Magazine of the Year: 5 Nominees for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards


There are more than a thousand magazines in Canada, and each begins with a premise of delighting, surprising, and serving the needs of a community of readers. Whether they cover business or fashion, sports or food, poetry or investigative journalism, city life or international news, Canadian magazines succeed when they pursue top-quality storytelling, compelling design and packaging, innovation, and an awareness of their brand’s relationship to current and future readers.
The NMAF’s judges considered magazines from across the country for our most prestigious award, according to rigorous criteria of quality, impact, innovation, and brand awareness, relative to each magazine’s editorial mandate.
The nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards have been announced, and we are excited to welcome Canada’s best writers, artists, editors, art directors, and more to the gala on May 26. [Tickets]
Here are the 5 finalists the National Magazine Award: Magazine of the Year:


Cottage Life

Penny Caldwell, publisher
Michelle Kelly, editor
Kim Zagar, art director
Published by: Blue Ant Media
Cottage Life’s mission is to enhance and preserve the quality of cottage living, for cottagers whose cottages range from simple, off-grid-cabins to luxurious getaways. Strong how-to and service stories, inspiring ideas and tips, and engaging features about interesting cottagers allows the magazine to entertain and inspire.

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Cottage Life is also nominated for a 40th anniversary National Magazine Award in the categories of One of a Kind and Service Journalism. Penny Caldwell, publisher of Cottage Life and former editor-in-chief, has been named this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award winner for her innovative and creative contributions to the Canadian magazine industry.

With a clear and creative editorial strategy that is loyal to their brand, readership, and business, Cottage Life continues to diversify its mandate, grow its audience, and excel at publishing. The magazine’s tone is perfectly playful, the stories educate and delight, and the packaging is alluring and inspires its readers to action.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Explore

Brad Liski, publisher
David Webb, editor
Aaron Yates, art director
Published by: My Passion Media
Explore is dedicated to publishing the best of outdoor adventure, seeking rich stories of outdoor recreation and adventure travel produced by authentic voices. Within their wide range of content, the magazine aims to always include an element of exploration in the outdoors.

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Explore magazine has an extensive record of National Magazine Awards; dating back to 2001, the magazine has won 56 National Magazine Awards among more than 150 nominations. This is the third time the publication has been nominated for Magazine of the Year, having also been a finalist in 2002 and 2006.

With remarkable strength and clarity in packaging travel features, practical how-to guides, gear reviews, and more, Explore is that rare magazine in which every page engages the core audience. Its content is accessible, its writers dig deep into their stories, and its no surprise that the magazine’s readership is growing fast.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Nouveau Projet

Nicolas Langelier, publisher and editor-in-chief
Jean-François Proulx, art director
Published by: Atelier 10
Nouveau Projet is a culture and society magazine, aiming to stimulate and nurture public debate through curious, sincere, and deep-seated articles. Though the magazine is only five years old, it isn’t new to the Magazine of the Year award. 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that the Montreal-based publication has been a finalist for Magazine of the Year, winning in 2015 and taking Honourable Mention in 2014 and 2016.

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Nouveau Project is also nominated for a total of 8 awards this year, including Essays, Fiction, Poetry, Art Direction of an Entire Issue, Art Direction of a Single Magazine Article, and Best Words & Pictures.

In the quality of its writing, visual content and design, Nouveau Projet is simply mind-blowing. The magazine surprises and delights readers with big ideas, fresh and original journalism, and beautiful illustrations that complete a thoughtful aesthetic. The magazine’s commitment to developing a strong community of readers is laudatory.
National Magazine Awards Jury


Ricardo

Brigitte Coutu, publisher
Laura Osborne, editor-in-chief
Caroline Blanchette, Lydia Moscato, art directors
Published by: Ricardo Média
Ricardo engages readers as a magazine brimming with delicious, affordable, and simple recipes, aiming to gather friends and family around the table. With their national distribution, they strive to put cooking within reach from coast to coast.

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Since 2011 Ricardo has been awarded three Gold Medals and nine Honourable Mentions at the National Magazine Awards. This year – aside from the prestigious Magazine of the Year award–Ricardo has been nominated in five categories. Photos of irresistible chocolate desserts earned photographer David de Stefano a nomination in the category of Lifestyle Photography, while colourful images of strawberry-themed desserts earned the artistic team at Ricardo a nomination for Best Magazine Cover. Other nominations include Best Service Editorial Package and Best Words and Pictures.

Ricardo is an authoritative magazine and media brand that feels alive and energetic with innovation, now reaching beyond Quebec to the rest of Canada. The food photography is top-notch, the branded merchandise is exemplary, and the service it provides to readers sets the standard for lifestyle magazines.
National Magazine Awards Jury


The Kit Compact

Giorgina Bigioni, publisher
Laura deCarufel
, editor-in-chief
Jessica Hotson, art director
Published by: Star Media Group
The Kit Compact was launched in September 2015 with the goal of offering Toronto millennials Canada’s most compelling beauty and fashion content. The magazine celebrates fascinating style personalities and features a diverse array of real women, using the power of digital, print, and social to tell rich, engaging, multi-platform stories.

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The Kit Compact is a first-time NMA nominee, and they’re starting off strong with a nomination for the prestigious Magazine of the Year Award. Aside from that, The Kit Compact is also nominated for Portrait Photography, for “Deep Impact” (created collaboratively by photographer Luis Mora, art director Jessica Hotson, and editor Rani Sheen), in which six Toronto women “showcase the boss possibilities of black makeup.”

At the intersection of fashion, feminism, and the millennial generation, the new Kit Compact feels like the perfect breakout magazine for 2017. With a successful distribution strategy, robust digital and social platforms, and a commitment to supporting emerging artists and designers, it’s a magazine of profound energy and creativity.
National Magazine Awards Jury


The winner of the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year will be announced on May 26 at the 40th anniversary NMA Gala in Toronto.
Tickets are on sale now.
Can’t make it. Follow us on Twitter @MagAwards where we’ll be live-tweeting all of the awards announcements.
Check out all the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards.

Announcing the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards


The NMAF is excited to announce the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards, including five finalists for the prestigious Magazine of the Year Award.

Nominations Website
Nominations List (PDF)
Gala Info & Tickets
Version française

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 work 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 have nominated a total of 202 submissions from 75 different Canadian magazines for awards in 25 written, visual, integrated and special categories.

“We’re thrilled to announce the nominees for the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards. More than 200 Canadian creators—writers, photographers, illustrators, designers, poets, and more—are up for awards in 25 categories. My thanks to our judges who have done a rigorous job over the past few months evaluating the best work in the country. It’s been a significant year for Canadian storytelling, as the impressive caliber of the nominees attests. We’re looking forward to celebrating the best of Canada’s creative talent together at the Gala on May 26.”
Nino Di Cara, President, NMAF

Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 26, at the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Gold Awards in Writing and Visual categories include a cash prize of $1000.
Tickets are on sale now. A limited number of tickets for nominated freelancers will be available at the discount rate of $35, thanks to the support of our Table Patrons.

TOP NOMINATED CREATORS

  • Edmonton freelance writer Omar Mouallem leads all creators with 4 nominations for 4 different stories published in 4 magazines (Avenue, Hazlitt, Sharp, University Affairs).
  • Writer Richard Kelly Kemick is nominated 3 times—twice in Fiction and once in One of Kind, which he won last year—for stories in 3 magazines (Geist, Maisonneuve, The New Quarterly).
  • Quebec writer Catherine Perreault-Lessard is also nominated 3 times for 3 stories published in Châtelaine, L’actualité and Ricardo.
  • Maclean’s writer Nancy Macdonald is also nominated 3 times for 2 different stories.
  • The Walrus writer/editor Katherine Laidlaw is nominated twice as a writer, and she is also the handling editor on 6 other Walrus stories nominated for National Magazine Awards.
  • Other writers nominated twice include Bruce Livesey (Report on Business), Jason McBride (Canadian Art, Toronto Life), Mark Pupo (Toronto Life), and Naël Shiab (L’actualité).
  • Illustrators Byron Eggenschwiler (Vancouver Magazine) and Gérard DuBois (L’actualité) are each nominated twice.
  • Photographers Peter Ash Lee (Corduroy), Chris Nicholls (FASHION Magazine) and Virginia Macdonald (Air Canada enRoute) are each nominated twice.

Check out all the nominees on our special anniversary website or download the PDF.

MAGAZINE OF THE YEAR

The five finalists for Magazine of the Year—given to the magazine that most consistently engages, surprises, and serves the needs of its readers—are:

  • Cottage Life, published by Blue Ant Media
  • Explore, published by My Passion Media
  • Nouveau Projet, published by Atelier 10
  • Ricardo, published by Ricardo Media
  • The Kit Compact, published by Star Media Group

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BEST NEW MAGAZINE WRITER

The five finalists for Best New Magazine Writer—given to the individual whose early work in magazines shows the highest degree of craft and promise—are:

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TOP STORIES OF 2016

The 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards honour the best in Canadian magazine journalism from 2016. Some of the most frequent topics that our judges saw among this year’s entries include:

Among this year’s nominees, some of the top stories include:

  • Justice Is Not Blind” (Maclean’s)—a nine-month investigation by Nancy Macdonald and the Maclean’s team looking at the ways in which Canada’s justice system is biased against Indigenous people. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting.
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  • Company Province, Provincial Company” (Report on Business)—journalist Bruce Livesey’s investigative profile of the Irving family and the politics of New Brunswick’s energy sector. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Investigative Reporting.
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  • The Fighter” (United Church Observer)—a stirring portrait of Willie Blackwater, a B.C. Indigenous man who survived a residential school and then led the fight for justice, written by journalist Richard Wright. Nominated in Longform Feature Writing and Profiles.
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  • Love Your Body” (NOW Magazine)—a series of bold photographs by Tanja-Tiziana accompanying a set of profiles on the issue of body shaming. Nominated in Portrait Photography and Best Words & Pictures.
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  • Whatever Happened to Michael Bryant?” (Precedent)—writer Daniel Fish investigates the life and times of the former Ontario Attorney General, whose involvement in the killing of a cyclist led to PTSD, years out of the spotlight, and finally a path to redemption. Nominated in Professional Article and Profiles.
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  • Canada’s Best New Restaurants” (Air Canada enRoute)—the annual guide to Canadian culinary innovation by Andrew Braithwaite and the enRoute team is nominated in Service Journalism and Best Editorial Package.
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  • Shocking Tax Tips You’re Missing Out On!” (MoneySense)—the annual tax guide by Bryan Borzykowski and the MoneySense team is nominated in Service Journalism and Best Service Editorial Package.

TOP NOMINATED MAGAZINES

FIRST-TIME NOMINEES

Magazines nominated for their first National Magazine Award include:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The NMAF gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. We are also thankful for the support of Access Copyright, Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Bookmark, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Writers Group, CNW, ExpertWomen.ca, Goetz Storytelling, Impresa Communications, Rolland Enterprises, Studio Wyse, TC Transcontinental Printing, and Very Good Studios.
For sponsorship enquiries please contact NMAF Managing Director Barbara Gould at staff@magazine-awards.com.

GALA TICKETS

The NMAF will welcome Canada’s top writers, artists, editors, art directors, publishers and other creators to the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards gala. Gold, Silver and Honourable Mention awards will be announced at the Arcadian Court in Toronto on May 26. Tickets are on sale at magazine-awards.com.
A limited number of tickets for nominated freelancers will be available at the discount rate of $35, thanks to the support of our Table Patrons, including Access Copyright, Bookmark, Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, Canadian Media Guild, Canadian Writers Group, CDS Global, and ExploreWomen.ca.
Gold winners in Writing and Visual Awards categories receive a cash prize of $1000. Silver winners receive an awards certificate. All other finalists receive Honourable Mention.

CREDIT CHANGES

The deadline to make any changes to nominations credit is Friday April 28. Email staff@magazine-awards.com to make any credit changes to your nomination.
Download the complete list of nominations (PDF) to check your nominations credit.

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.

Nominations Website
Nominations List (PDF)
Gala Info & Tickets
Version française

Off the Page, with Maisonneuve Publisher Jennifer Varkonyi


Off the Page is a regular interview series featuring National Magazine Award winners. Recently we caught up with Jennifer Varkonyi, publisher of Maisonneuve, which was named Canada’s Magazine of the Year in 2016, among 5 NMAs it took home last year. A quarterly magazine of arts, literature, ideas and culture, published in English in Montreal, Maisonneuve publishes new and established writers, artists and photojournalists packaged around award-winning design.
NMAF: Congratulations again on winning Magazine of the Year in 2016, the third such honour for Maisonneuve since 2004. In presenting the award, the NMA jury said:

Maisonneuve fulfills its bold mandate of ‘banishing boring,’ clearly striving to engage, inform and inspire. From its refreshing and imaginative art direction to its passionate editorial voice, the magazine feels like it’s constantly evolving, yet at the same time seems to connect with a sense of familiarity with its readers.”

As a publisher, how do you achieve this winning formula of evolution and continuity? And what was the significance to you and your team of winning the big award?
Jennifer: The answer is simple: the people. Maisonneuve has been blessed with great editors, art directors, writers, artists and interns who give their all to the magazine. We take the editorial process seriously, which means we do everything we can to help writers shape their stories to be the best they can be.
This striving for excellence has been a part of the magazine’s ethos from the very beginning, with founder Derek Webster’s drive to create a magazine that reflected intelligence, humour, and genuine curiosity, and the tradition has been carried forward by Carmine Starnino, Drew Nelles, Haley Cullingham, Daniel Viola and now Andrea Bennett.
Winning Magazine of the Year is significant for Maisonneuve. It reminds us that the hours upon hours of toil the editors dedicate to a fifth draft, or to tweaking display copy or scouring for typos, are noticed by readers and recognized within the magazine community. Being in Montreal can feel a little isolating at times, so coming to Toronto and winning the top honour is gratifying. The win also helps raise the magazine’s profile, especially among contributors, and it draws more people to the magazine.
NMAF: What three words or phrases describe the typical Maisonneuve reader? To what extent do you think about your current (and future) readers when you’re putting together and promoting a magazine issue?
Jennifer: I think here I have to go with the three qualities I used earlier: our readers are intelligent, have a sense of humour, and are curious about Canada and the world around them.
As publisher I consult with the editor-in-chief about upcoming issues, stories and themes, but the work of putting the content together really rests on the shoulders of the editors. Our editors ask themselves how they can best draw the reader into the story – how to begin a feature about, say, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the North? How do you grab someone’s attention when discussing the politics of creating a national park? What messages do our graphics send, and are words and images working in unison? These are the kind of questions considered around the editorial table.
NMAF: What are the biggest challenges for a (small) magazine publisher in 2017? How do you address them?
Jennifer: The biggest challenges are resources (money) and maintaining circulation. Many people have a lot of love for the magazine, but connecting with that love and growing circulation even to 5,000 is a huge challenge. That’s partly a reflection of a competitive environment: there is so much amazing content out there competing for eyeballs and subscribers.
The Internet has put small Canadian magazines into direct competition with every other magazine in the world. Without our grants from all levels of government, we would not survive. I wish we were not so dependent on these funds, but it is a reality for most small Canadian magazines. Former editor Daniel Viola recently remarked to me that Maisonneuve runs on enthusiasm, and that is exactly right. I wish we could provide more remuneration to everyone who contributes to the magazine. I think every small magazine editor and publisher in Canada feels that way!
NMAF: Maisonneuve has a national perspective, but also very clearly reflects its Quebec and Montreal heritage. In many ways, Maisonneuve could be said to be the voice of Quebec for the rest of English Canada, in literature, art and current events. How has the magazine embraced this role, and why is it important to project Quebec (and Montreal) onto the national stage?
Jennifer: Maisonneuve has always wanted to blur borders – be they real or ideological. The magazine’s identity is rooted in Montreal, but it’s a cosmopolitan identity (which is very Montreal) so the result on the page is wide-ranging and eclectic. There are regular moments, such as in the Writing from Quebec section, where we shine a light on some new writing from the francophone community, but I think the voice of Quebec is more consistently found in the excellent reporting of L’actualité and the refined cultural commentary of Nouveau Projet, for example.
Maisonneuve really is a national magazine in its scope and story selection. There was a Beaverton headline that made me laugh recently – “Montreal declared the ‘I don’t know I’m just trying to figure my shit out’ capital of Canada” – and I certainly fit this bill when I was 19 and moved to Montreal from Saskatoon. The point being: Montreal presents an alternative to the norm, be it “Toronto” or “English” or whatever – you can do things a little differently in Montreal. Maisonneuve embraces this difference, and people appreciate that.

Jennifer Varkonyi (second from left, with envelope) accepts the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year with (from right) former Maisonneuve editors Daniel Viola and Haley Cullingham, former art director Anna Minzhulina, and Gala host Chris Turner.
Jennifer Varkonyi (second from left, with envelope) accepts the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year with (from right) former Maisonneuve editors Daniel Viola and Haley Cullingham, former art director Anna Minzhulina, and Gala host Chris Turner at the 2016 National Magazine Awards.

 
NMAF: Based on Maisonneuve’s success, what advice would you give to small magazine publishers who are concerned they can’t compete against larger magazines on newsstands (real and virtual) or at the National Magazine Awards?
Jennifer: I think the key is to take chances. Take chances on people, on ideas, on an opening, on a story’s length. If an editor’s interest is piqued, chances are readers will be interested too. One thing that small magazines have going for them is that enthusiasm I mentioned earlier, without the punishing production cycle of larger magazines, so editors can take a little more time with a story, push for something slightly better, and the results can be astonishingly rewarding. That doesn’t pay the rent, but this is where a gold medal from the National Magazine Awards makes the sacrifices worthwhile.


Jennifer Varkonyi is the publisher of Maisonneuve, Canada’s reigning Magazine of the Year. Find out more at Maisonneuve.org, or subscribe and get 2 years (8 issues) for just $30

Download the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards guide to submissions.

National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year
Submissions to the 40th anniversary National Magazine Awards are now open for submissions. The award for Magazine of the Year honours the magazine that most consistently engages, surprises and serves the needs of its readers. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in magazine publishing over the past year.
The jury shall evaluate each candidate for Magazine of the Year according to four general criteria—quality, innovation, impact, and brand awareness—and its success relative to the magazine’s editorial mandate. Each submitter will need to complete an application form providing details supporting each criterion. There will be 5 finalists for this award and one overall winner.
The deadline for submissions for Magazine of the Year is January 27.
(For all other categories, the deadline is January 20).
magazine-awards.com

Magazine of the Year Cottage Life debuts Augmented Reality in Spring Issue


On newsstands now, the Spring 2015 issues of Cottage Life magazine and its sibling Cottage Life West feature not only great writing and photography about life in the great outdoors, but also new interactive elements that invite the reader to experience content in augmented reality.
The concept is made possible via a partnership with Blippar, a market leading image-recognition and augmented reality app. After downloading the free Blippar app onto a smartphone or tablet, readers can place their device over the issue’s “blippable” pages to unlock a series of exclusive content.

“We wanted to build an interactive experience for our loyal print audience that would integrate digital technology and enhance the way they interact with that form of media. This partnership with Blippar will not only change the way print magazines are consumed, but also change the way advertisers showcase their products.” — Penny Caldwell, editor-in-chief, Cottage Life.

In 2014 Cottage Life was named Magazine of the Year by the National Magazine Awards Foundation, and has won 48 National Magazine Awards over its 32-year history. This year’s National Magazine Awards will be held on June 5. The nominees will be announced on May 4.

Watch: 4 National Magazine Award-winning editors talk about Canadian Magazines

Last Thursday on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, four prominent Canadian magazine editors appeared together in conversation about the challenges and opportunities of magazine publishing and engaging readers in a digital age and in a crowded, shifting marketplace. (SPOILER ALERT: The answer to the digital-age question–“Will there still be print magazines in 10 years?”–is yes!)
  • Haley Cullingham, editor-in-chief of Maisonneuve
  • Sarah Fulford, editor-in-chief of Toronto Life
  • Jonathan Kay, editor-in-chief of The Walrus
  • Steve Maich, senior vice-president & general manager of Rogers Publishing and founding editor of Sportsnet
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A few annotations:

When host Steve Paikin introduces everyone with their associated magazine, describing each as having won “Best Canadian Magazine of…” he is referring to the National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year (or, in the case of Sportsnet, Tablet Magazine of the Year).
Toronto Life: Magazine of the Year 2007 (and 1985 & 1989)
Maisonneuve: Magazine of the Year 2011 (and 2004)
The Walrus: Magazine of the Year 2006
Sportsnet: Tablet Magazine of the Year 2013
Steve Maich is a member of the board of directors of the National Magazine Awards Foundation.