Filipino Canadian Woman Nominated for RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards

AV Communications (AVC) CEO Joycelyn David joins the ranks of visible minority women who are making their mark in Canada. A Filipino-Canadian, she has been recently nominated at the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards. The prestigious national awards program celebrates the achievements of the most accomplished and impactful women in the country.

Over the last 29 years, the program has honoured over 190 women for demonstrating excellence across multiple sectors. And this year, David is making history by becoming one of only a handful of Filipino women who have landed a place in this coveted spotlight.

Born in Canada, Raised Filipino

Proud of her Filipino roots, David was the first of her family to be born in Canada after her parents emigrated from the Philippines in the 1970s. She grew up between Winnipeg and Edmonton, learning about her culture through the stories shared by her relatives. But learning the culture was not enough. David yearned to see another Filipino face right here in her home.

“I can still remember the first time I saw a Filipino in a TV commercial here in Canada,” David recalled. “It was a student recruitment spot, and they were inviting internationally trained students to enroll. I distinctly remember the ad and the feeling that ‘Ah… I can see myself, my sister, and my culture represented on TV. I was 25 years old at the time. Why has it taken so long for me to see myself reflected in the media this way?”

This question on her mind motivated David to champion the representation of black, indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) in mainstream media. Especially for the Filipino ethnic group that’s the third-largest in Canada. The Filipino population is expected to reach 1M by 2021, representing a 150% growth rate. They’re also the number one source of immigrants to Canada.

Rising to the Challenge 

With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and call for representation for BIPOC, consumers are demanding diversity and authenticity. Multiculturalism is mainstream. This has been David’s battle cry since taking the reins at AVC in 2019. Aside from keeping its Filipino heritage alive, David is taking the 17-year-old agency to greater heights.

Today, the award-winning multicultural agency has expanded its business globally. Growing international brands and reaching multicultural audiences south of the border (USA), even as far as the Philippines and Mexico.

AVC is also expanding through partnerships and research and development with the launch of its insights platform ETHNIHUBTM  in October 2020. This project landed David a coveted spot in the Microsoft-backed Women in Cloud Accelerator.

Lead with Diversity. Invest in Multicultural.

David aims to push brands to revisit their brand and marketing campaigns and account for visible minorities in their communications. And though she has shattered Filipino stereotypes through her latest achievement, David knows her work has only just begun.

“It’s time for companies to walk the talk. If they truly embrace diversity and inclusion (D&I) it will be reflected in all aspects of their business, including marketing. When I began in this industry nearly 20 years ago, multicultural marketing budgets were often less than 5% of a campaign budget. It’s now 2021, and unfortunately, we haven’t moved the needle enough. I look forward to the day when a campaign brief LEADS with diversity and puts the right investment into multicultural audiences as well.”

If you would like to talk to Joycelyn about some of her current endeavors, future passion projects or how she can help you boost your brand in the multicultural space, drop her a message at