First Words

When I open my laptop in the morning, I usually know what to expect: the occasional email from a writer pitching a story, monthly invoices and my daily updates. But one email that popped up a few weeks ago was completely unexpected. It was from the National Media Awards Foundation. I read it, reread it, and gulped. The message announced that I was the recipient of the 2024 Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. Unexpected indeed!

The National Magazine Awards ceremony came right on the heels of our June press date. We’ve never missed a print deadline and we certainly weren’t going to miss this occasion. The Summer issue had barely gone to the printer when the Watershed crew headed to Toronto for the gala evening. My acceptance speech touched on the fact that the “creativity and innovation” for which I was being honoured, included everyone at Watershed. It was also important to mention that the magazine’s success depended upon many levels of trust.

With those thoughts in mind, I would like to share a bit of my speech with you. Watershed – the little magazine that could – has earned its place in the neighbourhood – a neighbourhood that is shared not only by our readers, but also by our editors, writers, photographers, illustrators and advertisers.

Despite the digital age, it is the printed word that brings us together and creates the strong undercurrent of community trust.

The Award for Outstanding Achievement belongs to all of us at Watershed. We all have a sense of pride in what we do. It is our commitment to well-written community-centric journalism that sets us apart. To the people who work with me day-in and day-out – my talented friends – and in particular, Meg Botha, our art director who brings our pages to life, thank you for standing by me and making Watershed a magazine of national note.