Michael Fox named the recipient of the 2015 NMAF Outstanding Achievement Award

Michael Fox (photo by Donna Griffith)
Michael Fox (photo by Donna Griffith)

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce that publisher, circulator and magazine industry leader Michael Fox has been named the recipient of the 2015 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, sponsored by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM).

A magazine publisher is many things, perhaps foremost among them a trailblazer. Michael Fox has built a four-decade career as an inspirational leader in the Canadian magazine industry, one which makes the NMAF truly honoured to present him with its Outstanding Achievement Award.

“Michael comes from the behind-the-scenes world of circulation. The Foundation Award is a worthy recognition of this man’s long, unusual, confident contribution to the audience development side of the business. —  D.B. Scott, consultant, editor of Canadian Magazines blog and former recipient of the Foundation Award.

After joining Maclean-Hunter in 1974 as a news editor at the Financial Post, Michael swiftly earned a reputation as an innovator in audience development, one whose remarkably far-sighted vision of the broad, ever-changing landscape of the Canadian consumer market has enabled him to become a recognized leader in circulation. A big-picture thinker, his voice has been one of reason, patience and diplomacy in an era of the magazine industry that demanded nothing less of its champions.

In the early 1980s, he oversaw the computerization of the Maclean-Hunter newsrooms, including Financial Post and Maclean’s, becoming a pioneer in publishing software in the process. Promoted to vice-president of circulation in 1985, he helped take the Financial Post from a weekly to a daily in 1988. After a job move to work on consumer magazines during the growth spurt of Rogers Publishing in the 1990s, Michael established Rogers’ French-language consumer marketing group, and as vice-president of consumer marketing developed valuable partnerships with Airmiles and Aeroplan.

“It is Michael’s commitment to the industry and mentorship which I think is his most outstanding achievement. His commitment to supporting professional development reflects the very best values of the magazine media industry.” — Deborah Morrison, publisher and past chair of Magazines Canada


As the industry found itself on the shifting sands of another digital revolution, one that challenged traditional practices of circulation, Michael became the go-to expert on direct marketing and Canada Post, leading the lobbying and advocacy efforts that have been essential to maintaining a healthy environment for Canada’s magazine publishers.

In 2010, Michael and his wife, Beckie, launched Inspiring Media Inc, and began to publish from their hometown of Niagara-on-the-Lake the magazine Garden Making, which has been nominated for two National Magazine Awards. He retired in 2012 as senior vice-president of Rogers Publishing and has served as chair of Magazines Canada for the 2013-2015 term.

“I can’t think of anyone else who has so seamlessly practiced the art of publishing as vocation, avocation, mentor and volunteer.” — Paul Jones, publisher and former recipient of the Foundation Award.

Michael’s passion for magazines has had a multiplying effect, touching an incalculable number of people who’ve worked alongside him and benefited from his determined pursuit of industry excellence. He has served in mentoring and volunteer leadership roles with Circulation Management Association of Canada, Alliance for Audited Media and the Direct Marketing Association of Canada. As an instructor at Magazines Canada’s School for Circulation and Publishing, Michael has helped nurture the continued professional evolution of publishers across Canada, demonstrating with a rare combination of business acumen and infectious generosity what NMAF president Joyce Byrne called “a passionate dedication to the welfare of the industry and the development of our next generation.”

Recognizing Michael Fox’s inestimable value to the Canadian magazine industry, the NMAF is proud to bestow upon him its highest individual honour, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

“Michael is a tireless advocate for Canadian magazines, both big and small. He is an honest broker, a trusted friend, a man of his word. He approaches magazine publishing with a quiet, determined, passionate commitment to excellence.” — Scott Bullock, magazine circulator and editor of CoversSell.com.

Michael Fox will receive the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 5, 2015 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Tickets go on sale May 4.

Nominees will be announced on Monday, May 4, for awards in 43 written, visual, integrated and special awards for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards.

Tell us what you admire and respect about Michael Fox. Leave a comment on this blog, Twitter, Facebook or email us at staff@magazine-awards.com.

The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize since its inception in 1990 is The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation considerS the nominations from the Canadian magazine industry. The NMAF Board of Directors selects the winner.

For more information, visit magazine-awards.com/oa.


Call for Nominations: National Magazine Award for Outstanding Achievement


The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is the highest individual honour bestowed by the National Magazine Awards. [français]

The NMAF is currently accepting nominations from the Canadian magazine industry for this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award. The deadline is March 1, 2015.

The Foundation Award recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, writers, illustrators, photographers, designers, production managers–in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously.

Nominations for this award are welcome from everyone in the industry.  The nomination consists of a letter from the nominator indicating the candidate’s name, title and career achievements, with supporting letters from at least two (2) other individuals.

The Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will consider the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of Directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will select the winner. No entry fee is required. Applicants not selected will be kept under consideration for two (2) additional years.

Nominations may be submitted via email to staff[at]magazine-awards.com.

Previous winners include Kim Jernigan, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, D.B. Scott, Terry Sellwood, John Macfarlane and more.

For more information visit magazine-awards.com/oa

The deadline for nominations is March 1.

Foundation Award winner John Macfarlane stepping down as editor of The Walrus

NMAF_JohnMacfarlaneVenerable Canadian magazine editor John Macfarlane, winner of the 2005 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour given by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, announced today that he is stepping down from his position as editor-in-chief of The Walrus, effective the end of the year.

The Walrus Foundation, publisher of the magazine which has won more NMAs than any other since its first issue in 2003, published a statement from John on its website:

“More than five years ago, I came on board as interim editor for six months, and suddenly it’s five years later. The world of journalism has changed in the last five years, and although I’ve enjoyed every minute here the time has come, as the Walrus said, for a new kind of editor—an editor of all Walrus platforms. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and decided the timing is right—for me and for the organization.”

Following a 15-year editorship of Toronto Life (1992-2007) during which that magazine won an industry-best 118 National Magazine Awards including Magazine of the Year in 2007, John Macfarlane was hired at The Walrus in 2008 and since then the magazine has won 59 NMAs, also best in the industry. His long career in publishing also includes Saturday Night, Financial Times of Canada, Weekend Magazine, the Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail.

He served as President of the National Magazine Awards Foundation from 2000-2002.

More information:
NMA Archives
Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement


Announcing the Winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards!

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce the winners of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

At this year’s gala on June 6, presented by CDS Global and hosted by humourist (and award-winner) Scott Feschuk, the NMAF presented Gold and Silver awards in 47 categories representing the best in Canadian magazines from the year 2013.

Complete list (PDF) of all winners
Full-text of all nominated and winning articles
Twitter highlights
La version française


Magazine of the Year
Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank
Cottage Life

Magazine Website of the Year

Tablet Magazine of the Year

Best New Magazine Writer
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation
Catherine McIntyre

Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Kim Jernigan

Top Winning Magazines at the 37th National Magazine Awards:

Magazine Gold Silver HM
The Walrus 7 6 22
Maclean’s 4 1 13
Maisonneuve 4 1 9
L’actualité 3 2 18
Report on Business 3 2 16
Cottage Life 3 1 9
Eighteen Bridges 3 1 7
Legion Magazine 2 0 1
Western Living 1 3 4
Sportsnet 1 2 7
The Grid 1 1 12
Hazlitt 1 1 8
Flare 1 1 2
United Church Observer 1 1 2
enRoute 1 1 1
Malahat Review 1 1 1
Torontoist 1 1 1
Toronto Life 0 2 16
Jobboom 0 2 0

See the complete list of winners at magazine-awards.com.


Best Single Issue
Tenth Anniversary Issue
The Walrus

Magazine Covers
Larry Fink
Report on Business

How Much Does a Street Cost?
The Grid

Editorial Package (Web)
Canada’s Best New Restaurants

Online Video
Boy Genius

Single Service Article Package
Calendrier de l’avent

Words & Pictures
Sponsored by CDS Global
The Walrus


Arts & Entertainment
Curtis Gillespie
Rebel Without Applause
Eighteen Bridges

Best Short Feature
Paul Wells
Boy Genius

Jamie Bradburn, Kevin Plummer, David Wencer

Sponsored by Accenture
Charles Wilkins
This Little Piggy Went to Market…and the Farmer Lost Money
Report on Business

Sponsored by Impresa Communications Ltd.
Chantal Hébert

Editorial Package (Print)
Sponsored by Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
Marine Corniou, Dominique Forget, Joel Leblanc, Raymond Lemieux, Chantal Srivastava
Août 2013
Québec Science

Curtis Gillespie
In The Chair
Eighteen Bridges

Jess Taylor
Little Brother Magazine

Health & Medicine
Ann Silversides
First Do No Harm

Jane Rodmell, David Zimmer
Best Flavour Ever
Cottage Life

Scott Feschuk
Assemble ingredients. Pause dramatically.

Investigative Reporting
Adam Day
One Martyr Down
Legion Magazine

One of a Kind
Craig Davidson
The Marineland Dreamland
The Walrus

Personal Journalism
Liz Windhorst Harmer
Malahat Review

Karen Solie

Politics & Public Interest
Lisa Fitterman
The Avenger
The Walrus

Omar Mouallem
The Kingdom of Haymour
Eighteen Bridges

Science, Technology & Environment
Sponsored by GE Canada
Alanna Mitchell
Losing the Hooded Grebe
United Church Observer 

Service: Health & Family
Sharon Adams
Lest We Forget: The Shocking Crisis Facing Our Wounded Veterans
Legion Magazine

Service: Lifestyle
Valérie Borde
Vive le poisson éco!

Service: Personal Finance & Business
Sponsored by Manulife Financial
Denny Manchee
The Hand-Me-Down Blues
Cottage Life

Dan Werb
The Fix
The Walrus

Sports & Recreation
Jonathan Trudel
La machine à broyer les rêves

Taras Grescoe
Big Mac
The Walrus



Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Sponsored by The Lowe-Martin Group
Paul Sych
Issue 1
fshnunlimited (f.u.)

Art Direction of a Single Article
Underline Studio
Not in the Age of the Pharaohs
Prefix Photo

John Van Der Schilden, Photographer
Brittany Eccles, Art Director
Juliana Schiavinatto, Stylist
Vanessa Craft, Beauty Director
Masterpiece Theatre
ELLE Canada

Creative Photography
Paul Weeks
Wall Candy

Petra Collins, Photographer
Jed Tallo, Art Director
Corey Ng, Stylist
Pastels Take Shape

Homes & Gardens
Martin Tessler, Photographer
Paul Roelofs, Art Director
Nicole Sjöstedt, Stylist
Bright Idea
Western Living

Selena Wong
Old Wounds

Magazine Website Design
The Walrus

Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Sponsored by CNW Group
Brett Gundlock
El Pueblo

Portrait Photography
Anya Chibis
Larry Fink
Report on Business

Spot Illustration
Gracia Lam
The Elite Yellow Peril

Still-Life Photography
Liam Mogan
Set Pieces


More than 500 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6, 2014, at The Carlu in Toronto, presented by CDS Global.

This year, from nearly 2000 individual entries received nationwide, the NMAF’s 238 volunteer judges nominated a total of 376 submissions from 92 different Canadian magazines for awards in 47 written, visual, integrated and special categories.


The National Magazine Awards Foundation acknowledges the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, as well as the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The NMAF thanks its corporate sponsors Accenture, GE Canada, Manulife Financial, RBC Royal Bank, The Lowe-Martin Group, Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, Penguin Random House and Reader’s Digest Foundation for their generous financial support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF thanks its media partners Cottage Life Media, Impresa Communications Ltd., Masthead, Rogers Media, TC Media and Toronto Life for their generous support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF thanks its event partners CNW Group and Media Vantage, The CarluDaniel et Daniel, Relay Experience, KlixPix and Michèle Champagne for their generous support of the National Magazine Awards.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges all its suppliers and its contributors who donated gifts in kind to support the awards program. We thank them for their generosity, interest and expertise. Thanks also to our hard-working event volunteers.

And thanks again to our wonderful Master of Ceremonies, Scott Feschuk.


The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.

For more information, visit magazine-awards.com and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards).



Kim Jernigan wins Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

Kim Jernigan (Photo: John Haney)
Kim Jernigan (Photo: John Haney)

It’s a perfectly square magazine making its way in a rectangular world. So quipped the writer Alexander MacLeod of the award-winning literary magazine The New Quarterly. Fittingly, such a simple truism about the magazine—alluding with apt understatement to qualities of creativity, humility and perseverance—also begins to describe the character of its longtime editor, Kim Jernigan, whom the National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to announce is the winner of this year’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

[Version française]

As a Master’s student in Canadian literature at the University of Waterloo in 1981, Kim volunteered at the offices of the fledgling publication which had been founded earlier that year by novelist Harold Horwood.

An early image of her dedication to TNQ saw Kim eight months pregnant, sitting on the floor of the office collating the magazine’s pages for its second issue. Three decades later, that soon-to-be newborn—now the poet Amanda Jernigan—was published in the magazine.

In 1984 Kim succeeded Harold as editor of TNQ—also a volunteer position—and energetically guided the publication toward its place as one of Canada’s best and most admired literary magazines.

In its pages eager enthusiasts of Canadian prose and poetry have discovered masterful talents including Di Brandt, Michael Crummey, Russell Smith, Steven Heighton, Caroline Adderson, Michael Winter, Elisabeth De Mariaffi, Kathleen Winter, Annabel Lyon and countless others.

During her years as editor, TNQ was nominated for 44 National Magazine Awards, winning eight Gold and six Silver medals. Writers have praised her skillful editorial dexterity and tireless commitment to providing notes and feedback much as they have her cheerful promotion of their work. Miranda Hill of Quill & Quire described this mutual devotion between editor and writer as “The Jernigan Effect.”

That Kim Jernigan selflessly devoted three decades as an unpaid volunteer in the service of Canadian literary arts is worthy of celebration in its own right, yet so is her commitment to ensuring the sustainable future of the magazine in an unsteady publishing world. In 2003 TNQ incorporated as a not-for-profit and received its charitable status in 2011. The magazine strengthened its community with the creation of the Wild Writers Literary Festival in 2000 and the launch of a popular series of writing contests in 2010.

Kim began to nurture literary non-fiction writers alongside poets and fiction writers, and expanded TNQ’s literary household to include interviews, travel essays and the popular series “Magazines as Muse.” She fostered close relationships with Canada’s lit-mag community, publishing joint issues with Alternatives Journal, Arc Poetry Magazine and Canadian Notes & Queries. The 2008 redesign—the square mag in the rectangular world—was justifiably lauded.

Steadfastly Kim helped build a strong base of volunteers, subscribers, sponsors and a diverse board of directors, leveraging support from St. Jerome’s University and, leading up to her retirement, a Trillium grant and editorial stipend to support the future of the magazine and its staff.

In her final year as editor, TNQ garnered eight National Magazine Awards nominations—the most ever by a literary magazine—and saw a young writer, Sierra Skye Gemma, win for Best New Magazine Writer for a story that had earlier won TNQ’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest.

It is to her enduring credit that Kim has stewarded a small literary magazine towards not only financial stability and critical success, but also to a position as incubator of emerging talent and champion of literary arts in Canada.

Commended by her peers for her generosity, integrity, leadership and contagious passion for Canadian literature, Kim Jernigan continues to serve as a mentor for TNQ and an inspiration to many young writers and editors. The Board of Directors of the NMAF is honoured to name Kim Jernigan as the recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, where she takes her much-deserved place alongside the greatest contributors to the Canadian magazine industry.

Kim Jernigan will be presented with her award at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6 in Toronto. All other nominees for this year’s NMAs will be announced tomorrow, May 1. For ticket information for the National Magazine Awards, visit magazine-awards.com.


Would you work for three decades without pay? Kim Jernigan has done this, on an increasingly full-time basis, for 31 years. Her devotion gives new meaning to the phrase “labour of love.” Simply put, TNQ is a great literary magazine: it is lively, challenging, wide ranging in its content—and never boring or inscrutable.

Many of our industry’s best editors, writers, managers and marketers began their magazine careers at small publications like The New Quarterly. These early experiences often set people up for careers in publishing, simply because they are positive experiences. Our industry needs its small magazines; so much of what is good in our publishing world gets its start in a little magazine. Like honeybees, small magazines do the quiet, pollinating work that can bloom years later on the pages of larger publications.

Derek Webster, founding editor of Maisonneuve


Short stories and poetry and what it takes to be a writer have been the focus, the love of Kim Jernigan’s working life for more than 30 years. Anyone who has seen her take the stage at the National Magazine Awards to accept on behalf of one of her far-flung writers or poets can see this. It is matched only by her joy at seeing one of them able to go up and accept an award on their own behalf. And they all know that they are there because of the recognition and nurturing of their talent by Kim.

Tears would sometimes well up in her eyes as she talked about a particular writer or story. She spoke often to me about the gratification of watching writers mature and feeling like she’d been part of it. There was nothing contrived about her commitment and nothing artificial about her passion.

D.B. Scott, president, Impresa Communications Ltd.


In working with her in my capacity as fiction editor I saw her leadership skills close up. Her generosity and integrity were evident in the manner in which she considered the opinions of fellow editors. An astute reader, with a commitment to literary excellence, Kim championed the stories she’d read from the submissions, at the same time allowing others on the editorial board to speak for the stories they felt ought to be published.

As an editor she had a canny eye for a well-written story, an admitted weak spot for coming-of-age stories while always open to edgier or more experimental work. The system for choosing material where several editors read the work and each is given equal voice at the meetings reflects her collaborative style. TNQ has become well known for giving feedback even when the work doesn’t make the final cut, a legacy attributed to Kim who recognized the importance of writers knowing their work was getting a close reading.

Pamela Mulloy, editor of The New Quarterly


Kim Jernigan is a perfect choice for this award. For her length of service with a single title; for the scope of her contribution to The New Quarterly and the ways in which she has elevated the magazine in the Canadian literary landscape; for the fact that she has never drawn a salary for her eventual full-time work, while continuing to be involved and ensuring the viability of TNQ even after stepping down; for the fact that TNQ is an example of the best of our literary magazines. She is kind and generous with her time and ideas, and that she stewarded the magazine through the most volatile decade in publishing—and grew it—is a real credit to her.

Joyce Byrne, vice president, National Magazine Awards Foundation


Tell us your thoughts. Leave a comment below about Kim Jernigan.


The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize since its inception in 1990 is The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry. The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers – in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. The Board of Directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation selects the winner. More information: magazine-awards.com.

Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award winner announced

[This post has been updated] Congratulations to Ryerson University student Angie Mattison, winner of the second annual Charles Oberdorf Memorial Award for excellence in magazine and web publishing. The $1000 prize was created in 2011 by the friends and family of Charles Oberdorf, for eighteen years a teacher at Ryerson and the coordinator of the magazine and web publishing program at the Chang School for Continuing Education.

Mr. Oberdorf was the recipient of the 2010 2007 National Magazine Awards Foundation’s Outstanding Achievement award, for his career of service to the Canadian magazine industry.

Hat tip: Canadian Magazines blog.

Stephen Trumper on his path to journalism

Stephen Trumper (Photo by Nigel Dickson)
Stephen Trumper (Photo by Nigel Dickson)

On June 7 the National Magazine Awards Foundation was proud to honour Stephen Trumper with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. In his acceptance speech that evening Mr. Trumper touched on the challenges he faced as a person living with disability, including those related to breaking into journalism.

An excerpt of his address has been published as “Lost and Found: How a Small Group of War Vets Helped Me Find a Brighter Future” on the website of abilities.ca.

Memorably, he concluded:

[W]hat every person with a disability looking to build a career needs are allies to help shine a light on the uncertain path ahead, illuminating the way—as my war vets did—aiding me in my quest to, as Dr. Keith concluded, create a future that rested on working with my brain. That turned out to be editing and writing, a profession full of intricacies, settings and timing: elements that also happen to be the concerns of a good watchmaker.

Read the entire text of Mr. Trumper’s article.

Related post:
Stephen Trumper wins NMAF Outstanding Achievement Award