Rolled magazine

A Fresh Start at Magazines Canada

Matthew Holmes
Matthew Holmes

Well: you look down for a moment and suddenly it’s Spring (though Newfoundland may not believe it, and Victoria’s never had to hope for it quite like this before!)

I’m writing today from my home, where I’m looking down on the Rideau River: its waters high and fast with the melt, rushing North to Ottawa where the city is already in high-gear (and gridlock) readying for Canada 150 celebrations. For many, 2017 will be a time to reflect but Magazines Canada is taking this as a fresh start, with many exciting things already in motion.

Early in the New Year, we formalized the merger with the Canadian Business Media Association (formerly the Canadian Business Press) and our Board has since empowered a new committee to represent this dynamic sector. We’re working on how to attract the next generation of talent and researching the strategic role B2B media plays in Canadian business—perhaps never so important as we prepare for the rewriting of many global trade rules and relationships.

We’re also helping our arts and literary members with what they need under the newly announced policies and programs of the Canada Council for the Arts. We’re partnering on an information webinar and hosting Council officials at MagNet, while preparing our own strategic plan for supporting the future of Canada’s small independent and cultural magazines. The return of our popular Arts and Literary Summit at the end of this month will bring together some of the country’s most innovative and quirkiest culture mags, along with speakers from Slate, Inuit Art Quarterly, authors Gary Barwin and Hal Niedzviecki among others.

Finally, after months of preparations and buzz (most of it friendly!) we’re ready to celebrate and recognize our industry’s very best, with the Magazine Grands Prix awards-night fête! I like to think that every magazine is a sum far greater than its individual parts or contributors: brought together by collective talent and a diversity of forms, platforms, and content. The Magazine Grands Prix showcase this alchemy: from individual artists, writers and emerging talent, to the teams that make it all work as a whole. But also worth noting that in planning these awards we also set the goal of capturing what, in my opinion, makes magazines unique: our readers who coalesce around a shared locality, ethnicity, profession, artistic practice, or area of interest.

At the end of the day, this is what makes our magazines what they are: whether they’re B2B, arts, or consumer magazines—it’s the community of readers who come to them for carefully curated and trusted content: in print and in digital forms.

Oh, I wrote “digital.” We’ve got something in the works there too, so stay tuned—Magazines Canada is finalizing some exciting new research and strategic plans linked to digital-first and web-only magazines: another fresh start planned for the exciting year ahead.

With MagNet right around the corner, I look forward to sharing more of our plans and learning from our own members what they’re up to in 2017. As the only conference of its kind, MagNet is a great place to reconnect with the magazine community—if you’ve read this far you’re obviously part of it—so I hope to see you there!

Matthew Holmes
Magazines Canada