Monday, March 31, 2014

Deborah Morrison to leave as publisher of Canada's History magazine to run national youth travel exchange program

After 12 years leading Canada's History Society and being publisher of Canada's History magazine and Kayak, Canada's History Magazine for Kids, Deborah Morrison is moving on. It is being announced today that effective the end of June she will be resigning as president and CEO of the national charitable organization which, in addition to publishing, presents the Governor General’s History Awards, Canada’s top honours in history, and also produces a number of educational and online programs. 

Morrison will become executive director of the Society for Educational Visits in Canada (SEVEC) on July 1. SEVEC has been offering reciprocal exchanges between groups of Canadian youth for over 75 years. Each group spends time in the other group’s community, typically in another province. 
“This position provides the opportunity to engage youth more fully in the exploration of their country—the history, heritage, culture and languages that shape Canada today,” stated Morrison of her new job. “Building on SEVEC’s 76-years of success, I look forward to leading [it] into Canada’s 150th celebrations and inspiring youth to discover, connect and experience all that Canada and Canadians have to offer them.”
Morrison was the chair of Magazines Canada, the national magazine trade organization, from 2011 to 20013. In February, she stepped back from her role as publisher, to be replaced by Melony Ward, who is now responsible for advertising sales, circulation and marketing for both magazines. Canada's History Society has launched a search for a replacement of Morrison as President and CEO. 
During her time as publisher of one of Canada's oldest magazines, Morrison piloted it through the shoals of rebranding from being The Beaver to become Canada's History. The magazine under her leadership saw a substantial growth in single copy sales and though there was some erosion of its paid subscription base has grown its total readership reach to historic highs of 965,000 as measured by the Print Measurement Bureau.

Publishing was an important part of Morrison's job but no by any means all of it, and she expanded the Governor General's History Awards and introduced the National History Forum that gathers together the history and heritage sector every year. The Society spread out into creating a national history portal, an ambitious book publishing program, a program of videos, specialized history travel and student contests. It was named Manitoba magazine of the year in 2009.
“Deborah’s leadership over the past decade has transformed the Society into a leading force for  delivering fresh, quality content about Canadian history to Canadians across a growing number of media platforms,” said Richard Pound, the chair of the board of Canada's History Society. “Thanks to her, we are well-placed to move to the next stage of our development and are grateful for her contributions to the organization."
Morrison had been founding director of operations for the Historica Foundation of Canada and had been there 11 years before taking over Canada's History in August 2002.   

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