Awards Showcase: 2023 CCNAwards for Best Special Section (circ 10000+)

The Canadian Community Newspaper Awards honour outstanding work in editorial, photography, multimedia and overall excellence in community newspaper publishing across the country.

Congratulations to the 2023 CCNAwards winners for Best Special Section (circ 10,000+), chosen from 10 entries.

Special sections are separate or pull-out newspaper sections (tabloid or broadsheet format) with four pages or more, containing both editorial and advertising content. Entries in this category were judged on concept, local relevance, implementation, design and results, including the impact on readers. This category judge commented: “Generally excellent work. Those that stood out were well-executed, unique concepts that blended reader and advertiser appeal.”

1st Place – Coast Reporter, Sechelt/Gibsons, BC – “Coast Kids

The Coast Reporter works with students from local elementary schools each year to produce this special feature (starts on page 37 of the e-edition here) that generates ad revenue for the paper and donations to participating classes. In 2022, students from seven schools participated. Children from 17 classes created the ads in this feature – that’s 394 students from grades 1 through 7.

Each student was asked to become a production team member and create the ads for each of the paper’s clients. There are 22 pieces of art in the special section, but the rest were posted on the walls of the businesses that participated and given to each of the students to take home. In addition to this notoriety, the Coast Reporter donated 15 percent of all ad sales to each class to thank them for their great work in becoming a part of the local Coast Reporter workforce for a day. Click here to view the special section.

“This concept has been done at many newspapers over the years but seldom as well, I think, as this. Purely local and highly relevant to the businesses, schools, parents, kids and readers in general! “Quality” of design hits differently when kids are drawing the ads – but the rawness and authenticity of the content is what makes the design so appealing. Hits all the bases, from community and business engagement to media literacy, in a package that brings significant revenue to bear. Well done on every level, from the media literacy element to sharing the revenue with the participating schools.”

2nd Place – Goldstream News Gazette, Victoria, BC – “Speedway: The final lap”

The Goldstream News Gazette commemorated Canada’s oldest speedway with a special publication showcasing the history and celebrating the people who were connected to the family attraction for so many years. The section was a resounding success, generating incremental revenue for the paper, and demand was so great that a reprint was planned for the following year.

“A very unique idea especially for a community newspaper. This sort of one-time publication comes along rarely and never again and generally needs to be done both quickly but also thoroughly. Good balance of editorial and advertising content, relevant not only as a souvenir publication for veteran racers and fans but with explainers for novices. Full of relevant local content, solid writing, great photography and good design on the hall of fame pages in particular. This ticks all the bases. Excellent work.”

3rd Place – The Abbotsford News, Abbotsford, BC – “Stronger Together”

“An excellent concept, well executed. Generally, the anniversary look-back gets short shrift with tight editorial newsholes but turning it into a special section gives this room to breathe, to look back properly and let those dramatic images really play out. Local relevance, great writing and solid design. This was sure to have had an impact on readers.”

The 2023 CCNAwards recognize the outstanding work produced in 2022 and celebrate the vibrancy of community newspapers across Canada. Award winners were announced on September 15, 2023. For a full list of winners click here.