Sunday, January 02, 2011

The year in Canadian magazines 2010

As we do at the start of a new year, we look back at our blogging year 2010 , month by month to some of the more than 914 posts we did (egad). You may find some of these to be pleasant, or occasionally painful, reminders. (Click on the headings to be taken to the original story.)
Only 150 types of cigars, but thousands of magazines
Hub Cigar in Edmonton's Old Strathcona district celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Presumably for their explosive content
Security officials decreed that magazines and books must travel in checked luggage on airlines. Fortunately, this edict was quickly withdrawn.

New look on campus
University Affairs magazine announces it will relaunch in February with a new look and feel.

Finns on the case
Maclean's magazine was taken to task by a Finnish newspaper for a "howler of massive proportions" when it published that a story saying 10 million Finns died during the Soviet regime when there are only 5 million Finns now, and were fewer then. Editor Mark Stevenson said that retraction was unnecessary, since they'd run a letter to the editor pointing out the mistake.

The Beaver gets the boot
Canada's National History Society decided to replace the venerable, but misconstrued, name The Beaver for its magazine with a more anodyne Canada's History.

Too small to fund?
The Canada Periodical Fund announces its rulebook, one item of which is that titles with annual paid circulation of fewer than 5,000  copies (which includes most of Canada's literary magazines) were now ineligible for funding.

Another one bites the dust
Venerable Duthie's Books, one of the longest standing independent magazine and book outlets in Vancouver, announces it is packing it in after 53 years in business.

Pole-ing results: Redwood becomes Totem
Canada's largest custom publisher (owned by Transcontinental Media) announces it is rebranding itself as Totem.


The founder of Coda, the jazz magazine, John Norris dies at the age of 76.

Prism break
Maher Arar starts an online magazine called Prism to discuss security and human rights issues. Of which he is intimately familiar.

Slimmed, buffed and retouched
Photoshop celebrates 20 years of tweaking reality.

Bursting into bloom
Canada's newest gardening magazine, Garden Making, is launched.

Blogging  along...
Canadian Magazines blog marks 5 years of news, views and reviews about the industry

Centre of the universe, indeed
Statistics Canada reports that more than 80% of Canadian magazine revenue was earned in Ontario and Quebec in 2008.

Sweet charity I
LRC, the Literary Review of Canada, gets charitable status after a patient campaign.

Tripping over Bigfoot
The Sasquatch, a companion newspaper produced by Briarpatch magazine, had to be suspended. A while earlier, the magazine had to cut back from 8 to 6 issues a year.

Here's your hat, what's your hurry?
Chatelaine magazine shows six staffers the door in the wake of the hiring of Jane Francisco as editor, replacing the fired Maryam Sanati. Not surprisingly, their replacements were all people who had worked for Francisco at the late Wish magazine.

Let's make a deal
Magazines Canada, in its 5th annual Buy 2, Get 1 Free subscription promotion, signs up more than 13,000 subs.

up! and away
Tom Gierasimczuk, the editor of Westjet's up! magazine, is named Alberta editor of the year; within months he decamped to Toronto to edit Marketing magazine.

Paper chase
Alberta Venture taps Edmonton Journal writer as new editor. Paul Marck sat down in the big chair effective with the April issue.

Xtra! Xtra! Read all about it
The Ottawa gay magapaper Xtra! rolls out a new look.

I dunno, which one do you like?
The Walrus let its readers choose which of two covers by the illustrator Seth they liked best, then printed their choice.

You don't look a day over 70
Quill & Quire magazine turns 75.

On the ropes
The Canadian Association of Journalists publishes an open letter appealing to its members and supporters to help fund it out of a crisis.

Sweet Charity II
The British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers (BCAMP) announced it was seeking charitable status.

Hugs all around
A picture published in the Western Sportsman, of a giant squid caught off Nanaimo, was accused of hurting sports diving business in the town.

Print...print...web, print, web...web, web...print...
The Print Measurement Bureau (PMB) and online monitoring firm comScore partner to create a new combined database that promises to unlock total audience value.

Gives a whole new meaning to DIY
House & Home Media announces it will now self-produce its TV show, starring the omnipresent Lynda Reeves.

The editor in chief of Reader's Digest Canada, Robert Goyette, writes glowingly in an editorial of how much hard work goes into fact-checking of every issue by five, full-time staff. [See December]
Longtime Toronto Life food editor, James Chatto, is let go.
Toronto Life creates a "movie trailer" to promote its June issue. It talks about the things that other Canadian cities hate about Toronto. Readers think it is a documentary.
Always steps up
John Milne of Rogers' business and professional publishing is named Magazines Canada's volunteer of the year.
Holding Heather to book
A small magazine editor in New Brunswick came out swinging against her university's decision to grant an honourary degree to the CEO of Indigo Books and Music, Heather Reisman.
Features are so yesterday
Chatelaine comes out proclaiming a "fresh, new look" but we couldn't help noticing that while there was lots of dessert and starters, there were very small portions of meaty features.

The first, but not the last
NOW magazine says that it is the first magazine in Canada to offer its readers an iPad version.

Wish I weren't here...
Jailed Cannabis Culture magazine publisher Marc Emery continues his crusade from behind bars by blogging and podcasting from prison in Seattle.

But who's counting?
Sometime on June 1, the Canadian Magazines blog crested 1 million page views in an unbroken string since starting in March 2005.

Fame, yes, but fortune? Not so much
Penny Caldwell, editor of Cottage Life magazine, wins the editor of the year award from the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors (CSME).

You're too teeny
Scott Shortliffe, the director of periodical publishing and programs at Canadian Heritage, confirms that the new Canada Periodical Fund is basically an industry support program for viable businesses. The costs of servicing small arts and cultural titles outstripped the benefits to what he called "micro magazines".

Margo Oliver, one of Canada's best magazine food editors, dies at the age of 87.

In memoriam
Massey College unveils a journalism fellowship in memory of writer Val Ross, underwritten by two of her friends and neighbours.

A short resignation letter, presumably
Larry Thomas, the publisher of Reader's Digest Magazines Canada Limited, resigns after 31 years with the company when his job is eliminated in a "realignment".

A lucrative agreement
Canwest Global Communications announced it had settled a longstanding (13 year) class action lawsuit about the electronic rights of freelancers; the named writer in the suit, Heather Robertson, agreed to a $7.5 million settlement. Canwest needed to settle in order to get on with its own restructuring.

Cynthia Brouse, a well-known and well-loved and respected editor, teacher and the doyenne of fact-checkers in Canada, dies of cancer in Toronto at 52.

Digitization for the nation
Magazines Canada's joint venture with Zinio in the Digital Newsstand had 153 titles signed up and had sold 2,138 digital subs in the first nine months.

We're still reporting on printing, though
Rogers announces that its venerable magazine Canadian Printer will no longer be, um, printed.
Neighbourly news
Canadian Geographic themes its July/August issue to explore the complicated relationship between Canada and the U.S. along the 49th parallel

Hope springs eternal
The former manager of the closed Duthie's Books to open new indy bookstore in Vancouver.

Classic, illustrated
The makeover of Toronto Life is described by its art director as an "homage to classic magazine design".

What's ours is ours, what's yours is ours
Rogers Publishing rolls out a new contract with its freelancers, stipulating that whatever they buy will be used across multiple platforms, though individual contracts between editors and writers will be "freely negotiated".

Book the bigger meeting room
It was announced that print, online and mobile staff at Rogers' LouLou magazine will all report now to a "director of multiplatform content".

Satire's grand old man
David Bentley, the co-founder of Frank magazine, was feted in Halifax for 50 years of afflicting the comfortable.


An interesting case
Thomson Reuters' Carswell division buys Canada Law Book and the four law-related magazine titles published by CLB Media, including Canadian Lawyer.

Local motion
Transcontinental Media sells Ottawa Business Journal and related magazines to local magazine and newspaper publishing group Great River Media.

Emigrating from the job
The founding publisher of Canadian Immigrant, Nick Noorani, resigns 7 years after launching the title from his dining room table; it was later bought by Torstar.

New sheriff in town
Keith Pelley, a vp of strategic planning at CTV, was named president of Rogers Media, thereby becoming the boss for all the company's consumer and trade magazines.

Steve Maich, the editor of Canadian Business magazine, tees off on the federal government for its decision to close prison farms and to end the mandatory long-form census.

Sucking and blowing
Federation of BC Writers president Craig Spence says the BC government's priorities on arts funding is all wrong.

Typographic varmints?
Prairie Dog, a Regina arts, news and entertainment magazine, rewards its readers $10 and a T-shirt for finding typos.

No fairsies
The Canadian Printing Industries Association says it was disappointed that the Canada Periodical Fund allows public funding to be spent on printing outside the country. Bob Elliott, the president, said he hoped to convince the Heritage ministry of the error of its ways.

...and a grade point average of 4.3
Transcontinental Media redesigns and repositions its magazine Affaires Plus to become a+

Whipping up a story
Perennial freelancer and award-winning author Ian Brown is named writer-in-residence at the Stratford Chef's School.


Striking out on his own
Former vp of CLB Media Niel Hiscox buys the name and the automotive magazine titles after the company is broken up.

E-reader in chief
Former Toronto Life publisher Marina Glogovac is named chief marketing officer of Kobo, the global e-reading service offered by Indigo Books and Music.

A stronger draw
MagNet the industry conference held in June every year announces it is moving upscale to the Courtyard Marriott hotel in Toronto. Previously it had been at 89 Chestnut, but Magazines Canada felt the event had outgrown the facility.

They like us, they really like us!
The Hockey News crowed that its mobile app had been downloaded more than 1 million times since being launched in October 2008.

And they know where to spend it
The Aid to Publishers' grants under the Canada Periodical Fund were announced and they totalled almost $53 million to 484 titles.
A taxing time
The Ontario budget confirms that magazines will be bearing the full brunt of the 13% harmonized sales tax (HST). Curiously, newspapers don't.

Cynthia's elephant
A bunch of the late Cynthia Brouse's friends chipped in and helped to foster an orphan elephant in her memory. The elephant is called Shukuru and it lives in Nairobi, Kenya.

Inside job
Western Living promotes executive editor Anicka Quin to be the new editor-in-chief of western Canada's largest shelter magazine.

She would have approved
Spacing magazine wins the $15,000 Jane Jacobs Prize.

Provocation for the nation
Maclean's stirs up Quebeckers when it calls their province the "most corrupt" in the country.


Rights grab?
Rogers Publishing was accused of syndicating articles online for which it did not have permission from the writers. The company said that it fell under the heading of "promotional"; an agent acting for the writers said this was baloney.

The out-of-towners
Cottage Life and British Columbia magazines win gold at the International Regional Magazine Awards (mostly American titles).

They're big supporters
Canadian Living magazine hires food director from one of its bigger advertisers, Kraft Foods; to be fair, she started out her career working in the magazine's test kitchen.

Paul Rockett, a magazine and portrait photography trendsetter, dies in Vancouver at the age of 90.

Telling the Canadian magazine story
Magazines Canada announces it is going into the magazine business, publishing a biannual called Canadian Magazines canadien (no relation).

Honour in its time
Geist is named western magazine of the year.

I say it's bullshit and I say to hell with it
The mayor of Regina reacts badly to a Maclean's story about crime in his city.

Watch out about becoming an eastern elitist
Conservative gadfly Ezra Levant, ex of Western Standard magazine, moves to (gasp) Toronto to become a commentator on "Fox North", er, Sun TV.

The last bleat
Goats Across Canada magazine folds.

Next stop, designer jerseys
The Hockey News shucks newsprint and goes all-glossy.


Just what the doctor ordered
Redpoint Media announces it is going to be publishing Apple magazine for the unified Alberta Health Services, with total bimonthly circulation of 120,000.

Putting best faces forward
Flare magazine won overall cover of the year award at the Canadian Newsstand Awards; other gold winners by circulation were (small) This magazine; (mid-size) Canadian Art;  (large) LouLou; (extra large) Chatelaine; (SIPs) Maclean's Michael Jackson special.

Not on our racks, you don't
Shoppers Drug Mart "de-lists" Adbusters magazine after complaints about anti-Semitism by the Canadian Jewish Congress. The CJC denied it was promoting a boycott, but that's what it amounted to.

Depends on the kindness of friends

Fuse magazine mounts an appeal to its subscribers and supporters to raise $40,000 to keep it publishing.

Banking on controversy
A piggy bank made out of a real piggy and featured in Vancouver magazine and Western Living gift guides, outrages some

We're on your side
The National Assembly of Quebec unanimously adopted a motion opposing key elements of the propose copyright amendments, Bill C-32.

Zooming to profitability
The publisher of Zoomer magazine reports first profitable quarter.
The more the merrier
The National Magazine Awards announced sweeping changes to its rules and regs, including allowing small, impecunious magazines to get help in making as many entries as they want.

Every fact a checked fact II
The editor in chief of Reader's Digest Canada, Robert Goyette, says that fact-checking remains a priority, although he lets go the entire staff fact-checking department, "shifting to a variable cost model" which, translated, means that it is outsourced to freelancers. [See May]

Factum on freelancers
An Osgoode Hall law school associate professor, Giuseppina D'Agostino, brings out a textbook that says freelancers need to change the law, create a collective and negotiate a new deal with publishers. 

Is blogging good for your health?
Best Health magazine launches an awards program for the best blogs on subjects it covers -- beauty, cooking and healthy eating, fitness and personal growth. 

Mind the doors...
Quebecor's 24 Hours/Heures bumps Transcon's Metro by winning away the exclusive contract for distribution on the Montreal subway system.

Colour commentary
"Honeysuckle" is declared the colour of the year by Pantone. 

Cashing out
Halifax's Metro Guide Publishing (Halifax magazine, East Coast Living etc.)  is sold to its printer, Advocate Printing and Publishing. 

See? It works sideways, too
Maclean's launches an iPad edition.



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