TORONTO, June 26, 2013 /CNW/ - It is with sorrow that the National
Newspaper Awards announces the death of Bryan Cantley, the
organization's long-time Executive Secretary.
Bryan has been a friend and colleague to countless Canadian journalists,
from students and cub reporters to senior executives, for more than 30
Earlier this month, Bryan received one of Canada's highest awards for
service to journalism, the Michener-Baxter Special Award, for
"continued commitment and outstanding service to Canadian journalism
and the newspaper industry." The award was presented by
Governor-General David Johnston in Ottawa.
"Bryan had a complete and total dedication to Canadian newspapers," said
Scott White, Chair of the National Newspaper Awards Board of Governors.
"He believed in news and the value it brought to a stronger democratic
society. He saw tremendous changes in the newspaper industry during his
career, but never lost sight of the need to strive for excellence in
A native of Northwestern Ontario, Bryan worked in Toronto-area
newspapers for 10 years, primarily as a Managing Editor. He joined the
Canadian Daily Newspaper Association (now Newspapers Canada) in 1981 as
Director of Editorial Services. When the CDNA and an association of
weekly and community papers merged, Bryan was given added
responsibilities as Vice-President in charge of all services to members
- editorial, circulation and advertising.
In 26 years with the organization, he had an enormous impact on Canadian
journalism through training sessions he led and organized as well as
his role as Executive Secretary of the National Newspaper Awards. Among
his initiatives was the establishment in 1999 of the Canadian
Association of Newspaper Editors, which replaced the Canadian Managing
Editors Conference and expanded the latter's mandate to include editors
at all levels.
When Bryan retired in 2007, publishers and executives of the newspaper
industry paid tribute to him at a luncheon during the annual Newspapers
Canada conference. Clark Davey, who worked as Publisher of the Ottawa
Citizen and Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail during a long and
distinguished career, called Bryan "a great and giving repository of
institutional memory about the black art we call journalism," and
added, "Where will we ever find his like again?" Several other speakers
spoke of Bryan as a valuable mentor.
A lifelong fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Bryan was presented that day
with a cartoon by legendary Montreal Gazette cartoonist Aislin. It
depicted Bryan ripping open his suit and shirt to reveal a Canadiens
After retirement, Bryan remained at the helm of the NNAs, which he had
served as Executive Secretary since the early 1980s. He helped oversee
a number of important changes that opened the competition to online
publications as well as newspapers.
He served as Executive Director of the Commonwealth Journalists
Association, helping to promote journalism training in the neediest
countries of the Commonwealth, until he retired from that role last
year. He also worked with the Canadian sector of the International
Press Institute and as administrator for the Hon. Edward Goff Penny
Awards for Young Journalists.
A 1969 graduate of Ryerson University, Bryan was a founding member and
treasurer of the Ryerson Journalism Alumni Association. He also was the
organizer and primary impetus behind Wordstock, a popular journalism
training workshop. He received a Ryerson Alumni Achievement Award in
Bryan was diagnosed in May with pancreatic cancer. He was unable to
attend this year's National Newspaper Awards gala in Ottawa, but his
guidance, based on his experience overseeing the competition for three
decades, helped ensure another successful event celebrating the best of
Bryan, who was 66, is survived by his wife, Eleanor.
Visitation will be held Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 9 p.m.
A funeral service will be held Friday, June 28, at 1 p.m.
Both are taking place at:
Turner & Porter Funeral Home
Neweduk-Erin Mills Chapel
1981 Dundas Street West
SOURCE: National Newspaper Awards
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