Winners’ Circle: an exclusive event from the National Media Awards Foundation

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On Tuesday, May 29, the NMAF will present Winners’ Circle, a special event that will bring together award-winning and nominated writers, editors, artists, art directors to meet, mingle, pitch and learn about the value of diversity.
All National Magazine Awards winners, and past and current finalists are invited to join us at One King West Hotel in Toronto, from 12pm to 2:30pm for this exciting learning and networking activity. The event is FREE and includes a lunch for attendees.
The Value of Diversity: A Panel Discussion
The two-part event will begin with a panel discussion moderated by the national columnist for StarMetro, Vicky Mochama. A regular columnist for the Toronto Star, Vicky writes about issues at the intersections of race, politics, gender and migration.
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Vicky will be joined by panel members Andree LauEternity MartisHadiya Roderique and Kyle Edwards for a discussion around the theme of diversity in the media.

 
Fast Pitch
After the panel presentation, it’s time to mingle and network with your peers. We’ll be facilitating introductions between writers, artists, editors and art directors. If you’re planning to attend and would like to have a chance to sit down with an award-winning writer/artist or an award-winning magazine editor or art director, let us know: events@magazine-awards.com.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you on May 29 from 12 to 2:30pm at One King West Hotel in downtown Toronto.
All nominees and winners from the National Magazine Awards are invited to attend. Contact us to RSVP or request more information. Please RSVP by May 23. Space is limited and available on a first come basis.

Joyce Byrne to Receive the 2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

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The National Media Awards Foundation (NMAF) is proud to present the 2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement to Joyce Byrne, publisher of Avenue Calgary at RedPoint Media & Marketing Solutions.
If you are passionate about Canadian publishing, you have met or worked with Joyce. Described as a “champion of magazines,” Joyce has an all-in approach to her work that makes her stand out.

“Joyce doesn’t look for easy,” notes Penny Caldwell, former editor and publisher of Cottage Life. “Since bursting onto the magazine publishing scene, she has consistently reached beyond her own sphere to help others.”

Just before launching her career in the early 2000s, Joyce took a publishing course with D. B. Scott at Ryerson University. There, she met Anicka Quin, who is now editorial director of Western Living and Vancouver magazines. Quin recalls the meeting: “[Joyce] was there with her wicked sense of humour, and she quickly stood out as one of the only ones there who was really ready to be a part of this industry.”
And ready, she was. During her tenure as publisher of This Magazine, from 2001 to 2005, the publication excelled on the business and editorial side.

This Magazine has only been nominated once in its 52-year history for Magazine of the Year at the National Magazine Awards and it was during Joyce’s time as publisher, a testament to her leadership and the excellent magazine it produced,” notes Lisa Whittington-Hill, Joyce’s successor and current publisher of This.

In 2005, Joyce left This Magazine in the capable hands of Whittington-Hill and moved to Edmonton, joining award-winning Venture Publishing as vice-president and associate publisher. There, she focused her work on Alberta Venture and unlimited magazines. In 2008, unlimited became the first Alberta-based magazine to win a National Magazine Award for Art Direction of an Entire Issue, a remarkable achievement for the team of the newly launched publication. During that time, Joyce also helped launch Eighteen Bridges, a literary magazine with an impressive collection of National Magazine Awards.
In 2014, Joyce moved some 300 kilometers south and became publisher of yet another celebrated magazine: Avenue Calgary. So brilliantly has she led the team of the award-winning lifestyle publication that her role was recently expanded to group publisher.
As a publisher, Joyce favors a collaborative approach.

“While she knows so much about the industry and magazines—from an encyclopedic knowledge of cover concepts published around the world to an up-to-the-minute grasp on the leading ideas about where the industry is going and how to improve sales—she is a great collaborator and listens to ideas and input from all levels of her staff,” affirms Käthe Lemon, editor-in-chief of Avenue Calgary.

“Of all the people I’ve worked for or with, I have rarely if ever had the opportunity to work with anyone more dedicated to the magazine publishing industry or who loves magazines more—indeed, I’m not sure such a person exists,” Lemon adds.
A quick glance at her career illuminates Joyce’s commitment to magazine publishing. Throughout the years, she has worked with magazines ranging in topics from trade, politics and literature to business and city life, and remains as passionate as ever about magazines. In addition to her role as publisher and her various pro bono commitments, Joyce still lends a hand as a proofreader for the semi-annual literary magazine Taddle Creek.

“Volunteering is something we’re all supposed to do, to give something back to our community and our industry,” observes veteran magazine writer David Hayes. “Most of us have the best intentions. Some of us manage one or two commitments around our busy lives. Joyce is a tireless volunteer for countless causes, mostly associated in some way with magazine publishing or writing, in addition to all her paid duties.”

To say that Joyce’s volunteer experience is impressive would be an understatement. She served as a director of Magazines Canada from 2002-2012, where she sat on the public affairs and small magazines committees, curriculum development task forces, and the professional development committee, which she chaired from 2007-2013. In addition, Joyce has served on program development committees for the Ontario Media Development Corporation, on the board of Word on the Street (Toronto)—where she helped develop the successful Canadian Magazines reading tent—and on the board of Edmonton’s Theatre Network. In 2008-2009, Joyce chaired the Advertising Club of Edmonton (ACE) Awards, and from 2010-2014, the Edmonton Cannes Reel Screening fundraiser for National Advertising Benevolent Society (NABS). In 2013, Joyce received the ACE Fellowship Award, and was also named to the NABS Honour Roll the previous year.
Joyce has also served as a director of the National Media Awards Foundation, including a two-year term as president, and still remains involved as a board member. An industry builder, she is currently president of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) and a director of both the National Advertising Benevolent Society (Western Chapter) and the International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA).
Her efforts are noted and lauded by colleagues.

“I would be hard pressed to find a publishing professional more enthusiastic, engaged and knowledgeable about the magazine media industry than Joyce Byrne. She is a champion of the industry—its people, products and readers,” says Suzanne Trudel, executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.

Earlier this year, AMPA recognized Joyce’s publishing expertise by awarding her its Achievement in Publishing Award.
For her dedication and enthusiasm for a stronger and more inclusive Canadian magazine industry, her tireless advocacy for service and volunteerism, and her inspiring leadership in magazine publishing, the National Media Awards Foundation is proud to honour Joyce Byrne, a self-proclaimed “magazine junkie,” with the 2018 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
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NOMINEES – 41st NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS
Finalists for the 41st National Magazine Awards will be announced tomorrow, May 1, 2018 at 10am ET on www.magazine-awards.comblog.magazine-awards.com and on Twitter at @MagAwards. The 41st National Magazine Awards gala is set for June 1, 2018 at the Arcadian Court.  Join us to Celebrate Canadian Creators. Tickets will be on sale on Tuesday, May 1.
 
ABOUT THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
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 everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously.
The Judging Committee of the National Media Awards Foundation considers the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of the National Media Awards Foundation selects the winner. For more information and previous winners, visit magazine-awards.com/oa.
Photo of Joyce Byrne by Jared Sych.

Off the Page: Terence Byrnes

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Terence Byrnes (Photo: Patricia Woodburn)

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. In this interview, we chat with Montreal-based writer and photographer Terence Byrnes. Last year at the NMAs, Terence was awarded the gold medal in the category of Photography: Photojournalism & Photo Essay for “South of Buck Creek.” Byrnes succinctly captures the premise of the photo essay by way of a subheading: “A Canadian memoir of black and white in America’s unhappiest city.”  Read on for Terence’s thoughts on maintaining sympathetic neutrality towards the residents of Springfield, Ohio; smart phones and the democratization of photography; and his advice for emerging photographers.

First, congratulations on winning gold at the NMAs for “South of Buck Creek,” published in Geist. Your photo essay describes Buck Creek as a “cabinet of wonders.” In your career as a photographer, have you found other subjects, or places, that could be described as such?

I shot for a while in Buffalo when that city was among the rustiest of rust-belt towns. The industrial desolation, abandonment, and sense of fallen empire were awe-inspiring. In a residential area, I saw a man, wearing only dirty white briefs, roasting a wiener in a hubcap where he had built a fire with twigs. This was at the end of a street of McMansions protected with black iron grillwork over every door and window. Is that a wonder? I don’t know.

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The essay portion of your piece notes that you took approximately 10,000 photos of Buck Creek, over a span of 45 years. How do you organize all of your photos?

Ten thousand was a guess. It’s more than that. Many are negatives, with some chromes. I worked from proof sheets to produce scans on a Nikon scanner. I moved to digital capture in 2003. Lightroom keeps track of it for me.

Do you have an absolute favourite from those 10,000 photos?

One day, I was photographing an oddly shaped building—it may even have been a skinny parallelogram—that housed a bar. “Bob City” was painted on one end of it. Railroad tracks, a sidewalk, and several streets converged and diverged behind the building, and dandelions had popped up in a patch of grass in front of it. I spent about 45 minutes finding the right position and height to put these elements into proper relation with each other. When I processed the film (this was probably 30 years ago) air bubbles had stuck to the best frame in the series, rendering it unusable. Wanting to salvage that frame eventually led me to early digital scanning of negatives and moved me out of the darkroom to the screen, where I patched the bubbles. I can’t say if this image was an “absolute favourite,” but it’s got a lot of history stored in it.

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Within the first few pages of the photo essay, we jump from the sixties with “Terria (1966)” to the early 2000s with “South of Buck Creek” (2001), then to the 90s, with “Joy (1999).” What were your intentions behind the non-chronological organization of this photo essay?

“Intuitions” is probably a better word that “intentions.” When you establish an order for a photographic series, some arrangements just look better. I suppose I want the eye to re-orient itself to the formal elements of each image so the photograph is actually seen. Also, ordering by year suggests development of some sort, or it implies a narrative. As it was, the images themselves were my first priority.

Very early on in the photo essay, you state that your role in Buck Creek shifted from spectator to participant. Certainly, that theme—of your enmeshment in the Buck Creek community—runs throughout: there’s the “crazy moment” when you “fantasized about adopting” one of the boys from the Vision for Youth residence; you carried the “Friends (1977)” photo around for years, hoping to eventually deliver it to one of the photo’s subjects, “scary guy.” What challenges came along with crossing that line from spectator to participant?

Great question. I had to maintain sympathetic neutrality toward everyone and to learn—more than once— that folks who looked down-and-out could be as smart, respectful, and as deserving of respect, as anyone else. Honesty and openness were crucially important. A subject might say, “Take my picture, but don’t ever use it,” and my agreement would have to be as good as gold.  People were blown away when I would come back a year later with free photographs. That’s how the street cred developed. Of course, there were rough spots and challenges that were both emotional and physical. I saw families living in misery and stripped of dignity thanks to bad luck, fear of gang activity, and profound physical and emotional disability (with no health care or institutional support). You want to help, but you can’t.

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“Marriage (1998)” features a woman in her bikini, with her two twin daughters. The narrative portion states, “In the later years of this project, women wouldn’t so easily agree to have their pictures taken. They were afraid, as one told me, that their faces would appear atop a nude body on the Internet.” It seems that while the Internet has encouraged people to document their lives—via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram—it’s also made it more difficult for photographers to act as the documentarian. Are there other ways in which the growth of social media and the shift to digital have impacted your career as a photographer?

Camera phones have, in a sense, radically democratized photography and, for many people, have done away with the cachet of the physical print. Academic criticism and identity politics have also had a less than salutary effect on the documentary form. Some months ago, I glanced outside my window here in the Point-Saint-Charles district of Montreal and saw an 11-year-old boy got up in a home-made superhero costume, holding a garbage can lid as a shield. I knew it was pure Arbus, but couldn’t resist. When I asked the boy if I could take a photograph, a teenage girl ran up and began shouting at me. Her assumption—thanks to her familiarity with internet images—was that I was about to do something that was immoral as well as illegal.

Your first camera was an Agfa Ambi Silette loaded with Tri-X film. These days, what’s your camera of choice?

Actually, before the Agfa, there was a Kodak “Pony,” which I had forgotten. You’ve caught me at a crossroads now, though. Should I move up from my Nikon D810 to the new D850 or switch to the mirrorless Sony A7R III? Probably the new Nikon.

In 2008, you published Closer to Home: The Author and the Author Portrait, which you had worked on for 10 years. That means that there was some crossover between the literary portraits and Buck Creek. What similarities were there between these two seemingly very different projects?

Both were closer to the subjects’ homes than to the studio. I tend to shoot on-site and to make it up as I go along. This can produce really banal results, but also great surprises in lighting, posture, expression, and mood.

What was the impact—personally and/or professionally—of winning a National Magazine Award?

I think it makes me an easier sell to editors who don’t know me. And if I pitch an idea, I’m more likely to be listened to.

What advice would you offer to a young photographer?

The advice I give myself is often so disastrous that I should keep my own counsel. That said, I think of current work that catches my eye. I love the work of Tamas Deszo, Sebastián Liste, and Ruth Kaplan. Or Michel Huneault’s photographs of Lac Mégantic after the train disaster. There are some wonderful documentarians out there who do far more than record event. I would have been interested in photographing the refugees/migrants who streamed across the border in Quebec’s Eastern Townships in the belief they would find a home in Canada. Good projects don’t have to be topical, but they do have to be fresh.


Previous to Byrnes’ NMA gold award, he received two NMA honourable mentions. The first was in 2009, for “The Imagined Portrait” published in Queen’s Quarterly. The second was in 2012 for “The Missing Piece,” published in The Walrus. For more information on Byrnes’ photography and writing projects, please visit his website

Interview conducted by Leah Edwards.

The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22. 

Off the Page: Daniel Fish

 

Michael Bryant is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a spl (1).png
Photo Credit: Ian Patterson

 

Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Daniel Fish, the senior editor of Precedent, a quarterly magazine curated for Toronto lawyers. Fish won the Gold medal for best professional article for his exclusive feature on former attorney general Michael Bryant. Precedent last won gold in 2014 for Raymond Biesinger’s illustration A Well-Oiled Machine.

How did it feel to be the first reporter at Precedent to win a National Magazine Award for writing?
It was super satisfying! We’d been recognized at the Canadian Business Media awards and the KRWs before but to have a piece of writing given some recognition by the best people in the business was huge. It’s not something that happens to everyone and there’s no guarantee that it will happen again. It wasn’t something that I expected, so it really was just a huge treat.
Can you tell me a bit about how your first got the Bryant story?
Sure! I guess that’s going back to the winter of 2015. Sean Robichaud, a criminal lawyer who runs his own law chambers, had mentioned to Melissa Kluger (editor and publisher of Precedent) that she might be interested to know that a high profile person just joined his new chambers—it was Michael Bryant. When she told me, I didn’t immediately know the story was going to have the kind of richness that would be required for a long cover story. But it was interesting enough, even just the fact that he was getting back into the game after people hadn’t seen him in so long would’ve at least justified a short front of book news piece.Screen Shot 2017-12-13 at 10.57.44 AM

Tell me about your reporting process.
I got in touch with him fairly quickly but didn’t hear anything for months. In the spring he responded to my initial email and said he’d be happy to chat about what the story might be about. After I met with him for the first time, I had an inkling of what the story might be: the attorney general who ran the justice system is becoming a criminal lawyer and starting to see some of the injustices in the criminal justice system that he was oblivious to when he ran it. That was what sold me and made me think that there might be more to the story. When I took it back to Melissa to talk to her about it I could say that there was something here that’s richer than just “here’s Michael Bryant becoming a criminal lawyer.” There was a kind of poetry to the story that we could pack in and make it a cover story.

Bryant published an autobiographical book called 28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Tragedy, and Hope in 2012, how did it influence your story?
The big blockbuster revelation in his book which I think people knew but he hadn’t spoken publicly about, was the fact that he’d struggled with alcoholism. He also talked about what happened on the day of the accident (1) and going through that experience. I think in that book he was pretty proud of his tenure as attorney general. So we had to think… the accident is old news, we certainly don’t want to re-litigate what happened, the fact that he struggled with alcoholism is also old news and so much had been written about him already. We really had to think what could we add to the story, what we could add to the next chapter in that book. I would also say that it’s a huge advantage to write about someone who has a published autobiography because an enormous amount of the work is done for you. I had not ever done that before, or since, and I wish every one of my sources would provide a full biography.

Did anything stand out to you while reporting?
I remember I interviewed his pastor because a big part of Bryant’s narrative was that after the accident and after he’d fallen away from politics, he started going to a non-denominational Christian charity in downtown Toronto. His pastor revealed to me that Byrant had considered becoming a minister and that he thought that maybe religion was going to fuel meaning in his life. The story only got richer the more that things went on.
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How was it to interview him? He’s known to be a bit gregarious.
He was a fun interview. There’s no question that he’s a very seasoned politician. But also as a politician he was sort of a straight shooter. I think journalists enjoyed talking to him because he didn’t necessarily stick to party line talking points. He was happy to sound off on what he thought was wrong with the justice system, he wasn’t mincing words.He had no problem saying that the presumption of innocence was a joke. He was a fairly easy interview subject.

How is this story different from others that you’ve worked on?
I guess we knew how much attention it was going to get from our audience and we knew that it was probably going to get more of a focus from the wider world as well. You know the next piece that I wrote on document review did well in the legal community, but I don’t think that people outside of it really picked it up which is fine, that’s not our goal. But I think we were aware that Michael Bryant is a bit of a lightning rod for controversy. We know that he is a polarizing figure to people both in the legal community and outside and we knew that people really didn’t know what had happened to him. We knew that it was going to make a certain amount of a splash upon publication.

What sort of feedback did you get when the piece came out?

The feedback was fairly positive, which was also gratifying. Overall both readers and people from outside of the legal world seemed to be inspired, which wasn’t necessarily the goal of the piece, but they were inspired nonetheless by him trying to make the most meaningful second half of his career as he could. I think people read it and were pleased to hear someone who once perched atop the justice system speak candidly about its flaws. I think people who are in the trenches (so to speak) of defense law—prosecutors and crowns—they know that the system has its problems and so to hear someone like Michael Bryant give voice to that was somewhat satisfying. And I think people just enjoyed the yarn. We don’t write that many 4500 word single profiles.

Fish recently wrote the cover story for Precedent JD (Precedent’s law student magazine) called Are There Too Many Lawyers? He is working on a project now that is exploring the link between mental health problems and the practice of law. You can follow Precedent on twitter here.
Interview conducted by Stephanie Philp.
The call for entries for the 2018 National Magazine Awards is open now until January 22.
(1) Bryant was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard in 2009. The charges were eventually dropped.

 

Thank You! From the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala, 26 May 2017, Arcadian Court, Toronto (Photo by Steven Goetz for the NMAF)

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards are in the books, and the NMAF would like to thank all of the amazing contributors, sponsors, partners, and everyone else who helped make this year’s awards program a successful and poignant celebration of Canadian magazine creators.
Thank you to Vanessa Wyse, Nicola Hamilton, and their team at Studio Wyse for creating and executing the look and feel of this year’s National Magazine Awards–including the gala program (right), tickets, stage design, and our social media design. We loved working with you!
Thank you to our three wonderful co-hosts–Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott–for leading the show and delighting the audience with their wit and honouring the nominees and winners with such grace.
Thank you to Alicia Elliott for delivering a bold and timely keynote address on the issue of cultural appropriation and the role of magazines in educating Canadians.
Thank you to our Special Guests at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala and those who sent special video messages to our nominees and winners:

  • Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada;
  • His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto;
  • Sally Armstrong, UNICEF Special Representative to Afghanistan, Amnesty International-recognized human rights journalist, and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • James Ireland, legend of Canadian magazine design and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Ken Rodmell, legend of Canadian magazine design and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Lynn Cunningham, Ryerson University Journalism School instructor and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Stephen Trumper, Ryerson University Journalism School instructor and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner (and his daughter Hannah);
  • Al Zikovitz, CEO of Cottage Life Media and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Paul Jones, long-time Maclean-Hunter and Rogers publisher, and former Outstanding Achievement Award winner;
  • Desmond Cole, 3-time National Magazine Award winner and Newstalk 1010 host;
  • Jennifer Varkonyi, publisher of Maisonneuve;
  • Peter McNeill, national director of KPMG Enterprise;
  • Hon Lu, National Magazine Award-winning writer;
  • Min Gyo Chung, National Magazine Award-winning illustrator;
  • Gilbert Li, award-winning art director and NMA judge;
  • Arjun Basu, senior vice president of Bookmark Content, NMA judge, and former NMAF president;
  • Marcel Courville, senior vice president of marketing at TC Transcontinental Printing;
  • Anna Principe, business development manager at Rolland Enterprises;
  • Jack Illingworth, literature officer at the Ontario Arts Council;
  • Laurie Smith, customer marketing manager at CNW, a Cision Company.

Thank you to our Judges–the 112 individuals who volunteered their time as peer experts in Canadian magazines, serving on our juries for the 40th anniversary awards.
Thank you to the 40 National Magazine Award winners who participated in our #40at40 anniversary story, where we asked 40 people to tell us about a magazine, a creator, or a magazine story that has had a big impact on their careers. [ See Twitter version | Download PDF version ]
Thank you to our Table Patrons who generously provided discounted tickets for nominated freelance creators:

Thank you to all our Sponsors and Partners for their enthusiastic support of the National Magazine Awards and Canadian magazine creators.
Thank you to the team at CCR Solutions for their production of the gala multimedia show.
Thank you to the team at Very Good Studios for their production of the nominees video.
Thank you to our wonderful staff and our Board of Directors for their hard work and guidance.
Thank you to Steven Goetz, our event photographer for this year’s National Magazine Awards. Check out the 2017 NMA photo gallery on our Facebook Page.



Check out all the photos here


Thank you to all our contributors to the 40th anniversary gala:
Program Editor: Richard A. Johnson
Program & Gala Art Direction & Design: Studio Wyse
Printing: Transcontinental Printing
Paper: Rolland Enterprises
Translation: Sophie Lecomte, Émilie Pontbriand
Copy Editing: Leah Edwards, Krista Robinson
Volunteer Coordination: Leah Jensen
Audiovisual Production: CCR Solutions
Nominees Montage: Very Good Studios
Production Interns: Eny Kuen, Leah Edwards
Outstanding Achievement Award Photography: Daniel Ehrenworth
Event Photography: Steven Goetz
News Release Distribution: CNW, a Cision Company
Chartered Accountants: Beckett Lowden Read, LLP
Caterer: Oliver & Bonacini
Venue: The Arcadian Court, Toronto
Special Thanks:

  • To our 40th anniversary Program Advisory Committee: Curtis Gillespie, Danielle Groen, and Kim Pittaway
  • To the Town of Huntsville, where Roy MacGregor’s original 1978 NMAF President’s Medal is now on display at the Canada Summit Centre Sports Memorabilia Collection.
  • To our hardworking event volunteers.

Congratulations to the participants, nominees and winners of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. We look forward to seeing you next year!