The 2018 National Magazine Awards Jury

The NMAF is pleased to announce the roster of judges for the 2018 awards program! Each year, the Foundation relies on the expertise of over 180 volunteer judges–editors, publishers, art directors, professors, writers, artists, journalists and readers of influence–to review the entries to the National Magazine Awards. THANK YOU to the individuals who volunteered their time and expertise to judge for the 41st National Magazine Awards!

2018 JURY
Click here to see the members of the Francophone Jury (Writing Awards).

Writing Awards (English), Visual Awards, Editorial Awards, and Best Magazine Awards:

Adrian Lee
Adrian Lee is the opinion editor, as well as the editor overseeing arts and science coverage, at Maclean’s.
Afiya Francisco is a former magazine editor and leading style expert known for her fashion commentary and personable approach to tackling style questions. Afiya is a mom to two sons, Felix and Des.
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Alysa Procida is the Executive Director & Publisher of the Inuit Art Quarterly. Bringing a wealth of experience with Inuit art and non-profit leadership, Alysa Procida joined the IAF in 2015. Prior to becoming the Foundation’s Executive Director, Alysa was the Executive Director and Curator of the Museum of Inuit Art.
Amira Elghawaby.pngAmira Elghawaby is an award-winning journalist and human rights advocate. Along with frequent appearances on Canadian and international news networks, Amira has written and produced stories and commentary for CBC Radio, the Ottawa Citizen, the Toronto Star, the Literary Review of Canada, and the Globe and Mail. Amira spent five years promoting the civil liberties of Canadian Muslims as human rights officer and later, as director of communications, at the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) between 2012 to the fall of 2017. Amira obtained an honours degree in Journalism and Law from Carleton University in 2001.
Amy Rosen is an award-winning journalist and cookbook author, her latest book is Toronto Eats. She also owns Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns in Toronto.
Andrea Bennett is the Editor-in-Chief of Maisonneuve, a Reader’s Digest contributor and the designer for PRISM international.
Andrew Braithwaite.jpgAndrew Braithwaite is a BC-born magazine journalist who covers food, wine, architecture and design from his current base in San Francisco. He’s a contributing editor of Azure, and has won multiple NMAs for his work on enRoute’s “Canada’s Best New Restaurants.”
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.18.44 PM.pngAnna Ling Kaye has published internationally and been short-listed for the Journey Prize. She is a former editor at PRISM international and Ricepaper magazines, and recently guest-edited issue #143 of The New Quarterly magazine. Anna sits on the board of Project Bookmark Canada, and is co-founder of Hapa-palooza Festival, a celebration of mixed heritage and identity.
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Anna Minzhulina is an art director and design artist. For more than a decade she art directed and designed the Maisonneuve magazine. During that time, the publication has won the Magazine of the Year award twice. Many artists were nominated as well as rewarded for their work under her direction. Minzhulina herself was nominated multiple times and National Magazine awards for Best Cover, Best Issue, and Best Art Direction. She previously served as a judge for Still Life Photography category and Best Editorial Package.
Arnaud Granata.jpgArnaud Granata dirige le média spécialisé Infopresse qui couvre le monde du marketing, de la publicité et des médias au Québec. Infopresse produit et diffuse une large gamme de contenus (conférences, magazines, formations, concours, sites web) destinés aux professionnels de l’industrie. Arnaud est également auteur. Son dernier livre, Le pouvoir de l’échec a été publié en septembre 2016. Il est le concepteur et producteur au contenu de l’émission Dans les médias etest le concepteur et le journaliste de la série documentaire 30 secondes pour changer le monde à Télé-Québec. Il anime débats, tables rondes et entrevues et il commente aussi l’actualité des marques et des médias à l’émission Medium Large. On le voit régulièrement à la télé pour parler pub, consommation, médias et tendances.
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 2.24.20 PM.pngBänoo Zan is a poet, translator, teacher, editor and poetry curator, with more than 160 published poems and poetry-related pieces as well as three books. Song of Phoenix: Life and Works of Sylvia Plath, was reprinted in Iran in 2010. Songs of Exile, her first poetry collection, was released in 2016 in Canada by Guernica Editions. It was shortlisted for Gerald Lampert Memorial Award by the League of Canadian Poets in 2017. Letters to My Father, her second poetry book, was published in 2017 by Piquant Press in Canada. She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse poetry reading and open mic series (inception: 2012). It is a brave space that bridges the gap between communities of poets from different ethnicities, nationalities, religions (or lack thereof), ages, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, poetic styles, voices and visions.
Benjamin Hertwig.jpgBenjamin Hertwig was the recipient of a National Magazine Award in 2017, and his debut collection of poems, Slow War, was a finalist for the 2017 Governor General’s Award. His essays have appeared in places like the New York Times, NPR, the Walrus, Maisonneuve, and the Sun Magazine.
Bill_Whitelaw New.jpgBill Whitelaw is executive vice-president, business information, for Glacier Media, a Canadian publishing and information services company. In this role, Whitelaw oversees a variety of long-serving B2B brands such as The Daily Oil Bulletin, Oilweek, The Northern Miner and Western Producer. Whitelaw’s career spans more than three decades in the Canadian media space, including stints as reporter, editor and publisher. He is a graduate of Loyalist College, Queen’s University and the University of Calgary.
Brian Morgan.jpgBrian Morgan, though he studied printmaking at art school, has worked as a graphic designer and an art director for the past 23 years, 17 of these in editorial design. He has worked for (or on) Maclean’s, Saturday Night, C, Dose, The Vancouver Review, and The Walrus. At this last publication, he was the art director for nine years. He also sat on the executive committee of the National Magazine Awards, as its secretary. He lives and works in Montreal.
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Cecil Rosner is Director of Investigative Journalism for CBC Regions. He has four decades experience in print and broadcast journalism, and for 13 years he was Managing Editor for CBC Manitoba. He has created and supervised documentaries, news and current affairs programs over the years, and specialized in investigative journalism. He is the co-author of When Justice Fails: the David Milgaard Story, and author of Behind the Headlines: a History of Investigative Journalism in Canada. He also teaches investigative journalism at the University of Winnipeg, where he is an adjunct professor.
CharlesDesGroseilliers-1.jpegCharles DesGroseilliers est directeur artistique dans le milieu éditorial depuis plus de 10 ans. Il a commencé par le magazine Commerce en 2007, avant de se voir confier la responsabilité de créer la grille ainsi qu’assumer la direction artistique des magazines Premium (2009), Les Affaires Plus (2010) et finalement le journal Les Affaires (2014). À travers les années, sa passion pour le design imprimé l’a amené à avoir à développer une expertise en vidéo, en illustration et en publicité.
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Charles Yao is the Art Director at Little Brother Magazine and the Director of Speakers at The Lavin Agency.
Charlit Floriano is a Hamilton-based artist working in print and animation. She has contributed and art directed for The Feathertale Review.
Chelene Knight.jpgChelene Knight is a Vancouver born-and-raised graduate of The Writer’s Studio at SFU. In addition to being a workshop facilitator for teens, she is also a literary event organizer, host, and seasoned panelist. She has been published in various Canadian and American literary magazines, and her work is widely anthologized. Chelene is currently the Managing Editor at Room magazine, and the 2018 Programming Director for the Growing Room Festival. Braided Skin, her first book (Mother Tongue Publishing, March 2015), has given birth to numerous writing projects including her second book, memoir, Dear Current Occupant (BookThug, 2018). In 2016 Chelene worked with fiction mentor Jen Sookfong Lee to flesh out the first draft of a historical novel set Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley.
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Chelsea Murray is a Halifax-based writer and editor, and co-founder of The Deep Magazine.
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Christina Vardanis is the executive editor at Chatelaine, where she oversees features, projects and branded partnerships. Prior to joining the magazine in 2015, she spent 12 years at The Globe and Mail assigning and editing features for the National desk, ROB, Life & Arts and Focus.

Christopher Wahl.jpgChristopher Wahl is a working photographer living in Toronto, Canada. He has shot assignments for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, TIME, LIFE, and most Canadian magazines ever since the 1990’s. Christopher has been nominated for 17 national magazine awards and has never won gold. His work is part of many private and public collections, notably in Canada the permanent collection of The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

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Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.
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Curtis Gillespie has won seven National Magazine Awards, edits Eighteen Bridges magazine, and is director of the Environmental Writing program at the Banff Centre. He lives in Edmonton.
D.B. Scott.jpgD. B. Scott (David) is president of Impresa Communications Limited of Cambridge, Ont., consultants to the magazine industry and the not-for-profit sector. He is the academic coordinator for magazine and web publishing at Ryerson University’s Chang School of Continuing Education. For 13 years he has published Canadian Magazines, a daily blog about the industry ( ). He has been a frequent moderator and presenter at the MagNet industry conference, at Magazines Canada’s Business Media Summit, a frequent awards judge for the national and western awards as well as the International Regional Magazines Association (IRMA). He was president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 1991 and was presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement — the industry’s highest individual honour — in 2010 .
David Beers.jpgDavid Beers is founding editor of the independent news site The Tyee. Beers was senior editor at Mother Jones, the San Francisco Examiner and the Vancouver Sun. His writing has won National Magazine Awards in the U.S. and Canada. He is adjunct professor at UBC Graduate School of Journalism and SFU School of Communication.
David Dixon was born in Toronto, Canada and trained at the prestigious Ryerson University. He enjoys tremendous media acclaim and stands out among that of his Canadian contemporaries as one of the leaders in women’s fashion design. His designs are sold across Canada and in select boutiques around the globe. His innovative designs have won him a following among the elite communities of film and fashion. David Dixon has been featured in such publications as; Vogue, Marie Claire, Town & Country, Elle, Elle Canada, Flare, Dressed to Kill, Fashion, Zink, The Globe and Mail, and WWD to name a few. Dixon has also appeared on such media programming such as Fashion Television, Fashion File, Celebrity Style, MTV, and Project Runway.
Deanne G.jpgDeanne Gage is a Toronto-based editor and writer who has specialized in personal finance issues since 1999. She’s the editor of FORUM magazine, and is a money columnist for The Toronto Star. A recipient of several journalism awards, Deanne’s work has appeared in MoneySense, Chatelaine,, Today’s Parent, CPA magazine, and leading business-to-business publications.
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Denise Balkissoon is a weekly Opinion columnist and a reporter in the Globe’s Toronto section. The National Magazine Award-winning writer is also a co-founder of The Ethnic Aisle, a blog about race and ethnicity in the Greater Toronto Area
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 3.00.12 PM.pngDerek Finkle founded Canadian Writers Group in 2009. After graduating from Princeton University, Derek became Toronto Life magazine’s first editorial intern in 1993. He went on to be a regular contributor to Saturday Night magazine and The Globe and Mail, among other publications, before publishing his first book, No Claim to Mercy, in 1998, which won the Crime Writers’ Arthur Ellis Award for best non-fiction and was named a Notable Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail. From 2002 to 2007, he was the editor of Toro magazine, which garnered more than 60 National Magazine Award nominations, including Finkle’s gold for investigative reporting in 2005.
Derek Webster is a freelance writer and editor, and the founding editor of Maisonneuve magazine.
Dominique Ritter is the editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest Canada. She has also worked at Bookmark (formerly Spafax), The Canadian Encyclopedia and Adbusters.
Donna Griffith is an award-winning food, lifestyle and interiors photographer. Her work is frequently seen in Canadian House + Home, Style at Home, Canadian Living and other publications
Priscilla Settee.jpgDr. Priscilla Settee is Swampy Cree member of Cumberland House First Nations and a Professor of Indigenous Studies and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. She has won recognition nationally and internationally as an award-winning professor and as a global educator/activist. She is the author of two books Pimatisiwin, Global Indigenous Knowledge Systems(2013) that looks at global Indigenous Knowledge Systems and The Strength of Women, Ahkameyimohk(2011) that examines the role of Indigenous women’s stories in establishing truth, reconciliation and social change. Dr. Settee is working on her third book on Indigenous Food Sovereignty. She is a kohkum(grandmother) to Nya Lily and Lola Rose.
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Emily Landau is a senior editor at Toronto Life, where she handles features. She has written for Toronto Life, GQ, Esquire, The Walrus and Hazlitt.
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Emily M. Keeler is the Vice President of PEN Canada and the editor of Exploded Views, a nonfiction series from Coach House Books. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, Los Angeles Time, Toronto Life, The Walrus, Canadian Notes and Queries and The Literary Review of Canada.
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Enzo DiMatteo is Editorial Director at NOW Magazine. He was born in Belgium and emigrated to Canada in the heat of Trudeaumania. He cut his teeth in journalism in the 90s covering policing, politics and far-right movements. He is a winner of numerous writing awards.

François Émond est directeur artistique du magazine Québec Science depuis 1999. Il a été directeur artistique aux éditions Transcontinental pendant 10 ans, particulièrement à la revue Commerce. Il a aussi travaillé au magazine L’actualité et à l’Office national du film en début de carrière. Il a étudié en communication graphique à l’Université Laval et à l’Université d’Alberta.

Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 3.24.14 PM.pngGary Ross is a former editor-in- chief of Saturday Night and Vancouver magazines and has been honoured with half a dozen National Magazine Awards, and has edited scores of award-winning articles by other writers. His books include the No. 1 nonfiction bestseller Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony (which became the feature film Owning Mahowny, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman). His popular presentation, The Ross Rules, trains people in organizations to communicate more effectively.
Georges HaroutiunGeorges Haroutiun studied design in Copenhagen, Denmark, before emigrating to Montreal. He quickly found his passion was editorial design, and after working on a number of notable magazines, was lured to Toronto, which he has made his home ever since. In addition to founding Applied Arts Magazine in 1986, demand for his talent prompted him to found MAG Graphics, his magazine design consultancy, from which he also launched titles such as Images. Georges has worked at or consulted for magazines in every category, clients in Montreal, Toronto, New York
Harley Rustad is an editor at The Walrus magazine. He has written for publications including Outside, the Globe and Mail, and Geographical. His first book, Big Lonely Doug, based off a silver National Magazine Award-winning feature in The Walrus, is out September 2018.
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Hudson Christie is a Toronto visual artist who works with photography and sculpture. Using paper and polymer clay, he creates miniature dioramas which he photographs and then archives or destroys, leaving the photograph as the prioritized record of his work. He has contributed to The New York Times, The Walrus, Maisonneuve Magazine, and the New Yorker, among others.
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Ian Cockfield is Managing Editor of EVENT magazine, an award-winning BC-based literary journal now in its 46th year of publication. He also runs EVENT’s Reading Service for Writers, and is a past fiction editor of PRISM international. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, was a past president of the Magazine Association of BC, and has been a freelance editor since 2003, editing for Anvil Press, UBC Press, Douglas College, and others.

Jackie Kovacs is editor-in-chief at Metroland Media Group.




Jean-François Proulx is the creative director of Nouveau Projet and of the design studio Balistique. He has won three National Magazine Awards.

James Hewes lower res.jpgJames Hewes was a Publisher and Head of International at BBC Magazines. Part of the team that sold the business to private equity in November 2011, he was then Publishing Director for Top Gear, Good Food, Easy Cook and Lonely Planet Magazine and a Director of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. He spent four years in Dubai, running Gulf News Publishing. Responsible for more than 30 product areas, he launched the group’s first consumer title in Arabic – wheels Arabic. Appointed President & CEO of FIPP in September 2017, he joined from The Art Newspaper, having been Interim CEO since December 2016.
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 Jan Wong is an award-winning Canadian journalist. In 1972, as a third-generation Montrealer, Jan Wong became the first Canadian to study in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her newest book is Apron Strings.
IMG_3228Janet Eger is a board director with the Writers’ Trust, a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian voices through the country’s writers and writing. She spent a decade with Indigo, Canada’s largest book retailer, as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, and as a board director with the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation.  Prior to joining Indigo, Janet spent six years at Holt Renfrew where she oversaw Advertising and Public Relations, and five years at Canadian Pacific/Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, where she gained global communications experience while supporting 40 hotels in six countries. She has also worked in broadcast media. Born and raised in Calgary, now based in Toronto, Janet is an avid skier, traveller, and book lover.
Janice Stuckless
 Janice Stuckless is a lifelong writer and the longtime editor-in-chief of Downhome, an award-winning Newfoundland and Labrador lifestyle magazine with an international circulation and a 30th anniversary in June 2018.
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Jean-François Légaré is the Editor-in-chief of Air Canada enRoute.
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Jean-Nicolas Patoine est journaliste au quotidien Le Soleil.
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Jeanne Beker is a Canadian Journalist, Media Personality, and Fashion Entrepreneur.
Jeremy Keehn is a features editor at Bloomberg Businessweek, and was previously the editor of, digital director of Harper’s, and senior editor at The Walrus.
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Jessica Johnson is executive editor and creative director of The Walrus. She has previously worked as an editor for a number of Canadian magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, Saturday Night, Azure, FQ and the National Post. She is also a former marketing director for Hudson’s Bay. Her story “The Hairs About Our Secrets” in Eighteen Bridges won an NMA for humour in 2013.
John Milne
John Milne is president of Breakwell & Company, a national media consulting firm whose clients include both national and regional publishers, associations and media services suppliers.  Over a 35-year career in business publishing, John earned national writing awards as well as launching award-winning publications for both Maclean Hunter Limited and Rogers Publishing while effectively leading the transition from print to multiple platforms.
Johnny HughesJonny Hughes is a group art director for the London based travel media agency Ink. He has been working in content magazine publishing for the past 20 years across the fashion, retail, food and travel sectors and has won several awards for design and art direction. He lives in Southeast London with his wife and two children and is obsessed with photography and table tennis.
Jordan Ginsberg is the editor-in-chief of Hazlitt and a senior editor at Penguin Random House Canada
joyceJoyce Byrne is Group Publisher at RedPoint Media, where she oversees Avenue Calgary and other titles. Joyce has been the president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association since 2014, and has also served as president of the NMAF and as a director of Magazines Canada. Before relocating to Canada’s sunniest city she was Vice President at Venture Publishing in Edmonton, but is originally from Toronto, where she began her magazine career at This Magazine, and has served 15 years as Taddle Creek’s proofreader.
Jude Isabella is editor in chief of Hakai Magazine, an online publication that explores coastal science and societies. She writes about science and environment for readers big and small, with sojourns into videography. Next year, Kids Can Press will publish her latest book, which is about predators and ecology in Yellowstone National Park.
Julie Cailliau_photo_Daphne Caron High ResJulie Cailliau est rédactrice en chef du Groupe Les Affaires, qui publie le journal Les Affaires, le site, le magazine Les Affaires Plus et l’infolettre exclusive aux abonnés, le Bulletin privilège. Julie a fait ses débuts de journaliste en France, et elle poursuit cette passion au Québec depuis plus de 15 ans. Le fil conducteur de sa carrière est le goût d’apprendre et de communiquer ses découvertes.
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Kamal Al-Solaylee is an associate professor of journalism at Ryerson University where he teaches feature writing and creative nonfiction, among other courses. He’s the author of two award-winning books, Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes and Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone). He has written for several magazines and newspapers, including The Walrus, Toronto Life, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, Elle Canada, Sharp and Quill & Quire.
Karen C.jpgKaren Christensen is Editor in Chief of Rotman Management magazine, published by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She and her team have won two silver national Magazine Awards: Art Direction for an Entire Issue (2009) and Best Single Issue (2014). She holds a BA in English from McGill University and attended Simon Fraser University’s Publishing Program.
Katherine Laidlaw
Katherine Laidlaw is a freelance writer for publications such as Outside, BuzzFeed, Marie Claire, Wired, Hazlitt and Toronto Life. She is a former senior editor of The Walrus magazine and has held masthead positions at Reader’s Digest Canada and Up Here.
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Kathy English is the public editor of the Toronto Star.
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Kim Fu’s first poetry collection How Festive the Ambulance received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and includes a Best Canadian Poetry selection and an NMA Silver Medal winner. Her poetry has appeared in Granta, CV2, PRISM International, Carousel, Canadian Literature, Grain, Room, the Rusty Toque, Ricepaper, and the New Quarterly. She is also the author of the novels For Today I Am a Boy, winner of the Edmund White Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and most recently, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore.
Screen Shot 2018-03-13 at 4.37.49 PM.pngKim Jernigan spent her working life as a tutor in the Writing Centre at The University of Waterloo where she also taught courses in literature, composition, and public speaking. On the side, she volunteered in the editorial ranks of The New Quarterly, a Canadian literary magazine, winning the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards on her retirement in 2014. She continues to keep a hand in as a contest adjudicator at The New Quarterly and a contributing editor at Canadian Notes and Queries.
Kim Shiffman.jpgKim Shiffman, a veteran of the Canadian magazine industry, has been at Today’s Parent and since 2015, and is currently deputy editor. Previously, Kim served as managing editor at Connected Rogers and Allergic Living, and prior to that, she was senior online editor at Travelzoo and senior editor at Profit. Kim graduated from the University of Toronto and received a post-graduate diploma from Centennial College. She’s married and the mom of two boys.
Kristy Woudstra.pngKristy Woudstra is currently the Managing Editor of The UC Observer magazine. Her 20-year career has included working for The Huffington Post, Today’s Parent, Outdoor Canada, MoneySense as well as international development organizations. She has traveled the world to cover stories in countries like Niger, Uganda, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico and her writing has appeared in many Canadian publications including The Walrus, Canadian Living, Geez and This. Needless to say, she doesn’t exactly have a niche — she just likes a good story.
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Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg scholar, writer, and artist. She is on the faculty at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning in Denendeh and a distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is author of As We Have Always Done, Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back, The Gift Is in the Making, Islands of Decolonial Love, and This Accident of Being Lost. Leanne is a member of Alderville First Nation, in Ontario, Canada.
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Lisa Tant is an award-winning editor, writer and media personality – recognized as one of Canada’s leading experts on fashion, beauty and style. She was the editor-in-chief and associate publisher (from 2010) of FLARE, Canada’s bestselling fashion magazine, from 2004 to 2012.
Jackie Kovacs is the magazine editor-in-chief at Metroland Media Group
Journaliste et créatrice de contenu accomplie, Manon Chevalier compte plus de 20 ans d’expérience dans les milieux de l’édition, des médias, de la publicité et des communications. Parallèlement à ses collaborations régulières à ELLE Québec et à Véro, elle mène des mandats de création de contenu (imprimé, numérique, électronique et médias sociaux) pour des sociétés, des boîtes de production et des agences de communication de premier plan, en plus d’agir comme auteure et conseillère à l’édition.
Marcey Andrews is the art director of New Trail, the University of Alberta’s alumni magazine. She is also the senior designer in Marketing and Communications, University Relations at the University of Alberta. She has won four National Magazine Awards.
Marvin Orellana has been a photo editor at New York Magazine since 2013. Previously he worked at the New York Times Magazine. He is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he studied photojournalism.
MaryAnn.jpgMaryAnn Camilleri, Founder, The Magenta Foundation, Co- Producer, Edition Toronto Established in 2004, The Magenta Foundation is Canada’s pioneering charitable arts-publishing house. Magenta was created to advocate for and showcase the work of artists in an international context, through circulated exhibitions and publications. Magenta has continued to evolve by finding new and innovative ways to connect artists to the global arts world and is always expanding its publishing departments, to bring the most notable artists forward. Under the Magenta umbrella, there is something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by. Projects mounted by Magenta are supported with international coverage by the industry’s most renowned media outlets and critical reviews in all traditional media formats.
Matthew Inman.jpgMatthew Inman is the creative director for Spinning Top. Matthew has 25 years experience in the graphic design industry. His career started at International Publishers, Hearst UK and he went on to work as Group Art Director for the prestigious Blue Door Media and Seven publishing companies with a client base that included Next, Fortnum & Mason, BlackRock, Savills and Virgin Holidays. He was an integral part of successful pitches for Canada Poste and the Dove brand in Canada.
Melissa Geurts.jpgMelissa Geurts is a New York-based creative director. Currently, Melissa is the Creative Director at Hearst’s Good Housekeeping magazine, the largest women’s lifestyle magazine reaching an audience of 38+ million readers monthly. Beginning in 2014, Melissa worked alongside Editor-in-Chief, Jane Francisco, to reinvent the 130-year-old brand to create a chic, modern and fresh redesign. At the magazine, Melissa is responsible for the creative direction of the monthly magazine including editorial conceptualization and design execution. Prior to her role at Good Housekeeping, Melissa was the Design Director at Chatelaine, Canada’s largest woman’s magazine and designer at Style at Home. She made the move to NYC in 2014 and is currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. Follow along at @melissageurts
Michael Macaulay
Michael Macaulay oversees the production of the Porter in-flight magazine called re:porter and now, the Porter blog called re:view. He has been with Porter for over 9 years, working with the remarkable Marketing team to create fun creative that makes us smile, and hopefully makes you want to book a flight. His career includes brand and strategic work for a number of global and local clients.
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Nancy Macdonald is an award-winning reporter based in Vancouver. This fall, the Winnipeg native joined The Globe and Mail’s B.C. bureau after 12 years with Maclean’s. Her features often focus on race, racism and social justice.
HeadshotNTurveyNatalie Turvey is Executive Director of The Canadian Journalism Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that promotes and celebrates excellence in journalism, and brings media literacy to greater public through education, research, and one of the industry’s most prestigious annual awards programs. Natalie serves on numerous industry advisory groups and judging committees for journalism organizations, awards and fellowships. Natalie is an experienced media relations, communications, and not-for-profit management professional with more than 15 years of international experience. She has an MBA from the European University in Brussels, Belgium.
nicolas_boissy-303.jpgNicolas Boissy aime le design. Le design d’identité, d’emballage, de l’espace et d’édition attirent particulièrement sa curiosité. Après plus de dix années passées chez orangetango, il est maintenant designer graphique indépendant depuis deux ans. Son travail a été reconnu dans le cadre de divers concours nationaux et internationaux comme AIGA, uVU, Applied Arts, Cannes et Grafika. Son éthique de travail, sa rigueur intellectuelle et son aptitude à voir tous les détails d’un projet en font un atout précieux auprès des collègues et clients.
Nicolas Langelier est auteur, journaliste, commentateur culturel et éditeur. Il est rédacteur en chef et éditeur du magazine Nouveau Projet.
Paul Roelofs is an editorial art director with over twenty five years of experience working in lifestyle magazines. Roelofs began his career in Canada but soon after was recruited to New York and became art director for Garden Design and Saveur and most notably for InStyle. With work that has been recognized by international award-granting institutions including the Society of Publication Designers and the National Magazine Awards, Roelofs has lectured, taught and judged publication design in Canada and the U.S.
Penny Caldwell Headshot hi-res.jpgPenny is the former Publisher and VP of Cottage Life Media. She was editor of Cottage Life magazine for 15 years before moving into the Publisher’s office in 2016. Under her leadership, the magazine won hundreds of national and international magazine awards. She has taught in Ryerson University’s Magazine and Web Publishing program and is past president of the International Regional Magazine Association and a former director of Canada’s National Magazine Awards Foundation. In 2017, she was presented with the NMA’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. This year, Penny left Cottage Life to start a new chapter pursuing projects that stretch both her creative and her management skills.
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Pete Nguyen is and Art Director, Illustrator and Graphic Designer based in Edmonton.
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Peter Ash Lee is a freelance photographer based in NYC. His clients include New York Times, i-D and British Vogue. In addition to his photography work, Peter is the co-founder and creative director of Corduroy Magazine, an award-winning arts and culture publication.
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Peter McNeill is the Area Marketing Director, GTA at KPMG Canada.
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Philina Chan is the art director at FLARE and HELLO! Canada. She has held previous titles at Chatelaine and Toro in addition to working in experiential marketing at Mosaic.
Daniel Moses.jpgPoet and playwright, Daniel David Moses, a trailblazing First Nations writer, hails from Six Nations Grand River. His most recent poetry collections are River Range (a CD with original music by David Deleary) and ‘A Small Essay on the Largeness of Light’ and Other Poems (2012). His plays include Coyote City (a 1991 Governor General’s nominee) and Almighty Voice and His Wife, now included in The Norton Anthology of Drama, 2nd Edition, Volume 2: The Nineteenth Century to the Present.
Rachel Pulfer is the Executive Director of Journalists for Human Rights. Rachel has managed media development projects in Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining JHR, Rachel was a Canadian Journalism Fellow at Massey College, and a magazine journalist of 10 years’ standing.
Rafi G photo 1.jpgRafi Ghanaghounian is the Executive Director of Keep Six Contemporary Art, a not for profit arts organization dedicated to representing, supporting and promoting the arts nationally and internationally through public events and exhibitions as well as educational programs that attract and engage artists, organizations and the cultural community. Ghanaghounian is an accomplished Curator, gallery operator and promoter with over fifteen years of experience developing, implementing and promoting exhibition and events for individuals and groups in private galleries and public institutions.
RandyVelocciA.JPGRandy Velocci started out as a photojournalist working for magazines, newspapers and on occasion corporate clients for 10 years based in Toronto. When it was time for a career change, he accepted the assistant photo editor position at Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail. For the last 20 years he has been assigning and editing photography assignments from around the world. Stories include news, sports, lifestyle, business and a variety of other topics and issues. As much as he loves assigning he finds the reward is the final edit on what gets published and shared with our readers. Randy has had the pleasure of working with a great many talented photographers and always enjoys seeing how their work impacts people and changes peoples perception on important issues we face in the world today.
Richard Poplak was born and lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He trained as a filmmaker and fine artist at Montreal’s Concordia University and has produced and directed numerous short films, music videos and commercials. Now a full-time writer, Richard is a senior contributor at South Africa’s leading news site, Daily Maverick, and a frequent contributor to publications all over the world.
RitaLeistnerWPP.jpgRita Leistner is a photographer known for “The Tree Planters,” Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq, The Edward Curtis Project and Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally, published widely and are in collections including the Canadian War Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum. She was a finalist for the 2017 Robert Gardner Fellowship in Photography at Harvard University, has won three Canadian National Magazine Awards Gold Medals and is a nominee for a 2018 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Award. Rita has an MA in comparative literature, has planted over 500,000 trees in Canada and is represented by the Stephen Bulger Gallery.
Sadia Zaman is a senior leader with an extensive career history in media, cultural industries, and not-for-profits. She is a Managing Director at the ROM, and was previously Director, Original Program Development, CBC News and Centres. For three years, Sadia was also the Executive Director of Women in Film and Television-Toronto (WIFT-T), and before she moved to WIFT-T, Sadia helped create hundreds of hours of original, critically acclaimed content for a writer, producer, director and host. She has won dozens of awards for her journalism, and been honoured by women’s groups for her leadership. Sadia is also a member of several advisory committees on digital initiatives.
Sandra E. Martin - headshot
Sandra E. Martin is informed by her rich and varied 25 years as a journalist and audience specialist, and currently heads family communications and content strategy for WE. During her tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Canadian Living, the magazine won numerous accolades, including Gold in the Best Media Website category at the 2015 Canadian Online Publishing Awards, and maintained its place as the most-read paid women’s lifestyle publication in print and online. Previously, Sandra helmed the highly successful launch of Walmart Live Better/Vivre mieux Walmart, and served in senior editorial capacities at Today’s Parent. Her byline has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Cottage Life and MoneySense, among others.p
Sandy Kim, during her 15+ years of experience as a creative director, has worked on beloved magazine titles such as Wish, Glow and Chatelaine, and collaborated with retail brands spanning fashion, health, beauty, décor and food. In addition to her publishing experience, she was the DVP of Creative at Holt Renfrew, where she transformed marketing and branded content initiatives for all channels. Sandy is currently the principal at Aperkoo, a creative agency she founded, where her love for storytelling has helped her build engaging brand and content strategies that anticipate the needs of consumers and readers alike. She is proud to be part of the prestigious jury for the 2018 National Magazine Awards for Best Lifestyle magazine.
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall’s first book was an account of the year he spent in deep cover, living with the homeless in Toronto’s infamous Tent City. Down to This: Squalor and Splendour in a Big-City Shantytown was nominated for the 2005 Pearson Writers’ Trust of Canada Non-Fiction Prize, the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, the Trillium Award and the City of Toronto Book Award. The following year, he was awarded the Knowlton Nash Journalism Fellowship at Massey College and also played the role of Jason – a bad-mannered, well-dressed journalist – on CBC-TV’s The Newsroom. He currently teaches writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. Ghosted is his first novel.
Simon Rivest is an artist since forever. He worked 18 years in various national advertising agencies and since 2011, he is the creative director of Ping Pong Ping with his business and life partner Catherine Lepage. The multi-disciplinary creative studio devotes his unique and craft-based approach to collaborations mostly within the cultural sector. Since 2001, he is also part of artistic duo Doyon- Rivest. Their art has been presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Above all else, Simon believes in ideas.

Sophie Banford est directrice générale et éditrice chez KO Média. Sophie a plus d’une décennie d’expérience dans le domaine. Au fil des années, elle a porté les chapeaux de rédactrice en chef, de directrice de contenus et d’éditrice pour de nombreuses publications de premier plan, dont Châtelaine, Loulou, Clin d’œil, Moi&cie et Signé M – des marques qui ont prospéré parce qu’elle a su accorder autant d’importance à leurs résultats financiers qu’à la production d’articles percutants et visuellement attrayants.

Stéphane Monnet is the President and Creative Director of Monnet Design, an award-winning studio based in Toronto, best known for transforming and reinvigorating cultural groups and institutions through thoughtful, dynamic and memorable design. Stéphane is also the President of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada, has guest lectured at OCAD University and sits on Humber College’s Graphic Design Advisory Committee. He has been named among the top designers in Canada by both Design Edge Magazine and The Canadian Design Resource. Monnet Design is a previous recipient of the ADCC’s coveted Canadian Design Studio of the Year award and Stéphane has received 100+ awards from Canadian and international design publications and organizations including Communication Arts, The Type Director’s Club, the AIGA, the ADCC, Graphis, Applied Arts, the National Magazine Awards, and HOW Magazine.
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Stephanie Brown is the Senior Producer of the CBC Indigenous Unit, a national unit working across the country to tell Indigenous stories. Stephanie is a Métis producer who has previously worked for VICE as Executive Producer of Digital, Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, The National Film Board and has produced documentaries and series for APTN, SBS Australia, The Tyee and others.
Stéphanie Verge is the executive editor of Reader’s Digest, the co-editor-in-chief of LSTW and a National Magazine Award–winning writer. She is also the co-author of The Bar Chef: A Modern Approach to Cocktails.
Stephen Kimber.jpgStephen Kimber is an award-winning writer, editor and broadcaster, and the author of nine books, including one novel and eight nonfiction books. He is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax and co-founder of the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program.
Stephen Trumper.jpgStephen Trumper Is a journalism instructor at Ryerson University and the back-page columnist for Abilities magazine. A former recipient of the Foundation award for outstanding achievement, Stephen has worked as an editor for the Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, Harrowsmith and Financial Post Business magazine.
Sue carter headshot
Sue Carter is editor-in-chief at Quill & Quire and national books columnist for Metro News.
Susan de CartierSusan de Cartier has been managing artists and developing talent since 1990. Forming Starfish Entertainment in 1995, the company has been involved in the creation and release of more than 50 albums. The company’s roster of clients includes Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy, The Sadies, Oh Susanna, Skydiggers and Harrow Fair. Over the course of her career, Susan has guided Blue Rodeo on to become one of the most successful bands in Canadian history garnering 12 Junos and selling over four million albums worldwide to date. Starfish also manages The Woodshed Recording Studio. Susan sits on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) and the Music Managers Forum.
Susan Langdon.jpg
Susan Langdon is the Executive Director of the award-winning non-profit organization, the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), the world’s first fashion incubator. Susan has been responsible for the daily operation and management of the organization since 1994. For her dedication to the fashion industry and to fostering new talent, Susan has received numerous awards from prestigious organizations such as Ryerson University, City of Toronto, Organization of Women in International Trade and Fashion Group International.
Susan Scott
Susan Scott is the nonfiction editor of The New Quarterly (TNQ), associate director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival and a member of Native-Immigrant arts collective. Works-in-progress include Sainted Dirt: Reckonings with Land, Family, Language, and Imperfect Teaware. Body & Soul, an edited collection of intimate, transgressive essays by diverse women writers, will appear in 2019.
Tania Jim.jpg
Tania Jiménez is an independent art director and graphic designer based in Montreal. For the last 20 years, working in different countries, she has been shaping the aesthetics, content, and practical landscape of diverse projects, particularly in editorial design, branding and packaging. She is also co-founder and partner of Caribou magazine.
Tanja.jpgTanja-Tiziana is Visual Artist & Pro Photographer based in Toronto, Canada. They specialize in editorial photography and stills for film & television. Past roles include Managing Editor of BlogTO, Managing Photographer of Yonge Street Magazine, and most recently, Staff Photographer at Toronto’s only independent weekly, Now Magazine. In 2016, they published their first photo book, a decade-long documentary series titled, “Buzzing Lights: The Fading Neon Landscape of North America.”
Trish Magwood is a food and lifestyle entrepreneur who has spent her career in retail, media and start ups as a business owner. She’s produced and hosted shows for Food Network and done regular guest appearances on Canada and US networks. Trish created and hosted party dish – (Food Network Canada, Slice, Fine Living US and 70 countries worldwide) an entertaining and lifestyle television show sharing her passion and knowledge for food and entertaining. Trish was also a judge on 26 episodes of Food Network Canada’s Family Cook-Off in 2011. Trish has published two cookbooks – the award-winning, best sellers dish entertains (Harper Collins), and In My Mother’s Kitchen (Harper Collins spring 2011). Trish is a freelance food and lifestyle consultant who has written for The Globe & Mail. Trish does frequent appearances and shows on CBC Radio, NBC’s Today Show, Rogers CityLine and BT, CTV’s Canada AM, The Marilyn Denis Show, Canadian Family and Today’s Parent. Trish lives in Toronto with her three children.
Vicky Lee.jpg
 Vicky Lee is the art director of Designlines magazine, as well as the associate art director of the award-winning Azure magazine.


The nominees for 2018 will be unveiled on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 10 AM EST. Follow us on Twitter @magawards or at for the most up-to-date news.

The winners will be announced at the 41st Annual National Magazine Awards gala, set for June 1, 2018 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Details to follow. 

Enter: 2018 NMAF Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

The National Media Awards Foundation is calling for nominations for the 2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, presented annually to an individual whose creativity and innovation over the course of their career have made a significant impact on the Canadian magazine industry.

Previous winners include Penny Caldwell, Kim Pittaway, Kim JerniganMichael FoxStephen TrumperHeather RobertsonStephen OsborneJean ParéSally Armstrong, and more.

Nine former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement on stage at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala at the Arcadian Court, Toronto.

Nominations are welcome from anyone working in Canadian magazines, and must consist of:

  • A letter of nomination, including a brief bio of the nominee and a summary of their career achievements;
  • At least two (2) supporting letters from other individuals in the Canadian magazine industry or colleagues of the nominee.

There is no cost to nominate someone for the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Send your nomination’s package documents to staff to by March 1, 2018.

The winner will be announced in April and they will be presented with their award on stage at the 41st National Magazine Awards gala.

For more information visit

Final Call for Entries


Monday is your last chance to submit to the 41st annual National Magazine Awards! Complete the online submissions form by midnight (ET) on January 22nd to enter your best work from 2017 for one or more of 29 awards in written & visual, editorial and best magazine categories.

Are you a freelancer? It is not too late to take advantage of the Freelancer Support Fund, offering 50% discount on the first two entries. Writing and visual awards include a cash prize of $1000 to the Gold Medal winners – enter your work now!

Do you publish a small mag? You can still submit your entries and apply for the Small Magazine Rebate. If your publication qualifies, your second entry will be FREE.

Your magazine could be promoted on newsstands at Chapters Indigo!
Thanks to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the OMDC, 2017 NMA-winning publications are featured on a Canada’s Best Magazines display at Indigo Superstores across the country. Visit your local store to pick up the latest copies of your favourite magazines.

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The Digital Publishing Awards are accepting submissions until February 2.

Off the Page: Selina Boan

Photo credit: Rachel Jansen

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. We recently spoke with writer Selina Boan, who won the Gold medal for Poetry last year for her poems (Good) “Girls Don’t Hitchhike”, Half/Brother and Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language published in The New Quarterly. Her work has also appeared in Room and CV2, among others, and she was shortlisted for the CBC poetry prize in 2016. Boan currently lives on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples in British-Columbia, and is the Circulation Editor at PRISM international.

Where and when did you write these three poems?
I wrote these poems over the course of several years. I carried them with me on walks, at vigils, washing dishes, visiting family. For me, an initial draft of a poem begins to take shape when I have time to be in a quiet space (or in a coffee shop with headphones!). It gives me the chance to revisit observations and thoughts I’ve been combing through. To be honest, I can’t remember exactly where the initial drafts of each of these poems were written since they came together slowly and in various iterations. I moved several times in the years these poems began to take shape and was very fortunate to have a number of peers and teachers, whose work I deeply respect, offer their suggestions and insights.

Did you set out to write them together?
I didn’t actually! The poems grew from my experience connecting with family and learning more about my Cree heritage, trying to teach myself the Cree language from the internet, wrestling with how to write about everything I was learning. I didn’t grow up with the Cree side of my family and so much of my writing circles in on identity; what it means to contribute to a community, how to negotiate my position as both a settler and an urban indigenous person, how to be mindful of where I come from, how I was raised, and how I am learning.

I am interested in the way languages shape our worldviews and the knowledge and power language contains. The poem “Waȟpániča” by Layli Long Soldier comes to mind. That poem was electric for me. She captures the complexities of loss, hope and identity in relation to language. For me, poetry provides a space to ask questions, to imagine new futures.

You’ve spoken before about changing details in your poetry to protect your own and other identities. How do you decide what to mask and what not?
Poetry, in many ways, provides me space to work through the messiness of life. I don’t live in a vacuum, and so changing certain details in my work is often done out of respect for the people in my life. I will sometimes blur time, I will shift details. It’s something that I think about quite a lot; how much do I share? Who am I really writing for? How vulnerable do I actually want to be on the page?

You’re currently working on a book of poems that addresses your Cree and European heritage. How did you decide to focus your energy here?
It was not so much a choice to focus my energy there as it informs who I am, my experiences, and the things I am compelled or interested in writing about.  I can’t imagine writing a book of poems that negated or erased that, it would be an erasure of myself. In my work, I keep returning to and circling ideas around identity, around settler responsibility, around womanhood, and language learning.

I am slowly working on a manuscript of poems, a section of which will make up my creative writing thesis at UBC.

What did it mean to you to be recognized at the NMAs last year?
I was so surprised! It was such an honour to be published and nominated by The New Quarterly, let alone win. I can think of so many incredible writers, including the other nominees, who deserve that award. I am so grateful to so many writers: Jordan Abel, Gregory Scofield, Leanne Simpsons, Lee Maracle, Louise Bernice Halfe, Liz Howard (to name only a few!) whose work has paved the way and carved out space for indigenous voices within the literary community.

Can you describe when you first began to identify as a poet?
My mother has had a huge influence on my creative life. She was always very encouraging and even from a young age, she took the poem-like things I was writing or speaking aloud to myself and identified them as poetry. That said, it’s taken most of my life to gain the confidence to call myself a poet. I can recall someone asking me, do you write? Then you’re a poet. I loved that. I love the idea of poetry being something that is accessible.

What makes poetry your preferred form?
Poetry renders language to its most crucial elements. In the world of a poem, every word has the potential to carry multiple meanings. It asks you to listen, to uncover, to consider the complexity of a moment, a single word, a comma, a breath between lines. Poetry demands your attention and has the power to reveal what may or may not always be obvious. It reveals what is possible. I find that so exciting and empowering!

What’s it like for you to live and work as a poet today?
I feel very lucky to be surrounded by a strong, thoughtful community of people who work and publish with a deep consideration of their positionality in the world, who are advocating and writing towards an inclusive, decolonial future. There is a lot of hope and energy present. There is also a lot of work to be done.

Reading and hearing the incredible work of other indigenous writers like Jessica Johns, Carleigh Baker, Joshua Whitehead, Gwen Benaway, Samantha Nock, and Arielle Twist, (to name only a few!) inspires me, teaches me, moves me. I feel really lucky to be able to work at something I love so much.

Interview conducted by Stephanie Philp.

The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22. The gold medal winner in the poetry category receives a $1,000 cash prize. 

Early-Bird Deadline for National Magazine Awards

Off the Page: Terence Byrnes

Terence Byrnes (Photo: Patricia Woodburn)

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. In this interview, we chat with Montreal-based writer and photographer Terence Byrnes. Last year at the NMAs, Terence was awarded the gold medal in the category of Photography: Photojournalism & Photo Essay for “South of Buck Creek.” Byrnes succinctly captures the premise of the photo essay by way of a subheading: “A Canadian memoir of black and white in America’s unhappiest city.”  Read on for Terence’s thoughts on maintaining sympathetic neutrality towards the residents of Springfield, Ohio; smart phones and the democratization of photography; and his advice for emerging photographers.

First, congratulations on winning gold at the NMAs for “South of Buck Creek,” published in Geist. Your photo essay describes Buck Creek as a “cabinet of wonders.” In your career as a photographer, have you found other subjects, or places, that could be described as such?

I shot for a while in Buffalo when that city was among the rustiest of rust-belt towns. The industrial desolation, abandonment, and sense of fallen empire were awe-inspiring. In a residential area, I saw a man, wearing only dirty white briefs, roasting a wiener in a hubcap where he had built a fire with twigs. This was at the end of a street of McMansions protected with black iron grillwork over every door and window. Is that a wonder? I don’t know.


The essay portion of your piece notes that you took approximately 10,000 photos of Buck Creek, over a span of 45 years. How do you organize all of your photos?

Ten thousand was a guess. It’s more than that. Many are negatives, with some chromes. I worked from proof sheets to produce scans on a Nikon scanner. I moved to digital capture in 2003. Lightroom keeps track of it for me.

Do you have an absolute favourite from those 10,000 photos?

One day, I was photographing an oddly shaped building—it may even have been a skinny parallelogram—that housed a bar. “Bob City” was painted on one end of it. Railroad tracks, a sidewalk, and several streets converged and diverged behind the building, and dandelions had popped up in a patch of grass in front of it. I spent about 45 minutes finding the right position and height to put these elements into proper relation with each other. When I processed the film (this was probably 30 years ago) air bubbles had stuck to the best frame in the series, rendering it unusable. Wanting to salvage that frame eventually led me to early digital scanning of negatives and moved me out of the darkroom to the screen, where I patched the bubbles. I can’t say if this image was an “absolute favourite,” but it’s got a lot of history stored in it.


Within the first few pages of the photo essay, we jump from the sixties with “Terria (1966)” to the early 2000s with “South of Buck Creek” (2001), then to the 90s, with “Joy (1999).” What were your intentions behind the non-chronological organization of this photo essay?

“Intuitions” is probably a better word that “intentions.” When you establish an order for a photographic series, some arrangements just look better. I suppose I want the eye to re-orient itself to the formal elements of each image so the photograph is actually seen. Also, ordering by year suggests development of some sort, or it implies a narrative. As it was, the images themselves were my first priority.

Very early on in the photo essay, you state that your role in Buck Creek shifted from spectator to participant. Certainly, that theme—of your enmeshment in the Buck Creek community—runs throughout: there’s the “crazy moment” when you “fantasized about adopting” one of the boys from the Vision for Youth residence; you carried the “Friends (1977)” photo around for years, hoping to eventually deliver it to one of the photo’s subjects, “scary guy.” What challenges came along with crossing that line from spectator to participant?

Great question. I had to maintain sympathetic neutrality toward everyone and to learn—more than once— that folks who looked down-and-out could be as smart, respectful, and as deserving of respect, as anyone else. Honesty and openness were crucially important. A subject might say, “Take my picture, but don’t ever use it,” and my agreement would have to be as good as gold.  People were blown away when I would come back a year later with free photographs. That’s how the street cred developed. Of course, there were rough spots and challenges that were both emotional and physical. I saw families living in misery and stripped of dignity thanks to bad luck, fear of gang activity, and profound physical and emotional disability (with no health care or institutional support). You want to help, but you can’t.


“Marriage (1998)” features a woman in her bikini, with her two twin daughters. The narrative portion states, “In the later years of this project, women wouldn’t so easily agree to have their pictures taken. They were afraid, as one told me, that their faces would appear atop a nude body on the Internet.” It seems that while the Internet has encouraged people to document their lives—via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram—it’s also made it more difficult for photographers to act as the documentarian. Are there other ways in which the growth of social media and the shift to digital have impacted your career as a photographer?

Camera phones have, in a sense, radically democratized photography and, for many people, have done away with the cachet of the physical print. Academic criticism and identity politics have also had a less than salutary effect on the documentary form. Some months ago, I glanced outside my window here in the Point-Saint-Charles district of Montreal and saw an 11-year-old boy got up in a home-made superhero costume, holding a garbage can lid as a shield. I knew it was pure Arbus, but couldn’t resist. When I asked the boy if I could take a photograph, a teenage girl ran up and began shouting at me. Her assumption—thanks to her familiarity with internet images—was that I was about to do something that was immoral as well as illegal.

Your first camera was an Agfa Ambi Silette loaded with Tri-X film. These days, what’s your camera of choice?

Actually, before the Agfa, there was a Kodak “Pony,” which I had forgotten. You’ve caught me at a crossroads now, though. Should I move up from my Nikon D810 to the new D850 or switch to the mirrorless Sony A7R III? Probably the new Nikon.

In 2008, you published Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait, which you had worked on for 10 years. That means that there was some crossover between the literary portraits and Buck Creek. What similarities were there between these two seemingly very different projects?

Both were closer to the subjects’ homes than to the studio. I tend to shoot on-site and to make it up as I go along. This can produce really banal results, but also great surprises in lighting, posture, expression, and mood.

What was the impact—personally and/or professionally—of winning a National Magazine Award?

I think it makes me an easier sell to editors who don’t know me. And if I pitch an idea, I’m more likely to be listened to.

What advice would you offer to a young photographer?

The advice I give myself is often so disastrous that I should keep my own counsel. That said, I think of current work that catches my eye. I love the work of Tamas Deszo, Sebastián Liste, and Ruth Kaplan. Or Michel Huneault’s photographs of Lac Mégantic after the train disaster. There are some wonderful documentarians out there who do far more than record event. I would have been interested in photographing the refugees/migrants who streamed across the border in Quebec’s Eastern Townships in the belief they would find a home in Canada. Good projects don’t have to be topical, but they do have to be fresh.

Previous to Byrnes’ NMA gold award, he received two NMA honourable mentions. The first was in 2009, for “The Imagined Portrait” published in Queen’s Quarterly. The second was in 2012 for “The Missing Piece,” published in The Walrus. For more information on Byrnes’ photography and writing projects, please visit his website

Interview conducted by Leah Edwards.

The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22. 

Call for Entries : 2018 Digital Publishing Awards

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The NMAF is excited to announce the Call for Entries for the 2018 Digital Publishing Awards, honouring excellence by Canada’s digital publishers and creators in 24 awards categories. Submissions are now being accepted at and the deadline is February 2nd, 2018.

Submissions are open to Canadian digital publishers and content creators whose work appeared in them during 2017. Eligible publications—including those that support established brands in magazine, newspaper, broadcast, B2B and other journalism, as well as those that serve their audiences exclusively as digital brands—is one with a permanent editorial staff in Canada and published in either English or French or a combination of both.

Awards for individual creators include a cash prize of $500. The Digital Publishing Awards continues to offer a Small Publisher’s Rebate and the Freelancer Support Fund.

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What’s New This Year

Following two successful award years, the Digital Publishing Awards continue to expand its program under the guidance of our Advisory Committee—including Jean-Philippe Cipriani, Jude Isabella, Matt Frehner, and Kenny Yum—feedback from participants and judges, and the NMAF Board of Directors. Changes include:

  • The top overall prize—General Excellence in Digital Publishing—will be presented in three divisions, for small, medium and large publications.
  • One of the Best News Coverage categories will be exclusively open to small publications.
  • The awards for Best Service Feature, rewarding excellence in service journalism, have been revised to include the following three categories:
    • Lifestyle;
    • Careers and Personal Finances; and
    • Family and Health.
  • The Best Podcast category has been expanded and renamed Best Podcast and Audio Storytelling to include audio stories.
  • Three new categories have been added to the program:
    • Fiction;
    • Best Science and Technology Story; and
    • Best Photo Storytelling.

Rules & Judging
For a complete guide to eligible publications and content, please see the DPA Rules.
For a complete description of judging procedures, please see the DPA Judging Process.

Submissions & Deadline
Submissions can be made online at
The entry fee for most awards is $100 at the Early-Bird rate (by January 19).
The final deadline for all entries is February 2, 2018.
The deadline to nominate someone for the Emerging Excellence Award or the Digital Publishing Leadership Award is March 1, 2018.

Sponsorship Opportunities
For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Barbara Gould, Managing Director, at or 416-939-6200.

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.

The DPAs are produced by the National Media Awards Foundation, a charitable foundation whose mandate is to recognize and promote excellence in content creation of Canadian print and digital publications through annual programs 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.

Happy Holidays from the National Media Awards Foundation

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The NMAF would like to wish you a happy holiday season! We hope you’ve had a great year and enjoyed all of your favourite Canadian magazines. Make sure to pick up the latest copy of NMA-winning publications at any Indigo Superstore across the country as we celebrate Canada’s best magazines. And remember: subscriptions make great gifts!

Just a reminderSubmissions to the 41st National Magazine Awards may be submitted at any time during the holidays. The final deadline for all entries is January 22.

See you in 2018!

NMAF partners with Indigo for national newsstand promotion

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For the past three years, the National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) has partnered with Indigo Books & Music Inc. to launch a nation-wide newsstand promotion designed to increase awareness about Canada’s best magazines published in both official languages. The NMAF is excited to announce the promotion will be continuing this year.

The participating 2017 award-winning titles will be displayed in a dedicated NMA newsstand frame in 89 Indigo superstores across the country. Specifically designed to help Canadian publishers make a statement on newsstands — a challenge in a market that is more competitive now than ever — this promotion provides a one-of- kind opportunity for magazines to increase their visibility and grow their newsstand sales and subscriptions.

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Tweet us a photo of the display (or you with it) @MagAwards.

Publications taking part in this initiative include 2017 Magazine of the Year winner Cottage Life, as well as nominees and award winners Arc Poetry, Brick, Canadian Notes & Queries, Caribou, Chatelaine, ChâtelaineChickaDEE, Esse Arts + OpinionsFASHION Magazine, Geist, GRAND, Jeu Revue de théâtre, L’actualité, Literary Review of Canada, Maclean’s, MusicWorks, Nouveau Projet, Prairie Fire, Prefix Photo, Ricardo, SAD Mag, The Feathertale Review, The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, THIS Magazine, Toronto Life and United Church Observer.

The NMAF, whose mandate is to recognize and promote award-winning Canadian magazines and content, strives to implement initiatives that help publications thrive in the evolving magazine industry. With this newsstand promotional campaign,  made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Foundation is providing publishers with a distinctive opportunity to leverage their prestigious distinction, maximize their impact on newsstands and bolster their readership.

Visit any Indigo Superstore to see the Best Magazines of 2017.


Off the Page: Daniel Fish


Michael Bryant is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a spl (1).png
Photo Credit: Ian Patterson


Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Daniel Fish, the senior editor of Precedent, a quarterly magazine curated for Toronto lawyers. Fish won the Gold medal for best professional article for his exclusive feature on former attorney general Michael Bryant. Precedent last won gold in 2014 for Raymond Biesinger’s illustration A Well-Oiled Machine.

How did it feel to be the first reporter at Precedent to win a National Magazine Award for writing?

It was super satisfying! We’d been recognized at the Canadian Business Media awards and the KRWs before but to have a piece of writing given some recognition by the best people in the business was huge. It’s not something that happens to everyone and there’s no guarantee that it will happen again. It wasn’t something that I expected, so it really was just a huge treat.

Can you tell me a bit about how your first got the Bryant story?
Sure! I guess that’s going back to the winter of 2015. Sean Robichaud, a criminal lawyer who runs his own law chambers, had mentioned to Melissa Kluger (editor and publisher of Precedent) that she might be interested to know that a high profile person just joined his new chambers—it was Michael Bryant. When she told me, I didn’t immediately know the story was going to have the kind of richness that would be required for a long cover story. But it was interesting enough, even just the fact that he was getting back into the game after people hadn’t seen him in so long would’ve at least justified a short front of book news piece.Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 10.57.44 AM

Tell me about your reporting process.

I got in touch with him fairly quickly but didn’t hear anything for months. In the spring he responded to my initial email and said he’d be happy to chat about what the story might be about. After I met with him for the first time, I had an inkling of what the story might be: the attorney general who ran the justice system is becoming a criminal lawyer and starting to see some of the injustices in the criminal justice system that he was oblivious to when he ran it. That was what sold me and made me think that there might be more to the story. When I took it back to Melissa to talk to her about it I could say that there was something here that’s richer than just “here’s Michael Bryant becoming a criminal lawyer.” There was a kind of poetry to the story that we could pack in and make it a cover story.

Bryant published an autobiographical book called 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope in 2012, how did it influence your story?

The big blockbuster revelation in his book which I think people knew but he hadn’t spoken publicly about, was the fact that he’d struggled with alcoholism. He also talked about what happened on the day of the accident (1) and going through that experience. I think in that book he was pretty proud of his tenure as attorney general. So we had to think… the accident is old news, we certainly don’t want to re-litigate what happened, the fact that he struggled with alcoholism is also old news and so much had been written about him already. We really had to think what could we add to the story, what we could add to the next chapter in that book. I would also say that it’s a huge advantage to write about someone who has a published autobiography because an enormous amount of the work is done for you. I had not ever done that before, or since, and I wish every one of my sources would provide a full biography.

Did anything stand out to you while reporting?

I remember I interviewed his pastor because a big part of Bryant’s narrative was that after the accident and after he’d fallen away from politics, he started going to a non-denominational Christian charity in downtown Toronto. His pastor revealed to me that Byrant had considered becoming a minister and that he thought that maybe religion was going to fuel meaning in his life. The story only got richer the more that things went on.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 12.46.00 PM

How was it to interview him? He’s known to be a bit gregarious.

He was a fun interview. There’s no question that he’s a very seasoned politician. But also as a politician he was sort of a straight shooter. I think journalists enjoyed talking to him because he didn’t necessarily stick to party line talking points. He was happy to sound off on what he thought was wrong with the justice system, he wasn’t mincing words.He had no problem saying that the presumption of innocence was a joke. He was a fairly easy interview subject.

How is this story different from others that you’ve worked on?

I guess we knew how much attention it was going to get from our audience and we knew that it was probably going to get more of a focus from the wider world as well. You know the next piece that I wrote on document review did well in the legal community, but I don’t think that people outside of it really picked it up which is fine, that’s not our goal. But I think we were aware that Michael Bryant is a bit of a lightning rod for controversy. We know that he is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a splash upon publication.

What sort of feedback did you get when the piece came out?

The feedback was fairly positive, which was also gratifying. Overall both readers and people from outside of the legal world seemed to be inspired, which wasn’t necessarily the goal of the piece, but they were inspired nonetheless by him trying to make the most meaningful second half of his career as he could. I think people read it and were pleased to hear someone who once perched atop the justice system speak candidly about its flaws. I think people who are in the trenches (so to speak) of defense law—prosecutors and crowns—they know that the system has its problems and so to hear someone like Michael Bryant give voice to that was somewhat satisfying. And I think people just enjoyed the yarn. We don’t write that many 4500 word single profiles.

Fish recently wrote the cover story for Precedent JD (Precedent’s law student magazine) called Are There Too Many Lawyers? He is working on a project now that is exploring the link between mental health problems and the practice of law. You can follow Precedent on twitter here.

Interview conducted by Stephanie Philp.

The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22.

(1) Bryant was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard in 2009. The charges were eventually dropped.


Call for entries: 41st National Magazine Awards


The 2018 National Magazine Awards are open for submissions. Enter your best magazine work for awards in 29 written & visual, editorial and best magazine categories. Writing and Visual Awards include a cash prize of $1000 to the Gold Medal winners. Digital content is eligible in most categories. The early-bird deadline for entries is January 15. Final deadline is January 22.

Download our Guide to the 41st National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, guidelines, and more.

Last month the NMAF announced a new program for freelancers to save 50% on their first two entries to the National Magazine Awards. Find out more.

Magazines with under $200,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate, equal to 1 FREE ENTRY. Find out more.

Find out how to get involved as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards.

1. Review the CategoriesRulesFAQ
2. Register online at
3. Enter the details of each submission
4. Upload a PDF of each submission
5. Pay the required entry fees ($100 for most entries)
6. Courier hard copies (if required)

The 2018 Digital Publishing Awards will feature 24 awards recognizing excellence by the creators of Canadian Digital Publications, including online and tablet magazines. Submissions for the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards will open on January 2.

January 15: NMA Early Bird Deadline
January 22: NMA Final Deadline

We’ll be announcing the details of the 41st National Magazine Awards gala later this Spring. Stay tuned right here on the NMA blog.

Click here and get started


Categories Announced for the 41st National Magazine Awards

The NMAF is pleased to unveil the list of categories for the 2018 National Magazine Awards. The program will feature 29 categories crafted to recognize excellence in journalism, writing, visual art, design and publishing, including 10 categories from Magazines Canada’s Magazine Grands Prix program.

Beginning this December, this unified National Magazine Awards program will honour the outstanding achievements of our industry’s best creators and publishers, and reflect the exciting future of Canadian storytelling. To learn more about this collaboration, please read the press release.


Writing & Visual Awards, recognizing excellence by Canadian creators in print or digital magazines, include a cash prize of $1,000 to the Gold Medal winner.

  1. Long-Form Feature Writing
  2. Feature Writing
  3. Short Feature Writing
  4. Columns
  5. Essays
  6. Fiction
  7. Investigative Reporting
  8. Personal Journalism
  9. Poetry
  10. Professional Article
  11. Profiles
  12. Service Journalism
  13. Best New Magazine Writer
  14. Illustration
  15. Portraits Photography
  16. Lifestyle Photography
  17. Photo Essay & Photojournalism
  18. One of a Kind Storytelling

Editorial Awards recognizing excellence by a team of magazine creators, editors and art directors in print or digital magazines.

  1. Best Art Direction of a Single Article
  2. Best Editorial Package
  3. Art Direction Grand Prix
  4. Editor Grand Prix
  5. Cover Grand Prix

The Grands PrixBest Magazine awards recognizing outstanding achievement in magazine publishing.

  1. General Interest
  2. Service
  3. Lifestyle
  4. Fashion & Beauty
  5. Art & Literary
  6. Special Interest

Two special awards will also be presented at the 41st NMA Awards Gala. These awards are the highest honours bestowed to a magazine and an individual. 

The Magazine Grand Prix title (formerly Magazine of the Year) will go to the Best Magazine winner which demonstrates overall excellence in bringing its publishing team together to create an outstanding product; and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, which recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The call for entries opens December 4, 2017 and closes January 22, 2018.


The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards. Click here for more information.


Call for Judges: 41st National Magazine Awards


The National Media Awards Foundation is getting ready to honour the best in Canadian magazine and digital journalism at the 2018 National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards. The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s awards programs, and join the great tradition of recognizing achievement by the creators of Canadian magazines and digital publications.

One of the reasons I volunteer as a judge for the NMAs is that the process is very well organized, completely transparent and fair. I really enjoy the discussion with my fellow judges. It’s collegial, and I almost always learn something. And every year I discover a few outstanding new writers who have produced great work. That’s a gift.
Kelly Toughill, Director, School of Journalism, University of King’s College, Halifax, NS

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

  • Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its mission.
  • Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards or Digital Publishing Awards;
  • Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award or Digital Publishing Award yourself);
  • Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA or DPA categories (such as photojournalism, service, arts & culture, fiction, poetry, etc);
  • Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
  • Professionals and leaders from related cultural sectors, including the visual arts (film and television), the literary arts (book writing & publishing) and the performing arts (theatre, music).
  • Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.

The NMAF welcomes applications from individuals who bring different industry perspectives – from recognized leaders to celebrated emerging talents. We also aim for the judging panels to reflect our country’s diverse Indigenous, cultural and regional communities.

Judging will take place during February and March 2018. Contact us at for more information and to nominate someone to the jury.

The NMAF is proud to have some of Canada’s most respected journalists and experts serve on its past juries.


Judging the NMAs allows you to keep tabs on industry leaders, validate someone’s hard work, and boost a worthy talent’s own career. It’s also an easy way to give back to a community that has given all of us so much.
Arjun Basu, Senior Vice President, Product at Bookmark Content and Communications, Montreal, QC

stevesI judge for the NMAs because I want to give back to the magazine industry and contribute its health. It also gives me the chance to see where other magazines in the country are having their successes.
Steven Sandor, Editor, Avenue Edmonton, AB

The NMAs focus on creators, the people who are create the work that makes everything else possible. Given all of the challenges that creators face in earning a living, participating in a process that recognizes and rewards their efforts is, I think, important and valuable work.
Kim Pittaway, former editor, Chatelaine, and journalism teacher, Dartmouth, NS

I think the NMAs themselves are a valuable measure of the accomplishments of Canadian magazine writers and editors. As to the process, we were given sufficient time and a workable structure both leading up to and in the conversation itself. My fellow judges offered interesting insights into the work considered and the process was both engaged and congenial.
Kim Jernigan, former editor, The New Quarterly, Waterloo, ON

steve_for_linkedinServing as a judge for the National Magazine Awards, which I have done for at least ten years, is always a highlight of my reading year. It’s like receiving an engaging anthology of great writing by exciting emerging writers, masterful old pros, and hidden treasures. And you get the honour of choosing the best of a wonderful bunch! What could possibly be better?
Stephen Trumper, Writer, Editor, Teacher, Volunteer, Toronto, ON

22975ca.jpgI enjoy being part of any process that involves visual communication. It helps me to learn more about my work as well as connect with others in the industry.
Brent Morrison, Art Director, Swerve magazine, Calgary, AB


I enjoy the process because it gives me the opportunity to contribute both individually and collectively. Entering my own scores for each entry validates the time I spend reviewing and assessing each submission; discussing my assessments with the other judges during our conference call provides the opportunity to weigh the value of those assessments against the opinions of other industry experts and (on occasion) to argue in favour of work which I feel may have been undervalued.
Dawn Chafe, Executive Editor, Atlantic Business Magazine, St. John’s, NL


Judging the National Magazine Awards, in the Poetry category, was a great experience. There is so much excellent writing out there, and it was a glimpse into the great diversity of publication going on across the country.
Wayde Compton, Writer, Vancouver, BC

Having been involved since the 1980s, as a board member, president (1991) a member of a special review committee (Strategic Speculation) and a frequent judge, I have a real investment in the event. What I like most of all is the emphasis the awards have nurtured of rewarding the effort of individual creators (rather than the publications, which get to bask in the reflected glory anyway.) Some no longer seem to value, or understand, this. But it is one of the things which makes the MagAwards special.
D.B. Scott, publisher, Canadian Magazines blog, Cambridge, ON

I enjoy the chance to dive deep into excellent work that I might have missed the first time around. It’s also a chance to (literally) cast my vote for storytelling that serves the reader and the material, not just the reputation of the writer or magazine.
Susan Catto, editor, Hello! Canada, Toronto, ON

The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in December for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines in 2017. The 41st National Magazine Awards gala and the 3rd annual Digital Publishing Awards soiree will be held in the spring of 2018.

For more information, please contact


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 ( / & 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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 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


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

Twitter:            @DPAwards
Facebook:       /DPAwards


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

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



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.



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.”



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



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,, Fashion Magazine, and UBC School of Journalism all received Honourable Mention.

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



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.



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.



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 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

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

Alicia Elliott’s speech at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

Host Kim Pittaway (right) greets Alicia Elliott on the stage of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards in Toronto, 26 May 2017 (photo by Steven Goetz / NMAF)

At last Friday’s 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, the NMAF invited Tuscarora First Nations writer Alicia Elliott to deliver a keynote address, reflecting on the recent controversy in the Canadian magazine industry surrounding cultural appropriation and the roles that magazine media and creators play in contextualizing the debate and educating Canadians.

The NMAF is very grateful to Ms. Elliott for accepting this invitation and addressing the 300 guests gathered at the NMA gala on Friday.  Here are Alicia Elliott’s complete remarks, published with her permission:


Don’t worry, everybody. I promise I’m not here to take away your free speech. I’ve got maybe a handful and a half of publications, so I’m pretty sure I don’t have that kind of power. But you’re all writers, editors and publishers with some of the most prestigious publications in Canada. You have considerable power: to say what you want and know people will listen, to amplify any voice or perspective you want, to edit out or repress any voice or perspective you want. I hope after the past few weeks, you’ve all been reflecting on that responsibility.

This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Once a citizen reaches adulthood, Canada officially washes its hands of educating them. Your magazines are what fill that void. Each and every page of your publications are like classrooms: sometimes teaching readers new ideas, sometimes reinforcing old ones. Take a moment and think about that. What are you teaching Canadians? What are you refusing to teach Canadians? And who are you letting do that teaching?

The fact is many marginalized communities do not feel you’re doing a good enough job telling their stories. I know there have been efforts at diversifying the workplace to counteract this. People from many more identities and cultures are part of newsrooms and magazines than twenty years ago. There’s some progress. But are they in leadership positions? Are they listened to by their leaders? Are they supported by those leaders when fighting for their right to speak, to exist?

I’m sure many of you would like to think the establishments you work at are safe havens for marginalized writers. Otherwise, why would they work there, right? But I’d like to share with you a quote from journalist, activist, novelist and all-around bad ass James Baldwin. In his introduction to his essay collection Nobody Knows My Name, he wrote, “Havens are high-priced. The price exacted of the haven-dweller is that he contrive to delude himself into believing that he has found a haven.”

As many have pointed out, and as the continued ignorance displayed in national political cartoons and columns have shown, the media and literary communities in Canada are not havens. We are collectively deluding ourselves to believe otherwise. It only took the smallest pushback from indigenous people for those who have always had access to free speech to derail conversation, shake off all accountability and put us back in our place. When you exalt their voices by publishing their articles and columns, what are you teaching Canada? What are you saying to marginalized communities about their issues and your coverage of them? What are you saying about yourself?

Because it’s not just the marginalized who are searching for havens. Those in power are searching, too. Sometimes they want a haven from criticism and accountability, from hard questions and harder answers. And for some, when that haven is snatched away and the full extent of their responsibilities is made crushingly apparent, it’s too much. They don’t reflect and make real change. They search out the closest haven and run.

I’m here tonight to ask you NOT to run. I’m asking you to do hard work, to examine your own complicity in perpetuating these problems, to be vulnerable with us, to have difficult conversations with us, to offer us a hand up instead of another push down. I’m here tonight to ask you to admit you don’t know it all, to ask questions, to learn and to do better.

We’re currently creating the world our children and grandchildren will grow up in, which means all of our actions and our inaction carry immense weight. Are you going to make future generations proud? Or are you going to make their work harder? Ultimately, that decision is your responsibility. There is no haven from that.


Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations currently living in Brantford, Ontario. Her writing has most recently been published by CBC Arts, Room, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. She’s on Twitter @WordsandGuitar

Read Alicia Elliott’s short essay on about why “The cultural appropriation debate isn’t about free speech — it’s about context.”

Read Alicia Elliott’s National Magazine Award-winning essay “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Award winners were announced on Friday, 26 May at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Catch up on all the news and winners here.

Announcing the Winners of the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has presented the winners of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at the Arcadian Court. Nearly 300 of Canada’s top magazine writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and other guests representing 75 nominated magazines gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines in 2016. Gold and Silver medals were presented in 25 categories recognizing Canada’s best in magazine writing, art, and design.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.

The Foundation presented Gold and Silver Medal awards in 25 categories at a ceremony co-hosted by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott—three of Canada’s most respected journalists and publishers, and all former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Indigenous writer and Gold Medalist in the Essays category, Alicia Elliott, delivered the keynote address, urging all Canadian magazine creators and publishers to recognize their role in educating and informing the public about the complex social and cultural issues of our time, including empowering Indigenous voices and perspectives in the media.

Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media, was presented with the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour in the Canadian magazine industry, which recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

For a complete list of winners, see below or download the PDF list.


Canada’s 2017 Magazine of the Year is Cottage Life. The award for magazine of the year goes to the publication that most consistently engages, surprises, and serves the needs of its readers. The award is judged according to four criteria—overall quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness—and success relative to the magazine’s editorial mandate.

Honourable Mention for Magazine of the Year went to Explore, Nouveau Projet, Ricardo, and The Kit Compact.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, audience, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its readership, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, its stories educate and delight, and its story packaging is alluring. Cottage Life has demonstrated creativity and excellence in evolving its brand through events, shows, and multimedia—reinventing itself again and again. And throughout its evolution, the magazine itself remains fresh and fascinating.
The National Magazine Awards Jury


Best Magazine Cover

GOLD MEDAL: “General Dynamics” (Report on Business)
Domenic Macri, art director
Gary Salewicz, editor
Brennan Higginbotham, contributor

This is a beautiful execution of a well-thought-out idea, from its concept right down to the smallest detail. Report on Business’s “General Dynamics” cover is a masterful example of having graphics work harmoniously with type to create the impression of a must-read story within. It’s engaging and unexpected—the forbidden, blacked-out words suck you in immediately. A truly remarkable and successful magazine cover.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Why Design Matters” (Canadian Business)

Best Editorial Package

GOLD MEDAL: « Nordicité » (Caribou)
Tania Jiménez, directrice artistique
Audrey Lavoie, Véronique Leduc, Geneviève Vezina-Montplaisir, rédactrices en chef

This Editorial Package from Caribou is a delicious invitation to the table set around the concept of Nordicité, where a meal of uniquely Québécois flavour is served. On the menu are cozy stories and tasteful photography of matsutake mushrooms, maple syrup, boreal spices, and wild berries. The package has the benefit of relying almost wholly on the support of readers and presents them with a carefully thought out series of articles that complement the topic and each other—all editorially handpicked and beautifully plated for our enjoyment.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Swim or Sink” (New Trail)

Best Service Editorial Package

GOLD MEDAL: “Breast of Luck” (Today’s Parent)
Ariel Brewster, editor
Stephanie Han Kim, art director
Contributors: Vivian Rosas, Katie Dupuis, Karen Robock, Louise Gleeson, Kara Aaserud, Sasha Emmons, Kate Lunau

“Breast of Luck” from Today’s Parent epitomizes service journalism. The team approached the issue from various perspectives, offering up multiple entry points. It feels exceptionally relevant—these are the real questions people ask about breastfeeding. It’s beautifully designed, very well written, funny, informative—the practical information is hands-on and useful. Whether you read it closely or simply skim, it has something for every reader.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “How to Travel like a Boss” (Report on Business)

Best Words & Pictures

GOLD MEDAL: “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” (Nouveau Projet)
Judith Oliver, rédactrice en chef adjointe
Jean-François Proulx, directeur artistique
Félix Beaudry-Vigneux, auteur
Maxime Roy de Roy, illustrateur

Beautifully drawn, informative, and concisely written, “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” is a powerful and graphic way to show the response of two families to the Syrian refugee crisis. The piece seamlessly weaves text and illustrations that speak to one another and the reader without seeming redundant. It’s an exemplar of the comic-book genre—and bilingual, to boot.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Love Your Body” (NOW Magazine)

Forty years ago the NMAF set about building a coalition of institutions to form the foundation of what would become the National Magazine Awards. The goal was to create a truly national program that would recognize individual excellence in the many aspects of the magazine industry. Forty years later that legacy has endured. Tonight we have recognized the outstanding work of Canada’s magazine creators. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners—you have truly inspired the future of great journalism in this country.
Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF


The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion
Hakai Magazine
Amorina Kingdon, writer
Heather Pringle, handling editor

Honourable Mention: Eternity Martis, Kyle Edwards, Sharon J. Riley, Viviane Fairbank


Long-Form Feature Writing

Growing Up Trans
The Walrus
Mary Rogan, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor

Canadian Mining’s Dark Heart
The Walrus
Richard Poplak, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor

Feature Writing

« Les exilés de l’enfer »
Anne-Marie Luca, auteure
Ginette Haché, rédactrice-réviseure

Big Lonely Doug
The Walrus
Harley Rustad, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor

Short Feature Writing

« Santa Martha Acatitla : le théâtre de la réconciliation »
Jeu, Revue de théâtre
Françoise Major, auteure
Christian Saint-Pierre, rédacteur-réviseur

The Cutting Edge
ON Nature
Ray Ford, writer
Joanna Pachner, handling editor


« Économie »
Pierre Fortin, auteur
Josée Désaulniers, Karine Picard, Lucie Daigle, rédactrices-réviseures

Just Sayin’
Atlantic Business Magazine
Stephen Kimber, writer
Dawn Chafe, handling editor


A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
The Malahat Review
Alicia Elliott, writer
John Barton, handling editor

A Poet Self-Destructs
The Walrus
Don Gillmor, writer
Katherine Laidlaw, handling editor


The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition
The New Quarterly
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor

Eight Saints and a Demon
Naben Ruthnum, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor

Investigative Reporting

The Last Days of Target
Canadian Business
Joe Castaldo, writer
James Cowan, handling editor

Justice Is Not Blind
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor

One of a Kind

The Verdict
The Walrus
Katherine Laidlaw, writer
Emily M. Keeler, handling editor

The David Foster Wallace Disease
Sasha Chapin, writer
Haley Cullingham, handling editor

Personal Journalism

The Burn
Prairie Fire
Benjamin Hertwig, writer
Andris Taskans, handling editor

By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead
Toronto Life
John Hofsess, writer
Emily Landau, handling editor
Gary Ross, contributor


“(Good) ‘Girls Don’t Hitchhike’; Half/Brother; Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language
The New Quarterly
Selina Boan, poet
Barb Carter, handling editor

La Traviata
PRISM International
Kim Fu, poet
Dominique Bernier-Cormier, handling editor

Professional Article

Whatever happened to Michael Bryant?”
Daniel Fish, writer
Melissa Kluger, handling editor

Beware the Weakest Link
Jim Middlemiss, writer
Brian Banks, handling editor


This is How I’m Going to Die
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor

The Artist of the Deal
Report on Business
Max Fawcett, writer
Ted Mumford, handling editor

Service Journalism

Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016
Air Canada enRoute
Andrew Braithwaite, writer
Sarah Musgrave, handling editor

« Santé des femmes : le travail nous met en danger »
Marie-Hélène Proulx, auteure
Johanne Lauzon, rédactrice-réviseure


Art Direction of an Entire Issue

Issue 22: Secrets
Pamela Rounis, art director
Sara Harowitz, editor
Katie Stewart, Michelle Reid Cyca, contributors

87: Le Vivant / The Living
esse Arts + Opinions
Studio FEED, direction artistique
Sylvette Babin, rédactrice en chef

Art Direction of a Single Article

« Le politique est personnel »
Nouveau Projet
Ping Pong Ping, direction artistique
Miriam Fahmy, rédactrice en chef

Give Peas a Chance
Today’s Parent
Mandy Milks, art director
Lauren Ferranti-Ballem, editor
Anthony Swaneveld, illustrator
Roberto Caruso, photographer


« Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? »
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique

Move or Improve?
Steven P. Hughes, illustrator
John Montgomery, art director

Photojournalism & Photo Essay

South of Buck Creek
Terence Byrnes, photographer
Syd Danger, art director
AnnMarie MacKinnon, Michal Kozlowski, editors

Canada’s Oldest Profession
The Walrus
Tyler Anderson, photographer
Brian Morgan, art director
Jonathan Kay, editor
Conrad Black, text

Portrait Photography

Marina Abramovic
Corduroy Magazine
Peter Ash Lee, photographer & art director
Tim Chan, editor

Love Your Body
NOW Magazine
Tanja-Tiziana, photographer
Troy Beyer, art director
Susan G. Cole, editor
Taylor Savage, hair & makeup

Lifestyle Photography

Different Strokes
Globe Style Advisor
Riley Stewart, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Vanessa Jarman, makeup / hair stylist
Wendy Rorong, manicurist
James Reiger, model, NEXT Models Canada

Tan Lines
Globe Style Advisor
Renata Kaveh, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Robert Weir, grooming
Connor, model, Elmer Olsen Model Management


Writer Nancy Macdonald won two awards: A Gold Medal in Profiles for “This is How I’m Going to Die” (Maclean’s), about the Leviathan II disaster, and a Silver Medal in Investigative Reporting for “Justice Is Not Blind” (Maclean’s), about the bias against Indigenous Canadians in the judicial system.

Mary Rogan won the first NMA Gold Medal for Long-Form Feature Writing, for her story “Growing Up Trans” (The Walrus). It’s Rogan’s third National Magazine Award and first since 1999.

Art director Domenic Macri of Report on Business won the Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”), his and the magazine’s fifth gold medal in this category since 2006.

Pierre Fortin (L’actualité) won the Gold Medal in Columns, for his Québec « Économie » coverage. This is Fortin’s fourth gold medal in Columns since 2003.

Indigenous poet Selina Boan won the Gold Medal in Poetry for a suite of poems in The New Quarterly, including “Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language.” This is her first National Magazine Award.

Richard Kelly Kemick won the Gold Medal in Fiction for “The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition” (The New Quarterly), his second NMA after winning gold last year in One of a Kind. Kemick also received an Honourable Mention in Fiction and in One of a Kind this year.

Indigenous writer Alicia Elliott won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).

Don Gillmor won his twelfth National Magazine Award since 1997, a Silver Medal in Essays for “A Poet Self-Destructs” (The Walrus).

Joe Castaldo won the Gold Medal in Investigative Reporting for “The Last Days of Target” (Canadian Business). He won the Silver Medal in the same category in 2015.

In Personal Journalism, Edmonton writer and visual artist Benjamin Hertwig won the Gold Medal for “The Burn” (Prairie Fire). The story of the late John Hofsess, “By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead” (Toronto Life), about assisted dying and preparing to take his own life, won the Silver Medal.

Photographer and art director Peter Ash Lee won the Gold Medal in Portrait Photography (“Marina AbramovicCorduroy), his fourth National Magazine Award.

Gérard DuBois won the Gold Medal in Illustration, for « Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? ». It is DuBois’ fourth National Magazine Award and first since 2013.

Andrew Braithwaite won the Gold Medal in Service Journalism for “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016” (Air Canada enRoute), marking the second consecutive year he and the magazine have won gold for their annual feature on Canada’s newest culinary hotspots.

Ray Ford won his eighth National Magazine Award since 2000 with a Silver Medal in Short Feature Writing for “The Cutting Edge” (ON Nature).


L’actualité led all magazines with 3 Gold Medals, winning the top prize in Feature Writing, Columns, and Illustration.

The Walrus led all magazines with 6 awards (2 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals). This is the tenth time in the magazine’s history that The Walrus has won the most total awards at the NMAs.

Report on Business won 3 awards, including a Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”) and Silver Medals in Best Service Editorial Package and in Profiles.

The New Quarterly won the Gold Medal in Fiction and in Poetry, marking the second time that the Waterloo, Ontario literary magazine has swept both awards (also doing so in 2003 at the 25th anniversary National Magazine Award).

NOW Magazine’s “Love Your Body” issue was a double winner, taking the Silver Medal in Portrait Photography and the Silver Medal in Best Words & Pictures.

Globe Style Advisor swept the Gold and Silver Medals in the category Lifestyle Photography.

Nouveau Projet won 2 Gold Medals, in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (« Le politique est personnel ») and in Words & Pictures (“Rosemont Petite-Syrie”). Nouveau Projet won Magazine of the Year in 2015 and was a finalist this year.

The online magazine Hazlitt won 2 Silver Medals, in Fiction and in One of a Kind.

Today’s Parent won 2 medals: Gold in Best Service Editorial Package (“Breast of Luck”) and Silver in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (“Give Peas a Chance”).

7 magazines won a National Magazine Award for the first time: Atlantic Business Magazine; Caribou; esse Arts + Opinions; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; Listed; and SAD Mag.

Magazines winning 1 Gold Medal: Air Canada enRoute; Caribou; Corduroy; Cottage Life; Geist; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; The Malahat Review; Prairie Fire; Precedent

Magazines winning 1 Silver Medal: Atlantic Business Magazine; Châtelaine; esse Arts + Opinions; Listed; MoneySense; New Trail; ON Nature; PRISM International; Toronto Life.

Check out all the gala photos on our Facebook page.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.

Toronto Mayor John Tory also addressed the gathering via video to offer his congratulations to the nominees and winners and offer his support for Canadian magazine creators.

Alicia Elliott delivered the keynote address. Alicia is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations, currently living in Brantford, Ontario. Her writing has most recently been published by CBC Arts, Room, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. Later in the evening she won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).

For the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, the NAMF welcomed a number of its former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, led by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott, who co-hosted the event.

Also attending and presenting awards as former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement: James Ireland, Sally Armstrong, Ken Rodmell, Lynn Cunningham, Stephen Trumper, Al Zikovitz, and Paul Jones.

Other special guest presenters included award-winning illustrator Min Gyo Chung, award-winning writers Hon Lu and Desmond Cole, award-winning art director Gilbert Li, and former NMAF president Arjun Basu.


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.

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 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 nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories. 



The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and table patrons:
Access Copyright,
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association,
Canadian Media Guild,
Content Writers Group,
CDS Global,
CNW, a Cision Company,,
Goetz Storytelling,
Impresa Communications,
Oliver & Bonacini,
Ricardo Media,
Rolland Enterprises,
Ryerson University School of Journalism,
Studio Wyse,
TC Transcontinental Printing,
University of King’s College School of Journalism,
Very Good Studios, and

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges its 112 Judges who volunteered their time and their expertise to serve on the juries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.



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. 

Download the entire list [PDF] of nominees and winners.

Tonight! The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

Tonight we honour and celebrate Canada’s top writers, artists, and other creators at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

WhereThe Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street, Simpson Tower, 8th Floor, Toronto [MAP]
6:00pm Reception
7:30pm Awards presentation
8:30pm Dinner
9:45pm Dessert reception
Why: To recognize and celebrate excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines. And to acknowledge the outstanding work of Canada’s top creators and the significance of great journalism.

Your Hosts:
Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott, with special appearances by other legends of Canadian magazines.

Have a ticket?
If you purchased a ticket and did not request it to be mailed, you can pick up your ticket at the Will-Call tables at the top of the elevators at the Arcadian Court. Judges may also pick up their tickets here.

Need a ticket?
Tickets are available for purchase at the door: $150 (+HST) for regular tickets (includes dinner); $75 (+HST) for show-only tickets. Cash or Credit Card accepted.

Need something to read on the way over?
How about A Short History of the National Magazine Awards.

Who’s up for Magazine of the Year?
These five amazing magazines.

What about the rest of the nominees?
Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, or read the PDF for a quick reference.

Not able to come?
Follow our twitter handle @MagAwards and #NMA40 for a cascade of exciting live tweets throughout the show. Keep it right here on this blog for a full recap of the awards and all the winners (sometime after 10pm ET).

10 Tips for a Successful #NMA40 Gala

  1. Doors open at 6pm.
  2. No need to buy drink tickets this year. Cash bar will accept cash or card. (However, drink tickets are available at the bar if you’d like to purchase and treat your team or guests.)
  3. Hors d’oeuvres will be served during the reception (6pm-7:15pm). There will be a 30-minute break in the awards ceremony for dinner (approximately 8:30pm).
  4. Washrooms are through the foyer and to your left as you exit.
  5. Following on Twitter? We’re @MagAwards
  6. Gold winners: Come to the stage to accept your award (prep your speech now!).
  7. Silver winners: Your awards will be brought to your table later in the show.
  8. All other nominees: Please contact us next week to request your Honourable Mention certificates.
  9. The upstairs Gallery is closed during the show, but join us there afterwards for dessert and drinks.
  10. Celebrate each other. Get to know a magazine you’ve never seen before. Meet new writers, editors, art directors and other new colleagues. Enjoy the moment. (And get home safely.)

NMAF President Nino Di Cara on the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

Forty years ago a gentleman by the name of Andrew MacFarlane, who was Dean of Journalism at the University of Western Ontario, set about building a coalition of institutions to form the foundation of what would become the National Magazine Awards. The goal was to create a truly national program that would recognize individual excellence in the many aspects of the magazine industry.

Forty years later that legacy has endured. As one creator told me, winning a National Magazine Award is regarded as the pinnacle of professional achievement in our industry.

Friday evening we will welcome many of Canada’s top creators to the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards to recognize the phenomenal achievements of this year’s nominees and winners. As we pay tribute to the outstanding effort, professionalism, and raw talent of the individual creators, it is also a celebration of the broader magazine community and a nod to the people who trained the winners, mentored them, inspired them, gave them opportunities and, in many cases, took a chance on them. Our ability to nurture great Canadian creators reflects on us all.

It would have been hard for the NMAs’ founders to imagine the changes faced by the magazine industry in recent years and the impact that technology and data would play. Consumer audiences are being asked to be more savvy about the source and integrity of the media they consume, and there has never been so much competition for their time. But the principles of quality journalism and compelling art endure. All the while, magazines and the craftspeople who create them have been at the forefront of our society and culture. The diversity and breadth of this year’s nominees are a tribute to the role they play as the tastemakers, opinion-formers, trendsetters, style-shapers, curators, investigators, and artists who help to shape our national narrative and our identities as Canadians.

On the topic of change, this year’s program represents a significant renewal for the NMAs. In response to our industry consultation, we revised the categories to be much more focused on the craft that goes into creating work for a magazine and less focused on the subject matter. This enabled us to reduce the number of awards by 30 percent (making winning one an even tougher feat!). Although, with 25 awards, we still have almost double the 14 that were presented in 1977! Among other changes we have introduced, it’s exciting to think that the winners tonight were judged in part by judges from Yellowknife to St. John’s, San Francisco to New York, London to Paris—proudly elevating Canadian work on the global stage.

An enormous thank you to our sponsors and the hundreds of people who have helped bring this year’s awards to life, from the entrants to the volunteer judges and the board of directors. I’d like to add special thanks to the NMAF executive team who bring such rigour and passion to making the awards happen—Barbara Gould, Richard Johnson, Émilie Pontbriand, Leah Jensen, and Krista Robinson.

Enjoy the show! If you can’t join us, follow all the action on Twitter @MagAwards.

Nino Di Cara
President, NMAF

Magazine of the Year: 5 Nominees for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

There are more than a thousand magazines in Canada, and each begins with a premise of delighting, surprising, and serving the needs of a community of readers. Whether they cover business or fashion, sports or food, poetry or investigative journalism, city life or international news, Canadian magazines succeed when they pursue top-quality storytelling, compelling design and packaging, innovation, and an awareness of their brand’s relationship to current and future readers.

The NMAF’s judges considered magazines from across the country for our most prestigious award, according to rigorous criteria of quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness, relative to each magazine’s editorial mandate.

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]

Here are the 5 finalists the National Magazine Award: Magazine of the Year:

Cottage Life

Penny Caldwell, publisher
Michelle Kelly, editor
Kim Zagar, art director
Published by: Blue Ant Media

Cottage Life’s mission is to enhance and preserve the quality of cottage living, for cottagers whose cottages range from simple, off-grid-cabins to luxurious getaways. Strong how-to and service stories, inspiring ideas and tips, and engaging features about interesting cottagers allows the magazine to entertain and inspire.

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Cottage Life is also nominated for a 40th anniversary National Magazine Award in the categories of One of a Kind and Service Journalism. Penny Caldwell, publisher of Cottage Life and former editor-in-chief, has been named this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award winner for her innovative and creative contributions to the Canadian magazine industry.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, readership, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its audience, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, the stories educate and delight, and the packaging is alluring and inspires its readers to action.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Brad Liski, publisher
David Webb, editor
Aaron Yates, art director
Published by: My Passion Media

Explore is dedicated to publishing the best of outdoor adventure, seeking rich stories of outdoor recreation and adventure travel produced by authentic voices. Within their wide range of content, the magazine aims to always include an element of exploration in the outdoors.

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Explore magazine has an extensive record of National Magazine Awards; dating back to 2001, the magazine has won 56 National Magazine Awards among more than 150 nominations. This is the third time the publication has been nominated for Magazine of the Year, having also been a finalist in 2002 and 2006.

With remarkable strength and clarity in packaging travel features, practical how-to guides, gear reviews, and more, Explore is that rare magazine in which every page engages the core audience. Its content is accessible, its writers dig deep into their stories, and its no surprise that the magazine’s readership is growing fast.
National Magazine Awards Jury

Nouveau Projet

Nicolas Langelier, publisher and editor-in-chief
Jean-François Proulx, art director
Published by: Atelier 10

Nouveau Projet is a culture and society magazine, aiming to stimulate and nurture public debate through curious, sincere, and deep-seated articles. Though the magazine is only five years old, it isn’t new to the Magazine of the Year award. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Montreal-based publication has been a finalist for Magazine of the Year, winning in 2015 and taking Honourable Mention in 2014 and 2016.

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Nouveau Project is also nominated for a total of 8 awards this year, including Essays, Fiction, Poetry, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, and Best Words & Pictures.

In the quality of its writing, visual content and design, Nouveau Projet is simply mind-blowing. The magazine surprises and delights readers with big ideas, fresh and original journalism, and beautiful illustrations that complete a thoughtful aesthetic. The magazine’s commitment to developing a strong community of readers is laudatory.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Brigitte Coutu, publisher
Laura Osborne, editor-in-chief
Caroline Blanchette, Lydia Moscato, art directors
Published by: Ricardo Média

Ricardo engages readers as a magazine brimming with delicious, affordable, and simple recipes, aiming to gather friends and family around the table. With their national distribution, they strive to put cooking within reach from coast to coast.

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Since 2011 Ricardo has been awarded three Gold Medals and nine Honourable Mentions at the National Magazine Awards. This year – aside from the prestigious Magazine of the Year award–Ricardo has been nominated in five categories. Photos of irresistible chocolate desserts earned photographer David de Stefano a nomination in the category of Lifestyle Photography, while colourful images of strawberry-themed desserts earned the artistic team at Ricardo a nomination for Best Magazine Cover. Other nominations include Best Service Editorial Package and Best Words and Pictures.

Ricardo is an authoritative magazine and media brand that feels alive and energetic with innovation, now reaching beyond Quebec to the rest of Canada. The food photography is top-notch, the branded merchandise is exemplary, and the service it provides to readers sets the standard for lifestyle magazines.
National Magazine Awards Jury

The Kit Compact

Giorgina Bigioni, publisher
Laura deCarufel
, editor-in-chief
Jessica Hotson, art director
Published by: Star Media Group

The Kit Compact was launched in September 2015 with the goal of offering Toronto millennials Canada’s most compelling beauty and fashion content. The magazine celebrates fascinating style personalities and features a diverse array of real women, using the power of digital, print, and social to tell rich, engaging, multi-platform stories.

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The Kit Compact is a first-time NMA nominee, and they’re starting off strong with a nomination for the prestigious Magazine of the Year Award. Aside from that, The Kit Compact is also nominated for Portrait Photography, for “Deep Impact” (created collaboratively by photographer Luis Mora, art director Jessica Hotson, and editor Rani Sheen), in which six Toronto women “showcase the boss possibilities of black makeup.”

At the intersection of fashion, feminism, and the millennial generation, the new Kit Compact feels like the perfect breakout magazine for 2017. With a successful distribution strategy, robust digital and social platforms, and a commitment to supporting emerging artists and designers, it’s a magazine of profound energy and creativity.
National Magazine Awards Jury

The winner of the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.

Can’t make it. Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards where we’ll be live-tweeting all of the awards announcements.

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