Xtra wins gold

We brought home the big trophy from the Digital Publishing Awards

Xtra was just named the best mid-sized digital publication in Canada, winning gold for “general excellence” from the Digital Publishing Awards (DPA), the magazine’s first win in the general category in the eight-year history of the DPAs. Announcing the awards on June 2, the DPA jury singled out the breadth of Xtra’s content and the uniqueness of its POV, stating, “At a time where queer rights are endangered in Canada and the United States, Xtra Magazine stands as a beacon for reliable, in-depth coverage.”

“It’s wonderful that the good work of an incredible team is being recognized by our peers,” says Executive Editor Gordon Bowness. “Xtra is a mission-driven publication, with a mandate to inspire queer and trans communities and our allies in Canada and around the world to work for a better, just and inclusive world. Our editors and writers are on the front lines of an increasingly hostile environment; they put themselves out there every day. Their work should be celebrated.”

Xtra Magazine dates back to 1984, beginning as a local bar entertainment supplement in Toronto, but quickly establishing itself as the flagship publication of publisher Pink Triangle Press. Shuttering its various print versions, Xtra went digital-only in 2015. Today, the bulk of its readership is in Canada and the U.S., extending into the U.K. and across the English-speaking world. With the recent arrival of Chief Content Officer Jennifer McGuire (former GM and editor-in-chief of CBC News) and Editorial Director Angela Mullins (former senior editor at the Toronto Star) Xtra is refining its editorial strategy with a renewed focus on entertainment, small c culture and politics.

“I’ve been at Xtra, in various guises, since 1992,” Bowness says. “I was there in the aughts when a sea change in opinion toward LGBTQ2S+ people happened in this country. At some point, I distinctly remember that my colleagues and I thought that we had done our job. Sadly, recent events show all too clearly that history isn’t linear, that progress on social justice isn’t guaranteed. It’s depressing to witness the current backlash. But I’m heartened by the new generation of activists and journalists. Their passion and their power is undeniable. Xtra is as relevant and necessary now as it ever was. 

“We hope to continue inspiring our readers to engage—or re-engage—in the great history of advocacy and activism that Xtra stands for.”

Keep reading

Check out these stories and columns from our award-winning year of 2022
1) “The first person reported dead from AIDS in Canada was an anonymous gay man from Windsor who died in 1982″
2) “Gerald Hannon, a key figure in the gay liberation movement, has died at age 77”
3) “Growing up trans in ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Newfoundland”
4) “What went wrong at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and how can it be fixed?”
5) “A busy intersection in Edmonton has been dominated by homophobic
street preachers for years”
6) “‘I felt like they were afraid of me.’ Monkeypox patients call out lack of support from healthcare professionals, government”
7) “How watching ‘Heartstopper’ helped heal the hurt teen inside me”
8) “In Billy-Ray Belcourt’s ‘A Minor Chorus,’ happiness seems to lurk just out of reach”
9) “How the far-right is turning feminists into fascists”
10) “André Leon Talley was my possibility model”
11) Ask Kai: Advice for the Apocalypse is quintessential Xtra; generous and insightful advice from Kai Cheng Thom
12) Herstorian Kevin O’Keeffe is the giant brain behind our popular Drag Race coverage 

On occasion, the number of editors and other staff who contribute to a story gets a little unwieldy to give a byline to everyone. That’s when we use “Xtra Staff” in place of the usual contributor info. If you would like more information on who contributed to a particular story, please contact us here.

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