QCT takes six prizes at the QCNA Better Newspaper Awards

QCT award winners.jpg
Photo: Martine René

Jay Ouellet, Cassandra Kerwin, Peter Black, Shirley Nadeau and Lise Lafond proudly display certificates for their winning entries in the QCNA Better Newspaper competition.

Every year in early June, the Quebec Community Newspaper Association (QCNA) holds a Better Newspaper Awards banquet and gala. The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph (QCT) has been a member since the QCNA was founded in 1980, and last week the 37th annual awards ceremony was held at the Mount-Gabriel Resort and Spa in the town of Sainte-Adèle, in the Laurentians north-west of Montreal.

Attending the prestigious event were representatives of 14 of the 35 QCNA member newspapers who were short-listed to receive first, second or third prizes for the Best Newspaper Awards for work published in 2016.

QCT nominees Peter Black, Cassandra Kerwin, Lise Lafond, Shirley Nadeau and Jay Ouellet attended the awards ceremony, and anxiously awaited the results. The nail-biting event felt like a mixture of high school graduation and the Oscars.

Executive director of QCNA Richard Tardif greeted everyone and reminded them that “tonight you have no deadlines. Relax and enjoy the celebration.” He added, “It’s been an interesting year. Community newspapers continue to be needed and appreciated at the local level. When I visit our communities, I am always impressed with how local newspapers are valued for presenting vital information, stories about neighbours, and about local governments.

“Behind every newspaper is a team of journalists, photographers, designers, front desk personnel, editors, managers and publishers, always with one objective – to inform citizens.”

Mystery novelist and non-fiction author Don Stewart hosted QCNA’s banquet and awards gala, announcing the winners in each category. As a columnist for the Lachute Watchman in the ’90s, Stewart helped the late Jack Burger start his first community newspaper, Perspective, in Morin Heights, and then worked with Burger to develop Main Street, the Laurentians’ only English-language newspaper since 2001.

The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph was short-listed in six categories. We are proud to announce that we were awarded FIRST PLACE for Best Feature Page, a front-page article and three photographs by Peter Black – “Mount Hermon Cemetery honours Sir Richard Turner, VC” – which appeared on the front page of the November 6, 2016, edition.

For the second year in a row, the QCT was awarded FIRST PLACE for Best Headline Writing, with five headlines written by our journalists. The headlines that most impressed the judges were: “Huff: a show that takes your breath away,” by Juanita Craig; “What the Dickens? A tale of two Quebec Cities,” by Peter Black; “Waulking to the rhythm of Scottish Gaelic songs,” by Cassandra Kerwin; “Quebec City Staircase Challenge had its ups and downs,” by Shirley Nadeau (article by Cassandra Kerwin); and “A feast of literary proportions,” by Catherine Musgrove.

The QCT also garnered four SECOND PLACE awards in the following categories: Best Sports Photo, by Lise Lafond, of a horse running in the St. Hubert Derby on Valentine’s Day; Best Photo Essay, featuring Winter Carnival articles and photos by Danielle Burns and Cassandra Kerwin; Best News Photo, the front-page photo of the St. Patrick's Day Parade by Jay Ouellet; and Best Sports Page, with three articles and photos by Luc Lang, Dan Gilbert and Cassandra Kerwin.

The Best Overall Newspaper award went to The Eastern Door.

The Paul Dumont-Frenette Outstanding Journalist Award was presented to Steve Ducharme, of Nunatsiaq News.

The Lindsay Chrysler Outstanding Achievement Award went to Lily Ryan and Sophia Ryan, co-publishers of the Bulletin d’Aylmer, the Pontiac Journal and The West Quebec Post.

Congratulations to all our winners for their outstanding achievements in journalism and photography.