Off the Page, with Genna Buck

Genna Buck (photo by Jessica Darmanin)

This week on Off the Page, our interview series with National Magazine Award winners, we chat with journalist Genna Buck, who won the 2015 NMA prize for Best New Magazine Writer, given annually to an emerging journalist whose early work in Canadian magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. 

NMAF: Congratulations on the award for Best New Magazine Writer. Your winning piece, “Finding a Place,” found a place in Maisonneuve. Can you talk a bit about how you discovered Savannah’s story, and why you decided to pursue it?

Genna Buck: I was a super green reporter on a summer contract at the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, N.B., assigned to cover the provincial court. This was 2012. Savannah, a young woman with severe autism, was brought in for a hearing — I tell that story in the piece — and it was memorable because a representative from Social Development was supposed to be there and had failed to show. The normally very taciturn judge got a bit miffed about it, so I wrote it up for the paper.

Read Genna Buck's award-winning story in the Winter 2014 issue of Maisonneuve
Read Genna Buck’s award-winning story in the Winter 2014 issue of Maisonneuve

The next day I got this heartbreaking phone call from Joy Sullivan, Savannah’s foster mother of many years, who had no idea that her kid was in this situation. She’d been looking for answers but had gotten discouraged by that point.

I learned that this young person who was totally alone, who had no one to speak for her, who was a child of the system, actually had people. She had a family who loved her. And an institution that was supposed to be all about supporting families to stay together had dropped the ball in a really profound way. So the story had a narrative element — the arc of Savannah’s life — and a public-interest element.

I’d seen similar cases, sadly, many times in my short period covering the court, but I’d never found a way into the story until Joy reached out and let me into her life and opened up.

It was extremely brave and I will always be thankful to her for that.

NMAF: In your award-winning piece, readers are given a portrait of woman with autism who quotes Shrek, who crouches by a puddles and pretends to drown a doll, who is bounced from one “holding tank” to another. While you were writing the piece, what were the challenges you faced in trying to accurately represent Savannah’s story to your readers?

Genna Buck: There are a lot of things I would do differently if I could do this story over. I made the choice to share most of Savannah’s life story through Joy’s voice, which wasn’t ideal. I felt very uneasy about questioning Savannah because I didn’t know her well, and I wasn’t totally sure that I would be able to adequately inform her about what I was doing so that she could give her true consent.

I wanted to follow legal and ethical rules to the letter, because when I was doing the initial reporting, it was for my Master’s project, and I didn’t know if it would ever be published.

For practical reasons, I wasn’t able to visit Savannah in hospital. And I really, really did not want to make her think that I had the power to change her situation.

But if I were to do this again, I would spend extensive time with her and get everything from her perspective. It’s important that marginalized people are given a chance to express agency and speak on their own behalf. And that element was lacking in my piece.

There were also just the regular struggles to piece together things that had happened ten or twenty years before — names, places, dates, government agencies, all that.

“[Genna Buck] exhibits patience and grit in this magnificent profile. ‘Finding a Place’ has everything a good magazine piece needs: a gripping story, strong research and poignant writing that is balanced and sensitive.”
National Magazine Awards jury

NMAF: Your piece ends on an ambiguous note — with Savannah still in a psychiatric hospital. What was the impact (if any) of bringing Savannah’s story to the public’s attention? More generally, what do you hope to accomplish with your investigative reporting?

Genna Buck: Well, someone offered to mail a copy of the magazine to the relevant government minister in New Brunswick, so I know that the story got at least a few people fired up over the serious lack of housing and support for people with high needs in that province and across the country.

But to my knowledge — as of a couple of months ago — Savannah’s still in hospital to this day. She’s not sick. And she’s isolated from her family and friends and people who love her. So not a whole lot has changed.

Most of the momentum around this issue in New Brunswick seems to be about making what are essentially institutional environments, hospitals and group homes, nicer and bigger and better-equipped. There’s a real belief, and a stated goal, of supporting people to have a meaningful life in the community. But making that happen for someone like Savannah requires a huge investment of money and expertise.

What do I want to achieve? Well I don’t necessarily want to change the world, that’s not my role and it’s not in my power. My goal is always to get readers to imagine themselves in another person’s situation, to see their lives in a new and complex and visceral way.

Once you help cultivate genuine, sincere empathy, change flows from that. At least you hope so.

Genna Buck accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.
Genna Buck accepts the award for Best New Magazine Writer at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.

 

NMAF: Professionally and personally, what the impact of winning a National Magazine Award? How do you see your career as a magazine writer continuing to develop?

Genna Buck: Professionally, it has opened so many doors. I think it has put me on the path to being able to support myself as a freelancer, if that’s something I eventually choose to pursue (I might, one day; it’s TBD).

It has also opened editors’ ears and made them more willing to take a chance on a pitch from me that is a bit out-there or weird. I have a forthcoming piece in Flare about thrift shopping, and I’m working on a long form project that incorporates elements of Canadian history, women’s history and the story of how my own great-great-grandmother came to Canada.

Personally, it’s a big motivator. I think everyone in this business has moments where they’re just like, “WHAT WAS I THINKING? I CAN’T DO THIS. THIS WAS A BAD IDEA!” And I’m able to tell myself, “You can do this. Look, you have done it!”

I’m an editor full-time now, and I’m currently working as part of a team to make another MJ grad’s thesis into an investigative series. So what goes around comes around!

National Magazine Award winners Genna Buck and Richard Greene at Winners' Circle, a special networking event for NMA nominees and winners, on Nov 25
National Magazine Award winners Genna Buck and Richard Greene at Winners’ Circle, a special networking event for NMA nominees and winners, on Nov 25

NMAF: What advice would you give to emerging magazine writers?

Genna Buck: I know this is lame, but seriously, be manic about organization. Keep all your notes in one place. Scan and upload your documents. Label all your audio and store it in one place. Don’t shove a bunch of super important loose pieces of paper into a bunch of different folders and binders and notebooks and what-have-you. I learned that the hard way. Evernote is your friend!


Genna Buck is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist, the recipient of 2015 NMA award for Best New Magazine Writer, and a section editor for Views at Metro News Canada. She earned her Masters of Journalism at Carlton University, in 2013. Her work has appeared in Maclean’s Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Maisonneuve Magazine, and other publications. Genna’s Twitter handle is @genna_buck.

Very special thanks to Leah Edwards for researching and conducting this interview with Genna Buck. 

The 2016 National Magazine Award for Best New Magazine Writer is open to any emerging Canadian journalist or creative non-fiction writer whose first feature-length magazine story (1000+ words) was published in a Canadian magazine (including university/college magazines) during 2015. Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of reference from a teacher, mentor, editor or colleague. The submission fee is $25. Three finalists will be named and the winner receives a cash prize of $500. The deadline for entries is January 15, 2016. Enter at magazine-awards.com.

Related “Off the Page” interviews
Catherine McIntyre, winner of the 2014 award for Best New Magazine Writer
Sierra Skye Gemma
, winner of the 2013 award for Best New Magazine Writer
Jeremy Klaszus, winner of the 2008 award for Best New Magazine Writer
Carol Shaben, 2-time NMA winner & 2009 finalist, Best New Magazine Writer
Suzannah Showler, 2013 finalist for Best New Magazine Writer
Liz Windhorst Harmer, NMA winner & 2013 finalist, Best New Magazine Writer

Off the Page, with Today’s Parent editor Sasha Emmons

Sasha Emmons (photo by Roberto Caruso)
Sasha Emmons (photo by Roberto Caruso)

This week on Off the Page–our interview series with National Magazine Award winners–we’re chatting with Sasha Emmons, Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Parent magazine. 

NMAF: Today’s Parent had a banner year at the 2015 National Magazine Awards—8 nominations and 4 Gold Medals including Best Single Issue, Best Web Editorial Package, Single Service Article Package, and Tablet Magazine of the Year. Can you describe the feeling that you and your team experienced that night of the awards gala?

Sasha Emmons: It’s such a cliché but we were just so giddy to be nominated. I’m new to the Canadian publishing scene but I understood that parenting publications rarely get nominated, much less win. So it was pretty surreal to hear our name not just once but four times, especially considering the quality of work from all the nominees. I wish I’d spent more time working on speeches — I really thought there was no way I’d be up there.

Sasha Emmons of Today's Parent accepts the award for Best Single Issue at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.
Sasha Emmons of Today’s Parent accepts the award for Best Single Issue at the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala.

NMAF: What has been the significance to you, your team and your readers from winning the National Magazine Awards? 

Sasha Emmons: I think for us it was incredible validation that our digital-driven but platform-agnostic approach to creating content was working. We regularly get caught up in excitement for our projects, and sometimes we lose objectivity and wonder if what we’re working on is as cool as we think it is. Seeing our risks pay off, both with awards but also with audience engagement and amazing feedback, has also given us motivation to keep pushing ourselves to try new, bold things.

The awards have certainly made the industry take notice of us, and that’s led to really talented editors, designers and new partners knocking on our door, wanting to work with or be part of our incredible team.

NMAF: Winning the award for Tablet Magazine of the Year must have been particularly special. How has Today’s Parent developed its presence on the tablet magazine platform, what challenges have you faced in delivering digital content, and how has it been successful?

Sasha Emmons: I really wanted to win for tablet. After we close our print issue, the editors get a bit of reprieve but not our art team, who work long hours on a platform where we have fewer readers than print.

For our busy parents, there’s not a lot of Sunday morning long-reads lounging, and many can’t take out the iPad without their kids clamouring for it. The phone is more our device, and we actually create an iPhone edition each month as well. But despite a huge digital audience that’s largely mobile, the idea of consuming an issue on a phone or tablet hasn’t quite caught on in a big way yet. But it’s growing, and we’re hopeful it will continue to grow.

Our art director Sun Ngo has incredibly high standards but she also promotes a culture of playful experimentation. Her leadership and her team’s hard work are the reason our tablet edition is so great, and I was beyond thrilled to see her be acknowledged for that.

Her philosophy is both simple and complex. She’s laser-focused on making the content readable, with clear text and directional icons. We never want to get so enamoured of bells and whistles that we forget about usability. But then she and her designers go the extra mile, creating gorgeous animated covers, making food and crafts pinnable, integrating video and playing with stop animation.

I really believe our tablet edition is the best, richest way to read Today’s Parent.

NMAF: The package called “30 Awesome Cupcakes” (Gold Medal winner in Single Service Article Package) has been the most tweeted, most viewed article in our awards archive since June, doubtless because it’s just about the most attractive cover line imaginable, and also because the layout is so eye-catching, so much fun. How is that piece exemplary of the editorial mission of Today’s Parent? (And did you get to try all the cupcakes?)

Sasha Emmons: I didn’t know that, and it’s so great to hear. It is one of the great professional regrets of my life I was not on set that day. However, I have to give credit where it’s due and say that this story was already in the works when I started at Today’s Parent, so really Karine Ewart and Alicia Kowalewski, the editor-in-chief and art director at the time, deserve the credit. I did write the line though!

Overall, we aim for a mix of daring, zeitgeisty content, and smart, creative bread-and-butter service. This piece falls into the latter — after all, every parent has to figure out how to pull off their kid’s birthday.

 

NMAF: You’ve called raising two kids “the most humbling thing” you’ve ever done. (“There are moments where I feel like I’ve nailed it, but there are still so many moments where I have no idea what I’m doing.”) How does your daily experience as a parent help guide your leadership of the magazine, and your understanding of what your readers want you to deliver?

Sasha Emmons: I feel like the parents on staff have the best scam going. One of us has an issue with our kid, and we get to talk to leading experts on exactly how to handle it! Seriously, it’s such a privilege that my professional life is centred around what interests me most personally as well.

It’s hugely useful to be a parent and have many moms and dads on staff to gut-check everything we write. Believe me, I’m struggling with everything our readers are struggling with. Overall, I think there are a lot of ways to get parenting right, and only a few ways to get it wrong, and that laughing about its challenges makes the whole thing easier.

I hope that comes through in our content.


Discover more about Today’s Parent at todaysparent.com and on Twitter @TodaysParent, and follow Sasha Emmons @semmons. The mobile edition of the magazine can be found here

The 2016 National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions.

Check out more of our Off the Page interviews with NMA winners, including editors like:
Patrick Walsh of Outdoor Canada
Judith Pereira of Report on Business
Mark Reid of Canada’s History
Curtis Gillespie of Eighteen Bridges

The Call for Entries for the 2016 National Magazine Awards will be announced on December 8. 

Off the Page, with Hudson Christie

Off the Page is back! Our interview series with National Magazine Award winners returns this week with Hudson Christie, winner of the 2015 award for Best New Magazine Illustrator, sponsored by Red Point Media. Hudson generously gave us some of his time recently to talk about his winning work, the significance of his award and building a career as a magazine illustrator.

NMAF: Congratulations on the award for Best New Magazine Illustrator. Your winning piece accompanied a story in Maisonneuve called “A Portrait of the Artist with Testicles in Hand,” (itself a National Magazine Award finalist in the humour category; a personal essay about an angst-ridden young man having a scrotal examination). Can you talk a bit about the process of creating that illustration—from your design brief with Maisy art director Anna Minzhulina, your reading of the text, and the actual construction of the sculptures?

Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)
Hudson Christie (portrait by the illustrator)

Hudson Christie: This was my first commission from Maisonneuve, and Anna smartly matched me with a simultaneously silly and dark article. I’m happiest when I get to work with unhappy themes! Illustrating a testicular cancer scare demanded both a degree of sensitivity for the reality of cancer while leaving room for the nervous laughter that accompanies the dodging of a bullet.

For the picture, I wanted to express the way that this event interrupted the author’s everyday life. We went through a variety of sketches until landing on the classic thinker pose, contrasting the humor inherent to banal, contemporary life (in the form of frozen food) with the (conveniently phallic) home decor.

NMAF: Your style of illustration—clay sculptures, painted and photographed, and sometimes animated—is striking and unique. (The NMA jury called it a “fresh approach to traditional illustration” that proves you are “unafraid to push boundaries and take risks.”) When did you start developing this style as an editorial art form; was it while you were studying at OCAD, or even earlier?

Hudson Christie: I started working on this approach during my 3rd year at OCAD. I was really charmed by figurative folk sculpture at the time and was trying to come up with a way to integrate its uncanny geometric features and deliberate colour palettes into my work.

I had some mental hurdles to clear in order to figure out a way of making this inherently three-dimensional medium conform to the framed two-dimensionality of editorial illustration.

A huge personal breakthrough was learning how to use the computer to plot measurements of my dioramas, giving me final pictures which are 90% true to the original sketch.

NMAF: One of my favourite recent pieces of yours was your work for Alberta Venture magazine’s “Best Workplaces” issue (June 2015). Every element seems precise and yet whimsical—the oversized water cooler, the dog dish, the first aid kit, etc—conveying a sense of a scene that is both exemplary and fun. What’s the biggest challenge in working with clay to create an illustration like this?

Hudson Christie: There’s always a bit of randomness that takes control between the sketch and the final props I build. For the Alberta Venture cover, I had to employ a bit of trial and error, changing the angle and position of the figures in order to remove confusing contours.

Lighting is another aspect that’s hard to predict during the sketch phase. In this case, lighting the crowd of co-workers while maintaining a sense of depth where they overlapped took plenty of fiddling.

 

NMAF: Can you describe your studio and workspace? I imagine a large table littered with discarded clay limbs and eyeballs, dog tails and unicorn horns. And of course a large oven emitting the earthy aroma of baked clay. Is that close to the mark?

Hudson Christie: You’re pretty close! I work out of a bachelor apartment in Parkdale, so it’s instead a fairly small desk that’s covered in tiny clay body parts. I also have a separate table (read: piece of plywood with detatchable Ikea legs) where I set up my dioramas. I use two halogen photo lamps and a DSLR camera.

Replace “large oven” with “toaster oven” and “earthy aroma of baked clay” with “vaguely burnt odor of Super Sculpey” and you get the idea. I use polymer clay for the speed and versatility, even though it’s a lot less romantic than the real thing.

Hudson Christie has a distinctive and clear voice that will attract notice from audiences and designers. He uses wit and humour to address a provocative subject and his technique is a fresh and a unique approach to form.
— National Magazine Awards jury

NMAF: What is the significance to you as a young illustrator to win the National Magazine Award? Has it helped create other opportunities to publish your work, or amplify your work to art directors and agencies? And is there anything new you’re working on at the moment that you can tell us about?

Hudson Christie: Winning a National Magazine Award in my first year out of OCAD was a really huge honour. Being named in the same breath as other renowned members of the Canadian magazine community made me feel like a real contributor to a larger creative goal.

Since my win, I’ve been featured in The Walrus, another Canadian magazine that I’ve been itching to contribute to since I started freelancing.

NMAF: Do you have any words of wisdom for young and student artists and illustrators about making an impact in the world of magazines and publishing?

Hudson Christie: My first real portfolio of ten illustrations was just my senior year-long project, called “Work Life Balance,” at OCAD, which was based around a self-initiated concept that I was really passionate about.

If you aren’t enrolled in any illustration program, I recommend initiating your own series from scratch anyway. A focused series of pictures is one of the best arguments for your intellectual and artistic ability.


Hudson Christie is a National Magazine Award winning illustrator, a 2014 Medallist in Illustration at OCAD, and the recipient of the 2015 NMA prize for Best New Magazine Illustrator. His work has appeared in Maisonneuve, The Walrus, Alberta Venture, The New York Times, Mother Jones and other publications. Check out his creative portfolio at hudsonchristie.com and find him on Twitter @Hudsons_House.

The 2016 National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions.

Related “Off the Page” interviews
Roxanna Bikadoroff
, 4-time NMA-winning illustrator
Byron Eggenscwhiler, 6-time NMA-winner and winner of the 2009 award for Best New Magazine Illustrator
Gracia Lam, 2-time NMA winner for Spot Illustration
Jillian Tamaki, 4-time NMA-winning illustrator
Selena Wong, 2-time NMA-winning illustrator

Winners’ Circle: A Special Event from the National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is proud to present Winners’ Circle, an exclusive event for National Magazine Awards finalists and winners to meet, mingle, pitch and learn about how a National Magazine Award can be a boost to your career or magazine.

Wednesday, November 25
5-7pm
Spoke Club, 600 King St West, Toronto

The event is open to all National Magazine Awards finalists and winners . For those who are unable to come to Toronto, we may be able to provide teleconference participation.

Guests are requested to RSVP to staff@magazine-awards.com no later than November 13.

2015 National Magazine Awards design wins Communications Arts Award

The NMAF is excited to pass along the news that the creative design from the 2015 National Magazine Awards has won a Communications Arts Award and will be featured in the Comm Arts Typography Annual due out early 2016.

This year’s design was created by the incredible team at Monnet Design, and the NMAF congratulates and offers its sincere and enduring gratitude to Stéphane Monnet, Agnes Wong and the entire team at Monnet for their work.

 

 

This year’s National Magazine Awards gala was perhaps the most exciting ever, thanks in large part to the wonderful creative by Monnet Design.

Photos of the NMA gala by KlixPix for the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

An Adventurous Literary Travel Itinerary (Summer Magazine Reading Series, No. 7)

Your intrepid Mag Awards blogger just returned from canoeing a great long river in Maine, where at dawn the moose pose in water while eating their grassy breakfast, and at dusk either the rain or the mosquitoes force you into the tent where you’re glad to have packed a pile of magazines to read before the ache of a long day of j-strokes puts you to sleep.

Whether you’ve got your feet up at the cottage in a Muskoka chair by the dock, or you’re stormbound in a tent deep in moose-land, summer is even more adventurous with a great magazine travel story.

This year’s National Magazine Awards travel-writing finalists brought us to many exciting places: to India, where tea is born in the Himalaya foothills; to northern British Columbia, on a haunted glacier; to Jerusalem, for a Kafkaesque citrus heist; to Newfoundland, where a cottage by any other name smells as fishy; to Brazil, in angular shadows of modern architecture; to San Francisco, where technology guides the tour; to Nunavut and Chicago and the middle of Lake Superior, all in the service of a literary sense of place.

Our summer magazine reading series continues this week with travel stories nominated at the 2015 National Magazine Awards. Make this your literary travel itinerary before summer sadly ends.

Au paradis des thés

Category: Travel–Gold Medal winner
Author: Marie-Soleil Deshautels
Magazine: L’actualité

Plusieurs critères déterminent si un thé sera ou non un « grand cru », notamment l’uniformité, la brillance et la taille des feuilles. Les meilleurs thés ont une fragrance et un goût jugés fins ou complexes.

Synopsis: An intrepid journey to the heart of India’s tea-producing northeast: Darjeeling, in the Himalaya foothills south of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain. National Magazine Award-winning writer Marie-Soleil Deshautels explores the cycle of tea production from the seed to the cup to the exportation to Canada, examining the science that is helping tea producers meet new global demand, and the art of brewing the perfect cup. Read the story.

Another great read: The silver medal in Travel went to Eric Dupont for “Vivre à belo horizonte” (L’actualité), an architectural tour of the work of Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil.

Lemon from Sheikh Jarrah

Category: Travel–Honourable Mention
Author: Karen Connelly
Magazine: Geist

“Who took this button off your computer?” It fell off; it broke. “When?” Several years ago. It kept falling off. I just threw it away. “But not here, not while you were in Israel.” No. I was here for just over a week. “Are you sure?”

Synopsis: One of those rare dispatches from Israel/Palestine that doesn’t get tripped up over politics or bogged down by the pro-/anti- arguments, award-winning poet Karen Connelly’s elegantly simple story in the form of a letter to the lone Palestinian woman she met on an official tour of Jerusalem provides readers a fresh and authentic sense of place in an otherwise unfalteringly complex–and at times darkly comical–experience of visiting the region.

Another great read: Dan Robson of Sportsnet won Honourable Mention in Travel for “Home and Really Far Away,” which won the Gold Medal in Sports & Recreation and was profiled in the first edition of our Summer Magazine Reading Series.

Death on a Glacier

Category: Travel–Honourable Mention
Author: Jon Turk
Magazine: Explore

“The air became electric and the hair stood up on the backs of our necks,” Bill told me. “It was one of those moments that don’t dim with time. I can imagine every vivid detail to this day.” The three hunters had discovered the body of that ancient warrior, now known as Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchí — “Long Ago Person Found.”

Synopsis: Fifteen years ago, three hunters travelling around a glacier in the Tatshenshini-Alsek wilderness of northern British Columbia discovered the partial remains of a young native man who had apparently died while attempting to cross a high mountain pass more than three centuries earlier. Now, as scientific analysis has revealed much of the biography of the man posthumously named Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchí, writer Jon Turk joins the hunters as they return to the place of discovery to re-imagine his life and ponder the mysteries that remain. Read the story.

Another great read: Explore magazine also won Honourable Mention for “Across the Little North” by Conor Mihell, an account of a month-long canoe expedition through remote northwestern Ontario.

The Other Fifth Avenue

Category: Travel–Honourable Mention
Author: Lisa Moore
Magazine: Cottage Life

I stop to ask for directions from a man who’s chopping wood. When I say I’m looking for Jen Ford’s place, he pauses and looks deliberately at the horizon. “The Ford place,” he says. “Nope, never heard of it.” He gives the wood chunk sitting on the chopping block a hard smack with the axe. It splits with a loud, splintering thwack. Then he says, “Oh, wait a minute, you mean Phil’s place. A few cabins back. You just drove past it.”

Synopsis: Award-winning novellist and Newfoundland native Lisa Moore takes a rural road trip to the summer “cabins” (don’t call them cottages in Newfoundland) to discover the depth of the islanders’ appreciation for the traditional way of life, revolving around family stories, music, fishing, berry-based cuisine, “corn toss,” and never-ending home-improvement projects that bring entire communities together. Read the story.

Another great read: Cottage Life won a second Honourable Mention in Travel for “Dreamlandia” by NMA winner Charles Wilkins, set in Nirivia, a little-known trout-fishing paradise on an island in Lake Superior.

Bright Lights, Tech City

Category: Travel–Honourable Mention
Author: Andrew Braithwaite
Magazine: enRoute

“I’ve never been here before,” says Arieff. Good words to hear from a professed urban flaneur. Based on a 2009 project to map hidden spaces, SPUR launched the app in 2012. It leads curious explorers to unexpected downtown oases, like this rooftop deck off a poorly signed staircase in the corner of a retail mall.

Synopsis: Canadian ex-pat and NMA winner Andrew Braithwaite serves up five fresh views on his adopted city of San Francisco, visiting traditional tourist hotspots with technology of the sort made famous in Silicon Valley–hiking the Coastal Trail with the latest fitness-measuring gadgets; visiting the Exploratorium with a roboticist; trying out new apps to locate a POPOS (“privately owned public open space”). It’s the San Fran of the future, the city reaching the maturity of its latest techno-boom. Read the story.

Another great read: Andrew Braithwaite and enRoute magazine also received Honourable Mention for “South Side Story,” about the regeneration of Chicago’s post-industrial south side.


Subscribe to our blog to receive our Summer Magazine Reading Series in your inbox each week, and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards) for updates and magazine news and promotions.

Did you know? You can download and read all of the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners for FREE in our online archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Stay tuned for another Summer Magazine Reading Series edition next Thursday.

Moose photos by Richard A. Johnson.

Summer Magazine Reading Series, No. 6: Oh. Canada?

The sixth serving of our summer reading series has a palpable WTF flavour to it; three stories that have the power to shock you through the sheer unlikelihood of their situations, the terrible injustice inherent in their contexts, and the unusual and even frightening characters they bring to light.

An epidemic of sexual assault threatens the integrity of Canada’s armed forces. Creation “scientists” re-interpret the history of the world during the Alberta floods. A homegrown terrorist hitchhikes his way to his own death.

All three of these stories won Gold Medals at the 2015 National Magazine Awards.

 

Sex Crimes in the Military

Categories: Investigative Reporting, Politics & Public Interest (double gold winner)
Authors: Noémi Mercier and Alec Castonguay
Magazine: L’actualité (French; republished in English in Maclean’s)

Every day, five individuals in the Canadian military community become victims of sexual assault.

Synopsis: An original investigation by two reporters from the French-language current affairs magazine L’actualité and published under the headline “Crimes sexuels dans l’armée,” this incredible work of journalism pieces together the facts and stats, the court marshals and testimonies, the victims’ perspectives and the military context, and the efforts to cover up, to expose, and to resolve the shockingly common occurrences of sexual assault in Canada’s armed forces. This is Canadian magazine journalism at its finest.

National Magazine Award winners Noémi Mercier and Alec Castonguay spent months investigating and writing this story for L’actualité, and it was the only nominee to receive 2 gold medals at the 2015 National Magazine Awards. The story was translated and republished in Maclean’s. Read the original French; read the English translation.

It took a shy, but courageous, Aboriginal teenager to finally put a stop to Wilks’s behaviour. In December 2009, 17-year-old Robbie Williams walked out of Wilks’s examination room in tears and called the police. A long list of victims followed her example. “I knew something wasn’t right as soon as I walked in the room. You wanna meet the right procedures and everything, so I followed through with everything he got me to do. For a long time after that I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. He made me feel worthless.”

Bonus reads: The silver medallist in Politics & Public Interest is Jake Macdonald’s “The Cost of Freedom” (Report on Business), which looks at the future of prairie agriculture following the dismantling of the Canadian Wheat Board.

The silver medallist in Investigative Reporting is Joe Castaldo’s riveting story for Canadian Business titled “The Entirely True Tale of the Man Who Had an Idea, Borrowed a Boat from Neil Young, Dumped Iron in the Ocean, Angered the Vatican, Ticked Off the United Nations, and Tore a Small Town Apart—Just to Make Some Salmon Happy.”

 

Water Upon the Earth

Category: Essays
Author: Andrea Bennett
Magazine: Maisonneuve

“I am going to put an end to all people,” God says, “for the Earth is filled with violence because of them.”

Synopsis: Nearly half of Canadians believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed, and many of these believers subscribe to one or another version of Christian Biblical literalism which holds that geological, paleontological and anthropological time that science measures in millions or even billions of years in fact is measured in mere thousands since the time God created the Earth in six days.

National Magazine Award winner Andrea Bennett takes an inquisitive road trip to the Big Valley Creation Science Museum in central Alberta—harrowingly coincidental to the near-apocalyptic deluge which flooded much of that province in June of 2013—getting to know some of the adherents to and critics of the Young Earth Creationism movement, and reflecting on the parallel (and sometimes intersecting) historical gazes of science and faith. Read the story.

Henderson himself grew up in what he describes as a “rather strict” Presbyterian household—grace at every meal, church on Sunday, Bible reading in the afternoons at his grandmother’s. When he was fifteen, he began to see some contradictions between his faith and science. “Strangely,” he said, “my dad bought me this book called The Evidence for Evolution. When he gave it to me, he said, ‘Now I don’t want you to believe everything in this book.’”

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Essays is Jody Smiling’s “Through the Rockies” (Prism International), a pristinely articulated meditation on the family road trip.

 

My Hitchhiker, the Parliament Hill Gunman

Category: Best Short Feature
Author: Michael Friscolanti
Magazine: Maclean’s

“Where are you going?” Bekkering asked. “Calgary,” answered the man. “This is your lucky day.”

Synopsis: The terrifying assault on Parliament last October was like a nightmare come true for many Canadians: 21st-century Islamic terrorism hitting home. For one Calgary man, an agricultural consultant named Harry Bekkering, the frenzy of national anxiety and media coverage eventually illuminated a familiar face: the Ottawa gunman was a taciturn, purportedly devout man to whom he’d given a well-meaning lift across the Rocky Mountains just a month earlier. As the country came to grips with the tragedy and its context, Bekkering came to realize that his unlikely passenger was not a true believer but a tragic, alienated figure in need of help; help he never got.

National Magazine Award winner Michael Friscolanti profiles Mr. Bekkering, reconstructing the voyage from Chilliwack to Calgary and his subject’s evolving observations about Michael Zehaf Bibeau. Read the story.

A month after the shooting, Bekkering still struggles with feelings of guilt. Should he have spotted a warning sign? Was Michael already planning his attack when he climbed into the truck? Or did his inability to secure a passport, either Libyan or Canadian, push him over the edge?

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Best Short Feature, Elizabeth Renzetti’s “Ayahuasca (Mis)Adventures” (ELLE Canada) needs little further introduction beyond the mention that ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic herbal brew reported to have divinatory properties.

 


Subscribe to our blog to receive our Summer Magazine Reading Series in your inbox each week, and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards) for updates and magazine news and promotions.

Did you know? You can download and read all of the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners for FREE in our online archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Stay tuned for another Summer Magazine Reading Series edition next Thursday.

Lectures estivales de la Fondation: découvertes

Les magazines québécois se sont illustrés lors des derniers Prix du magazine canadien, en réalisant une impressionnante récolte de prix. Vous n’avez pas encore eu l’occasion de lire les textes primés? Qu’à cela ne tienne! Cette semaine, la Fondation vous propose de découvrir les textes primés dans les catégories Société et Santé et médecine. D’abord, un texte fascinant sur l’intersexualité signé par Mylène Tremblay pour le magazine Châtelaine, suivi d’un reportage de Marie-Pier Elie paru dans le magazine Québec Science, qui a aussi valu à la journaliste un Grand Prix du journalisme indépendant.

Pour la cinquième édition de nos lectures estivales nous présentons la meilleure écriture magazine du Québec de l’année passée.

Intersexualité. Rencontre du troisième sexe

Catégorie : Société
Auteure : Mylène Tremblay
Magazine : Châtelaine

En bref : Un bébé vient au monde. On déclare alors le sexe : c’est un garçon! C’est une fille! Mais la réalité n’est pas toujours aussi simple, comme le rapporte la journaliste Mylène Tremblay, qui s’est intéressée au phénomène méconnu de l’intersexualité. Chez certains individus, « le corps ne correspond ni à la définition type d’un homme ni à celle d’une femme ». On les qualifie alors d’intersexes.

Si l’on en entend peu parler, ce sujet est pourtant d’autant plus d’actualité qu’il y a aujourd’hui davantage d’intersexes.

« Le phénomène existe depuis la nuit des temps, mais s’est accentué au cours des 50 dernières années, constatent des spécialistes internationaux. La faute, notamment, aux facteurs environnementaux (…) ».

Bien que les opinions divergent dans la communauté médicale sur la démarche à privilégier, il y a consensus sur la complexité de ces cas. N’est plus systématique de procéder à une intervention chirurgicale visant à attribuer aux individus un sexe spécifique en bas âge.

« Des erreurs, il y en a eu et il y en a encore. Beaucoup. Dès la fin des années 1950, presque tous les bébés intersexes des pays occidentaux sont passés sous le bistouri ». Mylène Tremblay a rencontré des intersexes qui témoignent des répercussions que ces interventions ont eues sur leur développement.

Un reportage de Mylène Tremblay à lire sans faute!

Immunothérapie. Le nouvel espoir

Catégorie : Santé et médecine
Auteure : Marie-Pier Elie
Magazine : Québec Science

En bref : Dans ce reportage, la journaliste propose aux lecteurs une incursion dans l’univers de la recherche sur l’immunothérapie, une forme de traitement expérimental contre le cancer porteur d’espoir pour les patients qui ne répondent pas aux traitements conventionnels. À la différence des traitements répandus, comme la chimiothérapie, la radiothérapie ou la chirurgie, l’immunothérapie fait appel aux défenses naturelles du corps humain pour combattre les cellules cancéreuses.

La journaliste s’est rendue au National Cancer Institute du Maryland pour y rencontrer le Dr Steven Rosenberg, un chirurgien qui s’intéresse à l’immunothérapie depuis les années 60. Les traitements qui sont offerts aux malades sont adaptés aux individus et n’ont parfois jamais été tentés auparavant. Les patients s’offrent donc comme « cobayes ». Si les traitements fonctionnent dans certains cas, étant expérimentaux, ils ne produisent pas toujours les effets escomptés. Mais pour ces personnes qui n’ont plus rien à perdre, l’immunothérapie se présente comme l’ultime recours.

«La seule raison d’être de notre groupe de recherche est le développement de la médecine de demain, pas la pratique de la médecine d’aujourd’hui. Nous n’offrons donc aucun traitement de routine ». – Dr Steven Rosenberg

Si de nombreux traitements se sont soldés par un échec, des vies ont aussi été épargnées, alors qu’il n’y avait que peu, voire plus d’espoir. Comme celle d’Emily Whitehead, une petite fille atteinte d’une leucémie diagnostiquée incurable, que les traitements d’immunothérapie ont sauvée contre toute attente.

Découvrez ce reportage instructif et fascinant de Marie-Pier Elie.


Ces textes vous ont donné la piqûre de la lecture? Parcourez les archives de la Fondation pour lire tous les articles qui ont récolté les honneurs cette année. Voici quelques suggestions :

Médaille d’or :

Crimes sexuels dans l’armée
Noémi Mercier, Alec CastonguayL’actualité
Catégories : Politique et affaires publiques, Journalisme d’enquête

Au paradis des thés
Marie-Soleil DesautelsL’actualité
Catégorie : Voyages

La pointe des utopies
Rémy Bourdillon, Pierre-Yves Cezard – Nouveau Projet
Catégorie : Paroles et images

Médaille d’argent :

Régénérescences
Collectif – Nouveau Projet
Catégorie : Dossier thématique : imprimé

Place au cannabiz !
Marc-André Sabourin – L’actualité
Catégorie : Affaires

Le futur fait bonne impression 
Marine CorniouQuébec Science
Catégorie : Science, technologie et environnement

Halte au surdiagnostic !
Valérie BordeL’actualité
Catégorie : Santé et médecine

Vivre À Belo Horizonte  
Eric DupontL’actualité
Catégorie : Voyages

Un bateau pour l’enfer
Michel ArseneaultL’actualité
Catégorie : Article hors catégorie

Dette du Québec : rien ne justifie la panique, Santé : où trouver les milliards?, Du bon usage des compressions
Pierre FortinL’actualité
Catégorie : Chroniques

Summer Magazine Reading Series, No. 4: While You Were Sleeping

The fourth edition of our summer reading series borrows its title from a blockbuster 90s Sandra Bullock flick in which a woman falls in love with a man in a coma only to later fall for his non-comatose brother. Which has very little to do with this week’s feature stories, except that they all involve events that are happening in other places in our world, perhaps while we were sleeping.

In this week’s edition have three award-winning stories curated under this basic theme: one about the two-decade struggle of a Canadian mining giant to extract billions in ore from the Andean highlands; a second about the efforts to design the world’s most perfect toilet to address the problem of sanitation in developing countries; and a third that, well, is actually about the world of dreams and a novel attempt to categorize them.

All three stories won Gold Medals at the 2015 National Magazine Awards.

 

High and Dry

Category: Business
Author: Stephanie Nolen
Magazine: Report on Business

You have to wonder—how could Barrick spend so much money here and still end up without a friend?

Synopsis: At 5200 metres above sea level, along Chile’s serrated, glacier-carved border with Argentina, sits Pascua-Lama, one of the world’s highest, most remote mining operations, controlled by the Canadian multinational Barrick Gold. 15 million ounces of gold await extraction, along with significant deposits of silver and copper. After nearly two decades of negotiations to resolve environmental, taxation, infrastructure and other concerns with the Chilean government, Barrick finally prepared to start mining, only to have a Chilean regulator halt operations over health and safety concerns of the 3000 Diaguita indigenous people who would comprise part of the labour force, and whose requests of the company include CSR investment in local education and agriculture, and respect for the integrity of the land.

National Magazine Award winner Stephanie Nolen brings us the complete story of the battle to re-start the mine, illuminating the social, legal and political landscape, alongside wonderful photographs by NMA winner Roger LeMoyne. In addition to winning the Gold award for Business, this story was also a National Magazine Awards finalist in the categories Investigative Reporting, Politics & Public Interest and Science, Technology & Environment. Read the story.

The drought has been bad everywhere, but it was critical for the farmers such as Maglene Campillay, who says she has seen her production drop by four-fifths. She and her neighbours came to believe the mine was destroying the glaciers, and with them, their livelihoods. “This time, in the middle of the drought, it seemed that the glaciers didn’t have [their] power any more,” she says. They released no water from their frozen hearts. “The rivers are like the veins in our body. If one dries out, other places dry out too.”

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Business is Marc-André Sabourin‘s “Place au Cannabiz!” (L’actualité), a story about Canadian entrepreneurs who are preparing for the (possible) future legalization of marijuana.

 

The Toilet Papers

Category: Science, Technology & Environment
Author: Jeremy Keehn
Magazine: The Walrus

“Toilet,” Cheng stressed, “was a misnomer at this stage. It doesn’t look like a toilet.”

Synopsis: The challenge is at once simple and dauntingly complex: invent an affordable, ecological, scalable toilet system that embodies sensitivity to the requirements of gender, social culture, environment and economy to resolve the problem of the 2.5 billion people who lack access to safe sanitation, including the 800,000 children under 5 who die each year of diarrheal diseases.

National Magazine Award winner Jeremy Keehn insightfully catalogs the efforts of Canadian engineers, academics, aid organizations, government agencies and others who are taking up the toilet challenge, while probing the concerns of the global poor and criticisms of international aid that combine to demonstrate that the solution to one of humanity’s greatest challenges can’t just be flushed out from a tank. Read the story.

I assumed that the moment of tension was precipitated by the mother confessing that the family had no household toilet. In fact, McHale corrected me, she was thanking the doctor for telling them about the pan, and the doctor was admonishing her for whispering. “Everybody must know about the SaTo,” she exclaimed. The spot aimed not just to sell the pan, in other words, but to de-stigmatize talk of the shit it would contain.

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Science, Technology & Environment is Marine Corniou’s “Le futur fait bonne impression” (Québec Science), which investigates the next technological revolution afforded by advances in 3D printing.

 

Reviews of My Dreams from Last Night

Category: Humour
Author: Richard Light
Magazine: The Feathertale Review

A well-executed flying dream is always a great way to start out the night, and this one did not disappoint.

Synopsis: Somnolent writer creates a taxonomy of seven types of dreams in the style of film reviews.

True story: At the 2015 National Magazine Awards gala, Feathertale Review editor Brett Popplewell came to the stage to collect this award on behalf of his absent humour writer, telling the audience that he’s never actually met or seen Richard Light, but he’s a fantastic writer who will be honoured to know he’s won this award. Here’s hoping the aptly named Richard Light has finally awoken from the darkness of dreamland to celebrate his success. Read the story.

If you’re not familiar with False Awakening, it’s where the dreamer “wakes up” and goes about his or her normal morning routine: getting dressed, preparing breakfast, and even taking a pee that feels so disturbingly lifelike it can actually wake the dreamer. Sure, I found it a bit boring and unremarkable — but my life is boring and unremarkable.

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Humour, Jon Paul Fiorentino’s “It Seems Like Sex is a Weird Thing That Used to Happen to Me Sometimes” (sub-Terrain), really needs no further introduction.

 

 


Subscribe to our blog to receive our Summer Magazine Reading Series in your inbox each week, and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards) for updates and magazine news and promotions.

Did you know? You can download and read all of the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners for FREE in our online archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Stay tuned for another Summer Magazine Reading Series edition next Thursday. Click here for previous summer reading editions.

Summer Magazine Reading Series, No. 3: Wrongfully Imprisoned

This week’s edition of our summer reading series brings you three incredible stories of men and women facing unexpected, shocking and painful adversity.

We’ve grouped these under a theme of “Wrongfully Imprisoned” because, well, two of the stories involve innocent Canadians finding themselves in a faraway jail cell (one, an artist, in Cairo; the other, a fisherman, in Spain), while the third is about a woman who found herself battling another sort of imprisonment–of painful immobility–when she shattered her leg during CrossFit.

All of these stories won Gold Medals at the 2015 National Magazine Awards.

 

The Trials of Philip Halliday

Category: One of a Kind
Author: Noah Richler
Magazine: The Walrus

“My friend, we’ve got real problems here,” yelled Fletcher at Berkey as the men on the boats started shooting.

Synopsis: On a choppy winter morning off the coast of Spain, a retired Canadian coast guard vessel, en route to its new private owner, is assaulted by gunfire from a pair of motorized inflatable boats. The word “pirates” is uttered, but as the assailants board the vessel it soon becomes clear that they are Spanish police, the vanguard of a multinational investigation into maritime drug smuggling. The ship’s first mate, a former scallop fisherman from Digby, N.S., named Philip Halliday, is unwittingly caught up in the affair, implicated in the smuggling of 1.5 tons of cocaine, and spends the next four years as an innocent man in a Spanish prison, desperately seeking justice.

National Magazine Award winner Noah Richler takes readers inside the incredible story of the man, the boat and the unfathomable international caper, with illustrations by up-and-coming Toronto artist Min Gyo Chung. Read the story.

A ­Spanish prisoner taught him how to write the tickets to acquire what he needed from the prison store. Another helped him make his first call home, and after that he made a point of keeping some paper in his pocket to jot down anything he might want to tell the family. “I have to try Not to cry around all these Men. Some o them have Ben here a long time,” he wrote in the first of scores of letters home.

Bonus read: The silver medallist in One of a Kind, Michel Arsenault’s story “Un bateau pour l’enfer” (L’actualité), which follows the dangerous maritime migration of African refugees from Libya to Italy and asks what role Canada should play.

 

Save Me From My Workout

Category: Personal Journalism
Author: Lauren McKeon
Magazine: Toronto Life

To an outsider, a CrossFit workout can look nuts. Participants heave 60-pound kettlebells high over their heads in repetitions of 50.

Synopsis: Looking to embrace a new fitness regime that was both trendy and extreme, the author and her partner took up CrossFit, a gym-based gauntlet of heaving, lifting, running, slamming, hoisting, launching, clean-and-jerking…, until one winter morning she landed from a routine box jump and heard and felt her leg shatter; “like the sound of gunfire.”

During her long recovery and rehab, National Magazine Award winner and THIS Magazine editor Lauren McKeon began to investigate more closely the far side of the CrossFit world, charting its origins, talking to its gurus and critics, examining what medical science has to say about such extreme exercise, putting the fitness fad under painful scrutiny while reflecting on her own regret, or lack thereof, at taking up CrossFit. Read the story.

The doctor told me I’d need three months of physical therapy just to relearn how to walk. Trying to digest this news on the way home from the hospital, I confessed out loud to Andrew for the first time: “You know, I knew something bad was going to happen.” And then in a whisper: “But I jumped anyway.”

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Personal Journalism is “Lost in the Barrens” (The Walrus) by the late, iconic Canadian writer Farley Mowat, who won his first National Magazine Award posthumously for a memoir of his travels in England in the 1960s.

 

The Captive

Category: Profiles
Author: Jason McBride
Magazine: Toronto Life

“The whole time I was thinking, ‘We’ll be out in 24 hours.’ Oh, were we ever wrong.”

Synopsis: Two summers ago, Toronto artist, filmmaker and LGBTQ activist John Greyson travelled to Cairo to document the journey of a Palestinian-Canadian doctor, Tarek Loubani, who was headed for Gaza to deliver innovative technical supplies to a hospital. An unlucky combination of timing and Egyptian political unrest landed the two of them in prison, without charge, on suspicion of international terrorism. For 50 days, the two Canadians endured a harrowing ordeal that would have broken their spirits were it not for their steadfast belief in justice and the camaraderie of their fellow inmates, while back home their family and friends rallied international support for their release.

National Magazine Award winner Jason McBride draws an intimate, well-rounded literary portrait of the man and his mission, with photography by NMA winner Nigel Dickson. Read the story.

Greyson’s fellow inmates weren’t criminals, but construction workers, blacksmiths, professors and students, all rounded up at the protest and many in jail for the first time. Though some were grandfathers, he was the oldest person in the cell. They were, as Greyson recounts, unfailingly kind. Right after Greyson was beaten and couldn’t sit up, one man, whom he nicknamed Kettle after he somehow manufactured a crude teakettle out of a couple of nails and bottle caps and some wire, cradled Greyson’s head in his lap.

Bonus read: The Silver Medallist in Profiles is “The Long Journey of Nathan Phelps” (Marcello Di Cintio, Swerve), a portrait of the son of the controversial pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church who made a new life in Calgary.

 


Subscribe to our blog to receive our Summer Magazine Reading Series in your inbox each week, and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards) for updates and magazine news and promotions.

Did you know? You can download and read all of the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners for FREE in our online archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Stay tuned for another Summer Magazine Reading Series edition next Thursday. Click here for previous summer reading editions.

Summer Magazine Reading Series, No. 1: Teens, Tweens & Toddlers

This summer we’ve pledged to read every winning story from the 2015 National Magazine Awards. Every gold winner. Every silver winner. Because whether you’re a veteran journalist, an aspiring writer, an ardent magazine fan or a casual reader, these stories are important and inspiring.

So let’s take up the challenge together.

Welcome to the 2015 National Magazine Awards summer reading series. Each Thursday for the next two months we’ll post a thematically curated collection of award-winning stories, which were judged best of the best by the NMA jury.

This week’s edition: Teens, Tweens and Toddlers; three stories about the ever-changing world of kid culture and its challenges for parents. All three won Gold Medals at the 2015 National Magazine Awards.

For Kids, By Kids–But Not For Long

Category: Arts & Entertainment
Author: Nicholas Hune-Brown
Magazine: Hazlitt

In a poll conducted by Variety in August, the five most influential celebrities among Americans aged 13-18 were all YouTube stars.

Synopsis: There’s a vast, culturally significant and commercially powerful world out there that adults of the homo sapiens species barely know, probably can’t comprehend and aren’t encouraged to be a part of anyway. And by “out there” we mean the bandwidth-hogging tranche of cyberspace where teens and tweens create, populate and govern a thrilling and meaningful society of popular and celebrity culture in the authentic manner that has come to be a hallmark of the Millennial generation. While on the one hand another arena in a long tradition of safe, adult-free spaces where kids can be kids, the YouTube era has perhaps provided a revolutionary foundation for young people to connect with and celebrate their unique sense of self.

National Magazine Award winner Nicholas Hune-Brown reports from the Buffer Festival, where thousands of young fans and YouTube stars come together. Read the story.

“Celebrity is more like a faraway kind of thing and this is like, you’re in their bedrooms,” 17-year-old Allie Cox explained to me while we waited in line to meet three English YouTubers, including Will Darbyshire, a 21-year-old who just started his YouTube channel earlier this year. Cox considered for a moment. “I mean… that’s kind of freaky. But at the same time you feel like you know them.”

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Arts & Entertainment is Emily Landau‘s “The Wattpad Cult” (Toronto Life), the story of a tech start-up that is revolutionizing the relationship between self-publishers and readers.

Home and Really Far Away

Category: Sports & Recreation
Author: Dan Robson
Magazine: Sportsnet

He lasted just 10 minutes before tapping out, faking a leg injury. His feet were just too cold to play.

Synopsis: It’s a story that seems so quintessentially Canadian it could be a CBC morning-show spot or a Tim Horton’s commercial. But the story of how ten teenage Inuit boys from Whale Cove, Nunavut, became the Inuglak Whalers, dreaming big hockey dreams in a Hudson Bay hamlet, and then travelled more than 2400 kilometres to play their first away games, is far from saccharine. From their first encounter with trees (and tree-climbing) to the anxiety of a co-ed dance, and the coming-of-age realization that even when dreams come true, life unemotionally moves on from the moment, the boys of Whale Cove prove to be heroes not of myth but of modernity.

National Magazine Award winner Dan Robson charts a journey of hope, triumph and despair in this incredible story, with photographs by John Kealey. Read the story.

Tyson sat on the bench looking like he might cry. He’d scored a single goal—not enough to be a superstar. His favourite stick broke, and he was left using a spare. There was an undeniable anxiety that the Whalers just couldn’t match up with kids from northern Ontario. That for all the ceremony, the inevitable truth was that they were just too small and too unstructured to stand a chance.

Bonus read: The silver medallist in Sports & Recreation, Brett Popplewell’s “Long Way Back” (Sportsnet), profiles the career of Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte, winner of the Triple Crown astride Secretariat, the greatest racehorse in history.

Where Do We Put All the Babies?

Category: Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance
Author: Danielle Groen
Magazine: The Grid

Then the hour turns and the frenzy begins: a tornado of refreshed browsers, redialled numbers, and profanity.

Synopsis: Daycare, drop-in programs, preschools, summer camp: Toronto parents are desperate to find the best, most convenient, most affordable placements for their children, and every year it seems the lines are longer and the options are fewer. As more young working families and immigrants are drawn to an already crowded city that can’t seem to keep up with the demand for toddler care, parents and kids alike are growing restless.

National Magazine Award winner Danielle Groen talks with parents, investigates service providers and studies the trends in modern urban childrearing, providing hope and help to young parents as they navigate a complex environment. Read the story.

There has even been a run on that historic saviour of date nights: the teenage babysitter. Sara Ferguson, who lives at Danforth and Greenwood, called seven teens trying to find a Thursday sitter for her two children, to no avail. “It’s a good racket to be in right now,” she says, joking—at least, mostly joking—that she’s considered taking it up herself.

Bonus read: The silver medallist in this category, Dan Bortolotti’s “Train Your Investing Brain” (MoneySense), examines the cognitive biases that inhibit our ability to make sound financial decisions, and how we can overcome them.


Subscribe to our blog to receive our Summer Magazine Reading Series in your inbox each week, and follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards) for updates and magazine news and promotions.

Did you know? You can download and read all of the National Magazine Awards finalists and winners for FREE in our online archive, at magazine-awards.com/archive.

Stay tuned for another Summer Magazine Reading Series edition next Thursday.

Get to know Nouveau Projet: Canada’s Magazine of the Year

Nouveau Projet Issue no. 5, Spring-Summer 2014. Gold Medal in Art Direction of an Entire Issue, 2014 National Magazine Awards

At this year’s National Magazine Awards held on June 5 the jury awarded the prestigious prize of Magazine of the Year to Nouveau Projet, an independent French-language literary and cultural magazine published by Atelier 10 in Montreal.

Launched in 2012, the magazine’s mandate is to help us better understand the challenges of our time and lead a more balanced, satisfying and meaningful life. A catalyst and rallying point of progressive forces in Quebec in the 2010s, it seeks to encourage and nurture public discussion, while looking upon our time with a curious, sincere and thorough gaze.

In addition to winning Magazine of the Year, Nouveau Projet also won the Gold Medals for Art Direction of an Entire Issue and Words & Pictures, as well as the Silver Medal for Editorial Package and Honourable Mention in Fiction, Personal Journalism and Best Single Issue, marking a breakout performance that has piqued the interest of magazine readers and fellow members of the Canadian media industry.

Nouveau Projet editor Nicolas Langelier accepts the award for Magazine of the Year from NMAF President Joyce Byrne and Joanne Larocque-Poirier, Head of Prizes for Canada Council for the Arts. (Photo: Dave Todon / KlixPix)
Nouveau Projet editor Nicolas Langelier accepts the award for Magazine of the Year from NMAF President Joyce Byrne and Joanne Larocque-Poirier, Head of Prizes for Canada Council for the Arts. (Photo: Dave Todon / KlixPix)

About Nouveau Projet the National Magazine Awards jury said:

Nouveau Projet is a near-perfect symbiosis of subject matter, expert writing and exceptionally original design. It sets itself apart thanks to inspiring themes and bold covers. The magazine offers a fresh take on the genre and dares to cover topics that are virtually absent in other media. The energy of the editorial team is tangible page after page. Nouveau Projet embodies the spirit of print magazines.

Earlier this year we chatted with Nicolas Langelier, founder and editor-in-chief of Nouveau Projet–part of our Off the Page / En Marge interview series with National Magazine Award winners. You can read the original interview in French, or continue below for an excerpt translated into English.

Nicolas Langelier (Photographe : Maxime Leduc); Nouveau Projet numéro 6
Nicolas Langelier (Photographe : Maxime Leduc); Nouveau Projet Issue no. 6, Fall-Winter 2014: Silver Medal, Editorial Package, 2014 National Magazine Awards.

NMAF: What was your reaction to receiving a nomination for Magazine of the Year for Nouveau Projet?

Nicolas: It was both a great surprise and a source of pride. For a small independent magazine that has been published only for a few years, even to be a finalist for Magazine of the Year is an unexpected honour. I am grateful to the National Magazine Awards Foundation for taking into account the diversity of magazines and their resources.

NMAF: To what do you attribute the early success of the magazine?

Nicolas: From the start our obsession has been quality in everything we do, from the choice of our subjects to our presence on social media. Our readers can really sense this constant concern for quality; it’s something they are willing to pay for.

It also seems to me that we have a niche to fill in the Canadian media landscape. With the general trend towards shorter texts, more sensational topics, faster publishing — this environment has created a place for people to counter that trend with quality content.

Our readers tell us that we are doing a great job in delivering this, and I think it is because we offer something that many publications think their readers don’t need.

"La pointe des utopies" by Remy Bordillon and Pierre-Yves Cezard. Gold Medal in Words & Pictures
“La pointe des utopies” by Remy Bordillon and Pierre-Yves Cezard (Nouveau Projet). Gold Medal in Words & Pictures, 2014 National Magazine Awards.

NMAF: The excellence of Nouveau Projet has been recognized with several National Magazine Awards, including Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Words & Pictures and Magazine of the Year. What impact do these awards have for you and the magazine?

Nicolas: It’s certainly something that has had a positive impact for us, perhaps more by raising our profile among others in the Canadian magazine industry than among the public, which may not know them well yet (in Quebec at least). This recognition from our peers, advertisers, and current and future contributors means a lot to us.

NMAF: You frequently participate in the National Magazine Awards as a member of our volunteer jury. While you were president of the Association des journalistes indépendants, you created the Grands Prix du journalisme indépendant. How would you describe the critical role that awards programs play in the industry, for magazines and creators?

Nicolas: They are essential. To have these kinds of institutions that value excellence and support the entire industry; it seems absolutely necessary. This is true for breeders of cows, for architects, and for those who create magazines: we need these incentives to compare ourselves with the talent and rigour present elsewhere in our industry, and to demand the best from ourselves.

"Faux-self mon amour," by Fanny Britt (Nouveau Projet) ; Gold Medal, Personal Journalism, 2012 National Magazine Awards
“Faux-self mon amour,” by Fanny Britt (Nouveau Projet) ; Gold Medal, Personal Journalism, 2012 National Magazine Awards

NMAF: What does the future hold for Nouveau Projet and your publishing house, Atelier 10?

Nicolas: I want us to become a reference for culture and ideas in Quebec–and the rest of the Francophonie, eventually. To publish the best authors and visual artists, and discover and engage new readers. To produce various types of publications, always with great rigour and quality.

I still believe much in paper as a medium to convey ideas, information, and values. Those who predict the death of print–I want to prove them wrong. This does not mean that we should neglect digital opportunities; everything we do is also available in digital versions. But paper has a special place in my heart, and I think this is also the case for the majority of the public. We enjoy both!

Ultimately, I hope that our work has a positive impact at the cultural, social and intellectual levels. If we do all this, in the face of obstacles and difficult conditions, it is because we believe that changes are needed in our society, and we also believe that the media continue to have a key role to play in advancing discussion and debate. Yes, the past fifteen years have been tough on our industry, but it’s up to us to find ways to continue to fulfill our role. It would be extremely unfortunate for humanity if a simple change in the economic environment deprived us of the essential service that is quality media.

This interview has been edited and adapted from its original French, published in January 2015. Discover more about Nouveau Projet at nouveauprojet.com and on Twitter @nouveau_projet.

Nouveau Projet in the National Magazine Awards Archive:
2014: Magazine of the Year
2014: Gold Medal, Words & Pictures (“La pointe des utopies”)
2014: Gold Medal, Art Direction of an Entire Issue (“Automne/Hiver 2014”)
2014: Silver Medal, Editorial Package (“Régénérescences”)
2012: Gold Medal, Personal Journalism (“Faux-self, mon amour“)

Honourable Mention:
2014: Best Single Issue, Fiction, Personal Journalism
2013: Personal Journalism, Essays, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Magazine of the Year
2012: How-To

Thank You! From the 38th National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation wishes to thank Stéphane Monnet, Agnes Wong and their team at Monnet Design for creating and executing the look and feel of this year’s National Magazine Awards.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor, CDS Global, for their support of the National Magazine Awards gala. CDS Global has been a proud sponsor of the National Magazine Awards since 1989.

Thank you to all our sponsors and partners for their enthusiastic support of the NMAs and Canadian magazines.

Thank you to the team at Relay Experience for their production of the gala including the multimedia show and the popular Smash Reel of nominated Canadian magazines, which you can view on our YouTube channel.

Thank you to the National Magazine Awards judges, our peers in Canadian magazines and media, more than 200 who volunteered their time and expertise to evaluate the submissions this year.

Thank you to our gala Masters of Ceremonies — Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen — of CTV’s The Social for their witty, ebullient and otherwise unforgettable performance as hosts (and for arranging a hilarious cameo by Scott Feschuk). And thank you to our gala guests, more than 450 who enjoyed this year’s show at our new venue, the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

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

Thank you to KlixPix, which supplied the event photography of this year’s National Magazine Awards. Here’s a sampling of their work; more is available on our Facebook Page.

Thank you to all who supported the 38th National Magazine Awards:

Printing: Lowe-Martin Group

PaperRolland Enterprises

TranslationÉmilie Pontbriand, Éloïse Pontbriand

Program Editor: Richard A. Johnson

Copy Editors: Leah Jensen, Melissa Myers, Éloïse Pontbriand

Production Assistant: Olesya Zimina

Event PhotographyDave Todon, KlixPix

Outstanding Achievement Photography: Donna Griffith

NMAF President Photography: Jared Sych

Volunteer CoordinationMelissa Myers

News Release Distribution: CNW Group

Chartered Accountants: Beckett Lowden Read, LLP

Flowers: San Remo Florists

CateringOliver & Bonacini

VenueThe Arcadian Court, Toronto

Masters of CeremoniesLainey Lui & Jessica Allen

Thank you to our hardworking event volunteers.

And to all who support Canadian magazines and their creators: Thank you from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

Announcing the winners of the 38th annual National Magazine Awards

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) presented the winners of the 38th annual National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at the Arcadian Court, presented by CDS Global, and hosted by Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen of CTV’s The Social. Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards were presented in 43 categories.

La version française: magazine-prix.com
Complete list [pdf] of all winners
Press release [pdf]: English | Français
Twitter highlights: @MagAwards | #NMA15
The Judges
Award Seals

SPECIAL AWARDS

Magazine of the Year
Nouveau Projet

“Nouveau Projet is a near-perfect symbiosis of subject matter, expert writing and exceptionally original design. It sets itself apart thanks to inspiring themes and bold covers. The magazine offers a fresh take on the genre and dares to cover topics that are virtually absent in other media. The energy of the editorial team is tangible page after page. Nouveau Projet embodies the spirit of print magazines.” — National Magazine Awards jury


Magazine Website of the Year
Hazlittmag.com (Hazlitt)


Tablet Magazine of the Year
Today’s Parent

Best Magazine Brand
Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation
Cottage Life

 

Best New Magazine Writer
Sponsored by Reader’s Digest Foundation
Genna Buck


Best New Illustrator or Photographer
Sponsored by RedPoint Media
Hudson Christie


Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Sponsored by Alliance for Audited Media
Michael Fox


AWARDS TABLE


INTEGRATED AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS
 
 

Best Single Issue
Sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc
Back to School Issue (September 2014)
Today’s Parent


Magazine Covers
Hunter Is At It Again
Report on Business


Editorial Package (Web)
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss
Today’s Parent


Infographics
Fare Warning
Report on Business


Online Video
Ukraine in Crisis
Maclean’s

Single Service Article Package
30 Awesome Cupcakes
Today’s Parent

Words & Pictures
Sponsored by CDS Global
La pointe des utopies
Nouveau Projet

“Tonight the National Magazine Awards Foundation recognized the outstanding work of Canada’s magazine writers, editors, designers, photographers and illustrators. The nominees and winners of this year’s awards have set new standards of excellence in Canadian media, and on behalf of those working in our wonderful industry and magazine readers across the country, we congratulate them.” — Joyce Byrne, President, NMAF

WRITING AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Arts & Entertainment
Nicholas Hune-Brown
For Kids, By Kids—But Not For Long
Hazlitt

Best Short Feature
Michael Friscolanti
My Hitchhiker, the Parliament Hill Gunman
Maclean’s 

Business
Stephanie Nolen
High and Dry
Report on Business

Columns
Sponsored by Impresa Communications Ltd.
Eric Reguly
Jobs: Optional
Report on Business

Editorial Package (Print)
Mark Stevenson, Sue Allan, Stephen Gregory, Alison Uncles
Ottawa Shooting
Maclean’s

Essays
Andrea Bennett
Water Upon the Earth
Maisonneuve

Fiction
Tamas Dobozy
Kransnagorsk-2
The New Quarterly

Health & Medicine
Marie-Pier Elie
Immunothérapie. Le nouvel espoir
Québec Science

Humour
Richard Light
Reviews of My Dreams from Last Night
The Feathertale Review

Investigative Reporting
Alec Castonguay, Noémi Mercier
Crimes sexuels dans l’armée
L’actualité

One of a Kind
Noah Richler
The Trials of Philip Halliday
The Walrus

Personal Journalism
Lauren McKeon
Save Me from My Workout
Toronto Life

Poetry
Richard Greene
You Must Remember This
Hazlitt

Politics & Public Interest
Alec Castonguay, Noémi Mercier
Crimes sexuels dans l’armée
L’actualité

Profiles
Jason McBride
The Captive
Toronto Life

Science, Technology & Environment
Jeremy Keehn
The Toilet Papers
The Walrus

Service: Family, Health & Personal Finance
Danielle Groen
Where Do We Put All the Babies?
The Grid

Service: Lifestyle
The Editors
25th Annual Restaurant Awards
Vancouver Magazine

Society
Mylène Tremblay
Intersexualité : Rencontre du troisième sexe
Châtelaine

Sports & Recreation
Dan Robson
Home and Really Far Away
Sportsnet

Travel
Marie-Soleil Desautels
Au paradis des thés
L’actualité

 

VISUAL AWARDS – GOLD WINNERS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Sponsored by The Lowe-Martin Group
Jean-François Proulx
Le Canada dont nous ne voulons pas (printemps – été 2014)
Nouveau Projet

Art Direction of a Single Article
Sponsored by Monnet Design
Marcey Andrews
Best Summer Ever
New Trail
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Fashion
Chris Nicholls, Photographer
Eng Lau, Art Director
Zeina Esmail, Stylist
Human Touch
Fashion Magazine

Homes & Gardens
Karen Simpson, Art Director
Naho Kubota, Photographer
Catherine Osborne, Will Jones, Contributors
On Canal Lake
Azure

Illustration
Raymond Biesinger
The Well-Oiled Machine
Precedent

Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Sponsored by CNW Group
Larry Towell
In Attawapiskat
The Walrus

Portrait Photography
John Ulan
Bigger Than Barriers
Cornerstone

Spot Illustration
Sébastien Thibault
The Rising Tide
The Walrus

Still-Life Photography
Clinton Hussey
Origin Story
Western Living

To view the complete list of Gold and Silver winners and Honourable Mentions, visit magazine-awards.com/38winners.

ABOUT THE 38th ANNUAL NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
More than 450 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, presented by CDS Global.

This year more than 200 Canadian magazines submitted their work to the National Magazine Awards. Magazines from all three coasts—in both official languages, print and digital—participated this year, entering work created by more than 3000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. This year saw growth in participation from Quebec and Alberta magazines, as well as remarkable participation from Canada’s literary and arts magazines through the help of the NMAF’s Small Magazine Rebate program.

The NMAF’s 241 volunteer judges have nominated a total of 326 submissions from 80 different Canadian magazines for awards in 43 written, visual, integrated and special categories. More than $53,000 in cash prizes have been awarded to Canadian creators.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The National Magazine Awards Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and suppliers.

THANK YOU LAINEY & JESS!
The NMAF (and all guests of the National Magazine Awards) are grateful to Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen for their incredible performance tonight.

PHOTOS, VIDEOS, INTERVIEW & MORE
Check back next week for photos, videos and more from the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS FOUNDATION
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize and promote excellence in the content and creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts. Discover more at magazine-awards.com.

Tonight! The 38th annual National Magazine Awards

What: The 38th National Magazine Awards
WhereThe Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street, Simpson Tower, 8th Floor, Toronto [MAP]
When: 5:30pm (Reception); 7:00pm (Awards presentation)
Why: To recognize and celebrate excellence in the content and creation 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: $170 (table seats including dinner) SOLD OUT or $90 (show-only; excludes dinner), including HST. Credit cards or cash accepted.

Not able to come?
Follow our twitter handle @MagAwards and #NMA15 for 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).

The Nominees?
A recap of this years nominees
Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement
Magazine of the Year
Best Magazine Brand
Tablet Magazine of the Year
Best Magazine Cover
Best New Magazine Writer
Best New Illustrator or Photographer
more…

The Masters of Ceremonies?
Lainey Lui & Jessica Allen

See you tonight!

Canada’s Magazine of the Year: Meet the 3 Finalists

In just 3 days the Canadian magazine industry will gather in Toronto for the most anticipated event of the year: the 38th annual National Magazine Awards! The nominees have been announced and the NMAF will present the awards on Friday, June 5 at the Arcadian Court. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And the one award to end them all: Magazine of the Year. This award goes to the publication that most consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers. The National Magazine Awards jury has named 3 finalists for this award.

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

 

Nouveau Projet
Published by Atelier 10, Montreal

A cultural and societal magazine whose mandate is to publish new, sophisticated texts that aspire to help us understand the issues of our times and live a more balanced, satisfying and meaningful life, Nouveau Projet is a catalyst for and a gathering point of the progressive forces of Quebec in the 2010s, encouraging public discussions while looking at our times with inquisitive and sincere eyes. Nominated for 7 National Magazine Awards this year, including Art Direction, Best Single Issue and Personal Journalism.

Nouveau Projet is a near-perfect symbiosis of subject matter, expert writing and exceptionally original design. It sets itself apart thanks to inspiring themes and bold covers. The magazine offers a fresh take on the genre and dares to cover topics that are virtually absent in other media. The energy of the editorial team is tangible page after page. Nouveau Projet embodies the spirit of print magazines. — National Magazine Awards jury

Discover more at nouveauprojet.com.

The Walrus
Published by The Walrus Foundation, Toronto

Canada’s premier general-interest monthly with a mandate to publish the most authoritative and insightful stories about our country and its place in the world, The Walrus advances the national conversation on the social and political concerns of our time in a range of genres, from world-class journalism and photography to award-winning fiction and poetry and whimsical spot illustration. Nominated for 30 National Magazine Awards this year, including Investigative Reporting, Photojournalism and Magazine Covers.

The Walrus fulfills its editorial mission in pursuit of journalistic and visual excellence while challenging preconceived ideas. The magazine takes the pulse of our society and offers bold editorial choices and in-depth reporting that establishes its high intellectual standing. This standard bearer for quality writing and design never disappoints. — National Magazine Awards jury

Discover more at thewalrus.ca.

UPPERCASE
Published by UPPERCASE Publishing Inc, Calgary

The ultimate magazine for the creative and the curious, publishing inspiring concepts in arts, crafts, typography and design with an affinity for vintage ephemera, UPPERCASE has built a thriving national and international reputation delivering on its mandate to help readers achieve their artistic dreams. Bound in a celebrated, one-of-a-kind magazine design, the magazine has previously won a National Magazine Award for its Art Direction and was also a finalist for Magazine of the Year in 2012.

UPPERCASE is a true gem: a finely chiselled piece of work that is sure to rouse the inner artist in each of us. This one-of-a-kind magazine presents a lifestyle and a way of self-expression through inspiring themes that are accessible and carefully curated. The passion of this team for their “craft” (and crafts!) comes through loud and clear on every single page. The production value, both editorial and visual, is remarkably high and its international scope is refreshing. — National Magazine Awards jury

Discover more at uppercasemagazine.com.

 


Which do you think is most deserving of the award for Magazine of the Year? Tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Top 3 Magazine Brands in Canada

We’re just five days away from the gala of the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, and one of the awards to be presented on June 5 is for Best Magazine Brand, sponsored by the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

A new category this year, award for Best Magazine Brand goes to the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through at least three platforms, which may include a print or digital magazine, a website, SIP(s), mobile app(s), tablet, social media, television shows, radio broadcasts, live events, innovations in print or digital media and other forms of audience engagement.

The finalists were announced on May 4, and the winner will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

Here are the nominees in Best Magazine Brand:

Cottage Life
Published by Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media Partnership

Cottage Life Published by Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media Partnership
Cottage Life
Published by Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media Partnership

Cottage Life demonstrates a level of innovation that bodes well for the industry, representing how a magazine can live beyond print with dynamic and thriving platforms. Its extensions—digital, broadcast, events, e-commerce—are perfectly aligned with the brand DNA, dominating the niche the magazine created while continuing to grow, refresh itself and take risks.” — National Magazine Awards jury

Les Affaires
Publié par TC Transcontinental / TC Media

Les Affaires Publié par TC Transcontinental / TC Media
Les Affaires
Publié par TC Transcontinental / TC Media

“La forte personnalité de la marque Les Affaires est parfaitement perceptible et cohérente sur les diverses plateformes du magazine – un rare exploit pour un média axé sur l’information. Les plateformes du magazine, notamment une édition tablette enrichie et des numéros hors série, incorporent remarquablement le design, l’apparence, la voix et les valeurs de la marque principale. Les Affaires est une marque médiatique déjà bien établie qui réussit des percées audacieuses dans l’univers numérique et des médias sociaux.” — Jury des Prix du magazine canadien

Spacing
Published by Spacing Media

Spacing Published by Spacing Media
Spacing
Published by Spacing Media

Spacing is redefining what a magazine can be and do, embracing an approach that reflects the changing nature of media consumption. The content and platforms—web and social media, city-proud retail merchandise, urban travel experiences—are innovative, responsive and true to the brand. This is the future of publishing: nimble, agile, fearless; reaching far beyond print circulation.” — National Magazine Awards jury

 


Which do you think is most deserving of the award for Best Magazine Brand? Tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Best Words & Pictures in Canadian Magazines

It’s Magazine Week in Toronto, and this Friday, concluding the week of events, is the 38th annual 38th annual National Magazine Awards. The nominees have been announced, and among the awards to be presented is Words & Pictures, sponsored by CDS Global, the presenting sponsor of the National Magazine Awards gala.

Gold and silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

Here are the 7 nominees this year for Words & Pictures.

16889_26

Laura deCarufel, Editor
Elena Viltovskaia, Art Director
Geoffrey Ross, Photographer
Contributors: Brittany Eccles, Noreen Flanagan, Charlotte Herrold
Fall/Winter 2014 Fashion Trend Report
ELLE Canada

Simple text and a white background allow runway photos to command the reader’s attention while leading the narrative of Fall/Winter trends. Fun cultural visual cues help set the mood for the styles presented in the piece.


17353_26

Lisa Cook, Editor
Marcey Andrews, Art Director
John Ulan, Photographer
Rick Pilger, Bridget Sterling, Writers
Contributors: Curtis Gillespie, Christie Hutchison, Sarah Pratt, Scott Rollans, Tobie Smith, Joyce Yu
The Face of a Century
New Trail

This project craftily provides insight into the lives of 100 graduates by using telling life snippets. As addictive as Twitter or Reddit, the combination of words and picture carry the reader through the piece, while using longer bios to set an engaging pace.

Nicolas Langelier, Rédacteur
Pierre-Yves Cezard, Photographe
Rémy Bordillon, Auteur
La pointe des utopies
Nouveau Projet

The hand-drawn, graphic-novel style speaks to the intimacy of this organic storyline of a community coming together to protect artist space within their neighbourhood during a time of gentrification. The use of colour enhances the narrative tone along with that of the image.

Leah Rumack, Katie Dupuis, Writers, Editors
Alicia Kowalewski, Art Director
John Cullen, Photographer
Contributors: Jessica Albano, Virginie Martocq, Eshun Mott
A Mad Hatter Easter Picnic
Today’s Parent

In this party-planning guide, playful photographs bring recipes to life by creating scenes in which the food can live. Tablet extras and template links create a third layer of content that elevates the piece beyond the page.

Sarah Fulford, Angie Gardos, Mark Pupo, Editors
Christine Dewairy, Art Director
Photographers: Peter Andrew, Daniel Ehrenworth, Dave Gillespie, Kagan McLeod, Luis Meca, Daniel Neuhaus, Vicky Lam, Markian Lozowchuk, Joanne Ratajczak
Contributors: Matthew Hague, Rachel Heinrichs, Bronwen Jervis, Malcolm Johnston, Simon Lewsen, Emily Landau, Frances McInnes, Rebecca Philps, Philip Preville, Kelly Pullen, Alec Scott, Nathan Whitlock
Reasons to Love Toronto
Toronto Life

This collage of images indulges the reader in a listicle that reminds readers how cool living in Toronto can be. The piece allows for the dominance of image and word with proportional importance while examining how the food, business, leisure and sports industries have evolved to make the city better. The collaboration of contributors put together a list that praises how the residents and developments in certain neighbourhoods are changing both the physical and cultural landscape.

Kyle Carsten Wyatt, Editor
Brian Morgan, Art Director
Larry Towell, Photographer
Louise Bernice Halfe, Writer
In Attawapiskat
The Walrus

A raw look at the reality of a reserve in Northern Canada, “In Attawapiskat” is a story told with a literary stillness and patience that also resonates through the stark realness of the accompanying photo essay. A link to further, online content allows the reader to get deeper into issue.

Matthew Mallon, Editor
John Pekelsky, Art Director
Angela Gzowski, Photographer
Ashleigh Gaul, Writer
Between the Lines
Up Here

Stunning portraits and archival stills of women proudly bearing Inuit face tattoos accompanies a well-researched history of the tradition in this story about the experiences of the modern Inuit population practicing this ritual today.


Which do you think is most deserving of the award for Words & Pictures? Tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her research.

Vote: Canada’s Best Magazine Cover

The 38th annual National Magazine Awards are quickly approaching and Canadian magazine creators and readers are getting excited to see who will be this year’s award winners.

The nominations have been announced and our judges have selected 10 finalists for this year’s award for Best Magazine Cover. The cover is a crucial component of a magazine, as it not only allows the magazine to show off some design chops, but acts as the gateway into the expertly packaged mix of editorial and artwork.

The Gold and Silver winners will be announced at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala info]

Behold, the Top 10 Magazine Covers of the Year. Click to view, then vote for your favourite and Tweet your vote.

BEST MAGAZINE COVER NOMINEES

VOTE
Thank you for voting. The poll has now closed, and the winner is…


TWEET YOUR VOTE
Who do you think is most worthy of the Best Magazine Cover award? Tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Check out some of these other great National Magazine Awards finalists:
Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Art Direction of a Single Article
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Illustration & Photo Illustration
Fashion
Portrait Photography
Spot Illustration
Online Video
Best New Magazine Writer
Best New Illustrator or Photographer
Columns
Tablet Magazine of the Year

NMA 2015 Nominees: Best Single Issue of a Canadian Magazine

The judging is complete and the nominees for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced. This year the judges have selected 6 finalists for the award for Best Single Issue, an award sponsored by Rolland Enterprises, Inc.

The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And the nominees in Best Single Issue are…

 


Which is your favourite? Leave us a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Meet the Finalists for Art Direction of a Single Article

Canada’s National Magazine Awards will be presented on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto, and among the prizes to be bestowed is the award for best Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, sponsored by Monnet Design, which created the design for this year’s National Magazine Awards.

The finalists were announced on May 4 and include a great variety of magazine story design. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And the 10 nominees for Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article are…

John Montgomery
How to Be Good, Great, the Greatest
Canadian Business

The casting of Strombo in different poses that illustrate the methods and strategies he’s used to hit his career peak elevates the how-to editorial concept to its own apex.

Kim Zagar
John Gray Goes to the Cottage
Cottage Life

The opening spread draws in the eye and brings the reader to the story with visual gravity. The photographs take the reader on a tour of natural and man-made architecture, conveying a sense both of place and of purpose.

Adam Cholewa
Canada’s Best New Restaurants
enRoute

The reader is delivered straight to the restaurant setting with a busy scene and a colourful plate; a culinary tour ensues, featuring restos, plates and their creators in this perfectly delicious work of magazine design.

Anna Minzhulina
Life Sentence
Maisonneuve

A powerful spread, making use of shadow to help convey a mood of isolation and uncertainty, while the alternating boldness and fading of the text underscores the overlapping tones of hope and despair.

Marcey Andrews
Best Summer Ever
New Trail

The consistency of pastel tones create a fluid, organic feel, creating the soft calmness that captures the essence of summer.

Marcey Andrews
The Face of a Century
New Trail

Creating a collection of profile photographs that can hold the reader’s attention is always a demanding challenge, and the designer’s layout of this facial exposé creates an engaging context for the piece.

Sonia Bluteau, Lydia Moscato
Oh, Canada
Ricardo

The designers harnessed the lucky number 13, relating landscape to the comfort of soup in a way that incorporates regional ingredients in what amounts to a successful recipe in Canadiana. This design allows you to first feel the place, then taste the food in a juxtaposition of food and landscape images that takes you on a national exploration of food and place.

Christine Dewairy
Where to Eat Now
Toronto Life

The large image sets confer a priority to the visual material that sounds an inviting tone for the reader to devour the editorial content within.

Naomi MacDougall
25th Annual Restaurant Awards
Vancouver Magazine

The choice to open the visuals with black and white photos immediately confers a classical respect for the image that is recognizant of the celebratory nature of a 25th anniversary. This muted look serves to compliment the achievements of each chef by displaying their image in a format undistracted by the use of colour.

Paul Roelofs
Designers of the Year
Western Living

With lines that lend great depth to the architectural landscapes and photography, and framing that captures the mood and tone of the featured spaces, this design is compelling and unique.


Who do you think is most worthy of this award? Leave us a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her reporting.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Top 3 Tablet Magazines in Canada

Magazine readers increasingly seek out great content on their tablets, and the National Magazine Awards Foundation recognizes the outstanding efforts that publishers put into developing the magazine tablet platform with the award for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

Earlier this month we announced the nominees for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, including 3 finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year. The winner will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

Here are the three finalists for Tablet Magazine of the Year. Click on each image to download the free app and free issue (or trial) of each magazine.

Mark Stevenson, Editor
Stephen Gregory, Art Director
The Ottawa Shooting: Bearing Witness (November 2014)
Maclean’s

Christine Loureiro, Editor
Jessica Hotson, Art Director
Contributors: Adrian Armstrong, Michelle Bilodeau, Natasha Bruno, Janine Falcon, Amber Hickson, Laura Lanktree, Alex Laws, Emily MacCulloch, Carly Ostroff, Geoffrey Ross, Carlyle Routh, Rani Sheen, Sheri Stroh, Vanessa Taylor, Kristy Wright, Sonya Van Heyningen, Kristen Vinakmens
Secrets to Great Skin (October 2014)
The Kit

Sasha Emmons, Editor
Sun Ngo, Art director
Contributor: Andrew Lauder
The Books Issue (August 2014)
Today’s Parent

Tweet us your favourite #NMA15 nominee for Tablet Magazine of the Year.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

See more 2015 National Magazine Awards Nominees.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Top 6 Canadian Magazines for Art Direction

The jury has completed its work and the 38th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced, and this year the judges have selected 6 finalists for the award for Art Direction of an Entire Issue, an award sponsored by the Lowe-Martin Group. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And the nominees in Art Direction of an Entire Issue are…

Kim Zagar Weekend Guest Survival Guide (Summer 2014) Cottage Life

Kim Zagar
Weekend Guest Survival Guide (Summer 2014)
Cottage Life

Adam Cholewa
The Food Issue (November 2014)
enRoute

Jeremy Laing, Chris Frey, Charles Yao
Issue No. 2
Hazlitt

Anna Minzhulina
Death (Fall 2014)
Maisonneuve

Jean-François Proulx
Le Canada dont nous ne voulons pas (printemps – été 2014)
Nouveau Projet

Domenic Macri
CEO of the Year (December 2014)
Report on Business

Tweet: My top @MagAwards #NMA15 #Fashion spread is... http://ctt.ec/XMo45+Tweet us your favourite #NMA15 nominee for Art Direction.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

See more 2015 Nominees.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Meet the 3 finalists for Best New Magazine Writer

The nominees have been announced for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, and this year’s jury has nominated three finalists for the award for Best New Magazine Writer, sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation. This award goes to an emerging Canadian magazine writer who published their first major magazine story in 2014.

The winner will be announced at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 in Toronto.  [Tickets & Gala Info]. You can read more about this award and previous winners at magazine-awards.com/bnmw.

Get to know this year’s three finalists for Best New Magazine Writer. Click on each image to read the complete article.

Genna Buck
Genna is nominated for a piece which follows the story of an autistic woman’s journey through the institution of adoption, detention centres and current supportive-living options in New Brunswick. Her in-depth exploration of these issues communicates the costs and realities of a system that is unprepared to handle demands made upon it. The reader leaves informed about how those with higher needs often slip through the cracks of social programs in this empathetically told biographical tale.

The National Magazine Awards jury said that Genna Buck “exhibits patience and grit in this magnificent profile. ‘Finding a Place’ has everything a good magazine piece needs: a gripping story, strong research and poignant writing that is balanced and sensitive.”

“Genna manages to bring policy-heavy history and bureaucratic bungling to life, expressing a deeply flawed system through the ups and downs of [her subject]’s search for a safe place to live.” ~ Haley Cullingham, editor-in-chief, Maisonneuve magazine

“Finding a Place” is also nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Investigative Reporting category.

Nicholas Cameron
Nicholas’s nominated piece looks at the idea of life after death and what it means to live through a disease that was expected to kill you. Many come out of this situation in poor financial and mental health, experiencing post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt while attempting to live in a world where more people with terminally ill diseases survive longer, but there is little out-patient support.

The National Magazine Awards jury called “Life Sentence” a “carefully crafted and well-researched narrative about long-term survivors of HIV, saying that Nicholas Cameron approached it with both fascination and tenderness. This is health reporting with humanity; equally compassionate and captivating.”

“Talking about death isn’t exactly easy, but Cameron was able to connect with his sources, getting them to open up about the most difficult times of their lives. The result is a detailed and passionate account of life after near death as it really happens – not the Lifetime movie version.” ~ Daniel Viole, associate editor, Maisonneuve magazine

“Life Sentence” is also nominated for a National Magazine Award in the Health & Medicine category.

Emily McKibbon
Emily’s literary skill is apparent as her use of detailed imagery, repetition and elevated diction in creating a tone and rhythm in “Latencies” that contributes to an entrancing storytelling style. Using her own knowledge of 19th-century photographic methods matched with her heightened ability to set scenes, her story merges the truth of human condition within history and her own experience.

The National Magazine Awards jury called her writing “simply ravishing, with a style that is at once poetic and precise.” They see “Latencies” as a “powerful memoir of love, death and photography, pointing to McKibbon’s talent for weaving storylines and leaving a haunting impression on the reader.”

“Emily McKibbon is a thoughtful, insightful writer, with a sophisticated approach to her writing that will serve her well as her career develops.” ~ Pamela Mulloy, editor, The New Quarterly

 


Spread the word about these 3 great young Canadian magazine writers. Tweet at us: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can read the complete articles of these and all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for her reporting.

NMA15 Nominees: Top 10 Columnists in Canadian Magazines

The 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala will take place on June 5, and among the categories is the award for Columns, sponsored by Impresa Communications, Ltd. For this award, the jury considered 3 individual columns by the same writer or writers in a Canadian magazine. The finalists were announced on May 4, and the Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the National Magazine Awards gala on June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And the nominees for Columns are…

Nicholas Hune-Brown
Studies Show
Hazlitt

Pierre Fortin
Économie
L’actualité

Chantal Hébert
Politique
L’actualité

Emma Teitel
#YesAllWomen
Maclean’s

Eric Reguly
Jobs: Optional
Report on Business

Shaugnessy Bishop-Stall
Fatherhood
Sharp

John Lorinc
Ignore Rob Ford at Your Own Peril
Spacing

Mark Pupo
Food & Drink
Toronto Life

Jan Wong
Society
Toronto Life

Tim Edwards
Arctic Dispatches
Up Here


Who do you think is most worthy of this award? Leave us a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA15.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at magazine-awards.com.

Tickets are on sale for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 5 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.