NMAF to launch Digital Publishing Awards in 2016

The non-profit National Magazine Awards Foundation, a leader in facilitating rigorous and transparent awards programs, in consultation with Canada’s leading producers and creators of digital media, is launching a national, bilingual awards program exclusively for Canadian digital publishers.

The Digital Publishing Awards will recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts. The inaugural Call for Entries will be in January 2016. Follow @DPAwards on Twitter.

[ Full Press Release on CNW: English | Français ]

Canadian digital publishers—including those that support established brands in magazine, newspaper, broadcast and other journalism, as well as those that serve their audiences exclusively as digital brands—will be eligible to participate, including those that publish in either English or French.

The Digital Publishing Awards program has been developed in consultation with and guidance from the leaders and members of Canada’s digital publishing industry, and is led by a steering committee composed of:

  • Kevin Siu, Head of Digital (Editorial), the Globe and Mail
  • Ken Hunt, Publisher, Toronto Life and Torontolife.com
  • Craig Silverman, Founding Editor, BuzzFeed Canada
  • Jessica Ross, Content Director, Multiplatform Editions, Books & Special Issues, TVA Publications
  • Matthew McKinnon, Online Editor, The Walrus
  • Brodie Fenlon, Acting Director of Digital News, CBC
  • Chris Frey, Founding Editor-in-Chief, Hazlitt, and Correspondent, Monocle
  • Terry Sellwood, former President, Cottage Life Media and Vice President, National Magazine Awards Foundation

“Digital publishing in Canada is robust and exciting, and now there will be a truly national and not-for-profit awards program and publicity campaign to support its achievements. Our vision for the Digital Publishing Awards is a program that accurately and fairly reflects the incredible landscape of online media in Canada. It will recognize excellence amongst our peers, serve as inspiration and education to continue to engage audiences with impactful digital media, and will be celebrated by our editorial teams, our readers and consumers, and our sponsors and advertisers.”
Craig Silverman, founding editor of BuzzFeed Canada.

In 2016 the Digital Publishing Awards will recognize excellence in 15 categories, including recognition for achievement in tablet and web design and development, news coverage, feature writing, video production, podcasts, editorial packaging, blogs, and the use of online multimedia and social media tools to create successful and engaging online news and storytelling.

Awards will include cash prizes for most Gold and Silver winners, certificates and seals for all finalists and winners, and national recognition for achievement in digital publishing. Winners will be announced at the first of an annual series of Digital Publishing Awards in June 2016.

A complete list of categories, eligibility requirements and other details will be announced on the Digital Publishing Awards website scheduled to launch in December. Submissions will open in January 2016 for digital content created this year.

Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards.

The Digital Publishing Awards are produced by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, a not-for-profit, registered charity that has administered Canada’s annual National Magazine Awards since 1977. With a reputation for facilitating a rigorous, fair and transparent awards program in which content creators are recognized and rewarded for outstanding achievement in magazine journalism, the NMAF is proud to present the Digital Publishing Awards in consultation with Canada’s leading producers and creators of digital publishing.

For more information about the National Magazine Awards Foundation, please contact:

Émilie Pontbriand
Communications Manager

Off the Page, with Hudson Christie

Off the Page is back! Our interview series with National Magazine Award winners returns this week with Hudson Christie, winner of the 2015 award for Best New Magazine Illustrator, sponsored by Red Point Media. Hudson generously gave us some of his time recently to talk about his winning work, the significance of his award and building a career as a magazine illustrator.

NMAF: Congratulations on the award for Best New Magazine Illustrator. Your winning piece accompanied a story in Maisonneuve called “A Portrait of the Artist with Testicles in Hand,” (itself a National Magazine Award finalist in the humour category; a personal essay about an angst-ridden young man having a scrotal examination). Can you talk a bit about the process of creating that illustration—from your design brief with Maisy art director Anna Minzhulina, your reading of the text, and the actual construction of the sculptures?

Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)
Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)

Hudson Christie: This was my first commission from Maisonneuve, and Anna smartly matched me with a simultaneously silly and dark article. I’m happiest when I get to work with unhappy themes! Illustrating a testicular cancer scare demanded both a degree of sensitivity for the reality of cancer while leaving room for the nervous laughter that accompanies the dodging of a bullet.

For the picture, I wanted to express the way that this event interrupted the author’s everyday life. We went through a variety of sketches until landing on the classic thinker pose, contrasting the humor inherent to banal, contemporary life (in the form of frozen food) with the (conveniently phallic) home decor.

NMAF: Your style of illustration—clay sculptures, painted and photographed, and sometimes animated—is striking and unique. (The NMA jury called it a “fresh approach to traditional illustration” that proves you are “unafraid to push boundaries and take risks.”) When did you start developing this style as an editorial art form; was it while you were studying at OCAD, or even earlier?

Hudson Christie: I started working on this approach during my 3rd year at OCAD. I was really charmed by figurative folk sculpture at the time and was trying to come up with a way to integrate its uncanny geometric features and deliberate colour palettes into my work.

I had some mental hurdles to clear in order to figure out a way of making this inherently three-dimensional medium conform to the framed two-dimensionality of editorial illustration.

A huge personal breakthrough was learning how to use the computer to plot measurements of my dioramas, giving me final pictures which are 90% true to the original sketch.

NMAF: One of my favourite recent pieces of yours was your work for Alberta Venture magazine’s “Best Workplaces” issue (June 2015). Every element seems precise and yet whimsical—the oversized water cooler, the dog dish, the first aid kit, etc—conveying a sense of a scene that is both exemplary and fun. What’s the biggest challenge in working with clay to create an illustration like this?

Hudson Christie: There’s always a bit of randomness that takes control between the sketch and the final props I build. For the Alberta Venture cover, I had to employ a bit of trial and error, changing the angle and position of the figures in order to remove confusing contours.

Lighting is another aspect that’s hard to predict during the sketch phase. In this case, lighting the crowd of co-workers while maintaining a sense of depth where they overlapped took plenty of fiddling.


NMAF: Can you describe your studio and workspace? I imagine a large table littered with discarded clay limbs and eyeballs, dog tails and unicorn horns. And of course a large oven emitting the earthy aroma of baked clay. Is that close to the mark?

Hudson Christie: You’re pretty close! I work out of a bachelor apartment in Parkdale, so it’s instead a fairly small desk that’s covered in tiny clay body parts. I also have a separate table (read: piece of plywood with detatchable Ikea legs) where I set up my dioramas. I use two halogen photo lamps and a DSLR camera.

Replace “large oven” with “toaster oven” and “earthy aroma of baked clay” with “vaguely burnt odor of Super Sculpey” and you get the idea. I use polymer clay for the speed and versatility, even though it’s a lot less romantic than the real thing.

Hudson Christie has a distinctive and clear voice that will attract notice from audiences and designers. He uses wit and humour to address a provocative subject and his technique is a fresh and a unique approach to form.
— National Magazine Awards jury

NMAF: What is the significance to you as a young illustrator to win the National Magazine Award? Has it helped create other opportunities to publish your work, or amplify your work to art directors and agencies? And is there anything new you’re working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

Hudson Christie: Winning a National Magazine Award in my first year out of OCAD was a really huge honour. Being named in the same breath as other renowned members of the Canadian magazine community made me feel like a real contributor to a larger creative goal.

Since my win, I’ve been featured in The Walrus, another Canadian magazine that I’ve been itching to contribute to since I started freelancing.

NMAF: Do you have any words of wisdom for young and student artists and illustrators about making an impact in the world of magazines and publishing?

Hudson Christie: My first real portfolio of ten illustrations was just my senior year-long project, called “Work Life Balance,” at OCAD, which was based around a self-initiated concept that I was really passionate about.

If you aren’t enrolled in any illustration program, I recommend initiating your own series from scratch anyway. A focused series of pictures is one of the best arguments for your intellectual and artistic ability.

Hudson Christie is a National Magazine Award winning illustrator, a 2014 Medallist in Illustration at OCAD, and the recipient of the 2015 NMA prize for Best New Magazine Illustrator. His work has appeared in Maisonneuve, The Walrus, Alberta Venture, The New York Times, Mother Jones and other publications. Check out his creative portfolio at hudsonchristie.com and find him on Twitter @Hudsons_House.

The 2016 National Magazine Awards will open for submissions in December. 

Related “Off the Page” interviews
Roxanna Bikadoroff
, 4-time NMA-winning illustrator
Byron Eggenscwhiler, 6-time NMA-winner and winner of the 2009 award for Best New Magazine Illustrator
Gracia Lam, 2-time NMA winner for Spot Illustration
Jillian Tamaki, 4-time NMA-winning illustrator
Selena Wong, 2-time NMA-winning illustrator

Quebec magazine association elects new board

The association of Quebec magazine editors–l’Association québécoise des éditeurs de magazine (AQEM), also known as Magazines du Québec–has elected a new board of directors with a view towards reinvigorating the association which has been on hiatus since 2013.

Aude Marie Marcoux, deputy editor of Sélection du Reader’s Digest, has been elected board chair, and the body has created five committees to focus on priorities for the province’s magazine industry, including government relations, suppliers and partners, joint initiatives with Magazines Canada, research, and digital transition.

The new board of directors of AQEM:

  • Chair: Aude Marie Marcoux, Sélection
  • Vice President: Michel Nivischiuk, TVA
  • Vice President: Mariève ParadisePlanète F
  • Treasurer: Jean-François Morin, Bayard Canada
  • Secretary: Josianne Massé, Muse magazine
  • Director: Sarah Châtelain, TVA
  • Director: Evelyne Labonté, TC Media
  • Director: Geneviève Vézina Montplaisir, Caribou magazine
  • Director: Stephan Rene, Ovations médias

The National Magazine Awards Foundation looks forward to working with AQEM and its members to promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines.

Call for Judges: National Magazine Awards

This year the Canadian magazine industry will celebrate the 39th annual National Magazine Awards. Submissions open on December 1 for awards in 39 categories, and we are looking for volunteer judges to serve on our juries.

Each year the National Magazine Awards Foundation relies on the generously donated time and expertise of over 200 volunteer judges, who sit on three-member peer juries for our written, visual, integrated and special awards. Judging takes place between late January and late March, depending on the category.

Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:

  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards (naturally you cannot serve as a judge in a category where your magazine is entered, but potentially in other categories);
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian magazines (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA categories (such as health, business, photojournalism, science, sports, travel, lifestyle, food, finance, politics, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all written categories are judged by both unilingual and bilingual juries, and most other categories include one or more bilingual members on their juries.

For more information, review the NMAF’s Judging Process on our website, as well as the Eligibility & Rules.

To nominate yourself or a colleague as a candidate to judge, please contact the NMAF at
Email: staff@magazine-awards.com
Twitter DM

Please include your name, contact information and a brief bio or summary of your expertise.

NMAF names 4 new members to its Board of Directors

The National Magazine Awards Foundation announced today the election of four new members to its board of directors for 2015-2016.


3b4ea8dJessica Ross is the Content Director, Multiplatform Editions, Books & Special Issues, at TVA Publications–publishers of ELLE Canada, ELLE Québec, Canadian Living and many other titles–and former Tablet Publishing Manager at TC Media. She previously held editorial positions at Homemakers and Canadian Home Workshop, and is treasurer of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.


Nino di Cara is Executive Vice-President, Content Marketing, at Spafax Canada, publishers of enRoute magazine, Sparksheet and other titles. Previously he was Executive Director of Content Solutions at Rogers Media and Director of Custom Publishing at TC Media.


Marnie Peters is the Associate Vice-President, Public Relations & Publications, at the Royal Ontario Museum, as well as a Brand Management Fundamentals instructor at the University of Toronto. Previously, Marnie spent nearly 15 years at Rogers Communications working in marketing and brand development for several publications.


Judith Pereira is the Managing Editor of Report on Business magazine at the Globe and Mail, where she has been a member of the team since 2005, during which time the magazine has won 50 National Magazine Awards. Previously she served as Communications Officer for the Interim Commissioner of Nunavut.


“The NMAF proudly welcomes Judith, Marnie, Nino and Jessica to its Board of Directors as we prepare for another exciting year supporting and recognizing achievement by Canadian magazine creators,” said Joyce Byrne, President of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.

This year’s National Magazine Awards Call for Entries will be announced on December 1.

The NMAF is proud to present Winners’ Circle, a special event for nominees and winners, on November 25.

Winners’ Circle to feature panel presentation by leading Canadian magazine professionals

On Wednesday, November 25, the NMAF will present Winners’ Circle, an exclusive learning and networking event. All National Magazine Awards finalists and winners are invited to attend the event at the Spoke Club in Toronto, 5-7pm.

Come join your magazine industry colleagues–editors, publishers, creators and more–for a fun after-work soiree, hosted by the one and only D.B. Scott, president of Impresa Communications Limited of Cambridge, Ontario, consultants to the magazine industry, and also the academic coordinator of the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson University’s Chang School. He publishes Canadian Magazines, a daily blog about the industry, and is a frequent presenter and awards judge. He was president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 1991 and was a founding member of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.

D.B. will be moderating a panel discussion called “Learn & Leverage” about how magazine writers, editors and publishers can leverage their National Magazine Award to grow their businesses and careers. The panellists include:

Matthew Blackett
Matthew is the publisher and editor of Spacing, a five-time CSME Small Magazine of the Year (2007-09, 2013-14), and in 2007 he was named CSME Editor of the Year. Spacing has also won 2 National Magazine Awards and has been nominated 15 times, including 5 times for Best Single Issue of the Year, and 4 times for Best Editorial Package.

Penny Caldwell
Penny is the Publisher of Cottage Life and was Editor-in-Chief from 2000 to 2015. Cottage Life has won almost 400 awards, including CSME’s Magazine of the Year for three consecutive years, the NMAF’s Magazine of the Year and a Gold COPA for the magazine’s first interactive digital edition in 2014. In 2015, Cottage Life won the inaugural National Magazine Award for Best Magazine Brand. She has been named CSME’s Editor of the Year four times.

Katherine Laidlaw
Katherine is the associate editor of The Walrus. She has won one silver National Magazine Award and has been nominated for three others. She was previously an editor at Up Here and Reader’s Digest Canada.


Fast Pitch

After the panel presentation, it’s time to mingle and network with your peers. We’ll be facilitating introductions between writers, artists, editors and art directors. If you’re planning to attend and would like to have a chance to sit down with an award-winning writer/artist or an award-winning magazine editor or art director, let us know: staff@magazine-awards.com.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Winners’ Circle.

All nominees and winners from the 2015 National Magazine Awards are invited to attend. For guests outside of Toronto participation by teleconference may be available. Contact staff@magazine-awards.com to RSVP or request more information. RSVP by Nov. 13.

Join Winners’ Circle on Facebook.

Mélanie Joly named Minister of Canadian Heritage

As Canada’s new government is sworn in today, Ahuntsic-Cartierville MP, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, has been named the new Minister of Canadian Heritage, whose department supports Canadian magazine publishers, creators and other industry members through the Canada Periodical Fund, Aid to Publishers, and Canada Council for the Arts, among others.

As a national organization that supports Canada’s magazine creators through an annual program of awards and publicity efforts, the National Magazine Awards Foundation welcomes the Honourable Mélanie Joly and wishes her the best as she steps into this important role in Canada’s cultural sphere.


From today’s announcement:

A firm believer in the importance of community involvement, Mélanie has served on numerous boards of directors, including those of the Régie des rentes du Québec, Fondation du CHUM, and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. She has also served  as a spokesperson for Logis Rose-Virginie and as an ambassador for Herstreet.

Ms. Joly was also named by Elle Québec as the 2008 Woman of the Year.