2022-23 Judges

Awards categories are adjudicated by a panel of three industry professionals. Judges do not adjudicate categories in which they had any involvement with the submission (as author, creator, editor, publisher, etc.), nor do they adjudicate entries in which their name appears on the masthead.

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Isabel Abdai is a graphic designer and art director, who followed her dream to NYC three years after graduating from ACAD in Calgary. She spent five years as Senior Associate Art Director for Martha Stewart Living magazine, and is currently the Design Director for Woman’s Day magazine at Hearst Corporation.

Ash Adams is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska. Adams’ work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, ESPN, Mother Jones, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, TIME, GEO, Stern, Vogue, and other national and international publications. Adams is a recipient of a National Geographic Society grant for an extensive project in 2018 and 2019, a 2018 VSCO Voices grantee, and was named one of Time’s 51 Instagram photographers to follow in 2016. In 2019, Adams was awarded one of six Sony Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence awards to work on a project in various regions of the United States in 2020 that is still on-going.

Trevor J. Adams is senior editor with Advocate Media. He leads an editorial team that includes Unravel Halifax and Port of Halifax magazines, plus four newspapers. He’s published three books and in 2014 was short-listed for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence from the Editors’ Association of Canada.

Nadine Arseneault is an award-winning art director with over three decades of experience in leading design projects for Canada’s top brands and magazines. Recognized by the National Magazine Awards, SPD Award, Magnum Opus Award and Communication Arts Award. She has a Master of Design degree from York University and currently principal at Bakersfield Visual Communications Inc art directing Rotman Management magazine for the University of Toronto.

Marina Beniaminov started her career in graphic design as a magazine production artist more than 20 years ago. She has experience with various aspects of design – from UX and UI for automotive industry, and environmental design at Royal Ontario Museum, to infographics for GE Energy. She is currently a Creative Lead and Principal of Pixel Studios where she creates marketing and corporate communication collateral for the financial and pharmaceutical industry. She is also a part-time professor at the Seneca College of Applied Arts & Technology. In her spare time, Marina abandons the virtual world of pixels and screens and paints on actual stretched canvases.

Peter Bishop currently oversees digital marketing and development and is the lead on special projects at ZGM. He consults with the local universities on their digital curriculum, was the past president of Digital Alberta, sits on multiple advisory boards, mentors students and is a regular judge with various interactive groups including Applied Arts and the Digital Marketing Association.

Wendy Burton is Professor Emeritus at University of the Fraser Valley, where she taught academic and workplace writing, story-telling, diversity education, and educating for social justice. She retired as the inaugural Director, Teaching and Learning. Throughout her work life, she wrote creative non-fiction, long and short form fiction, and poetry.

Her debut novel Ivy’s Tree was published by Thistledown Press in September 2020. The first two chapters of her current project, Millicent, is published in Embark (October 2020). “Swimming in the Dark,” the creative nonfiction account of her effort to qualify to swim the English Channel, was published in FolkLife in October 2020. This essay was awarded Gold, BC Story of the year by Alberta Magazine Publishers Association in 2021.

She is querying for Millicent, the fictionalised account of her great-great-grandmother’s life in London’s East End in the 1850s. Her work with this manuscript earned her a Letter of Distinction from Humber College Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing in 2020.

Lisa Cook is Director of Editorial Strategy at the University of Alberta where she oversees at the award-winning alumni magazine New Trail. Lisa is credited for her vision, creativity, and mentorship for transforming the 100-plus-year-old alumni magazine into a popular, general-interest publication. Lisa graduated from the University of Regina with Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications, English, and Political Science, and was named 2017 Editor of the Year at the Alberta Magazine Awards.

Veronica Cowan is an award-winning GDC-certified art director and graphic designer with more than 20 years of industry experience. As art director, Veronica has brought her thoughtful and colourful style to such well-known publications as Where Calgary, Where Vancouver, Tourism Calgary Visitor Guide, Rocky Mountaineer, Leap, SAIT Link and many more. Veronica also has extensive experience as a production manager and can confidently support clients through the production and printing process with calm and ease.

Greg Davis is the publisher of Melanistic Magazine, Alberta’s leading Black Urban Lifestyle Magazine, based in Edmonton. Having started in the magazine world back in 2005 while in Japan, Greg has worked for Outdoor Japan Magazine, along with award winning titles such as Outpost Magazine and Where Edmonton. Melanistic Magazine is the culmination of passion, enterprise, and community building, all of which he has learned along the journey in media.

Derek Eng is currently the art director at Dwell. After graduating from OCAD in Toronto, he moved to New York where he worked at various magazines including W, Travel & Leisure, and Martha Stewart Living. He has also worked in newspapers, as art director at the Wall Street Journal, and in custom publishing, as creative director of RCI’s Endless Vacation.

Greg Fulmes is a freelance photographer and former picture editor who created images for clients such as the National Post, the Globe and Mail, the Los Angeles Times, A&E Biography, The Sporting News, Maclean’s magazine, and more. Greg is currently a documentary portraiture instructor at SAIT in Calgary. In 2014 he created a program where he takes his students to countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, with future plans for Peru, Zambia and Zimbabwe, to create documentaries of the work of NGO’s. He is currently working on a book in Saskatchewan. As well he and his wife, Nicole Dunsdon have just begun a multi-faceted project on humanity with a focus on gender and sexuality.

Ryan Girard has spent over 20 years in the visual arts profession, starting in graphic design but added photography early in his career. He worked as an art director and in-house photographer in the publishing industry for 7 years, and currently is the in-house senior designer and photography lead for a major internationally reaching Alberta-based company. He also does freelance work and practices landscape photography.

Charlotte Gray is the author of eleven non-fiction bestselling books. She also writes regularly for The Globe and Mail and the Wall Street Journal, and for magazines, including Canada’s History, Walrus, and Literary Review of Canada.

Gord Grisenthwaite is a Nlaka’pamux writer and member of the Lytton First Nation, and earned an MA in English Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Windsor (2020). His first novel, Home Waltz, was a shortlisted finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English-language fiction . He has published short stories and poetry in various Canadian literary magazines including The Antigonish Review and Prism International; his short story “The Fine Art of Frying Eggs” was the winner of the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award in 2013, and his short story “Splatter Patterns” was longlisted for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.

Dave Harrison worked in publishing for more than 40 years before he retired in December 2017. He had 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.

Richard Harrison, author of seven volumes, won a Governor-General’s Award for Poetry in 2017 for his book On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood. He is also a two-time winner of an AMPA prize for poetry. Richard’s work has been published worldwide and translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic and Farsi. For 25 years, he taught English and Creative Writing at Mount Royal University.

Stephanie Joe is an Indigenous writer and journalist from Champagne and Aishihik First Nations, Yukon. She’s written for Avenue Magazine, WestJet, Leap, Dementia Connections, Windspeaker and various news organizations. In 2020, Stephanie was awarded silver in Alberta Magazine Publishers Association’s Emerging Writer category for her story Full Circle featured in Avenue Magazine. She enjoys telling stories from within Indigenous communities and is an advocate for reconciliation. She hopes to make a publication documenting traditional Indigenous ways of knowing. Writing has always been a passion for Stephanie.

Skylar Kay is an Albertan poet who ran away from University of Windsor to return home to the snow and mountains. Her writing is lyrical and heavily imagistic, attempting to capture the minutiae of her daily life as a trans woman and a little bit of the everyday magic around her.

Ellen Kartz has been the Communications and Partnerships Coordinator for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta for the past seven years. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, a BA in English from the U of C, and a professional writing certificate from Mount Royal University. Ellen worked with and for the Edmonton Poetry Festival for many years as a volunteer coordinator, event planner, founding member, and board member. In 2018, she self-produced a stage show and poetry chapbook, both titled The Tenderness of Stone about a trek she made through Nepal’s Khumbu Valley. In 2021, Ellen founded a small poetry chapbook press and launched a quartet of chapbooks by emerging queer Edmonton authors.

Michelle Kelly started her career in publishing in 1998, as the office manager at Cottage Life. Since then, she has held various positions in the editorial department at the magazine until she was named Editor in July 2015 and Vice President, Content, for Blue ant Media in September 2019. She sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Centennial College in Toronto and is a board member for the International Regional Magazines Association. She is also the recipient of several Canadian National Magazine Awards, including Editor Grand Prix in 2021. Outside of work, Michelle volunteers for Ready Set Play, a non-profit group that helps provide youth access to organized sports. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Mitch Kern is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication Design at the Alberta University of the Arts whose work has received numerous awards and been featured in 150+ exhibitions and publications in Canada, the U.S. and abroad.

Lisa Kozleski’s love affair with words goes back as long as she can remember. She received a diary on her seventh birthday from her aunt, who encouraged her to “write from the heart, as all true authors do” – and she’s been trying to do that ever since. She started getting paid to write when she was 16, earning $75 a week at the weekly Ute Pass Courier in her hometown of Woodland Park, Colorado. She earned a BA from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and went on to work at newspapers of all sizes, including the weekly South Pierce County Dispatch, the Allentown Morning Call and the Philadelphia Inquirer. After moving to Canada in 2003, she spent seven years teaching academic writing at the University of Lethbridge. In 2011, she started working at Lethbridge College as a senior writer and editor, and she says getting to create Wider Horizons three times a year – collaborating with talented and inspiring colleagues, students, alumni and friends of the college – is absolutely the best job in the world.

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.

Tara McCarthy has worked in print, radio, and new media for over a decade. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where she works at CBC as the traffic, weather and community reporter on Edmonton AM. She’s also a juror for the Polaris Music Prize and the Western Canadian Music Awards. A former Yukoner, Tara was editor of the magazine Yukon, North of Ordinary for 7 years, and worked as a host and producer at CBC Yukon.

Declan Meade is Publisher and a Founding Editor of The Stinging Fly literary magazine, which he established in Dublin in 1997 to publish and promote the best new Irish and international writing. Declan also runs The Stinging Fly Press through which he has edited and published short-story collections by writers such as Colin Barrett, Kevin Barry, Claire-Louise Bennett, Mary Costello, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery and Danielle McLaughlin. He has also edited several highly acclaimed short-story anthologies, including These Are Our Lives (2006), Let’s Be Alone Together (2008) and Stinging Fly Stories (with Sarah Gilmartin, 2018).

Natalie Meisner is a poet and playwright from the Mi’kma’ki /South Shore of Nova Scotia and Calgary/ Mohkinstsis 5th Poet Laureate. She combines survivor comedy with hopepunk in the service of social change. Her new collection of poems, It Begins in Salt is forthcoming with Frontenac in April, 2023. Baddie One Shoe is her book of odes to renegade women. LEGISLATING LOVE: THE EVERETT KLIPPERT STORY is a stage play based on the true story of the beloved Calgary bus driver whose plight spurred the decriminalization of homosexuality. SPEED DATING FOR SPERM DONORS is a comedy for the stage based on her family’s story, and was a hit at Neptune and Lunchbox Theatre. Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family topped non-fiction lists and My Mommy, My Mama My Brother & Me is her children’s book about a two-mom biracial family finding community. She is a wife, mom to two great boys and a Full Professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB.

Jacquie Moore has been a magazine editor and writer since 2004 when she started as an assistant editor at Western Living magazine in Vancouver. From there she spent many years at Calgary’s weekly Swerve magazine as executive editor and senior writer. Most recently, she re-imagined and edited the University of Calgary’s AMPA award-winning arch magazine for which she now freelance writes. She also regularly contributes to Avenue magazine.

John Montgomery is an experienced art director + graphic designer. Currently art director for Reader’s Digest Canada and Sélection, he’s previously worked on Canadian Business, MoneySense, Toronto Life, Financial Post Magazine and Taddle Creek magazines, as well as worked with Nelson Education, the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the Ontario Association of Architects. John has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards—including winning silver for cover of the year—and has won two Canadian Cover awards. John has been a judge for the National Magazine Awards numerous times, and was an editorial category judge for the Society of Illustrators’ 62nd annual. He is a PAC member for Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Illustration program.

Although he studied printmaking at art school, and was then a bookseller out of college, Brian Morgan has worked as a graphic designer and an art director for the past 26 years, 20 of these in editorial design. He has worked for (or on) Maclean’s, Saturday Night, C, Dose, Literary Review of Canada, enRoute, and The Walrus, at the last he was the art director for nine years. He also sat on the executive committee of the National Magazine Awards. Brian lives and works in Montreal and co-art directs Maisonneuve and Precedent with the Toronto photo editor, curator, and producer Rachel Wine.

Breanna Mroczek has been involved in the Alberta magazine industry for more than ten years, including as editor of Where Calgary, associate editor of Avenue Edmonton (now Edify), assistant editor of Glass Buffalo and as an AMPA Award-nominated freelance writer.

Robert Newman is currently The Man at Newmanology. He was previously the creative director for Real Simple, This Old House Ventures, and Reader’s Digest, and was the design director for Entertainment Weekly, Cottage Living, New York, Details, Vibe, Fortune, and The Village Voice and has consulted for AARP, AAA, TV Guide, and more. He lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City.

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

Jen Osborne is a Canadian photographer whose work has been published and exhibited internationally. Her career started in 2007 with a yearlong work contract at Fabrica’s COLORS Magazine. She now frequently works with Maclean’s Magazine and has graced the pages of Stern, Vice, The Sunday Times, GQ, Mother Jones, Esquire, Vanity Fair Italy and IoDonna to name a few. 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.

Evan Osenton is the editor of Alberta Views magazine.

M.L. Ellen Percival is the co-founder, editor and publisher-in-chief of the multiple award-winning parenting publication Calgary’s Child Magazine. Since it first hit the newsstands in 1994, Ellen’s vision has made Calgary’s Child an innovative, free and easily-accessed network of support connecting and informing parents in the Calgary area. Widely recognized for her work ethic, positive attitude and innovative strategic thinking, Ellen, a Women of Vision recipient, brings both a fresh and informed perspective to the issues that shape the lives of Calgary’s families.

Principal and Creative Director, Thomas Porostocky started his design career in the NYC magazine industry. After realizing he was far too independent for a cushy office job, he started his own studio, The TOM Agency, a multi-disciplinary firm focused on infographics and illustration-based design.

Thomas has a Bachelor of Design from ACAD (Calgary) and a Masters from the School of Visual Arts (NYC). He was included in Print Magazine’s Top 20 Under 30, and has had his name and work appear in numerous Design Annuals, Books and Art exhibits. When he’s not designing, he’s lusting after cars he’ll never own.

Anicka Quin is the Editorial Director of Western Living and Vancouver magazines. Under her leadership, Western Living has become a regional brand with a national reputation, winning Best Home Design and Décor magazine in Canada in 2017 at the Canadian Magazine Awards and Magazine of the Year at the Editor’s Choice Awards in 2019; Vancouver magazine has also thrived under her tenure, winning Magazine of the Year at the Canadian Editors’ Choice Awards in 2018 and best e-newsletter in 2019. Before joining Western Living and Vanmag, Anicka worked with Alternatives Journal and the alt-weekly id Magazine. She’s also decidedly become a pandemic cliché, and has spent the last year working on a YA novel, which she hopes to finish any day now.

Christina Reynolds is a freelance journalist based in Calgary, in Treaty 7 territory. She’s been the executive editor of ELLE Canada and the editor-in-chief of city magazine CalgaryInc. She has also worked at the Calgary Herald, ROBTV and CTV.

Pete Ryan was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere. He’s a former college professor, former art director and former Ontarian who currently calls Nelson, BC home. Pete makes illustrations for Time, the New York Times and a variety of publications in Alberta. A global warming alarmist, golden retriever enthusiast and late ‘90s hardcore punk survivor, Pete can be found on a trail, in his garden or inside his studio.

Steven Sandor is an author and the award-winning editor of EDify; his work has appeared in over 100 magazines and newspapers around the globe. He also works behind the mic, with experience calling games that have been broadcast on Sportsnet, Citytv, CBC, OneSoccer and TSN.

Kilian Schalk has been enabling publishers to thrive in a multi-channel environment for decades. An expert in workflow design and “an energetic, passionate devotee of continuous improvement”, he began his career as the youngest Production Manager in Rolling Stone history and most recently positioned America Media, one of the oldest periodicals in the United States, to ‘lead the conversation about faith and culture’. As Technical Director of Digital Projects he guided The New Yorker’s evolution from print-only to the iPad. He also helped define and implement culture change across eighteen titles at Condé Nast and created blueprints to overhaul workflows at publications ranging from IEEE Spectrum to Vanity Fair. His remote transformation programs have helped small to mid-sized magazine teams across North America define and implement the culture change they need to compete in a mobile environment, launch new digital products, create newsletters, launch podcasts, expand into radio, add video channels, use resources they already have, and go home at the end of the day.

Follow Kilian on LinkedIn or Twitter (@purplegraykjs) or contact him at ks@purplegray.com.

Graham F. Scott is a Senior Content Designer at Shopify and a former editor at Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Precedent, and This Magazine.

Colleen Seto, long-time writer and editor, pounds out prose for regional and national publications such as Today’s Parent and The Globe and Mail. She’s currently a branded content editor for SJC Media, publisher of Maclean’s, Chatelaine, Canadian Business and more. She’s the former executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, and is the current president for the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation.

Nikki Sheppy is a poet and editor living on Treaty 7 land in Calgary, Moh’kinstsis, where she and her dog chase but do not harm squirrels. She is the author of the poetry collection, Fail Safe, winner of the 2018 Robert Kroetsch Award for Poetry Book of the Year, and the chapbooks Tacit Ore (a palindromic poem), and Grrrrlhood: a ludic suite. She loves magazines, and is past editor at filling Station and former book columnist at Uppercase. She is writing and quilting her next book.

Stephen Smith is a writer in Toronto, a sometime contributor to The New York Times, Canadian Geographic, McSweeney’s, and Geist. He’s author of the book Puckstruck: Distracted, Delighted and Distressed by Canada’s Hockey Obsession (2014), and steers a blog at puckstruck.com that keeps an eye on hockey history and culture.

Matthew Stepanic is a queer writer who lives and works on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. He is the co-founder of Glass Bookshop. He is a co-author of the collaborative novel, Project Compass (Monto Books, 2017), and the author of Relying on that Body (Glass Buffalo Publishing, 2018), a poetry chapbook about RuPaul’s Drag Race. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Is Dead, CV2, Eighteen Bridges, and others.

David Swick teaches writing at the University of King’s College. His journalism includes CBC Radio Ideas programs, dozens of magazine articles and one nonfiction book. In 2016 he co-edited an anthology, The Funniest Pages — International Perspectives on Humor in Journalism.

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.

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.

Carolynn Van de Vyvere is a former journalism instructor, writer and editor. For the past nine years, she has been the communications principal at IVY, a Calgary-based marketing agency.

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, who range from large corporations to young entrepreneurs, are based in Canada, the United States and the UK. They include Faith Today, OVMA, Westminster Seminary and the University of Guelph.

Leslie Vermeer is a professor of communication studies at MacEwan University in Edmonton and has been writing and editing professionally for 30 years. Alberta’s political economy and Alberta’s publishing history are two of her academic interests.

Chandra Vermeulen is a Calgary-based Graphic / Communication Designer and Sessional Instructor at the Alberta University of the Arts. Chandra’s work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Coupe Magazine and The Mohawk Show.

Richard Warnica is a business feature writer at the Toronto Star and a former reporter, editor and columnist at the National Post, the Edmonton Journal, Canadian Business, Maclean’s and the Tyee.

His freelance work has been published in Politico Magazine, Hazlitt, Flare and other outlets.

Lisa Whittington-Hill is the publisher of This Magazine. She also works as a circulation, marketing and fundraising consultant for small magazines and is an instructor in the magazine publishing program at Centennial College in Toronto. Her writing has appeared in The Walrus, Hazlitt and Longreads. She is currently writing a book for Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series on Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go’s. Girls, Interrupted, her collection of essays on how pop culture is failing women, will be published by Vehicule Press in 2023.

Cait Wills is a strategic communications professional with more than a decade of experience in engaging readers through evocative and entertaining campaigns. Her editorial background has focused on roles in business, agriculture and consumer publications over the last decade and a half.