Building Representation Brick by Brick

The Canadian Paralympic Committee and BBDO Canada uses beloved building toy to share a strong message around inclusivity.

August 24, 2021


lego, paralympics, disability, bbdo
While they are not fun to step on or clean up, building toys are beloved by children and adults alike regardless of ability. Representation in toys and media is key to engendering a sense of belonging for children with disabilities, and to help celebrate the first time the Paralympic Games have been broadcast in primetime, the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) want to further build up inclusivity.

lego, paralympics, disability, bbdo

While representation has been very strong in the world’s most beloved bricks with everyone from Batman to bakers being turned into blocks, the parasport community has never truly been reflected in plastic. The CPC are set to change that with the launch of their “Para Expansion Pack.” This new toy prototype features eleven custom minifigure pieces representing individuals with disabilities, and nine custom pieces representing Paralympic sport, including a short arm, prosthetic legs, running blades, a basketball wheelchair and more. Each piece is designed to seamlessly complement existing sets.

lego, paralympics, disability, bbdo

Moreover, 3D model files have been made available so that folks can print them off at home, or their local library if the technology is available, further broadening the focus on access and inclusivity that the CPC stands for.

“For us, inclusion has always been fundamental,” says the CPC’s Executive Director of Communication and Brand, Martin Richard. “The Expansion Pack helps broaden the awareness of that inclusivity and celebrate Paralympic athletes.”

lego, paralympics, disability, bbdo

Developed by the CPC’s agency partner BBDO Canada, the “Para Expansion Pack” is an extension of the organization’s new advertising campaign “We’re Here”, featuring Paralympians like wheelchair basketball star Patrick Anderson, para swimmer Katarina Roxon and para ice hockey team captain Tyler McGregor.

“It’s about giving these competitors their due, not just as athletes but as icons of popular culture,” said BBDO’s Chief Creative Officer Max Geraldo. “In its own small way, the Para Expansion Pack helps them take their place as stars.”

The “Para Expansion Pack” is being promoted via social media and on a dedicated page within the website,


Campaign: Para Expansion Pack

Client: Canadian Paralympic Committee
Martin Richard: Executive Director, Communications & Brand
Emily Gentes: Manager, Content & Digital Media

Agency: BBDO Canada
Chief Creative Officer: Max Geraldo
VP ACD, Art Director: Mike Schonberger
ACD, Writer: Simon Craig
SVP, BBDO Brand Reputation, Business Director: Rebecca Flaman
Group Account Director: Tania Montemarano
VP, Planning: Dan Koutoulakis
Sr Planner: Colin Kikcio
Sr. Print Production Manager: Rob Quan

Agency: BBDO Montreal
Senior Writer: Johan af Ström
Project Manager: Charlotte Rivard
Senior Account Director: Madjid Hamidi

Production Company: Flare BBDO Toronto
VP, Executive Producer: Dave Lembke
Producer: Janice Rebelo
Director & Photographer: Brett Morris
Production Designer: Alex Sayapov

PR: Shannon Stephaniuk, Glossy