux changements climatiques nécessite l’implication de tous. »

Vous désirez que vos données soient incluses dans l’EIE? Écrivez-nous! Et pour en savoir plus sur les initiatives de durabilité de Google, rendez-vous à sustainability.google.

The ads Canadians chose to watch on YouTube this year

This year’s YouTube Canada Ads Leaderboard* reveals the most creative ads that Canadians chose to watch in 2019.

It’s incredible to see so much homegrown talent on this year’s list. From GO Transit’s take on bus travel to Maple Leaf Food’s compilation of picky eaters to Air Canada’s spotlight on how we travel, it’s clear that Canadian brands and marketers are captivating our hearts and eyes with powerful creative storytelling. Canada is home to a wealth of industry talent who are embracing YouTube and leaning into the uniqueness of the platform to capture audience attention month after month. 


So, what makes an ad compelling to Canadians?

Powerful storytelling in long and short form 
From 30 second ads to an hour and a half long ad, we are seeing advertisers use YouTube as a creative canvas, taking the time to tell longer stories. The ads are built for attracting attention early, and retaining that attention for the duration of the creative. No matter the length, Canadians will watch a great ad that grabs and keeps their attention with a story that draws emotion.

Celebrities are keeping Canadians engaged
More than 21 million Canadians tuned in to watch Ed Sheeran’s DM to Heinz come to life, Sandra Oh travelling like a Canadian with Air Canada, and athletes like Serena Williams dare to Dream Crazier in a Nike ad.  

Humour and human truths go hand in hand
Maple Leaf Foods’ compilation of kids refusing to eat dinner was the perfect appeal to parents looking for meals that kids will love. And GO Transit’s hilarious spot about bus travel capitalizes on the benefits GO offers to commuters, including head rests and meme-browsing.

Take a look at the full list below, and happy viewing!


YouTube Canada Ads Leaderboard 2019
  1. 1) Nike | Dream Crazier - Nike (Creative - Wieden Kennedy, Media - Publicis Sapient)

  2. 2) Ed's Heinz Ad - KraftHeinz (Creative - Starcom, Media - DAVID the Agency) 3) Air Canada: Travel Like a Canadian - Air Canada (Creative - FCB Canada, Media - N/A)


4) I'm Not Eating That - Maple Leaf Foods (Creative - Sid Lee, Media - N/A)

5) Disney+ | Start Streaming Now - Walt Disney Studios Canada (Creative - Disney+ Works, Media - Carat)
6) Introducing iPhone 11 — Apple - Apple Canada (Creative - TBWA\Media Arts Lab, Media - OMD)

7) The Bus. From GO. The GO Bus. - GO Transit (Creative - BBDO, Media - PHD Toronto)

8) WestJet introduces #FlyreFestival | April Fool's  - WestJet (Creative - Studio M, Media - Media Experts)

9) Reese The Movie: A Movie About Reese (An ASMR Experience)
- Reese Canada (Creative - Anomaly, Media - UM)

10) Bell Let's Talk Day 2019 - Official Video - Bell Canada (Creative - LG2, Media - Media Experts)

Posted by Susan Charles, Brand Strategy Lead, Google Canada

*The Leaderboard is compiled using an algorithm that factors in number of views, percentage of organic and paid views, and audience retention. 

Expanding Environmental Insights Across Canada


At COP25 this year, we shared how Google is focused on building sustainability into everything that we do and making it possible for everyone to build a more sustainable world.

As cities now account for more than 70 percent of global emissions, we believe that empowering city governments with comprehensive, climate-relevant data and technology can play a critical role in driving action.

One way we are doing this is with our online tool, the Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE), providing high-resolution data to cities across the world to measure greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and take informed action to reduce CO2 emissions.

As of today, EIE now provides this data to 40 cities across Canada, among a cohort of over 100 global cities. In 2018, our analysis for these 40 cities estimates 116 million tons of GHG emissions, over 172 billion kilometers travelled (the equivalent of circumnavigating the earth over 4 million times!) by various modes of transport, and a solar potential of over 46 gigawatts.



Canadian municipalities now available on EIE include, among others, Burlington, Laval, Toronto, Moncton, Nanaimo, Saskatoon, Calgary, Kitchener and Sault Ste. Marie.


Empowering local action in cities across Canada

Since expanding access to these environmental insights earlier this year, we have worked with municipalities, utilities and other organisations critical to municipal climate action planning across 6 provinces in Canada, including the province of New Brunswick.

Gaëtan Thomas, CEO of NB Power says, “We are thrilled to have worked with Google to bring EIE data to the cities of Saint John, Moncton, and Fredericton. For years, NB Power has been working diligently to reduce our carbon emissions; and we’re confident that putting data like this into the hands of New Brunswickers will lead to many more innovative solutions for carbon emission reduction.”





In New Brunswick, the cities of Fredericton, Saint John and Moncton collaborate together on a variety of topics and work to solve common issues, including the challenge of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Under the Tri-Cities Mayors Group which represents this collaboration, they see value in using EIE to tackle climate action together, saying, “Google’s Environmental Insights Explorer gives the three largest New Brunswick cities another tool and dataset to understand the carbon footprint in each of their communities. It puts information directly into the hands of citizens, businesses and researchers who also have an interest in lowering emissions.”

As we look beyond our latest efforts to equip cities with more comprehensive data, we’re also exploring how we can help communities turn these insights into action at the local level.

“With Burlington’s data now available on EIE alongside other communities, we’ll have a unique tool to help residents understand our collective impact on climate change, as part of our Climate Action Plan.” - Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Turning data into action

EIE relies on anonymous, highly aggregated mapping data and standard GHG emission factors to estimate city building and transportation carbon emissions, as well as solar energy potential. The data has been validated by leading organisations, and we’re already seeing the early impacts of cities putting the power of EIE data behind climate plans, from bike-friendly initiatives to solar programs.


“Google’s EIE data and modeling capabilities provide important information for West Vancouver as our community responds to climate change. Our residents are engaged on this critical issue, and we are particularly excited that this platform is available for everyone to use. We anticipate innovative ideas will result, advancing our efforts towards a better climate and a better community.” - Mayor Mary-Ann Booth of West Vancouver
The insights that EIE provides have traditionally required many months of research, and a lot of resources for cities undertaking a climate action plan. By using Google’s own data sources and computations to produce a complete survey of a city that can be assessed very quickly, EIE helps a city leapfrog tedious and costly data collection and analysis.

Nanaimo transportation emission and detailed activity data shown on EIE
“Nanaimo is thrilled to be one of the first communities included by Google on their Environmental Insights Explorer” says Mayor Leonard Krog. “Our community is committed to making positive changes to tackle climate change. This platform will help us measure with greater speed and accuracy so we can plan and continue to make changes to reduce emissions.” 


Addressing climate change requires urgent action from all

Making environmental information available will continue to be critical as cities, communities and companies worldwide band together to address climate change. We’re committed to doing our part, and want to extend our thanks to the forward-looking city officials and climate leaders collaborating with us on this project.

As Mayor Marc Demers, City of Laval, says, “Google’s EIE tool will enable us to raise awareness on the importance and urgency for climate actions. This is particularly important for the City of Laval, since the fight against climate change requires involvement from all.”

If you’d like to request EIE data for your city, let us know. And learn more about Google’s other sustainable efforts at sustainability.google.

Posted by James Henry, Sustainability Lead for Google Canada













Google’s 2019’s #YearinSearch celebrates historical firsts and looks back at a decade of defining Search moments

From Kawhi Leonard’s buzzer beating shot in the NBA semi-finals, to Bianca Andreescu’s historic run at the Rogers Cup and the US Open, Canada searched for champions on Google in 2019, closing out the decade on a winning note.

The Year in Search is Google’s annual analysis of trillions of searches performed globally throughout the year. Here are Canada’s top trending searches of 2019:

1. Toronto Raptors
2. Kawhi Leonard
3. Canada Election Results
4. Luke Perry
5. Cameron Boyce
6. Game of Thrones
7. Bianca Andreescu
8. Don Cherry
9. Thanos
10. Hurricane Dorian


View all of Canada’s Trending Searches for 2019 here. 

As we turn the page on a decade, we’re also shining a light on the moments, people and events that shaped the last ten years through the lens of Google Search. From searches for heroism during the Fort McMurray fires, to searches for “how to welcome new Canadians”, the last ten years reflects the moments that united us as a nation.

 GOOGLE’S 10 TRENDING CANADIAN MOMENTS OF THE DECADE 
1. Toronto Raptors win the NBA Championship for the first time ever
2. Bianca Andreescu becomes highest ranked Canadian tennis player of all time; wins two grand slams
3. Drake dominated pop music this past decade; the Toronto native beat the Beatles’ 50 year record for the most top 10 singles on Billboard’s Top 100
4. The Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash unites the nation in tragedy
5. Canadians from coast to coast tuned in to watch The Tragically Hip’s final concert following Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis
6. Canada meets its target to resettle 25,000 Syrian Refugees
7. During his third mission to space, Colonel Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian Commander of the ISS, making him the first Canadian in history to command a spaceship
8. Justin Bieber is currently the most subscribed to artist on YouTube with over 20 billion views. Trending searches for Bieber peaked in 2011 when Never Say Never debuted.
9. Canada celebrates the heroes of the Fort McMurray wildfire
10. Canada arrives on the world stage like never before with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics

A decade of fandemonium 
It’ll come as no surprise that the Vancouver Olympics was the top trending search of 2010. We were brought to tears by Joannie Rochette’s courageous bronze medal figure skating win, just days after her mother had died. We flooded streets across Canada in celebration after the women and men’s Canadian hockey teams clinched gold. And the nation began our decade-long love affair with ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

The rise in prominence of Canadian sports continued throughout the decade. The Toronto Blue Jaysdominated search in 2015, with Jose Bautista’s bat flip being one of the top trending moments of the year. In 2017, the Ottawa Senators (almost) made it to the Stanley Cup finals in a run that landed them at the top of trending searches. In 2019, searches for Kawhi Leonard grew by almost 90% worldwide following his buzzer beater shot in the NBA semi-finals while prompting a spike in Canadian searches for “how to sign my kid up for basketball camp?”

Within a few months, Canada went from #WeTheNorth to #SheTheNorth. Canadians searched for “what is Bianca Andreescu’s ranking?” after beating Serena Williams in incredible back-to-back victories at the Rogers Cup and US Open.

A decade of celebrating Canadian heroes
In the past decade, we watched Chris Hadfield become the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station and civil rights activist and businesswoman Viola Desmond added to our currency. People marched in solidarity at Women’s Marches in January of 2017 and firefighters and first responders became national heroes following the fires in Slave Lake & Fort McMurray, Alberta. 


A new Prime Minister and new Canadians 
We welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees and witnessed the election of a new Prime Minister that drew major search interest around the world.

Canadian music’s global coming of age 
In the past decade, YouTube has changed the definition of fame: Stratford’s Justin Bieber is currently the most subscribed artist on YouTube (47.2 million subscribers), appears in six videos with over one billion views and has over 19 billion views on his Official Artist Channel.

In 2015, news of Gord Downie’s cancer diagnosis and The Tragically Hip’s summer tour generated an outpouring of emotion from Canadians far and wide. At The Hip’s final concert in Kingston, Ontario, their last song, Ahead by a Century, brought thousands of fans from St. John’s to White Horse together in a moment of national catharsis.

Maybe it was God’s plan? Drake is now just one song away from tying the all-time record for the most career entries on the Billboard Hot 100. And in the last decade, Drake has become the undeniable unofficial global ambassador for Toronto — the Toronto native literally gave the city a new moniker.

2020 and beyond
As we embark on a new decade, Canadians are already turning their attention to what the future holds. From concerns around climate change (we searched for climate change 75% more in 2019 than 2015) to how to find a new job and how to start a family, in 2020 Canadians will search for answers to our biggest challenges, together.

Search on, Canada.

Google.org Grant recipient Arctic Eider Society, launches by Inuit, for Inuit platform


In 2017, we launched the Google.org Impact Challenge, a nationwide competition to identify and fund organizations that are using technology to tackle Canada’s biggest social challenges.

Following several weeks and several rounds of evaluation, over 900 of these hopeful non-profits refined their pitches and 10 winners were awarded a collective $5M to bring their ideas to life. These organizations received not only funding from Google.org, but also mentorship from Google volunteers, as well as capacity building and strategic support from LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact (a venture philanthropy firm incubated by BCG) to drive deep impact across the country.

Among those 10 finalists, the Arctic Eider Society, an Inuit-driven non-profit based in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut, stepped forward with a compelling mission to develop a living archive of Inuit knowledge called SIKU (meaning ‘sea ice’ in Inuktitut), that helps communities adapt to climate change.

The changing face of sea-ice and Inuit knowledge

For tens of thousands of Inuit in Canada, sea ice represents a map of the north and is integral to their way of life, but changing conditions make navigation unpredictable and limits access to traditional foods for Arctic communities. “The weather is changing, the ice conditions are changing. When we are driving a snowmobile or walking, we have to think before we get on that ice.” states Puasi Ippak, a youth from Sanikiluaq.


The SIKU platform will provide a set of open-source tools that help Inuit communities map changing sea ice, and build a living archive of Inuit knowledge to help inform decision making for stewardship and sustainable development. “By using novel techniques to document and access land-use observations in real time, SIKU supports Inuit self-determination in research, education and environmental stewardship.” states Joel Heath, Executive Director of the Arctic Eider Society.
SIKU’s technology enables Inuit knowledge to be recorded in a variety of ways

SIKU enables Inuit communities, people on the frontlines of the negative impacts of climate change, to record their knowledge and observations of the land in ways that elevate their recordings to a status far beyond anecdote. “Oral history has been a big part of our lives especially in the Inuit tradition, where nothing was written - everyone just had a good memory of what was handed down to them.”, explains Lizi Kavik, from Sanikiluaq. Furthermore, this oral history is laden with subtle influences of traditional Inuktut languages, “The water on the bottom of the snow, it’s called 'aputainaq'. It’s important to learn about the ice conditions in Inuktitut.”, says Puasi.






A novel and coordinated approach to technology

At its core, SIKU is a social media technology platform and mobile app developed by and for Inuit. It includes timelines, maps, profiles and commenting/sharing as well as a GPS with traditional place names, weather, tides, satellite imagery and ice safety services, all in one place. “Through SIKU, we are building new ways to show how Inuit knowledge and science can work together”, explains Lucassie Arragutainaq, Manager of Sanikiluaq Hunters and Trappers Association and member of Arctic Eider’s Board of Directors. “SIKU helps us gather all of this information in one place, and is a safe place for our hunters and elders to share our knowledge and stories, which is important for our youth.”

An Elder and Hunter review SIKU community stories that have been shared as posts

Improving communication and ice-safety with data

SIKU leverages the power of Google Earth Engine for geospatial analysis and satellite imagery to help build the Inuit ‘map of the north’. Jonassie, a local hunter, encountered a small crack in the ice one day while travelling, a crack which was also visible through satellite imagery. Using the SIKU app, he took a photo of the cracked ice, marked its location on the satellite image layer, and tagged it as ‘siqummaq’, a type of ice formation that can drastically change with wind direction.

A screenshot from SIKU depicting ‘siqummaq’ ice and other observations
This dangerous ice observation was then visible to all SIKU users, and the next day, Sentinel 2 satellite imagery served through Google Earth Engine showed the crack had indeed expanded and was impassable. Simeonie Kavik, a hunter from Sanikiluaq, commented on another observation in SIKU, “This sea ice is no good, if you try and pass by through this, you’ll lose your snowmobile.”


By Inuit, For Inuit

SIKU is an Inuit-driven platform, and today counts among its users communities from all around Canada’s Hudson Bay and Arctic coastline. The SIKU app can be downloaded to Android and iOS devices, and is available as an online platform at SIKU.org.

Google believes technology can make a better world, faster. The Arctic Eider Society is emblematic of this belief, and we’re excited to witness the impact SIKU will undoubtedly have for Inuit communities across Canada.

The public launch livestream of SIKU’s launch at the ArcticNet conference in Halifax can be viewed here.

Posted by James Henry, Sustainability Lead for Google Canada


#YouTubeRewind is here!

As 2020 draws near, it’s time to celebrate the moments that defined the past twelve months in pop culture. From a hockey-loving four year-old to Celine Dion’s carpool karaoke, YouTube Rewind is celebrating a whole lot of Canada, too.

Check out Canada’s annual lists of top trending videos and top music videos below.
In 2019, Canadians turned to YouTube to learn something new, and this year’s Rewind takes that to heart. We tuned in to understand the federal election results from CBC News and to get answers from Canadian-Australian Veritasium on how the Los Angeles reservoir improves water quality.

2019 also saw creators transform into mainstream celebrities with genre-defying influence: James Charles and Tati’s back-and-forth transcended the beauty community; Shane Dawson continued to find success with his longform docuseries format; and MrBeast’s challenge videos united viewers across the internet.

Collectively, these top 10 trending videos were watched 371 million times and for around 180 million hours. The channels behind them total more than 868 million subscribers.

Top Trending Videos - Canada
1. First We Feast - Gordon Ramsay Savagely Critiques Spicy Wings | Hot Ones 
2. Coach Jeremy - 4 Year Old Mic'd up at Hockey
3. James Charles - No More Lies 
4. Shane Dawson - Conspiracy Theories with Shane Dawson
5. UCLA Athletics - Katelyn Ohashi - 10.0 Floor (1-12-19)
6. Mr Beast - Make This Video The Most Liked Video On Youtube
7. The Late Late Show with James Corden - Céline Dion Carpool Karaoke 
8. CBC News - Canada Votes 2019: Election Night Special 
9. Vogue - 73 Questions With Kim Kardashian West (ft. Kanye West) | Vogue
10. Veritasium - Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir
In music, Lil Nas X emerged from obscurity to take the top spot, powerhouse female artists (Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish) continued to transform the sound of pop, and Canada’s own Shawn Mendes burned up both Canadian and global lists with his collab with Camila Cabello.

Top Music Videos - Canada
1. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Remix] 
2. Billie Eilish - Bad Guy 
3. Ariana Grande - 7 rings 
4. Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello - Señorita 
5. Sam Smith, Normani - Dancing With A Stranger 
6. Daddy Yankee & Snow - Con Calma (Video Oficial) 
7. Lil Dicky - Earth (Official Music Video) 
8. Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - I Don't Care [Official Video] 
9. Jonas Brothers - Sucker 
10. Khalid, Kane Brown - Saturday Nights REMIX (Official Video) 

Beyond top trending and music, Canadians are front and centre on other lists, from beauty to sports to education. Simply Nailogical’s new nail polish brand is one of the most liked beauty videos globally; the final seconds of the Raptors 2019 NBA Championship win on House of Highlights is one of the top ten trending sports videos, as is Raptors player Serge Ibaka for his cooking show “How Hungry Are You”; and creators like AsapSCIENCE are piquing the curiosity of millions with their educational videos.

For a deeper look at the year on YouTube and to see the top videos and trends in many other countries, head to this year's Rewind site.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada and Google team up to help families stay connected

Editor's Note: today's post is guest authored by Cathy Loblaw, CEO, of Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

With Google’s help, we’re excited to give our families with sick children more ways to stay connected to their friends and family this holiday season and all year long.

65% of Canadians live in communities without a children’s hospital. This means that when a child is seriously ill, families need to travel to one of Canada’s pediatric hospitals for the treatments – sometimes for weeks, or even months. During that time, they are away from their community, their family, their friends, their entire support network, just when they need it most.

Google’s generous in-kind donation of their latest devices (including Nest Mini, Nest Hub Max, Pixel 4, Nest Wifi, Chromecast and YouTube Premium Subscription) to Ronald McDonald Houses and Family Rooms across Canada will help families stay connected to their loved ones back home. Whether it’s making a call to Dad from RMHC Toronto or playing holiday music throughout the House while decorating at RMHC Saskatchewan, Google products will lend our families a helping hand.

To celebrate this gift of technology, Google surprised RMHC Toronto families earlier this month with the help of Google Ambassador Pascal Siakam, creating a magic moment for families, volunteers, and staff.

Every year, the RMHC network of programs in Canada helps more than 26,000 families stay close to their sick child and the care they need. To learn more about our collaboration with Google visit g.co/madetohelp or share your helpfulness story by using the #MadeToHelp.

Q&A with Sébastien Puel, general manager of Stadia’s studio in Montréal

Note from the editor: Sébastien Puel was recently named General Manager of Google’s Stadia Games and Entertainment studio in Montréal. We sat down with him for a short Q&A to gain insight into the vision he has for the studio and the gaming ecosystem as a whole. 


Q. What drew you to Stadia?
I believe in Cloud gaming and the benefits it can bring to gamers. The ability to play on any screen, without any hardware barriers, will radically change the industry in the coming years. Stadia will not only open gaming to new demographics, it will also make new types of experiences and designs possible. Stadia represents a gaming revolution and I wanted to be a part of it.

Q. Why did Google choose Montréal as a location for its first AAA studio? 
Montréal is a special place, full of creativity and originality. There is incredible passion for gaming in this city, and I’ve been fortunate to see it grow and mature. Over the years, this city produced some of the best talents and greatest games in the world. With 13,000 developers, major studios, a dense network of indys, Montréal is an industry hub. And now, for the first time, a first party studio opens. It says a lot about the ecosystem that has been built here over the years!

Q. Your first order of business as the studio’s GM is to build a team - what has been the response so far? 
The response has been truly exciting! As it appears, I’m not the only one drawn to Stadia’s mission. In just a few months, we’ve received thousands of applications for a limited number of job openings. We’ve conducted hundreds of interviews. Internally, Googlers have been coming forward to work on Stadia. We’re attracting great talent not only from Montréal, but also from around the world. We’re building a world-class team.

Q. What excites you about your role at Stadia? 
What excited me when I started my career a decade ago still holds true today - it's the opportunity to create not just games, but games that gamers will love. And as someone who has strived to do that my whole career, the journey to creating those games starts with building great culture, process and teamwork. In the end, it comes down to one thing: empowering teams. Bringing the best talents together and designing with them the best environment for creativity and success. Of course, the end result is crucial. We all want to make great games that change the world. But first and foremost, it is about ‘how’ you achieve this: the culture, the processes, the team work. A video game team is a strange beast. It is not about technology alone. And it is not all about art and design. It’s about the merging of both -- the left and right brain hemispheres working in tandem and in equal proportion. This is what is unique in the gaming industry and I am not sure I could find it anywhere else.

Q. How will you measure success? 
Games have changed a lot in the past 20 years. Success was often measured by sales and positive reviews. Now success boils down to how much of a community rallies around the content. It is about building mutual respect between the creators and a community who share the same passion for the content and gaming experiences. Our ambition is to build games that will continue to evolve and that people will keep playing in 10, 15, 20 years to come! This is the kind of success we strive for.

Q. Game creation requires creativity. How do you define creativity and how do you intend to foster it? 
I have been part of teams that have created some of the industry’s most memorable games. Creativity thrives in environments that allow new ideas to bloom and thrive: with clear goals, a lot of team ownership and a great sense of safety. This last point is very important to me. Safety allows people to speak their mind, share ideas even if they are unorthodox, voice their concerns. Safety is created by a team’s culture: how it embraces diversity, how it creates trust between its members, how failures are fully accepted as part of the creative process. With that in mind, Google is a great place to create games, as these values are part of its operating system.

Q. There’s clearly a lot of exciting work to be done. How do you make sure your team has a good work-life balance? 
I am a father of 3 kids, I am involved in my community, I love cycling, running, boxing, cross country skiing. You can do all that and be a game developer! There has been incredible progress done about work-life balance in studios since their inception 20+ years ago, and I think it is especially true in the big studios in Montréal. Processes and cultures have matured. Work life balance is a critical part of Google - and now Stadia’s - culture.