Requesting suggestions for the 2019 Canadian Atheist Awards

Last year, on a whim, I created the inaugural Canadian Atheist Awards. They were a spectacular success, so I’d like to do them again this year. But this year, I’d like to get more reader input.

[Canadian Atheist award statuette]
The imaginary award statuette.

Now, I have to clarify right up front that these awards are not formal awards. There will be no actual prizes, money, or statuettes given. There will be no ceremony. And the winners will be chosen by me, based on my own preferences.

This is all just for fun, but it’s a great way to give recognition to some people who really deserve it.

Last year, for the inaugural awards, I did everything without any outside input. I chose the categories, I chose the nominees, and I chose the winners.

This year, I’d like to open up the process a bit.

To that end, I’d like to ask readers for suggestions. I would like to hear ideas for:

  • Award categories. Last year we had three categories: Art, entertainment, or culture story, Story, and Person. I’m probably going to do those same categories this year, but I’d love to hear suggestions for more. Silly and fun categories are very welcome, but no negative categories, please: There will be no “asshole of the year”, no matter how many deserving candidates there are.
  • Nominations. Nominations for any category, new or old, are welcome. Please explain why you think someone or something is a worthy nominee.
  • Votes. I will be the final word on nominees and winners, but I am very open to being swayed by votes, reasoned arguments, or bribes. (And I’m cheap to bribe, too!)

Also, I’d be happy to consider suggestions for other awards-related stuff, like maybe a lifetime achievement award to someone who’s done a lot of great stuff for secularism, humanism, atheism, and freethought in Canada, over a long period of time. Or maybe a memorial award to honour people who have passed during the year.

And anything else you want to offer would be welcome too! Got an idea for a better design for the award statuette (which, again, is totally imaginary, but I’ll try to make a half-decent render of it with Blender)? By all means, share it! (It’s probably too late to make a new award design this year, but we could certainly use it next year.)

You can make your suggestions, nominations, votes, and bribe offers in the comments, or via the contact form. You can also comment on social media to Canadian Atheist via Twitter (@CanAtheist), Facebook (Canadian Atheist), or even directly at me (indi@sn.genesismachina.ca on OStatus (GNU Social, Mastodon, etc.), or @IndiInTheWired on Twitter). Keep in mind, though that stuff you send via social media may not get noticed (we have a lot of social media accounts spread all over the place, and it’s hard to keep track of them all), so if you are really serious about your suggestion, you should leave a comment on this post or use the contact form.

Again, let me stress that this is all very informal, and for fun. There are no monetary or other prizes at stake, and, let’s be real, there’s really no prestige at stake – winning a Canadian Atheist award is not going to change anyone’s life. So let’s have some fun with it!

8 thoughts on “Requesting suggestions for the 2019 Canadian Atheist Awards

  1. I suggest Gretta Vosper.

    • I’d say she not only deserves a nomination for person of the year, the story of her fight with the UCC – and the victory – probably also deserves a nomination for story of the year.

  2. Some thoughts:

    Justice Malcolm Rowe for his concurring reasons in the TWU decisions.

    A joint award for all the Humanist organizations involved in ending the blasphemy law (or you could give it to Jody Wilson-Raybould but her weakness on MAiD makes it tough).

    The only prominent Canadian atheist (I think he was just culturally Jewish*) I can think of who died in 2018 was former BC Premier Dave Barrett. In his 3.5 years as NDP premier in the 1970s he passed 357 bills, including (for Humanists) the end to corporal punishment in schools, establishing the BC Human Rights Code, created a Status of Women’s office and probably a lot of other things secularists would cheer.

    *Quote via Jewish Independent http://www.jewishindependent.ca/remembering-dave-barrett/:
    “I think, in part, the reason why the two of us connected was that we both came from Jewish working-class backgrounds,” [Former Deputy Minister Marc] Eliesen told the Independent. “While both of us were not religious – we were secular in belief – we had a very proud and conscious recognition historically of what our particular people had done through history in fighting for social justice and economic equality and I think that dominates basically the orientation of where he was going and what he stood for. He never detracted from that. The upbringing by his folks reflected that particular orientation, for lack of a better description, of being for the little guy and wanting to make life a little bit better.”

    • Justice Malcolm Rowe for his concurring reasons in the TWU decisions.

      Ooo, good call.

      A joint award for all the Humanist organizations involved in ending the blasphemy law (or you could give it to Jody Wilson-Raybould but her weakness on MAiD makes it tough).

      Her list of weaknesses go much farther than just MAiD, though. She’s been dragging her feet on just about every noteworthy humanist issue on her desk – for example, ending solitary confinement. Even the blasphemy law repeal was hardly a stellar achievement, taking as long as it did, and losing the section 176 repeal along the way. Just about the only major thing she’s accomplished other than the Criminal Code clean-up (which, again, should have been a slam dunk but wasn’t) is legalizing pot… and the situation there is a mess too.

      I’ll be honest, I was considering her for a nomination, but only if the field of candidates was thin, and I didn’t think she had much chance of winning (though I don’t yet have in mind who the other candidates are, so I guess it’s possible she could still have a chance).

      The joint nomination for all the organizations involved in the blasphemy repeal is a good idea. I wonder what category it would fit under. Maybe there could be a few uncategorized “special” awards for stuff that really deserves mention but doesn’t really warrant a category.

  3. How about a top canadian atheist youtube channel award?

    • That’s not a bad idea! But YouTube seems a bit narrow – perhaps an award for something like podcast/vlog or audio/video presenter of the year, so it includes not just YouTube but also people making stuff iTunes and other platforms too.

      I’d need a bunch of suggestions for nominations too.

      • Audio/Video category sounds good. This would require a fair amount of input from the community to compile a nominations type list. I have a small list of some youtube channels that have caught my interest. I think they are all Canadian but that should be verified.
        Armoured Skeptic
        Godless Cranium
        Godless Mom
        Logicked
        Paulogia
        Shannon Q
        Viced Rino

        • I know some of those. I think Atheist Republic is also Canadian.

          In addition to YouTube stuff, I think the list of podcasts we already have should be considered, too:

          • Brainstorm Podcast
          • Left at the Valley
          • Life, the Universe & Everything Else
          • The Reality Check

          And I guess Polite Conversations is also a contender.

          I don’t think this category is practical for this round of awards, because while I can quickly read a dozen articles by someone in an hour or so, I can’t watch a dozen videos or listen to a dozen podcasts in that time. So I can’t possibly review all the nominations by the end of the month. And I really do need to do a lot of careful reviewing, because there’s a lot of nasty shit out there lurking under the label of “YouTube atheist” or “atheist podcast”. (For example, Stefan Molyneux is technically a Canadian atheist YouTuber.)

          But if I can get a list of shows to consider, I can review them over the course of the year and consider them for the next awards – the 2020 awards.

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