The National Media Awards Foundation (formerly National Magazine Awards Foundation) is a bilingual charity dedicated to promoting excellence in journalism and visual creation. Since 1977, the Foundation has been awarding prizes to journalists, photographers, illustrators and other professionals of the magazine press, who are distinguished by the quality of their work. Through its awards program, the Foundation promotes the development of healthy journalism by encouraging both seasoned professionals and the next generation to continue their vital work for our society.
The Foundation produces three distinct and bilingual award programs: the National Magazine Awards, the National Magazine Awards: B2B and the Digital Publishing Awards. Throughout the year, the NMAF actively promotes the winning creators and publications through a targeted mass media publicity effort, group marketing efforts and through its website, which hosts an extensive collection of award-winning articles.
A eighteen-member volunteer board of directors drawn from all regions and facets of the Canadian magazine industry governs the NMAF.
For highlights of the past 40 years, see HERE.
In 1976 Andrew MacFarlane, Dean of Journalism at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), was trying to revive the university’s recently defunct President’s Medal for Canadian Magazine Journalism. His original idea was to create a new award divided into English and French counterparts. But MacFarlane eventually developed a proposal for a series of magazine awards, whose salient features were that the program would be bilingual — and therefore truly national — and would recognize individual excellence in the many aspects of the magazine industry — writers, illustrators, editors, photographers and art directors.
MacFarlane together with John S. Crosbie, president of the Magazine Association of Canada, secured the participation of the Canadian Periodical Publishers Association (CPPA), representing 193 Canadian magazines, and CPPA’s former president Michael de Pencier. MacFarlane reached out to his counterpart at Université Laval, Roger de la Garde, Alan Edmunds, head of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), and veteran newsman Pierre Berton, among others. As the collective effort began to take shape across the country, by the spring of 1977 the National Magazine Awards had developed a clear mandate.
On November 14, 1977, National Magazine (Media) Awards Foundation received its charter of non-profit foundation status from the Province of Ontario.