The Showcase Gold and Silver winners were announced and celebrated at the Alberta Magazine Awards Gala on March 5, 2015 in Calgary. Thanks to the hard work of more than 50 Alberta Magazine Awards volunteer judges – industry experts from across North America – nearly 300 editorial and design entries in 15 Showcase Awards categories were narrowed down to these award winners:
2015 Showcase Winners
Judges Comments: Game Changer considers a complex, land-and-industry legal issue with a peculiarly Alberta twist, holds it up artfully for scrutiny and reveals the lives living in its shadow.
The Fixture and the Hipster –
Art Direction Single Issue
Issue No 3 W14
Nathan Marshall, art director; Neil Mota and Aaron Pedersen photographers
Judges Comments: One of my favourite designers, Dieter Rams, once said, “Design should not dominate things, should not dominate people. It should help people. That’s its role.”Georgie’s pared back, elegant design allows the words and images to establish the voice of the magazine. Very handsome.
Paul Roelofs, art director; Naomi MacDougall associate art director, Jenny Reed, assistant art director
Judges Comments: What set the October Issue of Western Living apart was the art direction and photography of the main features. In particular, the article “Origin Story” presented the subject (in this case furniture with a particular focus on craftsmanship) in a uniquely engaging manner. Furniture has been photographed to death…it’s not easy to find a fresh take, but they managed to do a very nice job.
Paul Roelofs, art director; Evaan Kheraj portrait photographer
Judges Comments: Western Living’s September 2014 issue is a perfect example of a cover that powerfully communicates the primary editorial feature with gusto and originality. The art director quite rightly went “all in” focusing all the energy on just the one selling feature. The result is bold, edgy, and a classic example of radical clarity.
The Food Guide
Jill Foran, editor
10th Anniversary Tablet Edition
Alberta Oil staff
Judges Comments: Alberta Oil’s 10th Anniversary Tablet Edition was informative and innovative from start to finish, and very easy to navigate. It was also interactive, allowing the reader to interact with such features as the “Big Spenders” and “Foreign Funding” by clicking a link. It reflected a lot of great planning and teamwork among the editorial, advertising and web design departments, and the result has clearly set the bar for such mobile editions across Canada.
Jaelyn Molyneux, web editor; Karin Olafson, assistant web editor
Judges Comments: I loved the freshness of the design. It’s a modern site without a lot of emotional and design baggage either from the past or its print mag roots.
A Tale of Two Forms
Judges Comments: As though trapped in a wacky pinball machine, A Tale of Two Forms kept punting and zapping me back and forth with its fresh ideas, literary references, form and imagery. Peter Takach’s work underlines how important it is to sometimes suspend reason and just let the words wash over you.
Judges Comments: Creative and engaging, A Paragraph holds its own with the best creative non-fiction writing in Canada. The story is beautifully crafted, but doesn’t sacrifice substance for style.
Judges Comments: In “Royal Visit,” Vivian Zenari carefully draws the reader in with her well drawn characters, and rich detail and description of a violinist’s day trip to Slave Lake. All the while, a vein of dramatic tension simmers below the surface, only to break through at the end with the narrator’s subtle revelation.
Children of a Lesser Santa
The Gospel of Fire and Mud
Judges Comments: The Gospel of Fire and Mud contains sentence after sentence of deft writing that is by turns gently humourous, self-deprecatingly charming and thought-provoking — a rare and welcome combination indeed.
Back in the Game
Pete Nguyen, art director
Judges Comments: (Back in the Game is) a great example of how design can showcase and enhance content and photography without overpowering it. An overall fresh and consistent design from the well-paced photography to the detail of the captions.
The Face of a Century
Marcey Andrews, art director
Judges Comments: (This is one of) the most remarkable and creative features I’d seen in a long time. It’s brilliance is less in its design, and more in its conception, organization, and execution. As an example of visual storytelling it’s really brilliant.
Judges Comments: Off the Tracks (DOT-111) is spectacular writing. The research is pristine. The editorial perspective is balanced. The storytelling excellent, the style, and structure fitting and beautiful. This is feature writing at its best.
A relationship goes Viral
Judges Comments: The author pairs comprehensive research with succinct writing, illuminating exactly why the subject matter is relevant to the magazine’s readers. The personal approach adds interest but isn’t overdone — the focus remains on the new bureaucratic and medical developments around the vaccine and its use in schools.
Judges Comments: Pearl” exhibits close, careful control of both language and narrative structure, yet allows for imaginative play. Unconventional in how it unfolds, Pearl handles the shifts in time and place with alacrity, while simultaneously allowing for the intimacy with character that is essential to a short story’s success
The Royal Visit
Judges Comments: What’s Lost is both conceptually strong and executed well. Clever use of the recurring element both reinforced the concept and helped bring visual cohesiveness throughout the story.
Best Summer Ever
Judges Comments: An award winning illustration is one that tells a good story. In order to tell a good story it needs to connect in the heart, mind, and senses. Best Summer Ever did these three things well. The heart of the illustration was the honest and “heartfelt” way it depicted summer, it captured the sentiment of the season perfectly and had me yearning for the simple pleasures of summer. For the mind I took notice of how the different scenarios were effectively combined together and portions of the illustration were used throughout the article. It stitched the article together and allowed me to reflect on the different scenarios independently. For the senses I appreciated the style of the drawing, lettering, and colouring which was simple but elegant and gave the image a fresh and carefree feeling wholly in step with the content it was depicting.
Photograph: Landscape, Still Life and Architecture
Phantoms on Ice
Kurtis Kristianson, Spindrift Photography
Merry Little Christmas
Judges Comments: (This entry) arranged gift ideas into neat little compartments not unlike you might find in Santa’s workshop, the use of crisp, three-dimensional light, and the integration of the skating scene added a certain flavour and interest to a perhaps otherwise more mundane gift giving story.
Photography: People and Portraiture
Laws of the Land
But I’m No One
Judges Comments: But I’m No One stood out as unique exploration of the topic of identity. Its innovative approach to the subject matter combined with a strong poetic voice was compelling.
The Long Journey of Nathan Phelps
Marcello Di Cintio
Judges Comments: The long journey of Nathan Phelps by symbolizes exactly the masthead statement from “Swerve” magazine, “To veer from the straight and narrow.” The author (engaged) from the opening sentence and didn’t let me down. The style of short, staccato sentence structure boosted the impact of the text while the content of the story was fascinating and lead me to think deeply about how unexpected life can be. Furthermore the story fulfills Swerve’s stated definition to show that the city of Calgary “…is far more than the sum of its western stereotypes”.
Ray Muzyka’s Next Chapter
Judges Comments: Nothing beats a good story, and Omar Mouallem nails this one. His profile of Ray Muzyka is a terrific read. Great material, great writing – what else could a reader ask for?
It’s your Funeral
Judges Comments: This piece used a variety of compelling stories and packaging elements to deliver a service story that draws the reader in with multiple entry points. The editors did a great job at architecting an edgy read on a topic that would usually be the last thing you’d want to read about – your own death.
Neal McLennan, Evelynn Takoff, Jim Sutherland
Congratulations to the magazine creatives in Alberta who pour their time, talents and energy into producing exceptional content for readers at home and beyond our borders.
See more about Alberta magazines at: www.albertamagazines.com.