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The Walrus magazine cover

The Walrus was the toast of Canada's National Magazine Awards Thursday evening, winning six gold awards and six silver at the NMAs' 35th anniversary ceremony at a downtown Toronto ballroom. It was the eighth consecutive year the Toronto-based public affairs magazine, launched in 2003, has either had the most or tied for the most golds.

The Grid, a weekly lifestyle and entertainment tabloid started just last year by the Toronto Star, took four golds and two silvers to finish second overall, followed by Toronto Life, a monthly, with four golds and one silver. Report on Business Magazine, published 15 times a year, earned a fourth-place finish courtesy of three golds and four silvers. L'actualite, Quebec's French-language equivalent of Maclean's, rounded out the top five with three golds and two silvers.

Awards were presented in 45 categories, both print and digital, from a total of 362 nominations from 81 Canadian magazines. Maisonneuve, a Montreal-based, English-language arts-and-culture quarterly started in 2002, was named magazine of the year. It previously took the honour in 2004. The other finalists this year were Outdoor Canada and Sportsnet. TodaysParent.com got the nod as the country's best digital magazine for 2011.

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Veteran Canadian journalist Heather Robertson received the NMA Foundation's lifetime achievement award for outstanding service, while Torontonian Liam Casey was named best new magazine writer for his work in the Ryerson Review of Journalism.

The single most-honoured individual, with three golds, was Vanessa Wyse, art director of The Grid. Formerly associate art director of RoB Magazine, Wyse prevailed in all three major design categories – best magazine cover, best art direction for an entire issue, best direction for a single article.

"Where Asbestos is Just a Fact of Life," published in the December, 2011 RoB Magazine, was the most highly recognized single article. Written by John Gray and Stephanie Nolen, with photographs by Louie Palu, it was nominated for a record five awards, taking gold in the business category, silver in politics and public interest and honourable mentions in investigative reporting, health and medicine and science, technology and the environment. The magazine's two other golds came courtesy of Nathan VanderKlippe whose "A Pipeline Runs Throught It" (Dec. 2011) topped the science, technology and environment category, and The Coveteur (photographer Jake Rosenberg, designer Erin Kleinberg, stylist Stephanie Mark), named best new visual creator(s) for a gifts spread in the December issue.

A complete list of winners and nominees is available at magazine-awards.com.

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