Award-winning articles, teaching presentations free for the classroom

If you’re looking for a perfect article for the classroom during the Olympics, try “Tourists, Stay Away, Playing Tourist in the Downtown East Side,” by Chris Koentges, up! magazine.

The story is available free, along with a PowerPoint presentation, through a unique program run by the Western Magazine Awards Foundation.

Last fall, the WMAF obtained a grant from Heritage Canada, to make each provincial award-winning entry (plus two visual winners) available with teaching notes and a presentation. The objective was to give greater exposure to the award winners and make them readily available.

I pitched this idea to the foundation after serving as a volunteer WMAF judge for many years. My students were often presenting American articles for the required presentations—but what about the good work being done right here? The project addresses this need.   

The curricula is available for use, by instructors only, at any college or university level writing, design or magazine publishing program.
To access the secure login area, please visit the Western Magazine Awards website  and click on the 2009 WMA Curriculum Project link. You will be asked to identify yourself and your educational facility. Within 48 hours, login credentials will be emailed to you from Then, login again to our web site and click on the Curriculum and Instructor Notes link. You will find a PowerPoint presentation as well as Instructor Notes for each entry.
PowerPoint Presentations are available for:

1.    Manitoba Presentation

  •  “Ten Photos that Changed Canada,” The Beaver, (the magazine of Canadian history published by Canada’s National History Society out of Winnipeg, to be called Canada’s History beginning in April )
  • Gold Award, Manitoba, for Best Article in a Manitoba magazine, 2008

2. Saskatchewan Presentation

  • “The Little Boat That Could,” by Allan Casey, Westworld Saskatchewan (the magazine of the Saskatchewan Automotive Association.)
  • Gold Award, Saskatchewan, for Best Article in a Saskatchewan magazine (Saskatoon writer Allan Casey follows his boat building journey and sailing on several northern lakes in Saskatchewan — sometimes successfully, sometimes not.)

3.    Alberta Presentation

  •  “Helen Koentges” by Chris Koentges, Swerve
  • Gold Winner, Alberta/NWT for the best article in an Alberta/NWT magazine. It also won the 2008 WMAF award for best personal journalism. Swerve is a city magazine distributed weekly with the Calgary Herald.

4.    British Columbia Presentation

5. Visual Categories

  • Vancouver
  • Best Art Direction for a cover and Best Art Direction for a single article, won by Randall Watson (art director) of Vancouver.
  • Best Art Direction Cover. The first set of slides cover the evolution of the Best Cover, with commentary from Vancouver art director Randall Watson and Photographer Clinton Hussey. There are slides for class discussion covering the impact of covers, and asking students how they might conceive a cover for a similar food issue.
  • Best Art Direction Article. The second set of slides focuses on the layout of the Vancouver article, “Sad City.” Learn more about how the article was put together through interviews with both Randall Watson and illustrator Greg Mably.