The Canadian Christian Communicators Association again took to Zoom for its sophomore Awards of Merit ceremony, held on April 7. A total of 20 Canadian magazines, newspapers and communications organizations entered the competition for material published in print or posted online in 2020. Canadian Mennonite received two awards for writing, three for layout and design, and one for general excellence for a magazine.
Virginia A. Hostetler, author (“What lingers in the air,” June 8, page 2.”)
Judge’s comment: “Well-argued stand, with a lot of backup, and a way forward presented. A good opinion piece that takes a difficult stand on an issue relevant to the readership, sparking debate in multiple issues of the magazine’s Letters section, a forum for the readership to engage in dialogue on social issues. Clearly hit its mark.”
Joshua Penfold, author (Tales from the Unending Story: “Smudged with humanity,” April 13, page 12; “An intentionally inconsistent cat,” June 8, page 12; “A spiritual disruption,” Sept. 14, page 14.)
Judge’s comment: “The author presents beautifully distilled ‘soundbites’ of complex issues in the life of faith; they are both readable and striking. His treatment of the paradoxes of Scripture and faith is thoughtful and helpful without creating a false solution . . . . This seems especially important to a younger generation of readers struggling with seeming inconsistencies. . . . The writing is descriptive . . . and the tone is honest. Thank you for gifting your readership with timely and thoughtful insights so well expressed in writing.”
Front Cover, magazine, circulation under 10,000.
Ross W. Muir, designer; Jane Grunau, photographer (“Open to us a door,” May 25, page 1.)
Judge’s comment: “The typography, and its interactions with the photograph, is inventive and exciting, and perfect for the text. And, well, it’s fun and full of delight. While more conservative in its use of typography, it brings to mind the work of Sister Corita (corita.org). . . . This cover has a beautiful feeling of joy, inventiveness and openness. This is really well done.”
Feature Layout and Design, magazine, circulation under 10,000.
Ross W. Muir, designer; Jane Grunau, photographer (“Open to us a door,” May 25, pages 1, 4-7, 40.)
Judge’s comment: “This is an inventive solution to a timely subject, but one that might seem to resist apt summation in an image. The layout sets up an idea that is at once literal and poetic. Through repetition we get to roll the ideas packed into the verse in our minds as we read the piece, creating a deeper, more profound understanding in the process. The opening typography is very effective. . . . An excellent example of visual thinking serving not as decoration, but as an equal partner, one which can harmonize with the verbal in a way that makes them both richer.”
Photo Essay, magazine, circulation under 10,000.
Betty Avery, designer; Margaret Gissing, photographer (“Nunsense cooks up laughs for Grebel audiences,” March 30, pages 22-23.)
Judge’s comment: “I really enjoyed this entry. It drew me in, made me smile, and I found myself wanting to read the article and laugh, so refreshing in these troubled times. I was very impressed at how [the photographer] managed to photograph black on black; this is a very difficult thing to do. . . . Congratulations on a fine entry.”
General Excellence in Print, magazine.
Tobi Thiessen, publisher; Virginia A. Hostetler, executive editor; Ross W. Muir, managing editor (Issues May 25—“Open to us a door”; June 22—“The twilight of Mennonite radio”; Sept. 28—“An eye for beauty.”)
Judge’s comment: “If you wanted a guide to ‘being the church’ in pandemic times, you could find it here. This magazine gamely puts forth a coherent and well-organized series of pieces on how congregations can comport themselves during this global horror. With thematic resonance it covers the practical realities of doing church business with well-crafted nuance to its denominational role. (In an earlier life I spent 10 years as a denominational editor. Of late, I have pondered how I would have handled the pandemic were my hand at the tiller. My conclusion: I wouldn’t have done this well. Take a bow.)
“Intelligent editorial hands are at work here. One article re-examines racist complicity within the ranks. Another probes the congregational uses of intellectual property. A feature on three churches that withdrew from the denomination is reported charitably. Appropriate for a denomination known for its sense of community there’s an interactive ‘For discussion’ feature and a robust Letters section that reflects an uncommon degree of erudition.”