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ASTOUND Initiative at Buffer Festival


Last weekend marked the inaugural Buffer Festival, which encompassed 3 days, 5 cinemas and 38 live screenings. We had some of YouTube’s biggest stars on-hand to host shows, including the likes of Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, Charlie McDonnell, Mitchell Davis, the Gregory Brothers, the Fine Bros, Prank vs. Prank and more.

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On Friday, the ASTOUND Initiative hosted Dialogue Session: The 4Ms – Messaging, Managing, Mobilizing & Monetizing Your Content, featuring a special panel of industry practitioners and audience-engagement pioneers to discuss ‘audience’ as an alternative form of financing, distribution and revenue generation. Panelists included YouTube’s Bing Chen (Global Creator Development), Graham Bennett (Strategic Partner Manager) and Andy Stack (Partner Product Manager), along with YouTuber entrepreneurs Corey Vidal, Founder, ApprenticeA/Buffer Festival and Alex Carpenter, musician, writer and vlogger. This panel was moderated by ASTOUND project manager Orla Garriques.

Caption: Pre-show Buffer Festival red carpet coverage courtesy of the Canadian Film Centre and ASTOUND Initiative. Despite the rain and cold, YouTube stars and fans came out to shine.


On Saturday, Buffer Festival hosted a VIP gala at the Jane Mallett Theatre where our stars walked a red carpet, hosted by Tim Deegan from ApprenticeA Productions and Shira Lazar of What’s Trending. They were met by hundreds of screaming fans who camped outside of the venue to meet their favourite internet idols.


The gala itself was hosted by Craig Benzine, also known as WheezyWaiter and Michael Buckley of the What The Buck Show. New never-before-seen content was showcased to our audience of YouTubers and industry delegates. Megan Tonjes and The Gregory Brothers both performed live onstage.


Buffer Festival, produced by ApprenticeA Productions and co-presented by the Canadian Film Centre, showcased the best creative content on YouTube and offered insight into why a growing generation is consuming media online.


Photo Credit: George Pimentel