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May 10, 2017

Who won the Canada Awards and why?

The IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2017 took place amid changing times for Canadian IR

A changing of the guard has been taking place in the Canadian IR community. During the last year, industry veterans such as TD Bank’s Rudy Sankovic, Janet Drysdale of CN and David Carey of ARC Resources have moved on to new things. It is sad to see such talented individuals leave IR, but it does give others the chance to step up and leave their own mark on the profession.

The IR Magazine Awards – Canada 2017 reflected this great rotation. Carey was still in place when the research for the awards took place, and he finished on a high by taking the prize for best IR officer (midcap). Meanwhile, CN’s new head of IR, Paul Butcher, who took over the role in August, began his tenure in style by collecting the award for best IR officer (large cap).

The awards, which remain the Canadian IR world’s largest annual gathering, saw more than 400 guests gather at The Carlu in Toronto for a night of prize-giving, networking and fun hosted by CBC’s Bruce Sellery. The big winners on the night were Agnico Eagle Mines and ARC Resources, which took home five gongs each. The newly created people’s choice award for innovation went to Fortis. And Pat Marshall, communications and IR vice president at Cineplex Entertainment, received the lifetime achievement award.

The nominees and winners were selected by a survey of more than 225 portfolio managers, buy-side analysts and sell-side analysts based in the Canadian market. You can find the research behind the awards in the IR Magazine Investor Perception Study – Canada 2017, which includes rankings information for more than 150 companies across several awards categories. To order a copy, please contact Reece Tan at reece. or +44 20 8004 5337.

Click here to view the complete photo library on the event microsite. 

Best overall investor relations

Large cap: Agnico Eagle Mines

What the investment community says ‘Agnico Eagle has the best investor relations by a country mile. I hope it wins’ – sell side

Mid-cap: ARC Resources

What the investment community says ‘ARC takes IR seriously and this results in gold standard communications. I wish more companies would do the same’ – sell side

Small cap: Aecon Group

What the investment community says ‘Aecon has turned things around and, despite a global oil price downturn, it is managing to achieve its goals’ – buy side

Best investor relations officer

Large cap: Paul Butcher, CN

What the investment community says ‘CN has very open access to senior management, good communication from the IR team and a welleducated IR director in Paul Butcher’ – sell side

Mid-cap: David Carey, ARC Resources

What the investment community says ‘ARC treats IR as a senior executive position – that’s why it’s so good’ – sell side

Small cap: Adam Borgatti, Aecon Group

What the investment community says ‘Aecon group has been more accessible and responsive. I attribute this to the wonderful Adam Borgatti’ – sell side

Best IR by a CEO

Large cap: Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle Mines

What the investment community says ‘The CEO at Agnico, Sean Boyd, communicates well. He sticks to his strategy and knows the company inside out’ – sell side

Small and mid-cap: David Smith, Keyera

What the investment community says ‘I’ve known David Smith for a long time. He has always been approachable, unlike some other CEOs, and will often return calls directly or he may get someone to respond on his behalf. Either way, he makes sure you get your answer’ – sell side

Best IR by a CFO

Large cap: David Smith, Agnico Eagle Mines

What the investment community says ‘David Smith is transparent, always available and communicates with shareholders and analysts, answering a full spectrum of questions’ – buy side

Small and mid-cap: Jamie Porter, Alamos Gold (joint winner)

What the investment community says ‘Jamie Porter is extremely articulate and really understands the company’ – buy side

Small and mid-cap: Dan Lefaivre, Stantec (joint winner)

What the investment community says ‘He is approachable and available for discussion. It’s good to have that visibility’ – buy side

Most progress in IR


What the investment community says ‘Veresen has gone from zero to hero. The new IRO, Mark Chyc-Cies, is so suited to dealing with institutional investors and has made massive improvements’ – sell side

Best in sector

Communications: BCE

Consumer discretionary: Air Canada

Consumer staples: Dollarama

Energy: ARC Resources

Financials: TD Bank Group

Industrials: CN

Materials: Agnico Eagle Mines

Technology: CGI Group

Utilities: Algonquin Power & Utilities

Best IR by a Canadian company in the US market

Teck Resources

What the investment community says ‘Of all the IROs I deal with, Greg Waller of Teck Resources is the best because of his depth of knowledge’ – sell side

Best corporate governance

TD Bank Group

What the investment community says ‘In terms of corporate governance, TD Bank is very well run, with very high disclosure standards’ – buy side

Best IR during a corporate transaction

TransCanada Acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group

What the investment community says ‘The rationale for the Columbia Pipeline deal was well explained and the company addressed investor concerns about an over-concentration on the main pipeline that has since been clarified’ – buy side

Best IR by a TSX Venture Exchange-listed company

Tidewater Midstream

What the investment community says ‘Tidewater Midstream makes a big effort to explain the business and this has resulted in a clear, consistent message’ – buy side

People’s choice award for innovation

Winner: Fortis

Runners-up: Vermilion Energy, WSP Global

This new award was presented to a publicly listed company that has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of IR and the community of IR professionals. While the rest of the IR Magazine Awards were determined by a survey of investor professionals, this people’s choice award for innovation was decided by the general public.

Lifetime achievement award

Pat Marshall, Cineplex Entertainment

Pat Marshall, vice president of communications & IR at Cineplex Entertainment, won the lifetime achievement award for her outstanding contribution to IR over a career spanning more than 20 years. Speaking to IR Magazine at the awards, she offered tips for IR professionals new to the profession.

‘Absolutely get out to the seminars, the conferences, the events that are put on in the community, join the [CIRI] boards either locally or nationally, and meet the other IROs,’ she said. ‘They are an extraordinarily generous group of people and you’ll have a lot of fun, but it’ll also be a great career development opportunity for you.’

Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob added: ‘I’m very, very proud of Pat for receiving this award. She is an awesome individual to work with.’

Other award winners

Best investor meetings: Agnico Eagle Mines

Best financial reporting: ARC Resources

Best sustainability practice: Suncor Energy

Best use of technology: ARC Resources

Best IR for an IPO: Hydro One

This article appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of IR Magazine. 

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