2021 National Magazine Awards Nominees Announced

The National Media Awards Foundation is thrilled to reveal the finalists of the 44th annual National Magazine Awards.

The National Media Awards Foundation is thrilled to reveal the finalists of the 44th annual National Magazine Awards. This year, we received submissions from 160 various publications across Canada, amounting to over 1000 entries. Our dedicated roster of 114 volunteer judges evaluated these entries, and we are pleased to present this list of 210 finalists. Click here to view the full list.

On June 11th, the winners will be revealed during a virtual ceremony hosted by Sandra E. Martin. Gold winners in writing and visual categories will receive a $1000 cash prize. Please join us in congratulating these incredible finalists!


The Walrus22
Toronto Life15
Cottage Life7
Inuit Art Quarterly7
Nouveau Projet6
The Narwhal6


  • Katherine Laidlaw’s “A Family Massacre,” published in Toronto Life, is a finalist in Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting.
  • “A Planner’s Guide to Dying,” published in Reader’s Digest Canada, earned nominations in Illustration and Service Journalism. 
  • With nominations in both Art Direction of a Single Article and Lifestyle Photography is Cottage Life’s “At the End of the Highway.”
  • “Heartbreaker,” written by Katherine Laidlaw and published in Toronto Life, received two nominations in the categories of Investigative Reporting and Long-Form Feature Writing: 6000+.
  • Last year, Arvin Joaquin was a finalist for Best Emerging Writer. This year, Joaquin’s “Inside the second wave of the HIV epidemic in the Philippines” is a two-time nominee, in Long-Form Feature Writing: 6000+ and Personal Journalism. 
  • Ryan David Allen is one of this year’s Best Emerging Writer nominees for “Labour of Love,” published in Maisonneuve. “Labour of Love” is also a finalist in the Essays category. 
  • “Letters to America,” appearing in Maclean’s, is a finalist for Best Editorial Package and Issue Grand Prix. 
  • BESIDE’s “Nuna” received nominations in Personal Journalism and Photo Essay and Photojournalism. 
  • “State of erosion: the legacy of Manitoba Hydro,” published by The Narwhal, is a nominee in Photo Essay and Photojournalism and Portrait Photography. 
  • The Walrus’ “The Age of Surrender” received nominations in both Illustration and Long-Form Feature Writing. 
  • “The New Lobster Wars,” written by Zoe Heaps Tennant and published in The Walrus, is a finalist in Investigative Reporting and Long-Form Feature Writing: 6000+.
  • Brian Banks’ “Tiny Fish to Big Picture,” published by Canadian Wildlife, is a two-time nominee in Long-Form Feature Writing and Profiles. 
  • The Feathertale Review’s Issue 25 received nominations in the coveted Art Direction Grand Prix and Issue Grand Prix categories. The publication is also in the running for Best Magazine: Art, Literary, and Culture. 
  • lstw magazine is a finalist for Art Direction grand Prix, Publisher Grand Prix, and Best Magazine: Special Interest. 
  • SAD Mag’s Issue 29: Sex is nominated for Art Direction Grand Prix and Best Editorial Package.


Award sponsored by the Reader’s Digest Foundation

This award is given to the individual whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year’s three nominees are:

Ryan David Allen for “Labour of Love” published in Maisonneuve Magazine.

“‘Labour of Love’ blends memoir and journalism to create a vivid portrait of a father’s alcoholism and humanizes a group that is often overlooked. It adds up to a compelling argument about the folly of viewing public health issues as deficiencies in people’s character, leaving the management of complex health and social issues to untrained individuals and their families, and how the pandemic has affected marginalized communities.” — NMA Jury

Sherina Harris for “The Butterfly Effect” published in The Walrus

“‘The Butterfly Effect’ is a succinct and yet layered exploration of a fascinating topic—tackling climate change, gentrification and conservation—and stands out for its organization and lively detail. Harris expertly weaves storytelling with research and reporting, which not only makes for a compelling read but one that inspires change. It would have been impressive had it been written by a senior writer. That it comes from an emerging journalist makes it all the more remarkable.” — NMA Jury

Jadine Ngan for “A Lonely Year on Campus” published in The Walrus

“Through strong interviews and carefully chosen details, ‘A Lonely Year on Campus’ creates sympathy for post-secondary students, a cohort all too easily dismissed during the pandemic. The writer’s confidence and maturity is abundant, and the article is a pleasure to read.” — NMA Jury



The title of Magazine Grand Prix will be given to one publication among the four winners of the Best Magazine awards and presented at the upcoming winners’ celebration in June.


After careful consideration, our Board of Directors made the decision to postpone awarding this prestigious award. Rest assured that applications from 2020 will automatically be kept on file and considered for the 2021 awards season. The winner will then be presented, on stage, at the spring 2022 event. This was a difficult decision, but we look forward to awarding the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement when it is safe for the industry to gather and celebrate. 

Credit Changes & Additions 

If you would like to make any credit changes or additions, please send details to staff@magazine-awards.com with subject line “NMA Credit Change.” The deadline for credit changes and additions is Monday, May 17, 2021 at midnight ET.


The National Media Awards Foundation is incredibly grateful for the support of: the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council and Ontario Creates. We are also thankful for the support of Reader’s Digest Foundation, CCR Solutions, Cision , Very Good Studios and Magazines Canada

A special thank you to the Rethink Canada team, who created this year’s stunning visuals and animations. 

Thank you to Vesselin Stroumsky, for developing the NMAF’s online submissions and judging platforms.

Our deepest gratitude to our roster of volunteer judges, who spent countless hours carefully evaluating the entries in this year’s competition.