Best New Magazine Writer: Nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

The nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards have been announced, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Among the most coveted and special of the National Magazine Awards is Best New Magazine Writer. Each year our judges are tasked with choosing from an astounding array of passionate and intelligent creators carving their way into a rewarding career. The winner will be announced on May 26 receives a cash prize of $1000.

We are proud to continue recognizing excellence by Canadian magazine writers. Here are the nominees for Best New Magazine Writer:

Amorina Kingdon

The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion
Hakai Magazine

The Western Sandpiper migrates thousands of kilometres each year, from the Arctic to Mexico, stopping on its northward journey to feed on biofilm at Roberts Bank—an area of Vancouver’s Deltaport. Unfortunately for the small snowbirds, the port is prime real estate for developers and a proposed expansion could prove catastrophic for their survival. It would also make the port one of the busiest shipping container hubs in North America. Hakai’s Amorina Kingdon digs past the politics and gets into the science behind the move that could have “species-level consequences.”

Biologist Robert Elner, scientist emeritus at Environment and Climate Change Canada, remarked by email to Kingdon: “you have penned an accurate, important, and powerful interpretation of a complex saga and set a new benchmark.”
Jude Isabella, editor-in-chief of Hakai Magazine

Amorina Kingdon has worked as the associate editor at Hakai since its inception in early 2015. Prior to her relocation to the West Coast, she studied biology and journalism at Concordia, and worked as a science writer and media officer in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.
@AmorinaKingdon


Eternity Martis

Know Your History, Know Your Greatness
Hazlitt

Eternity Martis knows that the history of black people in Canada isn’t being taught in Ontario public schools. Even when it is mentioned, the focus is on important American figures— as black history tends to be excluded from Canadian History, and teachers naturally struggle to implement curricula they were seldom taught. So what happens when the descendants running these sites die or retire? Martis, through an enormous amount of research, is able to contextualize the importance of saving these historical sites and keeping their legacy alive.

At a time when journalists are more important than ever, Martis is creating work that Canadians need: urgent, well-crafted, rigorous journalism about the issues that matter most.
Haley Cullingham, Hazlitt senior editor

Eternity Martis studied journalism at Ryerson University and Women’s Studies and Literature at Western in London, Ont. Including freelancing for Hazlitt, Martis has contributed to many Canadian publications including Vice, Huffington Post, and The Fader. Last year she worked as a multimedia editor at The Ryerson Review, and she is currently an associate editor at Daily Xtra in Toronto.
@EternityMartis

 


Kyle Edwards

Yearning to Learn Ojibwe
Maclean’s

Kyle Edwards is a 22-year old Anishinaabe from Lake Manitoba First Nation. Though he grew up on his grandparent’s reserve, Edwards never learned to speak Ojibwe, his family’s native language. In his first Maclean’s feature, he chronicles an excursion to Kenjgewin Teg Educational Institute where he attended an Ojibwe immersion class. Readers are fortunate to get an intimate glimpse into the writer’s struggle with his sense of identity. Now, along with bringing awareness to Indigenous issues in Canada through storytelling, Kyle is working to implement Aboriginal language curriculum into post-secondary institutions— all the while endeavouring to learn his language.

“Yearning to Learn Ojibwe” is an important story—fusing the alarm of losing Indigenous languages altogether with a personal struggle to learn one Indigenous language and keep it alive—that needs to be told and read.
Bill Reynolds, Ryerson University School of Journalism

Kyle Edwards is a multimedia journalist based in Toronto. He’s currently completing his journalism degree at Ryerson University. He is also a policy researcher with The Chiefs of Ontario.
@kylejeddie


Sharon J. Riley

Burning Bush
Maisonneuve

Terry Keogh and his family were forced to flee their dream home in Rock Creek B.C. as precarious flames flared in the near distance. This is where Riley began her investigation; seeking an explanation to the thousands of fires that rage through the country’s forests each year—a number that’s nearly double the ten-year average. The B.C. government claims that the vast majority of forest fires are put out within a 24-hour period, but as Riley reports, it might be that rigorousness that’s causing them in the first place. 

Sharon J. Riley brings panache and lyricism to a timely, necessary story… “Burning Bush” combines in-depth interviews and investigative research with fine, elegant writing. In other words, it is the epitome of what readers want from a long-form feature story.
Andrea Bennett, Maisonneuve editor-in-chief

Sharon J. Riley grew up on a goat farm in rural Alberta. When she’s not freelance researching, writing or fact-checking, you can find her guiding hikers through the Canadian rockies. Along with contributing to Harper’s Weekly Review, Riley has written for Vice, The Walrus, and The Tyee. “Burning Bush” was her first piece for Maisonneuve, Canada’s 2016 Magazine of the Year.
@sharonjriley


Viviane Fairbank

Hot Mess
Ryerson Review of Journalism

The Press Gallery journalists at Parliament Hill got an unexpected visitor when Viviane Fairbank began her coverage. After reading about a parliamentary journalist accepting a sum of money from a senator for “ridding [his] Wikipedia page of the work of rancorous internet trolls,” Fairbank turned her hunch into a long-form feature on the unruly culture of Ottawa’s Parliamentary Press Gallery. “It’s a culture of hardworking journalists,” she writes in “Hot Mess,” “but, for some, it’s also one of ethical atrophy and notorious infighting.”

The fact that a couple of freelance journalists warned her to “lawyer up” is a testament to her honesty and bravery in reporting the story. (And no, they didn’t sue.)
Bill Reynolds, Ryerson University School of Journalism

Viviane Fairbank is a fact-checker, writer, and editor, currently working as an assistant editor at The Walrus. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University, and served as senior editor at the Ryerson Review of Journalism. She has also worked for Harper’s, NPR, Toronto Life, Smithsonian and Today’s Parent.
@vivianefairbank


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto. The award includes a cash prize of $1000.
Tickets are on sale now.

Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

Announcing the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards Nominees

DPA Twitter Card

The Digital Publishing Awards (DPAs) have announced the nominees for their 2017 awards program, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications.

Nominations Website
Nominations List (PDF)
Gala Info & Tickets
Version française

This year, 75 Canadian digital publications entered the DPAs, submitting entries representing the best of their digital content, design and innovation from the past year for consideration in 21 awards categories. For this year’s awards program, the DPAs have expanded the number of categories to better reflect the breadth of digital journalism in Canada.

67 judges volunteered their time, their expertise, and their passion for digital publishing in serving on this year’s jury. They have nominated 85 entries from 34 different digital publications for this year’s awards, as well as three standout candidates for the Emerging Excellence Award.

“What an incredible year for Canada’s digital publishers and creators. As I peruse the work nominated by our wonderful judges, I am blown away by the incredible talent, creativity, and innovation that characterizes each of this year’s nominees. Digital publishing in Canada has never been stronger or more effective in engaging readers. I look forward to welcoming our nominees and industry members to the DPA Soiree on June 1.”
– Nino Di Cara, president, Digital Publishing Awards

 

Nominations Highlights
The top nominees this year are:

Canadian ArtGlobal News, Hazlitt, Maclean’s, Policy Options, Today’s Parent and L’actualité earned two nominations each.

General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Small Publications
The top overall award–General Excellence in Digital Publishing–is presented in two divisions. The nominees for General Excellence: Small Publications, are:

General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Large Publications
The nominees for General Excellence: Large Publications, are:

First-time nominees
Numerous publications received a first nomination this year, including:

More highlights
For the second year in a row, Air Canada enRoute’s “Best New Restaurants” guide is nominated, this year for Best Digital Editorial Package.

TorontoLife.com is nominated for the second time in the Best Digital Design category.

The Maclean’s story “How to Go On, After Leonard Cohen” written by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall is nominated twice, in both Best Arts & Culture Story and Best Personal Essay.

The “Crichton Farm” piece published in The Globe and Mail is nominated twice, in both Best Short Feature and Best Social Storytelling.

Top entered news stories of 2016 include the fentanyl crisis, the Fort McMurray wildfires, cyber security, marijuana legalization and the Canadian real estate market.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominations in all 21 categories.

Digital Publishing Leadership Award
The DPA jury has selected the inaugural recipient of the Digital Publishing Leadership Award. This prestigious recognition will be presented to Kenny Yum, managing editor of The Huffington Post Canada and AOL Canada. As a celebrated and widely-recognized leader, innovator and mentor, the DPAs are honoured to recognize Kenny’s contributions to the Canadian digital publishing industry.

Emerging Excellence Award
The DPAs are proud to present for the first time the Emerging Excellence Award, honouring an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year’s jury has nominated three standout individuals, with the single winner being announced at the Digital Publishing Award Soirée on Thursday June 1.The three candidates for the Emerging Excellence Award are:

  • Tom Cardoso of The Globe and Mail
  • Manisha Krishnan of VICE
  • Naël Shiab of L’actualité

Learn more about these three candidates here.


Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominations in all 21 categories.

Credit Changes: Email info@digitalpublishingawards.ca to make any credit changes to your nomination. The deadline for credit changes is May 1, 2017.

Digital Publishing Awards Soirée
Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be presented at the Digital Publishing Awards soirée on Thursday, June 1 at the Spoke Club on King Street West in Toronto. Tickets cost $50 and on sale at digitalpublishingawards.com.

Munday-Photo2-RGB

The host of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards will be Evan Munday, author and illustrator of the series of novels for young adults The Dead Kid Detective Agency (ECW Press). The first two books in the series were both nominated for the Silver Birch Award. Evan currently works as community manager for Type Books, co-hosts an Archie Comics podcast, and draws a notable Canadian every day and posts the illustration on Twitter using the hashtag #365Canadians.

 

“I am both honoured and e-lated to host this night of Canada’s most clickable people – a celebration of excellence in the Canadian digital publishing I so joyfully consume. It’s a role I was destined to fill ever since publishing my first Nightcrawler fan fiction on Prodigy. Join us for the IRL good times!”
Evan Munday

Digital Publishing Awards Soirée
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Doors open at 6PM, show starts at 7PM
Portland Room, Spoke Club
600 King St West, Toronto
Tickets on sale at digitalpublishingawards.ca

Acknowledgements
The National Media Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund.

The National Media Awards Foundation offers its sincere thanks to the highly skilled professionals who generously contributed their time and expertise as judges of this year’s Digital Publishing Awards competition.

Sponsorship
For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Barbara Gould, Managing Director, at

info@digitalpublishingawards.ca or 416-939-6200.

ABOUT THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS
Produced by the National Media Awards Foundation, the Digital Publishing Awards promote and reward the achievements of those who create digital publishing content in Canada—the writers and editors, designers and developers, video and podcast producers, photographers and illustrators, and many others. The DPA program recognizes, celebrates and promotes to a national audience the innovative publishing teams that produce digital content in Canadian media.

For further information about the Digital Publishing Awards, please contact Leah Jensen, Production Coordinator at 416.939.6200 or info@digitalpublishingawards.ca.

To view the full list of 2017 nominees in all 21 categories, visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca.

Special Rate: Tickets to the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The nominees have been announced and Canada’s top writers, photographers, illustrators, editors, art directors, and more will gather at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards on Friday May 26 in Toronto.

Nominated Freelancers: Freelancers who are nominated for a National Magazine Award may purchase up to two tickets at the special Nominated Freelancer Rate of $35, thanks to our generous table patrons. This is a limited offer, based on availability. Get your tickets today.
(Read about eligibility for this special offer.)

Early Bird Tickets: Tickets including the reception, dinner, show and dessert are $135 for all other guests until the Early Bird deadline of May 5. After that, tickets are $150.

Show Only: A limited number of Show-Only tickets are available for $75. Show-Only tickets do not include dinner.

Tickets are on sale now at magazine-awards.com/tickets.

Special thanks to our table patrons, who are generously supporting Canada’s magazine creators:

This year, 197 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design work to the National Magazine Awards, submitting the work of more than 2000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators.

The NMAF’s 112 volunteer judges have nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories.

Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 26, at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Gold Awards in most categories include a cash prize of $1000.

To view all nominees, visit the 40th Anniversary NMA Website or download the PDF.

Kenny Yum to receive Digital Publishing Leadership Award

DPA Twitter Card (2).png

The NMAF is thrilled to announce that Kenny Yum of Huffington Post Canada will be the first-ever recipient of the Digital Publishing Leadership Award, an award honouring an individual whose career contributions to Canadian digital publishing deserve recognition and celebration.

This award is the top individual honour in the Digital Publishing Awards, and will be presented to Kenny at the DPA awards soirée on June 1, along with all the other winners of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards.

Kenny Yum

Leadership in Canadian digital publishing is a complex algorithm. It’s a function of creativity, innovation, and perseverance. It combines a rigorous commitment to the core principles of journalism with the ability to anticipate and respond to rapidly changing technological and cultural environments. It minimizes fiscal constraints while maximizing audience engagement. And most of all, it creates a diverse and dynamic space to experiment, fail, adapt, persist, and succeed—and to inspire great achievement in others. Perhaps no individual embodies this powerful formula more than Kenny Yum, managing editor of AOL Canada and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Canada. In 2017, the National Media Awards Foundation is honoured to present him with the inaugural Digital Publishing Leadership Award.

After graduating from Ryerson University, where he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, Kenny became an editor at the Toronto Star and later The Globe and Mail, where he helped launch theglobeandmail.com in 2000. In 2007 he joined the National Post as managing editor of digital news, continuing to inspire his colleagues to innovate and grasp the unfolding potential of digital journalism. “Kenny drove the digital agenda at national newspapers long before digital was accepted as a priority, let alone the very future of journalism,” says Brodie Fenlon, CBC’s senior director of digital news. “His influence on website design can still be seen today on a number of sites.”

In 2011, Kenny was hired to launch The Huffington Post Canada, the first international bureau of the digital news startup. “We knew that in order to succeed in Canada,” says Nicholas Sabloff, executive editor of international for The Huffington Post, “we needed an editor-in-chief who was not only an accomplished leader and serious journalist, but also someone who would keep the site at the forefront of digital innovation and instill a spirit of experimentation and creativity as part of his team’s DNA.” Kenny Yum, he adds, was top of the list.

Indeed, innovation and experimentation are hallmarks of HuffPost’s success. In Kenny’s newsroom, notes Andree Lau, managing editor of news at Huffington Post Canada, “journalists are encouraged to be overly ambitious, granted permission to fail, and praised with genuine admiration when they succeed.” And no matter the initial outcome, say his colleagues, Kenny is quick to remind everyone he works with that success is a product of bold creativity. “From day one,” says Rashida Jeeva, Huffington Post Canada’s general manager, “Kenny set the tone for professionalism and quality that continues to shine through.”

The results are as evident as they are remarkable. Huff Post Canada operates in French and English with more than 5 million unique visitors a month, and a total of 9 million monthly including their global properties. “These are challenging times for media organizations,” notes Huffington Post’s managing editor of video, Sasha Nagy. “And it is incumbent on all of us to innovate daily in order to connect with a changing readership. It takes editors who are one part web developer and one part wordsmith. This is Kenny Yum.”

Those who’ve worked with Kenny at HuffPost emphasize his commitment to forging a cohesive team that maximizes skills and connections. Mere days before the site’s launch, in May 2011, Kenny literally tore down the walls in the HuffPost newsroom.

“He took one look at the grey cubicle walls and started dismantling them,” says Lisa Yeung, managing editor of lifestyle, thus “breaking down the barriers between editors so they could see and talk to each other more easily.”

That simple act helped set the tone for a workplace that is known to be a paragon of inclusiveness.

Diversity is another key strength of the digital teams that Kenny has helped build and lead. “At HuffPo Kenny has built one of the country’s youngest, most culturally diverse, and energetic newsrooms,” says Andree Lau. The result, adds Brodie Fenlon, “has been rich, unique editorial content that reflects the modern cultural mosaic of Canada in a way that few newsrooms can match.”

Leveraging that diversity and teamwork, say those who’ve worked with Kenny, would not be possible without his commitment to professionalism. “Our editors are diverse in their cultural and geographic backgrounds,” says Lisa Yeung, “but the enduring qualities that bind us together are rooted in Kenny’s ethos—respect, kindness, integrity, curiosity, and innovation.”

With Kenny Yum as leader, innovation never sleeps. In the past year, with the advent of distributed publishing, Kenny has aligned the HuffPost newsroom around the need to flourish under this new model. The results have been staggering, notes Sasha Nagy. “In a year, our Facebook pages spiked from half a million to 1.2 million followers. Video views have grown from 15 million per month to over 60 million.”

“One of Kenny’s great traits,” says Rashida Jeeva, “is his willingness to share his knowledge—much of it self-taught—with others. It’s not uncommon to find him leading training sessions with teams within, and outside of, Canada.”

In addition to fostering professional development at AOL Canada, Kenny has taught online journalism at Ryerson University and serves on the school’s advisory board. And he often volunteers his time to advise colleagues and industry associations on the possibilities of digital publishing in the future.

Through all of these achievements and accolades, Kenny’s personality is what strikes his colleagues as most deserving of recognition. “He is a quiet, confident leader,” says Brodie Fenlon, “who makes things happen behind the scenes, drives his teams to excellence, and never seeks public acknowledgement or recognition.” His list of accomplishments, adds Andree Lau, “does not fully convey the kind of integrity, excellence, and loyalty that he both exudes and inspires.” Perhaps, then, true leadership in digital publishing is more than just an algorithm of inputs. It’s also a function of character. And for that, the NMAF is proud to award the 2017 Digital Publishing Leadership Award to Kenny Yum.

The Digital Publishing Leadership Award will be presented at the 2017 DPA Soiree on June 1 in Toronto. Tickets will be available to purchase on Tuesday April 25 www.digitalpublishingawards.ca.

We asked Huffington Post Canada’s team to name the particularly remarkable achievements during Kenny’s tenure. Here are just a few:

“In the fraught month we had to put it together. Kenny challenged us editorially, technically, and creatively,” says Andree Lau, HuffPost’s managing editor of news. “He pushed us to ask deeper questions, pushed for the Town Hall to be live-streamed on both HuffPost’s pages and Facebook Live, and assigned video clips to be distributed around the world. He rolled up his sleeves where necessary, and stepped back when he knew the team could figure it out themselves. The result was a polish, thought-provoking, and highly produced event.”

In this ongoing series exploring the experiences of children of immigrants through personal essays, features and video, notes Andree Lau, Kenny has shown that he is a “champion of diversity and visibility in Canada, and an enthusiastic supporter of developing the next generation of leaders in digital journalism.”

HuffPost spearheaded a week of special coverage on sexual assault in November 2014 in the immediate wake of the Jian Ghomeshi allegations. Further, under Kenny’s leadership HuffPost devoted ongoing coverage of violence against women, including extensive coverage of the Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd cases.

This video documentary series followed four Canadian soldiers and the complex changes they face after serving their country, and was nominated for a 2016 Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) Award

This investigation into Canada’s growing income divide, shepherded under Kenny’s leadership, won a Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) Award in 2011.

A 2012 news series that offered a glimpse into the lives of Millennials and the issues they face as a generation.

A video series highlighting the careers of notable Canadian women.


The Digital Publishing Leadership Award will be presented to Kenny Yum at the 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards Soirée on Thursday June 1 at The Spoke Club in Toronto. Tickets are $50 and will go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday April 25. They can be purchased at digitalpublishingawards.ca.

ABOUT THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS
Produced by the National Media Awards Foundation, the Digital Publishing Awards promote and reward the achievements of those who create digital publishing content in Canada—the writers and editors, designers and developers, video and podcast producers, photographers and illustrators, and many others. The DPA program recognizes, celebrates and promotes to a national audience the innovative publishing teams that produce digital content in Canadian media.

For further information about the Digital Publishing Awards, please contact Leah Jensen, Production Coordinator at 416.939.6200 or info@digitalpublishingawards.ca.

Announcing the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

The NMAF is excited to announce the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, including five finalists for the prestigious Magazine of the Year Award.

Nominations Website
Nominations List (PDF)
Gala Info & Tickets
Version française

This year, 197 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design work to the National Magazine Awards, submitting the work of more than 2000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators.

The NMAF’s 112 volunteer judges have nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories.

“We’re thrilled to announce the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. More than 200 Canadian creators—writers, photographers, illustrators, designers, poets, and more—are up for awards in 25 categories. My thanks to our judges who have done a rigorous job over the past few months evaluating the best work in the country. It’s been a significant year for Canadian storytelling, as the impressive caliber of the nominees attests. We’re looking forward to celebrating the best of Canada’s creative talent together at the Gala on May 26.”
Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF

Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 26, at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Gold Awards in Writing and Visual categories include a cash prize of $1000.

Tickets are on sale now. A limited number of tickets for nominated freelancers will be available at the discount rate of $35, thanks to the support of our Table Patrons.

TOP NOMINATED CREATORS

  • Edmonton freelance writer Omar Mouallem leads all creators with 4 nominations for 4 different stories published in 4 magazines (Avenue, Hazlitt, Sharp, University Affairs).
  • Writer Richard Kelly Kemick is nominated 3 times—twice in Fiction and once in One of Kind, which he won last year—for stories in 3 magazines (Geist, Maisonneuve, The New Quarterly).
  • Quebec writer Catherine Perreault-Lessard is also nominated 3 times for 3 stories published in Châtelaine, L’actualité and Ricardo.
  • Maclean’s writer Nancy McDonald is also nominated 3 times for 2 different stories.
  • The Walrus writer/editor Katherine Laidlaw is nominated twice as a writer, and she is also the handling editor on 6 other Walrus stories nominated for National Magazine Awards.
  • Other writers nominated twice include Bruce Livesey (Report on Business), Jason McBride (Canadian Art, Toronto Life), Mark Pupo (Toronto Life), and Naël Shiab (L’actualité).
  • Illustrators Byron Eggenschwiler (Vancouver Magazine) and Gérard DuBois (L’actualité) are each nominated twice.
  • Photographers Peter Ash Lee (Corduroy), Chris Nicholls (FASHION Magazine) and Virginia Macdonald (Air Canada enRoute) are each nominated twice.

Check out all the nominees on our special anniversary website or download the PDF.

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

The five finalists for Magazine of the Year—given to the magazine that most consistently engages, surprises, and serves the needs of its readers—are:

  • Cottage Life, published by Blue Ant Media
  • Explore, published by My Passion Media
  • Nouveau Projet, published by Atelier 10
  • Ricardo, published by Ricardo Media
  • The Kit Compact, published by Star Media Group

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BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

The five finalists for Best New Magazine Writer—given to the individual whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise—are:

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TOP STORIES OF 2016

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards honour the best in Canadian magazine journalism from 2016. Some of the most frequent topics that our judges saw among this year’s entries include:

Among this year’s nominees, some of the top stories include:

  • Justice Is Not Blind” (Maclean’s)—a nine-month investigation by Nancy McDonald and the Maclean’s team looking at the ways in which Canada’s justice system is biased against Indigenous people. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting.
    .
  • Company Province, Provincial Company” (Report on Business)—journalist Bruce Livesey’s investigative profile of the Irving family and the politics of New Brunswick’s energy sector. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting.
    .
  • The Fighter” (United Church Observer)—a stirring portrait of Willie Blackwater, a B.C. Indigenous man who survived a residential school and then led the fight for justice, written by journalist Richard Wright. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Profiles.
    .
  • Love Your Body” (NOW Magazine)—a series of bold photographs by Tanja-Tiziana accompanying a set of profiles on the issue of body shaming. Nominated in Portrait Photography and Best Words & Pictures.
    .
  • Whatever Happened to Michael Bryant?” (Precedent)—writer Daniel Fish investigates the life and times of the former Ontario Attorney General, whose involvement in the killing of a cyclist led to PTSD, years out of the spotlight, and finally a path to redemption. Nominated in Professional Article and Profiles.
    .
  • Canada’s Best New Restaurants” (Air Canada enRoute)—the annual guide to Canadian culinary innovation by Andrew Braithwaite and the enRoute team is nominated in Service Journalism and Best Editorial Package.
    .
  • Shocking Tax Tips You’re Missing Out On!” (MoneySense)—the annual tax guide by Bryan Borzykowski and the MoneySense team is nominated in Service Journalism and Best Service Editorial Package.

TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES

FIRST-TIME NOMINEES

Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Award include:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. We are also thankful for the support of Access Copyright, Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Bookmark, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Writers Group, CNW, ExpertWomen.ca, Goetz Storytelling, Impresa Communications, Rolland Enterprises, Studio Wyse, TC Transcontinental Printing, and Very Good Studios.

For sponsorship enquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at staff@magazine-awards.com.

GALA TICKETS

The NMAF will welcome Canada’s top writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers and other creators to the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 26. Tickets are on sale at magazine-awards.com.

A limited number of tickets for nominated freelancers will be available at the discount rate of $35, thanks to the support of our Table Patrons, including Access Copyright, Bookmark, Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Writers Group, CDS Global, and ExploreWomen.ca.

Gold winners in Writing and Visual Awards categories receive a cash prize of $1000. Silver winners receive an awards certificate. All other finalists receive Honourable Mention.

CREDIT CHANGES

The deadline to make any changes to nominations credit is Friday April 28. Email staff@magazine-awards.com to make any credit changes to your nomination.

Download the complete list of nominations (PDF) to check your nominations credit.

ABOUT THE NMAF

A charitable foundation, the NMAF’s mandate is to recognize and promote excellence in content creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.

The Foundation produces two distinct and bilingual award programs: the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards. Throughout the year, the Foundation undertakes various group marketing initiatives and professional development events.

Nominations Website
Nominations List (PDF)
Gala Info & Tickets
Version française

Penny Caldwell to receive 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in Canadian Magazines

The NMAF is proud to present the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement to Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media.

Penny began her career in magazines as a freelance journalist, writing for sports and boating magazines at a time when it was rare for women to cover those topics. In the summer of 1988, a spirited new publication called Cottage Life debuted, and Penny was tapped to write a feature for the inaugural issue about how to buy a windsurfer.

“There’s no doubt about it,” wrote Penny in the opening lines of her first Cottage Life story, “those hot, lazy days of summer are better at the cottage—and best when you can spend most of your time in and around the water.” She still feels that way.

From her modest start as a freelance writer, Penny began to develop and hone the panoply of journalism and leadership skills that she has come to embody today. In 2000, she was named editor-in-chief of Cottage Life, where she quickly earned a reputation as an editor of considerable passion and frequent praise. In her 15-year tenure as editor, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named her its Editor of the Year a record four times, while Cottage Life won Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards in 2003 and again in 2014.

“The hallmarks of Penny’s style are conscientiousness, diplomacy, and kindness. There are never any questions she won’t take the time to answer. No matter how tight the deadline, there is always time to adhere to the tight standards she sets for herself and inspires in her colleagues.”
Cottage Life Media CEO Al Zikovitz

Consistent with the evolving roles of a modern magazine leader, Penny was named brand manager and later vice president of content strategy and development before assuming the mantle of publisher in 2015, succeeding Al Zikovitz. That year, the NMA jury named Cottage Life Canada’s Best Magazine Brand for demonstrating a level of innovation that sets the standard for the industry and represents how a magazine can succeed beyond print with dynamic and thriving extensions.

“As a publisher, Penny has demonstrated her adaptability to changing circumstances and serving readers across multiple platforms. This includes print, digital, television, e-commerce, and live events.”
D.B. Scott, magazine consultant and publisher of Canadian Magazines

Today, Cottage Life reaches over six million Canadians every year as perhaps the savviest magazine brand in the country.

Beyond the walls of Cottage Life’s old cozy HQ at 54 St. Patrick Street in Toronto, Penny has made an indelible mark on the wider magazine industry as a mentor, teacher, volunteer, and advocate for a stronger magazine community. She was a member of the original Magazines Canada task force that developed the industry’s advertising-editorial guidelines, and has sat on the curriculum development committees of MagsU and MagNet.

“Penny’s insights and thoughtful contributions have always put the interest of readers first. Her calm, cool, and collected demeanor informs her success as an editor and publisher.”
Patrick Walsh, editor-in-chief, Outdoor Canada

At Ryerson University’s Magazine and Web Publishing Program she taught students the finer points of building a career in magazines. Many colleagues have noted her interest in learning about new talent in the industry and looking for opportunities to mentor others.

“Penny seeks connections for everyone she meets. She sees that if she fosters this talent within our industry, our collective chances at success—at having healthy, thriving Canadian magazines—are so much greater.”
Jess Ross, multiplatform content director at TVA Publications

All the while, Penny has frequently volunteered her time to sit on panels, juries, and boards of directors (including the NMAF from 2004 to 2010). Currently she serves as president of the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA), where she has chaired awards committees, led numerous conference sessions, and developed the IRMA Connection initiative to improve communication and learning between members. “Penny is incredibly hard-working and an impressive problem solver who always has time for those who need her help,” says Tara Flint, executive director of IRMA. “She fosters positive discussions and brings out the best in others.”

Last year’s Outstanding Achievement Award winner, Kim Pittaway, sums it up aptly:

“Penny’s career exemplifies the best of what it means to lead a magazine: a deep respect for the audience, a commitment to the highest quality, a desire to innovate, and a dedication to respecting and fostering the talent of those with whom she works.”

For her commendable leadership in every role she has assumed, the NMAF is proud to honour Penny Caldwell with the 40th anniversary Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Penny will receive her award and recognition at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala on May 26 in Toronto.

Tickets go on sale Thursday April 20 at magazine-awards.com.

The nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be announced on Thursday April 20.

ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize  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 Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will consider the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will select the winner.

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

Photo of Penny Caldwell by Daniel Ehrenworth

Off the Page, with art director Anna Minzhulina

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. In this interview we chat with award-winning art director Anna Minzhulina, who spent 10 years at the creative helm of Maisonneuve. “Maisy” was named Magazine of the Year at the 2016 National Magazine Awards, and over the years it has been among the most lauded and decorated magazines for design, illustration, and photography (as well as its writing and reporting).

 

NMAF: Let’s start with Maisonneuve. You spent over a decade as the art director of the award-winning Montreal quarterly.

Anna: Maison-who?! I have never heard of it?! Is it any good?!

(Sorryyyyyy, I just could not help myself!) Indeed, my tenure at the magazine was exceeded only by the logo itself–the infamous Maisy dude. I could easily be a special edition Maisy mascot!

I joined Maisonneuve in 2005, shortly after I graduated from the Design Art program at Concordia University. Then in the summer of 2006, I became the Art Director. At the time, the magazine was in its fourth year of publication.

Looking back, we were both wild spirited newbies! Maisonneuve was just getting noticed, but still in the early stages of fully developing its editorial and visual personalities. And, there I was…an idealistic designer taking my first steps into the professional art world I felt so passionate about…excitedly searching for the special place to house my creativity. There was maison and it was neuve.

We complemented each other very well. And in a retrospect, the collaboration blossomed into a fruitful and long-term relationship.

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NMAF: Maisonneuve is one of those magazines that is sometimes difficult to describe, yet always attracts alluring descriptions: quirky, bold, refreshing, imaginative, passionate, delightful, thoughtful, exciting…

Anna: For people who are familiar with Maisy (the affectionate in-house name), you may say…A versatile humanitarian with socially and culturally inclined tendencies and some very personal issues, who welcomes anyone into its Open House, obsessively collects Letters from Montreal…in addition, has strange Fictional fantasies, whole-heartedly laughs at the Comics…at times gender confused, but very intelligent and oh! such a visual feast for the eyes to devour ;)!

Undoubtedly, Canadian readers have a variety of great magazines to choose from. Just as easily, dozens could fit the description you gave. But even so, I feel the major difference between other publications and Maisonneuve is the consistency. It’s Maisonneuve’s extraordinary ability to remain uncompromisingly true to its philosophy of high-quality editorial and visual story telling, from one issue to the next and throughout the years.

 To sum up…Maisonneuve is a voice of organic harmony, which with equal strength speaks to and of both human experience and human expression.

 

NMAF: How would you describe the creative vision you set out to achieve at the magazine?

Anna: I feel successful visions are the ones that are flexible in nature. They adapt to the circumstances and times. With enthusiasm and passion, there is nothing impossible…as long as it’s based on the principles of honesty and integrity.

I always strove to design the best magazine I could possibly create in spite of the numerous limitations. In my mind, there were Plans A, B…Z and, if none of those worked—well…I would do it myself!

Over the course of a decade, those visions and approaches evolved beyond simply design aspect/aesthetics and into an understanding of such important values as creative collaboration and the conceptualization of emotionally deep visual narratives capable of touching and evoking lasting impressions and intelligent conversations.

Furthermore, I like to think of the magazine pages as the walls of an art gallery, where art is displayed for practical reasons, such as the pictorial entourage to an article. The words and pictures co-exist.

But at the same time, the images exist in a realm of their own and are appreciated as a separate entity with their own story. Usually, that story is connected to the written one, but it does not have to be in a literal way. I liked to commission illustration that, if there were just empty pages with no words, the images would still have the visual power to stand on their own.

If you think about it, that’s the natural state of the words before they arrive on the designed page. Why can’t the images create their own sustaining presence? That’s one reason why I think Maisonneuve has been so successful… it has had these multiple strong presences that can stand alone and also interact.

 

NMAF: Is there a magic formula for directing such a unique publication, or do you re-invent the wheel, so to speak, every time you start work on a new issue?

Anna: Hmm… yes and no?! Each issue is a new experience, for the team and for the readers. Be that as it may, you don’t reinvent the philosophy—it’s the anchor. You adapt and modify the approach to the underlying design to provide individual and suitable reflection of each story and its characters, which are unique in their own right.

 

NMAF: It’s fair to say that Maisonneuve has been one of the most celebrated magazines in Canada over the past decade, as judged by its peers in the industry and its readers. As its art director you have collected 6 National Magazine Awards for your work—3 for Best Magazine Cover and 3 more for Art Direction—among more than a dozen nominations. Maisy has also won Magazine of the Year twice in that span.

Anna: The number of people, who defriended me on the Facebook skyrocketed! 😛

Truthfully, I am humbled and very honoured for every nomination and award. Thank you!

 

NMAF: What has been the significance to you of the National Magazine Award recognition from your peers?

Anna: Aside from what it personally means to me as well as everyone else involved in Maisonneuve’s production, the recognition of effort, sacrifice, time, sleepless nights, grey hair, broken promises, cancelled dinner dates…it is the acknowledgement of women’s visibility within creative fields.

I believe in the vital role women play in diversifying the publishing world by exposing it to their sensibly strong perspective. So kudos to National Magazine Awards Foundation! I hope it will inspire young women illustrators, photographers, and art directors in Canada to persevere. So that in the future, there are more female voices such as Marta Iwanek, Gracia Lam, Selena Wong, Suharu Ogawa, Genevieve Simms, Heidi Berton, Ness Lee…and the list goes on and on.

 

NMAF: Let’s take a closer look at some of your most celebrated work, and perhaps you can tell us a quick story of how it came together:

In 2011, you won a Silver Medal in Art Direction for a Magazine Story for “Monuments: The City in Three Parts”—a progression of towering illustrations by Amy Casey accompanying a suite of poems by Roland Pemberton. What was your inspiration here—was it the poetry itself, or something more?

Anna: The challenge with poetry is: it’s an art form naturally open to interpretation. Overly strong visuals can clash with or even crash the delicate aesthetic of poetry itself. But no visuals at all, in a magazine like Maisonneuve, would be a cop out.

In the case of “Monuments” the inspiration came equally from both—the beautiful text and Amy’s wonderful work. I created a collage of collapsing imaginary houses so the text could interact with Amy’s images in a way that allowed both to stand on their own and coexist in peace on the same spread. That’s hard to do! So often with poetry there is a love-hate relationship with surrounding images, but this one worked.

Amy was reluctant at first, but when I showed her what I have done as a mock-up she was very excited and happy for her work be adapted in this creative way.

 

NMAF: In “Gays for God”—Silver Medallist in 2013 for Best Magazine Cover—you created (with photographer Kourosh Keshiri) an irresistible image of a contemplative Jesus draped in a rainbow flag, which accompanied the cover story by Clancy Martin about a new LGBTQ-friendly evangelical movement. This is an image of infinite subtleties—from the blue eye to glowing halo and the soft edges. The mood is very inviting to the story. What were the questions you asked yourself as you worked on this design?

Anna: Perhaps, at one time or another, we all contemplate being draped in the fabric of our own fears and doubts, while waiting for the divine to show the way…it’s the concept that talks to universal experience while personal as well. A close-up portrait was the best way to capture the dichotomy.

As for the questions…I am asking myself the same ones today, as I have done then. One of them is how can I, a gay woman myself, shine the light on the relationship LGBTQ community has with spirituality in a singular iconic image to the broader audience? To create a bold and intelligent visual statement to inspire pride in one side and to engage into conversation the other one.

 

NMAF: How did it come together?

Anna: Well…it’s not that easy to find Jesus wondering the streets, more so to convince him to be gay for the photoshoot! But hey, drop the Maisonneuve name here and there and you might be surprised! 😉

Usually, I have a lot of ideas and sketches for the cover (story). Drew Nelles [the editor-in-chief at the time] and I agreed on this concept as the final one—the stand alone powerful image and the direct reflection of Martin’s story.

With the help from dear friend and brilliant photographer Kourosh Keshiri, I was able to get amazing raw shots to work from. Subsequently, I photo edited and photo illustrated the selected image (the most sincere and devoid of pretence) into the final cover version.

In other words, I deliberately de/emphasized and added specific details (such as halo, blue eyes, serene lighting, deep shadows)—the visual signifiers, to create a stronger impact.

 

NMAF: The “TV We Hate Issue” cover (also a Silver Medal winner for Best Magazine Cover in 2015) looks like it was absolutely fun to create—a friendly poke at the subversive, gonzo style of MTV. Were any TVs actually harmed in the production of this cover?

Anna: Ha! Well, yes, twice. How many of us just get so annoyed with what is on TV we just dream of taking a hammer to it?…or in this case, a butcher knife! I deeply apologize to TV set lovers for butchering a very cool retro television…All in the name of art!

The amazing Ian Patterson and I worked on five covers together, the “TV We Hate” was the second one in that sequence. Ian is the example of someone you just click with. He has mastered an amazing skill—working with natural light.

For a start, there were many, many doodles and sketches for this cover. As I remember correctly, we narrowed it down to two main concepts. What made this one the final one was the minimalism and pointedness. The complexity lay in the precise execution–the limited (minimalistic) number of elements did not leave the room to hide mistakes. It’s something that either works or completely fails. This is why, when one element was off the whole cover had to be reshot. Afterwards, just as with the “Gays for God” cover, there was extensive photo editing to ensure the right details are highlighted while the unnecessary ones either overshadowed or removed completely.

Visual knowledge is important, but it’s not necessary to enjoy something from purely aesthetic point of view. That’s why the most interesting and iconic images successfully and equally merge both, concept and beauty, into one.

Here’s a peak at how the design evolved:

 

NMAF: Do you have another favourite creation from your Maisonneuve career?

Anna: For many artists, myself including, the favourite creation is the one yet to be created. Otherwise, what is there to strive for?

The favourite ones are the most memorable ones, which in one way or another enriched me with certain experience, insight or knowledge. Each image I worked on has a story behind it.

The ones that jump to mind, though, are:

…and so many many more…

Each one, no matter how big or small, was an unforgettable moment in time shared between kindred spirits.

 

NMAF: What do you look for in a creative partnership with an illustrator or photographer? What is your process of communicating an artistic vision for a magazine story that brings out the best in an artist?

Anna: My choice with whom to collaborate on projects is based on a great admiration for artists themselves and their work.

Imagine, you receive a bucket and it’s filled with stories for the next issue, you lift it up above your head and just turn it over…so the words just wash over you, like a waterfall. Most of the water will drain away, yet some will penetrate your skin and leave you with a sensation…a feeling or thought.

Out of the heart and straight to your mind, that will be your guide to conceptualize ideas and find the right voice to breath the life into the story. You can only bring out the best in others if you yourself believe passionately in what you do. Then your enthusiasm will ignite the alike spirits to join you on the crazy joyride called creative collaboration. And they will become your partners in art crime.

I love working with people who see creative process as an adventure. This requires trust, open-mindedness, and mutual respect. You are pursuing a common vision, yet ping-ponging ideas back and forth to create something spectacular. Some people can’t do that. It can be hard to find great collaborators. But when you do, it’s like a drug, the highest high.

 

NMAF: Now that you’ve moved on from Maisonneuve, what’s next for you? What would you like to achieve with the next stage of your career?

Anna: You mean, beside the grandiose production of the Maisy mascot costume?!

Well…it took me a while, but I finally launched my website www.annaminzhulina.com. It’s a collection of the work I have done during my Maisonneuve years. I invite everyone to come say hello! And reminisce of some of the Maisonneuve’s classics.

All in all, I still love publishing and want to pursue it further—magazines, books, other design projects…but I’m also curious about art exhibitions, conceptual design in larger spaces, on real walls, not just paper or virtual ones… it’s all fascinating to me, as long as it’s creative and/or collaborative.

In the meantime, I am working on a drawing series titled See You”portraits of random people sketched in shopping malls and plazas and other interesting, mundane places… my apartment walls are covered with them!

There is life beyond Maisonneuve… 😉 But I’m keeping my subscription! And so should you.

One last thing, before I bow my farewell to Maisonneuve, I would like to thank one very special person, whom I never got to thank at the NMAs:

“My dearest mom, Thank you! for giving me a precious gift— the courage to live my passion and to follow my heart.”


Anna Minzhulina is an award-winning art director, designer, artist and illustrator. For ten years, she was the Art Director of Maisonneuve magazine, where she was recognized for her imaginative concepts in cover design, design, photography and illustration. At Maisonneuve, Minzhulina collaborated with dozens of photographers, illustrators and artists, many of whom won awards for their work under her direction. More at annaminzhulina.com.

Check out more Off the Page interviews, including Maisonneuve publisher Jennifer Varkonyi and contributing artists Marta Iwanek, Gracia Lam, and Selena Wong.


The nominations for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be announced on Thursday April 20. Subscribe to this blog or follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the exciting news.

This year’s National Magazine Awards gala is Friday, May 26 in Toronto. Tickets go on sale April 20 at magazine-awards.com.

Photograph of Anna Minzhulina by Florentine.

Interview by Richard A. Johnson for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.