No big wins, but a respectable showing.
Respect took second place in three categories in the Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, which were announced Monday. The awards were for material published in 2020 and 2021.
In the 2020 awards, Respect tied for second in its circulation category for Best Front Page. The story “The Last Post: Traditional Bugle Call Closed One Family’s Circle” tied for second place in Best Historical Story judging.
And in the 2021 awards, “Metis Crossing, a gathering place” earned second place in the Best Feature Story category.
Respect editor Jeff Gaye says the whole team is happy with the recognition. “The awards were cancelled and postponed during Covid, so these awards were the first we were eligible to enter,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to see our name and our work among the best community papers in the country.”
The front-page honour is particularly satisfying, he said, because Respect deliberately set out to make its front page different.
“We’re bucking a couple of trends,” he said. “Most papers want to grab you with an exciting cover, but we felt from the start we’d rather invite readers’ interest than grab their attention. Our colour scheme and our front-page layout reflect that.
“We also resist placing advertising on the cover. There’s nothing wrong with it, but we like the front page to be a two-way conversation between ourselves and our readers. We think that helps build trust.”
The Last Post and Métis Crossing stories were among Gaye’s favourites to write, he said. “The Last Post piece was personal, so it’s nice when something you’ve written from the heart resonates with readers. And my visit to Métis Crossing in 2021 was exciting and inspiring. I guess that excitement came through in the piece.”
He credits the Respect team for assembling a product they can all be proud of.
“Nora Chachula’s design makes the stories sparkle, and Sophie Quan’s managerial expertise and customer service are what keep us in print to begin with. And now Jackie Lefebvre is on board to help our advertising clients. With our freelance contributors and columnists, we truly have a ‘dream team’ working for our readers and our clients.”