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

Canadian Online Publishing Awards 2022

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 the team must be Canadian and contribute significantly to the entry.

 

The Largest Digital Publishing Awards program in Canada.
The COPAs is not affiliated with any trade organizations and is an industry neutral awards program for the Canadian Industry. The Judging Panel is a  “Who’s Who “ of the digital publishing industry with 90 volunteer judges from across Canada. The COPAs are not funded or subsidized by any government agency. Its mandate is to be inclusive of all media in Canada. A COPA award has become a badge of honour for the Canadian Media Industry that fosters digital innovation and pride in the industry. The COPAs are the largest digital publishing awards program in Canada.

 

 

















Make Some Noise for your Brand
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 February 2023 (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.

 



WHO CAN ENTER

 

Freelance Journalists

Freelance writers, photographers, podcasters and video producers can submit their work for the COPA awards. Freelancers will receive a special pricing of $50 per entry

 

Media Publishers

Open to English, French and other Ethnic 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

Digital 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.

 

Independent Publisher (20 Full-time staff or Less)

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.

 

Inclusivenes Policy - Free Entry Categories - 

We have two categories that any publisher can enter for free. This will be the Best Feel Good Story and Best Multi-cultural Story. This will allows companies to participate that would not normally enter an awards program to expand the reach of the COPA Awards program. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

 

One Free Entry for Schools

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 $50 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

Sponsored Content Challenge
With the growth of sponsored content and the quality of the work, sponsored content will be eligible for a COPA award this year in selected categories, where indicated.

 

Judging Policy

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 Fall 2022)

 


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.

 

News/Sports Media – (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.

 

Academic - 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.

 

 





























2022 CATEGORIES


There are 21 categories below. Your work will be judged against other entries in the same category in the same division. The highest score from a bilingual panel of judges (when applicable) are deemed the winner. The divisions each have 15 categories with some unique to the division, except the Students/Schools that have 10. You can choose to enter your entry into more than one category as appropriate.

 

Eligibility

All entries must have been published between September 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022 to be eligible for the 2022 awards.

 

1. Best Feel Good Story - Free Entry Category

In a world with a lot of negative stories, the COPAs want to recognize “Hero” stories that provide a positive story for readers, that may be good deeds, acts of kindness or support of front line workers during the pandemic. 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: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic)

 

2. Best Multi-Cultural Story - Free Entry Category

To encourage diversity in digital content, this category will look for stories about visible minorities in Canada. This category will celebrate stories about Canada’s multi-cultural landscape. The stories can be written by mainstream and ethnic media publishers in Canada. 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 articles in all applicable channels print, mobile, website and social for judging.

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

 

3. 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. (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.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

 

4. Best Product Story (NEW)

Awarded to the B2B publication deemed to best serve its audience through a product feature article. These stories can include, but not restricted to, product reviews, testimonials and videos. 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: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is only available one (1) category Business-to-Business Media

 

5. 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, Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is only available one (1) category Business-to-Business Media

 

6. 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: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is only available one (1) category Business-to-Business Media

7. 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: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is only available in one (1) category - Consumer Magazine Media

 

8. 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: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is only available in one (1) category - Consumer Magazine Media

 

9. Best Daily News and Sports Coverage 

Awarded to the publication deemed to best serve its audience through timely and original breaking news and sports 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.

This award is only available in one (1) category - News/Sports Media

 

10. Best Continuing Coverage of a News and Sports Story

This award goes to the news coverage of a continuing story that may happen over a period of 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.

This award is only available in one (1) category - News/Sports Media

 

11. 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.

This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media Media

 

12. Best Photojournalism

Awarded to the online publication deemed to best serve its audience through the use of photojournalism. 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.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

 

13. 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. Sponsored content is eligible in this category. The entry can be, but not restricted to, news clips, features, how-to, interviews, sports highlights, celebrity profiles and documentaries 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. 

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

 

14. 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, interviews, episodes, radio shows and news broadcasts. The entry will be judged on quality of writing, story telling, music and sound.

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic.

 

15. Best Content Marketing Campaign

This award is for companies that have created the best branded content 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.
Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media and News/Sports Media 

 

16. Best Email Newsletter Design

Awarded to the best email 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 Digital Audience Development Idea (NEW)

This new COPA award goes to the publisher/company that creates the most innovative digital reader acquisition/renewal program. The program elements that will be evaluated will include concept, content/design, message distribution (email, social, website, print) and reader engagement. (% increase of readership, subscribers,  and revenue). Entries should be submitted in a case study format in a single PDF with a rationale.

This award is available in three (3) categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media and News/Sports Media 

 

18. Best Virtual Event/Webinar

The Virtual Event category will showcase the creativity of publishers in taking live-in-person events into a virtual model. All type events are eligible that include industry conferences, corporate retreats, trade shows and workshops that are carried out over 1-2 days. Webinars are eligible in this category.

Judges of the virtual events will look at graphic branding, event presentation that best serves its target audience through compelling content, multi-platform design and user performance. Please provide event invitation/registration email campaign details (including website screenshots), webinar archive link and an overview of the event model used. Entries should be submitted in a case study format in a single PDF with a rationale.

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in two (2) categories – Business-to-Business Media and Consumer Magazine Media

 

19. Best Digital Edition Publication

This award is for the media property that best combines the print reading experience in their digital publication as digital replica or other digital means. 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 honor. Examples of the various digital channels used by the publication are required and 3 links to back issues. 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 rationale.

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.

This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

 

20. Best Media Website 

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.

Note: Sponsored content is eligible in this category.
This award is available in ALL categories – Business-to-Business Media, Consumer Magazine Media, News/Sports Media and Academic

The News/Sports category has two Best website Awards one for News/Sports 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.

Best Content 

Best Digital Solution

Publisher of the Year

Independent Publisher of the Year

 


HOW TO ENTER

Entry fee: $75 for single entry based on one entry per category and the deadline is September 30, 2022.  An early bird discount available for all entries submitted by Friday, August 19, the early bird entry rate is $50. This fee does not include HST. Please provide a screenshot of your entry so we can post it on the COPA website in case you make it to the finalists stage. We link this screenshot to your entry link on your website, Attached files should be no larger than 5 MB.

 
SPECIAL DISCOUNTS

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 $50 at the non-profit rate. Please enter promo code – free, when submitting the free entry.

 

Special discount for Independent publishers, Ethnic Media, Non-Profits and Freelance Journalists

Independent publishers (20 employees or less) , Ethnic Media, non-profit institutions and freelance Journalists are eligible to enter at the early bird discount rate of $50 at any time. They must be registered as an independent publisher/ethnic media/non-profit/journalist when they submit their entry. All publishers will be verified by COPA staff to meet the 20 employee requirements upon registration for independent publishers.

 

FREE Entry Promo - Best Feel Good Story and Best Multicultural Story

Two categories are available for free to any publisher in 2022 - Best Feel Good Story and Best Multicultural Story. To enter please use promo code “free’ to avoid the e-commerce checkout. Please do this separate from any other entries you may have planned to avoid accidental payment.

 

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 “NORTH ISLAND MEDIA”

 

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 Wednesday, September 30, 2022. The Early Bird Deadline is Friday, August 19. Please provide a screenshot of your entry so we can post it on the COPA website in case you make it to the finalists stage. We link this screenshot to your entry link on your website, Attached files should be no larger than 5 MB.

 


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.

 

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 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. 

 

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?

34 Thirty-Six St ,Toronto, ON M8W 3K9 

IMPORTANT DATES
2022 SCHEDULE

May 1: Call for Judges
July 1: Call for Entries
Aug 19: Early Bird Deadline
Sept 30: Entry Deadline 
Dec 1: Finalist Announcement
Feb 2023 : COPA Party TBA

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