Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – Autos contributors Russell Purcell and Haney Louka and Assistant Editor, Jil McIntosh walked away with numerous automotive writing awards at the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s annual journalism awards, held last night as part of the organization’s Car of the Year “Testfest” event. 

Russell Purcell won the most prestigious award,  Journalist of the Year, presented by Jaguar Land Rover Canada.  The panel of three judges with extensive journalism and literary backgrounds said they were impressed with Purcell’s body of work “that showed outstanding imagination, originality, variety and range of subject matter.”  “Instead of conducting a first-person review, he found four truck enthusiasts to run the pickup through its paces and report their findings – pro and con – to the writer,” said John Burke, former journalist, current communications consultant and one of the judges on the panel.  “Likewise, he asked his parents to try out a new navigation system on their vacation and the reaction from these average consumers to new driving technology was a valuable public service to the readers.”

First runner-up in the Journalist of the Year competition was Mark Atkinson, a writer for MSN Autos Canada, and Second runner-up Jeremy Sinek also of MSN Autos Canada and Canadian AutoWorld.

Russell Purcell also won the Wakefield Castrol Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism in Technical Topics, for the review of the LG LN-735 portable navigation unit; and tied for first runner-up with Mark Toljagic for his review of BEHR epoxy garage floor coating. Autos Assistant Editor, Jil McIntosh took third place honours in the Wakefield Castrol Awards for her article on OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown

McIntosh also won the Volvo Award for Environmental Journalism for her article, “Subaru’s Environmental Initiatives”. Freelance automotive journalist Brad Horn was runner-up for the Volvo award for his story entitled “Eco-sensibility came easily with our long-term Honda Civic Hybrid”.

Autos contributor, Haney Louka won the Castrol Wakefield award for vehicle testing for a review of the Audi S8.  First runner-up was Derek Mcnaughton of CanWest newspapers for his review of the Infiniti FX50, and Second Runners-up were Marc Lachapelle of Le Guide de l’auto and Brad Horn.

The story of a performance driving school’s annual ladies-only day at Race City in Alberta earned Calgary Herald journalist Greg Williams the 2009 Julie Wilkinson Motorsports Award presented by Bridgestone Canada Inc.   Bob English, of Luxury Vehicles magazine, was runner-up with “A million-dollar tribute to a racing legend”, a recount of the 1955 Mille Miglia. 

The National Post’s Clare Dear was the winner of Car Care Canada’s 2009 Award for Car Safety Journalism for his article, “Winter Driving: Advice from the Pros”. 

The winner of the Mitsubishi Design & Layout Awards was Mark Richardson, Editor of the Toronto Star’s Wheels section.  Hank Van de Vondervoort, Automotive Editor of, won for Best Website.

Pirelli Photography awards in the Published category went to Mark Tolgajic of  Brad Horn, and Philippe Champoux of MSN Autos were runners-up. In the Un-Published category, Brad Horn was the winner, while Amee Rehal of Performance Racing News and Graeme Fletcher of the National Post were runners-up.

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