Money, or the shortage of it, is the principal reason for the shared evening between the Kenneth R. Wilson awards for b2b press and the National Magazine Awards, according to Jim Hall, a board member of the Canadian Business Press, which is co-producing the awards with Magazines Canada. He told Masthead that the unaccustomed alignment was based on financial considerations.
"We did have a reduction in funding, as most awards programs did, from the Department of Canadian Heritage. There is still funding, but they've cut back significantly in terms of awards programs," said Hall. "This looked like a reasonable approach from a financial perspective to co-stage the awards at the same time, and to do it in a very professional way."
Apparently when the KRWs and the Magazine Awards announced the joint schedule in April, some of their message did not get through to trade publishers. For instance that, while NMA attendees get a sit-down dinner, KRW attenders must pay for ticket if they want to join them following their own awards and a joint cocktail reception. But KRW ticket holders are invited to watch a simulcast of the NMAs on screen in the Round Room at the Carlu and join the Magawards people for dessert at no additional cost.
Hall said that the CBP is "in the process of developing new purposes and bylaws, with a new statement of purpose, and one of the key elements in the statement is education and the ongoing KRW awards." That involves a "very much expanded KRW" for 2013, integrating a full day of education, he added. The educational component could involve KRW judges offering their thoughts on submissions, said Hall.
"This is a transition year, and we hope it transitions to a dynamic platform," said Hall. "KRW is a super event, I've been going to it for 32 years, it's something I wouldn't miss."
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