Summer 2021 Entertainment Guide

What does summer mean to you?

For some, it’s a time for rest, relaxation and reflection. For lazy summer afternoons catching the sun or kneading our hands into garden soil.

For others, summer is energizing and electric. A time to learn new things and dust off the cobwebs of our wintery thought patterns and habits.

Either way, it’s a great time to have an ice-cream. So whether you prefer a cheerful Rocky Road or a contemplative Choco Mint, we’ve adapted this year’s Summer Entertainment Guide so there’s content to match the mood. Here’s what we’ve found inspiring, motivating and relaxing as of late.

Annie Dufresne
Account Director, Montreal

Motivational App: Peloton
Those who know me know I love working out at the gym a couple of times a week. With my gym closed for several months this year, I turned to the Peloton online class app. Surprisingly, you don’t need a Peloton bike to enjoy the classes! With strength training, cardio, outdoor walking, yoga, treadmill workouts and more, the classes are as varied as the coaches. The playlists are also 🔥, especially the 90s ones! It’s $13/month and worth every penny. 

Inspiring TV Show: Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy
Is there anything more relaxing than watching an American actor with Italian ancestry wandering around his favourite Italian villages, eating delicious food? I love these travel shows where we meet interesting people, learn a little history, and, above all, see beautiful shots of pasta at sunset in the country. It’s a far cry from our beloved Anthony Bourdain, but still very much an enjoyable moment in the company of Stanley Tucci.

Andy Bateman
Chief Executive Officer, USA

Relaxing Documentary: Studio 54
Studio 54 tells the story of the iconic nightclub’s rise and fall. What's wonderful about it is not just the twists and turns in the story of Steve Rubell and Ian Scrager (yes, the guy who went on to make hotels cool again) and their greed, excess and failure, but the intersection of what was happening in New York and America at the exact time the club opened. A new economic boom, the sense of freedom people were feeling, the rise of disco, homosexuality becoming more open and accepted and a more sophisticated and emergent art culture. A wonderful odyssey!

Inspiring Book: A Promised Land
One chapter that really spoke to me was about setting up a solid process for important decisions—rigour, analysis, discipline and reasoned argument and debate from experts on all sides. High-quality decisions come from high-quality processes.

Elana Gorbatyuk
Chief Strategy Officer, Global

Inspiring Book: There There by Cheyenne and Arapaho, author Tommy Orange
I’m floored by this novel. I wanted to read more first-person perspectives by indigenous people in the US and Canada, and this novel touched me beyond words and stirred all kinds of emotions and empathy.  Every page is a gut-wrenching reflection on power-grabbing and how this messes with identity for generations. Orange’s writing from the perspective of 12 characters in the first person is poetic and sublime.  A must-read that inspires us to listen then act.

Motivational Book: The Longevity Diet by Valter Longo
A fascinating approach to managing disease and enjoying a fuller, healthier life. If you’ve read or followed Blue Zones, this is a good addendum that looks at healthier eating habits including intermittent fasting, combined with socialization and exercising in a focused way to live longer and live well.

Jean-Francois Dumais
Executive Creative Director, Montreal

Inspiring Podcast: Relevant Parties
Relevant Parties is a podcast about iconic music labels from around the world. Each episode features a different music label and explores how it was founded, important releases and a bunch of anecdotes. What’s cool is that it highlights the balance between creativity and business in a pop culture context, so even if you don’t know the label or aren’t a huge fan of its music, the conversations are still very interesting. A must for all music enthusiasts out there.

Layla Gras
Art Director, Paris

Motivational YouTube Series: Entre mecs — Benjamin Névert
YouTuber Benjamin Névert regularly tackles the subject of our relationship with our bodies as well as male complexes in his web series Entre mecs.

Céline et Clément Mornet Landa
Creative Directors, Paris

Relaxing Art: “Rêverie” by Paul Milinski 
A good way to relax is to imagine yourself in the utopia of a Paul Milinski video. Milinski is a 3D designer who creates magical landscapes in a parallel universe where nature and design live in harmony.

Relaxing Song: Rejjie Snow’s “Relax
And since we're talking about relaxation, what could be more appropriate than "Relax" by Irish rapper Rejjie Snow? A track full of good vibes that gently advocates for more kindness.

Ally Malloy
Head of Digital and Experiential, Digital Kitchen

Inspiring Movie: Bad Trip
Fearless, manic, brash, sometimes even sweet filmmaking. But most of all—just bloody funny. Don't watch on a plane unless you want to annoy your neighbors with constant giggling.

Relaxing Book: Cook Real Hawai'i by Sheldon Simeon 
Love food? Make and eat everything in this book. Trying six times to perfect the Sardine Pupu is somewhat relaxing, I guess.

Guewen Loussouarn
Founder, Managing Director, Haigo

Inspiring Podcast: Les Mains dans les poches
Our clothes say a lot about our personalities, and our societies. I discovered the Hello World brand through the Les Mains dans les Poches podcast. The brand helps us understand that what we wear also sends signals about equality and diversity. Perfect for making your mark in society this fall. As you listen, you’ll also discover voices from Sid Lee Paris.

Relaxing Book: Le problème à trois corps
What is the relationship between communism, theoretical physics, and sociology? Liu Cixin's trilogy is a storytelling gem you won’t want to put down. It tackles deep topics and forces us to look at the world and the stars differently. It also provides a peek into China and its history, with all its controversies. Ideal reading on a deckchair with a view.

Evelyn Anna Danciger
Sr. Manager of Entertainment and Social, USA

Inspiring TV Show: Insecure
Issa Rae is a comedic force to be reckoned with, but where she really shines (and inspires) is in her ability to understand the human condition and translate that into writing. She embraces and highlights personal flaws in a way many writers avoid, or simply can’t do. Her writing is from the heart, which makes even the most minor characters in Insecure full fledged and relatable.

Relaxing TV Show: Bob’s Burgers
There’s no level of stress in the world that can’t be absolved by a nice Indica and a Bob’s Burgers marathon. Or even just one Bob’s Burgers episode. It’s the perfect combination of “no brain power needed” and genuine laughs. Any episode where Bob gets too passionate about anything is a home run for me.

Motivational Novel: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Diary is one of only two books I’ve ever reread. The absurdity and world building keeps it a constant source of inspiration as I try to creatively push myself to think outside the norms of storytelling. It’s not often regarded as one of Chuck Palahniuk’s best works, but something about seeing him outside his comfort zone makes me want to take a step outside of mine.

Jean-François Légaré
Editorial Director, Montreal

Inspiring Book: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
Some say that artificial intelligence could trigger the next big revolution in our society. In his latest novel, Ishiguro introduces us to an android designed to keep children company and who is warned not to rely too heavily on promises made by humans. The novel is poetic, it’s moving, and it poses an all-important question: How will we treat robots in the future, once they have a conscience? Will we be kind? Mean? Or cruelly indifferent once the novelty wears off?

Motivating Interview: Sam Altman interviewed on The Ezra Klein Show
I stumbled upon this interview with the CEO of OpenAI just a few days after finishing Ishiguro’s novel, which tackles the artificial intelligence issue. In this episode of the podcast, New York Times journalist Ezra Klein confronts Altman on the ethics of this technology. If AI truly is about to change our lives, are we okay leaving a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires in control of the future of the technology? An enlightening discussion that helped me understand the immense scope of an issue I never expected to be interested in.

Elana Schachter
Director, Growth and Innovation, Toronto

Motivational TV Show: Hacks
Following comeback queen Jean Smart, this show is funny, charming and inspiring. Hacks deftly juxtaposes what it’s like for a young up-and-comer compared to someone in the prime of their career by pitting a savvy aging female comic with a young female comedy writer who’s been cancelled by a bad Tweet. Hacks delves into the challenges and experiences of different generations of women coming into their own. Brilliantly written and acted, Hacks has me motivated to go see more live comedy and support female comics.

Relaxing Magazine: Bon Appétit
To say that I came late to cooking is an understatement. When I first moved to Toronto I barely knew how to boil pasta. After years in the lifestyle content space I’ve learned to dabble in the kitchen. A friend got me a subscription to the mag as a pandemic birthday gift. Given their recent scandal, I am even happier to support the new editorial team. It has me inspired to try some new dishes (and cocktails!) and I loved Kwame Alexander’s writing so much I was motivated to read more. I just ordered my daughter a copy of his award-winning book The Crossover.

Runda Dong
Art Director, Toronto

Inspiring TV Series: We The People
An educational series of animated 5-minute musical shorts sung by rising pop artists with lyrics that teach about the basics of rights & citizenship in America. I think the mere fact that the series exists for kids 7+ helps fuel the new generation's understanding of nuance & complex subjects to drive thoughtful change in the future, which makes me a little more optimistic about the world we live in currently.

Inspiring Art Content: @visualizevalue on instagram
A brand created by NYC creative veteran Jack Butcher. The Instagram page posts small bites of minimalistic infographics that are visually represented by inspirational quotes from famous people in history or original quotes from Jack.