2023-24 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.

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.

Trevor J. Adams is senior editor/copy chief with Advocate Media. He edits and writes for Saltscapes magazine and has published three books. In 2023, he earned the Bronze Quill Award from News Media Canada.

Trevor Battye is the founder of Trevor Battye Advertising Sales provides client-driven advertising and monetization strategies for print and digital publications, festivals, and events for over 15 years. Clients include The Alberta Teachers Association, Brick A Literary Journal, The Tyee, The Vancouver Writers Festival, The Vancouver Film Festival, and the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. In addition he is a sessional instructor in the Publishing Program at Simon Fraser University Courses include Pub 456 Festivals and Events and Pub 458 Journalism as Publishing Problem.

Joyce Byrne is Alberta Magazine Publishers’ past President and an award-winning veteran of the Canadian magazine industry. She has led publishing, creative, marketing and sales teams and boards in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary, and has worked on nearly every type of magazine, from literary to light industrial, with consumer, business, visual art, health and cannabis in between. She is the recipient of the National Media Awards Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement (2018), AMPA’s Achievement in Publishing Award (2018) as well as the NABS Honour Roll (2013) and Advertising Club of Edmonton Fellowship Award (2014). Joyce is AMPA’s curriculum consultant and the host of the Strategies for Canadian Magazines series. Her personal brand is I Love Magazines.

Alyssa Davies is a content manager and published author based in Calgary, Alberta, renowned for creating the award-winning Canadian Personal Finance blog Mixed Up Money in 2015, which has amassed over 100,000 followers on social media. In addition, she is a certified practitioner in the Trauma of Money method, an achievement that exemplifies her dedication to helping individuals with financial management.

Pieter de Vos is a documentary photographer and engaged academic. He is interested in questions of home, belonging, and identity. Over the past several years, Pieter has enriched his practice by using participatory photography, narrative inquiry, and arts-based methods to enhance dialogue and collaboration. His long-term work exploring social inclusion in South Africa is featured in the monograph, HOMELANDS, published in June 2019 by Daylight Books.

Julie Fiorini is a strategic and purpose-driven leader who is passionate about connecting people in a meaningful way to the brands and causes they support. As the General Manager, Donor Services & Brand Marketing, Julie brings a diverse background in marketing, communications and fundraising to support Canadians on their philanthropic journey and drive much-needed donations to charities that are working everyday to make our world better.

Julie’s experience in the non-profit sector has centred on causes she’s passionate about and covers both the client and agency sides. On the client-side, Julie has worked with charities such as Make-A-Wish® Canada, SickKids Hospital and Heart & Stroke Foundation to elevate their brands and advance their missions through innovative and integrated digital-first programs and strategies. Agency-side, Julie collaborated with a wide range of charity clients including Canadian Cancer Society, Kids Help Phone and Doctors Without Borders, to name a few.

Kyle Flemmer is a writer, publisher, and digital media artist from Calgary in Treaty 7 territory. He founded The Blasted Tree Publishing Co. in 2014 and his first book, Barcode Poetry, was published in 2021. Kyle’s first trade book of poetry, Supergiants, is forthcoming from Wolsak & Wynn in 2025. His most recent chapbooks include WikiPoems from 845 Press and Alternate histories from above/ground press.

Stacey May Fowles is an award winning writer, editor, and magazine professional with over twenty years of experience in book, magazine, newspaper, and digital publishing. Her national bestseller Baseball Life Advice, was published in Spring 2017, and was selected by the Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Maisonneuve as a best book of the year. Fowles has also worked on circulation projects for a number of highly respected literary and arts publications, is the author of five books and editor of four anthologies, and her bylines include Cottage Life, Reader’s Digest, Toronto Life, Vice, Broadview, The Literary Review of Canada, Quill and QuireMaisonneuve, Elle Canada, and many more. She recently published her first children’s book, The Invitation, with Groundwood Books.

Gary Garland is a long-time advocate of the Canadian magazine industry with broad experience in Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) consultations and legislative rollouts across Canada. Over the past 14 years, Gary has been actively involved in advisory and advocacy work during the development of EPR in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and now, Alberta.

Gary’s resume includes President and Executive Director at Magazines Canada as well as senior roles in leading advertising and marketing companies. He is currently Principal at Gary Garland Consulting.

David Gibson is vice president for communications and marketing at Middlebury, where he leads public affairs, marketing, internal and crisis communications, branding, web strategy, social media, creative services, storytelling across platforms, and print and mail operations. He has three decades of experience advancing the interests of mission-driven institutions and has built programs clarifying their value in the world and bringing deeper engagement with stakeholders. He has held staff positions at Hampshire, MIT, and Dartmouth; was vice president of strategic communications for the international consulting firm Grenzebach Glier and Associates, advising clients in the cultural, health care, education, and charitable sectors; and has led creative teams specializing in campaign communications. At Cornell, he and his team won two Sibley Magazine of the Year Awards. As its former managing editor, he helped Yankee earn its first National Magazine Award nomination for reporting. He speaks widely about the profession and has served on the faculty of CASE’s Summer Institute in Communications and Marketing since 1997.

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.

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.

Nicola Hamilton RGD (she/her) is an award-winning editorial designer based in Toronto, Canada. For over a decade now she’s been art directing and designing magazines. She’s worked on publications like The Grid, Chatelaine, The University of Toronto Magazine, Best Health, Precedent, and Serviette to name a few. Nicola is the President of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), where she advocates for the value of design. In July 2022, Nicola took her love of magazines to a whole new level by opening Issues Magazine Shop, a bricks-and-mortar magazine retailer with a mandate to celebrate the people and projects keeping print alive.

Lisa Heyamoto is Director of Programming, Member Education at LION Publishers. She collaboratively leads LION’s programming strategy by designing and overseeing programs, products and experiences that help independent news organizations become more sustainable. She was previously an educator and program coordinator at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, and a reporter at The Seattle Times and The Sacramento Bee. She is based in Portland, Oregon.

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. 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.

A content strategy and media executive specializing in content solutions across social, digital, video, print, SEO, research and e-commerce, Jacquie Loch is a branded content/revenue generation expert driving engagement, results, and cultivating C-level relationships. In her current role as EVP Strategy & Revenue, AZURE Media, she works closely with clients to create innovative cross-platform content solutions that deliver on revenue goals and company EBITDA. Previously as EVP Social & Emerging Platforms and VP Group Publisher SJC Media and TC Media she oversaw media brands including FASHION, ELLE Canada, Canadian Living, and Style at Home, and was formerly VP Content Solutions Rogers Media. A recognized leader in marketing solutions and media innovation, Jacquie Chaired The Content Council (New York) and is a Board Member for the National Media Awards Foundation. A frequent speaker across North America and Europe, having created award-winning programs for a wide range of top-tier clients.

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.

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.

Alanna Mitchell is an award-winning Canadian journalist, author and playwright who is as fascinated with the history of scientific thought and the evolution of quantum physics as she is with trends in 21st-century art. She has been a freelance magazine journalist for the past two decades, and has written five books and two plays. She is features editor at Broadview Magazine.  She has spent parts of the past 10 years performing a one-woman play she wrote, with help from artistic directors Franco Boni and Ravi Jain, at theatres around the world. She grew up on the prairies and now lives in Toronto.

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 a freelance art director + graphic designer, who has worked for Reader’s Digest Canada and Sélection, Canadian Business, MoneySense, Toronto Life, Financial Post Magazine and Taddle Creek magazines, as well as worked with New Trail, 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 won two Alberta Magazines Awards in 2023 for Feature Design (Gold) and Art Direction for a Single Issue (Silver). 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.

Robert Newman is currently creative director at Newmanology. He was previously the creative director for Real Simple, This Old House Ventures, and Reader’s Digest, 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.

Guillaume Nolet is a photographer known for long-term documentary projects with narratives that portray society, culture and rural life. His work has been recognized by the National Magazine Awards and the News Photographer Association of Canada. His photographs have appeared in editorial and daily news publications such as The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Alberta Views and Canadian Geographic Magazine. He currently lives in Calgary with his wife and son. Guillaume is represented by Redux Pictures.

Jessica Patterson is a freelance journalist, instructor, and content specialist with over 16 years of experience in media and communications. She excels in writing, editing, and producing compelling stories across various platforms, utilizing multimedia tools and data analysis skills. Currently teaching advanced multimedia storytelling at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, Jessica is committed to sharing her knowledge through interactive webinars and case studies. Recently, she expanded her teaching skills by developing and instructing a multimedia storytelling course in 2023, and contributing to curriculum development for a national workshop series.

Jessica’s career reflects a passion for media innovation and helping individuals and organizations thrive in the digital age. Her diverse roles included magazine editor, columnist, book editor, photographer, correspondent, and social media editor, photographer, correspondent, and social media editor.

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.

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

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 a co-author of Project Compass (Monto Books, 2017) and the author of Relying on that Body (Glass Buffalo, 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Queer Little Nightmares (Arsenal Pulp, 2022), Plenitude, FreeFall, and others. He’s the poetry editor for Funicular and hosts VERS/E, a queer poetry open mic the first Wednesday of every month at Felice Cafe.

David Swick is an associate professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Canada. He teaches longform narrative, magazine features, opinion writing, and other writing courses to undergraduate and master’s students. He is also an award-winning journalist whose work includes one nonfiction book, hour-long documentaries for national CBC Radio, and dozens of magazine articles. In 2023 Routledge published the anthology Literary Journalism Goes Inside Prison, co-edited by Swick and Richard Keeble. In early 2024 the pair released a call for papers for a new anthology, Literary Journalists Explore Death.

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, Cleanfarms, The Centre for Agri-Food Benchmarking, OVMA, MBC and Westminster Seminary.

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.

Mary is poet whose writing is published locally and internationally in CV2, FreeFall, Prairie Fire, Wild Musette, Paper Dragon, Asahi Shimbun, Mothers Always Write, GUSTS, Moonbathing, Wales Haiku, and various anthologies. Her poem An Origin Story, won Gold in Alberta Magazine Publishers Association awards 2023. She has been a contributing editor for Arc Poetry Magazine since 2019. Her first book of poetry, On the Prairie Fringe, was self-published in 2022. Her charcoal drawing, Surrender to the Wind was published by Shanti Arts. She is an adult student of cello. She lives with her husband on the edge of beautiful Fish Creek Provincial Park.

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.

Kyle Wyatt is the editor-of-chief of the Literary Review of Canada and the winner of multiple National Magazine Awards.