A year like no other 2020 to 2021

What happened last year


Even the most weathered historians will struggle to capture the magnitude of the past 12 months.

Australia’s devastating bushfires killed more than one billion animals.

A contentious U.S. election saw record- breaking voter turnout.

The brutal killing of George Floyd triggered a global movement for racial justice.

And a deadly pandemic has killed over 2.6 million people worldwide and brought life as we know it to a grinding halt.

It’s been one year since COVID-19 hit. Today, we take nothing for granted.

With awareness, optimism and the help of a few meditation apps, we’ve each grown and contributed in our own ways...

to face 2021 head-on.


On March 16, Prime Minister Trudeau told Canadians:

Go home and stay home. Justin Trudeau

By March 17, our office was empty.

Context Creative’s empty office space
Empty office

Plants were abandoned.

But we went back for some...

Withering ZZ plant
Healthy ZZ plant
Screenshot from The Simpsons

We settled into our homes.

(DIY offices, bedrooms taken over, and some very pleased pets)

Pepper the Pomeranian sitting happily on office chairKatrina drinking from large mugYuzu the cat perching on a bookshelfBailey the hound dog resting his chin on owner’s arm as she worksChristine wearing a patterned face maskValentino the Yorkie facing a computer monitorOffice setup with accessories and Yoda mugClean desk space with monitor and lampMickey the dog  cuddles up to owner as she works on the sofaHeather works at her laptop on a sunny backyard patioCup of milky tea beside a keyboard

And we got to work.

Stats at work

We received about as many emails as we sent Slack messages.


emails received


Slack messages sent

We laughed, we cried, we cringed and we reacted.

Our top 6 emojis.

Notable mentions: sassy parrot, dusty stick and shrug emojis.

face with tears of joyexploding headgrinning face with sweatthumbs upgrimacing facefolded hands

Our digital marketing team handled

817 ads

136 campaigns

2726 keywords

And, we outperformed the market.

Avg. Cost per Click (Google Ads)

Beating industry standards by 1010%


Industry Standard

*Approximate price based off WordStream USD price converted to CAD

Avg. Click Through Rate (Google Ads)

Beating industry standards by 52%


Industry Standard

*Approximate % for display ads based off WordStream

Plus, we chipped in to help those in need.


raised for Holiday Helpers to support a family in need


raised for WIRES Wildlife Rescue through our Save the Koalas campaign


donated to Second Harvest to address food insecurity in the GTA


Music kept us together and sane.

We continued our tradition of creating collaborative playlists every week to listen to together from our homes on Fridays.

Skip individual playlist links

View All

A lot of anthems. A lot of bangers.

Here are the songs we blasted on repeat. What a mood.

Skills and hobbies

We learned new skills.

We joined the banana bread craze, learned languages, decorated our homes, picked up calligraphy, plant-tended, meditated and more.

A (tiny) sampling of dishes we’ve created.

A hand holding raspberry bread
Raspberry bread
Spring onion pancake sliced on a plate
Spring onion pancake
Two bread loaves sitting on a cutting board
Bread loaf
Curry tofu in a bowl
Curry tofu
Salmon, asparagus and potatoes plated nicely on a dish
Oatmeal raisin cookies drying on a rack
Oatmeal raisin cookies
Banana tarte tatin cooling in a cast iron pan
Banana tarte tatin
Two fried eggs on toast slices
Fancy breakfasts
A coffee drink with a straw topped with whipped cream
Dalgona coffee
A large cookie sitting on a plate with a panda figure
A perfect cookie
Tamagoyaki, rolled and sliced on a dish with a sauce and chopsticks
Japanese omelette
Fresh pasta coming out of pasta maker
Homemade pasta

We became pro linguists.

Duolingo prepped us for some… awkward conversations.

Screenshot from Duolingo app with translated phrase “Your face looks like this potato”Screenshot from Duolingo app with translated phrase “Your face looks like this potato”Screenshot from Duolingo app with translated phrase “This anime has a lot of good looking men and it’s really awesome you know”

Tree lovers

Connecting with nature helped many of us unwind.

Talented crafters

From hand-casted ornaments to gorgeous watercolours and virtual islands, Context’s talent got better and better.

Virtual decorating
Ornament casting
Water colouring
Water colouring
Ornament casting
Ornament casting
Professional puzzling

Good news got noticed.

It wasn’t all heart-wrenching headlines. We took time to appreciate life’s accomplishments, achievements and memorable moments, big and small. Here are a just few of the reasons we’re optimistic about the future.

“I purchased a cottage with a group of friends.”
“I paid off my student debt.”
“We set up an outdoor theatre and furniture in our backyard so that we could enjoy the summer spent at home even more.”
“I set a plan to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to study music and play piano—I made it!”
“I adopted my cat, Yuzu, at the end of October!”
“I passed 500 pages in the web comic I’ve been working on since 2015.”
“To celebrate our anniversary, I made pasta from scratch for the first time with my partner.”
“Students were thankful for the Interaction Design course I taught this year.”
“I got engaged!”
“I outlined my fourth book in over 2.5 years of being a writer.”
“Finally bought a camera with a longer zoom for better nature close-ups!”
“I bought a house!”
“Some friends and I quickly put together The Witness Archive to present incidents of police brutality captured on video by civilians.”
“Starting at Context Creative.”
“Lots of little things have made the past 12 months lovely in many ways even with the challenges going on.
I can’t count the number of times I have felt so fortunate to be working with so many caring people at Context. There are so many laughs (including big laughs during and after stressful times) and special moments!”

Shifting our mindset: Our favourite mantras

Simple phrases can empower and uplift. Whether it was a line from a catchy anthem or a reminder scribbled on a Sticky-Note, these were the phrases that kept our team going.

It can only get better.
The only way to keep going is to keep going.
Everything starts in our minds. Keep your mind in balance and everything will flow.
Be kind! Everyone has their own things going on.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.