October 30, 2002

Canadian automotive journalism, photography awards presented

Brian Harper, Kelly Taylor, Greg Wilson
Jaguar Journalist of the Year winners, (Left to Right) Brian Harper, Kelly Taylor, Greg Wilson. Click image to enlarge

Belleville, Ontario – Canadian automotive journalists who assembled in Belleville, Ontario last week for the annual AJAC Car of the Year Test-Fest attended an annual awards ceremony for both automotive journalism and photography.

The annual awards included the Jaguar Automotive Journalist of the Year award, the Castrol Chinthe journalism award, the Julie Wilkinson Motorsport writing award, the Nikon Photography award, and the Best Web-site award (see previous news item).

Jaguar Canada presented the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada (AJAC) Automotive Journalist of the Year Award to Winnipeg Free Press journalist and occasional CanadianDriver contributor, Kelly Taylor.

This award was inaugurated in 1984 by past Jaguar Canada president, John Mackie to “reward excellence in automotive journalism”. A variety of submissions are considered for this award including feature story, car review, general editorial opinion, with personal style and mastery of the subject taken into account.

Taylor is a first time winner of this award and was sited by a bilingual panel of three accredited judges as being a writer who inspires confidence in his readers. His articles are authoritative and clearly presented, whether he is writing about particular models of cars or about using hydrogen as an automotive fuel. But he is also entertaining, with a good eye for humorous situations, making his pieces a good “read.”

“Kelly showed good range in his work, excelling particularly in clear explanations of sometimes very technical material,” said Lindsay Crysler, a third year veteran of the judging panel. “His article on the potential of Hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles was one of the best articles in the competition – clearly informing readers of how it works, where it’s going, and what it means to individuals and the community.”

First runner-up in the Journalist of the Year competition, Brian Harper, a writer for the National Post, was cited by the judges as being a first class writer, a wordsmith with a particular gift for making his articles interesting. But behind the verbal facility lies a keen critical sense, so that one always comes away from reading him better informed, as well as entertained.

Second runner-up was awarded to Greg Wilson, editor of CanadianDriver.com for his “Workmanlike writing with interesting subjects such as examining the demand for armoured cars after 9/11 and the discreet joys of modern four-cylinder engines.”

Other awards presented included the Castrol Chinthe award for automotive journalism won by Bob English of the Financial Post; the Julie Wilkinson award for motorsport writing awarded to Gerry Malloy of World of Wheels; and the Nikon photography award awarded to Laurance Yap of the Toronto Star and CanadianDriver.

Laurance Yap won in the Published Photography category because the judges felt that his photograph of a sunset taken through the windshield of a car “has static and motion and is very fluid. The brilliant red colour is used very effectively on the cover of Autoworld. All three of his images were very interesting”. Honorable Mention in this category went to the 2002 Journalist of the Year Kelly Taylor of the Winnipeg Free Press for his shot of a Hummer going through water at great speed. The judges felt that his entry showed “a good sense of action (that) lends itself well to the layout used”.

Michael LaFave won the Unpublished Photography category due to his very clean graphic image of a Mercedes-Benz with lights photographed from directly overhead. “The highly reflective shiny metal and the textured road surface provide a good balance. There is a good feeling of the car and the road.” Honorable Mention in this category went to Robert Bostelaar of the Ottawa Citizen for his photo of an auto graveyard. The judges noted that the “rustic quality along with the little bit of chrome provides a contrast to the natural surroundings”.

Nikon Canada Marketing Manager, Sean Williams, was on hand to present each winner with their prize of a Nikon Coolpix 2500 digital camera.

Judges in this year’s competition were once again Dennis Miles and Wayne Pittendreigh of the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. Both professors have been teaching at Ryerson for a number of years and have a keen interest and career in photographing motorsports as well as the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) annual “TestFest” held near Belleville, Ontario.

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