Before and After: A New York City Heart Makeover

Captured by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba

Written by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba:

Few dance performers are granted the opportunity to leap through New York, to dance to the melodies of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Steps on Broadway, and the Broadway Dance Center. There are few whose feet greet the streets of what is known to be dance central, New York City (NYC).

It is quite understandable that 16 graduating Story Arts Centre dance performance students embraced the opportunity to travel to NYC on a dance expedition with great excitement.

52596126_624639091308988_3429045229917831168_oOn the morning of Feb. 19, Ashley Cole-Daley, 19, Tameka Hendricks, 19, and Sydney Usselman 19, arrived at the Story Arts Centre in the wee hours of the day, around 5 a.m. to be exact. They anxiously loaded bags laden with enough dance clothing for four days on a giant Great Canadian Coach bus as they considered the 12-hour journey ahead. Much of it would be spent sleeping. While awake, they spoke of the anticipation and zeal for the trip.

“I’ve never been outside of Canada,” said Cole-Daley.

“(I’ve been) on Google a lot. (I have been searching), ‘What can I bring? What is New York? What are the people like? Is it like Toronto?’”

Ashley Cole-Daley Captured by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba

Cole-Daley who started to dance at the age of eight after attending a Caribbean dance event was most excited to experience the dance culture in a different city. She was particularly eager to participate in the Hush Hip Hop Tour, a tour of New York as the birthplace of Hip Hop hosted by the Museum of the City of New York.


Tameka Hendricks Captured by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba

Likewise, Hendricks who began to dance at the age of six and is well versed in many forms of dance looked forward to the activities planned on the itinerary.

“I’m excited to see the dance scene and the Broadway shows. I’m (also) excited to learn about Alvin Ailey because we get to see that studio,” she said.

Usselman, who participated in the trip the previous year as a first year student offered a distinct perspective.

“I think an overall group bond will be different,” Usselman said.

“This year, with everyone together, it’s going to be a full group experience.”

At the end of the trip, as dancers sauntered onto the bus, bodies aching from three days of rigorous dance training, their experiences equaled their initial thoughts about the trip.

Sydney Usselman Captured by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba

Usselman’s love for NYC was reignited.
“I love the hustle and bustle of NYC, how crazy it is all the time. Everyone’s always just kind of running around. Everyone has a purpose and it’s really cool to see,” said Usselman.

Hendricks enjoyed the extraordinary dance training she received in NYC.

“I have never really done anything like this; the drop-in classes in another country. I felt like it was such a good experience. And I feel like it made me work even harder,” said Hendricks.

Cole-Daley who captured an impressive 629 photographs throughout the trip appreciated the opportunities she believes the trip unearthed for her and other students.

“New York being one of the cities with a huge dance scene, I think that’s great for dancers because they can see what they have outside of their hometown. I’m very grateful that I had this opportunity to travel to New York and experience dance here,” she said.

New York View Captured by Fadzaiishe Rebecca Ziramba




Waking up in the city that never sleeps – NYC Advertising Week 2018

Written By: Sarah Galley

November 3, 2018

This October, I had the privilege to travel to the big city and attend New York Advertising Week. As a third year student in the Advertising and Marketing program, I was ready to put my studies aside to head abroad and gain valuable knowledge from this conference. New York Ad Week consists of countless seminars and networking events that run from morning until late afternoon. My SaGE Global Experience in NYC led me to many unique sights and I took away just as many valuable learnings as I did photographs.


Travel Day and Exploring the Big Apple

On Sunday morning, I arrived at the Toronto Island Aiport ready to embark on my trip abroad to the city that never sleeps. I took my first step onto an international flight and before I knew it, I had already arrived in New York City. My classmates and I all stayed together at an artist-designed AirBnb that was could not have been anymore picture-perfect. After taking more than a handful of photos, we ordered a New York style pizza to our apartment before a night of exploring the Big City. We kicked off our night by heading to one of the biggest and brightest sights in Manhattan, Times Square. The bright lights brought so much truth to the statement that the city never sleeps. After wrapping up photo-takings in Times Square, we got snacks and headed back on the Subway to New Jersey.


#AWNewYork Seminar Highlights

My classmates and I attended eight seminars throughout our time spent at New York Advertising Week. The seminars I attended varied in topics, including the future of the advertising industry, social media trends, and various brands and agencies. Each seminar provided me with real-time insight into what issues are currently impacting the industry, and how they will impact my career moving forward. Below are highlights from three of the seminars that sparked my interest.

Day One—Marvel and The Power of Podcast Storytelling for Brands


“It’s hard to market audio in a visual world—the best way to market podcasts is on other podcasts.” – Amy Fitzgibbon, CMO at Stitcher

This seminar was one of the most insightful ones that I attended at the conference. In class, we have discussed podcasts and the impact they are currently having on consumers and advertisers. This seminar really elaborated into the storytelling capabilities of podcasting, and the impact it can also have on advertisers and brands. Something I found particularly interesting was the best way to advertise a podcast, is actually on another podcast. Podcasts have become a mini industry of their own, and what can’t be addressed on a screen is done through audio. Knowing it is a growing industry, I am looking forward to how podcasts will play a role in my career.

Day Two—Memeology 101: The New Language of Cultural Ideas


“A gene is the basic unit of DNA. A meme is the basic unit of ideas.” – Joe Federer, Brand Strategy at Reddit

This seminar resonated particularly well for me as I am a millennial entering the advertising industry. The culture of memes that exists on social media is a phenomenon that continues to grow in presence. This seminar touched on the brands that are trying to enter the space of memes on social media, and what they are doing well or not well. Memes tend to be self deprecating in nature, and brands who are engaging in this are trying to discover ways to do this while still being able to sell a product.

Day Three—The Jump with Will Smith: One Iconic Storyteller’s Journey of Reinvention & Connection

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“The whole reason for storytelling is a combination of joy and expansion.” – Will Smith

My classmates and I found ourselves frantically running through Pennsylvania Station on Wednesday morning aiming to catch the subway—ensuring we had seats for Will Smith. It was the presentation you didn’t want to miss on day three of Advertising Week. The discussion dove into Will’s journey in creating his own online presence and brand on YouTube, and how the platform has redefined storytelling. With his witty humour, he delivered a compelling discussion on digital branding in the most entertaining way possible.

New York City Experiences

Central Park

On our second night in New York City, my classmates and I decided to treat ourselves to a dinner in one of Central Park’s classiest restaurants. We ate at Tavern On The Green, which overlooked Central Park and had a very classic atmosphere. We spent the rest of the evening watching the sunset on a rock in the middle of the park—a sight I’ll never forget. The Ad Week convention centre was located just a few blocks away from Central Park, and in between seminars we found ourselves enjoying lunch in the park.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exploring the MET was by far one of my most memorable experiences from New York City. The museum had a lovely rooftop that overlooked Central Park and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was a gorgeous sunny day when we visited the museum, and my classmates and I took the opportunity to take new LinkedIn pictures in front of the view. We explored the Ancient Egypt and Heavenly Bodies exhibits before the museum closed at 5pm. Afterwards we took a stroll down Madison Avenue and visited several boutique shops.

World Trade Exhibit

On our final night in New York, we visited the Downtown core of the city after spending most of our time Uptown. We boarded a subway headed the opposite way and found ourselves at the World Trade Centre. Arriving at the Memorial was surreal—the impact of the events on 9/11 still felt very heavy as we looped the entire pool. To end the trip off on a positive note, we spent the evening at a rooftop patio overlooking the city reminiscing on new memories.

The Takeaway

Travelling to New York City with my classmates was an incredible experience. It was my first time travelling outside of Canada and I could not have asked for a better way to do that. The SaGE Global Experience Program gave the classmates that have become some of my closest friends and I, the experience of a lifetime. I was able to become aware of various issues that are impacting the state of the advertising industry that I was not previously aware of. My experiences at the seminars brought up topics that I look forward to diving into and discovering more about on my own time. This Global Experience provided me with beneficial insight and personal growth, and I could not be more grateful for the experience.

My Trip to New York City for Ad Week 2018

Written By: Brienna Monture

IMG_0434.jpgTime Square, NYC

The Start Of My Adventure

As a third year Advertising and Marketing student from Centennial College, I had the exciting opportunity to go to New York Ad Week 2018 on behalf of the Sage Global Experience program. Best decision I could have made! I attended the most interesting conferences, learned what’s affecting the industry, networked with so many industry professionals and had lots of time to explore the big city.

New York City is full of so many creative people and our Airbnb host was obviously one of them. Our place was one of the cutest, Pinterest inspired places I have ever been too. I loved it! It was completely affordable and worth the extra travel time.


The Conference Sessions

Meme-ology 101

“If meme is the unit of of idea, then language is the equation.” – Kenny Gold

This conference was incredibly interesting and entertaining. The speakers spoke about the culture of Memes and how they are the “doppelgängers” of our feelings. They spoke of memes in not only a obvious way, but technical way and really gave us insight to why people connect with it and how brands can genuinely connect with their audiences. This is why it’s become part of our culture of language. Joe Federer mentioned that “self deprecating humour is a large part of meme culture.” Katherine O’Brien talked about how memes relate to social currency and the value of community that the culture of memes gives. This conference really gave me a lot of insight about the future of utilizing popular trends like memes in the industry and how it can be used effectively.


Marvel – Power of Podcast

“Podcasting is long form storytelling. Wolverine is a man of few words and it takes a lot to get anything out of him. Internal monologues give the listeners that.” – Chris Bannon

This conference focused on Marvel moving into the Podcast world. It was interesting to hear why the big brand decided to move to the Podcast realm and how it was succeeding.  We also got to hear about how they are selling ads into Podcasts and the thoughts behind it. Daniel Fink described the success of the Wolverine podcast interestingly by describing the hook. “I don’t think it’s the murder that’s hooking everyone, it’s the suspence. Silence is used to replace and create tension that captivates listeners.” We got to hear a short clip of the podcast and it was amazing. After that I considered downloading the Podcast.


The Jump with Will Smith

“A constant confrontation with fear helps create creativity.” – Will Smith

This was one of my absolute favourite conferences because it was lead by the famous actor Will Smith. He spoke about his new Youtube channel and how he is creating success for himself. He gave us advice to “use the stories that are already inside you as creative inspiration. Your pain is such a rich tool to connect with creativity.” He also spoke about how the path for success has changed and how we can get ahead by “finding the current, and staying in-tune with that current.”


The Social Evolution

“Use the grey area to go somewhere you never went. That’s how you evolve and create better, more authentic content.” – Mick Petesky

The conference talked about the evolution of social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Linked In and Twitter and how they are used differently to appeal to their audience. They talked which platforms work better for specific target groups, when to release creative control and what you need to develop organic and shareable content. Nicole Brenton discussed how “branded content is more authentic and is better received when creative control is relaxed.” This was interesting to learn the success of the social giants and how brands adapt to each.


Some of the Perks

On top of learning a bunch of information about industry issues, the future of advertising and ways to succeed, there was tons of free give aways and vendor’s handing out food, branded items, games and information. This was a great way to interact with brands and clients and gain exclusive information on what new things are coming to the market.




After attending a few interesting conferences each day, we spent the rest of the day site seeing, exploring and eating.

The MET was one of my favourite experiences and was an absolute must go for me. My favourite part was seeing the Heavenly bodies exhibit. This exhibit featured the work of famous designers that were raised with Roman Catholic religion and how it inspired and influenced them in the fashion world. Another exhibit I loved was the Greek and Roman Art exhibit, it showcased so many statues and the stories behind them which was so interesting to learn about. I could have spent all day there.




Central Park
Anyone who has ever heard of New York City, has heard of Central Park. It’s the best place to get away from the rush of the city directly in the downtown core. I love how there’s a place in the middle of all the chaos to have some peace and quiet. The atmosphere completely changes and it’s absolutely beautiful.



Strolling through the City
New York City is huge and just walking through the streets you just feel a sense of belonging. It’s not hard to understand why so many people dream about life in the big city. It has an indescribable culture and is so beautiful.


My Overall Experience

New York City was unforgettable. It was my first time ever in the city and it certainly won’t be my last. The Sage Global Experience Program has given me an exciting adventure to end my three year journey with Centennial College, with some of the people I have been friends with since my first day. I got to learn more about the industry and issues that are currently affecting it. I have met a lot of contacts, brands and clients that I will work with and now I can fully prepare for my future in the industry.



My Global Experience – New York Advertising Week (2018)

Written by: Lauren Clancy

At the beginning of October, I was given the chance to travel to New York for Advertising Week through Centennial College’s SaGE Program. As an advertising student, AdWeek is a great opportunity to explore a new city, network with industry professionals, and learn more about industry issues.

Seminar Highlights

Over the course of four days, I attended eight seminars that I thought would best address where advertising was headed in the future. I wanted to learn about the issues that would impact my career when I graduated.

Day One

“One of our most powerful weapons was silence.”
-Daniel Fink, Executive Director at Marvel Entertainment

The most interesting seminar I attended on the first day was “Marvel and the Power of Podcast Storytelling for Brands.” After learning about the rise of podcasts in class, I wanted to understand how podcasts will soon become part of advertising communications platforms. Executive Director for Marvel Entertainment, Daniel Fink, discussed the creation of Wolverine: The Long Night. He addressed the struggle of turning X-Men’s Wolverine from an action-based character into an intriguing audio-based storyteller. For Daniel Fink, “one of our most powerful weapons was silence.” By refusing to give the audience information for a few seconds Marvel discovered how to make podcasts compelling. I think it is important that brands also learn how to build tension and intrigue to keep consumers interested in an audio-based medium. What struck me most was the realization that the rise of podcasts will mean brands will also soon need an audio identity, which will add a new level of intricacy for advertisers.

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Day Two

“The format of your message is just as important as the message itself.”
-Joe Federer, Brand Strategist at Reddit

On the second day, my favourite seminar was “Memeology 101: The New Language of Cultural Ideas.” Brand Strategist for Reddit, Joe Federer, considered how brands could use the format of a meme and alter the content to reach young consumers in a more relatable way. He stressed, “The format of your message is just as important as the message itself.” The panel discussed how advertisers must understand that an image overlaid with text can be more culturally powerful than a Tweet. What I found most interesting was that the challenge for advertisers is to use memes organically. Memes are often based on current events and cannot be planned in advance. In an industry where planning is critical, it will be interesting to see how we will learn to recognize the potential for memes as they arise and jump on them quickly.

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Day Three

“Just because your movie was ranked number one that week doesn’t mean it was a good movie. There may have just not been any good movies out that week.”
-Will Smith

Personally, the most memorable seminar of all of AdWeek was “The Jump with Will Smith: One Iconic Storyteller’s Journey of Reinvention and Connection.” Will Smith discussed the recent launch of his YouTube channel and the lessons he learned from producing engaging content. He realized that metrics are not always the most important factor. He related this insight back to his film career, stating, “Just because your movie was ranked number one that week doesn’t mean it was a good movie. There may have just not been any good movies out that week.” I found this relatable to advertising because we will need to not just look at numbers. Rather, we need to also consider what people are saying about the ads and the brands. Just because people had exposure to an ad doesn’t mean they bought a product or viewed the ad favourably. Overall, I was impressed by Will Smith’s insight and charisma and I think he made a very interesting presentation about how to be a good storyteller.


Day Four

“Time spent on stories will pass time spent on feed.”
– Nicolò Brentan, Head of Sales at MakeMeReach

On the last day, the seminar that stood out most to me was “The Social Evolution.” While most advertising students are aware of digital becoming more impactful than traditional media, it was interesting to see how things are changing even within social media. According to Nicolò Brentan, Head of Sales at MakeMeReach, “time spent on stories will pass time spent on feed.” The reason for this shift is because stories feel more natural and authentic to consumers than carefully planned posts. I think it was important to understand that prioritizing social media alone will not be enough in the near future. Consumers are now shifting their focus from permanent posts to temporary stories which changes how advertisers can best reach consumers. As someone entering the industry, it will be important to recognize these trends and understand how to capitalize on them.

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Admidst the flurry of attendees rushing between seminars were vendors showcasing new technology, and offering treats and prizes. I loved that there was always something new and exciting to see and try at AdWeek.




In addition to attending AdWeek seminars, we also had the opportunity to explore Manhattan. It was surreal to experience a place in person that you always see in movies. While we explored many of New York’s notable locations and restaurants, my most memorable experiences were going to Times Square and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met).

Times Square
The first night my classmates and I arrived in New York, we decided to travel to the most iconic place in Manhattan, Times Square. The streets may have been busy with people but the buildings were even busier with ads. It was hard to know where to look with the flashing lights, giant billboards, and noise. I do not think there is a better place for an advertising student to get a sense of the impact of the industry than Times Square.


The Met
With the exception of the seminars, my favourite experience from the trip was going to The Met. As a self-identified history buff, seeing a massive collection of ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman artifacts made me feel like a kid in a candy shop. One of my favourite exhibits was a reconstructed Egyptian temple that dominated an entire room. I am so thankful that we made time to go to The Met and I believe that any person, no matter his or her interest in history, can find something there that astounds them.


The Takeaway

Overall, travelling to New York for AdWeek was an amazing experience. Over the course of the conference, I was able to gain further insight into topics I was previously mindful of. Yet, I was surprused that I also become aware of upcoming industry issues that I was not previously aware of but should investigate further since they will impact my career. Centennial’s SaGE Program has afforded me professional growth and the ability to travel with my classmates to a place I have always wanted to visit.


Thank you SaGE for an unforgettable Global Experience!