There's no doubt that Canada is having a hot minute right now when it comes to both sports and young talent. After the Toronto Raptors' NBA Championship came Bianca Andreescu securing her U.S Open title, and there's no reason the 19-year-old's meteoric rise can't be replicated by some of the country's other brightest teenage stars. From Andreescu's fellow sports stars to actors, here's a list of six Canadian teenagers who are making themselves known across the country and beyond right now, and could be set for an explosive 2020.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is a 19-year-old professional tennis player who is already making his mark, even with the shadow Andreescu is casting. According to Live Tennis, his first-round win at Indian Wells "was the first time a player born in the 2000s had won a match in an ATP Masters 1000-level tournament." A New Yorker article credits the Montreal-born athlete as the youngest man, at 17, to break into the world top 200 since Rafael Nadal did it in 2002. Don't be surprised to see this star player's profile rise further over the next few months.
Rowan Alexander "RJ" Barrett Jr. is far from an unknown name, but his time could truly be on the horizon. The Canadian professional basketball player was drafted third overall by the NBA's New York Knicks after starring for Duke's college basketball team. At only 19, the Mississaugan entered March Madness as "one of the most versatile first-year players of the 'one-and-done' era" and set a new freshman single-season scoring record, according to Sportsnet.
Emma-Jane Burian, a 17-year-old climate activist, is making herself known after taking action by participating in the No Future Pledge, which commits to not having children until more is done in fighting climate change. As quoted by CBC, Burian said the group is asking federal candidates from all the parties in the election to make clear in their campaigns their plans to reduce emissions and address climate concerns. Call her the Canadian Greta Thunberg, if you will.
Proving that Canada has talented sporting teenagers across the board right now, Alphonso Davies is an 18-year-old professional soccer player who currently plays as a winger for Germany's biggest club Bayern Munich. He's already one of the leading lights for the Canada national team after having been deemed a generational talent back in 2018 while starring for the Vancouver Whitecaps, a CBC profile highlighted his incredible journey from being born in a refugee camp in Ghana after his parents fled the civil war in Liberia.
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, a 17-year-old from Mississauga, is a newcomer to acting after being chosen from tens of thousands of auditionees for the lead role in an as-yet-untitled Mindy Kaling Netflix comedy. Ramakrishnan prides herself on being Tamil-Canadian and highlights the importance of being true to your identity. In a Huffington Post article, she says: "I made it very clear to my agent and publicist that Tamil Canadian is very, very important to me ... my identity isn't being Sri Lankan. That's not my country. My country is Canada. But my culture is definitely Tamil." There's a ton of buzz about this girl already, so make sure to catch her on the Netflix screen in the near future.
Ok, so we're slightly bending the rules here. Lennon Stella, an Oshawa singer-songwriter, recently turned 20 but she had already accomplished so much before she hit the big two-zero. From a young age, Stella has been around the music scene, first as half of the sister act Lennon & Maisy and subsequently as a solo act. From YouTube to performing on stage with The Chainsmokers, Lennon Stella is making herself known as a force to be reckoned with.