Gillmor grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and graduated from the University of Calgary in 1977. He is a novelist, journalist, and children’s book author, and is the recipient of 11 National Magazine Awards medals and 41 National Magazine Awards honourable mentions.
His collection of NMAs began in 1991, when he won a silver medal for “Dangerous Liaisons,” published in Saturday Night. Most recently, in 2016, he received a silver medal for “A Poet Self-Destructs,” published in The Walrus. In the 25 years between, Gillmor has earned honourable mentions “in categories ranging from Essays to Profiles to Personal Journalism to Arts and Entertainment to Travel to Short Feature to Politics and Public Affairs to Editorial Package to Humour to Lifestyle to Business to One of a Kind to Sports and Recreation to Social Affairs to Investigative Reporting to Fiction to Environmental Journalism,” notes Dianna Symonds, freelancer editor, former managing editor of Maclean’s, and editor of Saturday Night. She goes on to ask, “Is there any category in which he hasn’t had a nomination? Perhaps Poetry.”
Aside from Gillmor’s remarkable NMA track record, Gillmor was involved with The Walrus as contributor and editor, and was a longtime contributing editor at Saturday Night—two of Canada’s most recognizable magazines. He has written “for Maclean’s, Legion magazine, Toronto Life, Report on Business, enRoute—and that’s leaving aside his stories for the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail” says Symonds.
So, what is it about Gillmor’s writing and stories that resonate so widely? Perhaps it’s the “[c]alm and uncluttered prose. Sober-minded assessment of the facts without judgment. A bone-dry trace of humour. A skeptical but not cynical intelligence that generously presumes the same of the reader,” says Curtis Gillespie, author, journalist and board member of the National Media Awards Foundation. It could be “his empathy and understanding of even the reprehensible among us—his appreciation of human foibles and failings, ego and desire” says Anne Collins, Publisher at The Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group. Consider, too, “the deft storytelling, the sly sense of humour, and the occasional sentence that has the reader come to a full stop in order to absorb what’s on the page or screen” adds Symonds.
This masterful storytelling extends beyond the magazine world. Collins—impressed by Don’s “magic, on display for us in print and now online for more than 30 years”—continued to work with Gillmor after she left the field. She published two of his novels (Long Change in 2015 and Mount Pleasant in 2013) and two works of non-fiction. The most recent of which is To the River (2018); that book went on to win the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction and was a CBC Best Book of 2019.
Gillmor has also mentored emerging writers at The Banff Centre’s Literary Journalism program, and currently teaches creative writing courses at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. He has consulted on methods of long-form journalism for Legion Magazine, and since 2017, “has been writing the magazine’s back-page column “O Canada” says Eric Harris, Editor of Legion Magazine.
In his letter of nomination, Gillespie posed a series of questions: “Who has mentored countless other writers? Who has been part of the founding and/or editorial team of nearly every major general interest magazine in Canada? Who never, ever mails it in? Who is the gold standard in Canada? Who deserves the Outstanding Achievement award for 2020? Answer: Don Gillmor.”
The National Media Awards Foundation concurs with that answer. For Gillmor’s incredible contributions to the Canadian magazine industry, we are proud to present him with this prestigious award. Congratulations, Don!
Though the 2020 Call for Entries has closed, we are still accepting submissions for the prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award. Since 1990, this award has recognized an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.
The award is open to nearly everyone in the industry—circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers. Please note that it cannot be given posthumously.
What do I need to enter?
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.
The NMAF is pleased to announce the lineup of categories for the 2020 National Magazine Awards. The revised program features 29 categories, including one brand new category. We’ve also re-named Best New Magazine Writer to Best Emerging Writer, making slight changes to the submissions and eligibility requirements. Check out the full details here.
Writing and Visual Awards:
Long-form Feature Writing: 6000+ *NEW*
Long-Form Feature Writing
Short Feature Writing
Best Emerging Writer
Illustration (including Spot and Photo Illustration)
Photo Essay and Photojournalism
One of a Kind Storytelling
19. Art Direction of a Single Article 20. Best Editorial Package 21. Art Direction Grand Prix 22. Editor Grand Prix 23. Cover Grand Prix 24. Issue Grand Prix 25. Publisher Grand Prix
Grand Prix: Best Magazine Awards
26. Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest 27. Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle 28. Best Magazine: Art, Literary, & Culture 29. Best Magazine: Special Interest
If you’re interested in submitting to the 2020 NMAs, note that the call for entries open on December 2nd, 2019 and closes on January 22nd, 2020. To save on fees, get your entries in by the early bird deadline of January 15th, 2020.
The NMAF is currently accepting nominations for individuals to serve on the juries for this year’s National Magazine Awards. Our website has all of the information on our judging process and how to be a juror. Interested? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a few sentences outlining your professional experience.
Ideal candidates should fulfill one or more of the following criteria:
Internationally renowned journalist, editor, designer or other expert with an interest in supporting the NMAF fulfill its mission;
Editor, art director, publisher, web editor or other staff member (past or present) of a Canadian magazine, whether or not your publication participates in the National Magazine Awards, Digital Publishing Awards, or National Magazine Awards: B2B;
Freelance or staff writer, illustrator, photographer or digital creator, where a significant portion of your work is in Canadian publications (especially if you have been nominated for or won a National Magazine Award, Digital Publishing Award, or National Magazine Award: B2B yourself);
Journalist (print, broadcast, digital) with expertise in a particular field represented by one or more NMA, DPA, or NMA: B2B categories (such as photojournalism, service, arts & culture, fiction, poetry, etc);
Academic or industry leader with expertise in a particular field;
Professionals and leadersfrom related cultural sectors, including the visual arts (film and television), the literary arts (book writing & publishing) and the performing arts (theatre, music);
Bilingual: Not all of our judges need be bilingual, but all awards juries will have at least one bilingual member.
We welcome applications from individuals who bring different industry perspectives – from recognized leaders to celebrated emerging talents. We also aim for the judging panels to reflect our country’s diverse Indigenous, cultural, and regional communities.
Judging will take place during February and March 2020. For more information, or to nominate a peer to the jury, contact us at email@example.com.
We’re proud to have had some of the finest Canadian journalists and experts serve on our past juries.
It was such an enriching experience to be a judge for the NMAs. Being able to appreciate the work of my peers, and discuss their work with the other judges, made me feel like even more a part of the literary community that has supported and nourished me. — Alicia Elliott, award-winning Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River, Brantford, ON.
Getting your hands on a B2B magazine can be tricky if you don’t belong to a particular profession. As an NMA: B2B judge, I had the pleasure of reading new publications and discovering the rich journalistic and artistic talent behind them. — Luc Rinaldi, senior editor, Pivot magazine, Toronto, ON.
I enjoy the process because it gives me the opportunity to contribute both individually and collectively. Entering my own scores for each entry validates the time I spend reviewing and assessing each submission; discussing my assessments with the other judges during our conference call provides the opportunity to weigh the value of those assessments against the opinions of other industry experts and (on occasion) to argue in favour of work which I feel may have been undervalued. —Dawn Chafe,executive editor, Atlantic Business Magazine, St. John’s, NL.
It’s a great honour to judge the NMAs and see some of the best magazine work happening in Canada. I love editorial design and it’s wonderful when some of the winning entries are small, independent publications that understand great design is integral to their success. — Fidel Peña, creative director and co-founder of Underline Studio, Toronto, ON.
Judging the NMAs allows you to keep tabs on industry leaders, validate someone’s hard work, and boost a worthy talent’s own career. It’s also an easy way to give back to a community that has given all of us so much. —Arjun Basu, senior vice president, Product at Bookmark Content and Communications, Montreal, QC.
The NMAs focus on creators, the people who are create the work that makes everything else possible. Given all of the challenges that creators face in earning a living, participating in a process that recognizes and rewards their efforts is, I think, important and valuable work. —Kim Pittaway, former editor, Chatelaine, and journalism teacher, Dartmouth, NS.
Serving as a judge for the National Magazine Awards, which I have done for at least ten years, is always a highlight of my reading year. It’s like receiving an engaging anthology of great writing by exciting emerging writers, masterful old pros, and hidden treasures. And you get the honour of choosing the best of a wonderful bunch! What could possibly be better? —Stephen Trumper, writer, editor, teacher, volunteer, Toronto, ON.
I think the NMAs themselves are a valuable measure of the accomplishments of Canadian magazine writers and editors. As to the process, we were given sufficient time and a workable structure both leading up to and in the conversation itself. My fellow judges offered interesting insights into the work considered and the process was both engaged and congenial. —Kim Jernigan, former editor, The New Quarterly, Waterloo, ON.
Volunteering as a judge with the National Media Awards was a great experience, it really gave me a chance to see the depth and variety of voices being published in Canadian magazines right now, this flourishing of diverse perspectives and thoughts make right now a very exciting time for Canadian media. — Ossie Michelin, award-winning Inuk journalist and activist from the community of North West River, Labrador.
Having been involved since the 1980s, as a board member, president (1991) a member of a special review committee (Strategic Speculation) and a frequent judge, I have a real investment in the event. What I like most of all is the emphasis the awards have nurtured of rewarding the effort of individual creators (rather than the publications, which get to bask in the reflected glory anyway.) Some no longer seem to value, or understand, this. But it is one of the things which makes the MagAwards special. —D.B. Scott, publisher, Canadian Magazines blog, Cambridge, ON.
The NMAF is a bilingual, not-for-profit, charitable organization whose mission is to foster, recognize and promote editorial excellence in Canadian publications. Submissions will open in December for awards honouring the best in Canadian magazines and publishing in 2019.
For this year’s competition, 187 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—submitted the work of more than 2,000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors, and other creators. The NMAF’s 125 volunteerjudges have selected a total of 201 submissions from 70 different Canadian publications for awards in 28 written, visual, editorial, and best magazine categories.
BEST MAGAZINE AWARDS Three publications have been shortlisted in each of the four Best Magazine divisions. The outstanding nominees are:
Best Magazine: News, Business, General Interest
Best Magazine: Service & Lifestyle
Best Magazine: Art, Literary & Culture
Best Magazine: Special Interest
MAGAZINE GRAND PRIXThe Magazine Grand Prix award—the highest honour bestowed to a publication—will be presented to one publication among the four winners of the Best Magazine awards, revealed at the gala on May 31st.
BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER The jury selected four nominees for Best New Magazine Writer. This award is given to the individual whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise. This year’s emerging writers are:
Jennifer Thornhill Verma for “Letters From Pop,” published in Maisonneuve
Max Binks-Collier for “Distant Relatives,” published in Maisonneuve
Mugoli Samba for “Wilbur Howard and the White Church,” published in the United Church Observer
Anais Granofsky for “Between Two Worlds,” published in Toronto Life
EDITOR GRAND PRIX The three editors shortlisted for the prestigious Editor Grand Prix title are Aaron Kylie (Canadian Geographic), Alison Uncles (Maclean’s), and, for the second year, Nicolas Langelier (Nouveau Projet).
PUBLISHER GRAND PRIX New this year, this award honours the publisher whose brand best delivers on their editorial mandate through numerous platforms. The finalists are Gilles Gagnier (Canadian Geographic), Alysa Procida (Inuit Art Quarterly), and Ken Hunt (Toronto Life).
ISSUE GRAND PRIX Also new to the 2019 lineup, the Issue Grand Prix award honours quality and originality of the content of an entire issue as well as its relevance to the intended readers. The magazine finalists are: Alberta Views, BESIDE, Canadian Art, Inuit Art Quarterly, LSTW, Nouveau Projet, The Walrus, The Site Magazine, Prairie Fire & Contemporary Verse 2, and University of Toronto Magazine.
· Photographer Mathieu Lachapelle of Dînette Magazine is a four-time nominee across three visual categories: Lifestyle Photography, Portrait Photography, and Photo Essay & Photojournalism.
· Writer Anthony Oliveira garnered three nominations in as many categories for his story “Death in the Village” published in Hazlitt.
· L’actualité’s Amélie Chamberland (art director) and Charles Grandmont (editor) received three nominations in the editorial category Cover Grand Prix.
· The jury shortlisted two of Edmonton-based photographer Amber Bracken’s photographs for Portrait Photography: “Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service,” featured in Maclean’s magazine, and “Life After Coal,” published in The Narwhal.
· Best New Magazine Writer nominee Anais Granofsky is also a finalist in the category of Long-Form Feature Writing for her piece “Between Two Worlds” published in Toronto Life.
· Vancouver-based writer Bruce Grierson earned two nominations, first for an essay published in Eighteen Bridges (“Have You Heard?”) and second for a long-form story featured in Hakai Magazine (“The Cavernous World under the Woods”).
· Emily Landau is nominated for two articles published in Toronto Life (“The Greatest Showman”) and Toronto Life Stylebook (“I, Tanya”) in addition to being credited as the handling editor for four other stories.
· Also a double nominee this year is writer Simon Lewsen, for his profile “The Freeland World”
penned for The Walrus, and short feature article “A New Leaf,” published in BESIDE.
· L’actualité’s journalist Noémi Mercier is once again a finalist this year for Columns (“Des gars, des filles”) and Long-Form Feature Writing (“Mourir seul”).
· Maritime-based writer Chelsea Murray is finalist for Personal Journalism (“The Agony of Intimacy,” published in Hazlitt) as well as for Long-Form Feature Writing (“Joe and the Whale,” published in The Deep).
· Quebec journalist Sabrina Myre garnered two nominations for articles published in ELLE Québec magazine: Feature Writing (“Le grand sacrifice des nounous philippines”) and Short Feature Writing (“Révolution féministe en Éthiopie, l’intrigant cas d’Awra Amba”).
· Writer Katrina Onstad is nominated for two stories: in Essays for “Class Divide”, published in The Walrus, as well as in Profiles, for “Mr. Robot”, written for Toronto Life.
TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES
Among the 70 publications shortlisted, Toronto Life leads with 19 nominations. The Walrus follows with 13 nominations, while L’actualité, Maclean’s, and Nouveau Projet share the third place with 9 nominations each. Other top nominated titles include:
Report on Business
The New Quarterly
The Site Magazine
Publications with 4 nominations each: The Narwhal, University of Toronto Magazine
Publications with 3 nominations each: BESIDE, Canadian Art, ELLE Québec, The Deep, Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest
Publications with 2 nominations each: Air Canada enRoute, Arc Poetry, Alberta Views, BuzzFeed Canada, Chatelaine, Eighteen Bridges, Geist, Hakai Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Prairie Fire & Contemporary Verse, Québec Science, U of T Medicine
Best Editorial Package
Cover Grand Prix
Art Direction of a Single Article
Art Direction Grand Prix
WRITING & VISUAL AWARDS
Photojournalism & Photo Essay
Long-Form Feature Writing
Short Feature Writing
One of a Kind Storytelling
FIRST-TIME NOMINEES Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Award are: Canadian Cycling, Fête Chinoise, Le Trente, The Maritime Edit, The Narwhal, and Title Magazine.
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT On April 30, the NMAF was delighted to name Linda Spalding, an acclaimed Canadian writer and a longtime editor of Brick magazine, the recipient of the 2019 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, recognizing her career excellence and leadership in Canadian magazines.
Congratulations to the nominees of the 42nd National Magazine Awards!
ABOUT THE 42nd NMAs The National Media Awards Foundation will welcome Canada’s top writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and other creators to the 42nd National Magazine Awards gala, hosted by Omar Mouallem.Gold, Silver, and Honourable Mention awards will be presented at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 31, at the annual gala. Tickets are on sale at magazine-awards.com.
For sponsorship inquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credit Changes: The deadline to make any changes to nominations credit is Monday, May 6. Email email@example.com to make any credit changes to your nominations. I