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

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

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

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


The Space Between

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

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

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

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

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

If only it were that simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.


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

ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize  is the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers – in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. The annual deadline for nominations is March 1.

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

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:


She:kon.

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.

Nya:weh’kowa.


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 CBC.ca 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.


MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

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



INTEGRATED AWARDS

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


BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

GOLD MEDAL
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


WRITING AWARDS

Long-Form Feature Writing

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

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


Feature Writing

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

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


Short Feature Writing

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

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


Columns

GOLD MEDAL
« Économie »
L’actualité
Pierre Fortin, auteur
Josée Désaulniers, Karine Picard, Lucie Daigle, rédactrices-réviseures

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


Essays

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

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


Fiction

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

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


Investigative Reporting

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

SILVER MEDAL
Justice Is Not Blind
Maclean’s
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor


One of a Kind

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

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


Personal Journalism

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

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


Poetry

GOLD MEDAL
“(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

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


Professional Article

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

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


Profiles

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

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


Service Journalism

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

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



VISUAL AWARDS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue

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

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


Art Direction of a Single Article

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

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


Illustration

GOLD MEDAL
« Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? »
L’actualité
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique

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


Photojournalism & Photo Essay

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

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


Portrait Photography

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

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


Lifestyle Photography

GOLD MEDAL
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

SILVER MEDAL
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



INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

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).



MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

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.


SPECIAL GUESTS

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.


ABOUT THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS

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. 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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,
Bookmark,
Canadian Media Guild,
Content Writers Group,
CDS Global,
CNW, a Cision Company,
ExpertWomen.ca,
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
Vividata.

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.

 

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. 

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]
When:
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


Explore

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


Ricardo

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.

Best Art Direction of a Magazine Article: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Award for best Art Direction of a Magazine Article honours the design team that creates the best visual package of a magazine story, spread or section.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered an incredible array of magazines for Best Art Direction of a Magazine Article, an award generously sponsored by Studio Wyse, the creative studio that designed the look and feel of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best photographers, art directors, stylists, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the 4 finalists for Art Direction of a Magazine Article…

Savoury Baking
Chatelaine
Casie Wilson, art director
Rebecca Philps, editor
Roberto Caruso, photographer
Ashley Denton, food styling


This is 40(ish)
Chatelaine
Nicola Hamilton, art director
Danielle Groen, editor
Vanessa Wyse, creative direction
Jeff Carlson, photographer
LeeAndra Cianci, illustrator
Michelle Rosen, hair and makeup


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


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier and D.B. Scott to co-host 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards with Special Guests

The NMAF is excited to announce that this year’s 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, on May 26, will be co-hosted by three previous winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement—Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott—with special guest appearances by other winners including James Ireland, Sally Armstrong, Ken Rodmell, Lynn Cunningham, Stephen Trumper, Al Zikovitz, and Paul Jones.

The NMAF is also delighted to announce that Indigenous writer and 2017 nominee in Essays, Alicia Elliott, will deliver a keynote address to the gathering of more than 250 nominated writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and more.

As we celebrate 40 years of achievement in Canadian magazines and honour the outstanding work of the past year, we also acknowledge the strength, excellence, and diversity of Canada’s storytellers, whose creativity and passion are the bedrock of Canadian magazine journalism, today and tomorrow.

Tickets are on sale now.

Kim Pittaway is the executive director, MFA in Creative Nonfiction, at University of King’s College. A freelancer writer and former editor of Chatelaine, she is an eight-time National Magazine Award nominee and was the 2016 recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Michael de Pencier was the founding president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 1977, and was publisher of Toronto Life from 1971 until 2002. He founded Key Publishers, which published Canadian Geographic, Quill and Quire, Where Magazine, Fashion Magazine, Gardening Life, Canadian Business, and many other titles. In 1991 he was the recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

D.B. Scott is the president of Impresa Communications Ltd, publisher of the Canadian Magazines blog. He is a magazine and media consultant, writer, teacher, market researcher, publisher, and editor. He served on the NMAF Board of Directors for eight years and was president in 1990. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala is Friday, May 26, 2017, at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. View all nominees.

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

A limited number of tickets for nominated freelancers are available at the discount rate of $35, thanks to the support of our Table Patrons, including Access Copyright, Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Bookmark, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Writers Group, CDS Global, ExpertWomen.ca, Ryerson University School of Journalism, and University of King’s College School of Journalism.

Gold winners in writing and visual awards categories receive a cash prize of $1000. Silver winners receive an awards certificate. All other finalists receive Honourable Mention. View all nominees.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Since its debut in 1990, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement has been the highest individual honour bestowed upon members of Canada’s magazine community. The award recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry. The NMAF accepts submissions for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement throughout the year, with an annual deadline of March 1. 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.

Previous winners include:

2016 Kim Pittaway
2015 Michael Fox
2014 Kim Jernigan
2013 Stephen Trumper
2012 Heather Robertson
2011 D.B. Scott
2010 Terry Sellwood
2009 Cynthia Brouse
2008 Charles Oberdorf
2007 Neville Gilfoy
2006 John Macfarlane
2005 Paul Jones
2004 Stephen Osborne
2003 Sally Armstrong
2002 Al Zikovitz
2001 Ken Rodmell
2000 Peter C. Newman
1999 Lynn Cunningham
1998 Robert Fulford
1997 James Ireland
1996 Catherine Keachie
1995 Jean Paré
1994 Don Obe
1993 Barbara Moon
1992 Lloyd Hodgkinson
1991 Michael de Pencier
1990 Prue Hemelrijk

This year’s recipient will be Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media.

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.

A Short History of the National Magazine Awards

For 40 years the National Magazine Awards have honoured Canada’s most outstanding and memorable writers, artists, stories, and publications. It all began in 1976, when Andrew MacFarlane, dean of journalism at the University of Western Ontario, established a working group towards the creation of a National Magazine Awards. He was joined by John S. Crosbie, president of the Magazine Association of Canada; Michael de Pencier, publisher of Toronto Life; Roger de la Garde, dean of journalism at Université Laval; Alan Edmunds, head of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), and others. The rest is history.

As we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards on Friday May 26 [Tickets] [Nominees], here’s a quick look at some of our most enduring memories…

 

1977

Michael de Pencier in the 1970s. Photo credit: Harold Barkley / Getty Images via Toronto Life

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) receives its charter of non-profit foundation status from the Province of Ontario. Michael de Pencier, then the publisher of Toronto Life, is named the first president of the board of the directors. The NMAF establishes 14 categories, and more than 60 magazines submit 1377 entries. The submission fee is $10 per entry.

  • Among the 62 judges of the first National Magazine Awards were Joan Fraser (later a senator), author and essayist George Woodcock, and Adrienne Clarkson, then a CBC journalist, later the Governor General.

 

1978

Pierre Berton. Photo credit: CBC Archives

Pierre Berton hosts the first National Magazine Awards gala at the Hotel Toronto. Berton proclaims to the audience, “In a bold departure from tradition, there are to be no thank you speeches. We can do that because we are giving money, not some cheap statuette.” Harrowsmith (English) and L’actualité (French) win Magazine of the Year. Roy MacGregor (English) and Louise Coté (French) win the President’s Medals for the best overall article.

  • Image courtesy Town of Huntsville; photo illustration by Vessy Stroumsky

    The University of Western Ontario donated the original President’s Medals. From 1978 until 2001, the NMAF bestowed the President’s Medal upon the top overall magazine story of the year. Roy MacGregor’s original President’s Medal now resides in the Canada Summit Centre Sports Memorabilia Collection in the Town of Huntsville, Ontario.

Magazine types really know how to party.
Toronto Sun headline, following the first NMA gala

 

1979

Weekend Magazine, under the art direction of Robert Priest, wins the National Magazine Award for Best Cover, depicting a bloody image of the controversial baby seal hunt. Weekend Magazine, founded in 1951, wins 5 NMAs in 1979 before folding later that year.

 

1980

B.C. journalist Silver Donald Cameron wins the gold medal for Culture Writing, for a literary essay on author Farley Mowat published in Atlantic Insight.

 

1981

Photojournalist Nigel Dickson wins the first of his six NMA gold medals for a photo essay of the drought in the Canadian Prairies—one of the worst on record—published in Maclean’s.

 

1982

Jean Paré. Photo: Ordre national du Québec

At the fifth anniversary NMAs gala, legendary Quebec journalist Jean Paré wins the gold medal in Comment (later Columns) for L’actualité. From 1977 to 2009, Paré was nominated for 22 National Magazine Awards, winning 11. In 1996 he was the recipient of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

  • Jean Paré founded the weekly news magazine L’actualité in 1976 after three years as deputy editor of Maclean’s.

 

1983

Margaret Atwood wins the silver medal in Travel Writing, for “The Five Faces of Mexico,” published in Quest magazine. Quest, then under the editorship of the famously bespectacled and bow-tied Michael Enright, would fold a year later after winning 14 National Magazine Awards since 1978.

  • Margaret Atwood has won 3 National Magazine Awards (in Poetry, Travel Writing, and Environmental Journalism). She’s been nominated 3 times in Fiction but never won.

 

1984

Sylvia Barrett Wright wins her first of two gold medals in the category Science, Technology & the Environment for Equinox magazine (the other came in 1988). She becomes the first woman to win gold in this category. From 1984-2016 only eight women won the gold medal in Science, Technology & the Environment, including Noémi Mercier (also twice) and Margaret Atwood.

  • Vancouver Magazine, under veteran editor Mac Parry, won Magazine of the Year at the 1985 NMA gala. Originally known as Dick McLean’s Greater Vancouver Greeter Guide, VanMag was also briefly known as Vancouver’s Leisure Magazine before the current, simple title took hold in 1973.

 

1985

P.K. Page. Photo: Wikicommons

The poet Patricia Kathleen “P.K.” Page wins the National Magazine Award for poetry, for a suite of poems published in The Malahat Review. From 1944 under her death in 2010 at the age of 93, Page published more than three dozen books of poetry, prose, and children’s literature.

  • Since 1978 The Malahat Review has won 28 National Magazine Awards for fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

 

1986

Saturday Night art director Louis Fishauf wins both the gold and silver medals in Art Direction of a Single Article. Since 1979 Fishauf has been nominated for over 30 National Magazine Awards for his work in Saturday Night, The City, City Woman, Executive Magazine, T.O. Magazine, and Toronto Life.

My dream, when I was a young writer starting out, was to one day write for Saturday Night magazine. I pitched them ideas, to no avail, until one day in 2005 an editor emailed me out of the blue. I squeaked into one of their very last issues, and I still miss what Saturday Night stood for: a space of serious (but not too serious) intellectual engagement and storytelling as good as any in the world.
– Deborah Campbell, author and 3-time National Magazine Award winner

 

1987

At the tenth anniversary National Magazine Awards, graphic artist Simon Ng wins both gold and silver in Best Illustration, for work in Canadian Business and Toronto magazine. Blair Dawson and Gracia Lam are the only other illustrators to accomplish that double.

  • CBC “Morningside” host Peter Gzowski emceed the NMA gala for the second time (he also hosted in 1979 and for a final time in 1991) at the 10th anniversary gala in 1987, where Report on Business won Magazine of the Year.

 

1988

Elaine Dewar’s “The Mysterious Reichmanns: The Untold Story” (Toronto Life) wins the President’s Medal for best article (it also wins the gold medal for Investigative Journalism and Illustration). The Reichmann family, known for their real estate empire, had sued Dewar and Toronto Life for libel, for $102 million.

  • According to a contemporary story in the Ryerson Review of Journalism, in a show of journalistic support at that year’s NMA gala, “virtually everyone in the Grand Ballroom at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre stood up and cheered when [Dewar’s] victories were announced.”

 

1989

Photo courtesy James Ireland

James Ireland wins the National Magazine Award for Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, for Canadian Art. Over a 40-year career designing magazines like Report on BusinessToronto LifeCanadian BusinessMaclean’sCanadian Art, U of T Magazine, Chatelaine, and many more, Ireland was one of the most celebrated and admired art directors in Canada. In 1997 the NMAF presented him with its Outstanding Achievement Award.

The art staff at The Canadian magazine were known for taking long liquid lunches each Friday. Every now and then the publisher of the magazine would wander through the art department around 2pm to make sure we were all back at our desks. One Friday morning, one of the artists, Harry Shepherd, took some foam board and magic markers, and cut out full-sized, silhouette likenesses of each designer. He slumped them over their drawing boards with scalpels in hand so they looked hard at work. The strong backlight from the windows made them look very convincing—it was spectacular! We all had to work late that night.
– James Ireland

 

1990

The Idler wins its first National Magazine Award (for Best Cover). Writing in The Globe and Mail in 2007, novelist and NMA winner Russell Smith remarked of The Idler: It was “a bit like The Walrus, but more eccentric and unpredictable, and with less reporting and more reflection. It was an elegant, brilliant and often irritating thing, proudly pretentious and nostalgic, written by philosophers, curmudgeons, pedants, intellectual dandies.”

One night, long ago, when I was still an undergraduate student at U of T, I found myself at The Idler pub. Upstairs, I knew, were the offices of the magazine by the same name. That night, a bunch of journos and thinkers of various stripes sat around a long table, arguing and drinking the night away. When I fantasize about magazine journalism, my thoughts often drift back to that: a great watering hole, the exchange of ideas, and writers retreating upstairs to put some of those ideas into words.
Alison Motluk, 5-time National Magazine Award winner

  • The Idler won Magazine of the Year in 1992 and then folded a year later.

 

1991

West Magazine wins Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards, hosted for the third and final time by Pierre Berton. The magazine then folds later that year.

  • Magazines come and magazines go. Other magazines that folded the year they won a National Magazine Award: The Canadian (1979); Weekend Magazine (1979); Quest (1984); City Woman (1985); T.O. Magazine (1989); Vista (1990); Domino (1991); The Idler (1993); City & Country Home (1994); Destinations (1994); Shift (2003) Elm Street (2004); Saturday Night (2005); Toro (2007); unlimited (2008); More (2012); The Grid (2014).

 

1992

At the 15th anniversary NMA gala, Andrew Cohen of Saturday Night wins 3 medals, including the President’s Medal, for his profile of the former Prime Minister called “That Bastard Trudeau.”

  • Singer-songwriter Nancy White, of CBC fame, hosted the 15th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto.

 

1993

Paul Quarrington. Image credit: Wikicommons

Paul Quarrington wins his first of two consecutive NMA gold medals in Humour, for Harrowsmith magazine (he would later win a third humour award for Outdoor Canada). The beloved novelist, playwright, musician, and magazine writer passed away in 2010, shortly after writing his final memoir, Cigar Box Banjo: Notes on Music and Life.

  • At the 1993 NMAs Yann Martel, later the author of The Life of Pi, won the gold medal in Fiction for a story in The Malahat Review.

 

1994

The One-of-a-Kind category makes its NMA debut, celebrating magazine writing whose style or content is so unique it just can’t be classified into any other category. Zoe Landale, writing in Saturday Night, wins the first gold medal.

  • Toronto Life won 5 straight gold medals in One-of-a-Kind from 2001-2006, but The Walrus has won the last 4 heading into 2017. Check out this year’s nominees.

 

1995

Catherine Keachie, the long-time president of the Canadian Magazine Publishers’ Association, is presented with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Keachie was also an instructor of journalism at Ryerson University and today the program offers an annual scholarship in her memory.

In order for us to make the case for how Canadian magazines mattered, Catherine knew that it was essential for the industry to work together. The major publishers needed the cultural legitimacy of the small and literary publishers. The smalls and literaries needed the financial and political heft of the bigs… Catherine’s words have guided me throughout my career, and her passion for the possibility of what the many talented people in this industry can accomplish together continues to inspire me.
Kim Pittaway, on Catherine Keachie’s inspiration to her career, from Kim’s acceptance speech at the 2016 NMAs

 

1996

For the only time in its history, the NMAs present an award for best Display Writing, at a gala hosted for the first time by Ian Brown. Vancouver Magazine wins the award, but the category is discontinued the following year.

  • In 2008 Julia Belluz won the NMA Best Student Writer Award for her profile of Ian Brown in the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

 

1997

Photo Edward Burtynsky 

Edward Burtynsky wins the gold medal in Photojournalism for his famous “Tailings” series—highlighting the environmentally degrading waste produced by heavy industry—published in Canadian Art.

 

1998

Hosting the NMA gala for the second consecutive year, Massey College master John Fraser presents the Outstanding Achievement Award to former Saturday Night editor Robert Fulford.

  • Since 1978, Fulford has won more NMA gold medals (15) than any other writer or artist. But fashion photographer Chris Nicholls is the winningest creator in NMA history, with 20 total medals (10 gold; 10 silver).

 

1999

Jane O’Hara’s investigative report “Rape in the Military” (Maclean’s) wins two National Magazine Awards, including the President’s Medal. It remains one of the most significant and studied feature stories in the history of Canadian magazines.

It [“Rape in the Military”] was such a groundbreaking and heartbreaking story—20 years later, it haunts me still. The raw honesty of the women who shared their stories, and the abusive betrayal of those who destroyed their lives and careers. You can feel the mastery of the interviewer in how she was able to get these victims to open up to her and feel her sensitivity in how she told the story.
– Dawn Chafe, editor-in-chief, Atlantic Business Magazine

 

2000

The upstart Shift magazine wins 9 National Magazine Awards, including a sweep for art directors Carmen Dunjko and Malcolm Brown in the categories Art Direction and Best Cover. From 1994 until it folded in 2003, Shift won 27 NMAs and became a notorious rival to Saturday Night. After the magazine won its huge haul of awards, much to the chagrin of its critics, editor Laas Turnbull told The Globe and Mail: “I have found that people’s reaction to Shift often says a great deal more about them than it does about the magazine. It’s so unusual to launch something new in this country and then to actually survive.”

Shift on Beck… never forget it.
– Malcolm Brown, 15-time National Magazine Award-winning art director

 

2001

The National Magazine Awards expands to 37 categories, up from 14 at the 1978 awards. George Whiteside wins the first gold medal in the category Food Photography, for President’s Choice magazine. (The category is discontinued in 2003.)

  • Other discontinued categories in the history of the NMAs include Conceptual Photography, Food Writing, Leisure Pursuits, Community Feature, Studio Photography, Best Repurposed or Adapted Content, and Best New Magazine.

 

2002

George Elliott Clarke. Photo credit: Carmelita Linta / CBC

George Elliott Clarke wins the gold medal in Poetry, for a suite of six poems in Prairie Fire.

  • Prairie Fire has won 15 National Magazine Awards since 1996, most recently a silver medal in 2016 for Poetry (Harold Hoefle).

 

2003

Don Obe. Photo by John Reeves

For the 25th NMA gala, Don Obe edits a special anniversary magazine featuring the top stories, issues, photography, and design from each year since the first National Magazine Awards. A beloved Ryerson University instructor and former editor at Maclean’s, The Canadian, and Toronto Life, Obe received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1994. He passed away in 2014.

  • At the 25th anniversary NMA gala, hosted by Second City comedienne Judy Croon, Adbusters won for Best Art Direction of a Single Article, The New Quarterly swept the gold medals in Fiction and Poetry, Elm Street won for Portrait Photography, and Outpost won Magazine of the Year.

 

2004

Marci McDonald’s investigation into Paul Martin’s controversial private business dealings, published in the inaugural issue of The Walrus, wins that magazine its first (of many) National Magazine Awards.

  • Marci McDonald won the gold medal in Business at the very first NMAs in 1978, and has won 11 in total since then. In 2017 she served on the NMA jury in the category Long-Form Feature Writing.

 

2005

Gerald Hannon is a double gold medallist for his story “The Eyes of Edward Burtynsky” (Toronto Life) in the categories Profiles and Arts & Entertainment.

Lynn Cunningham, my editor at Toronto Life, assigned me a major feature on the AIDS crisis in 1988 when I had no magazine experience and when I was mostly known for having been on trial for publishing immoral, indecent, or scurrilous matter. She took a chance on me, and thanks to her support and encouragement my writing career took off.
– Gerald Hannon, 13-time National Magazine Award-winning writer

 

2006

The June 1969 cover of Saturday Night

Saturday Night, after folding (for the second and final time) in November the previous year, wins 7 National Magazine Awards, bringing its legendary haul to 231 NMAs since 1978. The same night, The Walrus breaks Saturday Night’s record by winning 13 gold medals (and 16 overall).

  • In 2015, Toronto Life finally passed Saturday Night for most NMAs in history, when writer Lauren McKeon won the gold medal in Personal Journalism for “Save Me From My Workout.” Toronto Life now has 244 NMAs heading into the 2017 awards.

 

2007

Program cover of the 30th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Illustration by Dan Page. Art direction by Levi Nicholson.

At the 30th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala at the Carlu in Toronto, Scott Feschuk hosts, David Gilmour‘s “My Life with Tolstoy” is a double gold medal winner, and The Walrus wins Magazine of the Year. Jeremy Klaszus is presented with the award for Best New Magazine Writer (formerly known as the Alexander Ross Award) for his investigation into unsavoury practices in Alberta’s oil industry, published in Alberta Views.

 

2008

Maisonneuve’s “Food Issue,” featuring a cover photo of miniature explorers attempting a dangerous crossing of the surface of a crème brûlée, wins the gold medal for Best Magazine Cover (art direction by Anna Minzhulina).

  • Recently the NMAF’s Richard A. Johnson interviewed Anna Minzhulina about her ten-year tenure at Maisonneuve, her creative process as an art director, and the importance of supporting emerging women magazine artists.

 

2009

Chris Turner wins the gold medal in Essays for “The Big Decision” (Alberta Views), arguing in favour of nuclear energy at a time when the province’s Oil Sands are booming.

  • Moose Jaw native Chris Turner, a 9-time NMA winner, hosted the 2016 National Magazine Awards gala, featuring a cameo from Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi.

 

2010

Up Here magazine, published in Yellowknife, wins Magazine of the Year, becoming the first magazine from Canada’s North to win the grand prize.

  • At the 2010 National Magazine Awards gala, Terry Sellwood of Cottage Life Media received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. At the 2017 gala, Penny Caldwell will become the third member of the Cottage Life family to win the award, after Terry and founder Al Zikovitz (2002).

 

2011

Image: CBC

Sean Michaels wins the One-of-a-Kind gold medal for an account of his exploration of the catacombs of Paris, published in Brick. Michaels would later go on to win the Giller Prize for his novel, Us Conductors.

  • Other NMA winners for Brick literary magazine include Michael Ondaatje (1981), Alex Pugsley (2005), Patrick deWitt (2013), and Linda Spalding (2014), all in the Fiction category.

 

2012

The Grid, a weekly Toronto city magazine that launched the previous May, wins six National Magazine Awards, including three gold medals for art director Vanessa Wyse. The Grid’s boisterous cheering section remains one of the most enduring memories of its first NMA gala.

  • In 2013 The Grid won 7 National Magazine Awards, edging The Walrus (6). It’s the only time since 2004 that winningest magazine at the NMAs was not Toronto Life or The Walrus.

 

2013

For the first time, the NMAs honour outstanding achievement by tablet editions. Canadian House & Home wins the first award for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

  • In subsequent years, Today’s Parent and Sportsnet won the National Magazine Award for Tablet Magazine of the Year. The award was discontinued in 2016 as the NMAF launched the Digital Publishing Awards to recognize achievement in Canadian digital publishing. The 2017 Digital Publishing Awards are coming up on June 1.

 

2014

Edmonton newcomer Eighteen Bridges magazine wins four National Magazine Awards among 11 nominations, including two gold medals for editor and feature writer Curtis Gillespie.

  • In 2016 Eighteen Bridges also won four NMAs, including the gold medal in Investigative Reporting. Recently the NMAF’s Richard A. Johnson interviewed journalist Virgil Grandfield about his incredible 10-year investigation of human trafficking and murder related to Red Cross reconstruction projects in Indonesia.

Also, remember this:

 

2015

Crimes sexuels dans l’armée,” an extensive investigative report by journalists Noémi Mercier and Alec Castonguay about sexual assault in the Canadian military, published in L’actualité, wins two gold medals (Investigative Reporting and Politics & Public Interest).

  • Lainey Lui and Jessica Allen from CTV’s “The Social” co-hosted the 38th NMA gala in 2015, featuring a cameo by 4-time host Scott Feschuk.

 

2016

Desmond Cole accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer to a standing ovation at the 2016 National Magazine Awards in Toronto (Photo: Steven Goetz / National Magazine Awards Foundation)

Desmond Cole is nominated for four National Magazine Awards for his exposé of Toronto police discrimination against the city’s Black community, “The Skin I’m In” (Toronto Life). Cole wins the gold medal for Best New Magazine Writer and two silver medals (Essays and Personal Journalism), and receives a standing ovation on stage at the gala.


Take a deeper dive into the history of the National Magazine Award by perusing the NMA archive.

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards will be held on Friday, May 26, at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. Tickets are on sale now. Check out all the nominees.

Not able to make it to the gala? Follow our exciting live tweet @MagAwards to catch all the live action.

Best Fiction in Canadian Magazines: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Award for Fiction has a storied history (oh goodness, please pardon that pun). Alice Munro won the inaugural NMA fiction gold medal in 1978 (and again in 1983, and again in 1999). Yann Martel won in 1993; Elizabeth Hay in 1995; Lynn Crosbie in 2002; Shyam Selvadurai (2007).

In 2010, Steven Heighton joined Munro as a three-time gold-medal winner (also winning in 1992 and 2008). Jay Teitel won the silver medal back in 1978, then won the gold medal 26 years later. William Gibson, Thomas King, Patrick deWitt, and Zsuzsi Gartner have also been winners.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered a wide range of submissions from Canada’s top literary magazines for this year’s fiction prize, an award presented by Ontario Arts Council, which has supported the National Magazine Awards and Canadian literary artists for decades.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, editors, artists, art directors and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the finalists in Fiction…

A Day with Cyrus Mair
Brick
Alex Pugsley, writer
Liz Johnston, handling editor


Gravity
Geist
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
AnnMarie MacKinnon,
Michal Koslowski, handling editors


Captcha
Hazlitt
Naomi Skwarna, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


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


Ada en première
Nouveau Projet
Audrée Wilhelmy, auteure
Judith Oliver, rédactrice-réviseure


Pelican
PRISM International
Andrew F. Sullivan, writer
Christopher Evans, handling editor


Shimmer
subTerrain
Alex Pugsley, writer
Brian Kaufman, handling editor
Natasha Sanders-Kay, managing editor
Karen Green, proofreader


Seventeen Comments
The Malahat Review
Elyse Friedman, writer
John Barton, handling editor


Miloslav
The New Quarterly
Sharon Bala, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor


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


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Best Art Direction of an Issue: 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Award for best Art Direction of an Entire Issue is the top design award presented to a Canadian magazine, honouring the art director or team that produced the most outstanding magazine issue of the year from a design perspective.

Previous winners include Canadian Art (3 times), Shift (also 3 times), Saturday Night, and Outpost, and more recently Azure, Nouveau Projet, UPPERCASEReport on Businessfshn unlimited, and, of course, that famous issue of The Grid with the sperm donors.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered another stunning set of magazines for Best Art Direction of an Entire Issue, an award generously sponsored by TC Transcontinental Printing, Canada’s largest printing company and the printers of the 40th anniversary NMA program.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best photographers, art directors, stylists, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the finalists for Art Direction of an Entire Issue…


Issue XI
Corduroy Magazine
Peter Ash Lee, art director
Tim Chan, editor


Numéro 007 : Aride
Dînette Magazine
Hélène Mallette, directrice artistique


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


Numéro 10 : Montréal
Nouveau Projet
Jean-François Proulx, directeur artistique


Issue 34: Scanning the Archives
Prefix Photo
Underline Studio, art direction
Jayne Wilkinson, editor


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


Issue 18: Kids Take Over!!
The Feathertale Review
Charlit Floriano, art director
Corina Milic, editor
Jenn Lawrence, contributor


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Best Illustration in Canadian Magazines: 40th National Magazine Awards nominees

The National Magazine Awards jury reviewed a wonderful selection of candidates for this year’s award for Best Illustration from magazines and artists across the country.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best illustrators, art directors, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the nominees for Best Illustration.

Tous menteurs ?
L’actualité
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique


Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ?
L’actualité
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique


Crib Notes
Maisonneuve
Selena Wong, illustrator
Anna Minzhulina, art director
Andrea Bennett, editor
Daniel Viola, editor-in-chief


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


Trump, une anomalie qui nargue les politologues
Québec Science
Dushan Milic, illustrateur
François Émond, directeur artistique
Marie Lambert-Chan, rédactrice en chef


Fly Away Little Bird
THIS Magazine
Jori van der Linde, illustrator
Valerie Thai, art director


The Hidden Epidemic
University of Toronto Magazine
Gracia Lam, illustrator
Gilbert Li, art director
Scott Anderson, editor


Astronaut Wives
Vancouver Magazine
Byron Eggenschwiler, illustrator
Paul Roelofs, art director
Anicka Quin, editor


How did Wreck Beach get Naked?
Vancouver Magazine
Byron Eggenschwiler, illustrator
Paul Roelofs, art director
Stacey Maclachlan, editor


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Vote for Canada’s Best Magazine Cover: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

[THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED]

It’s the first thing you see on newsstands or in your mail box, and perhaps the last thing you see before you fall asleep with the magazine on your face. A great magazine cover sells itself, tells its own story, and makes you hungry to read what’s inside. It might be clever, witty, timely, delightful, or poignant–or all of these. Maybe it’s just beautiful. Or may it’s that je ne sais quoi.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury evaluated a trove of incredible covers from magazines across Canada–from B.C. to Newfoundland, Yellowknife to Montreal, and everywhere in between.

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, including 10 finalists for Best Magazine Cover. The Gold and Silver Medals will be presented at the NMA Gala on May 26. [Tickets]. 

Now it’s time for you, as a connoisseur of magazine covers, to vote for your favourite. The voting ends on May 18 and we’ll announce the winner of the People’s Choice Vote on May 19 on Twitter @MagAwards.



 


UPDATE:

 

 

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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Best Photojournalism & Photo Essay: 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

Photojournalism has a storied history in Canadian magazines, and at the National Magazine Awards.

In 1981, Nigel Dickson won the first of his six NMA gold medals for a photo essay of the drought in the Canadian Prairies—one of the worst on record—published in Maclean’s.

Twenty years ago this month, a young Edward Burtynsky won the gold medal in Photojournalism for his famous “Tailings” series—highlighting the environmentally degrading waste produced by heavy industry—published in Canadian Art.

In 2016, Marta Iwanek won the gold medal in photojournalism (and Best New Magazine Photographer) for her work at “The Maidan” in the heart of Ukraine’s revolution.

This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered another stirring crop of candidates for Photojournalism & Photo Essay, an award generously sponsored by CNW Group: Achieve your communications goals. 

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best photographers, art directors, stylists, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the three finalists for Photojournalism & Photo Essay.

Once Upon a Time in China
Air Canada enRoute
Virginia Macdonald, photographer
Stefanie Sosiak, art director
Nicolas Ramirez, deputy art director
Lori Morgan, photo editor
Sarah Musgrave, editor
Susan Nerberg, contributor
Amy Rosen, writer


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


South of Buck Creek
Geist

Terence Byrnes, photographer
Syd Danger, art director
AnnMarie MacKinnon, Michal Kozlowski, editors


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Best Portrait Photography: Nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

What do you love about a great portrait? Is it the ambitious styling or location of the shoot? Perhaps an innovative photographic technique or angle that captures your attention in a way that’s fresh and original. Or is it simply the singular photographic moment–the way the subject or subjects, frozen in time, reveal their innermost selves through the lens–that makes the reader desirous of the story?

The National Magazine Awards jury reviewed a great selection of candidates for Best Portrait Photography, an award generously sponsored by Steven Goetz Storytelling, official photographers of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. 

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best photographers, art directors, stylists, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the nominees for Best Portrait Photography.

Audrey Tautou
Corduroy Magazine
Peter Ash Lee, photographer & art director
Tim Chan, editor


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


One on One with Nolan Gerard Funk
DTK Magazine
Peter Tamlin, photographer
Sylvain Blais, art director
Randy Smith at Judy Inc., fashion editor
Julie Cusson for Chanel, grooming artist
Anthony James O’Dell, writer


Under My Skin
DTK Magazine
Sylvain Blais, photographer & art director
Fritz, fashion editor
Mayillah, grooming artist


The Resilient Runner
GRAND
Nick Iwanyshyn, photographer
Diane Shantz, art director
Brian Williams, editor


What They Carried
Maclean’s
Amber Bracken, photographer
Stephen Gregory, art director
Liz Sullivan, editor


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


Instinct
Taddle Creek
Thomas Blanchard, photographer
Conan Tobias, art director & editor


Deep Impact
The Kit Compact
Luis Mora, photographer
Jessica Hotson, art director
Rani Sheen, editor
Contributors: Veronica Saroli, Jillian Vieira, Julie Cusson, Wendy Rorong


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Last Call for Early-Bird Tickets: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

Are you ready to honour Canada’s most exceptional magazine writing, photography, illustration, and design? We are preparing a wonderful celebration of Canadian magazine creators for this year’s 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala on May 26, with a nod to the history and great tradition of Canadian magazines, and also a look to the future.

Get your tickets right here.

The Early Bird deadline on “Dinner & Show” tickets is Friday May 5. Save $15 of the regular price of $150 by booking your ticket soon.

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala is just three weeks away. The nominees have been announced, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and more to the gala on May 26.

Best Editorial Package: Nominees for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

What makes a great magazine editorial package? Is it the design of the book, the arrangement of the content, the multiplicity of entry points? Does it need data-leaning infographics, witty display writing, or an illustrated  how-to guide? How do you consider the overall quality of the written and visual pieces with the overall impact the story makes with readers.

These are just some of the questions the National Magazine Awards jury had to contend with as they pored over the impressive candidates for Best Editorial Package, an award generously sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc, an environmentally responsible printing paper company. 

On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the nominees for Best Editorial Package.

Art in the End Times
Arc Poetry Magazine
Rhonda Douglas, editor
Serge Duguay, art director
Contributors: Ben Ladouceur, Katherine Leyton, Kevin Matthews, Chris Johnson, Meagan Black, Monty Reid


Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016
Air Canada enRoute
Sarah Musgrave, editor
Stefanie Sosiak, art director
Lori Morgan, photo editor
Andrew Braithwaite, writer
Rush Jagoe, photographer


BESIDE Magazine / Magazine B-Side
BESIDE
Catherine Métayer, editor
Eliane Cadieux, art director
Jean-Daniel Petit, publisher & creative director


#95, The Games Issue
Canadian Notes & Queries
Emily Donaldson, editor
Seth, art director
Contributors: Emily Robert Earl Stewart, Stacey May Fowles, Grant Munroe


Nordicité
Caribou
Tania Jiménez, directrice artistique
Audrey Lavoie, Véronique Leduc, Geneviève Vezina-Montplaisir, rédactrices en chef


Le Vivant / The Living
esse Arts + Opinions
Sylvette Babin, editor & art director
Contributors: Dominique Allard, Ariane De Blois, Justina Spencer


Swim or Sink
New Trail
Lisa Cook, editor
Marcey Andrews, art director
Karen Sherlock, managing editor
Amie Filkow, associate editor
Christie Hutchinson, associate editor
Sarah Pratt, staff writer
Cynthia Strawson, supervising editor
Mary Lou Reeleder, supervising editor
Stephanie Bailey, editorial assistant
Cynthia Strawson, supervising editor
Interns: Kate Black, Madisen Gee


The Top 1000 Guide to Investing
Report on Business
Dawn Calleja, Gary Salewicz, editors
Domenic Macri, art director
Contributors: David Berman, John Daly, Tim Kiladze, Ian McGugan, Tim Shufelt


Diversity
Ryerson Review of Journalism
Kat Eschner, editor
Caren Watkins, art director
Viviane Fairbank, senior editor
Jonah Brunet, display editor
Staff writers: Eternity Martis, Davide Mastracci, Blair Mlotek, Erin Sylvester, Anda Zeng


1351
SAD Mag
Sara Horowitz, editor
Pamela Rounis, art director


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40

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

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

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

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

Amorina Kingdon

The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion
Hakai Magazine

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

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

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


Eternity Martis

Know Your History, Know Your Greatness
Hazlitt

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

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

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

 


Kyle Edwards

Yearning to Learn Ojibwe
Maclean’s

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

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

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


Sharon J. Riley

Burning Bush
Maisonneuve

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

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

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


Viviane Fairbank

Hot Mess
Ryerson Review of Journalism

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

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

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


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

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

Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40

Announcing the 2017 Digital Publishing Awards Nominees

DPA Twitter Card

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nominations Highlights
The top nominees this year are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about these three candidates here.


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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenny Yum to receive Digital Publishing Leadership Award

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

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

Kenny Yum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A video series highlighting the careers of notable Canadian women.


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

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

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

Announcing the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TOP NOMINATED CREATORS

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

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

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

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

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

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BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

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

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TOP STORIES OF 2016

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

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

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

TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES

FIRST-TIME NOMINEES

Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Award include:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

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

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

GALA TICKETS

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

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

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

CREDIT CHANGES

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

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

ABOUT THE NMAF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize  is the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.

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

The Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will consider the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will select the winner.

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

Photo of Penny Caldwell by Daniel Ehrenworth

Off the Page, with art director Anna Minzhulina

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

NMAF: How did it come together?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s a peak at how the design evolved:

 

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

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

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

The ones that jump to mind, though, are:

…and so many many more…

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Photograph of Anna Minzhulina by Florentine.

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

Announcing #40at40: A Special NMA Celebration

Here at the National Magazine Awards Foundation we are excitedly preparing for next week’s big announcement: The nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards (April 20). And following that, we’ll be getting ready for this year’s anniversary gala (May 26) at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

In celebration of this special anniversary year, the NMAF has launched #40at40–forty award-winning creators telling stories about their favourite magazines, the mentors and inspiring figures they look up to, and the Canadian magazine stories that made the biggest impact on their careers.

Every day for 40 days leading up to the gala, we’ll post one story on Twitter (@MagAwards).

Would you like to participate? Send us an email at staff@magazine-awards.com (subject line #40at40) and we’ll send you a super-short questionnaire.

Thanks to all who have joined us and will join us for the biggest celebration in Canadian magazines–the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards!