We believe in

Decolonization
Climate justice
Gender equity
Empathy
Progressive ideas

What positive change can we create together?

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We’re a strategy, design, and content agency for changemakers. Whether you’re building a communications plan or designing a new brand we’re your partners in progress.

Our work is a force for good.

In service of the defining issues of our time:

  • Indigenous leadership
  • Climate change
  • Gender justice
  • Truth and Reconciliation
  • Equity, inclusion, and diversity

Small Agency

Big impact

Being a smaller agency allows us to only take on the projects that inspire us. Meet our team of talented people ready to lend their skills to creating a better world.

Caitlin Kealey

CEO

Caitlin Kealey  she/her

CEO

Caitlin Kealey has two decades of experience in communications, journalism and media relations, and digital campaigns.

As the CEO of Emdash, Caitlin is passionate about helping people and using her expertise to work for social good. Her keen eye for strategy has amplified projects and organizations that make powerful impacts, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

In 2017, Caitlin participated in the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. She was also named to Ottawa’s Top 40 Under 40 as well as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Women in Communications Technology.

She is a familiar face in Ottawa and national media, with many appearances on CTV’s Power Play and Live 88.5’s Political Whirlpool, among others.

Ryan Kennery

Vice President

Ryan Kennery  he/they

Vice President

For 15 years, Ryan Kennery has been a trusted advisor to those seeking to create positive change.

As Emdash’s Vice President, Ryan often serves as a lead for high-impact communications projects. This has included collaborating with organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Universities Canada.

A former senior advisor to the Mayor of Ottawa, he has offered strategic counsel to elected representatives and senior managers on issues related to affordable housing, economic development, and public health.

They have extensive experience engaging audiences as a media trainer, workshop facilitator, improv comedian, and keynote speaker.

Meaghan Murphy

Creative Director

Meaghan Murphy  she/her

Creative Director

Meaghan Murphy is dedicated to projects that combine strategy, empathy, and design to help clarify stories and call people to action.

As Emdash’s Art Director, Meaghan uses her experience to support organizations of all sizes in telling their stories through timeless visuals and practical implementation.

She has developed brands for large non-profits, national campaigns, associations, and local businesses, including the Council of Canadians, Universities Canada, and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Before joining Emdash, Meaghan worked for the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Laura Neidhart

Senior Strategist

Laura Neidhart  she/her

Senior Strategist

Laura Neidhart is a communications, campaigns, and policy specialist with over a decade of experience working with charitable, non-profit, and private sector organizations.

With a background in human rights, she has led projects for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Assembly of First Nations.

Laura has worked in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and in global coalition spaces on a range of issues, including reproductive justice, criminal justice reform, food systems advocacy, economic and social rights, and ending gender-based violence.

Megana Ramaswami

Senior Strategist

Megana Ramaswami  she/her

Senior Strategist

Megana’s passion for research and storytelling has helped startups, global organizations, and post-secondary institutions expand their reach and make an impact.

Armed with a degree in Political Science,a background in print journalism, and over a decade in marketing and communications, Megana has developed strategies for many organizations, including the National Family and Survivors Circle and McLean Day School Settlement Corporation.

She’s committed to using an intersectional approach to communications that advances progressive organizations and policies, and helps build more diverse, equitable, and sustainable communities.

Mikey Bacque

Designer

Mikey Bacque  he/him

Designer

With a keen interest in typography, branding and motion design, Mikey creates compelling visuals to support brands, campaigns and organizations.

After graduating from Algonquin College with an advanced diploma in Graphic Design and a certificate in Design Studies, Mikey pursued a career in freelance design and built a business selling notebooks made for designers and creatives.

His passion for great design has helped elevate the image of major campaigns, such as Illunnata for the Public Service Alliance of Canada and engagement campaigns for Greenbelt Foundation, to match their impact.

Elio Peterson

Lead Digital Media Producer and Strategist

Elio Peterson  he/they

Lead Digital Media Producer and Strategist

A storyteller at heart, Elio’s interest in critical media literacy inspired him to forever challenge and question mainstream narratives, and work to amplify the voices of those without traditional platforms.

His knack for identifying innovative tactics and keen eye for production and direction have elevated projects such as the Pauktuutit Youth Gender Equality PSA, NCTR’s Truth and Reconciliation Week, and UNAID’s AIDS2022 event.

Prior to joining Emdash, Elio worked in the film and television industry, keen to disseminate radical ideas to the masses through pop culture. His credits include productions such as the web television comedy Slo Pitch and the Emmy-nominated second season of The Boys.

Darnell Dobson

Strategist

Darnell Dobson  

Strategist

Darnell is passionate about bridging the cultural divide between visible minorities — and specifically Black communities — and society through effective communication.

His communications work has been centred on how racialized minorities are portrayed and represented in the media.

Darnell has developed communications plans in the charitable and nonprofit sector, as well as worked on social media and media relations for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Darnell studied journalism and law at Carleton University, and recently completed his master’s degree in communication also at Carleton University.

Liv Filgate

Lead Designer

Liv Filgate  she/her

Lead Designer

With a background in communications, Liv intersects empathy and design strategy to impact the communities around her.

Driven by her love for research and thoughtful design, Liv amplifies the social impact of projects through compelling visuals and inclusive user experiences.

She has helped to establish visual identity, national campaigns, and digital experiences for clients including the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Mastercard Foundation, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Emdash’s in-house brand.

Outside of work, Liv dedicates her time to volunteering with The Blakeney Project, a community-based initiative growing food for the local food bank.

Shreya Jhunjhunwala

Lead Strategist

Shreya Jhunjhunwala  she/her

Lead Strategist

Bringing more than 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur, contract consultant, and professional communications specialist, Shreya is passionate about strategic communications.

She approaches her work with insight, intention, and supportive inquiry, helping organizations such as the National Family and Survivors Circle and Mastercard Foundation reach their target audiences.

Before entering the world of communications, Shreya worked as a fashion designer and boutique owner in India for six years. She also co-owns Collective Consulting, a management consultancy where she helps make organizations better for people of diverse identities.

Jennifer Hyatt

Chief Financial Officer, CPA

Jennifer Hyatt  she/her

Chief Financial Officer, CPA

Jennifer Hyatt is Emdash’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO). On top of that, she’s a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, and mediator. Jennifer brings a down-to-earth approach to support the Emdash team and the folks we work with.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Applied Business in Accounting from George Brown College, and is certified by the ADR Institute of Canada, CPA Canada, and CGA Canada.

Her volunteer work includes sitting on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Safety Council and the ADR Institute of Ontario.

Kelly Rusk

Consultant

Kelly Rusk  she/her

Consultant

Kelly Rusk brings over 18 years of experience as a digital marketing leader to Emdash as an associate.

Kelly brings expertise in digital marketing, advertising, social media and measurement to the Emdash team. She’s skilled in understanding and directing digital strategies that perform, Kelly works directly with clients to find the best digital solutions for their business. 

Kelly brings a diverse background in marketing and communications with demonstrated leadership experience as a partner at one of Ottawa’s largest marketing agencies. Having worked on both the client and agency side, Kelly knows how to act as an extension of your marketing team and create strategies that provide actionable results. 

With Emdash, Kelly has worked and consulted with clients including Community Foundations of Canada, EleV Indigenous, CAMDO, Colleges and Institutes Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Qajaq Robinson

Associate

Qajaq Robinson  she/her

Associate

As an ally who was born and raised in the North, Qaqaq Robinson is passionate about working on and for the north and Inuit Nunangat.

Qajaq is a non-Indigenous woman who has always held a high regard for the Inuit ways of life and their relationship with the land. She witnessed firsthand how Indigenous sovereignty was threatened and criminalised by colonial institutions.

Qajaq is a lawyer with EQR Law based in the National Capital Region. She practises law in the areas of administrative law, constitutional law, Indigenous rights and Human rights law. She is a Graduate of Akitsiraq Law School/University of Victoria. 

Qajaq brings a wealth of knowledge on Northern geo-political history, climate issues, Indigenous rights, and human rights to Emdash that guide and inform digital and advocacy campaigns.

Shayla Breen

Strategist

Shayla Breen  they/she

Strategist

With an unwavering commitment to grassroots organizing, Shayla is dedicated to connecting, uplifting, and facilitating change in collaboration with communities and social movements.

Prior to joining the team, Shayla spent time working in student advocacy and the nonprofit sector. Recently finishing their undergraduate degree in Political Science, they bring a robust background in data-driven research and systems thinking.

With their strong roots in Alberta community organizing and social activism, Shayla has extensive experience in working with media, facilitation, public speaking, and communicating complex messages to diverse audiences. They have worked on projects for Oxfam Canada and The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa.

Hillory Tenute

Senior Associate

Hillory Tenute  she/they/kwe

Senior Associate

Hillory Tenute is an Indigiqueer Anishinaabekwe with settler descent from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation located in Neyaashiinigmiing, Ontario part of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation Territory in what is colonially known as Canada. She is the former Executive Director of Indigenous Youth Roots (previously Canadian Roots Exchange).

For more than 20 years, Hillory has provided research, evaluation, and culturally-safe and responsive engagement strategies for Indigenous communities on settler-Indigenous relations, rights implementation, cultural revitalization, social impact, and economic development.

Hillory has been asked to speak at the United Nations and at Parliamentary committees for her impactful work with Indigenous communities.

As a Senior Associate and Auntie-In-Residence at Emdash, Hillory helps organizations make meaningful change through decolonization, reconciliation, and collaboration with Indigenous communities.

Rick Amaral

Associate

Rick Amaral  he/him

Associate

Rick’s approach is human-centred and collaborative — rooted in carefully understanding real life experiences, and the values and context that shape them.

Rick focuses on bridging strategic and creative aspects of design — from creative ideation and concept development to providing senior leadership and direction of deliverables across various media.

He has helped brands define who they are in ways that are both meaningful and authentic. With experience in brand strategy, creative direction, and design, Rick has developed brands for a diverse clientele across a breadth of industries. Notably: Toronto FC (“All for One”), Saputo, Arterra Wines, Aphria, Ted Rogers School of Management, Green Shield Canada, MDA, Georgian Partners, Meridian Credit Union.

Tash Commanda

Junior Strategist

Tash Commanda  she/her

Junior Strategist

Tash Commanda is Algonquin and Ojibway from Kitigan Zibi. She is a driven individual with a diverse background rooted in entrepreneurship, event management, and empowering Indigenous youth.

Currently enrolled in Advertising and Marketing Communications Management at Algonquin College, Tash is on a journey to fuse her entrepreneurial spirit with Strategy and Media Relations.

Beyond academics, Tash dedicates her time to volunteering with various Indigenous organizations, demonstrating a commitment to giving back, and fostering positive change.

Emdash also has a trusted network of creatives that includes Indigenous artists, videographers, photographers, strategic advisors, and designers. When we work together, you have access to talented people who share your vision for a brighter future.

We do things differently.

As a certified B Corp, we hold ourselves to a higher standard in how we treat people and the planet.

Fairness
the heart of our work.

Our agency is driven by the values of generosity, equity, inclusion, diversity, empathy, justice, and fairness.

We support emerging Indigenous communicators.

We are proud to offer scholarships at Algonquin College and Carleton University to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communicators every year.

Let’s work together

Everyone learns, grows, and contributes at Emdash. We’re an agency that cares about the work and also cares about our team. Are you a changemaker who wants to make a difference with us?

Want to join our team and learn more?
See our current opportunities

A different kind of agency requires a different kind of workplace. Emdash offers benefits and flexibility that you won’t often find elsewhere. Plus, you’ll use your skills to tackle the biggest challenges of our time.

What we offer:

  • Flex time
  • Health and dental
  • Parental leave top-up
  • Annual learning budget
  • Remote work flexibility
  • Additional cash benefits

The best solutions often come from voices who have been pushed aside, marginalized or ignored. It’s time that we put progressive ideas in the centre of the conversation where they belong.

Caitlin Kealey, CEO and Owner, Emdash

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