There’s no barrier to pleasure for this Ottawa rapper

Peter Joynt has won a brand new car and he’s won thousands of dollars in cash, but it’s his current job at Shopify that makes him feel the most like he’s won the lottery.

As a cultural content producer for the Ottawa-based Canadian e-commerce giant, the local rap artist has spent the past two years lifting the spirits of his colleagues and finding ways to make them feel connected to each other. to others.

Every week, Joynt, 42, produces a Town company Lobby which streams live to Shopify employees around the world. He also embarks on the creation, in his spare time, of short videos. They are included in the e-mails he sends to promote the Town halls. And here’s the thing: his videos have really caught on. Highligths.

“I started making these funny videos just to try and bring joy to these people,” Joynt said during a video interview from her Wellington West home. Behind him, several skateboards from his valuable collection hang.

Peter Joynt, who is a cultural content producer at Shopify, puts all his energy into playing broom guitar on Armstrong Street near Parkdale Market during his 90-second video, featuring the pop song Teenage Dream by Katy Perry.

Shopify employees similar to office workers elsewhere have been doing their jobs remotely since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Gone are the incredible conveniences the kart track, the yoga studio, the cafeteria’s gourmet catering, etc. which were previously available to staff at Shopify’s former headquarters at 150 Elgin Street.

“As we transitioned into this digital model by design, I thought long and hard about how to bring this vibe, this incredibly quirky fun vibe, into a digital world,” Joynt said. “So the best way I know of was to start creating these videos, where some would have to do with the job content and some would be totally random.”

Convenient and fun

Joynt now has permission to spend part of her working week on videos. His dozens of visual creations range from 30 seconds to a few minutes. In one video, he parodies a Juicy Fruit chewing gum ad from the 1980s. In another, he’s more practical but just as funny giving tips to avoid Slack bombings (repetitive direct messaging). Then there’s his captivating broom guitar performance near Parkdale Market.

Joynt also wrote an original song which he performed as a music video to mark the end of Fridays off during the summer.

“The past two years have been so strange and difficult that we’ve all moved to working from home,” said Joynt, whose wife also works remotely and whose children have just completed their last stint at online school. . “We all need to dig deep and learn this new way of living and understanding what this new normal is all about.”

Joynt understands better than anyone the importance of staying positive and resilient in times of adversity.

As a child, he was bullied and teased due to his speech impediment. He turned to music and writing as a creative outlet, finding that his stutter disappeared when he rapped.

The Nepean High School and Carleton University graduate visited public schools to share his story with students. He has also collaborated musically with organizations such as the Ottawa Senators.

“This stutter that was extremely difficult to deal with as a child is now a tool. It’s this thing that allowed me to relate to people. It changed the way I see the world. I lead with kindness I give people the time and space they need to talk or listen or do their thing. I think that really guided me a lot in life.

Joynt joined Shopify’s Culture team in December 2019, a few months before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

He counts his job as one of his three big wins, the other two being winning a new car in a Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim contest and winning $13,000 in a 50-50 draw at a Ottawa Redblacks game.

He went through multiple interviews over a two and a half month period and beat out over 600 applicants for his Shopify position. He brought with him over 18 communication experience.

When Joynt started out, he hosted town halls in person. He was quite surprised that they asked him to play the role, knowing that he suffered from a speech impediment.

“They celebrate people’s differences”

“For Shopify to say they wanted me to do that was so cool; they really recognize and celebrate people differences,” said Joynt, who tears up as she talks about her employer’s inclusion.

Joynt also praised Shopify for the vital role it has played during the pandemic.

“When all these small businesses were shut down and moved online, Shopify helped them survive and thrive.”

He believes companies that embrace the remote work model need to reinvent their culture in order to recruit and retain talent. It’s up to those companies to bring “the fun factor” to employees’ home offices, he said.

“I feel like a lot of people think ‘fun’ isn’t work. They think you’re supposed to work, you should be doing your job. But ‘fun’ is actually very important at because of all those things, like culture, retention, and just the general good vibes.

“I think fun is super important.”

  1. In 2017, the late Rabbi Reuven Bulka presented him with a kindness award for his work in the community.
  2. Well-known Ottawa entertainer Andrew King hosted her wedding. Joynt and his wife Marjorie, Chief of the National Defense Staff, have two daughters aged five and seven.
  3. Her father is Ottawa angel investor and former Deloitte partner Carman Joynt, while her mother is Anne Joynt, former president and CEO of Canada Post. “No pressure, no pressure,” Joynt jokes that he is the son of successful parents.
  4. He owns around 70 vintage skateboards and was once one of the best collectors in the country.
  5. He’s still holding a pair of concert tickets to see his favorite band, Rage Against. the machine. He hasn’t seen him in concert yet. He was to finally get the chance when the band were to play Bluesfest in 2020 as part of their reunion tour. Unfortunately, everything was canceled due to COVID.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.