Mastering Reinvention

Cover art by Natalie Vineberg

The National Media Awards Foundation is thrilled to announce the launch of its first ever podcast: Mastering Reinvention! Made possible with the support of Ontario Creates, the series explores how award-winning publications have made the shift to virtual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you pivot from in-person events to virtual? How do you reinvent revenue streams? How do you master the art of Zoom? In the three-episode series, our expert guests will share their answers to these questions, and so much more.

Hosted by Sandra E. Martin, the episodes feature conversations with Andrea Boyd (Director of Partnerships & Sponsorships) and Angela Misri (Digital Director) from The Walrus, Greg McLeod (Cottage Life‘s Director of Consumer Shows), and Matthew Blackett (Spacing‘s Publisher, Creative Director and Founder).

A special thank you to Natalie Vineberg for designing Mastering Reinvention’s cover art. The episodes will be released on March 1st, 15th and 29th. Listen today on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Last Call for Outstanding Achievement Nominations

The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is the most prestigious individual honour granted by the National Media Awards Foundation. While the 44th annual call for entries has closed, applications for this award remain open until March 2, 2021.

The award honours innovation and creativity, and is open to nearly everyone in the Canadian magazine industry: creators, editors, publishers, art directors, circulation experts, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, and production managers. Don Gillmor, Linda Spalding, Joyce Byrne, Penny Caldwell, and Kim Pittaway are just a few of the recent OA winners. For a full list of recipients—dating back to 1989—visit the Outstanding Achievement section of our website. 

To submit a nomination, please include a cover letter indicating the candidate’s name, title, and a summary of their career achievements, including links to or examples of their work, as well as at least two supporting letters from other individuals. Email the entire nomination (as one PDF file) to

Our sister programs are also seeking nominations for a number of special awards. If you would like to nominate a colleague or peer for the DPA’s Digital Publishing Leadership Award or the Emerging Excellence Award, you have until March 2, 2021. Last year’s winners were Dmitry Beniaminov and Jane Lytvynenko, respectively. 

On the NMA: B2B side, the B2B Leadership Award—recognizing outstanding career achievement, contributions to the industry, and overall leadership of a member of the Canadian B2B media industry—is accepting applications until March 2, 2021

To keep up-to-date with our springtime nomination announcements, follow us on Twitter (@MagAwards, @DPAwards, and @NMA_B2B) and sign up for our newsletter.

Call for Entries: 44th Annual National Magazine Awards

Submissions for the 44th annual NMAs are now open! Canadian content creators and magazines are eligible to submit entries across 29 categories (plus the Magazine Grand Prix and the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement) with Gold winners in Writing & Visual categories receiving a $1000 cash prize.

For 2021, there are also seven additional categories that are part of a new, cross-programming initiative with the Digital Publishing Awards and the National Magazine Awards: B2B. We invite NMA participants to enter their best work in these categories:

For 2021, there are also seven additional categories that are part of a new, cross-programming initiative with the Digital Publishing Awards and the National Magazine Awards: B2B. We invite NMA participants to enter their best work in these categories:

  • Best Editorial Newsletter
  • Best Podcast: News and Politics
  • Best Podcast: Arts and Culture
  • Best Online Video: Short
  • Best Online Video: Feature
  • Best Online Video: Mini-Doc
  • Best Virtual Event

For this initiative, all entries will be evaluated by a single panel of judges, and winners will be announced across all three programs. Full details on the categories and submission requirements are here.

To save on fees, get your entries in by the early bird deadline of January 21, 2021. The final submissions deadline is January 28, 2021.

Freelancer Support Fund

Our Freelancer Support Fund allows independent writers and creators to buy one entry and get one free. Please note that the Fund applies to two entries for Writing & Visual categories only.

Small Magazine Rebate

Our Small Magazine Rebate allows magazines whose annual revenue is $200,000 or buy two entries for the price of one. The rebate operates on a first come, first served basis, so please apply early to ensure your magazine gets its free entry!

How to Submit

  1. Review the Categories, Rules and Submission Requirements
  2. Register online at
  3. Enter the details of each submission
  4. Pay the required entry fees

Please note that, in response to the challenges of this COVID-19 era, no hard copies are required this year. All entry materials can be uploaded to our online portal.

Download our Guide to the 44th National Magazine Awards for a handy reference to categories, criteria, submissions guidelines, rules, deadlines and more.


  • NMA Early Bird Deadline: January 21, 2021
  • NMA Final Deadline: January 28, 2021

Please note that the deadline to nominate a colleague for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is March 2, 2021. Applications can be uploaded to our submission portal up until January 28, 2021. After that, please direct all applications to

Digital Publishing Awards

Canadian digital publishers and creators are invited to enter the 6th annual Digital Publishing Awards! The 2021 DPA lineup offers 25 exciting categories, including the Emerging Excellence Award and the Digital Publishing Leadership Award.

National Magazine Awards: B2B

Do you have some excellent business-to-business content from 2020? Enter it in the 3rd annual National Magazine Awards: B2B! There is a $500 cash prize for winners in creator-focused categories, and 18 categories to choose from this year, including the B2B Leadership Award.

Ready to Submit?

Click here to get started.

To keep up with what’s going on, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Get to Know the Creator Behind the 2020 National Magazine Awards Artwork


Take an inside peak at the creative development behind the 43rd annual National Magazine Awards. An essential element of celebrating the National Magazine Awards is the striking artwork, which serves to create a unique and special ambiance for each awards year.

For 2020, we are honoured that NMA-winner John Montgomery partnered with us to create incredible visuals to enhance our celebration of Canadian magazines. We recently caught up with John to get his thoughts on the key factors in developing this year’s creative.

NMAF: You’ve won a Silver National Magazine Award, been nominated several times, and have been a judge in the past. How does it feel to be taking over art direction this year?

John Montgomery: It was a great honour to be asked to work on the NMAs, especially given who the past art directors and design studios have been.

2020 NMA creative concept, designed by John Montgomery

NMAF: What is the inspiration behind this year’s art direction?

JM: I felt like 2020 was a pretty obvious choice, with the lovely symmetry of the numbers. The number of lines/spaces making up each number was chosen for the number of awards handed out this year.

NMAF: What do you enjoy about magazines, as a platform to create art and tell stories?

JM: I love that every issue is a fresh start and a new challenge. I get to try to figure out how to best interpret the story for the reader, making it a compelling and interesting read, while still staying true to the brand and it’s vision.

The NMAF graciously thanks John Montgomery for his talents in developing the creative for the 2020 National Magazine Awards. You can learn more about his work at

Resources for Canadian freelancers during COVID-19 shutdowns

There is no doubt that the current global pandemic has taken a toll on the media and arts industry. If you’re a freelance writer or artist affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns, here are some resources that can help you during this difficult time.


Woodcock Fund Grant

This grant provides emergency funding to professional Canadian writers mid-project. The Woodcock Fund Grant is meant to provide financial assistance to writers during a crisis. Grants given typically range from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the individual’s circumstance. Visit their website for eligibility and application requirements.

The Photographer Fund

An online portfolio platform, Format, has started a $25,000 fund for self-employed photographers who have been impacted by COVID-19. They are offering a grant of up to $500 per person. Visit their website to apply.

TOArtist COVID Response Fund

The Toronto Arts Foundation and The Toronto Arts Council are offering financial support for self-employed professional artists who are not eligible for Employee Insurance (EI). Visit their website for eligibility and application requirements. Deadline for the application is 11:59 PM on April 30, 2020.

Canadian Writers’ Emergency Relief Fund

The Writers’ Trust of Canada, The Writer’s Union of Canada and Royal Bank of Canada are providing financial assistance to writers affected by the pandemic. Successful applicants will receive $1,500. Visit the website for eligibility criteria and deadlines.


Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts is Canada’s public arts funder. They invest in artistic excellence through their grants and services aimed towards Canadian artists and arts organizations.

The Canadian Freelance Union

This community focuses on advancing the rights and working conditions for freelancers in the communications and media industries. Union members benefit from personalized contract mediation, comprehensive health insurance and more.

CMG Freelance

CMG Freelance is a branch of the Canadian Media Guild dedicated to workers in Canadian media. The Freelance Branch provides support for freelance members by providing health and insurance benefits, online training, media pass and more.


S’ATTAQ is a labour union for freelancers, run by freelancers. It is a local section of Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a global cross-industry union fighting for economic democracy and end exploitation in the workplace. S’ATTAQ provides by allocating funds to members in financial need, advising on legal issues and more.