Conan Tobias Named Executive Director of the Doug Wright Awards

Posted on 25. Apr, 2019 by in Uncategorized

APRIL 25, 2019—The Doug Wright Awards Foundation is pleased to welcome Conan Tobias as the non-profit’s inaugural executive director. 

Conan inherits the duties previously undertaken by Brad Mackay, director and co-founder of the awards, who now steps into the role of chair of the organization’s board of directors. 

Conan’s new position, in addition to managing the organization’s day-to-day operations, will involve overseeing its annual awards ceremony and developing new cultural programming initiatives. 

“Conan is a great addition to the Doug Wright Awards team,” said Seth, the organization’s co-founder, who also assumes an executive position on the board. “His steadfast support and enthusiasm for Canadian culture will be a huge asset, and we heartily welcome him aboard.”

“When Seth and I established the Doug Wright Awards in a Toronto bar in 2005, neither of us dreamed it would still be going strong fifteen years later,” said Brad. “And I never imagined that someone as accomplished, eager, and enthusiastic as Conan someday would appear and take the reins of this unique creature. I look forward to seeing where he will take things.” 

Conan is a mainstay of Canadian publishing. His experience in the comics industry began at the age of nine, when he co-published the comic book Dr. Zap, created by his childhood friend John Hansen. He established comic sections in both his junior high school paper and, many years later, a Toronto community newspaper. 

For the past two decades, Conan has published some of Canada’s best and best emerging cartoonists through Taddle Creek, the general-interest literary magazine he founded, in 1997. Several comics from Taddle Creek have been nominated for National Magazine Awards and featured in the Best American Comics anthologies, published annually by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In 2017, Conan’s profile of the Canadian cartoonist Lou Skuce (1886–1951) received honourable mention at the Heritage Toronto Awards.

“I’m honoured and excited that Seth and Brad have entrusted me with the well-being of an organization I’ve long respected,” Conan said. “With the Doug Wright Awards celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year, it feels like a good time to renew its commitment to Canadian comics and plot a course for the next fifteen years and beyond.”

This spring, Conan will begin assembling a diverse and inclusive advisory committee to ensure the awards have access to the knowledge and expertise needed to move forward in the coming years.

Founded in 2004, the Doug Wright Awards Foundation is a registered non-profit that recognizes achievement in Canadian cartooning. Each year the organization recognizes Canadian cartoonists whose work is considered by a panel of judges to be among the best, the most experimental, and the most worthy of wider recognition. The organization also annually inducts new members into the Giants of the North, a hall of fame for Canadian cartooning legends. 

The Doug Wright Awards Foundation is overseen by a board of directors consisting of its two founders—Seth, an award-winning cartoonist and creator of the comic Palookaville; Brad Mackay, an award-winning writer and life-long comics fan; and Jeet Heer, author and staff writer at The New Republic and an avowed lover of the comics medium.

Doug Wright (1917–1983) was a Canadian cartoonist best known for the weekly comic strip Doug Wright’s Family (also known as Nipper). The Doug Wright Awards are named in his honour. 

Comments are closed.