TORONTO — HuffPost Canada and HuffPost Québec collected six Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPA) at a ceremony in Toronto on Thursday.
The COPA recognize outstanding achievement in Canada’s digital media landscape. Nominees included large outlets like Radio-Canada International, Postmedia, and CTV News as well as niche publications like The Lawyer’s Daily and SavvyMom.
From continuing coverage of Ontario’s basic income project to a captivating short documentary on an ultra-marathoner, the awards for HuffPost acknowledge our work across news, lifestyle, video, and podcast content in English and French.
HuffPost had 12 nominations going into the night, with wins for:
GOLD - Best continuing coverage of a news story (media)
In No Strings Attached, the news and video teams examined Ontario’s basic income pilot project through the deeply personal stories of participants before it was abruptly cancelled. Emma Paling, Dan Tencer, Stephanie Sannuto, Amanda De Souza, Andrew Yates, and Sasha Nagy contributed to the project.
GOLD - Best video content (media)
The “Run the Risk” short documentary shared the incredible story of ultra-marathoner Ian MacNairn. After a crash that almost killed him, he uses his own body as a tool to investigate the effect of extreme sport on athletes with Type 1 diabetes. The video (watch below) was created by producer Amanda De Souza, cinematographer Stephanie Sannuto, and sound engineer Dan Brantigan. Allia McLeod, Sasha Nagy, Andree Lau, and Alex Robinson also contributed.
GOLD - Best service article or series (consumer)
While usage of women’s contraception has increased over the years, open discussion and coverage of the issue remains a sensitive topic. With respectful and engaging storytelling, HuffPost Quebec journalist Camille Laurin-Desjardins shared four intimate portraits of women who trusted their doctors and their IUDs (intrauterine devices), but instead experienced pain, suffering and even ridicule. The story was edited by Elsa Vecchi. Read the story in English here.
SILVER - Best lifestyle article or series (consumer)
Although being a sex worker is not technically a crime in Canada, aspects of the industry are criminalized, and workers can face intense scrutiny and judgment if they are outed to their loved ones or the people around them. The feature, “Why outing a sex worker can have devastating consequences,” was painstakingly researched and written by Al Donato, and edited by Safa Jinje, Nicholas Mizera and Lisa Yeung.
SILVER - Best Podcast (consumer)
The “Born & Raised: Food” podcast mixes the compelling stories of second-generation Canadians with the sounds of cooking, eating, and reminiscing — and reveals a diversity of shared experience. The team includes host Angelyn Francis, host/producer Al Donato, technical producer Stephanie Werner and executive producers Lisa Yeung and Andree Lau.
If you liked “Born & Raised: Food,” check out “Born & Raised: Love.”
SILVER - Best blog column (consumer)
Having a miscarriage can be a devastating experience for expectant parents, but when your miscarriage can actually become malignant, it brings on an entirely different level of trauma. Stechyson had a molar pregnancy, and chronicles her experience in this very real and beautifully written column about this rare condition that affects one in 1,000 pregnancies.
12 total nominations
Other nominations for HuffPost included:
Best investigative article or series
Reporters Emma Paling and Samantha Beattie investigated the impacts of Ontario’s legal aid cuts on the province’s most vulnerable populations and their access to justice in the Unaided project. The series was edited by Andrew Yates.
La DPJ à 40 ans was a series of French-language video and text features that looked at 40 years of Quebec’s child welfare system through intimate interviews with those who grew up within it. The nominated team was made up of Camille Laurin-Desjardins, Emmanuel Leroux-Nega, and Étienne Brière.
Best podcast (media)
Politics podcast “Follow-Up” was nominated for interviews with Gerald Butts, Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary, and People’s Party Leader Maxime Bernier. Host/producer Althia Raj, reporter/producer Zi-Ann Lum, and technical producers Stephanie Werner and Michal Stein were part of this nomination.
Best Blog (media)
The opinion/commentary series Hometown was edited by Nicholas Mizera to amplify small-town and rural voices in their own words.
- Olympic gold medallist Eric Radford on growing up as a bullied gay teen in a small mining town
- Judy O’Leary’s harrowing account of B.C. wildfires
- Emma McDonald on the tricky Tinder dating dance when you know everyone in your town
Best video content (consumer)
HuffPost Québec videographer Étienne Brière was nominated for a story about Woody Belfort, and how he manoeuvres his wheelchair around Montreal’s Metro system — where only 14 of the 68 stations are equipped with an elevator.
HuffPost Canada’s “Life After Birth” web series was also nominated in this category. Parents editor Natalie Stechyson digs hilariously deep into her post-birth trauma in the video series to embrace the imperfect parts of motherhood, from the loss of your sex life, the loss of sleep or, just generally, the loss of your dignity. Stechyson as well as Kait Howell, Jessica Zimmerman, Brian Trinh, Lisa Yeung, and Sasha Nagy were part of this nomination.