2017-18 Awards Judges

Isabel Abdai spent five years as senior associate art director for Martha Stewart Living after graduating from ACAD. She is currently the design director at Woman’s Day.

Danita Allen Wood is the co-owner and editor-in-chief of Missouri Life magazine, which was named Magazine of the Year by the International Regional Magazine Association in 2008, 2013, and 2015 and 2016. Danita learned the magazine business at Meredith Corporation where she helped grow Country America to one million paid circulation as its founding editor-in-chief.

John Barton has published eleven books of poetry, including For the Boy with the Eyes of the Virgin: Selected Poems and Polari.  In January 2018, after fourteen years, he steps down as the editor of The Malahat Review. He lives in Victoria.

Jim Cunningham spent 28 years editing and writing about politics and other subjects for daily newspapers in Alberta and has been a journalism instructor at SAIT Polytechnic since 2001.

Claire Dawson is a designer and creative director who co-founded the design firm Underline Studio. Claire’s work has been widely published and honoured with awards from distinguished national and international competitions, among them D&AD, the Society of Publication Designers (NY) and the Art Director’s Club (NY). She has served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards, as well as many other national and international creative awards competition.

Joan Dixon is an author and editor of nonfiction books. She has researched, written or edited for many national and local magazines, including Canadian Geographic, Chatelaine, and Kayak.

Patti Edgar is an award-winning journalist and fiction writer. Her writing has been published in periodicals across Canada. She has worked as a multimedia writer and editor at CBC and teaches in Mount Royal University’s journalism department.

Doug Firby is a long-time writer, editor and lover of language well used. He co-founder of Big Tree Communications, a Calgary-based boutique company offering strategic, writing and editing services, publisher of, and columnist for, the Troy Media national editorial service, and president of Troy Media Digital Solutions.

Paul Gessell, a Saskatchewan native, has worked for The Canadian Press, Maclean’s and The Ottawa Citizen, spending 20 years on Parliament Hill and later covering visual arts. Gessell has twice been part of teams that won National Newspaper Awards and now freelances for various publications.

Joy Gugeler has taught editing and publishing at Ryerson, SFU, and VIU since 1996, has relaunched and managed 3 online magazines, and been on the editorial boards of ARC, Quarry, and Room literary journals.

Angela Gzowski is an award-winning northern photographer. Born and raised in Yellowknife, Gzowski earned a BFA in Photography from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her photojournalism has taken her to across the three territories and her work has appeared in Canadian Geographic, Readers Digest, Maclean’s, VICE, Maisonneuve and Up Here.

Nicola Hamilton is an internationally recognized designer and a total magazine nerd. She started her career at The Grid, spent time at Chatelaine as deputy art director and is now the art director at Studio Wyse.

Grant Harder is a Vancouver based photographer whose client list includes Cossette, Leo Burnett, Camp Pacific, DDB, Winkreative, Destination BC, Canada Goose, TD Financial, AFAR, OUTSIDE, DWELL, TIME, NUVO, Travel + Leisure, enRoute, The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Monocle, Wired, Air France, Bloomberg Business and more. He was named Magenta Foundation’s top emerging photographer in 2010,

Liz Harmer won gold in the Personal Journalism category at the 2014 National Magazine Awards, and her stories, essays, and reviews have been published widely. Her debut novel, The Amateurs, will be published with Knopf Canada in 2018.

Dave Harrison has worked in publishing for more than 40 years. He has most recently worked as a magazine editor with Annex Business Media with a pair of national farm publications after previously working in the newspaper field in southwestern Ontario.

Valerie Howes writes about culinary travel for The Globe and Mail, enRoute, Toronto Life and Best Health. Her blog won Gold at the CSME and COPA awards and a National Magazine Award nomination.

Steven P. Hughes is an award winning Canadian illustrator. He has been recognized by American Illustration, Communication Arts and awarded a Silver Medal at the National Magazine Awards, and has worked with clients such as, ESPN, Reader’s Digest and The Walrus.

Jude Isabella is editor-in-chief of the award-winning Hakai Magazine, a Victoria-based publication focused on coastal science and societies in Canada and around the world. She has been a journalist for over 25 years.

Mikka Jacobsen is a Calgary-based writer, editor, and post-secondary instructor. Her writing received subTerrain’s 2017 Lush Triumphant Literary Award for creative non-fiction. She is pursuing a PhD in English and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. 

Mitch Kern is an associate professor at the Alberta College of Art + Design whose work includes documentary, editorial and contemporary art photography practice. He has received numerous grants and awards for his work and been featured in 75+ international and national exhibitions in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.

Mike Kerr illustrates, teaches, animates, sketches, collaborates, curates and sometimes writes. He has illustrated for 20 years and also taught illustration for nearly that long at the Alberta College of Art and Design.  He has recently written a book titled Crafty Llama which will be published by Bloomsbury when the illustrator, his wife, finishes the artwork … get cracking Renata!

Ahmed Knowmadic is an award-winning poet and comedian and represents Edmonton’s literary community as the city’s poet laureate. Ahmed also founded the city’s only spoken word collective, Breath in Poetry, in 2009.

Ben Kunz’s experience encompasses both industry and academic fields. He is currently the Chair of the Information Design Program in Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Business and Communication Studies. As an academic leader, he collectively works with his colleagues to create a culture of collaboration and trust.  His ultimate goal is to build a rich learning experience for the Information Design students. He is passionate about seeing students transformed into sense-makers and design-thinkers.

Robert Lemermeyer is a visual raconteur who has shared his fascination with people, places and spaces through photography for 20 years. His editorial work for Canada’s premier magazines has taken him to Kyoto on 48 hours’ notice, to St. Petersburg and on a three-island-hop to shoot hockey legend Mark Messier in the Bahamas.

Naomi K. Lewis is non-fiction and fiction writer, and has been shortlisted for Alberta and Canadian Magazine Awards. With Rona Altrows, she co-edited the anthology Shy, and is a former associate editor of Alberta Views magazine.

Markian Lozowchuk’s early career began by assisting famed photographer Martin Schoeller. Today the award-winning photographer stares down his lens into the fierce gazes of today’s most talked-about personalities. His work has been seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Stern, EW, GC and Toronto Life. 

Wayne Macphail has been creating content online since the ‘80s. He was the founder of Southam InfoLab and the creator of the Rabble Podcast Network for rabble.ca. He’s helped numerous clients tell their great stories in new ways using emerging media. He’s also been a magazine and newspaper editor and has taught online journalism at a variety of colleges and universities.

Domenic Macri has designed and art directed for Toronto Life, FASHION magazine, Flare, What’s Cooking and GUSTO!, and is best known as art director for The Globe and Mail’s much-lauded Report on Business (ROB) magazine. Over the past decade, Macri has led ROB through several redesigns and earned recognition from the Art Directors Club of Canada and the National Magazine Awards.

Jason Markusoff is a western correspondent for Maclean’s magazine, and previously wrote about mad cows and politicians for the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald. His work has also appeared in Avenue Calgary and Alberta Views.

Peter Mather is an award-winning Yukon-based photographer and fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers. His clients include Maclean’s, Geo France, Canadian Geographic and Canadian Wildlife Federation. 

Brad Mackay is an award-winning writer, journalist and author of The Collected Doug Wright: Canada’s Master Cartoonist Vol. 1He has worked at the National Post and CBC, and has been published in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Canada’s History, Toronto Life, among others. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and three kids.

Tara McCarthy has worked in print, new media, and radio for over a decade. She lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, and is editor of Yukon, North of Ordinary as well as various North of Ordinary Media publications. Tara is also a fill-in radio host for CBC Yukon. 

AnnMarie McKinnon is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Geist and the managing editor of Edible Vancouver & Wine Country. She has worked in magazine and book publishing for fifteen years and lives in Vancouver, B.C.

Neal McLennan is the Travel Editor at Western Living Magazine and the Food Editor at Vancouver Magazine. He’s also a frequent contributor to such outlets as Travel + Leisure, EnRoute, Cooking Light, the Globe & Mail and Seattle Magazine writing on topics ranging from first growth Bordeaux to the glass ceilings at corporate law firms.

Dale Miller is the editor-in-chief of British Columbia Magazine and Pacific Yachting, and the former editorial director of Canadian Traveller and Explore. He has helmed travel and adventure-lifestyle publications for more than a decade. BC Magazine recently won the IRMA award for Magazine of the Year.

John Milne is president of Breakwell & Company, a national business communications and publishing consulting firm whose clients include both national and regional publishers, associations and media services suppliers. Over a 35-year career in business publishing, John earned national writing awards as well as launching award-winning publications for both Maclean Hunter Limited and Rogers Publishing while effectively managing the transition from print to multiple platforms. An active contributor to Magazines Canada’s Travelling Consultants Program, John has organized each of the association’s Business Media Leadership Summits since their inception. He is the co-author of a series of Magazines Canada White Papers on the history and evolution of the country’s Business Publishing industry. He is a respected and sought-after public speaker with well-established Canadian and U.S. professional networks.

Natalie Milne is the vice president of content for Maple Media Ltd., where she oversees all editorial and branded content development for the SavvyMom Group and 29 Secrets Style Collection, as well as management of Maple Media’s influencer network. Prior to joining Maple Media, Natalie led the growth and advancement of some of Canada’s largest lifestyle websites, including TodaysParent.com.

Troy Moth’s award-winning photography has been exhibited worldwide and is showcased as part of the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of Victoria. He has worked for such publications as Rolling Stone and Vogue, and shot for numerous advertising campaigns in the U.S., Canada, and India. More recently he has proudly collaborated with the Webequie First Nation and Matawa Nation on a number of initiatives.

Robert Newman is the creative director of This Old House magazine. He has previously been the creative director of Real Simple and Reader ‘s Digest, and the design director of Entertainment Weekly, Fortune, Details, New York, and Vibe.

Colleen Nicholson is a Toronto-based book and magazine art director with an alarmingly ambitious coffee habit and a penchant for pithy bios.

Jen Osburne is a Canadian photographer who works has been published and exhibited internationally. Her career started in 2007 with a year-long work contract at Fabrica’s COLORS Magazine. She has an extensive exhibition record in addition to publishing editorial work and has shown at various venues including: Visa pour L’Image 2016, Aperture Gallery, The Museum de l’Elysée the Denver Biennial, The Old Church, Arles 2010 and Studio La Citta.

Haley Overland is best known for her work as social media editor at Chatelaine and, prior to that, Today’s Parent. She is now a sought-after speaker and consultant, and recently began a new role doing social media for Student Life at University of Toronto.

Pierre-Paul Pariseau is a Montreal illustrator who works for wide range of national and international clients including Foreign Policy, British Medical Journal, The Wall Street JournalTimes Higher Education, Commercial Observer, Milken Institute Review, among others. His personal work is regularly on exhibit, internationally. http://pierrepaulpariseau.com

Carey Polis is the digital editor for Bon Appétit. She’s spent more than a decade working at the intersection of food and digital media, including at the James Beard Foundation and the Huffinton Post. Carey has a master’s degree in food culture and communications from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy and a bachelor’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Thomas Porostocky the principal at TOM, a creative agency with a focus on information-rich design and storytelling. Previously the art director of I.D. and Seed, his current clients include Wired, Google and National Geographic.

Monty Reid is currently the managing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine and Festival Director at VerseFest, Ottawa’s international poetry festival. His current projects include A Gran Zoo, his collaboration with New Brunswick artist Suzanne Hill, and Intelligence, based on his surveillance on Canada’s intelligence community.  He has won Alberta’s Stephansson Award for Poetry on three occasions, the Lampman Award, two national magazine awards, and is a 3-time nominee for the Governor-General’s Award.

Christina Reynolds is an award-winning writer and editor. She was formerly the executive editor of ELLE Canada and the editor-in-chief of city magazine CalgaryInc. She has also worked at the Calgary Herald and BNN.

Harley Rustad is an editor at The Walrus magazine. He has written for Outside, the Globe and Mail, and Geographical. His first book, Big Lonely Doug, based off a silver National Magazine Award-winning Walrus feature, is out September 2018.

Ina Saltz is a consulting art director, author and professor of Electronic Design at the City College of New York.  Her areas of expertise are typography and editorial design. For over 22 years, she was an editorial design director at Time (International Editions), Worth, Golf Magazine and others. Saltz has served on the design faculty of the Stanford Professional Publishing course and is a two-time board member of The Type Directors Club and of The Society of Publication Designers.

Leah Sandals is managing editor, online, at Canadian Art, Canada’s most widely read art magazine.

Graham F. Scott is senior editor, digital, at Rogers Publishing current affairs group and teaches The Online Publishing Toolkit in the Magazine and Web Publishing program at Ryerson University’s Chang School for Continuing Education.

Alyssa Schwartz is an award-winning writer and digital consultant who has helped editorial and consumer brands connect with audiences and achieve business goals. She led the launches of MSN.ca and the Best Health Magazine website and is also the founder of the startup Articycle, a self-serve digital platform where editorial and brand publishers will be able to cost effectively relicense top quality articles on a wide range of subjects directly from writers.

David Swick is associate director of journalism at the University of King’s College. His journalism includes CBC Radio Ideas programs, one nonfiction book, in addition to magazine writing and in 2016 he co-edited an anthology, The Funniest Pages — International Perspectives on Humor in Journalism. Previous judging includes CBC’s Canada Reads, the Atlantic Journalism Awards, and the National Magazine Awards.

Kat Tancock is contributing editor at Food & Drink magazine, co-founder of custom content agency Tavanberg and a freelance writer for many Canadian publications. Previously an instructor of web editorial at Ryerson University and a web editor at Canadian Living, Best Health and Reader’s Digest, she has consulted with numerous Canadian magazines on their digital strategies.

Martin Tessler is an award-winning Vancouver-based photographer whose clients include Azure magazine, Canadian House and Home, New York Times, Chanel, Bing Thom Architects, Tom Ford and Urban Barn among others.

Robin van Eck is a Calgary writer and program director for the Alexandra Writers Centre. Her work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies in Canada and internationally.

Janice Van Eck, R.G.D., is a freelance designer specializing in magazine and book design. She is passionate about typography, dynamic photography and visualizing data. Her clients include Faith Today, Annex Business Media and the University of Guelph.

Lisa Whittington-Hill is publisher of This Magazine, Canada’s leading progressive magazine of politics, arts and culture. She also works as a circulation and marketing consultant for small magazines and consults in the area of fundraising as part of Magazine Canada’s Travelling Consultants program. She serves on the board of the National Magazine Awards and teaches magazine marketing at Centennial College.

 Harry Wilson is the senior editor at Canadian Geographic and Canadian Geographic Travel magazines. A former Calgary Herald journalist, he’s also worked in the United Kingdom as the news editor and editor of CPQ, the quarterly news magazine that was published by the Commonwealth Press Union, and as a travel guidebook editor with Rough Guides. 

Vanessa Wyse is founder and creative director of Studio Wyse. She has launched and redesigned magazines for large media brands including Chatelaine, the Globe and Mail and Fairfax Media Australia. Her work has received awards from the National Magazine Awards and ADCC in Canada, Society of Publication Design (U.S.), and D&AD (UK).

Achievement Award judges

Penny Caldwell was editor of Cottage Life magazine for 15 years before moving into the Publisher’s office in 2016. Under her leadership, Cottage Life has won hundreds of magazine awards. She is past president of the International Regional Magazine Association, a former director of Canada’s National Magazine Awards Foundation, and has taught in Ryerson University’s Magazine and Web Publishing program in Toronto. This year, Penny left Cottage Life to start a new chapter pursuing projects that stretch both her creative and her management skills.

Joyce Byrne is Avenue magazine Calgary’s publisher and serves as AMPA’s president, director of the International Regional Magazine Association, and recently served as president of the National Magazine Awards Foundation. She was a director of Magazines Canada from 2002-2012 chairing their professional development committee as well as serving on numerous others. She has been a juror for the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Ministry of Culture. In addition to industry volunteer work, Joyce has been involved with the boards or steering committees of Webgirls and Digital Eve (Toronto), the Word on the Street (Toronto), Theatre Network (Edmonton) and helped raise money for NABS during her four years as chair of the Edmonton Cannes Reel Committee.

Lisa Cook is associate director of communications, Office of Advancement Strategic Communications and editor in chief at the award-winning New Trail magazine. Lisa was the Alberta Magazine Awards 2017 the Editor of the Year recipient.

Käthe Lemon is the editor-in-chief of Avenue magazine in Calgary, a role she took on in 2006. Under her tenure the magazine has won multiple National Magazine Awards, Western Magazine Awards and Alberta Showcase Awards. In 2011 she was recognized as the Alberta Editor of the Year by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. Lemon also worked for the Athabasca University communications studies department for several years and was a founding board member of the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation. 

Mike Ganley was an editor at Yellowknife’s Up Here Publishing from 2005-2011 and the editor of Alberta Venture magazine from May 2011 until March 2017. He is now a freelance writer and the communications and marketing manager for Edmonton-based Ketek Group.

Curtis Gillespie is the author of five books, including the novel Crown Shyness and the memoirs Playing Through and Almost There, which have won or been nominated for various literary awards. In 2014 he won a record-tying four National Magazine awards and has won seven in total for his writing on the arts, politics, society, travel and sports. In 2010 he co-founded the narrative journalism magazine Eighteen Bridges, which he edits and which has won eight National Magazine Awards. He was a recipient of the University of Alberta Alumni Honour Award in 2014, the Edmonton Artists Trust Fund Award in 2016 and the Alberta Magazines Editor of the Year award in 2016.

John Montgomery is the art director for Reader’s Digest Canada. He’s previously worked on Canadian Business, MoneySense, Toronto Life, Financial Post Magazine and Taddle Creek magazines. John has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards—including a silver win in 2016 for Cover of the Year—and won two Canadian Cover awards in 2012 and 2016.

Charlene Rooke is a Vancouver-based journalist who has been at the frontier of branded content since 2002, when she joined Air Canada’s enRoute. Currently, she is a Contributing Editor to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s Food & Drink. She has won more than 25 awards for her editing and travel writing and has taught magazine writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.

Evan Osenton is the editor in chief of Alberta Views magazine.

Thomas Tait is owner and publisher of Galleries West Digital magazine, which last year replaced a print version launched in 2002. He was a founding partner and publisher of WHERE Calgary magazine from 1981 to 2001. A native Albertan with a B.A. (Economics/History ’63) from the University of Alberta, Mr. Tait is fluently bilingual and served in the Canadian Foreign Service at Canadian Embassies in Paris and Kinshasa.  He has also lived in Ottawa and Zurich while responsible for commercial projects in Algeria and Morocco as a Managing Partner of a Canadian international trading company in the 1970s.  Through his efforts and expertise, WHERE Calgary and now Galleries West have been in the forefront of wide-ranging computer applications appropriate to a small publishing company. Tom is married to Sandra and they have a son, Alexandre.

Rob Tanner is president and group publisher at Tanner Young Publishing Group, a former AMPA director and the 2011 Alberta Magazine Achievement in Publishing award recipient.

Chris Welner is editor of IMPACT Magazine and the recipient of AMPA’s 2012 Editor of the Year Award. A lifelong journalist and communications expert, Chris has traced a career through major newsrooms that include the Toronto Star, Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald. He has senior management experience with the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and corporate experience with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and Alliance Pipeline. Chris has lived across the country and, through his role at IMPACT, is able to live and share his passion for sport. Chris has been the editorial leader at IMPACT since 2010, a period that has seen the magazine grow from Alberta and B.C. editions to a new magazine launched in Ontario.  Chris has been a member of the AMPA board since 2014 and currently serves as vice-president. He is also vice-president of the Glendale Community Association.