Canadian Online Publishing Awards
Masthead Online
PRESENTED BY:
GOLD SPONSOR:
Readers Digest
SUPPORTERS:
Inovva
Digital Reno
CCAB
CNW
Digital Reno
Newspapers Canada
Universities Canada
Competition Rules
Canadian Online Publishing Awards 2019

The COPA awards program is open to any company or organization that produces content for the digital medium. These companies may include media publishers, associations, corporations, government and advertising agencies. The content to be judged can be for any market and is not restricted to Canadian readers to reflect the global nature of the industry. The awards are open to—but not restricted to, writers, editors, graphic designers art directors, creative directors, web developers, photographers, videographers and digital producers. To qualify a member of team must be Canadian and contributed significantly to the entry.

The COPAs is not affiliated with any trade organizations and is an industry neutral awards program for the Canadian Industry that  comprises of volunteer judges from across Canada and are listed the the COPA website. It is also not funded or subsidized by the any government agency. Its mandates is to be inclusive of all media in Canada and in 2019 will be the final phase of this inclusiveness with the establishment of an Ethnic Media division this year. A COPA award has become a bag of honour for the Canadian Media Industry that fosters digital innovation and pride in the industry.

All winners receive a COPA Awards logo that can be used for marketing and branding purposes. The team members are recognized for their outstanding contribution to online publishing at the COPA Awards Party this November (Date and Time TBA)All winners receive a COPA Awards logo that can be used for marketing and branding purposes. The team members are recognized for their outstanding contribution to online publishing at the COPA Awards Party this November (Date and Time TBA)

WHO CAN ENTER

Media Publishers
Open to English, French and other language  publications and websites, that have offices in Canada. Must have 50% original editorial content and written and/or edited by Canadians living in Canada. Non-Canadian publishers are eligible if the editorial has at least one Canadian on the team that resides in Canada.

Corporations/Non-Profit Organizations, Associations, Schools
Corporations, non-profit organizations, schools and associations are eligible to enter the awards program. The site or work must meet the 50% original content requirement and be written and/or created by Canadians living in Canada. All advertising related entries must be produced by a company with offices in Canada.

Advertising Agencies/PR Firms
Ad agencies, PR firms and social media firms can submit entries on behalf of their clients if the ads and content submitted are created and submitted by the Canadian office. The entry must have at least one Canadian on the team to be eligible.

For the awards evaluation for the Best of Canada Awards “Independent Publisher of the Year” award, an independent publisher will be defined as an organization that produces publications, websites and/ or other digital properties that has less than 20 employees/staff in a full time capacity (does not include part-time freelancers). Publishers that have multi-titles are also eligible if they meet the # of employee’s criteria. Entries can be submitted in any division or category to be eligible and will be considered for the individual awards entered in also.

The work will be reviewed by independent judging panels of highly regarded industry professionals and experts. Some categories have their own specific qualities noted below, but generally, your entry will be judged based on content, design and level of engagement at the time of judging (over an approx. 2 month period during summer 2019)。

Any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada can submit one student project for no cost in the Students/Schools Division. Additional entries can be submitted for the $95 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

DIVISIONS

Business-to-Business Media (Blue)
This is to open to entries that cater to a special B2B niche that includes trade and association magazines, B2B companies and B2B ad campaigns.

Consumer Magazine Media (Red)
This is to open to entries that cater to consumer niches in a magazine format for content packaging that includes consumer magazines, radio/ TV stations, digital only brands and B2C ad campaigns.

24/7 News Media – News, Business, Sports, and Entertainment content (Green)
This division caters to media outlets for news, current affairs, business, sports and entertainment. This division includes community newspapers, news/sports, business magazines, TV, radio stations and digital.

Ethnic Media (Purple)
This new division this year caters to media brands that service the multi-cultural community in Canada and will include all languages but not French. Companies that are eligible in this categories can also enter into the other categories along with the English and French entries in the other divisions.

Students/School Projects (Black)
This is open to any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada. Each school can submit one student project for no cost.

CATEGORIES

There are 20 categories below. Your work will be judged against other entries in the same category and same division. The divisions each have 15 categories with some unique to the division, except the Students/Schools that has 9 and the Ethnic Media with 11. You can choose to enter your entry into more than one category as appropriate.

Eligibility
All entries must have been published between July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 to be eligible for the 2019 awards.

1. Best Blog Column
Awarded to the blog/column (including video) deemed to best serve its intended audience through digital formats like a traditional word/ pictures column and/or video blog that is new this year. (Radio DJ blogs can be entered in the 24/7 News division). Single and multi-contributor blogs are eligible. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reading, reporting, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples (links, screenshots and PDFs) of 3 sample articles in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in four (4) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media, and Ethnic Media)

2. Best Industry Feature
Awarded to the B2B publication deemed to best serve its audience through an industry feature article. These stories can include, but not restricted to, case studies, industry report/trends/news and roundtable articles. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reporting, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article (links, screenshots and PDFs) in all applicable channels - print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available one (1) category Business-to-Business Media)

3. Best Company Feature
Awarded to the B2B publication deemed to best serve its audience through a company/product feature article. These stories can include, but not restricted to, profiles, Interview/Q&A and product reviews. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, reporting, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available one (1) category Business-to-Business Media)

4. Best Service Article or Series
Awarded to the B2C publication deemed to best serve its audience through a service/educational feature article that can include, but not restricted to how-to, reviews and round-up story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in one (1) category - Consumer Magazine Media)

5. Best Lifestyle Article or Series
Awarded to the B2C online publication deemed to best serve its audience through a lifestyle feature article that can include, but not restricted to, recipes, profiles, fashion, trends and travel story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in one (1) category - Consumer Magazine Media)

6. Best Breaking News
Awarded to the publication deemed to best serve its audience through timely and original breaking news reporting. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in one (1) category - 24/7 News Media)

7. Best Continuing Coverage of a News Story
This award goes to the news coverage of a continuing story that may happen over a period time. Multiple articles are to be submitted as part of the coverage. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, storytelling, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in one (1) category - 24/7 News Media)

8. Best Sports Feature
Awarded to the publication that includes radio/TV station websites, deemed to best serve its audience through feature articles/video that can include, but not restricted to, player/team profiles, fantasy sports and sports news story formats. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, timely reporting, use of video/photos, entertainment value and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is only available in one (1) category - 24/7 News Media)

9. Best Investigative Article or Series
Awarded to the publication deemed to best serve its audience through an investigative feature article. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, social impact, use of video/photos and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media)

10. Best Interactive/Infographic Content
Awarded to the best use of storytelling, design and technology together for journalistic purposes creating an interactive reader experience. The content format can include, but not restricted to, long-form story, interactive maps, infographics and game apps. Judges will evaluate how well the authors have communicated and presented the relevant information, including ease of use, design, originality and reader engagement. Both content and production value will factor into the judging.
(This award is available in all five (5) divisions)

11. Best Photo Journalism
Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through the use of photo journalism. The entry will be judged on quality of photo storytelling and multi-platform design. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, digital magazine and website for judging with pdfs and any links.
(Note: the entry does not need to have all channels).
(This award is available in four (4) divisions) Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media, and Schools/Students)

12. Best Video Content
This award goes to the video content that best exemplifies the use of video for journalistic and entertainment purposes. It can be informative and/or entertaining and the video must not be longer than 30 minutes, but can be as short as 30 seconds. The entry can be, but not restricted to, news clips, features, how-to, interviews, sports highlights, celebrity profiles and documentary depending on the division. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, cinematography, music and sound. Please submit examples of the article in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging. Winners in 2019 will be posted on the COPA Awards YouTube Channel.
(This award is available in all five (5) divisions)

13. Best Podcast
This award is for the best use of the audio format in the form of a podcast that meets journalistic or entertainment standards for their intended audience, The podcast entry can be in a variety of formats that includes, but is not restricted to, episodes, radio shows and news broadcasts. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, music and sound. Winners in 2019 will be posted on the COPA Awards YouTube Channel.
(This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, and 24/7 News Media)

14. Best Branded Content/Online Camapaign
This award is for companies that have created digital branded content, content sponsorship and/or online campaign for advertisers via any digital means such as website, email, native app and social media. Entries must be submitted in a case study format and will be evaluated on graphic branding, design and content strategy. Social media content campaigns are eligible in this category. Please submit examples of the content in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging (Note: the entry does not need to have all channels) and provide PDF file/samples for evaluation including any links.
(This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, and Ethnic Media)

15. Best use of Social Media/Influencers
This award is for the publisher or organization that makes the best use of social media storytelling to meet the audience needs. Influencer social media campaigns are eligible in this category.  Entries must be submitted in a case study format and will be evaluated on graphic branding, content strategy, conversations generated (comments, tweets, shared links) and audience engagement (page/ video views and brand activations). Entry can be submitted on a single or multiple social channels and can include sponsored campaigns.
(This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, and 24/7 News Media)

16. Best Email Newsletter Design
Awarded to the best e-mail newsletter produced by a publisher or organization. Elements that will be considered are content, layout, editorial strategy and multi-platform design. Engagement metrics can be provided as part of the submission that will include list size and open rates. Please include PDF/screenshots sample/with subject header for mobile, tablet and desktop versions of the newsletter in addition to any links.
(This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media and Student/Schools)

17. Best Print and Digital Publication
This award is for the media property that best combines print and digital in their publication. The media brand that best exhibits its brand character through its graphic design, editorial strategy, mix of stories and digital savvy will be worthy of this honour. Examples of the various digital channels used by the publication are required and 3 back issues of the print copies (can be submit as PDF’s or links to digital editions if available). These entry files can through a shared cloud based database file service like WeTransfer, dropbox or google drive for COPA judges entries. Entries should be submitted in a case study format in a single PDF with a rational. Print Copies can be sent to COPA Best Print Digital Publication Entry, 34 Thirty-Six St ,Toronto, ON M8W 3K9 by the entry deadline of July 15, 2019.
(This award is available in all five (5) divisions)

18. Best Digital Edition Design
The Best Digital Edition of a print publication will be recognized in 2019 as part of the commitment to recognize all the reader entry points for a media brand. This award will go to the media brand that has a created the best user experience for the digital edition, that includes design, story telling, navigation and technical wizardry. This digital version of the magazine can be an app, a browser based platform or interactive pdf. This category does not include websites which are for the best website category. This category is for digital replicas that resembles the look and feel of the print version, but with a digital adaptation.
(This award is available in four (4) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media, and Ethnic Media)

19. Best Mobile App Design
This award go to the best media brand or utility app that provides best ease of use, functionality, user customization, graphic design and technical reliability for the user. This is for all this digital wizards out their in the app space. Apps must be available on the Apple and or Android channel and have tablet and smartphone versions. Judges will need to access the app with a password provided in the entry form.
(This award is available in four (4) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, 24/7 News Media, and Ethnic Media)

20. Best Media Website Design
This is awarded to the media website that best serves its target audience through compelling content, multi-platform design and technical performance. Judges will be looking at the mobile, tablet and desktop versions of your web presence. These versions/channels can include, but not restricted to, email newsletter, website, digital editions, native apps, social media and mobile web. The judges will be looking at the content, graphic branding, multi-platform design and technical criteria (navigation, click fatigue, download speeds and user friendliness) for each entry. Please include PDF/screenshot samples for mobile, tablet and desktop versions in addition to any links and passwords, when applicable.
(This award is available in all five (5) divisions)
(The 24/7 News category has two Best website Awards one for News and Community News.)

21. Best of Canada Categories
The Best in Canada winners will be from all the entries with the highest scores in the following categories.

Publication of the year
Best Content of the Year
Best Website of the year
Independent Publisher of the Year
Ethnic Media Publisher of the Year
Best Student/School project

HOW TO ENTER

Entry fee: $115 for single entry based on one entry per category and the deadline is July 15, 2019 . An early bird discount available for all entries submitted by Friday, June 14, the early bird entry is $95. This fee does not include HST.

Student Division Entries - First one is FREE
Any (public or private) high school or post-secondary institution in Canada can submit one student project for no cost in the Students/Schools Division. Additional entries can be submitted for $95 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

Special discount for Independent publishers, Ethnic Media and Non-Profits
Independent publishers (20 employees or less) , Ethnic Media,  non-profit institutions are eligible to enter at the early bird discount rate of $95 at any time. They must be registered as an independent publisher/ethnic media/non-profit when they submit their entry. All publishers will be verified by COPA staff to meet the 20 employee requirements upon registration for independent publishers.

Fees are payable by credit card via the secured online credit card payment site. Receipts will be automatically sent to contact person’s email address. One payment is accepted per entry. Credit Card statements will show “eRegisterNow 1-888-218-1020”

Entries must be submitted using the online entry form.

DEADLINE

All entries must be uploaded to the competition website no later than midnight PST on Monday, July 15, 2019. The Early Bird Deadline is Friday, June 14.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are answers to some of your most asked questions. If your questions aren’t answered here, please contact contact Martin Seto COPA producer at 416-907-6562 copa@masthead.ca.

1. How do I submit an entry?
You must complete the online entry form. The entry form will have a space provided for the direct URL of the web page, article, or online piece to be judged. Attached files should be no larger than 5 MB. Please contact to make alternative arrangements. Make sure that this URL is a static link and will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged during summer 2019.

2. How many entries may I submit?
You may submit as many entries as you'd like to any category in any division. You may submit your website in a multiple of categories, as long as it qualifies for that category. An entry fee is charged for each entry.

3. How does judging work?
The entry forms are e-mailed to the judging panel, made up of three industry experts. The judges are given several weeks to independently review the websites on their own time, giving a score to each entry. We will total up the scores from each judge at the end of August and release the list of finalists prior to the awards ceremony.

4. What if the links change or content is moved on our website?
You need to make sure that the URLs you provide are static links that will not change from the time that you submit the entry to the time that the item is judged. Judges will view your website independently, and as judging takes place over a long period of time, you must ensure that your URL remains accurate during the entire judging period. Judging will take place anytime between August, and September.

5. What if my content is behind a pay wall, how will the judges get access to my content?
Publishers are asked to provide the judges with a login and password for the content. In case of articles a PDF version is acceptable as a back-up provision for publishers, but direct access to the digital content is preferred. Please provide a contact person in case of trouble logging on. Entries that require payment to access their solution please budget 3 judges per entry and provide the funds the judges to be reimbursed by the COPA staff.

6. I submitted my entry and the entry did not go through?
In most cases an entry is blocked if the files attached to the entry are more than 5mb in size please stuff all your files in a zip file or through a shared cloud based database file service like WeTransfer, dropbox or google drive for COPA judges entries.

7. What happens when there are less than five entries in a category? Is this a true competition?
The COPAs has a Fair Competition rule where the categories can be deleted  based on the number of entries through a minimum Entry Quorum fair competition rule. All scores that are considered finalists must meet a minimum score of excellence to advance based on scores from 3 judges on the panel out of 100. All entries will be notified if this should happen.

8. What is the COPA Mailing Address?

Entries may require you send print sales of your work as part of your entry please send to

COPA (Awards Category - Division/Category), 34 Thirty-Six St ,Toronto, ON M8W 3K9 by the entry deadline of July 15, 2019

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2019 COPA JUDGES

N. Milne

C. Schmidt

M. Savin

C. Pelletier

C. (MacNeil) Khimji
Gold Awards
Silver Awards
Finalist Awards
IMPORTANT DATES
Apr 8, 2019 >> Call for Judges
May 13, 2019 >> Call for Entries
June 14, 2019 >> Early Bird Deadline
July 15, 2019 >> Entry Deadline
Sept 18, 2019 >> Finalist Announcement
Nov TBA >> COPA Awards