Magazines Canada Staff Change: A Farewell to Matthew Holmes

Photograph of Matthew Holmes
Matthew Holmes

Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada’s President and Chief Executive Officer, is leaving the organization for a position leading government and institutional relations for Queen’s University. His last day with the association will be September 3.

Over the past three years, Matthew has steered Magazines Canada through considerable changes in the industry, and our association. With a progressive vision and a razor-sharp, strategic focus on member services, professional development and public advocacy for Canadian magazines, Matthew oversaw a period of change management and renewal at Magazines Canada.

He was equal parts analytical and creative as he led a strategic planning process that saw the association significantly expand its membership eligibility, merge with fellow publishing organizations under the Magazines Canada banner, and restructure its organizational structure and member committees. Under his guidance, Magazines Canada launched new, compelling industry research and new programs to connect magazine publishers with emerging, skilled talent; grew its core operational funding; and strengthened its financial position and long-term sustainability.

“Working with Matthew was such a pleasure,” said Masood Abid, Magazines Canada’s Senior Director of Finance and Administration. “I thank him for guiding, inspiring and supporting me. Matthew, your leadership has helped me grow into my potential. I would not be where I am today without you.”

“I always felt like Matthew was ready and willing to offer whatever support I needed to succeed,” said Evan Dickson, Magazines Canada’s Director of Member Services. “Knowing he had my back really meant a lot when challenges came up. Matthew, thank you for showing confidence in me and for being so generous with your guidance. We’ll miss you!”

An innovative and entrepreneurial leader, Matthew worked diligently to bring our industry together, and to tell our story to government, funders, advertisers, suppliers, fellow media sectors, magazine professionals, magazine readers, and our membership. His work on government relations saw him appear multiple times before Parliamentary Committees, launch annual receptions and events on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and drive Magazines Canada’s ongoing advocacy to sustain and modernize the Canada Periodical Fund at Canadian Heritage.

Through it all, Matthew has been a considerate advocate for Canadian magazines. We wish him all the best in his new endeavours!

– The Magazines Canada team

Navigating a media company through the past few years has been interesting, and those challenges have naturally been reflected in our association. Matthew, you have been central to charting a sustainable way forward, and your proactive and entrepreneurial approach served us well. That will be missed, but Magazines Canada, its staff, and board are now well positioned for a great future. Thank you Matt!

– Scott Jamieson, Board Chair, Magazines Canada and Group Publisher/Director of Engagement, Annex Business Media

Matthew, many thanks for your hard work and commitment to the wonderful world of Canadian magazines. I wish you the best of luck in your new role at Queen’s!

– Dominique Ritter, Vice Chair, Magazines Canada and Editor-in-chief, Reader’s Digest Canada

As a board member, working with Matthew at Magazines Canada has been such a pleasure. Since meeting with him in my kitchen two years ago, I’ve had the privilege of observing what an open, dedicated and enthusiastic professional Matthew is. He’s undertaken a considerable number of projects during his time as CEO at Magazines Canada, none of them easy, and managed them successfully with the support of the wonderful team at the organization. I have no doubt his success will continue at Queen’s University. He will be missed!

– Jennifer Varkonyi, Nominations Chair, Magazines Canada and Publisher, Maisonneuve

Matthew, you have been a great industry collaborator for me and the team at Periodical Policy and Programs. Your amazing policy mind and common sense approach will be greatly missed from our perspective. We are sad to see you leave but we know that you will excel in your new challenge at Queen’s. Best of luck to you Matthew, and hopefully our paths will cross again my friend.

– Harold Boies, Director of Periodical Publishing Policy and Programs, Canadian Heritage

On behalf of the OMDC team, I want to thank Matt for being such a great partner during his time at Magazines Canada. We were always impressed by his vision for the industry, his gentle but persuasive manner in encouraging change, and his steady support and advocacy for publishers of all shapes and sizes. We will miss his strategic leadership, his collaborative and solution-oriented approach, and his sense of humour. Thanks for all your hard work Matt—we wish you all the very best in your new adventure!

– Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Media Development Corporation

During his tenure at Magazines Canada, Matthew Holmes spearheaded a number of important initiatives, such as the Magazines Canada Fellowship, that will continue to impact and shape the Canadian magazine industry in the coming years. His focus on the position of Canadian publications within a global context as well as his dedication to creating space for a diversity of voices are forward-thinking priorities that will, and should, drive our industry in the coming years.

– Alysa Procida, Executive Director, Inuit Art Foundation

In the coming weeks, Magazines Canada will be transitioning to new leadership under an Executive Director. The process is being led by Scott Jamieson, Chair of Magazines Canada’s Board of Directors, and the hiring committee plans to have a new Executive Director in place by fall 2018.


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