Over at the National Magazine Awards, we’re celebrating the last long weekend of summer by looking back at the best of the past 10 years in Canadian magazines. We’ve rounded up the smash reels that opened each gala, and we’re inviting you to reminisce with us. Sit back—ideally with a cold, summer beverage—enjoy these short, punchy videos, and vote for your favourite over on Twitter.
Regrettably, we are missing the smash reel from the 33rd annual NMAs.
Follow the National Magazine Awards on Twitter, and visit us on Facebook. The call for entries for the 43rd annual awards will open on December 1, 2019.
Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Linda moved to Toronto, Ontario (after stints in Hawaii and Mexico) in 1982. In 1985, the “story goes Linda took on the role of publisher of Brick on a dare,” says Laurie D. Graham, the current publisher of Brick. That dare lasted a remarkable 33 years, as Linda oversaw 75 issues of Brick. Linda was the “editor and sometimes publisher” says Kim Jernigan (Special Projects Editor, The New Quarterly), and now she “continues as the one of the magazine’s owners (a.k.a. Fairy-godparents).”
Throughout Linda’s 75 issue tenure at Brick, the magazine “underwent an unbelievable transformation… a complete editorial and design overhaul, really turning the magazine into something completely new—a transformation that would by any standards be thought of as a very risky undertaking, were it not so successful,” says Laurie.
With Linda at the helm, “Brick dared to be international,” Kim reminds us, despite existing in a time of literary nationalism, with funding dependent on publishing Canadian content. Pushing at the boundaries of Brick allowed the magazine to flourish within Canada and gain recognition globally. Linda’s transformation of Brick included publishing a multiplicity of content (photographs, drawings, handwritten letters, manuscript pages, meditations, field reports, essay length reviews, memoirs, and more) and voices.
Canadian novelist Michael Helm writes that, “until I found Brick, as a writer I’d been low on hope, and as a reader, starved for local amazements.” Kim echoes this sentiment, in that “it was Brick that allowed [her] to imagine there might be a place for a new writer.”
growing Brick, Linda published an
astonishing seven books, her novel “The Purchase” winning the 2012 Governor
general’s Literary Award. Earlier, in 2003, Linda received the Harbourfront
Festival Prize recognizing her contributions to the Canadian literary
Kim is careful to point out that Linda “paid attention to the bottom line, working to keep Brick solvent but not at the expense of its contributors.” Michael gives us a glimpse into Brick’s editorial meetings, in which Linda “was forever trying to find ways to give contributors more of the magazine’s meager funds.” It seems that throughout Brick’s transformation, Linda’s dedication to both established and emerging voices remained constant.
Constant, too, are the words by which Linda’s colleagues describe her: Kim speaks of her “editorial acumen and fierce determination,” reading submissions with “clarity, tact, and trenchancy.” Michael Redhill—in a letter to Linda, published in Brick—writes that he has been “lucky to encounter such ferocity, which is a sign of authenticity, because behind it is a person whose love can never be doubted and whose passion is so deep it’s a style.” This fierce love for Brick and its surrounding community makes the fairy godparent comparison all the more true. Linda Spalding spent 33 years working magic, turning the magazine into “more than the sum of its parts,” says Kim.
“To be part of Brick is to know that Linda is now in your corner, and that’s perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from her: that you can show care for the people who are making this magazine with you, that it is required of you to show care,” says Laurie.
the transformative role Linda has played in the Canadian magazine publishing field
and in the lives of Canada’s creators, the NMAF is incredibly proud to present
Linda with this year’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.
NOMINEES – 2019 NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS Finalists for the 42nd National Magazine Awards will be announced tomorrow, May 1, 2019 at 10am ET on www.magazine-awards.com,on Facebook and Twitter at @MagAwards. The 42nd National Magazine Awards gala is set for May 31, 2019 at the Arcadian Court. Join us to Celebrate Canadian Creators. Tickets will be on sale on Wednesday, 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. For more information and previous winners, visit magazine-awards.com/oa.
With excitement and anticipation, the NMAF is calling for nominations for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. This is our most prestigious award, presented annually to an individual whose work in, and contributions to, the Canadian magazine industry exemplify innovation and creativity. Creators, editors, publishers, art directors, circulation experts, and others are eligible, and previous winners have included Joyce Byrne, Penny Caldwell, Kim Pittaway, Kim Jernigan, Michael Fox, Stephen Trumper, Heather Robertson, Stephen Osborne, Jean Paré, and Sally Armstrong.
Anyone working in Canadian magazine may submit a nomination, which should include:
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.
Materials can be emailed to email@example.com. Note that March 1, 2019 is the nomination deadline, and that there is no cost to submit a nomination.
At the 42nd annual National Magazine Awards gala, we will proudly present the OA winner with their award. More information can be found at magazine-awards.com/oa.
Publisher Grand Prix
With this award, the NMAF strives to recognize the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms. Eligible platforms are various, and may include websites, special issues or other publications, mobile apps, social media platforms, television shows, podcasts, events, merchandising, or any other initiatives or forms of audience engagement. Entries are due by March 1, 2019. The inaugural recipient of this special award will also be announced at the spring gala. Click here for further details.
A recipient of the 2017 CJF-CBC Indigenous Journalism Fellowship, Julian is a correspondent at Real America with Jorge Ramos, contributing editor for Canadian Geographic and a freelance writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Paris Review and many other publications. He is a proud member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and a descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie.
Your article on the Tribal Canoe Journey mentions traditional oral histories. You make an interesting comment of how calling these stories legends or fables “infantilizes” them. Do you think this undermines the culture?
The direct answer is I think that it can. Words matter, and the language we use to describe them affects the way we think about them. I’d like to view all sorts of stories, whether they be more traditional origin stories or masterful multi-volume novels, as all part of an interrelated practice of storytelling.
How important do you consider these traditional stories to Indigenous culture, in terms of understanding the culture and continuing it?
I think they’re obviously important, but so are new writers and novels. For example, Tommy Orange’s book There There. They’re all very important.
The story of the first symbolic canoe expo, coming out of a centennial celebration, and your description of it as “Thanksgiving in reverse” was also interesting. Canada recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, and there was much discussion in the Indigenous community about what that meant in their history. Do you think these moments in time, where there is a heightened lens on Indigenous issues, could be turned around to an advantage, like the examples in your article?
Yes. I think there’s a way of seeing these events as somewhat one-sided, but I think it’s often more complicated than that. If we look back at Canada 150, Canada’s celebration of its 150 years was, in comparison to other centennial celebrations in Canada, quite cautious and tepid. At the same time, Indigenous protests of and counter-narrative to Canada 150 was really powerful.
I do think that is ultimately what can happen, especially when we have such a strong Indigenous movement like we do today.
How have you learned to respond to? Your article features some inner monologue about how you would have liked to respond, but didn’t. Have these gotten any closer with experience?
I would say that it’s always sort of a process, knowing that is the climate and structure we are up against, but also becoming increasingly confident and comfortable in our own skin. And believing that despite forces aligned against us, we can come into these spaces and succeed. In the world of journalism, we can show up at newspapers and magazines, and write stuff just as good or maybe even better than our peers. We can go into the halls of power and political situations, into jobs and corporations, and do a kick ass job.
In that one instance, it was quite a challenging experience for me, even when I reflect back on it. But ultimately it also did prepare me for the next interview where that happens, the next situation where my race leads people to challenge me, question me, or undermine me in particular ways.
What was it like interviewing Connie Walker, who’s such a prominent Indigenous journalist, as a young Indigenous journalist yourself?
I think what’s really cool about journalism is that you get to talk to all these awesome people. Connie Walker was an awesome person to talk to, but there’s also been many other cool Native and non-Native people I’ve had the opportunity to talk to. That’s what I find really cool about journalism. That opportunity not only just to write the story, but to talk to people who are experts, who have lived the experience you are trying to relate to your readers.
In your interview, she mentions how she is almost now exclusively reporting on Indigenous issues, where ten years ago there was little to no interest. Do you agree it’s an opportune time for young Indigenous writers to have their voices heard?
Absolutely. [In that interview] we talked a lot about digital technology. There’s a lot more opportunity for entry. There’s more blogs, there’s new publications starting up all the time. There’s a lot of writers who get their start on Facebook and Twitter. For Indigenous writers, a community who has something to say and add to the conversation, that technology shift is a big opportunity to us.
On the flip side though, I worry sometimes that there is going to be, as Harold Cardinal [Cree writer and political leader] wrote about in the 60s and 70s, a “buckskin curtain”. That we will be confined to reservations of not just literal geography, but also of political discourse, of journalism, of career opportunities. That we will be constantly cast as Indigenous people who only talk about Indigenous issues.
And to me, on a continent that has taken so much from First Nations, everything is in some way an Indigenous issue. And Indigenous people should have a say on all of the issues of the day, whether that be the rights of our community, or questions of economic equality, justice or immigration. We clearly have something to say about all of these things.
Do you think Indigenous people have a certain responsibility to their culture? To learn it, and continue it. In a way that other cultures may not with the same urgency? And how would you suggest going about this? You’re an accomplished writer and activist, but how can anyone become involved?
I think all cultures have a lot to offer. I think culture is just fundamentally cool, and I don’t think that it is exclusively an Indigenous thing. Obviously, we have a particular history of our culture being under attack. So I think that creates a certain imperative to maintain, strengthen and carry forward our culture, but I think those cultures are constantly changing.
Our culture is not exclusively the traditions of our grandparents, or the generations before them. They’re also the things that Native youth are today with in Winnipeg with hip-hop, Native actors and directors are doing today in Vancouver, or any of the things our fantastic writers are doing with the written word. I think that it’s all of those things.
What are some of your next projects, or goals for the near future?
I have conversations constantly with different publications about articles that I’m writing. I recently got back from Paris where I spoke at the Festival America, which is a North American-focused literature festival. I’m writing a couple of pieces about that, about the history of Indigenous travellers in Paris, and Indigenous artists and writers passing through there today. Playing with the question of “What is Indigenous Paris”? And in the longer term, I’d love to write a book. I’ve been getting queries from publishers and agents, and I’m in the early stages of figuring out what that book would be about.
Julian Brave NoiseCatis a correspondent at Real America with Jorge Ramos, contributing editor for Canadian Geographic, and freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Paris Review, and many other publications. He was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, Best New Magazine Writer in 2018. A proud member of the Canim Lake Band Tsq’escen and descendant of the Lil’Wat Nation of Mount Currie, he resides in Washington, D.C.
Interview conducted by Tobey VanWeston.
Submissions for the 42nd National Magazine Awards are now being accepted! Magazines and creators are invited to submit their best work of 2018 in 29 categories, including the prestigious Best New Magazine Writer category. The final submissions deadline is January 18, 2019. Click here to begin the submissions process.
Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. In this interview, we catch up with Lauren Tamaki. Lauren is a Canadian illustrator who currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. At the 41st annual NMAs, Lauren won Gold in the category of Illustration, for “Get the Scissors,” published in The Walrus. Read on to learn more about her creative process, use of acrylic ink, and future projects.
The visuals you created for this comedic piece balanced perfectly with a harsh reality for women everywhere. You bridge the gap so seamlessly between the text and visual and you and Scaachi perfectly complement each other to appreciate humour all the while documenting hardship. The story challenges cultural codes and conventions of femininity—did you consider the social undertone a privilege or a responsibility to represent in your work, and what were the most important story arcs in Scaachi’s editorial that shaped your work?
When illustrating an article, I feel responsibility to the author! Because Scaachi’s book (the piece was an excerpt from her book One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter) is about the experience of a woman of colour and women’s bodies, it’s inherently political. The STRUGGLE was what I wanted to communicate in the illustration; you feel the desperation mount as the story progresses!
The projects featured in your online portfolio experiment with a lot of watercolour. Do you like to be variant with your use of media choice and do you strategically chose particular media for each project you do?
Everything you think is watercolour on my site is actually coloured acrylic ink. I think choice of medium and the application of that medium plays a big part of a final piece—black ink can be swooshy and fun or very precise, for example. I chose to go with frantic pencil vibes for Scaachi’s story because it suited the mood perfectly (tornadoes of scribbled hair, etc).
On your website, you have completed illustrations under the subject ‘Runway’ in your Fashion and Beauty category. In comparing these two projects from the ‘model’ to dealing with body image and identity, how did you shift gears into “Get The Scissors” to offer a distressing dressing room experience instead of a glamourous one?
It’s a joy and a responsibility to depict women of all shapes and sizes. It’s not a hard mental shift for me to go from fashion to something more realistic. The story did not call for a glamourous vibe—it details something SO many of us have gone through, so I wanted it to be grounded. Even though Scaachi is a pretty glamorous woman, she keeps it real, as the kids (used to) say.
In 2017, you sketched the Bill Cosby Trial for The New York Times. In 2009 you graduated in Fashion Design and in 2011, you went on to graduate with a second Bachelor of Arts in Design. What initiated the transition from fashion and design into editorial art?
I always knew I wanted to be an illustrator… my fashion design degree was a way of putting it off, to be perfectly honest. I worked in the fashion industry only eight months before I went back to school for Visual Communications at ACAD, which was the best decision of my life! All I’ve ever wanted to do is draw.
In the future, in what area and for which platform to do you want the focus of your work to be in?
More fashion please! I know I’ve been downplaying the whole fashion thing, but I do really really love it. I was never meant to make clothes, but I sure do love drawing the visions of fabulous designers. I’ve also always wanted to do a series for an opera (COC, looking at you) or a series for a theatre season!
You have worked with an extensive list of clients and your ‘bragging’ section online is an archive of recent awards, including your NMA award. What does your Gold Illustration Award mean to you as an artist?
It was quite a surprise! The Walrus submitted the illustration, which meant I forgot about it, so when I got the email about the nomination, I was like… neat!!! When I walked into the awards show and saw the scale, the time and care that had been put into every aspect, then I started to get nervous! Winning the gold was very unexpected. The Scaachi illustration was simple and the other nominees had really involved, detailed pieces! I was blown away. The fact I made an illustration in a style I care about won something? Incredible.
Which Canadian publication is on your radar to work with next?
I would love to illustrate more books and there is no shortage of incredible publishers in Canada—Tundra, Drawn & Quarterly… In terms of magazines, there are so so many beautiful Canadian publications… and they all should call me! Haha! Also, 48 North just released a stunning magazine called Latitude that I’d love to work on.
In addition to her National Magazine Award, Lauren has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Society of News Design, and American Illustration. Her most recent project involved illustrating Caroline Paul’s book, You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World (Bloomsbury, May 2018). You can read more about Lauren’s work here.