Spafax Canada celebrated May Day in its own fashion by announcing the release of an enhanced IFE selection on Air Canada (read the press release here) by doubling the amount of movies and TV available to passengers, publishing a new app for Toronto food critic legend Joanne Kates (if you live in or are visiting Toronto, this app is essential), and then learning that Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and Sparksheet have teamed up for a total of 13 nominations for this year’s National Magazine Awards. The nominations include 4 to enRoute Art Director Nathalie Cusson for art direction for an entire issue as well as art direction for a single article. And that’s not all: we’ve also redesigned enRoute’s award winning website and will soon have an even larger announcement about our partnership with Air Canada. All in all, a good May Day here – the result of a hard working, dedicated and talented team.
Spafax Editorial Director Arjun Basu named President of Canada’s National Magazine Awards Foundation
From guest lecturing at colleges and universities to volunteering on industry committees and boards, we believe it’s important to contribute to the development of a strong publishing industry in Canada and in all the markets where we operate.
Arjun exemplifies this commitment. He’s been volunteering on the Board of the NMAs for 2 years and has recently been elected President of the Foundation. He tells us a bit more about the awards here, but you can also send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on twitter @spafax_arjun and @arjunbasu
The National Magazine Awards Foundation is responsible for administering the National Magazine Awards, Canada’s largest and most prestigious awards program for magazines. It is run by a volunteer board of magazine professionals from across the country. You can find more information here.
Q: How many publications participated in last year’s awards program?
A lot! Most of the publications in Canada, from the smallest literary magazine to major consumer publications like Chatelaine, submit their magazines for the awards. Last year, we also opened up the awards to digital publications and I can see us moving more and more toward an integrated program incorporating both print and digital.
Q: What role have they played in the evolution of a healthy Cdn magazine industry and what role do you want the NMAs to play moving forward?
The National Magazine Awards is a celebration of the industry, of the excellence and talent found in the pages of Canadian magazines. It’s a chance for the industry to pat itself on the back, but also for the public to discover new talent and hidden excellence. The Canadian magazine industry is unique in the world. Firstly, it is bilingual. In many ways, there are two industries. Secondly, Canada is a saturated market. Not only do we have Canadian consumer and custom publications, our newsstands and mailboxes are home to American publications, as well as those from, say, the UK and France. Very few other countries have this kind of international presence in the consumer media marketplace. So the industry here faces unique challenges. The Awards are an affirmation in that sense, of the tremendous work being created in Canada, in both English and French.
Moving forward, I want to reach out to the rest of the country. The NMA’s by their nature will always be held in Toronto – the vast majority of the industry is located there. But I want to see if we can’t go to the rest of the country, with the winning entries for example, for a kind of road show. Perhaps in association with the regional magazine associations. And have a series of roundtables about the industry and where it’s headed. We’re also going to incorporate more and more digital work into the awards. The very word “magazine” implies print, but the work that magazines perform is also happening online. That’s going to be an interesting integration.
Q: Branded content / custom publications are playing an increasingly large role in the lives of readers. Are there any plans to increase the representation by custom publishers and custom magazines in the NMAs?
I’m probably the first President of the Foundation from the custom media world. I don’t imagine I’ll be the last. As custom grows, and grows in quality, we’re going to see more members from that industry on the board and certainly on stage, winning awards.
MONTREAL, May 5, 2010 –enRoute, Air Canada’s inflight publication, was nominated for 10 awards at the National Magazine Awards announcement last night in Montreal, including two nominations in the Travel category: “Big Apple Turnover,” by Guy Saddy, and “Seoul Searching” by former staffer Craille Maguire Gillies.
The other nominations include Photojournalism and Photo Essay (“Buenos Aires Social Club,” Lorne Bridgman), Art Direction for a Single Magazine Article (“Party of One in Puerto Rico” and “Big Apple Turnover,” former art director Reanna Evoy), Fashion & Beauty (“Body Break,” Reanna Evoy, Mark Zibert and Jessica Albano), Still-Life Photography (“Toasts of the Town” cover, André Doyon), Humour (“Party of One in Puerto Rico,” Jonathan Goldstein) and Service: Lifestyle journalism (“Canada’s Best New Restaurants” and “Restaurant Trends 2009,” Chris Nuttall-Smith)
The National Magazine Awards are Canada’s most prestigious awards program for magazines. “It is an honour for Air Canada’s in-flight magazine to be recognized for excellence by the magazine publishing industry of Canada,” said Louise McKenven, Senior Director, Marketing at Air Canada. “Air Canada is proud to bring the best in Canadian magazine journalism to our 33 million customers we serve worldwide every year. This recognition reflects the importance that we place in providing our customers with a quality travel experience. enRoute magazine is a key element of Air Canada’s overall bilingual inflight entertainment offering. It encompasses hundreds of hours of complimentary enRoute TV, movies and albums at each customer’s seat, including selections from the enRoute Film Festival, and is now available to an even wider audience online at enroute.aircanada.com.”
“We’re very proud of our nominated writers and photographers, not to mention our own staff,” said Ilana Weitzman, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine. “Air Canada’s enRoute magazine continues to attract Canada’s finest talent,” added Paul FitzGerald, Account Director at Spafax. “And the support we receive from Air Canada itself is invaluable.”
“Spafax is dedicated to excellence,” added Katrin Kopvillem, Managing Director and Publisher, Spafax Canada. “As publishers of Air Canada’s highly regarded inflight magazine that literally travels the country and the world, we couldn’t be more pleased with these nominations from the National Magazine Awards.”
Air Canada’s enRoute is published by Spafax, one of the world’s leading custom publishers and providers of in-flight media, with offices in eight cities around the world. Spafax is part of the specialist communications division of WPP.
Montréal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five continents. Canada’s flag carrier is the 13th largest commercial airline in the world and serves 33 million customers annually. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network for Canadian domestic, transborder and international travel. Air Canada aircraft offer customers individualized seatback in-flight entertainment systems with hundreds of hours of digital audio-visual entertainment. As well, customers can collect Aeroplan miles for future awards through Canada’s leading loyalty program.
The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) is a bilingual, not-for-profit institution whose mission is to recognize excellence in the content and creation of Canadian magazines through an annual program of awards. The awards gala takes place each June in Toronto. Each year the NMAF receives more than 2000 submissions and relies on over 200 volunteer judges to evaluate the entries and award gold and silver winners in 40 categories.
For more information visit www.magazine-awards.com.
Air Canada (aircanada.com)
Isabelle Arthur (Montréal) (514) 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto) (416) 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver) (604) 270-5741
enRoute Magazine (enroute.aircanada.com)
Paul FitzGerald ( 514) 844 2001