Thursday, November 10, 2016

Magazine Grands Prix announces diversity as central tenet of judging process in new awards

One of the just-announced principles guiding the Magazine Grands Prix, the new awards program being piloted by Magazines Canada for 2017, is celebrating diversity. This includes having indigenous judges on the majority (eventually all) juries and to announce the entire roster of judges during the submission period (that is, in advance of their judging.) These are among principles included in the just-released  Guiding Principles for Adjudicating and Celebrating Excellence in Canada’s Magazine Media,
Stanley Péan
[photo: Laurence Labat]

There will be two judging co-chairs: author, commentator and critic Stanley Péan and award-winning writer Soraya Peerbaye. [see below]

Magazines Canada announced the awards and fellowship program [for up to 3 individuals] in September. The MGP awards will feature 26 categories: 13 awards for individuals and creators, and 13 for magazines that honour creative and editorial vision and execution.
“Stanley Péan and I are honoured and immensely pleased to be co-chairing the adjudication process of the Magazine Grands Prix,” said Peerbaye [in a release.] “The team at Magazines Canada has developed a far-seeing vision for the awards; energetic and generous, they are broadening the circle of inclusion, and invigorating the conversation on both popular and critical culture in the magazine sector.”
Soraya Peerbaye
Among the principles announced are:
  • To build and execute an awards program that showcases the sector’s full range and excellence: seamlessly bilingual in English and French, reflective of Canada’s diversity, and open to all;
  • To represent a diversity of artistic and cultural practices, perspectives and expertise on all juries, valuing the magazine sector’s creators and the public equally. Juries will be composed to reflect the diversity of Canada with regard to Indigenous peoples, race, regions, official languages, and gender;
  • To have Indigenous jurists on the majority of the panels. This is just the beginning. The goal is to have Indigenous jurists on every single panel;
  • To compose juries with care for plurality: no jury in which there is only one non-white jurist, and many in which there is a variety of diverse representatives. All jurists must feel able to speak freely and judge the submissions on their merits, without any obligation to represent minority or identity-based views;
  • To reveal our entire roster of jurists during the submissions period [in this case between December 12 and January 30]: underrepresented communities must see themselves reflected and welcomed in order to participate fully;
  • To aspire to do better than simply meeting the principles outlined and, in instances where we fall short of these goals, to recognize it and take action to improve.
“We are building a robust, transparent awards program that we can be proud of: right from the ground up,” said Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada’s president and CEO. “With Canada’s 150th being celebrated next year, we wanted to look forward and make a very intentional shift to include the full diversity of Canada’s creators and—just as important—our community of readers, right into our judging process.”
The announcement of the guidelines and management of the judging process apparently intends to contrast directly with the way the National Magazine Awards Foundation has run its awards for the past 40 years. For instance, NMA judges  have generally not been announced before judging is completed and there is no provision for a particular makeup of judging panels other than requiring people from the industry, people with expertise in the subject area and people without a conflict of interest. The NMAs announced in September some major changes to its board and process for the magawards and also for its Digital Publishing Awards including the recruitment of a roster of international judges
Bios of judging co-chairs 
Stanley Péan was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and grew up in Jonquière, Québèc. He is the author of more than twenty books for adults and adolescents and wears many other hats: radio host, TV personality, translator, scriptwriter, journalist and former editor-in-chief of Le Libraire, the bi-monthly publication of a network of independent bookstores in Québéc. From 2004 to 2010, Péan was chairman of the l’Union des écrivaines et écrivains québécois (UNEQ), the association that advocates for writers and promotes their work. His collection of stories, Autochtones de la nuit (2007), was the third book of the trilogy that included La nuit démasque (2000) and Le cabinet du Docteur K (2001); the earlier books were re-released as paperbacks along with the novels Le Tumulte de mon sang (1991) and Zombi Blues (1996). During the same period as the release of the Italian translation by publisher Tropea Editore, Péan marked his return to the novel with Bizango (2011). 
Soraya Peerbaye’s most recent collection of poetry, Tell: Poems for a Girlhood (Pedlar Press, 2015), won the Trillium Book Award for Poetry in English and was a finalist for the Griffin Poetry prize. Her first collection, Poems for the Advisory Committee on Antarctic Names (Goose Lane Editions, 2009) was short-listed for the Gerald Lampert Award. Her poems have appeared in Red Silk: An Anthology of South Asian Women Poets, and the chapbook anthology Translating Horses. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. For over a decade, Soraya worked in program and policy development and management, first as the Equity Coordinator at the Canada Council for the Arts, then as a grants officer at the Toronto Arts Council, where she oversaw adjudications in performing arts and strategic initiatives. She remains active as a consultant, curator and collaborator in national initiatives that center on equity, decolonization and intersectionality in the arts.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could there be anything more boring and paltry than the "Magazine Grand Prix" folks trying to justify its "Grand Prix-ness". Ugh... zzz....

2:05 pm  

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