Complex Canada Partners With Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum To Launch “hidden Gems” Digital Series And Multiplatform Campaign

July 27, 2021


Four-Part Series Celebrates Jamaican Excellence in Canada Featuring Talented Creatives Exploring Jamaica, Winnipeg, Montréal, and Toronto

Watch the Trailer Now on Complex Canada Platforms

 To share this release:

For Immediate Release

TORONTO, July 28, 2021 Complex Canada, operated by Corus Entertainment Inc., announced today its new digital series Hidden Gems, produced in partnership with Appleton Estate® Jamaican Rum, celebrating Jamaican excellence in Canada. The series spotlights some of Canada’s most established trailblazers and budding new creatives in music, style, and visual arts, introducing audiences to some of the country’s most innovative Jamaican-Canadian creators. The first episode is available now exclusively on Complex Canada.

As part of the partnership with Complex Canada, Hidden Gems debuts with a 360-degree marketing strategy amplified by Corus’ powerful megaphone of assets. In addition to long-term presence on, the series will also premiere on linear TV in a new Complex-branded programming block on Global, Food Network Canada, and National Geographic running from September 2 – 5. The new programming block opens the series to a wide range of audiences across key demos and will be promoted with one to two-minute commercial elements across Global and select Corus specialty networks. The series will also be promoted across Complex Canada’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms with episodic teasers, static images, and a series of custom reels driving to the series.

“To be part of a project that tells and uplifts the stories of Jamaican excellence is something I’m incredibly proud of,” says Joy Spence, Appleton Estate Master Blender. “I can’t wait for audiences to be taken on this journey to meet some truly remarkable Jamaican-Canadian ‘hidden gems’.”

“For advertisers looking to weave their brands into culture and engage audiences authentically, there’s no better place than content,” said Dervla Kelly, Senior Vice President, Marketing & so.da, Corus Entertainment. “A core part of Complex Canada’s editorial focus is to spotlight local trailblazers – be it in food, fashion, culture, music, sports, or entertainment – so partnering with Appleton Estate Rum on Hidden Gems to celebrate the entrepreneurship and innovation from some of our country’s finest Jamaican-Canadian creators was a perfect fit.”

Along for the journey in the series is Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum Master Blender Joy Spence who brings lessons and learnings from her four decades at the Estate. Spence, known as the spirits industry’s first female Master Blender, joins four esteemed Jamaican-Canadian creatives in Hidden Gems including:

  • Charles Officer, a pioneer in Canadian filmmaking and an award-winning director with a focus on telling cultural stories.
  • Catriona Smart, a trailblazer in public relations, events, and lifestyle blogging. Long before the modern social media era, Smart founded the tastemaker blog space Coco + Cowe and has most recently ventured into PR as the founder of Halo.
  • Caffrey Van Horne, an award-winning stylist offering years of excellence in fashion and conceptual design. He has worked as a stylist, photographer, hair stylist, costume designer and now fashion designer, with his own luxury apparel and accessories brand, Caffrey Van Horne.
  • Richard Hilary, a musician, cinematographer, and restauranteur. With the local artist community in mind, Richard is the owner of Local Legend, a Jamaican-inspired resto-bar celebrating local artists and Caribbean culture.

Hidden Gems is produced by so.da, Corus’ award-winning social-digital agency, and Mindshare Canada in collaboration with Fela, a production company founded by Taj Critchlow and Director X specializing in making cutting edge content in the realm of music videos, commercials, documentaries and films. Over four episodes, the series will take viewers on a journey to hidden locations in Jamaica, Winnipeg, Montréal, and Toronto, exploring each creative’s inspiration in the places they call home. All episodes will be available online at and across Complex Canada social platforms.

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About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that develops and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world.  Engaging audiences since 1999, the company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 33 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a suite of digital and streaming assets, animation software, technology and media services. Corus is an internationally renowned content creator and distributor through Nelvana, a world class animation studio expert in all formats and Corus Studios, a globally recognized producer of hit scripted and unscripted content. The company also owns innovative full-service social digital agency so.da, lifestyle entertainment company Kin Canada, leading 2D animation software supplier Toon Boom and children’s book publishing house, Kids Can Press. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, Adult Swim, National Geographic, Disney Channel Canada, YTV, Global News,, Q107, Country 105, and CFOX, along with broadly distributed Canadian streaming platforms STACKTV, Nick+, the Global TV App and Curiouscast. For more information visit

Nestled in the heart of Jamaica, in the beautiful, lush Nassau Valley lies the Appleton Estate. For over 265 years, we have been crafting authentic, premium rums using time honored traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. From cane to cocktail, our critically acclaimed rums are created by the environment, ingredients, and practices that are unique to our Estate. Our terroir, with its ideal climate, fertile soil and topography, the natural spring that supplies our water for fermentation, through to distillation, ageing and blending all combine to produce rums that are delicious and alive, vivid and deep with complex flavours and aromas. The Appleton Estate rum collection includes the Signature rum, 8 Year Old Reserve rum, 12 Year Old Rare Casks rum, 15 Year Old Black River Casks rum and 21 Year Old Nassau Valley Casks rum.  Showcasing the Estate’s renowned aged rum inventory, limited edition offers, such as: 30 Year Old Jamaica rum and 50 Year Old Jamaican Independence Reserve.  Additionally, in 2017,  Appleton Estate introduced Joy Anniversary Blend, a limited-edition 25 Year Old rum to celebrate Joy Spence’s 20th Anniversary as the first female Master Blender in the spirits industry.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Michelle McTeague
Corus/Complex Canada