Convenience & Carwash Canada Receives Best Print & Digital Publication Award

Angela Altass Managing Editor

Working on a magazine that has been successfully educating and informing its’ readership for over a decade is a responsibility that those of us at Convenience & Carwash Canada take very seriously.

Convenience & Carwash Canada celebrated 11 years of publishing by receiving the Best Print & Digital Publication award at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards in Toronto on January 9. The magazine was also a finalist for Best Industry Feature – Business at the same ceremony for the article by Tania Moffat on PA Wand Wash in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. 

“Convenience & Carwash Canada showcases innovation that we can learn from here in the States,” notes Jeff Lenard, vice president, strategic industry initiatives, National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). “There have been several times where a great story in the magazine lead to NACS sending an Ideas 2 Go film crew to learn and share more, whether going to Lethbridge to learn about great branding at Gas King, to Calgary to learn about loyalty at Calgary Co-op, or to Steinbach to learn about exceptional customer service. And, even more important, Brenda Johnstone and her team celebrate these stores and make the connections to make it happen. The magazine also showcases analysis of emerging trends that may be coming to the States or other countries, from plastics bans to the legalization of cannabis.” 

The magazine’s Blueprint to Foodservice series of articles by writer Meline Beach received honourable mention in the Best How-To Article or Series of Articles category at the 2019 National Magazine Awards Business to Business category       .

“I’m grateful for this recognition and honored to support business owners and operators in achieving greater success,” says Beach. “C&G business owners and operators achieve greater success through informative and educational articles as published through the Blueprint to Foodservice series in Convenience & Carwash Canada.”

A Crime Stoppers feature on contraband tobacco awareness received the Best Media Print award at the 2019 Crime Stoppers International Annual Awards. 

“We strategically selected Convenience & Carwash Canada magazine as the ideal print partner to spread the word on what Crime Stoppers is doing for two reasons,” says Sean Sportun, chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers. “First, they have over 17,500 subscribers to their magazine, which would provide them the content on the campaign material with an explanation of who Crime Stoppers is. Second, we were sending a message to those in the convenience store space who are engaging in the illegal sale and distribution of contraband tobacco that Crime Stoppers was now involved in offering the community the ability to report this crime anonymously.”

While the magazine has been recognized with several awards for which we are all very honoured to acknowledge and receive, the past decade has been dedicated to putting together the best industry-focused magazine possible. 

“In comparison with other trade magazines, Convenience & Carwash Canada is unusually rich in content designed to help business owners succeed,” states Andrew Klukas, president, Andrew Klukas and Associates. “As a rule, Brenda would never allow its’ substance to be diluted by advertorials. As well, the magazine never shies away from contentious issues. If there is anything new on the horizon, it provides a forum where readers can inform themselves, formulate their own perspectives and make business decisions.”

Johnstone, who has been involved in the publishing business for more than 30 years, has consistently maintained her vision “to educate and inform with current and relevant information for operators, because if their business isn’t growing, my business isn’t growing.” She learned about business and the passion for getting the job done correctly from her father, Gord Johnstone, who operated an electrical contracting business in Orillia, Ontario. She is now passing on that same wisdom to her son Cody Johnstone, who works on the magazine’s digital and social media presence as well as holding down the vice president of sales position. 

“Convenience & Carwash Canada is a magazine that reaches all sectors of our industry,” notes Nancy Schmautz, vice president, Odessa Consulting Inc. “I particularly like the interviews with operators, petroleum companies and suppliers. I find it connects me with them and I always learn something reading the articles to stay current with the carwash industry. The pictures in the articles are amazing too. Even though I am not in the convenience store industry, a lot of carwash owners are and it’s important to understand the trials and challenges they face. I feel the magazine has gained the trust of the industry over the years in continuing to report accurate data and profile new products and technology to its’ subscribers. Keep up the great work Convenience & Carwash Canada!”

Johnstone firmly believes that print and trade magazines will be around for a very long time to come but that doesn’t mean that other emerging opportunities aren’t going to present themselves alongside the printed word. For example, the magazine’s website www.convenienceandcarwash.com often expands upon the information found in the printed version of the magazine.  

The magazine’s success has also evolved into other areas, such as the Women in Carwash conference. The January 20-22 conference in Arlington, Texas will be followed by a conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario in the spring. This conference is an opportunity to promote continuing professional growth for women in all positions in the convenience and carwash industry. Convenience & Carwash Canada magazine continues to recognize, celebrate and support the conference, and hosted the first ever Women in Carwash conference on April 29, 30 and May 1, 2019, at the Marriott on the Falls in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. This premier event was the first conference of its kind and offered a variety of networking opportunities, educational sessions, and workshops.

“One of the things I respect the most about Brenda is her willingness to just go for it if something new seems worth doing,” says Klukas. “That’s why we were able to launch the first C-Store Expo and are now preparing to host our second Women in Carwash conference. She has the guts to try new things and is never afraid of the workload that comes with them.”

As well as the conference, the magazine and website, there will be new opportunities introduced in 2020 that will benefit both retailers and vendors, states Johnstone.

However, Convenience & Carwash Canada magazine will remain as the cornerstone and continue to be, as described by Lenard, “truly one-stop shopping for what you need to know about the convenience industry in Canada and what it means to operations around the world.”