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The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement


National Magazine Awards Foundation awards Kim Pittaway with the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement



Toronto, ON (June, 10, 2016) – The National Magazine Awards Foundation (NMAF) awarded magazine editor, writer, teacher and mentor Kim Pittaway the 2016 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. The award was presented on-stage at the 39th annual National Magazine Awards gala, which was held Friday night at the beautiful Arcadian Court in downtown Toronto.


“Just knowing that the odds are actually in your favour,” wrote Kim Pittaway in a 2008 feature in More magazine, “can make a difference.” The story examined the myths and realities of breast cancer, speaking directly to women and their families who were “tired of being afraid” of the daunting medical tests, the difficult questions, and the lifestyle choices that may or may not contribute to the disease. Gracefully anticipating her reader’s anxieties and courageously sharing her own worst fears, Kim blazed a narrative journey of precision, patience, clarity and empathy. Like a great teacher she perceived the enlightenment of the audience as a singular goal—tilting the odds in her reader’s favour, making a difference in the lives of those she touched.


Kim Pittaway began her magazine career as a writer and columnist of exceptional insight for Chatelaine in the early 1990s, and soon earned herself a staff position as managing editor, where she oversaw the development of the magazine’s early digital platforms in an era when few saw the true publishing potential of the web. “Kim quickly earned a reputation for leadership on many fronts,” said Chatelaine’s then editor-in-chief Rona Maynard. “Among her readers for her forthright column; among her peers for generous mentoring; and among corporate decision-makers for her strategic sense.”


When Kim succeeded her mentor as editor-in-chief of Chatelaine, she continued to nurture emerging writers. “With her guidance,” said Beth Hitchcock, who wrote her first magazine story for Kim, “I learned the art of structure, the importance of word choice, and most importantly for the editing process, the language of collaboration and respect.” Writers who’ve worked with Kim frequently laud her commitment to building a strong relationship that can lead to the kind of challenging questions that bring out the best in a writer and a story.


After moving on from Chatelaine in 2005, Kim refocused her career on freelance journalism—she’s been published in Today’s Parent, More, Homemaker’s, Cottage Life, Best Health, Reader’s Digest and others, earning 8 National Magazine Awards nominations—and teaching. Having earned her MFA in creative non-fiction from Goucher College, she taught journalism at Ryerson University before joining the faculty at the University of King’s College and mentoring students in its MFA program. As a teacher, said 2014 King’s graduate Nicole Halloran, “Kim taught us that a magazine is like a puzzle; it’s a matter of playing with the pieces until you get it right. She emphasized the value of teamwork and how to make stories come alive.”


As a respected leader in the Canadian magazine industry, Kim has long been an advocate for inclusivity, volunteerism, brand building and knowledge sharing. She served on the editorial board of THIS Magazine, demonstrating a commitment to small, independent magazines where many young writers and editors get their start. For many years she has served as a consultant for Magazines Canada and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, travelling the country to engage in dialogue with her peers about how to improve our craft and work collaboratively. “As a magazine and digital consultant,” said Lisa Murphy, creative services director of House & Home Media, “Kim has been an invaluable help to countless publishers and brands—always offering innovative, creative, honest and challenging advice delivered with warmth and humour.”


Long a champion of the rights and recognition of magazine creators, Kim assumed the presidency of the National Magazine Awards Foundation in 2006 and helped guide the organization—and the industry—to strengthen its mandate to support and promote the work of the teams and individuals who create the award-worthy content that magazine readers across Canada love.


For her enduring dedication to the Canadian magazine industry, for the principled leadership and mentorship that has impacted the careers of many, and for her unfailing support of magazine creators, the NMAF is proud to recognize Kim Pittaway with its highest individual honour, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement.


Photo by Aaron McKenzie Fraser.


About the Outstanding Achievement Award


The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize since its inception in 1990 is The Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement, an award that recognizes an individual's innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry.  


The award is open to circulation experts, editors, marketing, sales and promotion professionals, publishers, creators, designers, production managers - in short, to everyone in the industry. It cannot be given posthumously. Nominations for this award are welcome from everyone in the industry.   The nomination consists of a letter from the nominator indicating the candidate’s name, title and career achievements, with supporting letters from at least two (2) other individuals.


The Judging Committee of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will consider the nominations, along with nominations from members of the Committee itself. The Board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation will select the winner. No entry fee is required. Applicants not selected will be kept under consideration for two (2) additional years. 


The deadline for nominations for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is March 1. There is no entry fee.  Send your nominations and support letters to  


Previous Winners of the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement

2014 Michael Fox

2013 Kim Jernigan

2012 Stephen Trumper

2011 Heather Robertson  

2010 D.B. Scott 

2009 Terry Sellwood 

2008 Cynthia Brouse 

2007 Charles Oberdorf 

2006 Neville Gilfoy 

2005 John Macfarlane 

2004 Paul Jones 

2003 Stephen Osborne 

2002 Sally Armstrong 

2001 Al Zikovitz 

2000 Ken Rodmell 

1999 Peter C. Newman 

1998 Lynn Cunningham 

1997 Robert Fulford 

1996 James Ireland 

1995 Catherine Keachie 

1994 Jean Paré 

1993 Don Obe 

1992 Barbara Moon 

1991 Lloyd Hodgkinson 

1990 Michael de Pencier 

1989 Prue Hemelrijk