Acadiana Profile, Louisiana Life Magazines Win International Awards

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NEW ORLEANS  — On May 16, Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life magazines won 19 awards at the 42nd annual International Regional Magazine Association awards presentation in Ottawa, Canada. The top prize for Magazine of the Year went to Acadiana Profile. Louisiana Life was a finalist in the same category. Both are produced by Renaissance Publishing, the parent company of Biz New Orleans magazine and

IRMA members include state, province and regional publications from across the United States, Bermuda and Canada. The awards were granted for work published in 2021 and judged by an independent panel of industry experts. Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life Executive Editor Errol Laborde accepted the awards on behalf of the magazines during the annual event.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the International and Regional Magazine Association for Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life,” said Melanie Warner Spencer, managing editor of both publications. “In an industry where it can sometimes seem as though we are creating in a vacuum — especially during the height of the pandemic — it is exciting and validating when our work is recognized by our peers. In our pages, we strive to celebrate the rich, colorful culture and significant history of the Acadiana region and of Louisiana. We are fortunate to live in a place with far-reaching history, abundant creative energy and an endless wealth of stories to tell.”

Both magazines also took home the top prize in the design category. Acadiana Profile won gold and Louisiana Life took the bronze trophy for Overall Art Direction by longtime art director Sarah George.   

For the Magazine of the Year win, one of the judges described Acadiana Profile as “a beautiful publication that leverages great photography and a smart use of white space to entice readers and direct them on the page. [It has a] strong and varied editorial lineup that highlights the editors’ understanding of the audience.”

As a finalist for Magazine of the Year, Louisiana Life didn’t escape notice by the judges. “Every page resonates with a sense of place, and the images are stunning, the design modern, refreshing. Also, some interesting editorial surprises that fueled my curiosity,” noted one judge. While another said, “All stories line up with the mission of highlighting the best of Louisiana’s culture. It is obvious that editorial and design work well together as the stories are well crafted!”

Acadiana Profile, which places the food of the region at the heart of much of its coverage, earned silver for its “Best of Dining” story in the Food Feature category and an Award of Merit in the General Feature category.

Louisiana Life also took home a gold for Cover, silver in the Nature and Environment Feature categories, and a photography award of merit for its feature focusing on alligator hunting in south Louisiana. “Gator Hunt” explores the sport and business sides of this often-intergenerational pastime.

Renaissance Publishing also publishes New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Bride, New Orleans Homes and St. Charles Avenue, as well as multiple custom publishing for various businesses and entities around greater New Orleans.  


Acadiana Profile and Louisiana Life won the following awards at the 2022 IRMA event:


Nature and Environment Feature 35,000 or less APR

Silver – Louisiana Life

Gator Hunt by Kevin Rabalais

The excellent writing of this article partnered with the sepia-toned photographs captured me, sitting without breathing, until the very END.


General Feature 35,000 or less APR

Award of Merit – Acadiana Profile

Best of Dining by Lisa Leblanc-Berry and Joseph Vidrine

A well-packaged feature that explores the region’s culinary standouts.


Reader Service Article

Bronze – Acadiana Profile

Where To Live Next by Lisa Leblanc-Berry

This is a powerful service piece for potential home buyers and also a powerful community service piece.


Hed & Dec

Bronze – Louisiana Life

Plight of the Honeybee by Melanie Spencer


Photo Series 35,000 or less APR

Award of Merit – Louisiana Life

Gator Hunt by Kevin Rabalais

Strong and engaging photography! The images create a strong emotional reaction. Nicely done.


Portrait Series

Gold – Acadiana Profile

Trailblazers by Danley Romero

This portrait series is beautifully lit and strikingly consistent.


Art Direction of a Single Story 35,000 or less APR

Silver – Louisiana Life

Plight of the Honeybee by Sarah George

Beautifully designed and well executed package. There’s lots of content and the mix of photography and illustration make for a dynamic package.

Gold –Acadiana Profile

Best of Dining by Sarah George

Great art direction! Taking a straightforward dining feature and giving a ton of varied content and levels of interaction.



Bronze – Louisiana Life

Natural State by Kevin Rabalais, Sarah George, and Melanie Spencer

Content is well focused and varied. Well written copy and images that advance the story.


Food Feature

Silver – Acadiana Profile

Best of Dining by Lisa Leblanc-Berry, Joseph Vidrine, Sarah George, and Melanie Spencer

So much energy and excitement in this presentation; the reader can feel the enthusiasm for the subject. Beautiful type, great images. Well done!


Travel Package

Bronze – Louisiana Life

Luxe LA by Cheré Coen, Sara Essex Bradley, Haylei Smith, Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Who doesn’t love to treat themselves? Great angle for those looking to up-level a pandemic-caused staycation.


Cover 35,000 or less APR

Gold – Louisiana Life

Gator Hunt by Kevin Rabalais, Sarah George, and Melanie Spencer

Shock factor + stunning photography = newsstand sales. I love this cover and would love to see local magazines in the UK be so brave.

Award of Merit – Acadiana Profile

Oysters by Sam Hanna, Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Great image, love the overall cover, nice range of headlines all still discussing oysters. Fun type.


Special Focus

Award of Merit – Louisiana Life

Conservation Issue by Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Wonderful airy design gives space for the photography to sing and bring in the reader into such an important topic.

Bronze – Acadiana Profile

The Home Issue by Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Lovely, modern, airy design! Good homes package with lots of supporting articles made this feel like well-rounded special issue.


Overall Art Direction 35,000 or less APR

Bronze – Louisiana Life

Sarah George

Overall design is clean, clear, and well-organized with beautiful, compelling photography and an excellent balance of copy to image ratio.

Gold – Acadiana Profile

Sarah George

I always love what Sarah and her team are able to achieve. It’s a full on immersion into the personality and culture of the South, and this design team is able to take you every single time. And I’m totally here for it.


2022 Magazine of the Year 35,000 or less APR

Winner – Acadiana Profile

Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Beautifully designed from start to finish! Modern design techniques and pushes design trends. Interesting and engaging stories representing the Acadian culture! Well thought out and executed!

Finalist – Louisiana Life

Sarah George and Melanie Spencer

Beautifully designed magazine! Covers are consistently done really well with great photography, beautiful typography and I like the minimal cutline approach.


Categories: Awards/Honors, Today’s Business News