Every year has its defining moments—this one was indescribable.

Even the most weathered historians will struggle to capture the magnitude of 2020: Australia’s devastating bushfires killed more than one billion animals; a contentious U.S. election saw record-breaking voter turnout; the brutal killing of George Floyd triggered a global movement for racial justice, and a deadly pandemic has killed over 1.6 million people worldwide and brought life as we know it to a grinding halt.

If anything, this year has taught us to take nothing for granted. With awareness, optimism and the help of a few meditation apps, we’ve each grown and contributed in our own ways to face the new year head-on.

Our 2020 snapshot

690 jobs completed
339,206 emails received
334,500 Slack messages sent
913 stock photos downloaded
202 days working from home
3 design and UX conferences attended

49 themed playlists created
3 hrs, 10 min: longest playlist of “Space” songs

$1,250 raised for Holiday Helpers to support a family in need
$5,000 raised for WIRES Wildlife Rescue through our Save the Koalas campaign
$2,000 donated to Second Harvest to address food insecurity in the GTA

3 virtual studio parties
Context is known for its epic food-focused parties. This year, despite not being able to celebrate in person, we received curated boxes filled with locally-sourced treats. Litres of popcorn consumed after our Halloween party? 197. Belly aches? Too many to count.

2020’s top 6 emojis
We laughed, we cried, we cringed, and we reacted. Notable mentions: sassy parrot, dusty stick and shrug emojis.

Our go-to gifs in 2020
We rode a roller coaster of emotions.

What we learned in 2020
We joined the banana bread craze, learned languages, decorated our homes, picked up calligraphy, plant-tended, meditated and more. Come at us, 2021.

After 5,000 pieces and unwavering determination, Cate finally completed her masterpiece!

Positive news in 2020
It wasn’t all heart-wrenching headlines this year. We took time to appreciate life’s accomplishments, achievements and memorable moments, big and small. Here are just a few of the reasons we’ll end the year on a high note.

“I purchased a cottage with a group of friends.”

“I paid off my student debt.”

“We set up an outdoor theatre and furniture in our backyard so that we could enjoy the summer spent at home even more.”

“I passed 500 pages in the web comic I’ve been working on since 2015.”

“I adopted my cat, Yuzu, at the end of October!”

“I set a plan to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to study music and play piano—I made it!”

“To celebrate our anniversary, I made pasta from scratch for the first time with my partner.”

“Students were thankful for the Interaction Design course I taught this year at York University.”

“I outlined my fourth book in over 2.5 years of being a writer.”

“I got engaged!”

“I bought a house!”

“Some friends and I quickly put together The Witness Archive to present incidents of police brutality captured on video by civilians.”

“Lots of little things have made 2020 lovely in many ways even with the challenges going on. I can’t count the number of times I have felt so fortunate to be working with so many caring people at Context. There are so many laughs (including big laughs during and after stressful times) and special moments!”

“Starting at Context Creative.”

“Finally bought a camera with a longer zoom for better nature close-ups!”

Our favourite mantras, as we look ahead to 2021

It can only get better.

The only way to keep going is to keep going.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Everything happens for a reason.

Be kind! Everyone has their own things going on.

Faith, hope, love. 💕

5 seconds of courage.

From the Buddhist practice on loving-kindness (metta) meditation: May you be happy, may you be well, may you be filled with love and peace.

Everything starts in our minds. Keep your mind in balance and everything will flow.

But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.

Learn more about Context Creative.