NMAF Announces New Strategic Initiatives & Board Members

The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is pleased to announce a number of important changes and new initiatives as we get ready to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Magazine Awards and an exciting new year for the Digital Publishing Awards.

At its AGM and meeting of August 30th, the NMAF Board of Directors approved a new strategic plan that will ensure the National Magazine Awards and Digital Publishing Awards continue their important role in recognizing and celebrating Canadian creators.

These changes are designed to maintain and advance the NMAF’s 40-year status as the gold standard of creative excellence and the pinnacle of professional achievement for award recipients. Specific initiatives include:

  • Refining the categories of the National Magazine Awards to a more focused number of awards;
  • A reformatted awards event to facilitate more conversation and networking;
  • Introducing a more rigorous definition and criteria of the Magazine of the Year award;
  • Expanding the Digital Publishing Awards;
  • A more streamlined judging process for assessing English and French submissions in the same category;
  • Enhancing the national footprint of the awards through more regional events and closer collaboration with regional institutions outside of Ontario;
  • Being more inclusive of the diversity in Canadian magazine and digital publishing;
  • In a first for any Canadian publishing awards, raising the profile of Canadian creators on the international stage, by:
    • recognizing the excellence of Canadian contributors to international media, and
    • introducing judges from the international magazine community.

The NMAF invites all members of the Canadian magazine industry—whether you regularly participate in the awards or not—to join us in this process, whether volunteering to serve on the board, committees or working groups; volunteering as a judge; or simply providing your input on how the NMAF can best serve Canada’s magazine and digital creators. Get in touch with us at staff@magazine-awards.com.

The NMAF is pleased to announce that Nino Di Cara has been elected Board President for a two-year term effective August 30. Mr. Di Cara is the Executive Vice-President, Content Marketing, at Bookmark (formerly Spafax), and previously held senior titles at Rogers Communications and TC Media.

Mr. Di Cara has been elected with a broad mandate to spearhead new strategic initiatives for the NMAF, as well as to engage and work collaboratively with the Foundation’s stakeholders—creators, publishers, judges, partners, sponsors and more—to build on the NMAF’s core mission to Celebrate Canadian Creators.

To help achieve this exciting agenda for 2017 and beyond, the NMAF is pleased to announce the first wave of new additions to its board:

JoAnne Caza is a member of the Mercedes-Benz Canada executive team. She heads up the Communications and Public Relations department which is responsible for several of the marketing activities at Mercedes-Benz Canada. She is the company’s spokesperson and the PR aspect of her job includes day-to-day media relations on a corporate front as well for all of Mercedes-Benz’ brands.

Derek Finkle is the founder of Canadian Writers Group which represents independent Canadian writers, and which aligned with Parcel, a brand strategy and communications design firm, in 2016. He is the former editor of Toro magazine, contributing editor of Saturday Night, and a National Magazine Award-winning writer. He is the author of the book No Claim to Mercy, an examination of the troubling Robert Baltovich murder case. No Claim to Mercy won the Crime Writers’ Arthur Ellis Award for best non-fiction and was named a Notable Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail.

Tom Gierasimczuk is an award-winning journalist and media executive with a proven record of developing effective multi-platform, editorially driven marketing strategies that engage audiences and infuse brand communication with purpose and utility. Tom has built media properties for clients ranging from WestJet Airlines to Microsoft while working in senior leadership roles with Canada’s largest media and communications companies including Rogers Media, Transcontinental, Canada Wide Media and Yellow Pages, where he was Publisher and GM of Vancouver magazine and Western Living.

Peter McNeil is the National Director of KPMG Enterprise and a marketing executive with over twenty years of experience providing leadership and strategy to both start-ups and major Fortune 500 brands. He specializes in Global Brand Building and Management, Marketing Programs, Partnerships & Alliances, Marketing Strategy, People Management, Public Relations, Digital Media, Business Development. He has previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of United Way of York Region.

Raf Katigbak is Creative Lead at Virtue, the agency arm of VICE. He started at VICE as a columnist in the magazine in 2004, eventually becoming the Canadian editor of the publication, and then Senior Editor of the ‪VICE.com website. Over the years, he’s produced engaging, multi-platform content including documentaries, photo essays, and field reports, and written stories for a variety of publications and companies including The Montreal Mirror, En Route, and ALDO.

Our new electives join an existing NMAF Board of Directors that includes:

  • Liana Bell, CA, CPA, Partner, Clark-Henning LLP (Treasurer)
  • Joyce Byrne, Publisher, Avenue Magazine (Past President)
  • Julie Cailliau, Editor-in-Chief, Les Affaires
  • Christopher Frey, Toronto Correspondent, Monocle
  • Curtis Gillespie, Editor, Eighteen Bridges
  • David Hayes, Freelance Journalist
  • Judith Pereira, Senior Editor, Report on Business
  • Marnie Peters, Associate Vice-President, Public Relations, Royal Ontario Museum
  • Paul Roelofs, Creative Director & Publication Designer, Vancouver Magazine & Western Living
  • Terry Sellwood, former President, Cottage Life Media (Executive-At-Large)
  • Melony Ward, Publisher, Canada’s History & Kayak
  • Lisa Whittington-Hill, Publisher, THIS Magazine

We are humbled by the fact that, according to feedback from our stakeholder surveys, Canadian magazine publishers and creators continue hold the NMAF brand in the highest regard as a not-for-profit, charitable organization that facilitates trustworthy, inclusive and transparent awards programs that reflect the strength and breadth of magazine and digital publishing across Canada.

We encourage all Canadian publishers, editors, art directors, staff and contributors to join us as we celebrate the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards and the 2nd annual Digital Publishing Awards.

The NMAF will provide regular updates this fall regarding strategic initiatives and changes to its awards programs.

Deadline Extended: NMAF 2016-2017 Administrative Internship


The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has extended the deadline for applications to its 2016-2017 Administrative Internship.

The new deadline to apply is Friday September 16.

Position: Administrative Intern

Contract Duration: September 26, 2016—June 30, 2017; 15 hrs/week on average.

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

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


  • Bilingualism (French-English) a very strong asset
  • Pursuing or recently completed a degree or diploma in the fields of Communications, Publishing, Administration, Public Relations, Journalism or similar;
  • Exceptional communication skills;
  • Familiarity with the Canadian magazine industry;
  • Ability to work independently and on deadline with goal-oriented projects;
  • Solid writing and editing skills;
  • Career aspirations in the Canadian magazine industry or similar;
  • Strong interest in fulfilling the mandate and vision of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.


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

Terms and Remuneration: The length of the contract will be from Sept 26, 2016 to June 30, 2017. The average weekly commitment may range from 10 hours per week (Oct-Dec; Feb-Mar; Jun) to 20 hours per week (Jan; Apr-May). Working hours are flexible except at specific times, and most work may be completed remotely.

This internship is paid at a rate of $11.25/h.

Applications: Candidates should submit

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

Please send applications by email to NMAF Production Coordinator Leah Jensen at staff@magazine-awards.com. Please include “2017 Internship Application” in subject.

Application Deadline: Friday September 16, 2016.

Nominees announced for the 2016 Digital Publishing Awards

Today the NMAF announced the nominees for the inaugural Digital Publishing Awardsrecognizing excellence in the content and creation of Canadian digital publishing.

This year, 63 Canadian digital publications participated in the Digital Publishing Awards, submitting the best of their digital content, design and innovation from the past year for consideration in 14 awards categories.

The judges have nominated 66 entries from 21 different digital publications for this year’s awards, including 5 finalists for the coveted award of Digital Publication of the Year.


Also receiving a nomination: Air Canada enRoute, Canadaland, Canadian Art, Canadian Business, Chatelaine, International Reporting Program, National Film Board of Canada, Planète F Magazine, The Walrus, Today’s Parent, and TVO.org.

Visit live.digitalpublishingawards.ca to view the nominations in all 14 categories.

Follow the Digital Publishing Awards on Twitter @DPAwards and #DPA16.

Join members of Canada’s digital publishing industry for the 2016 Digital Publishing Awards soirée on Thursday, June 9 in the newly redesigned Portland Room at the Spoke Club in Toronto’s King West district, hosted by Chris Frey. TICKETS

Chris Frey is a Toronto-based writer, editor, and radio producer. Currently the Toronto correspondent for Monocle, he’s a six-time National Magazine Award winner and has contributed to The Guardian, The Walrus, Globe and Mail, Icon, Maisonneuve, Azure, and CBC Radio. In a past life Chris was the founding editor of Hazlitt, the Toronto Standard and Outpost magazine. In a future life (and any day now) he will finally complete his book Broken Atlas, a collection of international reportage.

Tickets include one free drink and food provided by the Spoke Club’s classically trained chef Rob Klunder, who creates sophisticated dishes influenced by seasonal ingredients, prepared simply but with flair. Cash bar and celebration of Canadian digital media will continue throughout the evening.

The DPAs provide a platform to promote and reward the achievements of those who create digital publishing content in Canada—the writers and editors, designers and developers, video and podcast producers, photographers and illustrators, and many others. The program aims to recognize, celebrate and promote to a national audience the innovative publishing teams that produce digital content in Canadian media.

Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be presented at the inaugural Digital Publishing Awards soirée on Thursday, June 9 at the Spoke Club’s fabulous Portland Room at 600 King Street West, Toronto. Gold and Silver awards in most categories include a cash prize. Tickets are on sale at digitalpublishingawards.ca.

Kim Pittaway to receive 2016 NMAF Outstanding Achievement Award

The National Magazine Awards Foundation is pleased to announce that renowned journalist, editor, teacher and mentor Kim Pittaway will be the recipient of the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing career excellence and service to the Canadian magazine industry. The NMAF will present Kim with this prestigious honour at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10. The nominees in all other categories will be announced on May 2.

As a mentor, Kim has inspired my own path in magazine publishing with simple advice: Get involved, volunteer, mentor a young person, have an opinion, lead an organization.
Joyce Byrne, president of the NMAF and publisher, Avenue Calgary

Kim Pittaway began her magazine career as a writer and columnist of exceptional insight for Chatelaine in the early 1990s, and soon earned herself a staff position as managing editor, where she oversaw the development of the magazine’s early digital platforms in an era when few saw the true publishing potential of the web. “Kim quickly earned a reputation for leadership on many fronts,” said Chatelaine’s former editor-in-chief Rona Maynard. “Among her readers for her forthright column; among her peers for generous mentoring; and among corporate decision-makers for her strategic sense.”

When Kim succeeded her mentor as editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, she continued to nurture emerging writers. “With her guidance,” said Beth Hitchcock, who wrote her first magazine story for Kim, “I learned the art of structure, the importance of word choice, and most importantly for the editing process, the language of collaboration and respect.” Writers who’ve worked with Kim frequently praise her commitment to building a strong relationship that can lead to the kind of challenging questions that bring out the best in a writer and a story.

Over the years, I’ve read Kim’s many powerful stories in Canadian magazines, and often used them in my advanced feature-writing course at Ryerson. And I know her as a tireless promoter of the best in magazine journalism. I have witnessed her inspired approach to teaching, and students laud her for her generosity and dedication when working with writers.
David Hayes, National Magazine Award-winning magazine writer, teacher and director of the NMAF

After moving on from Chatelaine in 2005, Kim returned to freelance journalism—she’s been published in Today’s Parent, More, Homemakers,Cottage Life, Best Health, Reader’s Digest and others, earning 8 National Magazine Awards nominations—and teaching. She taught journalism at Ryerson University, went on to earn her MFA in creative non-fiction from Goucher College, and joined the faculty at the University of King’s College, mentoring students in its journalism and MFA programs. As a teacher, said 2014 King’s graduate Nicole Halloran, “Kim taught us that a magazine is like a puzzle; it’s a matter of playing with the pieces until you get it right. She emphasized the value of teamwork and how to make stories come alive.”

“Kim Pittaway is not only a gifted writer and editor,” added Stephen Kimber, professor of journalism at King’s. “She is also an exceptionally generous and thoughtful mentor and teacher. We are honoured to have her at King’s, especially as part of our new MFA in Creative Nonfiction program.”

As a respected leader in the Canadian magazine industry, Kim has long been an advocate for inclusivity, volunteerism, brand building and knowledge sharing. She served on the editorial board of THIS Magazine, demonstrating a commitment to small, independent magazines where many young writers and editors get their start. For many years she has served as a consultant for Magazines Canada and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, travelling the country to engage in dialogue with her peers about how to improve our craft and work collaboratively. “As a magazine and digital consultant,” said Lisa Murphy, creative services director of House & Home Media, “Kim has been an invaluable help to countless publishers and brands—always offering innovative, creative, honest and challenging advice delivered with warmth and humour.”

As a consultant, Kim brings not only a wealth of magazine knowledge, but also an understanding of small magazines and the challenges they face. Always patient and inspiring, she ensures that professional development activities represent the needs and interests of the entire Canadian magazine community.
Lisa Whittington-Hill, publisher, THIS Magazine

Long a champion of the rights and recognition of magazine creators, Kim assumed the presidency of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 2006 and helped guide the organization—and the industry—to strengthen its mandate to support and promote the work of the teams and individuals who create the award-worthy content that magazine readers across Canada love.

For her enduring dedication to the Canadian magazine industry, for the principled leadership and mentorship that has impacted the careers of many, and for her unfailing support of magazine creators, the NMAF is proud to recognize Kim Pittaway with its highest individual honour, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.

I am so proud to share a last name with my sister Kim. She is foremost a gifted writer and editor. She has been endlessly generous in sharing her gifts of finding the heart of a story, and plotting a path towards telling it, with countless writers whom she has worked with and mentored. Her understanding of the business side of publishing and how to best serve readers and the bottom line is something I, as a freelancer, have sought advice on frequently as well. I am completely thrilled for her, and join all of you in celebrating her incredible contributions to journalism and Canadian publishing.
Tina Pittaway, freelance journalist

Kim Pittaway in the National Magazine Awards archive:

  • 5-Star Tribute” (More, 2012, Honourable Mention, Words & Pictures)
  • For Goodness’ Sake” (More, 2009, Honourable Mention, Single Service Article Package)
  • The Game of Risk” (More, 2008, Honourable Mention, Service: Health & Family)
  • Sudden Impact” (Today’s Parent, 2008, Honourable Mention, Health & Medicine)
  • Too Young for Breast Cancer” (Homemakers, 2008, Honourable Mention, Best Short Feature)
  • The Last Time” (More, 2007, Honourable Mention, Words & Pictures)
  • “A Call to Arms” (Chatelaine, 2003, Honourable Mention, Columns)
  • “Sex Offenders: What You Need to Know” (Chatelaine, 1995, Honourable Mention, Service Journalism)

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

The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers–in short, to anyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. Nominations are welcome from everyone in the industry and are due each year by March 1. The recipient is selected by the Board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. No entry fee is required. Applicants not selected will be kept under consideration for two (2) additional years.

For more information visit magazine-awards.com/oa

The nominees for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards will be announced on Monday, May 2. Follow us on this blog or on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominees.

The winners will be announced at the 2016 National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 in Toronto. Tickets go on sale May 2 at magazine-awards.com.

Photo of Kim Pittaway by Aaron McKenzie Fraser

Call for Nominations: Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement


The National Magazine Awards Foundation is calling for nominations for the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, presented annually to an individual whose creativity and innovation over the course of their career have made a significant impact on the Canadian magazine industry.

Previous winners include Kim Jernigan, Michael Fox, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, John Macfarlane, Stephen Osborne, Jean Paré, Sally Armstrong, Robert Fulford and more.

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

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

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

Nominations are due by March 1, 2016 and can be emailed as a PDF to staff@magazine-awards.com or sent by mail to:
National Magazine Awards Foundation
2300 Yonge St, Suite 1600
Toronto, ON, M4P 1E4

The winner will be announced on May 2 and will be presented with their award on stage at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 in Toronto.

For more information visit magazine-awards.com/oa

Have you heard about the new Digital Publishing Awards? Submissions for this new awards program–recognizing and rewarding excellence by Canadian digital publishers and content creators–are being accepted until February 16. Awards will be presented in 14 categories, including Best Video, Best Podcast Series, Best Digital Design, Best Feature, Best Visual Storytelling, Best Editorial Package and more.

Happy Holidays from the National Magazine Awards

From all of us at the National Magazine Awards Foundation, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Our offices are closed from Dec 23 – Jan 3, though you may still submit your entries for the National Magazine Awards online.

Check out all the categories, including Best New Magazine Writer, Best New Magazine Photographer, Best Magazine Brand, and Magazine of the Year.

The deadline for all entries is January 15. (Enter by January 11 for the early-bird discount.)

See you in 2016!

Call for Submissions: 39th annual National Magazine Awards

The 39th annual National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions at magazine-awards.com, recognizing excellence in Canadian magazine publishing in 2015.

If you’ve entered in the past, you’ll need to reset your password this year. If you’re new to the NMAs, click the option to register.

– 21 written categories
– 9 visual categories
– 5 integrated categories
– 4 special categories:
Magazine of the Year ]
Best Magazine Brand ]
Best New Magazine Writer ]
Best New Magazine Photographer ]

This year the NMAF will offer digital categories as part of the new Digital Publishing Awards programStarting January 4 you’ll be able to enter your tablet, web, video, podcast, multimedia and other content in the Digital Publishing Awards.

Reminder: Written & visual content from digital and tablet magazines and magazine websites is still eligible in most NMA categories.

Before logging into the online submissions portal, make sure you have the following:
– name & email of the author/creator & editor/art director of each entry;
– title, date and publication of each entry;
– PDF of each entry (see instructions for PDF specs)
– statement of your magazine’s editorial mandate (max 300 words)
– form of payment (credit card or cheque)

Hard copies of entries are only required for the categories Editorial Package, Magazine Covers, Best Single Issue, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Best Magazine Brand, and Magazine of the Year.

For most categories, the entry fee is $95 if you submit by the early bird deadline of January 11. For large and full-book categories, the entry fee is $150. For Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Magazine Photographer, the entry fee is only $25.

Are you the publisher of a small magazine (under $200,000 in annual revenue)? You may be eligible for the Small Magazine Rebate to receive 1 free entry to this year’s National Magazine Awards. You must apply by January 11.

– Early-bird deadline: Monday, January 11
– Final deadline: Friday, January 15

All Gold Medal winners in written and visual categories and some integrated categories receive a cash prize of $1000. Silver Medal winners receive $500. Winners of Best New Magazine Writer and Best New Magazine Photographer receive $500. All winners and finalists receive awards certificates.

Yes, freelancers as well as publishers and magazine staff members can enter their own work in the National Magazine Awards.

Review the NMAF’s Eligibility & Rules guidelines before submitting.

Got questions? We’ve got answers.

Enter the NMAs regularly? Not much has changed this year, except this.

Each year the NMAF recognizes an individual whose contribution to the Canadian magazine industry deserves special distinction. Nominations for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement can come from anyone in the industry. There is no fee to nominate someone. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2016.

There’s still time to nominate yourself or a colleague to judge for this year’s National Magazine Awards.

Finalists for all awards will be announced by May 2, and the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala will be held on June 10. The date of the Digital Publishing Awards event will be announced in the spring. Follow us on Twitter and on the Magazine Awards blog for news and updates.

Questions? Contact staff [at] magazine-awards.com.

Good luck to this year’s entries. We look forward to recognizing excellence in Canadian magazine publishing from 2015.