Masthead News Archives
May 2007

May 31, 2007
Vote for your favourite magazine cover

Eisenhower, Woody Allen, fingerpainting, a spicy-looking sausage, Mike Harris and a sealskin coat that bleeds are just a few of the images Canadian magazine producers have considered cover-worthy over the years. Now you can go online, view the winning covers from 30 years of National Magazine Awards, and vote for the best of the best.

National Magazine Awards has created a mini retrospective website as a buildup to the upcoming 30th anniversary awards ceremony, which takes place June 15 in Toronto.  The highlight of the site is a poll for users to vote for their favourite winning cover.

Canada’s National Magazine Awards started in 1977. Thirty years, 1000-plus magazine covers submitted and nearly 200 nominations later, the site displays the covers deemed outstanding enough to win the coveted Gold Award for Best Magazine Cover.

Web visitors get three votes. The winning cover of the online vote will be announced June 15, the day of the 30th anniversary awards ceremony.

“The site also has a few humorous Q&As with past winners of the awards, a national magazine awards IQ/trivia test, and a blurb about the very first awards ceremony in 1977,” says Richard Johnson, communications manager for the National Magazine Awards. “It goes live on Friday, June 1 as a buildup to the awards ceremony.”

Sadly, he says, many of the past Gold Award winning magazines are now defunct, but it’s fun to look at the covers (some of which are pretty retro).

To vote for your favourite cover, visit and click on the link to the 30th anniversary section.

May 30, 2007
Western Magazine Awards finalists announced
The Western Magazine Awards Foundation has celebrated the achievements of magazine professionals in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Yukon and Northwest Territories since 1983. This year’s finalists in each category were announced on May 24 in Vancouver.

Winners will be announced at the 25th annual gala awards ceremony, hosted by journalist, playwright and screenwriter Mark Leiren-Young, on June 22. All winners in the four Gold categories will receive $1000 each. There’s also a new prize this year of $750 for all winners in the written and visual categories, up from $500 in prior years.

These are the finalists:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Sutherland

#1 Business
 sponsored by Transcontinental
 Claudia Cornwall "Wealth Care" BCBusiness
 Myles Murchison "Stiff Competition" BCBusiness
 Ben Parfitt "Fuels in Question" The Georgia Straight
 Andrew Struthers "The Beach" Western Living

#2 Science, Technology, and Medicine
 sponsored by Strategy magazine
 Danny Bradbury "Epicentre" BlackFlash: Lens Site Scene
 Charles Campbell "The Cat Came Back" Western Living
 Danielle Egan "Brave New Mood" Vancouver
 Jeff Gailus "Keeping the Bugs at Bay" Alberta Venture

#3 Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
 sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts
 Michael Harris "No-Name City" Vancouver Review
 Matthew Rankin "The Seven Pillars of Winnipeg" BlackFlash: Lens Site Scene
 Peter Unwin "The Pen and The Sword" The Beaver
 Caelum Vatnsdal "Continuity Problems" Prairie Fire

#4 Travel and Leisure
 sponsored by WestJet
 Andrew Findlay "Rink on the Roof of the World" Westworld
 Tom Maloney "Mastering the Mouse" up!
 John Moore "Sporting Life" Vancouver Review
 Tim Querengesser "Welcome to Bare Country" Up Here

#5 Regular Column or Department
 sponsored by Redpoint Media Group Inc.
 Shirley Goldberg "Films" Humanist Perspectives
 Betsy Trumpener "North of Unreal" Northword
 Meeka Walsh "Bordernotes" Border Crossings
 Tony Wilson "Nothing Official" BARTALK

#6 Fiction
 sponsored by the Listel Hotel
 Liam Durcan "Fado" Prairie Fire
 Stephen Gauer "Jumper" Prairie Fire
 Nancy Mauro "AAA Ace Framing" Grain
 Anik See "Etching" Prairie Fire

#7 Profile
 sponsored by Reader's Digest
 Steve Burgess "The Sullivan Show" Vancouver
 Sylvia Fraser "The Healer" Vancouver
 Michael Harris "King Arthur" Vancouver
 Jacquie Moore "Just Wingin' It" Swerve

#8 Human Experience
 sponsored by Geist magazine
 Colleen Friesen "Meth & Kin" Vancouver
 Clem Martini "On The Edge" Alberta Views
 Susan Olding "On Separation" Prairie Fire
 Cathy Ostlere "Somewhere in the Middle of the Atlantic" Prairie Fire

#9 Public Issues
 sponsored by The Tyee
 Tyee Bridge "Wasteland" Vancouver
 Jeremy Klaszus "Big Oil on Trial" Alberta Views
 Chris Turner "8) ways to look at sprawl" Swerve
 Jessica Werb "will you be my mother?" BCBusiness

#10 Service
 sponsored by Indas Limited
 Rob Abbott, Mark Lowey, Dave Reynolds, Paul Stastny "Will Calgary ever be green?" CalgaryInc
 Yvonne Jeffery "What's The Worst That Could Happen?" Swerve
 Jacquie Moore "The Wonderfully Compromised Wedding" Swerve
 Vicki O'Brien "Bad Boss" BCBusiness

#11 Gold Award Best Article–Manitoba
 sponsored by Manitoba Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Tourism
 Jake MacDonald "Water In The Basement" Western Living
 Matthew Rankin "The Ballad of John & John & Yoko" The Beaver
 Shayne Stephens "Winnipeg: A Work in Progress" Winnipeg Men
 Caelum Vatnsdal "Continuity Problems" Prairie Fire

#12 Gold Award Best Article–Saskatchewan
 sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Culture, Youth and Recreation
 Danny Bradbury "Epicentre" BlackFlash: Lens Site Scene
 Allan Casey "Land of Lakes" Western Living
 Lionel Hughes "Here I Am on the Hill" Prairies North
 Tyler McCreary & Richard Milligan "Core Neighbourhoods Start Their Own Food Store" Briarpatch

#13 Gold Award Best Article–Alberta/NWT
 Tyee Bridge "Field of Dreams" Swerve
 Chris Koentges "See Here Now" up!
 Andrew Nikiforuk "Raymond and the Machine" Alberta Venture
 Harry Vandervlist "The Macleod Trail Expedition" Swerve

#14 Gold Award Best Article–BC/Yukon
 sponsored by BC Arts Council
 Terry Glavin "Lost Cities" Vancouver Review
 Andrew MacLeod "Blowing the Whistle" Monday
 John Moore "Sporting Life" Vancouver Review
 Andrew Struthers "The Beach" Western Living

#15 Best Photograph–Architectural, Landscape or Still Life
 Byron Barrett "The House" Event
 Alastair Bird "Knobs" The Block
 Ian Grant "Living Spaces" Avenue - Edmonton
 Laura Letinsky "Untitled #49" Border Crossings

#16 Best Photographic Feature or Series
 sponsored by Trunk Gallery at Clutch/autoONE
 Daniel Gibbons "Why Be Happy When You Can Be Sad" Orange Life
 David McMillan "Grounding Memory: The Chernobyl Photographs of David McMillan" Border Crossings
 Shannon Mendes "Around the World in 23 Restaurants" Vancouver
 Kate Szatmari "Dead Ringer" Ion

#17 Best Photograph–People and Portraiture
 sponsored by McLean Majdanski Chartered Accountants
 Phillip Chin "the flight stuff" Reel West
 Steven Errico "The Fishman - Robert Clark" Vancouver
 James May "The Lion-Hearted" Alberta Views
 John Sinal "Art & Soul" Vancouver

#18 Best Illustration or Illustration Feature
 sponsored by Adobe
 John Antoski & Dustin Koop "Said and Done" Color
 Jillian Tamaki "Failing the Grade" Vancouver
 Ben Tour "A Tour Story" Color
 Howie Woo "Leonardo's Workshop" YES Mag: The Science Magazine For Adventurous Minds

#19 Best Art Direction–Article
 sponsored by Top Producer Systems Inc.
 Wes Dauncey "Innovators & Ideamakers" CalgaryInc
 Anders Knudsen "Minds for Design" Avenue - Calgary
 Rita Sasges "Space for Ourselves" Orange Life
 Randall Watson "Meth & Kin" Vancouver

#20 Best Art Direction–Cover
 sponsored by the Lazy Gourmet
 Kris Blizzard & Luisa Rino "Volume 1, Issue 1" The Block
 Randy Gibson "Issue 32.2" dANDelion
 Sandro Grison "Said and Done" Color: Issue 4.4
 Danae Thompson "the No. 1 bus" Swerve: 09.29.06

#21 Trade Magazine of the Year
 sponsored by Masthead magazine
Canadian Diamonds: Michael Ganley; Jake Kennedy; Marion LaVigne; John Pekelsky, editors
Enterprise: Roberta Staley, editor
Far North Oil & Gas: Darren Campbell; Jake Kennedy; Marion LaVigne; John Pekelsky, editors
Reel West: Ian Caddell & Andrew Von Rosen, editors

#22 Best New Magazine
 sponsored by BC Association of Magazine Publishers
Geez: Will Braun & Aiden Enns, editors
KNOW: The Science Magazine For Curious Kids: Adrienne Mason, editor
Powell River Living: Robert Dufour & Isabelle Southcott, editors
Western Living Condo: Felicity Stone, editor

#23 Magazine of the Year–Manitoba
 sponsored by Manitoba Ministry of Culture, Heritage and Tourism
Border Crossings: Meeka Walsh, editor
Geez: Will Braun & Aiden Enns, editors
Praire Fire: Andris Taskans, editor
The Beaver: Doug Whiteway, editor

#24 Magazine of the Year–Saskatchewan
 sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Culture, Youth and Recreation
Acreage Life: Barb Glen, editor
BlackFlash: Lens Site Scene: Buffalo Berry Press
Briarpatch: Dave Oswald Mitchell, editor
Grain: Kent Bruyneel

#25 Magazine of the Year–AB/NWT
Alberta Views: Jackie Flanagan, editor
Orange Life: Daniel Gibbons & Susie Hutchinson, editors
Swerve: Shelley Youngblut, editor
Up Here: Jake Kennedy, editor

#26 Magazine of the Year–BC/YK
 sponsored by BC Arts Council
BCBusiness: Tracy Tjaden, editor
Geist: Stephen Osborne, editor
Western Living: Jim Sutherland, editor
The Malahat Review: John Barton, editor

#27 Magazine of the Year–Western Canada
 sponsored by Transcontinental
 To be announced at the Awards Ceremony on June 22nd.

Winners of categories 23 through 26 will comprise the finalists for this category.

May 29, 2007
Replay plans newsstand sales and a switch to bi-monthly
Toronto-based Trafalgar Productions is launching its third issue of Replay, the official magazine of Sport Chek retail stores, this summer and featuring World Cup soccer star David Beckham on the cover. Publisher and editor-in-chief Keith Sharp says the success of Replay’s first two issues and the anticipated lure of Beckham will likely prompt a switch from quarterly to bi-monthly frequency.

Launched in December 2006, Replay is a generalist sports and sports entertainment magazine that features interviews with pro athletes and also covers sports movies, games, DVDs and books. The initial agreement with Sport Chek was based on the first two issues being well received. Sharp says the premiere issue, with NHL’s Sidney Crosby on the cover, and the spring issue featuring tennis pro Roger Federer, circulated a total of 100,000 copies.

“Sport Chek is a great distribution outlet for us,” says Sharp. “There’s obviously a big connection between the big suppliers and Sport Chek, so it’s working out pretty well.”

He admits, though, there’s been some confusion over the fact that the magazine is distributed free-of-charge but has a price on it. Sport Chek customers can pick it up for free in any of the retailer’s 126 outlets across Canada, but Sharp says he’s in discussions with national distributor Disticor on the possibility of also selling Replay on newsstands.

“Disticor wants this [summer] issue,” he says. “They definitely want the book, and it’s definitely a possibility, but our concern is when you have a magazine that’s free in retail and then available on newsstands, the track record of magazines like this isn’t good on the newsstands. Ours is kind of tailored to a demographic going into Sport Chek, with stories about products available in the store, as well as great features.”

“Domestically,” he adds, “sports books haven’t done very well in the past because of distribution. On the newsstand you’re up against ESPN, Sports Illustrated and all those guys.”

Despite being in a bit of a quandary about it, Sharp says newsstand sales will probably be a go.

“It’s also a question of timing.  The fall is usually more ideal for newsstand launches than summer, so our thinking is probably for the fall.”

The one real challenge of being a store’s official magazine, says Sharp, is that advertising shouldn’t take dollars away from Sport Chek. “When a product comes in [to the stores], the client pays money for flyers and things,” he says. “So with those big players we have to do something special, like provide editorial coverage, to get them to spend more than they’ve already committed to pay Sport Chek.”

But so far, he says, the magazine is working strongly with clients like Nike and Reebok who like to see editorial coverage of their athletes. Replay is also targeting car, fragrance and other markets so the ads won’t all be Sport Chek retail-based.

Now that the magazine has Sport Chek’s support, Sharp says its circulation will likely switch from quarterly to bi-monthly for 2008.

 “With quarterly distribution, when it’s gone there’s a three-month gap before the next one comes out. We’d like to bridge that gap. It’s up to us, really. Sport Chek says, ‘Whatever you want to do, provided of course that you can handle it.’”

May 28, 2007
Circ restructuring at Rogers
With the aim of streamlining its operations, the consumer marketing group of Rogers Publishing Ltd. has announced a regrouping of its consumer marketing management structure under two group directors.

Former newsstand sales director Elizabeth (Libby) Nixon, on her return from maternity leave, becomes group consumer marketing director for all of Rogers’ Toronto-based titles (excluding launches) effective June 12. Rogers’ Toronto titles are Glow, Hello!, Chocolat, Maclean’s, Flare, Chatelaine, Lou Lou, Canadian Business, Money Sense, Today’s Parent, Ontario out of Doors and Profit.  

As a result of the restructuring, Marisa Latini, who worked with the department for seven years, is no longer with Rogers. Latini was group consumer marketing director for the women’s group.

Catherine Louvet continues on in her current role, leading consumer marketing for the company’s Montreal-based titles --  Pure, Chocolat (Francais), Châtelaine, Lou Lou (Francais), L’actualité, and Le Bulletin des Agriculteurs -- as well as its Service de la Diffusion team in Montreal.

Both Louvet and Nixon will report to Tracey McKinley, vice-president, consumer marketing & research and executive publisher of Hello!, Canadian edition. Also reporting to McKinley are Peter Willson on Hello! and Colleen Moloney on Chocolat.

Buzz over Heritage Canada cutting The Magazine’s funding
Unless you subscribe to, you won’t often read about the business of magazines in the news. One story that has captured some attention, however, is Heritage Canada’s ousting of The Magazine, an all-Canadian youth publication, as a funding recipient.

For the last two years, The Magazine, which is entirely written, read, owned, and operated by Canadians, received a $40,000 grant from Heritage Canada’s editorial assistance program. This year, however, the stand-alone magazine missed its quota of Canadian content by 1% to 8 %, according to Heritage Canada, and gets zero funding.

Journalist Mark Bonokoski wrote an article for the Toronto Sun in March about what he called the government’s “myopic” view of what constitutes a Canadian magazine.

The Magazine, to build upon the argument,” he wrote, “is printed on 100% recycled Canadian paper by a Canadian printer, is sold in Canadian outlets from coast-to-coast … from the tuck shops in the ferries on the British Columbia coastline to a Sobey’s in Halifax … and is mailed to 20,000 Canadian homes by Canada Post to paid-up Canadian subscribers.”

Bonokoski cited the rejection letter in which Nadia Laham, PhD, manager of the Canadian Magazine Fund wrote, “Having determined that your magazine is not eligible, no further examination of your file has been done.” He also quoted Scott Shortliffe, the fund’s director, as saying “When our rules are transparent to the public, we have to deal with them as they are written. The system has to have integrity.”

The Magazine’s associate publisher, Ed Conroy has since gone public with his concerns by issuing a press release through Canada News Wire. He took exception to the fact that while The Magazine loses its much-needed $40,000 grant, Heritage Canada is divvying up a large portion of funds to magazines owned by large corporations, including Canadian Living ($224,000), The Walrus ($112,000) and Chatelaine ($251,000).

Bonokowski spoke on Canoe Live early this month – in a broadcast that has even made its way to YouTube – along with Becky Brown, The Magazine’s sales and promotions director. He said a photo of Johnny Depp on the cover that might have impacted Heritage Canada’s decision is simply a reflection of what Canadian youth are passionate about.

“Kids are talking about the buzz,” Bonokoski said on Canoe Live. “And the buzz is Johnny Depp and Harry Potter and that kind of thing ... They’re not talking about Anne of Green Gables.”

Brown said there was no way for a single-title publisher to feature Depp in a more Canadian way. “The only way a photograph would be considered Canadian would be to use a Canadian photographer, or if it was taken in Canada. So unless we could afford to fly a Canadian photographer to take a picture of Johnny Depp, we’re out of luck. We have to use what the studios give us.”

Despite covering trendy, not-always-Canadian stuff teens and tweens love, The Magazine has a staff that’s comprised of 100% young Canadians of mixed ethnic background, with 100% of its editorial content written by Canadian youth who earn pocket money for their contributions.

Heritage Canada defines the Canada Magazine Fund’s objective as promoting “the creation of Canadian editorial content for Canadian readers in order to enhance the ability of Canadian magazines to compete in an open marketplace, and to strengthen the sustainability and infrastructure of magazines and the magazine industry in the context of a difficult competitive environment that is changing in the face of new  technologies and evolving business models and distribution methods.”

To be eligible, Canadian magazine publishers and eligible Canadian magazines must have a minimum average of 80 percent Canadian editorial content to apply.

May 25, 2007
Canadian Sports Magazine is up for the challenge
The creators of the new Canadian Sports Magazine are optimistic they’re filling a nationwide void. In the words of Executive Editor Angus Gillespie, “There was no national sports magazine. There have been efforts in the past and they have failed, for one reason or another.”

The prototype issue of Canadian Sports Magazine, based in Oakville, Ontario came out in February to “exceptional newsstand sales” says Gillespie. It featured Toronto Argonauts coach Pinball Clemons, former NHL players Ron Ellis and Paul Henderson, wrestler Dewey Robertson, as well as John Stewart, a man who climbed Mount Everest to raise money for the Big Brothers Big Sisters. The second issue hits newsstands this week. After its third issue, CSM will be printed monthly.

Indeed, general sports magazines (like the now-defunct MVP) have repeatedly proven to be a difficult venture in Canada, some not making it past the drawing boards of publishers. Besides massive competition from daily newspapers, sports TV and the Internet, targeting the market is tough since not every sports fan is interested in all sports. Publishers find it hard to develop numbers that will appeal to advertisers and allow for high-quality publications to stand up to the big U.S. magazines – namely Sports Illustrated, whose Canadian circulation is up to 104,000.

“There’s a lot of competition, no doubt, with Internet and TV and so much else, but we believe we’ve got some really interesting concepts,” says Gillespie. “We want this magazine for young and old, so we’ve got lots of exciting action photography we think will attract the kids, and games and puzzles at the back, but writing that’s sophisticated enough to attract a more mature audience as well.”

Gillespie covers news and sports for CHFC radio in St. Catharines, Ontario and has done play-by-play for Junior B hockey. He says he wrote at least 1,000 of the 6,000 player bios at the Hockey Hall of Fame, helped hockey writer Andrew Podnieks with several of his books and was among the authors of hardcover chronicle Kings of the Ice.

Though he admits to a personal penchant for hockey, Gillespie insists he’s passionate about all sports. Similarly, he says hockey will be the anchor sport for CSM “because Canada is just nuts about hockey,” but that the magazine will cover all other major and second-tier sports, from peewee to pro.

Also at the helm are publisher Bob McKenna, and photo editor Rob Skeoch, who will lead a team of photo journalists “in delivering the most captivating pictures found in any sports magazine,” says Gillespie.

As part of their business model, CSM’s management team is committed to using the publication as a catalyst and a mechanism to assist with fundraising efforts and lend a hand to charities. In particular, they aim to support minor sports programs. The magazine will showcase anyone from NHL greats to volunteers at local athletic organizations, special athletes, coaches and trainers.

Canadian Sports Magazine is on the newsstands of Chapters/Indigo, though Gillespie says publisher McKenna’s goal is to make the magazine strictly subscription-based.  “Having your magazine on the newsstands is certainly a feather in your cap and a way of broadcasting to the world that we actually exist,” he says, “but we’re not convinced it’s the most lucrative way to get the magazine going. It’s really about generating ad revenue.”

May 23, 2007
Toronto Life loses an art director, North America gains a magazine
Toronto Life art director Carol Moskot bids adieu next month not only to the magazine but to Canada. The veteran creative talent and her husband, Dan Zimerman, are New York bound to launch their own lifestyle publication.

Carol Moskot leaves Toronto Life as of June 1st

The husband-and-wife team has been planning the move for a while. Their joint project is Jewish Living, a magazine that launches in New York this November with an initial circulation of 100,000 across North America.

Zimerman came up with the idea five years ago. “I was at a magazine rack in New York, around Christmas/Hanukkah time, and there was Martha Stewart Living and Oprah and Good Housekeeping and Latina and Essence and Ebony, traditional and ethnic magazines, celebrating this joyful time in beautiful ways. And then there were the Jewish magazines, and on the cover were holocaust issues, Palestinian issues – all valuable and necessary conversations to be having – but there was nobody celebrating the joy of the experience in a classic, lifestyle publication sense.”

Zimerman saw an opportunity to do something that wasn’t issues-based and wasn’t inherently serious in nature. “So when everybody else is celebrating Christmas and Easter and those kinds of things, we’re celebrating Passover and Hanukkah, in a way that talks to the whole community and doesn’t point the finger and say ‘you have to do it this way or you’re a bad Jew.’”

Both he and Moskot are of the Jewish faith. As a woman, Moskot can identify with the gap in lifestyle magazines and feels underrepresented.

“I’ve looked at Martha Stewart Living or Gourmet, and shown Dan a stunningly styled, thought-out and photographed article on a Passover dinner in or a beautiful retrospective on Hanukkah menorahs and I’d say, ‘Isn’t this beautiful?’ and he’d say, ‘Is there more?’”

“He thought it was so inspiring and thought, wouldn’t it be nice if more people knew about this?’ We talked about it, and it’s really something that’s missing from my life. People in the Jewish community want to be inspired and find new ways to celebrate.”

Jewish Living will be on newsstands in Canada and the U.S. in November. Its target readers encompass Jewish women (moms in particular) aged 29 to 59, “everyone from the very observant to the intermarried,” says Moskot. The magazine’s frequency is six times a year.

Moskot says they received a lot of help along the way, and credits circulation consultant and Masthead columnist Scott Bullock for connecting them with circulation contacts in the U.S. and “giving us really great advice.” Another key player was Bob Cohen, founder of Miami-based Pro Circ, a circulation and distribution consultancy, who helped re-jig their business model and is a good friend of the publication.

Moskot will take on the art direction of the new magazine. Zimerman, who has an extensive background in advertising, will lead the sales team as president of the company.

Canada’s Jewish community is a small one, which is why Moskot and Zimerman are moving to New York and launching the magazine in both Canada and the U.S.,  “in order to attain some kind of critical mass to make this a viable financial publication,” says Zimerman. “Ninety percent of our audience will be American.”

Unlike the small, local Jewish publications, says Zimerman, Jewish Living will target big advertisers, “from Timex to Rolex to Chevy to Jaguar to financial services, travel, leisure, food, entertainment and luxury good clients. We’re not a large demographic, but we consume selectively,” he says. “We’re a fairly educated demographic, fairly upscale, early-adopting and brand aware.”

The magazine will be distributed via newsstands, circulation, and through deals with Jewish organizations across North America that are buying subscriptions for their donors and already account for 40,000 subscriptions.

Zimerman has hired Kim Amzallag, formerly of Western Interiors and Design, GQ and American Express Golf as the publisher, and will soon announce who the editor will be.  He and Moskot are shopping around for office space and a new home to live in with their sons, Sam and Jake.

Canada is losing a talented art director. Moskot has done art direction for Toronto Life since September, 2004, and has also worked for the Globe and Mail and FASHION, as well as custom magazines including Eaton’s “Oasis” magazine, Procter & Gamble’s S-Magazine, Loblaw’s President’s Choice Magazine and World Vision’s Childview. She has also served as consultant for the redesign of Maclean’s, Canadian Gardening, and Canadian Home and Country. She has won National Magazine Awards, Advertising and Design Club Awards, and awards from the Society of Publication Designers. Her three-year stint at Toronto Life ends on June 1.

May 22, 2007
Rural Delivery publishers go electronic with new daily farm site
Despite a readership that’s slow to adopt the Internet, Dirk van Loon, editor and publisher of the 30-year-old farm and country journal Rural Delivery has launched an online daily news source for farmers in the Maritimes. reflects van Loon’s roots as a reporter for daily newspapers.
“News is helpful,” he told Rural Delivery readers in a recent editorial. “People find it nourishing. To provide news is like going out and bagging supper for the family. It is a worthy undertaking and an exhilarating sport.”

Van Loon also told readers that, had times been different, he might have launched a new farm newspaper called Atlantic Farmer but that print, paper and mailing costs now preclude that avenue.

“We’re therefore going electronic. We are taking this route despite the fact that as many as two thirds of farmers don’t or cannot access the Internet. Every day more people are climbing on, however. If we are talking news, that’s where it is appearing, often before it finds its way into the morning newspaper or on radio or TV.”

The Liverpool, Nova Scotia-based publisher also produces Atlantic Forestry, Horse & Pony and Atlantic Beef, magazines that provide information and support to rural residents in Atlantic Canada. He will promote the new site via the magazines and expects some online crossover with his current advertisers. provides farm news, features, commentary, as well as a farmer-to-farmer forum that’s unique to the region. The forum, says van Loon, provides the opportunity for anyone in the farming community to share news, exchange information, and offer opinions on relevant matters. The site also includes hyperlinks to dozens of farm-related sites, including weather and market reports.

Van Loon’s goal is to provide the one site on the Internet where farmers in Atlantic Canada (and those who work with them) begin their workday, “Like turning the key on the tractor or snapping on a light in the barn.”

Did its creator consider a print version?

“Yes,” says van Loon, “but then the office manager, who is also my wife, Anne, beat me over the head every time I suggested it, because she looks at the numbers. She knows the postage costs. She knows the print costs. It’s not like 30 years ago when I started Rural Delivery.”

He is in the process of hiring someone to run the site full-time. Though it’s still a work in progress, van Loon wants to keep the site fairly simple to accommodate his rural online readers, most of whom use dial-up Internet.

“There are a number of fantastic agricultural websites,” he says. “There’s one biggie out of Guelph, and it’s amazing. My gosh, what they offer! But when I try to access it from home on dial-up I go nuts. It’s so full of fancy graphics that every page was horribly slow opening. It’s just not fair to people. Out here in the Maritimes, high-speed isn’t available unless you have the money to buy a satellite dish.”

Gerry Savaria takes over at HDS Retail North America
As of July 14, Gerry Savaria will be President, CEO of newsstand retailer HDS Retail North America and CEO of Hachette Distribution Services (Canada) Inc., based in Toronto.

His predecessor, Jean-Baptiste Morin, is moving to Europe to serve in a senior executive position in the HDS Group.

“Gerry’s experience, his knowledge of the industry, as well as his leadership will contribute to HDS Retail’s future development,” says Morin.

Savaria is currently executive vice president, business development for HDS Retail. He joined the company in 1997 as vice-president, press, and was promoted to the position of executive vice-president, press and books merchandising when HDS Retail’s U.S. and Canadian operations merged together in 2000. He changed focus in 2004 when he took over the responsibility for HDS Retail’s business development initiatives.

Savaria has been a strong supporter of Canada’s magazine industry and was fundamental to the launch of the Canadian Newsstand Awards in 2002. HDS Retail has partnered with Masthead at the Canadian Newsstand Awards since its inception.

BC’s Youthink student magazine launches Alberta edition
The free, monthly, 99 per cent student-written magazine Youthink has become a well-established part of British Columbia high school life. Now its publisher, Andrew Sloan, is pleased to announce the launch of Youthink’s Alberta Edition, which is slated for September.

Youthink publishers Lotte Ewald and Andrew Sloan

The new edition follows a successful year of expansion in B.C., which saw the addition of Vancouver Island, Prince George, Kamloops and other major school districts to Youthink’s distribution. The magazine has secured distribution agreements with both public and Catholic school boards in Calgary and Edmonton. The planned 44,000-copy circulation will be distributed through approximately 200 participating high schools and 300 community locations in Edmonton and Calgary.

Youthink currently distributes 55,000 copies in BC and has an estimated 154,000 readers. The new Alberta edition will bring its total circulation to approximately 100,000.

Kevin Haslbeck, the current senior editor and school liaison, will become Alberta Editor at the Youthink office opening in Calgary this summer. Haslbeck and the Alberta Youthink team will recruit high-school writers and reporters through their work with teachers and administrators in the high schools. Youthink’s managing editor, Janine Verreault, will oversee editorial operations in both BC and Alberta.

Youthink has appointed Darren Franco as Director of Sales and Marketing and engaged the services of Toronto-based BrainStone Communications to manage national advertising sales.

Youthink is funded entirely by advertising, with initial start-up funds provided by Sloan and his wife, Lotte Ewald, who is co-publisher and editor-in chief. Both are former teachers and co-owners of the B.C. and Alberta editions.

May 17, 2007
Volunteer of the Year Sellwood says industry needs continuity of knowledge
Terry Sellwood believes in giving back to the industry he loves. Now his industry, in turn, gets to give back to Sellwood when he receives his Magazines Canada Volunteer of the Year award on June 14.

"I always wanted to learn as much as I could and then pass it on. What's the point of one person learning it all and then retiring and then it's gone?"
— Terry Sellwood

The General Manager of Quarto Communications, publishers of Cottage Life and Explore, has been involved in every aspect of magazine circulation management in his 30-year-to-date career—but this award is for what Sellwood does for the industry on his own time. It’s presented annually to one individual whose outstanding volunteer contributions have had a national impact on the Canadian consumer magazine industry.

“Terry has worked selflessly, using his considerable and varied experience for the betterment of all magazines in Canada,” says Al Zikovitz, President of Quarto Communications and former Chair of Magazines Canada. “Magazines big and small have benefited from the thousands of hours that Terry has devoted to making this a great industry.”

Sellwood admits he is busy, “always on one board or another,” but he wouldn’t have it any other way. An active advocate for the publishing industry, he currently sits on the board of Magazines Canada. He has also served on the board of the National Magazine Awards Foundation and on the Canadian Marketing Association’s Publishing Committee.

Other notable contributions by Sellwood include his previous posts as President of the Circulation Management Association of Canada and of the National Magazine Awards Foundation, as well as his membership on the Magazines Canada Professional Development Committee since its inception. He is also a faculty member for Magazines Canada’s School for Circulation and an adjudicator at the School for Professional Publishing and last year’s winner of the CMC’s Marketer of the Year award.

He’s been at it since 1977.

“I think from the beginning, when I saw that there were hundreds of small magazines no one had ever heard of,” says Sellwood, “there was just no way that you could do enough to help promote them and sort of give them the skills they needed to make it.”

That’s when he started volunteering with various associations, including Magazines Canada (then called the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association).

“It’s important for the industry as a whole that we have continuity of the knowledge. There are so many organizations that can contribute at various levels, and if we don’t encourage people to do that we just can’t be all that we can be,” says Sellwood. “I guess that’s the point of it.”

“Having an interest in that, and serving on these committees and serving on the professional development side of it just seemed important,” says Sellwood.

He thinks he gets that drive from his parents, who were both teachers. “I didn’t end up being a teacher, but I always wanted to learn as much as I could and then pass it on. What’s the point of one person learning it all and then retiring and then it’s gone?”

He also, quite simply, enjoys volunteering. “You meet the nicest people, and you give back,” he says. “I’m very grateful for what the industry has done for me and for my family.”

Sellwood will receive his award at the Magazines Canada Annual Luncheon on June 14, 2007 at the Magazines Canada conference, MagNet.

To others out there who might consider volunteering, Sellwood can’t say enough about the benefits. “Various individuals sort of rope you into various things,” he laughs, “but I think it’s always to a purpose.”

May 16, 2007
Finalists announced for Canadian Newsstand Awards
You have to wait until Mags U on June 5 to know who the winners are, but the Canadian Newsstand Award finalists are in.

The 34 finalists for the sixth annual Canadian Newsstand Awards/Grand prix d’excellence en kiosque
range from the small-circulation literary title Maisonneuve to mass-circulation Maclean’s.

The magazine winners, one in each of five categories, plus the overall best Newsstand Cover of the Year will be announced at a special Magazines University reception sponsored by Transcontinental Printing. The reception begins at 5pm in the Guildhall Room at the Old Mill Inn & Spa. The event is free and open to all.

The prestigious Newsstand Marketer of the Year award, recognizing an individual who has demonstrated passion and innovation for a newsstand project in 2006 goes to Mark Hamill, director of retail sales for Rogers Publishing. This distinction caps a successful year on the newsstand for Hamill, who in 2006 led the charge in launching the home shopping title Chocolat and the celebrity weekly Hello!, which has become the best-selling English Canadian magazine on the newsstands in terms of revenue. With a budget projection of securing 5,000 checkout pockets, Hello! beat that target by obtaining in excess of 10,000 pockets.

Another of Hamill’s successes in 2006 was the new growth of Maclean’s on the newsstand. The magazine exceeded its year over year growth by 63% thanks to improved covers, content and expanded distribution.

In most categories, winning magazines at the Canadian Newsstand Awards receive $3,500 each in credits towards promotional programs at newsstands owned by HDS Retail. The winner in the Small Magazine Category wins $1,000 in credits, plus $500 cash.

The 34 finalists in five categories are (in alphabetical order):

Best Newsstand Issue, Extra-Large Magazine (total circulation over 200,000):

Canadian Living Oct. 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc
Chatelaine (English) Feb. 2006 Rogers Publishing
Châtelaine (French) June 2006 Rogers Publishing
Maclean’s Sept. 11, 2006 Rogers Publishing
Maclean’s Feb. 6, 2006 Rogers Publishing
Style At Home Oct. 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc

Best Newsstand Issue, Large Magazine (total circulation 75,000 to 199,999):

Canadian Business Aug. 14, 2006 Rogers Publishing
Canadian Gardening Aug./Sept. 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc
Elle Canada Sept. 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc
Flare Sept. 06 Rogers Publishing
L’Actualité Nov. 15, 2006 Rogers Publishing
Lou Lou (English) June/July 2006 Rogers Publishing
Money Sense Dec. 06/Jan. 07 Rogers Publishing
Profit June 2006 Rogers Publishing
The Hockey News Future Watch 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc
Today’s Parent Feb. 2006 Rogers Publishing

Best Newsstand Issue, Mid-size Magazine (total circulation 10,000 to 74,999):

Azure Jan./Feb. 2006 Azure Publishing Inc.
Lou Lou (French) June/July 2006 Rogers Publishing
Magazine Commerce Aug. 2006 Medias Transcontinental
Summum Dec. 06/Jan. 07 Les Editions Genex Inc.
The Beaver...
Canada’s History Magazine
Dec./Jan. 2006 Canada’s National History Society
The Hockey News Apr. 25, 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc
TVWeek Magazine Feb. 18, 2006 Canada Wide Media Ltd.
Up Here Jan. 2006 Up Here Publishing
Up Here Aug. 2006 Up Here Publishing
Vancouver Magazine Sept. 2006 Transcontinental Media Inc

Best Newsstand Issue, Small Magazine (total circulation under 10,000):

Maisonneuve Winter 2006/07 Maisonneuve Magazine Association
Spacing Fall 2006 Spacing Media Inc.
This Magazine Nov./Dec. 2006 This Magazine
Western Sportsman Sept/Oct. 2006 OP Publishing

Best Newsstand Issue, New Magazine (launched in 2005 or 2006):

elemente Dec. 2006 Skinnyfish Media
Hello! Aug. 24, 2006 Rogers Publishing
Pools, Spas & Patios July 2006 Hubbard Marketing & Publishing

May 15, 2007
Magazines du Québec Announces 2007 Award Winners
Magazines du Québec had its ninth annual awards ceremony May 9 in Montreal at the closing ceremony of Journée Magazine 2007.  This year’s 63 judges had to chose from 474 submissions by 82 publishers, journalists and freelancers, and from 71 magazines.

Carole Beaulieu, editor of L’actualité won Magazine Issue of the Year for the December 15, 2006 issue. For the magazine’s 30th anniversary, the issue featured a series of articles with the themes “30 ideas that will change everything” and “30 Québecois who make a difference.” This year marks the second consecutive win for L’actualité in this category. The magazine also took home Best Profile for Jonathan Trudel’s piece on Alex Kovalev, Best Editorial/Opinion/Essay for submissions by Luc Chartrand, and Best Illustration for Isabelle Arsenault’s Liberté 35 artwork.

Other coveted awards are the Prix Jean Paré ($3,000), which went to Marie-Hélène Proulx for the body of her work in Magazine Jobboom, and the young journalists award “Prix de la relève,” which went to Raphaëlle Derome for the quality of her articles in Les Débrouillards and Québec Science.

TVA Publications won the award for Best Newsstand Sales for the February 11, 2006 issue of 7 Jours, and also picked up Best Newsstand Growth for Star Système.

Ad agency Taxi Montreal won the prize for Best Magazine Ad for the originality of its ad for Reversa, a skin care product line by Dermtek Pharmaceutique.

Reporting awards went to Jean-Benoit Nadeau for “Bois nouveau” in Québec Science (50,000+ circulation) and Michel Dongois and Hélene Matteau for “Langue de bois et bouche cousue in Châtelaine (circulation less than 50,000), among others. 

Erik Mohr of enRoute received two visual awards, one for Best Graphic Depiction of an article and another for Best Cover.

The Journée Magazine and awards are organized by Magazines du Québec, with financial support from the Government of Canada through the Canada Magazine Fund and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

To read the full list of award winners, visit

May 11, 2007
Girls Can Do Anything flies off the shelves
AJAX— A tad underwhelmed by the teen magazines her daughter was reading, Jenifer Merifield set out to launch her own magazine “for real girls, covering real issues.” The debut issue of Girls Can Do Anything was launched early this month.

When Merifield was looking for a copy on newsstands at Chapters and Wal-Mart locations in the Durham region where she lives, she says, “I found out they had all sold out within a week.”

Girls Can Do Anything is a monthly, digest-sized magazine whose advisory committee consists of women and teenagers. Whenever the adults think they’ve come up with a great idea for the magazine, they check with the youngsters to make sure. Six of the girls on the advisory committee, between the ages of 12 and 20, write for the magazine.

With a tagline of “Be real, be you” the magazine doesn’t feature models in its pages but aims to stand out by being real as opposed to airbrushed. Merifield defines a real girl as “Anybody... Someone who has met challenges in life and is getting through it.”

She believes her magazine is boldly going where no other magazine has gone before.  “It’s very easy to talk about fashion and trends, but we’re getting down to body image and the real issues. We’re asking guys and getting their opinions [about girls], and we don’t airbrush our answers. What you see is what we get.”

Each issue profiles a “real girl of the month” who will appear on the cover. Besides a more real version of the boy-girl stuff that’s so popular with teens, the magazine also reviews movies, books and music. There’s a “Dear Diary” department girls can write in to, a sports section that highlights popular and alternative sports of interest to girls, and a “Career Watch” section to show there are “so many more options than being a doctor, a lawyer or a teacher,” says Merifield. There’s also a money column, written by a man with a background working in youth camps—which Merifield insists is written “in a way that’s very cool”—a section with a focus on being Canadian, and a column about girls in other countries, written by a 15-year-old girl.

Merifield says she’s already getting mail from about 20 girls a week.

Read more about this new launch in the May/June 2007 issue of Masthead, mailing May 16.

May 10, 2007
Darlene Storey headed to St. Joseph
TORONTO—After a good run at Transcontinental, Darlene Storey, group director, consumer marketing for many top consumer titles including Canadian Living, Style at Home and Outdoor Canada, is leaving to join St. Joseph Media. Canada's largest privately owned consumer magazine publisher scooped up the circ star, who says she’s both “excited and very sad” about the move. 

Starting in mid-June, Storey will be St. Joseph’s vice-president of circulation reporting to St. Joseph Media president Doug Knight. She’ll also work alongside former Transcontinental colleague Sharon McAuley, who is St. Joseph’s vice-president and group publisher.

“I wasn’t really looking,” says Storey, “but the new job brings new challenges and I’m really quite excited about it. I’m also quite sad, because I’ve known people here for 18 years.”

Storey has worked for Transcontinental since it bought Telemedia’s magazine publishing division in March 2000, and was with Telemedia for 10 years before that.

The new job promises all of the responsibilities familiar to Storey, plus a few new ones. “I believe I’m going to be more involved in the strategic planning circulation profiles for the magazines,” she says, “and I will be responsible for newsstand, which is not part of my job here at Transcontinental.”

St. Joseph publishes Toronto Life, Fashion, Wish, Gardening Life, Canadian Family, Weddingbells, Mariage Quebec, Where Canada Magazine, Quill & Quire, Ottawa Magazine and Canadian Family. The company has been without a top circulation executive for several months following the sudden departure of former group consumer marketing director Zoila Johnson. Consultant Jon Spencer has taken over the role in the interim.

Storey’s new boss looks forward to officially welcoming her aboard.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” says Knight. “She’s a top-notch professional with very solid experience. We’re building a first-rate team here and she’s going to be an important member of it.”

“It was a hard choice,” says Storey, “but this is just an excellent opportunity for me to take the next step in my career.”

Canada Council solicits ideas from magazine publishers
Ottawa—Arts and literary magazines in search of funding might want to grab this opportunity to be heard. The Canada Council for the Arts has begun strategic planning for 2008-2011 and is asking the arts community and the public to help guide its future direction.

The Council has issued a press release inviting members of the arts community and the public to offer their suggestions.

Donna Balkan, the Council’s senior communications manager says that’s just one of the ways it will solicit input from the magazine industry.

“We will also be inviting Magazines Canada, the industry’s association, to a meeting of our service organizations in June,” says Balkan. “It’s a meeting specifically related to consultations on our strategic plan.”

Other service organizations include representatives from various components of the arts community, as well as other provincial, territorial and regional arts funders and federal departments and agencies.

“Needless to say, individual magazines can certainly have input into the process as well,” Balkan adds.

The Council sent a letter to literary and arts magazines this week about the consultations, which will take place over the next two months. Individuals can also provide input through the Canada Council for the Arts’ website. A discussion paper and contact information will be posted at as of May 14.

“We’re hoping to receive a lot of feedback,” says Balkan. “The reason we’re doing this is because we really want the arts community – organizations that have received grants and those that haven’t received grants – to tell us what they think the Council should be doing and what its direction should be. We want to hear from members of the public as well.”

The Council currently offers grants to literary and art magazines, including seed grants of between $2,000 and $11,000 for new magazines deemed most deserving in terms of literary and artistic potential.

The consultations are partly in response to the new technologies, more diverse population and continuous growth in the number of artists and arts organizations across Canada, factors that have changed the arts scene considerably since the Council was created by Parliament in 1957.

The Canada Council for the Arts will review all feedback it receives from the arts community, magazines and the public, and from its June meeting, when its board of directors meets in October.

May 9, 2007
Canada Post still profitable
OTTAWA—Canada’s mail provider has again prevailed in an ever-evolving market that relies less and less on traditional forms of mail delivery. The year 2006 was Canada Post Corporation’s twelfth consecutive profitable year according to CPC’s Annual Report, released May 1.  Publications mail grew only marginally in volume in 2006.

Despite just a 0.8 per cent increase in newspaper and magazine mailings, Canada Post Corporation reports a 4.3 per cent increase in revenues from publications mail in the same fiscal period. Of the financial numbers reported by Canada Post, one that continues to concern magazine publishers is the per copy rate. The cost to mail a magazine or newspaper has seen steep hikes, slowing in 2006 to an increase of about three percent.

The 2006 Annual Report shows a gradual flattening in the volume of lettermail, one of the Canada Post Corporation’s biggest sources of income. Lettermail volumes went up by just 3.2 per cent. Addressed admail volume went up by 5 per cent, bringing 9.9 per cent revenue growth, while unaddressed admail increased by 9.1 per cent with revenue growth of 14.4 per cent. A press release from CPC says population growth in Canada contributed to the growth, but the “average revenue-generating items delivered to each address has begun to decline.”

Canada Post Corporations’s net income of $119 million in 2006 was a 40.1 per cent decrease from $199 million in 2005. The cost of operations for the group of companies was $7,116 million in 2006, a 6.5 per cent increase.

“Their overall cost increase surprised me,” says Michael J. Fox, senior vice-president of circulation at Rogers Media Inc. “I think they’re going to continue to face cost pressures while we, as an industry, continue to look to Canada Post to come up with a three-year rate plan.”

He refers to what happened in 2001 when Canada Post Corporation came up with a three-year plan to improve the margins earned by Publications Mail, which officials at the time called “the least profitable of Canada Post’s services.” Knowing about the rate increases ahead of time helped publications with their fiscal planning and budgeting.

Magazines Canada maintains regular contact with Canada Post Corporation to address postal rates and how they affect Canada’s magazine industry. The association has started discussions with CPC on postal rates and services for 2008.

Isabelle Marcoux named in Canada’s Top 40 Under 40
MONTREAL—Isabelle Marcoux, vice chair of the board and vice president, corporate development of Transcontinental Inc., has been named as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2007.

Marcoux has overseen more than 75 mergers and acquisitions in the 10 years she has worked for Transcontinental and heads up the company’s new educational materials group. She has also been at the forefront of several new Transcontinental partnerships, including those with Meredith Corporation for the Canadian version of More magazine, with Yellow Pages for co-published home renovation and healthcare guides, and online products including the Canadian version of men’s lifestyle portal She was cited for her many contributions to the company’s success and for her volunteer work on behalf of various Montreal charities. The Top 40 Under 40 were selected by an expert panel of 29 business and community leaders in Canada.
Marcoux will speak on the Future of Publishing on June 6 in Toronto as part of Magazines University.

May 3, 2007
Maclean’s “skanks” issue a newsstand hit
TORONTO—Final newsstand figures have yet to be tallied but Maclean’s publisher and editor-in-chief Ken Whyte says the magazine’s Jan. 1st special double issue could sell as many as 20,000 copies. 

An interview Whyte conducted with Celia Rivenbark, author of “Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank,” was played on the cover with vintage Whyte provocation. Blonde hair safely conceals the face of a young girl dressed in a denim mini-skirt, fishnet stockings and a pink tank top that reads, “Made You Look.” The coverline: “Why do we dress our daughters like skanks?” The interview was complemented by a feature story by Lianne George entitled, “Why are we dressing our daughters like this?”

Before his arrival in 2005, Whyte says Maclean’s newsstand draw typically hovered around the 18,000 mark. The draw is now up to 40,000 to 42,000 with a 25% sell-through average. This particular issue of the magazine appears to have resonated with newsstand buyers, no doubt due to the controversial nature of the subject matter. Asked if he struggles in search of stories with lots of newsstand torque, Whyte demurs. “Just shouting at people won’t sell magazines, and it’s not in our interest to do that,” he says. “Some people think we’re provocative, some people think we just talk very frankly about things that they’re interested in. Everybody’s got opinions on these things but as long as we’re finding an audience and selling magazines, I’m not worried.” 

Both the “skanks” issue and last February’s special election issue “will probably be the two best sellers we’ve had since Princess Diana died [in 1997],” Whyte says. “But we expect Conrad Black [the “Trial of the Century” issue published in March] may surpass them both.”

Wired, Elle, Madame Figaro staffers to speak
MONTREAL—Magazines du Québec, the industry association representing publishers in la belle province, will hold its professional development conference here on May 9.

The ninth-annual Journée Magazine features workshops and panel discussions on topics of current interest, including Web integration, blogging and new technologies. There will also be special presentations from the following:

• Wired creative director Scott Dadich will share behind-the-scenes details of the February 2007 redesign of the tech lifestyle monthly. Presenting in English, Dadich will discuss the reasons behind the redesign and factors driving the new design aesthetic.

• Madame Figaro international director Patrick Moreau oversees 10 foreign editions of France’s celebrated weekly lifestyle glossy. He’ll discuss the effects of globalization on magazine publishing. Since 2004, Moreau is also a foreign trade advisory counsel for France.

• Elle (France) editorial writer Michèle Fitoussi will discuss Elle’s philosophy of reader engagement and the secret to the famous brand’s longevity. Also: how are new printing technologies affecting the editorial experience? 

Journée Magazine will be held next Wednesday at Le Windsor in downtown Montreal.

For more info, contact Claire Cayer at Magazine du Québec at 450-661-7124, or

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