Best Practices: How to leverage your National Magazine Award


Did you win a National Magazine Award at this year’s gala? Were you a nominee? If so, we’ve created a guide just for you.

The NMAF is pleased to introduce the first volume of our Best Practices Guide. This guide is an extensive resource for how National Magazine Award winners and nominees can best leverage their recognition of magazine excellence.

The guide provides detailed promotional strategies, insightful personal testimony and plenty of other useful resources to help award winners and nominees best leverage and optimize their National Magazine Awards.

Click here to download the full PDF version.

Winners’ Circle Webinar

On November 25, 2015, the National Magazine Awards Foundation presented Winners’ Circle, an exclusive learning and networking event. More than 70 NMA winners and nominees gathered at The Spoke Club in Toronto’s King West district to meet, mingle, network and learn about how a National Magazine Award can be a boost to your career.

In addition to our Best Practices Guide, the NMAF has created this webinar to uncover other effective ways to leverage and optimize your National Magazine Award win. In a discussion led by D.B. Scott, three NMA winners–Penny Caldwell of Cottage Life, Matthew Blackett of Spacing and Katherine Laidlaw of The Walrus–share their best practices on how they leveraged their recognition of winning a National Magazine Award.

Please stay tuned for when we announce our next Winners’ Circle event.

Download this year’s National Magazine Awards Winners’ Seals here.

Watch other videos on our YouTube channel here.

Video: Apply for an Internship with the National Magazine Awards Foundation

Applications are being accepted until Friday, September 25 at 5pm. Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume and one letter of reference. For details visit:

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.

NMA 2015 Nominees: Top 5 Videos produced by Canadian Magazines

Last week the NMAF announced the nominees for the 38th annual National Magazine Awards, and one of the most exciting awards is the prize for best Online Video produced by a Canadian magazine. This year the judges have selected 5 finalists for the award. 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 Online Video are…

Andrew Tolson, Director
Jessica Darmanin, Producer
Chris Bolin, Videographer
David Zelikovitz, Video Editor
Canada in 2014: Yellowknife

Andrew Tolson, Director
Jessica Darmanin, Producer
Chris Bolin, Videographer
Michelle Turingan, Video Editor
Cool Jobs: Glass blower

Michael Petrou, Katie Engelhart, Reporters
Marta Iwanek, Videographer, Photographer
Andrew Tolson, Colin Campbell, Producers
David Zelikovitz, Editor
Andrew Sorohan, Yuliya Kocherhan, Ed Ou, Videographers
Ukraine in Crisis

Zach Ruiter, Director, Producer, Videograper, Video Editor
Ford Nation Folk Speak
NOW Magazine

Ariel Brewster, Jessica Leeder, Producers
Topher Seguin, Videographer
Emily Cumming, Director, Videographer, Video Editor
Contributors: Alexis Marie Chute, Chris Uglanica, Andrew Lauder, Dean Carter, Sun Ngo
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss: Alexis Marie Chute’s Story
Today’s Parent

Tweet: My favourite @MagAwards Canadian magazine video is... #NMA15Tweet us your favourite #NMA15 nominee for Online Video.

You can view the complete articles of all National Magazine Awards nominees at

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.

7 Things We Love on Cottage Life’s YouTube Channel

Canada’s reigning Magazine of the Year, Cottage Life, delights its readers with great storytelling, photography, DIY advice and other essential things for your cottage life.

The magazine’s broadcasting arm, Cottage Life TV and the Cottage Life YouTube channel, expand that mandate with everything from how-to guides for food, style and entertainment, to just plain outdoor fun. Here are some favs.

How to make a floating hot tub
DIY “Brojects” regulars Andrew and Kevin show off their innovative craftsmanship with an amphibious hot tub that floats in the lake. They almost can’t believe it worked!

Make your own all-natural bug juice
Ever read the label on a bottle of bug spray and wonder if you should just take your chances with the black flies? Try putting these 6 ingredients together:

Great smoked trout
Among the many great food preparation videos, this one takes you from the catch to the plate, via a regular propane bbq, with that most familiar and delicious of Canadian freshwater fish, the trout.

Bring in the Canadian Shield
A guide to creating a granite shield for your stove with Canada’s national rock.

Canoe on wheels
Because what if you need to hitch a canoe to your bicycle for the next portage?

Make your own beef jerky
Why not? It’s actually pretty easy.

How to make a zipline
To deliver beer from the cottage to the picnic table, obviously. Not so much a detailed “How-To” as it is “Hey, look what I did with my spare time.”

Discover more at the Cottage Life channel.

The nominees for this year’s National Magazine Awards will be announced on May 4.

Spacing Magazine launches Spacing Films with “Powers of Towers” documentary

Award-winning Spacing magazine, the urbanist’s go-to resource, continues to build on its successful brand–magazine, successful line of city swag, the new Spacing store on Richmond Street in Toronto–with this week’s launch of “Powers of Towers,” the first production of Spacing Films.

For the film’s production Spacing has partnered with Tangent Motion Pictures and Foxley Films, with financial support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

“Powers of Towers” profiles Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali, two remarkable people on the forefront of a revolution that’s transforming Toronto’s now aging suburban high-rise clusters into livable communities that work — and attracting the attention of the international planning community in the process. For their work, Stewart and Ali have been awarded the 2014 Jane Jacobs Prize presented by Spacing magazine.

More at

Feathertale Review trailer previews two beginnings, no end, to new issue

Video trailers for magazine issues are becoming increasingly popular, and this one from National Magazine Award-winning humour & literary magazine The Feathertale Review caught our eye today.

Check out the new issue. For more about Feathertale, check out our recent interview with founder and editor Brett Popplewell.

The Feathertale Review, issue no. 6, winner of Best Magazine Cover, 2010 National Magazine Awards
The Feathertale Review, issue no. 6, winner of Best Magazine Cover, 2010 National Magazine Awards

The submissions deadline for the National Magazine Awards is January 19. Don’t miss it!

Watch: 4 National Magazine Award-winning editors talk about Canadian Magazines

Last Thursday on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, four prominent Canadian magazine editors appeared together in conversation about the challenges and opportunities of magazine publishing and engaging readers in a digital age and in a crowded, shifting marketplace. (SPOILER ALERT: The answer to the digital-age question–“Will there still be print magazines in 10 years?”–is yes!)
  • Haley Cullingham, editor-in-chief of Maisonneuve
  • Sarah Fulford, editor-in-chief of Toronto Life
  • Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of The Walrus
  • Steve Maich, senior vice-president & general manager of Rogers Publishing and founding editor of Sportsnet
A few annotations:

When host Steve Paikin introduces everyone with their associated magazine, describing each as having won “Best Canadian Magazine of…” he is referring to the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year (or, in the case of Sportsnet, Tablet Magazine of the Year).

Toronto Life: Magazine of the Year 2007 (and 1985 & 1989)
Maisonneuve: Magazine of the Year 2011 (and 2004)
The Walrus: Magazine of the Year 2006
Sportsnet: Tablet Magazine of the Year 2013

Steve Maich is a member of the board of directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

Opening Video of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards

Smash reel of Canadian magazines nominated for the 37th annual National Magazine Awards, June 6, 2014. Produced by Relay Experience for the National Magazine Awards Foundation. Executive Producer: Melanie Lovell. Producer: Xavier Massé. Animation by Very Good Studios. Director/Senior Animator: Matthew Henning. Production Assistants: Tim Adams, Vikas Agarwal, Jitendra Singh. Audio Mixing: Joshua Hemming. Thank you to all the creators of Canadian magazine content.

A complete recap of the 37th annual National Magazine Awards.

Follow @MagAwards on Twitter. Check out our YouTube channel for more videos, include previous NMA smash reels.

Top Magazine Videos in Canada (Part 2)

For the second year the National Magazine Awards Foundation is recognizing excellence in the production of Online Video by Canadian magazines. This year’s 8 finalists were announced on May 1 along with the complete list of this year’s nominations. The winners will be revealed at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6. [Tickets]

Last week we profiled the first 4 nominees; here’s a look at second batch of finalists for Online Video.

Which do you think is best? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #OnlineVideo


“Les gentlemâles”


Title: Les gentlemâles
Credits: FarWeb.TV, Direction; Robert Boulos, Producer; Charles Grenier, Video Editor

Intimacy, family values and gender roles are discussed at liberty by three prominent Québécois actors, Vincent Graton, Christian Bégin and Réal Bossé.  Over the course of two hours, four cameras capture an intuitive, unfiltered conversation led by the subjects.


“Revising the Revolution”

MagazineReport on Business
Title: Revising the Revolution
Credits: Sven Creutzmann, Director & Videographer; Stephen Wicary, Hannah Sung, Producers; Clare Vander Meersch, Co-Producer; Julian Liurette, Douglas Peretz, Video Editors

The “cuentapropistas,” or Cuban entrepreneurs, have begun opening small businesses in certain local industries. Las Tres Mesallas is a restaurant that has sprung up in Havana. Owner Mireya Luis’ three gold medals in Olympic volleyball provide her the celebrity, while her husband chips in the recipes to keep her brand and restaurant thriving.


“Julie Cusson”

Title: Glow Artist Spotlight: Chanel Makeup Artist Julie Cusson
Credits: Alex Cirka, Director & Videographer; Samra Habib, Director & Producer; Ryan Bauer, Video Editor

Freelance and self-taught makeup artist Julie Cusson speaks about fashion photos and painting techniques that have inspired her work. Subtle lounge music plays in the background, bringing a relaxing atmosphere to her discussion on high fashion makeup products and her experience working with Chanel.


“Cold Comfort”

MagazineUnited Church Observer
Title: Cold Comfort
Credits: Kevin Spurgaitis, Director & Producer; Jill Kitchener, Video Editor; Chelsea Temple Jones, Contributor

This short documentary displays a night in the life of a church shelter through a touching profile of Waterloo, Ontario’s First United Church and its Out of the Cold program. It is a video testament on how the working poor and homeless are coping in today’s economic conditions.

Special thanks to Melissa Myers for the episode capsules.

See also:
Top 7 Fashion Spreads in Canadian Magazines
Top 10 Canadian Magazine Illustrations
Top 9 Infographics in Canadian Magazines
Top 6 Canadian Magazines for Art Direction
How Did They Create That Cover?

Top Magazine Videos in Canada (Part 1)

The Complete Collection (full-text articles) of all National Magazine Awards nominees.

Top Magazine Videos in Canada (Part 1)

For the second year the National Magazine Awards Foundation is recognizing excellence in the production of Online Video by Canadian magazines. This year’s 8 finalists were announced on May 1 along with the complete list of this year’s nominations. The winners will be revealed at the 37th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 6. [Tickets]

Here’s a look at the first 4 finalists for Online Video. Check back next week for our profile of the remaining 4 finalists.

Which do you think is best? Leave a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA14 | #OnlineVideo



Magazine: FILLER
Title: Vacant
CreditsNelson Lee, Director & Video Editor; Jennifer Lee, Producer; Michael Lockridge, Videographer

As a self-proclaimed “fashion magazine for culture junkies,” FILLER’s aptitude for marrying entrancing song with daring fashion is exemplified in a unique way in Celebrity Style & Fashion Films: Oldboy’s Pom Klementieff for FILLER Magazine. This video brings clothing to life by creating a world that compliments its style, offering a new fashion experience above and beyond that of the still photograph.



HH-Glassblower2MagazineCanadian House & Home
Title: Glassblower: Nick Chase
CreditsSheri Graham-Delagran, Director; Ryan Louis, Producer; Jason Stickley, Videographer; Patrick Malone, Video Editor

This candid portrait of a glassblower and his work explores how Nick Chase pairs organic leaf structures with man-made, glass-blown objects.  He shares the ways in which the inconsistencies in his pieces reflect emotional truths within himself.  This story allows viewers access into the mind and soul of a contemporary artist practicing a trade aged by centuries.


“One Room, Six Ways”

MagazineCanadian House & Home
Title: One Room, Six Ways
Credits: Sheri Graham-Delagran, Director; Ryan Louis, Producer; Jason Stickley, Videographer; Erin Gulas, Video Editor

An eye-opening exhibit of how to decorate a room, this video shows how artwork can liven up and personalize any space.  Creating six new moods while utilizing one furniture layout, Anya Shor and Manny Neubacher share a simple solution for anyone yearning to amp up their interior-design style.


“Boy Genius”

Title: Boy Genius
Credits: Jessica Darmanin, Michelle Turingan, Directors & Producers

Paul Wells’s interview with Kristine and Jacob Barnett creates the basis for this fascinating depiction of how one mother took her autistic son’s therapy into her own hands, releasing him back into their world.  This compelling story challenges medical expectations while uncovering the mathematical genius of an impressive young man.

Editor’s Note: Paul Wells’s story for the print edition of Maclean’s, “Boy Genius,” is also nominated for a National Magazine Award for Best Short Feature.


Special thanks to Melissa Myers for the episode capsules.

See also:
Top 9 Infographics in Canadian Magazines
Top 6 Magazines for Art Direction
How Did They Create That Cover?

Guide to entering Digital Content in the National Magazine Awards

This post has been updated for 2014

For the 2014 National Magazine Awards, original written and visual content published in a magazine tablet edition or on a magazine website (companion site of a print title or an online-only magazine) is eligible in most categories.

Specifically, you can enter content from tablet editions in ALL written categories and ALL visual categories, and you can enter content from websites in ALL written categories except Editorial Package, and in ALL visual categories except Art Direction.

Check out the digital magazine section of our FAQ for more information.

There are also 5 Special and Integrated categories which are open specifically to digital content in Canadian magazines:

Open to: Any Canadian tablet magazine or tablet edition of a print magazine published in 2014.
Criteria: The award for Tablet Magazine of the Year will go to a Tablet Magazine that successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of tablet publishing.
Entry Fee: $150 (early-bird by Jan 11); $175 (regular by Jan 19)
Meet last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner
: Sportsnet
More info

Open to: Any Canadian online-only magazine or companion website of a print title.
Criteria: The award for Magazine Website of the Year will go to a magazine website (either a companion site or an online-only magazine) that successfully fulfills its editorial mission by representing the highest journalistic standards and effectively serving its intended audience by maximizing the possibilities afforded by the medium of web-based publishing.
Entry Fee: $150 (early-bird by Jan 11); $175 (regular by Jan 19)
Meet last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner:
More info

Open to: Any original package of related or thematic editorial content produced by a Magazine Website.
Criteria: This award goes to the package of related online editorial content that maximizes the potential of web-based publishing and reflects collaboration by editors and content creators. Elements may include but are not limited to web design, written content, blogs, video, photography, infographics, illustration, social media and user-generated content.
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 11); $120 (regular by Jan 19)
Last year’s winner: enRoute (“Canada’s Best New Restaurants“)
More info

Open to: Any single video produced by a Magazine Website or Tablet Magazine.
Criteria: Eligible content must have been published during 2014, be clearly relevant to the magazine’s editorial mandate, and be part of an editorial process.
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 11); $120 (regular by Jan 19)
Watch last year’s finalists
Last year’s winner
: Maclean’s (“Boy Genius“)
More info

Open to: Any Canadian magazine website (online-only magazine or companion site of a print magazine).
Criteria: This award will go to Magazine Website with the most successful and original overall combination of visual and graphic design elements with functionality and user experience, including ease of navigation, readability of content, successful integration of audio/visual elements and a clear distinction between paid content/advertising and editorial content..
Entry Fee: $95 (early-bird by Jan 11); $120 (regular by Jan 19)
Last year’s winner
: The Walrus (
More info

The 2014 National Magazine Awards are open for submissions on December 1 at The deadline for all entries is January 19. Enter by the early-bird deadline of January 11 and save.

MagsBC offers workshops on video production

MagsBCLast year’s National Magazine Awards introduced a new category for Online Video, open to any single video produced by a magazine companion website or online only magazine. As more magazines look to boost online audiences and support creators through diverse digital projects, the new award recognizes these innovations in the Canadian magazine industry.

Similarly, the Magazine Association of British Columbia is offering two workshops — the first tonight, the second next Thursday, October 10 — on “Shooting, editing and uploading to the Web,” targeting magazine professionals who are “interested in attracting more readers and viewers, and expanding your skills and your magazine’s online presence by providing media content.”

The evening workshops, held at Langara College, are open to all magazine professionals, either as a staff member or a freelancer, as well as post-secondary students in publishing and journalism programs.

More info here.

Best in Canadian Magazines: At the 36th NMA Gala

Talking about the National Magazine Awards and Canadian Magazines. Video produced by Unbound Media. See more from the Magazine Awards YouTube Channel, including this year’s Opening Module.

The 36th National Magazine Awards Opening Video

Opening Module of the 36th National Magazine Awards, June 7, 2013. Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

Creative Direction – Xavier Massé; Animation – Matthew Hemming; Artwork Preparation – Joana Ferret; Music – Bustafunk; Remix & Foley – Joshua Hemming.

Check out all of this year’s National Magazine Award gold winners in the 36th NMA Gold Book. Visit for more info.

Full coverage of the 36th National Magazine Award Winners
Complete list of nominees and winners [pdf]

Meet the NMA Finalists for Best Online Video

A new category for this year’s National Magazine Awards, the award for Online Video will go to the best production by a magazine website or tablet magazine. This year there are 5 finalists, and the Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 36th NMA gala on June 7. [INFO & TICKETS]

And the nominees are:

1. “Condo Balcony Makeover” (Canadian House & Home):

What the judges said: “The perfect example of a how-to video. The hosts are casual and comfortable in their narration/explanation of the makeover. Visuals showing before and after are used to great effect. Strong editing and camera work carry this well-paced video that doesn’t leave out details and offers solutions in under three minutes.”

2. “Les coulisses du reportage mode Icônes” (ELLE Québec)

What the judges said: “Excellent use of interviews interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage to highlight this unique fashion shoot. The editing keeps the pace moving along quickly and the interview subjects are dynamic and interesting. It’s journalism with style.”

3. “Pagelicker 01: Irvine Welsh” (Hazlitt)

What the judges said: “A video that captures a moment and holds you there through intimate camera work,  a contemplative soundtrack, and a sense of honesty fuelled by humour and one nervous-yet-together host, who draws out kernels of information a conventional interview would miss. Creative, quirky and excellent production quality.”

4. “Reboot on Life” (Ottawa Citizen Style)

What the judges said: “The pace of this short video is spot on, and the illustrator does a great job of moving the piece along to the voices of the narrators. Excellent sound quality. The overall communication is clear and well paced. Perfect length. Effective and memorable.”

5. “Toronto’s National Anthem” (The Grid)

What the judges said: “A strong example of what web video should be. Simple, clean, short, and communicates everything it needs to in under two minutes. This playful, well composed song’s apathetic tone is matched by playful visuals and packaged in a solid edit. A catchy tune that captures the spirit of the city.”

Congratulations to all the nominees in Online Video. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 36th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 7 at The Carlu in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Meet the NMA Finalists for:
Art Direction for an Entire Issue
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Best New Magazine Writer
Magazine Covers

The making of a Sportsnet magazine cover

Sportsnet, the sharp new magazine launched a year ago–and which won a pair of National Magazine Awards earlier this year–just released this great video on how a magazine cover is created.

(Hat tip Canadian Magazines via J-source)

For more on Sportsnet‘s National Magazine Award-winning work, visit the NMA archives.

Opening Module of the 35th National Magazine Awards

Opening Module of the 35th National Magazine Awards, June 7, 2012. Sponsored by Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). Produced by Wolfson Bell. Creative by the 35th National Magazine Awards nominees and winners.

“Magazines Matter” video available to Canadian magazine industry

The opening montage from the 34th annual National Magazine Awards gala, June 10, 2011.

This video was produced by Wolfson Bell in partnership with the National Magazine Awards Foundation, and with the generous support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).

The NMAF is proud to make this video available free of charge for promotional purposes in the Canadian magazine industry, courtesy OMDC. Contact the NMAF office for more information on using this video.

Congratulations again to all our winners at the 34th National Magazine Awards. The submissions process for this year’s awards opens on December 1.