The St. Albert Gazette came home cradling a heaping armload of trophies from the recent 2019 Better Newspaper Competition Awards of Excellence handed out by the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA) in late June. Among the numerous accolades was the Golden Fleece itself: first place for Best Overall Newspaper – Class E (circulation of 10,000 and up).
“It’s always humbling to be recognized by our peers for the work we do. Our team puts in a first-rate effort every day to serve our community. We take our role of informing our readers very seriously, and the entire staff at the Gazette deserves credit for their continued commitment to quality journalism,” stated Brian Bachynski, publisher of the St. Albert Gazette and president of the Great West Newspapers Limited Partnership.
The Best Overall Newspaper prize was only the icing on the cake in the General Excellence category, whereas first place for Best Editorial Page, second place for Best Sports Section, and third place for Best Front Page provided a large part of the proverbial cake itself.
Along with those, the proof of the Gazette’s top-quality journalism was evidenced with numerous other writing, photographic and creative advertising awards, including:
- 1st place, Arts and Culture Writing – Scott Hayes' The stars are coming out for STARFest
- 1st place, Best Environmental Writing – Kevin Ma's Plastic Planet
- 1st place, Best Sports Writing – Jeff Hansen's Iginla arena renaming
- 1st place, MultiPhoto – Chris Colbourne's Rodeo Roundup
- 2nd place, Sue Gawlak Best Local Editorial;
- 2nd place, Excellence in Creative Advertising;
- 2nd place, Best Local News Story – Hannah Lawson's Mayor ready to move utility corp along
- 3rd place, Feature Photo – Dan Riedlhuber's Solemn Perch
- 3rd place, Human Interest Photo – Dan Riedlhuber's A Ball of a Good Time
- 3rd place, MultiPhoto – Dan Riedlhuber's Fire & Ice
- 3rd Place, Spot News Photo – Dan Riedlhuber's No Serious Injuries
- and Honourable Mention, Sports Action Photo – Dan Riedlhuber's Hat Trick
For the first time ever, the Gazette was also a finalist for a National Newspaper Award, for Dan Riedlhuber in the Feature Photo category.
The AWNA is a not-for-profit trade association that works to demonstrate and promote excellence in the nearly 100 member newspapers throughout Alberta and the Northwest Territories that cumulatively boast a circulation of more than 630,000. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020.