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April 29, 2021

Belleville, Ontario, April 29, 2021 – Nine Loyalist College Photojournalism graduates received 2020 National Pictures of the Year (NPOY) awards from the News Photographers Association of Canada (NPAC), including Darren Calabrese (2005) of Halifax, Nova Scotia who was named Photojournalist of the Year.

“Photojournalists are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, documenting the new world in which we live, keeping us connected through the power of visual storytelling,” said Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO. “With a trained eye, sharp instincts and a calculated click, they document the vast spectrum of the human experience, capturing civil unrest and climate change while elevating untold stories. Our Loyalist College community is so proud of their achievements and together we celebrate the success of our alumni and that of our dedicated faculty members who prepared them to excel in this vital industry.”

Mosher Island Lighthouse Keeper, Thom Drew. (Photo by: Darren Calabrese)

Calabrese, an independent photojournalist residing in Atlantic Canada, focuses on human-centred stories, many of which are tethered to environmental and economic challenges impacting Atlantic Canadians. His photo essay, The Last Lighthouse Keeper, was awarded first place in the Picture Story Feature and Personality categories. “The series of images I captured during my 19 hours on Mosher Island is a love letter to isolation, a very relatable circumstance for many during a time where the whole world was self-isolating,” said Calabrese.

Loyalist College Photojournalism graduate Darren Calabrese. (Photo by: Riley Smith Photos) 

In addition, Calabrese has documented important national news stories including the Mi’kmaq’s right to fish and coverage of the worst mass shooting in the country’s modern history which occurred in Portapique, Nova Scotia, last April; a fatal event that claimed the lives of 22 people.

Over 2,000 images were submitted for NPAC’s NPOY awards. Loyalist College was represented by the following graduates in 12 of 16 award categories: 

Photojournalist of the Year 
Winner – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent

Photograph of the Year
Winner – Carlos Osorio (2005) – Reuters

General News
First Place – Ben Nelms (2010) – CBC
Second Place – Lars Hagberg (2007) – The Canadian Press
Third Place – Lars Hagberg (2007) – The Canadian Press
Honourable Mention – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent

Spot News 
Honourable Mention – Carlos Osorio (2005) – Reuters

First Place – Carlos Osorio (2005) – Reuters
Second Place – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent
Third Place – Carlos Osorio (2005) – Reuters
Honourable Mention – Justin Tang (2013) – The Canadian Press

Sports Action
First Place – Nick Iwanyshyn (alumnus) – Canadian Cycling Magazine

First Place – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent
Honourable Mention – Cole Burston (2010) – Independent

First Place – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent

Picture Story News 
Second Place – Cole Burston (2010) – The Globe and Mail
Third Place – Ben Nelms (2010) – CBC

Picture Story Feature
First Place – Darren Calabrese (2005) – Independent

Single Multimedia 
Honourable Mention – Melissa Tait (2010) – The Globe and Mail

Team Multimedia
First Place – Melissa Tait (2010) – The Globe and Mail
Second Place – Deborah Baic (1997) – The Globe and Mail

Students in Loyalist College’s two-year Photojournalism Ontario college diploma program come from across Canada and around the world for the ‘triple-threat skill set’ of multimedia storytelling through video production, digital photography, and news and feature writing. This program gives graduates a competitive advantage as cross-platform photojournalists, multimedia producers and editors, photographers, picture and assignment editors, and digital publishing specialists. Graduates often work nationally and internationally in multimedia content creation for news organizations, wire services, and for digital and traditional publishers. They are employed by multimedia companies including Bloomberg News, ESPN, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Getty Images, Postmedia Network Inc., Star Metroland Media, The Wall Street Journal, and Torstar Corporation, among others. 

About Loyalist College
Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges and #1 in the country for industry research income as a percentage of total research income, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2017-18 Loyalist graduates, 88.5 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.7 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $382 million annually to the regional economy – based on a March 2020 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit

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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing, Communications and Recruitment
Loyalist College,, 613-969-1913, ext. 2536