Get to Know the Canadian Magazine Industry: Intern with the NMAF!

Good news! The application deadline has been extended to September 25, 2017. 

AdminInternPromo (1)

If you’ve ever wanted a behind the scenes look at the Canadian magazine and digital publishing industry, here’s your chance! The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is looking for an intern in Toronto, beginning in October 2017 (and yes, the internship is paid!).

As the Administrative Assistant Intern, you’ll be an integral part of the team, participating in everything from proofreading press releases to assisting with the awards judging process. You’ll make connections within the industry, meeting and liaising with some of the best magazine writers, editors, and publishers in Canada.

The contract runs from October 1st, 2017—June 30, 2018, and you’ll be working 10-15 hrs/week on average. Note that the NMAF produces two distinct awards programs – the National Media Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards – and that this paid internship opportunity has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Have we caught your interest? Read on for more information about the position!

Position: Administrative Assistant

Contract Duration: October 1st, 2017—June 30, 2018; 10-15 hrs/week on average.

Description: The successful candidate will be reporting to and working in consultation with the NMAF Communications Manager and Special Projects Manager and specifically will:

  • Assist with the day-to-day operations of the NMAF office, including support for the submissions process, judging process, and awards production;
  • Handle some of the office-related communications and outreach with the Canadian media industry in both English and French—including but not limited to initiating and responding to phone calls and general email;
  • Assist with the research and production of content for the NMAF blogs (magazine-awards.com / prixmagazine.com & digitalpublishing.blog) and other social media channels;
  • Proofread communications materials and publications, including newsletters, press releases, website copy, gala programs and related material;
  • Assist with ongoing projects to promote the NMAF and its various initiatives;
  • Attend staff, board and committee meetings.

Requirements:

  • Pursuing or recently completed a degree or diploma in the fields of communications, publishing, administration, public relations, journalism or similar;
  • Exceptional communication skills;
  • Solid writing and editing skills;
  • Ability to work independently and on deadline with goal-oriented projects;
  • Career aspirations in the media industry or similar;
  • Strong interest in fulfilling the mandate and vision of the National Media Awards Foundation;
  • Familiarity with the Canadian magazine and/or digital media industry an asset;
  • Bilingualism (French-English) a strong asset.

Opportunities:

  • Gain practical knowledge of the Canadian media industry;
  • Play an important role in the execution of NMAF projects and events;
  • Make a great first impression on writers, editors, publishers and other members of the industry;
  • Enhance your skill set in communications, publicity, administration, event planning, writing, editing, and non-profit organizations;
  • Learn more about Canadian magazine and digital publishers from the NMAF’s wonderful team of staff, board members, and stakeholders;
  • Participate in one of Canada’s most important cultural events, the National Media Awards Gala and the Digital Publishing Awards Soirée.

Terms and Remuneration: The length of the contract will be from October 1st, 2017 to June 30, 2018. The average weekly commitment may range from 10 hours per week (Oct-Dec; Feb-Mar; Jun) to 20 hours per week (Jan; Apr-May). Working hours are flexible except at specific times, and most work may be completed remotely.

This internship is paid minimum wage.

Applications: Candidates should submit

  • A cover letter (written in French or English) demonstrating their specific interest in the internship;
  • A resume;
  • At least one letter of reference from a professor or career mentor.

Please send applications by email to NMAF Communications Manager Émilie Pontbriand at staff@magazine-awards.com.

Application deadline: September 25, 2017.

We’re looking forward to hearing from aspiring writers and media professionals who are up for the challenge of working with us to recognize and promote the best of the best in Canadian print and digital content! 

Writing Mentorship Programs in Canada

From British Columbia to P.E.I., there are opportunities to fine-tune your craft alongside a professional writer. Andrea Bennett, the Editor-in-Chief at Maisonneuve Magazine, has done the work of compiling a round-up of writing mentorship programs across Canada. Such programs offer an alternative to the potentially expensive route of pursuing a BFA or MFA; for instance, The Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Mentorship Program comes at no cost to the apprentices, while local, public libraries often offer free, weekly office hours. So, peruse the program blurbs below and polish those submissions – a few of the deadlines are just around the corner.

Canada-wide

Vivek Shraya is offering a mentorship through her new Arsenal Pulp imprint VS. Books, deadline September 15, 2017; this mentorship is open to unpublished writers who are Indigenous, Black and/or a person of colour, between the ages of 18 to 24, living in Canada, and looking for a home for their completed book manuscript.

The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) connects beginning children’s authors with established children’s authors through their Blue Pencil Mentorship Program. Mentees must have current CANSCAIP memberships and the mentorship comes with a fee.

Many public libraries across Canada have writers in residence who offer weekly office hours to emerging writers. (It is 4:48pm on a Thursday afternoon as I write this and I am too lazy to Google every writer-in-residence program across the country, but here’s a 2016/2017 example from my hometown, Hamilton.)

Universities often also have writers in residence (e.g, the University of Calgary) who offer office hours and/or manuscript consultations. Rules vary (you may or may not need to be a student), but it’s worth checking to see if the university or college near you supports a writer-in-residence program.

BC

The Surrey Southbank Writer’s Program is a part-time, three-month program is designed for new writers who would like to begin sharing their work with others. The program offers both classes and mentorship opportunities.

The Vancouver Manuscript Intensive pairs emerging writers who are looking for feedback and guidance on their manuscripts with professional, published writers. This one-on-one program is tailored to suit the needs of its mentees.

Alberta

The Writer’s Guild of Canada matches three writers with three mentors for a four-month mentorship.

Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a four-month mentorship.

Manitoba

The Manitoba Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month mentorship.

Ontario

Diaspora Dialogues matches Greater Toronto Area writers who have a finished manuscript they’d like feedback about one-on-one with mentors for a six-month mentorship.

Quebec

The Quebec Writer’s Federation pairs emerging writers with mentors for a four-month mentorship.

New Brunswick

The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a total of fifty hours of mentorship.

Newfoundland and Labrador

The Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland & Labrador matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month period.

Nova Scotia

The Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a five-month period.

PEI

Every other year, the PEI Writer’s Guild matches writers one-on-one with mentors for a three-month period.

Remembering Ruth Kelly

The NMAF is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ruth Kelly, one of the great leaders in the Canadian magazine industry.

A public statement from Ruth’s family reads: “Our family is grieving the profound loss of Ruth Kelly. To us she was Ruth, a woman we loved, but to Albertans she was a distinguished business woman, a community leader, a philanthropist, and a role model.”

As a publisher, frequent guest speaker at events and conferences, and a former judge for the National Magazine Awards, Ruth was a passionate and steadfast advocate for magazines and the role they play in educating and informing Canadian readers. She believed magazines should strive for nothing less than outstanding quality and honest reporting.

Ruth Kelly was a champion of magazines, and always encouraged us to look to the best to set the bar for where our design and editorial went. She encouraged us to participate as volunteers, whether judges or board members, and took time to serve as a judge herself. Some of our proudest moments included gold and silver medals for unlimited [magazine] at the National Magazine Awards as well as many gold medals at the KRW Awards. Ruth had a passion for magazines that was contagious, and a stubborn streak about quality and relevance to audience that was impossible to argue with. Her influence on regional publishing and her dedication to service in the industry will be missed.
Joyce Byrne, publisher of Avenue Magazine (Calgary) and past president, NMAF

Ruth was publisher and CEO of Venture Publishing, where she helmed the award-winning Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil magazines as their editor-in-chief. She served as president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association,

After graduating from the University of Alberta with a degree in poetry, Ruth worked in printing and advertising before purchasing Venture magazine in 1997 from the Alberta government. She turned Venture into a high-quality publication targeting the province’s business community, and built a strong team that also launched more than a dozen custom publications, including Alberta Innovators, Open Mind, Tracks & Treads, Grip, Leap, Signature, WE, PSAC, Hard Hat, and more.

Ruth cared. Deeply. She cared about magazines and media and great writing and smart creative people making a difference. She cared about her community. She cared greatly for the people in her life, both personal and professional. Ruth could wow a crowded hall with her wit and brains, and she could wow you with tiny kindnesses no one else would ever know about. She was all business but she only acted that way to partially hide the fact that, really, she was all heart. It’s a devastating loss.
Curtis Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Eighteen Bridges, and director of the NMAF

Ruth was also a gracious volunteer for many organizations, and was recognized and sought after for her wisdom and acumen. A former Chamber of Commerce chairwoman, she was part of the University of Alberta’s School of Business Advisory Council. She also sat on the board of Magazines Canada and on the Mayor’s Business Roundtable. She served as chair of EPCOR’s Community Essentials Council and the Capital Region’s United Way campaign.

In 1998, Ruth was recognized as a Global Woman of Vision, a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Entrepreneur category in 2003, and was the Allard Chair of Business at MacEwan School of Business in 2005. The Canadian Women in Communications selected Ruth for their 2008 Woman of the Year award, making her the first Albertan to receive this national honour. She received an honorary degree in business from NAIT in 2008, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta in 2013.

In 2013, Ruth received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada. In the same year, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs awarded Ruth with their Celebration of Entrepreneurial Achievement recognition. The Alberta Congress Board also selected her as their 2014 Distinguished Workplace Leader award recipient.

She was the 2012 recipient of AMPA’s Achievement in Publishing Award, where her profile read, “Her respect for creativity and craftsmanship led her to publishing and made her one the industry’s most respected leaders.”

As a magazine community we are forever in Ruth Kelly’s debt for her inspiring leadership, and our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues in this time of grief and remembrance.

More on Ruth Kelly:

Announcing the National Media Awards Foundation

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is excited to announce a new identity as Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization focused on celebrating Canadian creators: the National Media Awards Foundation.

Recognizing that creators are telling the most important stories of our time on a variety of platforms and media, that magazine publishers continue to innovate and diversify the forms and functions of their publications, and that digital publishers are exploring the ever-expanding frontiers in journalism, the new National Media Awards Foundation is a dynamic organization that reflects the exciting future of Canadian storytelling.

“Along with our industry, the NMAF has evolved considerably over recent years, most notably with the launch of the Digital Publishing Awards two years ago. Given that the Foundation now plays an integral role in celebrating creative achievement in digital media beyond magazines, it is important that our name represents the broader scope of our mission. As a not-for-profit, charitable organization, the NMAF is one of the most trusted brands in Canadian media, and we will continue that tradition of excellence by working with our stakeholders, industry partners, and creators themselves to ensure that our programs represent the incredible achievements in Canadian media.
Nino Di Cara, President, National Media Awards Foundation

With a reputation for facilitating rigorous, transparent, and bilingual awards programs in which content creators are recognized and rewarded for outstanding achievement in journalism, writing, visual art, design and digital media, the National Media Awards Foundation is proud to serve, support, and amplify the work of Canadian creators.

Look for our new brand identity this fall as we work with our stakeholders to recognize and celebrate excellence in the year ahead at the 41st annual National Magazine Awards and the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards.

 

About the National Magazine Awards
The National Magazine Awards, established in 1977, recognize outstanding achievement in Canadian magazine writing, visual art, and design. This past year, 197 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design to the 40th anniversary 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 nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories. 

Nearly 300 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the Arcadian Court for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala.

Visit magazine-awards.com to view the complete list of winners and read the full text of all winning articles of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. Download the entire list [PDF] of nominees and winners.

Twitter:            @MagAwards | @PrixMag
Facebook:       /MagAwards
Blog:                blog.magazine-awards.com

 

About the Digital Publishing Awards
The Digital Publishing Awards, established in 2015, 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.

This past year, the Digital Publishing Awards expanded from 14 to 21 categories to better reflect the growth, innovation, and diversity in Canadian digital publishing content and creation. A total of 75 Canadian digital publications, English and French, participated in the DPAs, submitting the best of their digital content, design and innovation from the past year for consideration in 21 awards categories. 67 individuals volunteered their time, their expertise, and their passion for digital publishing in serving as judges for this year’s awards. They nominated 85 entries from 34 different digital publications for this year’s awards.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominees and winners in all 21 categories of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards.

Twitter:            @DPAwards
Facebook:       /DPAwards
Blog:                digitalpublishing.blog

 

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.

Get in touch with us and find out how we can work with you to Celebrate Canadian Creators.

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

Émilie Pontbriand
Communications Manager
416.939.6200
staff@magazine-awards.com

Announcing the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards Winners

The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is proud to announce the winners of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards, recognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publications.

The NMAF presented Gold and Silver awards in 21 categories at the Digital Publishing Awards Soirée, held on June 1 at the Spoke Club in Toronto’s King West district and hosted by author and illustrator Evan Munday.

“Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards. The impressive achievements we have honoured tonight underscore the incredible innovation, diversity, and creativity of Canada’s digital creators and publishers. We are fortunate to have a vibrant digital media industry in this country and we are proud to support it with the Digital Publishing Awards program.”
Nino Di Cara, NMAF President

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominees and winners in all 21 categories. Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards and #DPA17.

 

GENERAL EXCELLENCE IN DIGITIAL PUBLISHING

This year the award for General Excellence in Digital Publishing was presented in two divisions: small publications & large publications.

Canadian Art won the Gold Medal for General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Small Publications. Honourable Mention in General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Small Publications was awarded to Hakai Magazine, LiisBeth, National Observer, Toronto Life and YMC: Motherhood Unfiltered.

CBC News won the Gold Medal for General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Large Publications. The CBC News team won 3 other Gold Medals in Best News Coverage: Local & Provincial, Best Online Video: Short and Best Service Feature: Family, Health & Careers.

 

EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD

Naël Shiab of L’actualité was named this year’s recipient of the Emerging Excellence Award. The award honours an individual whose early work in Canadian digital publishing shows the highest degree of craft and promise.

According to the Emerging Excellence Award jury:

“Naël Shiab is a bright light shining across the world of journalism. He combines the inquisitiveness and skepticism of a journalist with the creativity and three-dimensional thinking of a coder to create astonishing data-led work that illuminates and educates and entertains. He is the future of journalism and the more Naël Shiabs at work, the better off we are as an informed citizenry.”

 

DIGITAL PUBLISHING LEADERSHIP AWARD

The Digital Publishing Leadership Award was presented to Kenny Yum, managing editor of HuffPost Canada. The award honours an individual whose career contributions to Canadian digital publishing deserve recognition and celebration.

“Kenny Yum is the kind of journalistic leader who represents everything that’s exciting and worthwhile in our industry. Long before digital media was a priority for most places, Kenny was already working on merging high-quality Canadian journalism with innovative formats to connect intimately with audiences. After roles at The Globe and Mail, National Post, Financial Post and CBC, Kenny helped launched HuffPost Canada six years ago. There, he’s built one of the country’s youngest, most culturally diverse newsrooms, where he challenges us to strive for excellence and innovation every day.”
Andree Lau, Managing Editor of News at HuffPost Canada

 

WINNERS HIGHLIGHTS

16 different publications received Digital Publishing Awards this year, including 10 publications which received their first-ever award.

The leading publication in this year’s Digital Publishing Awards is The Globe and Mail, winning a total of 12 awards, including 8 Gold and 4 Silver. They also received Honourable Mention in General Excellence in Digital Publishing: Large Publications.

Canadian Art, Canadian Press, Discourse Media, Hazlitt, HuffPost Canada, L’actualité, Policy Options, Ryerson Review of Journalism, VICE and Wedding Bells all won their first Digital Publishing Award this year.

CBC News, BuzzFeed Canada, Hakai Magazine, Today’s Parent, The Globe and Mail and Toronto Life won Digital Publishing Awards for the second year.

Naël Shiab won the inaugural Emerging Excellence Award, as well as the Silver Medal in Best Digital Initiative for his L’actualité piece, “Allez-vous être remplacé par un robot? Demandez-le à… notre robot!”

The Globe and Mail’sCrichton Farm” story won Gold in two categories: Best Feature Article: Short and Best Social Storytelling.

Toronto Life won the Gold Medal in Best Digital Design for the second year in a row.

LiiBeth, National Observer, YMC: Motherhood Unfiltered, FILLER Magazine, The Tyee, Daily Xtra, The Walrus, NUVO Magazine, GUTS Magazine, Maclean’s, NOW Magazine, Global News, Chatelaine, Sportsnet, urbania.ca, Fashion Magazine, and UBC School of Journalism all received Honourable Mention.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominees and winners in all 21 categories. Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards and #DPA17.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The Digital Publishing Awards gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council, as well as its generous partners including Candescent, Very Good Studios, Vividata, Impresa Communications Ltd., CNW Group and Goetz Storytelling.

The NMAF offers its sincere thanks to the highly skilled professionals who generously contributed their time and expertise as judges of the Digital Publishing Awards competition.

 

ABOUT THE DIGITAL PUBLISHING AWARDS

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.

This year, the Digital Publishing Awards expanded from 14 to 21 categories to better reflect the growth, innovation, and diversity in Canadian digital publishing content and creation. A total of 75 Canadian digital publications participated in the DPAs, submitting the best of their digital content, design and innovation from the past year for consideration in 21 awards categories. 67 individuals volunteered their time, their expertise, and their passion for digital publishing in serving as judges for this year’s awards. They nominated 85 entries from 34 different digital publications for this year’s awards.

 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MEDIA AWARDS FOUNDATION

A charitable foundation, the NMAF 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.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominees and winners in all 21 categories. Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards and #DPA17.

Thank You! From the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, 26 May 2017, Arcadian Court, Toronto (Photo by Steven Goetz for the NMAF)

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards are in the books, and the NMAF would like to thank all of the amazing contributors, sponsors, partners, and everyone else who helped make this year’s awards program a successful and poignant celebration of Canadian magazine creators.

Thank you to Vanessa Wyse, Nicola Hamilton, and their team at Studio Wyse for creating and executing the look and feel of this year’s National Magazine Awards–including the gala program (right), tickets, stage design, and our social media design. We loved working with you!

Thank you to our three wonderful co-hosts–Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott–for leading the show and delighting the audience with their wit and honouring the nominees and winners with such grace.

Thank you to Alicia Elliott for delivering a bold and timely keynote address on the issue of cultural appropriation and the role of magazines in educating Canadians.

Thank you to our Special Guests at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala and those who sent special video messages to our nominees and winners:

  • Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada;
  • His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto;
  • Sally Armstrong, UNICEF Special Representative to Afghanistan, Amnesty International-recognized human rights journalist, and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • James Ireland, legend of Canadian magazine design and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Ken Rodmell, legend of Canadian magazine design and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Lynn Cunningham, Ryerson University Journalism School instructor and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Stephen Trumper, Ryerson University Journalism School instructor and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner (and his daughter Hannah);
  • Al Zikovitz, CEO of Cottage Life Media and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Paul Jones, long-time Maclean-Hunter and Rogers publisher, and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Desmond Cole, 3-time National Magazine Award winner and Newstalk 1010 host;
  • Jennifer Varkonyi, publisher of Maisonneuve;
  • Peter McNeill, national director of KPMG Enterprise;
  • Hon Lu, National Magazine Award-winning writer;
  • Min Gyo Chung, National Magazine Award-winning illustrator;
  • Gilbert Li, award-winning art director and NMA judge;
  • Arjun Basu, senior vice president of Bookmark Content, NMA judge, and former NMAF president;
  • Marcel Courville, senior vice president of marketing at TC Transcontinental Printing;
  • Anna Principe, business development manager at Rolland Enterprises;
  • Jack Illingworth, literature officer at the Ontario Arts Council;
  • Laurie Smith, customer marketing manager at CNW, a Cision Company.

Thank you to our Judges–the 112 individuals who volunteered their time as peer experts in Canadian magazines, serving on our juries for the 40th anniversary awards.

Thank you to the 40 National Magazine Award winners who participated in our #40at40 anniversary story, where we asked 40 people to tell us about a magazine, a creator, or a magazine story that has had a big impact on their careers. [ See Twitter version | Download PDF version ]

Thank you to our Table Patrons who generously provided discounted tickets for nominated freelance creators:

Thank you to all our Sponsors and Partners for their enthusiastic support of the National Magazine Awards and Canadian magazine creators.

Thank you to the team at CCR Solutions for their production of the gala multimedia show.

Thank you to the team at Very Good Studios for their production of the nominees video.

Thank you to our wonderful staff and our Board of Directors for their hard work and guidance.

Thank you to Steven Goetz, our event photographer for this year’s National Magazine Awards. Check out the 2017 NMA photo gallery on our Facebook Page.


Check out all the photos here


Thank you to all our contributors to the 40th anniversary gala:

Program Editor: Richard A. Johnson
Program & Gala Art Direction & Design: Studio Wyse
Printing: Transcontinental Printing
Paper: Rolland Enterprises
Translation: Sophie Lecomte, Émilie Pontbriand
Copy Editing: Leah Edwards, Krista Robinson
Volunteer Coordination: Leah Jensen
Audiovisual Production: CCR Solutions
Nominees Montage: Very Good Studios
Production Interns: Eny Kuen, Leah Edwards
Outstanding Achievement Award Photography: Daniel Ehrenworth
Event Photography: Steven Goetz
News Release Distribution: CNW, a Cision Company
Chartered Accountants: Beckett Lowden Read, LLP
Caterer: Oliver & Bonacini
Venue: The Arcadian Court, Toronto

Special Thanks:

  • To our 40th anniversary Program Advisory Committee: Curtis Gillespie, Danielle Groen, and Kim Pittaway
  • To the Town of Huntsville, where Roy MacGregor’s original 1978 NMAF President’s Medal is now on display at the Canada Summit Centre Sports Memorabilia Collection.
  • To our hardworking event volunteers.

Congratulations to the participants, nominees and winners of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Penny Caldwell’s speech at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

Penny Caldwell, publisher of Cottage Life, accepts the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala in Toronto, 26 May 2017 (Photo by Steven Goetz / NMAF)

At last Friday’s 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, the NMAF presented Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media, with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour presented in Canadian magazines.

We asked Penny to compose a message to the industry, which was presented in the 40th anniversary NMA gala program and comprised the basis of her acceptance speech at the gala. Here are Penny Caldwell’s complete remarks.


The Space Between

Our urgent need for innovative ideas and talented creators
by Penny Caldwell

I am honoured to receive this award and extend my sincere thanks to the National Magazine Awards Foundation, to my colleagues who nominated me, and to the many people who have contacted me since the news was announced.

Recently, a student at Cottage Life asked me what I have learned over the nearly forty years that I have worked in publishing. The best advice, I told her, was to manage your expectations but keep dreaming, work hard, be patient, and be adaptable.

That advice came to me from Doug Creighton, the founding publisher of the Toronto Sun when, fresh out of university, I was looking for a job. A family friend had arranged the interview, and Doug said he could probably get me a job on the copy desk working the night shift. What a thrill to imagine being part of a big daily newspaper, even as a proofreader on the night shift. Then he advised me not to take the job. Go out, he said, and find a place at a small newspaper where you will learn to do everything. So I went home and applied to every community newspaper across Canada, and I got a job as a sports reporter and columnist at the Whitby News Advertiser in Ajax.

The newspaper’s editor and senior reporters taught me a lot about crafting compelling stories. When one of the girls on the basketball team was fatally attacked by another student, I even covered a murder. But I recall the day I heard some surprising news: that the purpose of the stories we poured our hearts into was to fill the space between the ads.

If only it were that simple.

Fast forward. Most of us here tonight are still inescapably seduced by the power of storytelling. And while we can’t lose sight of the reality that, yes, in our legacy business the stories have traditionally been what fill up the spaces between the ads, we comfort ourselves that good content comes out on top. Content is king. Our readers pay for the content. Our advertisers pay to be close to the content. How close? Well, that’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it?

Ads are no longer simply adjacent to content,. Now they pop up in the middle of the stories—online and on our TV screens. Not that this is new. Who here remembers the issue of Saturday Night magazine in the late ‘90s, in which an excerpt of Mordecai’s Richler’s “Barney’s Version” was typeset to wrap around a vodka bottle? “Absolut Mordecai.”

While the business model for paid advertising evolves, so does our distribution method. Our world now includes an audience that doesn’t expect to have to shell out for content. And so, in an effort to attract the big numbers—not to mention big data—we give away our valuable content for free on our websites, on other digital channels, and in e-newsletters. Our advertising partners, who in the past clamoured to be close to the content, now want to be the content. Our industry has survived the inventions of radio and television, but I don’t know of a time in which magazines have been under more pressure to reinvent themselves—because with new technology we can, and because with new technology we have to. We now compete in more places and in more ways than ever for our customers’ time and money.

My twenty-year-old, idealistic, sports-reporter self says, what has the world come to? My present, practical business self says disruption happens, get on with it. The magazine industry must adapt—all of us here—in order to keep growing. We are going to have to find new sources of revenue, new innovative ways to engage our audiences that they will pay for. And that means learning everything possible about our customers. We’re going to have to find out what’s important to them, and tap into that passion.

My optimistic self says, we can do this. Yes, because we don’t have a choice if we want to survive. But also because as magazine creators we are very, very good at captivating audiences with compelling stories. Magazines are still a highly authentic, trusted platform whose halo has already enabled our industry to expand far beyond print into mega media brands comprising digital, social, video, audio, events, stores, merchandise, and even restaurants. If we continue to tell compelling, relevant stories, in whatever form, the audience will be there and they will pay. We still need good, high-quality content and the talented creators behind it. We still need to recognize its value in our business.

Tonight, we celebrate excellence. Tonight, we celebrate the creators. And tonight, I offer congratulations to those of you—editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and publishers—who know how to tell the powerful Canadian stories that have such a profound influence on our society.

Finally, I would like to end with a thank you to Cottage Life, and particularly to Al Zikovitz, my mentor, friend, and long-time boss, who every day teaches me something new about hard work, being adaptable, and chasing your dreams.

Thank you.


Penny Caldwell (@PennyCaldwell) is the publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media. At this year’s 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards she was presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Read her complete National Magazine Awards bio here

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 annual deadline for nominations is March 1.

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