VIVA MˑAˑC: AIDS, Fashion, and the Philanthropic Practices of MˑAˑC Cosmetics wins $30,000 prize as Canada’s most outstanding business book

TORONTO, November 18, 2020 – Andrea Benoit has won the National Business Book Award and the $30,000 prize for her book, VIVA MˑAˑC: AIDS, Fashion, and the Philanthropic Practices of MˑAˑC Cosmetics. The announcement was made today at the virtual Award Ceremony, presented by co-sponsors Bennett Jones and Miles S. Nadal.

With in-depth research, analysis, and exceptional writing, Benoit explains how the inclusive corporate social responsibility efforts of Canadian cosmetics company, MˑAˑC (Make-up Art Cosmetics), emerged from authentic cultural practices. Published by University of Toronto Press, the book recounts one of Canada’s great business success stories and its corporate philanthropy around HIV/AIDS in the 1980s when the fashion and cultural industries were undergoing a dynamic revitalization. She explores MˑAˑC’s business history through a cultural lens to offer a new understanding of how corporations effectively align with social causes.

Andrea Benoit has a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Western University. She currently works at the University of Toronto in the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, where she oversees the Faculty’s academic review process. She researches and publishes in the areas of advertising, branding, the interconnection of promotional culture and social causes, and media representations of gender.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the National Business Book Award as a presenting partner,” says Gino Scapillati, Vice-Chair, Strategy and Innovation, Bennett Jones. “This award shines a spotlight on critical business issues through the eyes of Canada’s most talented business writers, and we are honoured to be part of the conversation.”

“It has never been more important to learn from the experiences of the Canadian entrepreneurs and business leaders who have preceded us,” says Miles Nadal, founder of Peerage Capital. “We need to focus on the opportunities and where to find them in the face of big challenges, such as the current environment. The stories told by NBBA authors help us to position for the future.”

The National Business Book Award’s independent jury is chaired by Peter Mansbridge and includes Leonard Waverman, Dean of DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University; Deirdre McMurdy, Adjudicator; David Denison, corporate director; author and publisher Anna Porter, and Senator Pamela Wallin.

The finalists for this year’s National Business Book Award demonstrated outstanding and inspiring business writing on topics that are critical in these times.

The 2020 finalists include:

  • Arlene Dickinson, Reinvention: Changing Your Life, Your Career, Your Future, published by HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Wendy Dobson, Living with China: A Middle Power Finds Its Way, published by University of Toronto
  • John Stefanini, More Than We Bargained For: An Untold Story of Exploitation, Redemption, and The Men Who Built a Worker’s Empire, published by Sutherland House.

Now in its 35th year, the National Business Book Award is one of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards and continues to gain attention and praise from publishers, authors, journalists, academics, economists and business leaders around the world. Past winners include Federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Chris Clearfield and András Tilcsik, Daniel Levitin, Jacquie McNish, Sinclair Stewart, Jim Leech, Sean Silcoff, Gordon Pitts and Naomi Klein. For the full list of past winners, visit

The National Business Book Award is made possible by sponsors Bennett Jones, Miles S. Nadal, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Stephen J.R. Smith, and The Targeted Strategies Group. Award Ceremony Partners are CPA Canada and FEI Canada – Toronto Chapter and media partners are The Globe and Mail, The Walrus and Manscorp Media Services.

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Mary Ann Freedman, Freedman & Associates Inc.

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