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The Hamilton Independent Media Awards fund the Maggie Hughes Memorial Bursary


The Maggie Hughes Memorial Bursary is a one-time disbursement from the Hamilton Independent Media Awards (HIMAs) open to Mohawk College Journalism students in financial need who have demonstrated community involvement and volunteer experience. Applications for the Maggie Hughes Memorial Bursary will be accepted until Tuesday, January 18, 2022. Access the online application form. A lack of financial support is a significant barrier to a student’s ability to get an education. An award, like the Maggie Hughes Memorial Bursary, can change a student's life. 

"While she was with us, Maggie Hughes was an inspiring example of how independent, citizen journalism enriches our community. Maggie was a fearless and tireless advocate for the truth and for social justice,” said HIMAs Founding Board Member, Kevin Mackay, “It has been an honour to help stage the Hamilton Independent Media Awards for five years, and to help build the profile of Hamilton's incredible community of citizen-journalists. We're excited that the energy from the awards will now be directed toward a bursary to support a Mohawk College journalism student. This is a fitting continuation of Maggie's legacy." 

“We are grateful to The Hamilton Independent Media Awards for their support of a student in the journalism program who has financial need and has been active in the community,” said Linda Rourke, Acting Director of Development at the Mohawk College Foundation. “The Maggie Hughes Memorial Bursary provides a fitting way to commemorate the life of Maggie Hughes and nurture independent journalism with students in the city where Maggie committed her own energy.” 

2018 HIMAS winnersThe Hamilton Independent Media Awards, also known as “The Maggies”, were committed to supporting the Hamilton community of independent journalists by hosting a yearly awards celebration. Through the awards The Maggies sought to promote critical independent journalism in the City of Hamilton and beyond. For five years, from 2014 to 2018, The Maggies hosted an awards show where independent journalists were award commemorative plaques and cash prizes. In 2019 The Maggies were undergoing a change in vision and leadership and then in 2020 that transition was stalled and ultimately permanently halted due to the COVID-19 Worldwide Pandemic. 

The Maggies were named after Maggie Hughes (born Margaret Hewitt). Maggie was a well-known Hamilton independent journalist who produced and hosted a weekly radio show on CFMU called The Other Side. Maggie was an indelible fixture in the Hamilton activist community, and a tireless advocate for peace, social justice, the environment, and the rights of workers, women, First Nations, and the disabled. She used her skills as a journalist to raise awareness of these important issues, and to shine a critical light onto stories overlooked by corporate media. Sadly, Maggie died on November 4, 2012, after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. 

“My Aunt, Maggie Hughes, would be thrilled, excited and over the moon to know a journalism student bursary was named in her honour,” said Maggie’s niece and HIMAs Founding Board Member Sherri Currie, “She was passionate about supporting and advocating for those in need. I know that closing out the HIMAs bank account and passing on our remaining funds to a Mohawk College journalism student who exemplifies Maggie’s spirit would be the best legacy we could leave.”


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