Holiday Magazine Subscription Guide

Looking for that perfect (okay, perfect last-minute) stocking stuffer? Do they love to read, laugh, cook or shop? Do they love great writing, photography and illustration? Then stuff a great, National Magazine Award-winning magazine in that stocking. Here are some of our favourites from 2016. (And for more ideas, check out our holiday book guide, with new books by NMA-winning writers.)

A quarterly magazine of arts, literature, ideas and culture, published in English in Montreal. You’ll find a great mix of new and established writers, artists and photojournalists packaged around award-winning design. A perfect magazine for an afternoon on the sofa or a long train ride home. Also, it’s Canada’s Magazine of the Year in 2016 (1 of 5 NMAs it won this year), so you know every issue is a must-read.
2 years (8 issues) for just $30

Absolutely required magazine reading for any foodie and aficionado of food culture. Ricardo won the National Magazine Awards for Best Brand and Best Service Editorial Package, and delivers recipes, dinner party plans and lots of other great ideas.
6 issues for $30, plus a gift, a free iPad edition, and 15% discount at the online store

Eighteen Bridges
Winner of 4 National Magazine Awards in 2016 including Essays and Investigative Reporting, this thought-provoking magazine of longform journalism published in Edmonton is consistent in introducing readers to Canada’s best writers and important stories.
4 issues for $26

CNQ: Canadian Notes & Queries
Winner of the 2016 National Magazine Award for Fiction, CNQ publishes some of this country’s finest literary criticism, poetry, graphic works, and short fiction.
1 year (3 issues) for just $25

Winner of the 2016 National Magazine Award for Poetry, Vallum is one of Canada’s very best publications for poetry and literary reviews, and regularly features Canada’s best poets as well as emerging ones.
1 year (2 issues) for $20

Globe Style Advisor
Also a winner of 4 National Magazine Awards in 2016 for its photography and design, Globe Style is one of our favourites for fashion and style journalism. Get it with your Globe & Mail subscription. And you can get award-winning Report on Business magazine, too.

Western Living
An award-winning magazine of design, decor, lifestyle and more, Western Living was a 2016 National Magazine Award winner and consistently delivers quality ideas that are in line with the latest and greatest trends.
1 year (10 issues) digitally for just $18

The Feathertale Review
A literary magazine dedicated to great humour (twice an NMA winner in that category), Feathertale makes a great gift for anyone who loves to laugh and enjoys the lighter side of CanLit.
1 year (4 issues) for $30

Cottage Life
A Canadian tradition in a magazine, Cottage Life is not only the perfect companion to country living in all four seasons, it mixes practical advice with award-winning journalism. Don’t go into the woods without it.
1 year all access print and digital for $30

Check out all the winners from the 2016 National Magazine Awards for more great gift ideas.

Submissions are now being accepted for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. Read all about it and enter at Deadline January 20

NMAF Announces New Strategic Initiatives & Board Members

[This post has been updated.]
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

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 McNeill 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 ‪ 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.

Dan McPhee is Head of Media Platforms at Google Canada. He is a trailblazing sales and marketing strategy thought leader, specializing in helping organizations capture market share while improving their bottom line. Combining deep business knowledge with a complete understanding of today’s consumer, Dan transforms business units into profitable market leaders that know how to win, and win the moments that matter.

Erin Millar is the Co-Founder and CEO of Discourse Media. She is an author, public speaker, magazine writer, and former president of Canadian University Press. She has reported from 15 countries around the world and her work has been translated into 34 languages. She teaches journalism at Quest University.

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.

Top 10 Best Issues of Canadian Magazines | NMA 2016 Nominees

The judging is complete and the nominees for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards have been announced. This year the judges have selected 10 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 10 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto. [Tickets & Gala Info].

And now, we invite you to learn more about the magazines that made top 10:

Air Canada enRouteThe Food Issue


The entire November 2015 issue actively delivers on supporting the development of a national food identity, promoting the contributions of new and established Canadian chefs, sommeliers and industry players and fostering a sense of community from farm to kitchen to table. This issue is shaped around culinary themes, from front of book personality profiles to culinary-minded hotels.

This issue includes features on the new concept restaurant/performance space from the Adrià brothers and Cirque du Soleil, how one sustainable Caribbean destination is taking resort food out of the international buffet trough and into local hands, and also a look into the happy hour scene in Austin. The goal of this issue was to dish up tasty and thoughtful stories and to whet the appetite for great food as well as knowledge.

AzureToronto, A City on the Rise


This issue celebrates three decades of Azure by highlighting some of the most exciting architecture and design underway in Toronto. With stories looking into how Union Station’s expansion is addressing the city’s need for citizenry, how architects, city planners and developers worked together to host PanAm athletes in the pre-sold but not-yet-occupied waterfront condominiums and also how the city has attracted top-calibre architecture, through an in-depth look at the Aga Khan Museum and Ismali Centre in Don Mills.

This issue represents what Azure is all about: presenting the future of design in a format that encourages readers to get excited about the great changes to come – and those that are underway.

Cottage LifeThe Hot Issue


The centrepiece of this issue is the Canoe Love package, which consists of two parts: an essay about the canoe and its special place in our national consciousness and also a collection of anecdotes from readers about “courting” with their own canoes, complete with original photography and quirky illustrations. Together these pieces hit the right balance of entertainment and information, in true Cottage Life-style.

Readers will also come across a profile of entertainment expert Trish Magwood, a story about the latest dockside accessory, the portable fire pit, an in depth look at the dragonfly and also a look at the hottest trends in décor from international design superstars Colin & Justin.

explore – Winter 2015


For their Winter 2015 edition, explore delivered on their mandate and epitomized the “live the adventure” ideal with great vigour. Working with writers, illustrators and photographers – both seasoned and new contributors – these diverse voices helped to deliver an exhaustive anthology of content that both accurately reflects their reader demographics and offers story angles that are fresh and unique.

Articles take readers through a one-of-a-kind backcountry skiing trip into Banff National Park, a floe-edge exploration in Nunavut, a youth-at-risk outdoor education program in British Columbia and an extreme race in Yukon. In addition, there is a dynamic service article, profiles, a how-to guide and product reviews.

FlareICYMI Issue


This is a clever, cohesive and incredibly vocal issue that exemplifies FLARE’s new millennial positioning – and non-conformist spirit. The issue dismantles the magazine’s existing architecture and rebuilt it as a year-in-review issue, exploring a wide array of topics such as what it’s really like to be young and trans in Canada, a look at why otherwise genius designers can’t distinguish between cultural appreciation and appropriation, and also recapped the year in feminist outrage.

Visually, the entire issue was treated as an editorial package, playing up graphic shapes, designing new typographic look-ups specific to the issue and colour coding each department in lieu of section openers.

Legion Magazine – The Fight for Italy


The goal for this issue was to produce a bold, definitive words-and-pictures publication that would convey the significance of the bravery and sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers more than 70 years ago to Canadians of all generations today.

Bursting with dramatic historical photography and artwork, colourful and detailed maps and infographics and original spot illustrations, the story of the fight for Italy comes to life in this issue’s pages.

Nouveau ProjetSpring/Summer 2015


This issue is dedicated to the new boundaries – both tangible and and less tangible – of modern Québec. The territorial limits are sometimes contested by cultural barriers and linguistic persistence (or not). Through the eyes of foreign migrants and symbolic borders, Nouveau Projet unfolds the concept of borders and the various incarnations currently in Québec. This issue includes stories on the Anticosti Island, architecture in the North, the border between Newfoundland and Labrador, the story of three refugees and also the unusual path of writer Guillaume Morissette, who left the Saguenay to seek literary fame in the English-speaking sphere.

Stories about solar power in Québec, innovative uses for urban underpasses and the state of the “sharing economy” are also included in this issue, as well as essays, critical commentary, poetry, etc.

Sportsnet What it’s Like to be Connor McDavid Right Now


The cover story of this issue tells the story of Connor McDavid; a young man who is on the cusp of superstardom, but all the while remains a teenager at heart. The story was a huge exclusive on a huge name. Another uniquely Canadian story is that of “Gulu Rises” which follows a Canadian man’s journey of starting a soccer club in the tiny Ugandan town of Gulu, hoping to give its children – and by extension community – a chance at a better life.

Aside from these two gripping features, you’ll find a quirky story about an athletes love of meteorology which exposes the real-life passion of a superstar, a story about pro football’s first openly gay player, as well as CFL previews, interviews and columns from Canada’s best sports writers.

Up Here The Fish Issue


This issue hopes to leave readers with a hearty appreciation for all the fish that contribute to the diet, the art, the history and the economy of Northerners, while remaining interesting to non-fish-nerds. Stories about the lakes in the Northwest Territories – on an ecological level – becoming the new Galapagos, how a family built a fishing lodge empire that built up a loyal, affluent clientele and also a look at why the North’s fishing industry isn’t booming. This issue also contains a look at career opportunities for young graduates, the party-spot Legion in Iqaluit and a pickers guide for the summer morel mushroom boom.

In addition to these stories, readers will also find beautifully photographed fish recipes, as well as other photography showing fish like you’ve never seen them before, in their pristine underwater habitat. The Up Here team jokingly refers to this edition as their “fissue.” Ha!

Western Living Magazine – Designers of the Year, September 2015


The September issue is always Western Living’s biggest and most exciting issue of the year, as it features their Designer of the Year awards; a celebration of the best designers in Western Canada, from architecture to interiors to fashion. Over 800 designers and architects attend both events, resulting in a space for the local design community to connect and celebrate their work together.

In addition to extensive coverage of the awards, this issue explored the inner workings of Canada’s most iconic hotel, the Fairmont Banff Springs and also shared insider tips for exploring New York’s best neighbourhoods. The remaining pages of their newly over-sized issue includes interviews, photography, designer tips and must-try recipes.

Which is your favourite? Leave us a comment or tell us on Twitter: @MagAwards | #NMA16.

Tickets are on sale for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 10 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Meet the National Magazine Awards nominees for:
Best New Magazine Writer
Best New Magazine Photographer
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Single Service Article Package

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
Portrait Photography
Words & Pictures

Complete nominations coverage

Special thanks to Leah Jensen for her reporting.

2016 NMA Nominees: Best Art Direction of an Entire Issue

For this year’s National Magazine Awards the jury has selected 9 finalists for the category Art Direction for an Entire Issue. This award is generously sponsored by Transcontinental Print. Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 39th National Magazine Awards gala on June 10. Tickets are on sale now.

Here are the nominees for Best Art Direction for an Entire Issue:

Azure, Toronto: A City on the Rise | Karen Simpson, Art Director


Caribou, Restaurants | Tania Jiménez, Art Director

Chatelaine, December 2015 | Alicia Kowalewski, Art Director

Globe Style Advisor, Fall 2015 | Bryan Gee & Benjamin MacDonald, Art DirectorsGSA

New Trail, The Future of Everything | Marcey Andrews, Art DirectorNT

Prefix Photo, Natural Resources | Underline Studio, Art DirectionPrefix

Report on Business, Fallout | Domenic Macri, Art DirectorROB

Toronto Life, Where To Eat Now | Christine Dewairy, Art Director


Western Living, Designers of the Year 2015 | Paul Roelofs, Naomi MacDougall, Jenny Reed, Art Directors


Congratulations to all the nominees in Art Direction for an Entire Issue. The Gold and Silver winners will be revealed at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala on June 10 at The Arcadian Court in Toronto. [INFO & TICKETS]

Tickets are on sale for the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, Friday June 10 at the Arcadian Court in Toronto.

Special thanks to Leah Jensen for her research.

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

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

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

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

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.