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. 

Announcing the Winners of the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards


The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) has presented the winners of the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards at a gala this evening in Toronto at the Arcadian Court. Nearly 300 of Canada’s top magazine writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers, and other guests representing 75 nominated magazines gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines in 2016. Gold and Silver medals were presented in 25 categories recognizing Canada’s best in magazine writing, art, and design.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.
The Foundation presented Gold and Silver Medal awards in 25 categories at a ceremony co-hosted by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott—three of Canada’s most respected journalists and publishers, and all former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Indigenous writer and Gold Medalist in the Essays category, Alicia Elliott, delivered the keynote address, urging all Canadian magazine creators and publishers to recognize their role in educating and informing the public about the complex social and cultural issues of our time, including empowering Indigenous voices and perspectives in the media.
Penny Caldwell, publisher and vice-president of Cottage Life Media, was presented with the 2017 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, the highest individual honour in the Canadian magazine industry, which recognizes an individual’s innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.
For a complete list of winners, see below or download the PDF list.


MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

Canada’s 2017 Magazine of the Year is Cottage Life. The award for magazine of the year goes to the publication that most consistently engages, surprises, and serves the needs of its readers. The award is judged according to four criteria—overall quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness—and success relative to the magazine’s editorial mandate.
Honourable Mention for Magazine of the Year went to Explore, Nouveau Projet, Ricardo, and The Kit Compact.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, audience, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its readership, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, its stories educate and delight, and its story packaging is alluring. Cottage Life has demonstrated creativity and excellence in evolving its brand through events, shows, and multimedia—reinventing itself again and again. And throughout its evolution, the magazine itself remains fresh and fascinating.
The National Magazine Awards Jury



INTEGRATED AWARDS

Best Magazine Cover
GOLD MEDAL: “General Dynamics” (Report on Business)
Domenic Macri, art director
Gary Salewicz, editor
Brennan Higginbotham, contributor

This is a beautiful execution of a well-thought-out idea, from its concept right down to the smallest detail. Report on Business’s “General Dynamics” cover is a masterful example of having graphics work harmoniously with type to create the impression of a must-read story within. It’s engaging and unexpected—the forbidden, blacked-out words suck you in immediately. A truly remarkable and successful magazine cover.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Why Design Matters” (Canadian Business)


Best Editorial Package
GOLD MEDAL: « Nordicité » (Caribou)
Tania Jiménez, directrice artistique
Audrey Lavoie, Véronique Leduc, Geneviève Vezina-Montplaisir, rédactrices en chef

This Editorial Package from Caribou is a delicious invitation to the table set around the concept of Nordicité, where a meal of uniquely Québécois flavour is served. On the menu are cozy stories and tasteful photography of matsutake mushrooms, maple syrup, boreal spices, and wild berries. The package has the benefit of relying almost wholly on the support of readers and presents them with a carefully thought out series of articles that complement the topic and each other—all editorially handpicked and beautifully plated for our enjoyment.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Swim or Sink” (New Trail)


Best Service Editorial Package
GOLD MEDAL: “Breast of Luck” (Today’s Parent)
Ariel Brewster, editor
Stephanie Han Kim, art director
Contributors: Vivian Rosas, Katie Dupuis, Karen Robock, Louise Gleeson, Kara Aaserud, Sasha Emmons, Kate Lunau

“Breast of Luck” from Today’s Parent epitomizes service journalism. The team approached the issue from various perspectives, offering up multiple entry points. It feels exceptionally relevant—these are the real questions people ask about breastfeeding. It’s beautifully designed, very well written, funny, informative—the practical information is hands-on and useful. Whether you read it closely or simply skim, it has something for every reader.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “How to Travel like a Boss” (Report on Business)


Best Words & Pictures
GOLD MEDAL: “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” (Nouveau Projet)
Judith Oliver, rédactrice en chef adjointe
Jean-François Proulx, directeur artistique
Félix Beaudry-Vigneux, auteur
Maxime Roy de Roy, illustrateur

Beautifully drawn, informative, and concisely written, “Rosemont Petite-Syrie” is a powerful and graphic way to show the response of two families to the Syrian refugee crisis. The piece seamlessly weaves text and illustrations that speak to one another and the reader without seeming redundant. It’s an exemplar of the comic-book genre—and bilingual, to boot.
The National Magazine Awards Jury

SILVER MEDAL: “Love Your Body” (NOW Magazine)


Forty years ago the NMAF set about building a coalition of institutions to form the foundation of what would become the National Magazine Awards. The goal was to create a truly national program that would recognize individual excellence in the many aspects of the magazine industry. Forty years later that legacy has endured. Tonight we have recognized the outstanding work of Canada’s magazine creators. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners—you have truly inspired the future of great journalism in this country.
Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF


BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

GOLD MEDAL
The Questionable Science of Vancouver’s Port Expansion
Hakai Magazine
Amorina Kingdon, writer
Heather Pringle, handling editor
Honourable Mention: Eternity Martis, Kyle Edwards, Sharon J. Riley, Viviane Fairbank


WRITING AWARDS

Long-Form Feature Writing
GOLD MEDAL
Growing Up Trans
The Walrus
Mary Rogan, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
Canadian Mining’s Dark Heart
The Walrus
Richard Poplak, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor


Feature Writing
GOLD MEDAL
« Les exilés de l’enfer »
L’actualité
Anne-Marie Luca, auteure
Ginette Haché, rédactrice-réviseure
SILVER MEDAL
Big Lonely Doug
The Walrus
Harley Rustad, writer
Carmine Starnino, handling editor


Short Feature Writing
GOLD MEDAL
« Santa Martha Acatitla : le théâtre de la réconciliation »
Jeu, Revue de théâtre
Françoise Major, auteure
Christian Saint-Pierre, rédacteur-réviseur
SILVER MEDAL
The Cutting Edge
ON Nature
Ray Ford, writer
Joanna Pachner, handling editor


Columns
GOLD MEDAL
« Économie »
L’actualité
Pierre Fortin, auteur
Josée Désaulniers, Karine Picard, Lucie Daigle, rédactrices-réviseures
SILVER MEDAL
Just Sayin’
Atlantic Business Magazine
Stephen Kimber, writer
Dawn Chafe, handling editor


Essays
GOLD MEDAL
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground
The Malahat Review
Alicia Elliott, writer
John Barton, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
A Poet Self-Destructs
The Walrus
Don Gillmor, writer
Katherine Laidlaw, handling editor


Fiction
GOLD MEDAL
The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition
The New Quarterly
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
Eight Saints and a Demon
Hazlitt
Naben Ruthnum, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Investigative Reporting
GOLD MEDAL
The Last Days of Target
Canadian Business
Joe Castaldo, writer
James Cowan, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
Justice Is Not Blind
Maclean’s
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor


One of a Kind
GOLD MEDAL
The Verdict
The Walrus
Katherine Laidlaw, writer
Emily M. Keeler, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
The David Foster Wallace Disease
Hazlitt
Sasha Chapin, writer
Haley Cullingham, handling editor


Personal Journalism
GOLD MEDAL
The Burn
Prairie Fire
Benjamin Hertwig, writer
Andris Taskans, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead
Toronto Life
John Hofsess, writer
Emily Landau, handling editor
Gary Ross, contributor


Poetry
GOLD MEDAL
“(Good) ‘Girls Don’t Hitchhike’; Half/Brother; Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language
The New Quarterly
Selina Boan, poet
Barb Carter, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
La Traviata
PRISM International
Kim Fu, poet
Dominique Bernier-Cormier, handling editor


Professional Article
GOLD MEDAL
Whatever happened to Michael Bryant?”
Precedent
Daniel Fish, writer
Melissa Kluger, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
Beware the Weakest Link
Listed
Jim Middlemiss, writer
Brian Banks, handling editor


Profiles
GOLD MEDAL
This is How I’m Going to Die
Maclean’s
Nancy Macdonald, writer
Colin Campbell, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
The Artist of the Deal
Report on Business
Max Fawcett, writer
Ted Mumford, handling editor


Service Journalism
GOLD MEDAL
Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016
Air Canada enRoute
Andrew Braithwaite, writer
Sarah Musgrave, handling editor
SILVER MEDAL
« Santé des femmes : le travail nous met en danger »
Châtelaine
Marie-Hélène Proulx, auteure
Johanne Lauzon, rédactrice-réviseure



VISUAL AWARDS

Art Direction of an Entire Issue
GOLD MEDAL
Issue 22: Secrets
SAD Mag
Pamela Rounis, art director
Sara Harowitz, editor
Katie Stewart, Michelle Reid Cyca, contributors
SILVER MEDAL
87: Le Vivant / The Living
esse Arts + Opinions
Studio FEED, direction artistique
Sylvette Babin, rédactrice en chef


Art Direction of a Single Article
GOLD MEDAL
« Le politique est personnel »
Nouveau Projet
Ping Pong Ping, direction artistique
Miriam Fahmy, rédactrice en chef
SILVER MEDAL
Give Peas a Chance
Today’s Parent
Mandy Milks, art director
Lauren Ferranti-Ballem, editor
Anthony Swaneveld, illustrator
Roberto Caruso, photographer


Illustration
GOLD MEDAL
« Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? »
L’actualité
Gérard Dubois, illustrateur
Jocelyne Fournel, directrice artistique
SILVER MEDAL
Move or Improve?
MoneySense
Steven P. Hughes, illustrator
John Montgomery, art director


Photojournalism & Photo Essay
GOLD MEDAL
South of Buck Creek
Geist
Terence Byrnes, photographer
Syd Danger, art director
AnnMarie MacKinnon, Michal Kozlowski, editors
SILVER MEDAL
Canada’s Oldest Profession
The Walrus
Tyler Anderson, photographer
Brian Morgan, art director
Jonathan Kay, editor
Conrad Black, text


Portrait Photography
GOLD MEDAL
Marina Abramovic
Corduroy Magazine
Peter Ash Lee, photographer & art director
Tim Chan, editor
SILVER MEDAL
Love Your Body
NOW Magazine
Tanja-Tiziana, photographer
Troy Beyer, art director
Susan G. Cole, editor
Taylor Savage, hair & makeup


Lifestyle Photography
GOLD MEDAL
Different Strokes
Globe Style Advisor
Riley Stewart, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Vanessa Jarman, makeup / hair stylist
Wendy Rorong, manicurist
James Reiger, model, NEXT Models Canada
SILVER MEDAL
Tan Lines
Globe Style Advisor
Renata Kaveh, photographer
Benjamin MacDonald, art director
Andrew Sardone, editor
Odessa Paloma Parker, fashion editor, stylist
Robert Weir, grooming
Connor, model, Elmer Olsen Model Management



INDIVIDUAL HIGHLIGHTS

Writer Nancy Macdonald won two awards: A Gold Medal in Profiles for “This is How I’m Going to Die” (Maclean’s), about the Leviathan II disaster, and a Silver Medal in Investigative Reporting for “Justice Is Not Blind” (Maclean’s), about the bias against Indigenous Canadians in the judicial system.
Mary Rogan won the first NMA Gold Medal for Long-Form Feature Writing, for her story “Growing Up Trans” (The Walrus). It’s Rogan’s third National Magazine Award and first since 1999.
Art director Domenic Macri of Report on Business won the Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”), his and the magazine’s fifth gold medal in this category since 2006.
Pierre Fortin (L’actualité) won the Gold Medal in Columns, for his Québec « Économie » coverage. This is Fortin’s fourth gold medal in Columns since 2003.
Indigenous poet Selina Boan won the Gold Medal in Poetry for a suite of poems in The New Quarterly, including “Meet Cree: A Practical Guide to the Cree Language.” This is her first National Magazine Award.
Richard Kelly Kemick won the Gold Medal in Fiction for “The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writer’s Short Story Competition” (The New Quarterly), his second NMA after winning gold last year in One of a Kind. Kemick also received an Honourable Mention in Fiction and in One of a Kind this year.
Indigenous writer Alicia Elliott won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).
Don Gillmor won his twelfth National Magazine Award since 1997, a Silver Medal in Essays for “A Poet Self-Destructs” (The Walrus).
Joe Castaldo won the Gold Medal in Investigative Reporting for “The Last Days of Target” (Canadian Business). He won the Silver Medal in the same category in 2015.
In Personal Journalism, Edmonton writer and visual artist Benjamin Hertwig won the Gold Medal for “The Burn” (Prairie Fire). The story of the late John Hofsess, “By The Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead” (Toronto Life), about assisted dying and preparing to take his own life, won the Silver Medal.
Photographer and art director Peter Ash Lee won the Gold Medal in Portrait Photography (“Marina AbramovicCorduroy), his fourth National Magazine Award.
Gérard DuBois won the Gold Medal in Illustration, for « Une vie sexuelle pour les prêtres ? Pourquoi pas ? ». It is DuBois’ fourth National Magazine Award and first since 2013.
Andrew Braithwaite won the Gold Medal in Service Journalism for “Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2016” (Air Canada enRoute), marking the second consecutive year he and the magazine have won gold for their annual feature on Canada’s newest culinary hotspots.
Ray Ford won his eighth National Magazine Award since 2000 with a Silver Medal in Short Feature Writing for “The Cutting Edge” (ON Nature).



MAGAZINE HIGHLIGHTS

L’actualité led all magazines with 3 Gold Medals, winning the top prize in Feature Writing, Columns, and Illustration.
The Walrus led all magazines with 6 awards (2 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals). This is the tenth time in the magazine’s history that The Walrus has won the most total awards at the NMAs.
Report on Business won 3 awards, including a Gold Medal for Best Magazine Cover (“General Dynamics”) and Silver Medals in Best Service Editorial Package and in Profiles.
The New Quarterly won the Gold Medal in Fiction and in Poetry, marking the second time that the Waterloo, Ontario literary magazine has swept both awards (also doing so in 2003 at the 25th anniversary National Magazine Award).
NOW Magazine’s “Love Your Body” issue was a double winner, taking the Silver Medal in Portrait Photography and the Silver Medal in Best Words & Pictures.
Globe Style Advisor swept the Gold and Silver Medals in the category Lifestyle Photography.
Nouveau Projet won 2 Gold Medals, in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (« Le politique est personnel ») and in Words & Pictures (“Rosemont Petite-Syrie”). Nouveau Projet won Magazine of the Year in 2015 and was a finalist this year.
The online magazine Hazlitt won 2 Silver Medals, in Fiction and in One of a Kind.
Today’s Parent won 2 medals: Gold in Best Service Editorial Package (“Breast of Luck”) and Silver in Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article (“Give Peas a Chance”).
7 magazines won a National Magazine Award for the first time: Atlantic Business Magazine; Caribou; esse Arts + Opinions; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; Listed; and SAD Mag.
Magazines winning 1 Gold Medal: Air Canada enRoute; Caribou; Corduroy; Cottage Life; Geist; Hakai Magazine; Jeu, Revue de théâtre; The Malahat Review; Prairie Fire; Precedent
Magazines winning 1 Silver Medal: Atlantic Business Magazine; Châtelaine; esse Arts + Opinions; Listed; MoneySense; New Trail; ON Nature; PRISM International; Toronto Life.



Check out all the gala photos on our Facebook page.


SPECIAL GUESTS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivered a welcome message to the audience via video, congratulating the nominees and winners and praising the important work of Canada’s magazine creators.
Toronto Mayor John Tory also addressed the gathering via video to offer his congratulations to the nominees and winners and offer his support for Canadian magazine creators.
Alicia Elliott delivered the keynote address. Alicia is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations, currently living in Brantford, Ontario. Her writing has most recently been published by CBC Arts, Room, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. Later in the evening she won the Gold Medal in Essays for “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” (The Malahat Review).
For the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, the NAMF welcomed a number of its former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, led by Kim Pittaway, Michael de Pencier, and D.B. Scott, who co-hosted the event.
Also attending and presenting awards as former winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement: James Ireland, Sally Armstrong, Ken Rodmell, Lynn Cunningham, Stephen Trumper, Al Zikovitz, and Paul Jones.
Other special guest presenters included award-winning illustrator Min Gyo Chung, award-winning writers Hon Lu and Desmond Cole, award-winning art director Gilbert Li, and former NMAF president Arjun Basu.


ABOUT THE 40th ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL MAGAZINE AWARDS

Nearly 300 members of the Canadian magazine industry—publishers, editors, art directors, writers, photographers, illustrators, circulators and more—joined esteemed sponsors and other guests at the Arcadian Court for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala.
This year, 197 Canadian magazines from coast to coast to coast—English and French, print and digital—entered the best of their editorial and design to the National Magazine Awards, submitting the work of more than 2000 writers, editors, photographers, illustrators, art directors and other creators. The NMAF’s 112 volunteer judges nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories. 
 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation.
The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors and table patrons:
Access Copyright,
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association,
Bookmark,
Canadian Media Guild,
Content Writers Group,
CDS Global,
CNW, a Cision Company,
ExpertWomen.ca,
Goetz Storytelling,
Impresa Communications,
Oliver & Bonacini,
Ricardo Media,
Rolland Enterprises,
Ryerson University School of Journalism,
Studio Wyse,
TC Transcontinental Printing,
University of King’s College School of Journalism,
Very Good Studios, and
Vividata.
The NMAF gratefully acknowledges its 112 Judges who volunteered their time and their expertise to serve on the juries for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.
 

ABOUT THE NMAF

A charitable foundation, the NMAF’s mandate is to recognize and promote excellence in content creation of Canadian print and digital publications through an annual program of awards and national publicity efforts.
The Foundation produces two distinct and bilingual award programs: the National Magazine Awards and the Digital Publishing Awards. Throughout the year, the Foundation undertakes various group marketing initiatives and professional development events. 
Download the entire list [PDF] of nominees and winners.

Best Fiction in Canadian Magazines: 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards


The National Magazine Award for Fiction has a storied history (oh goodness, please pardon that pun). Alice Munro won the inaugural NMA fiction gold medal in 1978 (and again in 1983, and again in 1999). Yann Martel won in 1993; Elizabeth Hay in 1995; Lynn Crosbie in 2002; Shyam Selvadurai (2007).
In 2010, Steven Heighton joined Munro as a three-time gold-medal winner (also winning in 1992 and 2008). Jay Teitel won the silver medal back in 1978, then won the gold medal 26 years later. William Gibson, Thomas King, Patrick deWitt, and Zsuzsi Gartner have also been winners.
This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered a wide range of submissions from Canada’s top literary magazines for this year’s fiction prize, an award presented by Ontario Arts Council, which has supported the National Magazine Awards and Canadian literary artists for decades.
On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, editors, artists, art directors and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the finalists in Fiction…

A Day with Cyrus Mair
Brick
Alex Pugsley, writer
Liz Johnston, handling editor


Gravity
Geist
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
AnnMarie MacKinnon,
Michal Koslowski, handling editors


Captcha
Hazlitt
Naomi Skwarna, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Eight Saints and a Demon
Hazlitt
Naben Ruthnum, writer
Kiara Kent, handling editor


Ada en première
Nouveau Projet
Audrée Wilhelmy, auteure
Judith Oliver, rédactrice-réviseure


Pelican
PRISM International
Andrew F. Sullivan, writer
Christopher Evans, handling editor


Shimmer
subTerrain
Alex Pugsley, writer
Brian Kaufman, handling editor
Natasha Sanders-Kay, managing editor
Karen Green, proofreader


Seventeen Comments
The Malahat Review
Elyse Friedman, writer
John Barton, handling editor


Miloslav
The New Quarterly
Sharon Bala, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor


The Unitarian Church’s Annual Young Writers’ Short Story Competition
The New Quarterly
Richard Kelly Kemick, writer
Pamela Mulloy, handling editor


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.
Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.
Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.

Best Photojournalism & Photo Essay: 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards


Photojournalism has a storied history in Canadian magazines, and at the National Magazine Awards.
In 1981, Nigel Dickson won the first of his six NMA gold medals for a photo essay of the drought in the Canadian Prairies—one of the worst on record—published in Maclean’s.
Twenty years ago this month, a young Edward Burtynsky won the gold medal in Photojournalism for his famous “Tailings” series—highlighting the environmentally degrading waste produced by heavy industry—published in Canadian Art.
In 2016, Marta Iwanek won the gold medal in photojournalism (and Best New Magazine Photographer) for her work at “The Maidan” in the heart of Ukraine’s revolution.
This year’s National Magazine Awards jury considered another stirring crop of candidates for Photojournalism & Photo Essay, an award generously sponsored by CNW Group: Achieve your communications goals. 
On April 20 we announced the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best photographers, art directors, stylists, writers, editors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]

Here’s a close-up look at the three finalists for Photojournalism & Photo Essay.

Once Upon a Time in China
Air Canada enRoute
Virginia Macdonald, photographer
Stefanie Sosiak, art director
Nicolas Ramirez, deputy art director
Lori Morgan, photo editor
Sarah Musgrave, editor
Susan Nerberg, contributor
Amy Rosen, writer


Canada’s Oldest Profession
The Walrus
Tyler Anderson, photographer
Brian Morgan, art director
Jonathan Kay, editor
Conrad Black, text


South of Buck Creek
Geist

Terence Byrnes, photographer
Syd Danger, art director
AnnMarie MacKinnon, Michal Kozlowski, editors


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Photojournalism & Photo Essawill be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.
Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.
Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards for all the nominations news and an awesome live feed on the night of the gala. #NMA40.