AWNA past president Steven George Dills dies at 60

Longtime newspaperman Steven George Dills died on August 29 following a yearlong battle with acute leukemia. He was 60 years old.

Born in Milton, Ontario, Dills worked in the community newspaper industry for 37 years. He served as publisher, editor and general manager for numerous publications in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Dills was actively involved with the Canadian Community Newspapers Association (CCNA) throughout his career. After graduating from Ryerson Polytechnic Institute (now Ryerson University) in 1977, he started a yearlong internship at the CCNA office in Toronto while his father, Jim Dills, was CCNA executive director. During his internship, Dills also served as editor of The Publisher, the association’s monthly publication.

In the 1990s, Dills was appointed chair of the CCNA’s Verified Circulation committee (later renamed Canadian Media Circulation Audit). He received a Silver Quill in 2000 in recognition of 25 years of service in the industry.

Dills also served on the board of directors for the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA) from 1985 to 1990, and was president of the regional association from 1988 to 1989. In 1996, he was presented with the AWNA’s prestigious Bill Draayer Award for his contributions to the industry.