Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The benchmarks for digital excellence for the Canadian media industry are set each year with the Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The call for entries began May 4 with a deadline of July 6. The Early bird deadline is June 1. 

We have made some adjustments to the categories this year that includes a “Best Editorial Packaging” award for publishers that meet the highest journalistic standards in the multiplatform digital world. The COPA awards party is schedule for Thursday, November 19, 2015 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto.


The big winner in 2014 was St. Joseph Media who hauled in 11 medals (6 gold and 5 silver). In second, was IT World Canada with 7 medals (5 Gold and 2 Silver) and a tie for third with 5 awards was Rogers Media and TC Media  (2 Gold and 3 Silver each).

The Best of Canada Digital Solution award went to Cottage Life for their “How to buy a Cottage” Apple app. The Best of Canada Digital Content of the year went to the Globe and Mail for their interactive story “No Safe Use” on the hazards of asbestos. The Best Online Ad Campaign of the year in Canada went to Toronto Life for their sponsored content program for Evolve Fitness

As the producer of the COPAs, I am often asked what does it take to win a COPA and how can a small publisher compete with the big guys with the big budgets. To answer the first question I have provided some info below on the guidelines the judges use and the judging process.

To answer the second question we have created an award for the independent publisher. This is a Best of Canada award from all the entries submitted from companies with 20 full time employees or less. Reader’s Digest is the sponsor of the Best in Canada Awards category.

Each judging panel for each award has 3 judges with an expertise in one of the following areas - journalism, design, digital, publishing, marketing and media. The judge’s mix in each panel is dependent on the category and each judge gives a score out of 100. The judges are asked to use the criteria below as a general guideline during the judging process - artistic style, compelling content, marketing benefits, reader interaction and technical execution. The judges can still use their own criteria for the final score.


A: Artistic Style: layout and design, typography, colour, photography, illustration, multimedia

B: Compelling Content: grammar, writing quality, content, freshness, reader engagement

C: Marketing Benefits: audience deliverables, brand personality, consumer response, reader stickiness, brand environment

D: Reader Interaction: functionality, navigation, SEO efficiency, Interactivity

E: Technical Execution: muliti-platform execution, download speeds, ease of use, technology foward vs. reader learning curve, click fatigue rating

You can also get some great advice from the comments from COPA judges at this link.


About Me
Martin Seto

Martin Seto is the producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAS) with 30 years of life expereince in technology, advertising, media and creative exploration. He can be reached at marty(dot)seto(at) or 416-907-6562, and on LinkedIn.

Most Recent Blog Comment
Lorene Shyba says:
Full of terrific information, Thanks!...
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