Two icons of the news business in Canada have been named to the Canadian News Hall of Fame for 2016. The honourees, John Fraser and Andy Donato, will be inducted at a gala banquet in Toronto in late November. The Canadian News Hall of Fame was founded by the Toronto Press Club in 1965 as a national program to honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to journalism in Canada. More than 100 men and women have been inducted to date. John Fraser has had a distinguished career in daily newspapers and magazines spanning more than 50 years.
He is the author of 11 books and a university lecturer and administrator. He joined the Toronto Telegram in 1960 as a copy-boy, then moved to the Sherbrooke Daily Record and the St. John’s Evening Telegram before rejoining the Tely in 1970. After a brief stint at the Toronto Sun, he joined the Globe and Mail in 1972 as a dance critic and later served as theatre critic, Beijing correspondent, Ottawa bureau chief, national columnist, national editor and European correspondent. In 1987, he became editor of Saturday Night, Canada’s oldest and most distinguished magazine.
In seven years he increased the circulation from 130 000 to more than 500 000 and helped the magazine win the most awards of any Canadian publication. He also won the National Magazine Editors’ Editor of the Year award. He subsequently wrote columns for the Toronto Star, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and Maclean’s. He won three National Newspaper Awards and 11 National Magazine awards and he is credited with saving and reviving the Southam Journalism Awards. In 2002, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.
He is a past Chair of the Canadian Journalism Foundation and now serves as the inaugural President and CEO of the National Newsmedia Council, based in Toronto. Andy Donato joined the Toronto Telegram in 1956 as a freelance artist. In 1971, he joined the Toronto Sun. In 1974, he started cartooning full-time as an editorial cartoonist as well as Art Director. In 1993, he was appointed Corporate Art Director.
He is still the main cartoonist for the Sun. Andy has received many awards and accolades, including a National Newspaper Award in 1976 for editorial cartooning, Best Editorial Cartoon in the World from the Montreal Salon of Cartoons and the Metropolitan Toronto Police Annual News Award for Cartooning in 1993 and 1997. He has served as President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and President of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists. Andy has had a series of highly successful one-man exhibitions in Toronto, London, New York and Johannesburg, which included his paintings from 1965 to the present. “Bent Realism” is his newest style, which includes paintings from neighbourhoods in Toronto and places he has visited, such as the streets of Italy. Andy is married to Dianne Jackson, who is also a fine artist, and they take much of their inspiration from travelling the world.