Written Word Judges

Peter Johansen

Peter Johansen taught journalism at Carleton University for nearly 40 years. In that role he taught literally thousands of students from Canada and abroad and published research in a variety of academic journals and books. He has judged travel writing competitions sponsored by Ottawa Tourism and the former Canadian Tourism Commission, as well as for TMAC, and has himself won numerous awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association for stories in such publications as the Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, United Church Observer and Inns Magazine. For two years he wrote a bi-weekly travel column for Troy Media, a Calgary-based news syndication service.

Don Genova

Don Genova is a British Columbia-based award-winning freelance journalist specializing in food and travel. He also teaches courses in food and travel writing and blogging at UBC. Don’s latest radio column with CBC Victoria is called “Food Matters,” and delves into the world of sustainable eating. His first book, “Food Artisans of Vancouver Island & the Gulf Islands”, was published this spring by TouchWood Editions. His blog is blog.dongenova.com

Helena Katz

Hélèna Katz’s interest in writing began when she picked up her first newspaper at the age of 18 months. It took a bit longer for her to learn to write. Once she’d mastered the art of crafting a good story, she became a reporter for the Montreal Gazette. She began freelancing in 1993 and, since then, has delivered clear, concise and compelling copy for magazines, newspapers, websites, corporate clients and the nonprofit sector.

Hélèna is a versatile writer, creative thinker and fluently bilingual. Raised in a francophone household and educated in English, she has the wonderful ability to switch languages in mid-sentence. More importantly, she frequently conducts interviews in French and delivers clear, seamless copy in English. So seamless, in fact, that she subsequently forgets in which language she spoke to her sources.

Photography Judges

Mario Madau

Mario Madau has been behind a camera for over 30 years. He started out as an advertising stills shooter for companies like Frigidaire International, Uniroyal Goodrich, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels, Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Yamaha, Wendy's, Jamieson’s Vitamins and more.

He was asked once on a stills shoot if he shot commercials. He said, "Of course!" He then went about figuring out how to shoot commercials and the rest is history. Mario's credits includes award winning photograph, television commercials, television series and films. Mario is one of those rare breed of shooters brings a photographers insight and visual discipline to every job.

Jason Hartog

Jason Hartog has been a photographer for over 20 years specializing in commercial, product and architectural photography. His editorial work has appeared in: Style at Home, Canadian Living, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun and Good Housekeeping. Currently the Director of Photography for Our Homes Media Group, he manages his busy freelance business. Jason also sits on the Program Advisory Committee for the Fanshawe College Photography Program.