Citizen Bolsters Creative Leadership With Mark Mason & Vanessa Birze

Citizen Relations
February 29, 2024
Woman on Bench

Following another momentous year of double-digit growth, global communications agency Citizen Relations has hired Mark Mason as Executive Creative Director, Canada, and Vanessa Birze as Vice President, Production. Both Mason and Birze will be based out of the agency’s Toronto office, joining the creative & strategy team led by Chief Creative Officer, Josh Budd.

A 2022 rebrand for the agency set the stage for a record-breaking year at Citizen. Along with being named Strategy’s PR Agency of the Year and wins at Cannes, The One Show, the LIA’s and the Webby Awards, to name a few, Citizen was most recently shortlisted for Disruptive Agency of the Year at the 2024 Innovation SABRE Awards. The wins from the past year just earned Citizen a top ten spot on the Institute of Canadian Agencies’ Creative Power List 2024, the highest ranked PR firm amongst creative heavyweights. This expansion of the creative leadership team reflects the vision CEO Nick Cowling has set for the agency as a modern PR firm and global leader, built to help clients achieve stronger, stickier, life long conversations with their most important audiences.

“This is big news for us at Citizen and a signal of the value we place on earned-first creative excellence as a differentiator for the agency,” said Budd. “Vanessa and Mark both exhibit the right mindset and energy to integrate quickly and seamlessly into the team – and I expect their value will be immediately felt.”

Mason, most recently ECD at Grey Canada, is an award-winning creative leader whose  work has been internationally recognized at Cannes, The One Show, Webby Awards and more. He brings 20+ years of creative experience and will serve as the dedicated creative leader for the agency’s Canadian clients. 

“Citizen is rich with talented, passionate people and I am thrilled to join an agency that truly believes in collaboration and the power of storytelling,” Mason comments.

Birze is a seasoned producer with experience with some of the biggest brands in North America, such as Uber, Nissan Canada and Molson Coors, one of Citizen’s current Canadian clients. She comes to Citizen from Ogilvy Canada, where she was the Executive Producer for TD Bank, and will be working closely with Citizen’s existing Experiential team.

“I find the opportunity to help the agency hone their in-house production capabilities and work with the broader North American team incredibly motivating,” she said about her decision to join the agency. “It’s a great time to be joining Citizen, you can feel the momentum and energy and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Citizen’s 2023 Canadian campaigns ReclaimYourName.dic with Elimin8Hate and Cheetle in Cheadle for PepsiCo Canada dominated the industry last year, with Best in Show recognition at the Marketing and PRWeek Purpose Awards and a spot on Fast Company’s list of World Changing Ideas.  The agency added a tenth office in Cincinnati last year in addition to earning a spot on PRWeek’s Best Places to work list for the second straight year.