UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

2017 Press Awards

Various organizations have honoured The United Church Observer with awards for editorial excellence this past year. Here are some of the highlights so far.

By Observer Staff

Associated Church Press Awards

Awards of Excellence

• "Letters to the Editor," by Patricia Clarke

• Marketing and Public Relations (Video): "A tale of two cancers," by Catherine Gordon, Kevin Spurgaitis and Merle Robillard

• Photography: Photo Spread: "Many faces, one humanity," by Wade Davis

• Biographical Profile: "Fall from grace," by Justin Dallaire

• News Story: "Resisting genocide," by Sally Armstrong

• Online Media (Publication Website): "UCObserver.org," by Kevin Spurgaitis and Susan Docker (Pectopah)

• Magazine Cover: "May Cover," by Ross Woolford

• Personal Experience (Blog): "My Year of Living Spiritually," by Anne Bokma

• Feature Article (Long Format): "Trump Country," by David Macfarlane

Awards of Merit

• Devotional/Inspirational (Long Format): "Involuntary Pilgrim," by David Giuliano

• Editorial or Opinion: "Culture Thieves," by Pieta Woolley

• Video Documentary (Short): "My Year of Living Spiritually," by Kevin Spurgaitis

• Marketing and Public Relations (Direct Mail Fundraising Campaign): "Fall Fundraising Appeal," by Sharon Doran

• Single photo with article or cutline: "May Cover Photo"        

• Theme Issue or Series (Magazine): "From Far and Wide," by multiple authors

• Theme Issue or Series (Blog): "My Year of Living Spiritually," by Anne Bokma

• Magazine Design (Spread or Story): "Many faces, one humanity," by Ross Woolford

• In-Depth Coverage: "Trump Country," by David Macfarlane

• Podcast: "The Observer Podcast," by Kevin Spurgaitis, David Wilson, David Wallen and multiple authors

Honourable Mentions

• Theological Reflection (Long Format): "When neurons meet prayer," by Trisha Elliott

• Photography (Photo Spread): "Trump Country," by Nigel Dickson

• Illustration with Article or Cutline: "Yearning," by Sandra Dionisi

• Feature Article (Short Format): "The Sound of Silence," by Bertrand Marotte

• Theological Reflection (Short Format): "Why Pray?" by Christopher Levan

Canadian Church Press Awards

First Place Awards

• “Resisting genocide,” by Sally Armstrong (winner in four categories): the A.C. Forrest Memorial Award; Features; In-Depth Treatment of a News Event; and News Story

• Biographical profile: “Fall from grace,” by Justin Dallaire

• Interview: “Interview with Martin Rumscheidt,” by Paul Knowles

• Theological Reflection: “When neurons meet prayer,” by Trisha Elliott

• Opinion Piece: “Culture thieves,” by Pieta Woolley

• Personal Experience: “Involuntary pilgrim,” by David Giuliano

• From the Editor: “Free speech and civility,” by David Wilson

• Editorial: “If statues could talk,” by David Wilson

• Front Cover: “Stolen mothers,” designed by Ross Woolford

• Edition Layout & Design: February 2017 edition, designed by Ross Woolford:

• Feature Layout & Design: “Many faces, one humanity,” designed by Ross Woolford: Feature Layout & Design


• "Resisting genocide," by Sally Armstrong and Peter Bregg Amnesty International Media Award (Online Journalism), Canadian Online Publishing Award (Best Investigative Article or Series) and the Dave Greber Freelance Writers Award (Magazines).

• "Many faces, one humanity," by Wade Davis — North American Travel Journalists Award (Photo Essay-Print or Online).

Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!


Paul Fraumeni (r) with his father, Jack, and sister, Julie, at a 2006 Tigers-Yankees playoff game at Comerica Park in Detroit. Fraumeni and his father had their differences, but baseball always brought them together.  (Photo courtesy of author)

Marie Kondo helped with the painful process of tossing my dad's books

by Paul Fraumeni

His baseball books were a reminder of the special bond we shared, and I couldn't bear to get rid of them

Promotional Image


The United Church Observer's editor and publisher, Jocelyn Bell. (Photo: Lindsay Palmer)

The new name of 'The Observer' revealed!

by Jocelyn Bell

"United Church" will no longer be on the cover, but our commitment to sharing denominational news and perspectives remains the same

Promotional Image


Meet beloved church cats Mable and Mouse

by Observer Staff

They're a fixture of Kirk United Church Centre in Edmonton.

Promotional Image


February 2019

Marriage problems: Is the ancient tradition worth saving?

by Pieta Woolley

Bitterness and boredom seem to define many mid-life marriages, but we might not have to settle for apathy ever after


February 2019

A Yukon artist and a Tlingit trapper create this stunning jewelry

by Amy van den Berg

The fur jewelry in Whitehorse boutique store V. Ægirsdóttir is creating a new possibility for future partnerships with the region's trappers


February 2019

Why white people need to stop asking, 'where are you from?'

by Mike Sholars

"...For all intents and purposes, Canada is the only home I really recognize or remember. But none of that matters if I look like I don’t belong, and that single question makes that abundantly clear every single time."

Promotional Image