As our country looked to inch its way back to #normal, millions of Canadians took to Twitter to be part of conversations about our history, what’s happening today and what needs to happen in years to come. 2021 also saw a Canadian team in the Stanley Cup Finals, a Canadian in the US Open final, a new album from Drake and a federal election for the second time in three years.
In short, 2021 truly was a year with something for everyone!
The most Retweeted Tweet by Canadians in 2021 was from Bell Let's Talk (@Bell_LetsTalk).
The most Liked Tweet by Canadians in 2021 was from U.S. president Joe Biden (@JoeBiden).
Here is a snapshot of the Twitter accounts, hashtags and emojis that had the most Canadian mentions on Twitter this year. All insights in this blog post are based on total Tweet sent between January 1, 2021 and November 15, 2021.
Now let’s take a deeper look at the Canadians who owned conversations in sports and entertainment with a mix of legacy faves and new superstars leading the way.
Canadian Sports Twitter in 2021
As sports returned en masse in 2021, a wide range of Canadian athletes led Twitter conversations, sparked by triumphs, a few surprises and a few setbacks as well.
For the third time in six years, an NBA pro was the Canadian athlete with the most global account mentions on Twitter. Denver Nuggets superstar Jamal Murray (@BeMore27) took home that hardware in 2021 though many mentions were driven by an April injury that has kept him on the sidelines since. Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) was the other Canadian NBA star to win this honour, in both 2017 and 2018.
While Canadian men like Chase Claypool (@ChaseClaypool) and Alphonso Davies (@AlphonsoDavies) also kept sports fans abuzz in 2021, it was the women who provided many of the year’s top Canadian sports moments. Teenage tennis sensation Leylah Fernandez (@LeylahFernandez) led the way. Fernandez’ fairy tale trip to the U.S. Open Final didn’t end as Canadians hoped for but she did end 2021 with the most Twitter account mentions amongst Canadian women athletes. During her U.S. Open run, more Canadians were talking about Fernandez on Twitter than any NFL athlete during the opening weekend of the season!
Another highlight from this past summer was seeing Team Canada (@TeamCanada) women own the podium during the #Tokyo2020 Summer Olympics. This included swimmers Penny Oleksiak (@OleksiakPenny) and Maggie Mac Neil (@mags_swims26) plus our Women's National Team (@CANWNT) in soccer. The gold medal winning kick from Julia Grosso (@GrossoJulia) was the biggest Canadian Twitter moment of #Tokyo2020 in terms of conversation volume.
We also saw a Canadian squad in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in a decade in 2011. The Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) may have fallen to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Finals. However, they did end 2021 as the Canadian NHL team with the most account mentions for the first time -- more than their arch rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs), who they eliminated in a 7-game first round #StanleyCup shocker. #GoHabsGo was also the sports hashtag most used by Canadian sports fans on Twitter this year.
Here are the Canadian athlete and team accounts with the most mentions in 2021.
Athletes - Men
Athlete - Women
Canadian Entertainment Twitter in 2021
Canadian entertainers took centre stage on Twitter in 2021. This included music superstars who’ve been topping the charts for years. In terms of film and television, we saw some familiar faces making headlines and a few new names in the mix as well.
Justin Bieber (@JustinBieber) was Canada’s most popular musician on Twitter for the 4th time in the six years we’ve been tracking with Avril Lavigne (@AvrilLavigne) topping our musician rankings amongst the ladies. We also saw screen stars like Ryan Reynolds (@VanCityReynolds) and Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) owning the conversation for film and television.
While Squid Game was the TV program with the most Twitter mentions by Canadians in 2021, it was the final season of Kim’s Convenience (@KimsConvenience) that was arguably the biggest Canadian TV moment of the year on Twitter. Series stars like Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (@bitterasiandude), Jean Yoon (@jean_yoon) and Andrew Phung (@andrewphung) were a bit part of these conversation, using Twitter to connect with fans and talk about the final season of the show.
The popular sci-fi series Wynonna Earp also wrapped in 2021. While it may not have topped the charts in terms of ratings, you’d never guess that based on the massive Tweet volumes we saw in recent months about the show! Amongst our Canadian women screen stars, Melanie Scrofano (@MelanieScrofano) had the most Twitter account mentions in 2021, alongside her Wynonna Earp co-stars Kat Barrell (@katbarrell) in Dominique Provost-Chalkley (@dominiquep_c) in the Top 5.
Here are the Canadian actor and musician accounts with the most mentions in 2021.
Actors - Men
Actors - Women
Musicians - Men
Musicians - Women
Canadians will be looking towards brighter days in 2022. As we do, look for millions of more conversations about sports, music and more to all be playing out on Twitter.