Saturday Night big prize winner

Chad Skelton
Globe and Mail
May 23, 1998

Toronto – The two heavyweights of Canadian magazine journalism, Saturday Night and Toronto Life, came first and second at last night’s National Magazine Awards. But Vancouver Magazine was the success story of the evening, coming in third overall and being named Magazine of the year.

Saturday Night won four gold medals and four silver at the 21st annual awards, followed by Toronto Life with three gold and three silver. Vancouver Magazine won three gold and one silver.

The success of Vancouver Magazine was even more surprising because it received its four awards with only seven nominations, compared to 37 nominations for Saturday Night, 25 for {he Quebec biweekly newsmagazine L’actualité and 21 for Toronto Life.

L’actualité came in fourth with two gold and three silver and the technology and culture magazine Shift was fifth with two gold and two silver. Cottage Life, Maclean’s and This Magazine won three awards each. En Route, Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, won two gold, and new magazines Elm Street and The Next City each won one gold medal.

The President’s Medal, a “best-of-show award” recognizing the best article of the year, went to Beyond Sensible, by Carsten Stroud in the Financial Post Magazine – a piece about the joy of riding the new Cadillac Catera (the award also won the gold for humour). The award for best new magazine went to Chirp, a magazine for preschoolers from the publishers of Chickadee and Owl. And the Alexander Ross Award for Best New Magazine Writer went to Nancy Baron for her articles in The Georgia Straight.

Alien Abel was a double winner last night with two gold, one in travel journalism for This Night Will Never Come Again, an article in Saturday Night about New Year’s celebrations in Hong Kong before the takeover, and another for sports writing in Saturday Night for Once They Were Rookies, about how the lives of three minor-league outfielders took very different paths.

The night’s awards were not limited to career journalists. Dr. Jacalyn Duffin, a haematologist, won a silver award in the Science, Health and Medicine category for her Saturday Night article Medical Miracle, in which she described testifying at a Catholic tribunal for the sainthood of Marguerite d’Youville about the mysterious remission of a leukemia patient.

Winners associated with The Globe and Mail include: a gold for sports columnist Stephen Brunt for a profile of former boxer George Chuvalo in Toronto Life, a silver for arts writer Robert Everett-Green for a piece of fiction in Queen’s Quarterly, and a silver for Globe arts columnist Robert Fulford for an essay in Queen’s Quarterly. Fulford also won the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, which recognizes the exceptional contribution of one individual to Canadian magazines. The now-defunct Globe magazine Fashion + Design won a gold in still-life photography.

Magazines winning one gold and one silver were: Financial Post Magazine, Outdoor Canada and Toronto Life Fashion. Winning one gold each were: Canadian Business Technology, Canadian Geographic, Elm Street, Fashion + Design, The Next City, The New Quarterly and Prism International. Equinox and the Queen’s Quarterly won two silvers each. And one silver was won by Canadian House & Home, Chatelaine, Elle Québec, Gardening Life, The Malahat Review and Toronto Life Gardens.

In all, 27 magazines won over 60 awards worth roughly $64,000 in prize money. The awards gala at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto was hosted by CBC Newsworld celebrity Pamela Wallin. The National Magazine Awards Foundation received a record 1,930 entries this year, of which 250 articles were nominated.

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