Rosemary Shipton named winner of the 2022 Karen Virag Award


Toronto, June 24, 2022—Rosemary Shipton of Toronto, Ontario, is the winner of the 2022 Karen Virag Award. This award, which comes with a $400 prize, recognizes exceptional efforts by an individual or organization to raise the profile of editing in their community. Virag, a highly accomplished member of the Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada), died in 2014.

Headshot of Rosemary Shipton

Rosemary Shipton has had a long and illustrious career as the editor of hundreds of well-known books and reports, an enthusiastic volunteer for Editors Canada, and the academic coordinator of the Publishing Program—which she co-founded and for which she developed the curriculum— at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) for 17 years, training the next generation of Canadian editors.

“When Rosemary Shipton first arrived at the University of Toronto Press from her home country of Australia, the Canadian publishing industry likely did not realize it was about to gain the services of an editing dynamo,” said one of her nominators.

“She has also raised the profile of editing through her remarkable ability to work with prominent authors (beginning with Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson in her earliest days). She has the ability to create a rapport that allows the book to become the best it can be. As a result, people outside of the publishing world have become aware of what an editor can do, as stated on many acknowledgement pages. Those pages where the invisible editor is traditionally not recognized.”

In addition to her roles in education and publishing, Shipton has worked on a number of large government reports relating to major Canadian inquiries and commissions. The information contained in these reports would become national news and influence public policy for years to come.

The other exceptional editors shortlisted for raising the profile of editing in their community were Lesley Cameron of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and Joy Gugeler of Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Headshot of Lesley Cameron

Since arriving in Canada from the UK 20 years ago, Lesley Cameron has been a mentor and colleague to many editors on Vancouver Island and beyond, who speak highly of her warmth and support. Summing up her contributions, one colleague called her a “networking hub.”

Headshot of Joy Gugeler

Joy Gugeler promotes editing in her many roles as publisher, consultant, teacher and mentor, and course writer. She also appears in the media and at many events, helping to raise the profile of our profession in the writing and editing community and beyond. The judges were especially touched by testimonials from her students.

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The judges for the 2022 Karen Virag Award are respected Canadian editors.

Carolyn Brown is a scientific and medical writer/editor who has run her own freelance and consulting business for the past 12 years. She is a perennial workshop leader and has volunteered with Editors Canada at both the branch and national levels.

Ambrose Li, a freelance copy editor and graphic designer, copy edits for Studio Magazine and has been volunteering with Editors Canada since joining as a student affiliate seven years ago.

Kathe Lieber joined what was then FEAC when she was a toddler in the 1980s, and has since enjoyed a satisfying career that combines editing with writing and translation (French to English). She is slowly sliding toward retirement, but doubts she will ever stop playing with words.

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About Karen Virag

Karen Virag, a long-time member of Editors Canada’s Prairie Provinces branch, was the association’s director of publications from 2012 to 2013. In addition to co-chairing the association’s successful 2008 national conference in Edmonton and managing the production of Stylistic Editing: Meeting Professional Editorial Standards (2011), she represented Editors Canada for several years on the board of the Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC). Virag was supervising editor at the Alberta Teachers’ Association, and a freelance editor and writer. She regularly wrote book reviews for the Edmonton Journal and articles for The Tomato, a culinary magazine. She also volunteered for Arts on the Avenue, an Edmonton community initiative, and along with Virginia Durksen was well known as one of the Grammar Gals appearing regularly on Alberta at Noon, a CBC Radio One call-in program.

About Editors Canada

Editors Canada began in 1979 as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada to promote and maintain high standards of editing. In 1994, the word “Freelance” was dropped to reflect the association’s expanding focus to serve both freelance and in-house editors. As Canada’s only national editorial association, it is the hub for 1,300 members and affiliates, both salaried and freelance, who work in the corporate, technical, government, academic, not-for-profit and publishing sectors. The association’s professional development programs and services include professional certification, an annual conference, seminars, webinars, and networking with other associations. Editors Canada has four regional branches: British Columbia; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Atlantic Canada, Barrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton-Halton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph and Manitoba.

Media contact

Michelle Ou
Senior Communications Manager
Editors Canada

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