“That’s why we are Scarborough proud! The Weeknd did a fantastic job, but it was no surprise really – Scarborough has historically punched above its weight in producing internationally recognized talent. It was also cool to see places that I used to spend so much time at back in the day get some national attention afterwards – like Agincourt Library and UofT Scarborough Campus.”
Volatility from the pandemic has made it difficult to celebrate the day-to-day wins in life, but recently there was a change of pace as Torontonians were reminded how resilient we are when facing adversity. Toronto is a community of creative, inspiring people from all over the globe, and the representation of that has been all over the news – with locals headlining some of the biggest events worldwide.
Abel Tesfaye is a Scarborough native who dropped out of high school in 2007 after performing in a talent show, thinking he could make it big in the music industry – and make it he did. This year, The Weeknd (Abel) took the world by storm while performing in a halftime show for the 2021 Super Bowl. He went to great lengths to ensure the show was extraordinary despite the restrictions in place due to the pandemic. The Weeknd was undoubtedly the world’s “halftime hero,” spending $7-million of his own money on production costs to guarantee it was in line with his personal brand and overall vision. Using his own funds to create ingenuitive projects isn’t offbeat for The Weeknd. Back in 2018, he founded HXOUSE, a local accelerator focused on innovation and opportunity for creative youth in Toronto.
Being a Scarborough native himself, Workhaus Founder and CEO Adrian Joaquin thoroughly enjoyed witnessing The Weeknd’s journey and success “That’s why we are Scarborough proud! The Weeknd did a fantastic job, but it was no surprise really – Scarborough has historically punched above its weight in producing internationally recognized talent. It was also cool to see places that I used to spend so much time at back in the day get some national attention afterwards – like Agincourt Library and UofT Scarborough Campus.”
— NFL (@NFL) February 8, 2021
The Weeknd wasn’t the only Toronto-born star to make headlines recently. Golden Globe nominee Dan Levy made his home-town proud by hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time. During his opening monologue, Dan reminisced on how far he’s come in his career; people finally binge-watching his hilarious show Schitt’s Creek with notable lines like, “Ew, David!” haunting him in every fan encounter. The SNL special featured hilarious topical skits, dramatically exaggerating Covid-19 procedures, a ‘socially distanced’ Super Bowl party, and a saucy Zillow ad that parody’s millennial excitement while window shopping for houses. The performance was a major success and an incredible milestone for Levy, with his performance receiving praise from our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Even the actor’s mother Deborah tweeted, “This goes out to the bully punks at Camp WTF who made life miserable for a certain cabin-mate back in the summer of ’96 – just because he was different.”
Dan Levy's Monologue! ⭐ pic.twitter.com/oUFIljXTQ4
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) February 7, 2021
Through these Toronto natives’ experiences and enduring successes, we are reminded that our community is truly composed of creative, inspiring, and resilient talent. We are thankful to have such inspiring artists like Dan Levy and The Weeknd to bring laughs, smiles, and entertainment to a world that truly needs it. Toronto has heart, and that sense of care for your community is what Workhaus is built on. We are proud to be a Canadian born-and-bred company that supports our diverse community in every way possible.