The 2021 Canadian Atheist awards were rocky—keeping in theme with the very rocky year they were celebrating, I suppose—but it all came together in the end.
The Canadian Atheist awards are a very informal, just-for-fun annual awards given out by me, Indi, Canadian Atheist’s managing editor. There are no actual prizes of any sort; even the statuette is just 3D render. It’s just a way to give some recognition and love to people who I think deserve it.
But while the award may be worthless, the nominees every year are absolutely priceless. These are people who have demonstrated courage and integrity far above and beyond the norm, and whose actions have either demonstrated the best of humanist principles or may substantially improve the lives of secularists, humanists, and atheists, or both. Recognizing them with this award is the very least I can do to show my respect and appreciation for them.
The Canadian Atheist awards were a smaller affair this year than in previous years, and only had two categories:
So let’s get right into the summary of the winners.
Story of the year
The 2021 Story of the year was awarded to the news or cultural story that captured the most interest or had the most impact among Canadian atheists in 2020.
Because this award was for a story in itself, and not any telling of that story – so not a particular piece written by particular journalists – there is no actual recipient of the award.
- * WINNER: Conversion therapy ban
- Atheist organizations and bad leadership
- Canadian Museum for Human Rights scandal
- Cities allow mosques to play adhan during Ramadan
- COVID-19 and worship
Honourable mentions include:
- The Theodore case
- The Museum of the Bible
- Mount Cashel ruling
Person of the year
The 2021 Person of the year was awarded to the person who had greatest positive impact in Canadian secularism, humanism, atheism and freethought in 2020. The winner did not necessarily need to be Canadian, or atheist, but it helped.
The winner and nominees were:
- * WINNER: Teale Phelps Bondaroff
- Timothy Caulfield
- Paolo De Buono
- Sarah Edmondson
- Junia Joplin
- Justin Morissette
… and to the future!
The 2021 awards were the fourth iteration of the Canadian Atheist awards. By this point, I think we can say this is now a tradition.
This was the toughest year so far, when it came to actually getting the awards done. I mean, 2020 was a rough year for everyone, and I wasn’t spared. The pandemic introduced a number of challenges and complexities, not to the awards themselves (they’re all digital, after all), but to everything else in my life, which all chewed in to the time I could spare for the awards. Though I budgeted for emergencies, I underestimated how manyemergencies would come up. Thus, we ended up with delays, but it all shook out in the end. If the Canadian Atheist awards can survive this year, then I think they can survive anything.
Once again, we had an absolutely outstanding group of nominees. Every one of them deserves recognition for what they’ve done. I’m proud to be able to shine even small spotlight on their wonderful contributions.
We will definitely be back in 2022; there will definitely be a 2022 Canadian Atheist awards. Look forward to it!