NMA 2015 Nominees: Top 3 Tablet Magazines in Canada

Magazine readers increasingly seek out great content on their tablets, and the National Magazine Awards Foundation recognizes the outstanding efforts that publishers put into developing the magazine tablet platform with the award for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

Earlier this month we announced the nominees for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, including 3 finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year. The winner will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

Here are the three finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year. Click on each image to download the free app and free issue (or trial) of each magazine.

Mark Stevenson, Editor
Stephen Gregory, Art Director
The Ottawa Shooting: Bearing Witness (November 2014)
Maclean’s

Christine Loureiro, Editor
Jessica Hotson, Art Director
Contributors: Adrian Armstrong, Michelle Bilodeau, Natasha Bruno, Janine Falcon, Amber Hickson, Laura Lanktree, Alex Laws, Emily MacCulloch, Carly Ostroff, Geoffrey Ross, Carlyle Routh, Rani Sheen, Sheri Stroh, Vanessa Taylor, Kristy Wright, Sonya Van Heyningen, Kristen Vinakmens
Secrets to Great Skin (October 2014)
The Kit

Sasha Emmons, Editor
Sun Ngo, Art director
Contributor: Andrew Lauder
The Books Issue (August 2014)
Today’s Parent

Tweet us your favourite #NMA15 nominee for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

See more 2015 National Magazine Awards Nominees.

7 Things We Love on Cottage Life’s YouTube Channel

Canada’s reigning Magazine of the Year, Cottage Life, delights its readers with great storytelling, photography, DIY advice and other essential things for your cottage life.

The magazine’s broadcasting arm, Cottage Life TV and the Cottage Life YouTube channel, expand that mandate with everything from how-to guides for food, style and entertainment, to just plain outdoor fun. Here are some favs.

How to make a floating hot tub
DIY “Brojects” regulars Andrew and Kevin show off their innovative craftsmanship with an amphibious hot tub that floats in the lake. They almost can’t believe it worked!

Make your own all-natural bug juice
Ever read the label on a bottle of bug spray and wonder if you should just take your chances with the black flies? Try putting these 6 ingredients together:

Great smoked trout
Among the many great food preparation videos, this one takes you from the catch to the plate, via a regular propane bbq, with that most familiar and delicious of Canadian freshwater fish, the trout.

Bring in the Canadian Shield
A guide to creating a granite shield for your stove with Canada’s national rock.

Canoe on wheels
Because what if you need to hitch a canoe to your bicycle for the next portage?

Make your own beef jerky
Why not? It’s actually pretty easy.

How to make a zipline
To deliver beer from the cottage to the picnic table, obviously. Not so much a detailed “How-To” as it is “Hey, look what I did with my spare time.”

Discover more at the Cottage Life channel.

The nominees for this year’s National Magazine Awards will be announced on May 4.

Magazine of the Year Cottage Life debuts Augmented Reality in Spring Issue

On newsstands now, the Spring 2015 issues of Cottage Life magazine and its sibling Cottage Life West feature not only great writing and photography about life in the great outdoors, but also new interactive elements that invite the reader to experience content in augmented reality.

The concept is made possible via a partnership with Blippar, a market leading image-recognition and augmented reality app. After downloading the free Blippar app onto a smartphone or tablet, readers can place their device over the issue’s “blippable” pages to unlock a series of exclusive content.

“We wanted to build an interactive experience for our loyal print audience that would integrate digital technology and enhance the way they interact with that form of media. This partnership with Blippar will not only change the way print magazines are consumed, but also change the way advertisers showcase their products.” — Penny Caldwell, editor-in-chief, Cottage Life.

In 2014 Cottage Life was named Magazine of the Year by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, and has won 48 National Magazine Awards over its 32-year history. This year’s National Magazine Awards will be held on June 5. The nominees will be announced on May 4.

Geist as App: A new way to read Geist magazine

Great Canadian literary magazine content is now more accessible than ever, and Geist magazine is leading the way.

The new Geist Reader App is now available for iPads and iPhones, and contains the same great Geist stories, essays, photography and reviews published in the print edition, available in a beautifully designed digital edition readable on mobile devices.

Download the app and get a free digital issue of Geist no. 95.

The app will soon be available for Android devices, and the magazine is planning to make access to back issues available via the app in the future.

New BC science magazine Hakai to launch in 2015

Launching in the spring of 2015, Hakai Magazine, an independent online magazine based in Victoria, British Columbia and published by the Tula Foundation, will be devoted to the the science and societies of coastal ecosystems.

The foundation also supports the Hakai Institute on Calvert Island (with other research stations in the region) devoted to field research in coastal sciences.

The  new magazine’s editorial mandate, note the publishers, will be to:

explore the ties between the ocean, land, and human societies through long- and short-form journalism, illustrations, infographics, photos, and videos. We aim to inspire people and communities to think about their relationship with coastal ecosystems — from multiple perspectives — on a daily basis. We’re Planet Ocean, not Planet Earth.

The magazine has already announced a call for submissions, looking for features, columns, photography, illustration and video art.

They’ve also put out a self-described manifesto, noting pointedly (and honestly) that “[to] launch a magazine in the 21st century is a little crazy. But the disruption to 20th century media outlets by the Internet has created irresistible opportunities.”

Our mission is ancient: to inform the individual and unite the tribe through the tradition of storytelling. The means is modern: through the web. The goal is lofty: a global conversation about the world’s coastlines.

Well said.

More information at hakaimagazine.com.

Toronto Life, Canadian Living lead magazine nominees at 2014 Canadian Online Publishing Awards

The 2014 Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) finalists were announced today, and National Magazine Award winners Toronto Life, The Walrus, Fashion Magazine and Canadian Living are among the leading nominees.

In the Red division (“consumer market niche content and companies”), Toronto Life leads all publications with 7 8 nominations. Other major nominees in the Red division include Money Sense, Style at Home, Cottage Life, Canadian Family and Taddle Creek, all of whom are National Magazine Awards winners.

Awards at the COPAs include Best Website Design, Best Blog, Best Use of Social Media, Best Mobile Solution, and more.

Each of three divisions (red, blue, green) grants awards in 15 digital categories. The COPAs also expanded their mandate this year to include corporations and ad agencies in addition to media companies. As noted on the website:

… as the COPAs have been restricted in the past to media publishers, any company and ad agency this year can enter the COPAs this year. The divisions have also been changed to reflect the blurred lines between traditional and digital media as to the type of content that is produced.

There are also 3 new Best of Canada categories: Best Digital Solution of the Year, Best Online Ad of the Year, and Best Content of the Year.

The 2014 COPA Party will be held on Thursday, November 20, at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, where the winners will be announced.

The call for entries for this year’s National Magazine Awards will be December 1.

Image via COPA website.

A Look at Canada’s Best Magazine Websites

At this year’s 37th annual National Magazine Awards, macleans.ca–the website of Canada’s 103-year-old venerable news magazine–won the award for Magazine Website of the Year.

The award goes to the magazine website (either a companion site or an online-only magazine) that most successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of web-based publishing. A jury convened by the National Magazine Awards Foundation evaluates all entries and comes to a consensus on three finalists and a single winner.

With more than 2.1 million total weekly readers, Maclean’s magazine continues to be a major force in Canadian news and opinion. Online, macleans.ca is a compelling destination for political commentary and discussion, feature stories, social debate and cultural musings. Visitors get full access to exclusive online features, interactive media and the latest from its award-winning bloggers.

The Maclean’s web team presents a platform that can look great on any screen, big or small. Their grid-like display allows for easy translation to a scrollable list format on your mobile device. Functionality and content prominence are what make their simplistic design work.

“For Maclean’s, we are now presenting more information than ever before, while at the same time occupying less screen real estate until you need it,” says senior director and publisher Ryan Trotman.

Their layout choices create a site that is easily digestible and remains consistent with the way we currently consume information through social media. Our surfing habits have changed and macleans.ca has addressed this new social characteristic.

 

HONOURABLE MENTION

The judges awarded Honourable Mention in the category Magazine Website of the Year to Hazlitt and Torontoist.

Five of Hazlitt‘s most recent and popular features play on a slideshow atop the site, which was founded in 2012 as an online literary and cultural affairs magazine by Random House Canada. Sections chosen for Hazlitt’s menu bar communicate their unique role in the world of literary fiction.

Features, Blog, A/V, Comix, Fiction and Hazlitt Originals line the top of their homepage, echoing their core value in exhibiting great writing on diverse subject matter while contributing to cultural at all levels. A grid-like image and title display sits to the right of a list of their ‘most popular’ articles. Their most recent publications and twitter feed follow, appearing atop a freeform of content links organizes in blocks.

Users can scroll titles referring to subsection headings for anything that may be of interest. The style does not present the visitor with rigid sections, but rather allows the content to be displayed in a way that gives all subsections equal treatment.

“Hazlitt aspires to publish great writing on everything,” its editors told the NMAF in a statement submitted with its application. “Politics, art, the environment, film, music, law, business. Books and writers, their ideas, insights and stories, are at the heart of what we do, because books and writers are at the heart of culture, both high and low.”

Displaying a cover photo and a lead to impress visitors to ‘read more,’ the Torontoist site exhibits a format similar to what we see when we open a newspaper to scan for stories. Editor-in-chief Hamutal Dotan says this was done intentionally to challenge the idea that online magazines are somehow less informative or not as well-researched as hard copy, printed articles.

“We aim to be the home for people who really care about Toronto, who want to engage in its development and evolution, but who don’t equate formality of tone with substance,” she says.

Regular features, such as ‘Extra, Extra’ and ‘Newsstand’ are Torontoist’s way of offering curated content in what Dotan calls “a downright commitment to sharing work that other publications, including our competitors, are producing.”

In an editorial mandate received by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, the Torontoist editors referred to the site as “compulsively readable and up-to-the-minute… Torontoist is a digital magazine for the modern, edgy urbanite, eschewing categorization in order to serve and reflect a dynamic city full of people who want to learn more about the place they call home.”

Make macleans.ca, Hazlitt and Torontoist part of your summer online reading.

And congratulations to all the winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her research and conducting interviews for this post.