Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome Minister Lindsay Blackett

A new cabinet has been appointed by Premier Ed Stelmach, as of March 12th, 2008.

It is AMPA's pleasure to welcome Minister Lindsay Blackett, a part of the Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit (formerly Ministry of Tourism, Recreation and Culture).

Blackett will be leading the province's new initiative, The Spirit of Alberta: Alberta's Cultural Policy which acknowledges the importance of Alberta's unique and vibrant culture and cultural industries, of which magazines are key.

According to the Alberta Culture website, the ministry includes the department and the following entities:
  • Alberta Foundation for the Arts
  • Alberta Historical Resources Foundation
  • Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission
  • Government House Foundation
  • Historic Resources Fund
  • Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund
  • Wild Rose Foundation
Culture and Community Spirit provides a diverse range of programs that support a high quality of life for Albertans, and makes Alberta an attractive tourism destination.

Welcome Lindsay, and AMPA looks forward to working with you to tell Alberta's unique stories.

Quebecor World cuts 300 jobs

It's more bad news for printing giant Quebecor World Inc. as restructuring efforts continue and they close one of the oldest Canadian printing plants, a 37 year old facility in Magog, Quebec that was only running at 20% capacity. 300 jobs were also cut in the process. This comes on the heels of the loss of Rogers Publishing's magazines contracts, and news that Canadian Tire will no longer be printing its annual catalogue.

Story from the

Two hundred of the employees losing their jobs were already on temporary layoff from the plant.

"The reason it's closing is because it's a part of the retooling and restructuring plan that we started three years ago to relocate in larger, more efficient facilities," Quebecor World spokesman Tony Ross said.

Although the retooling plan began years ago, the decision to close Magog was made only recently, he added.

A few of the employees may be offered transfers to other facilities but the majority of workers will lose their jobs. The work will be transferred to other Quebecor World facilities, but the aging equipment won't be moved, said Ross.

Friday, March 28, 2008

People trust print. Web? Not so much.

A study by agency Media Vest, shows that print is alive, well, and trusted more than the web in most areas, as reported in Advertising Age.
"Print offers something very, very unique, specifically around trustworthiness and authoritativeness," said David Shiffman, senior VP-connections research and analytics at MediaVest. "The personal experience people have with it is very different from what they're looking for and getting in the digital world."

The web beat print for trustworthiness in one area: health and wellness, where readers preferred digital sources such as WebMD by 3%.

"The research is going to help publishers develop and steer their content in the appropriate direction," said Robin Steinberg, senior VP-director of print investment at MediaVest. "When most magazines first launched their sites, they didn't have the correct approach of utility, immediacy and customization. They were basically taking content from the magazine and putting it online. Research such as this helps publishers to create online environments and experiences that align with user expectations of the online world vs. the offline or in-book."
People are seven times more likely to turn to print for fashion and beauty content, the research found. And print coverage of food and cooking was more trusted by a 7% margin; print entertainment news was more trusted by 5%.
The MediaVest study also found:
  • There remains very low duplication between the audiences for print publications and their online companions. Duplication ranged from 1% to 6% for every category except entertainment, where some titles reached duplication rates of 10%.

  • Print titles should deliver something different with their online extensions, according to 79% of respondents who were dual magazine and digital users. But only 44% said they strongly believed that publishers' sites really offer something unique.

  • Print will never die. Only 12% of respondents said they strongly believed that a publisher's site could easily replace the print product within the next five years.
MediaVest is a full service advertising and media buying agency, a division of the Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG), a subsidiary of Paris-based Publicis Groupe. .

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Web Weekend Edmonton - this weekend


If you've registered for the Web Weekend Edmonton, please be reminded that it's this Saturday and Sunday. What a stimulating way to spend your weekend. Here, again, are details:

Web Weekend
Magazines Canada, Centennial College and the Alberta Magazines Publishers Association are proud to present Web Weekend Edmonton on Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30 at Grant MacEwan College in downtown Edmonton.

Web Weekend is a groundbreaking, intensive learning event created specifically for magazine publishers. Through seminars and lab work, the expert Web Weekend faculty will deliver practical advice, tools and templates to help make your publishing business more successful. Have a look at the Web Weekend Brochure.

*Small Magazines staff: Inquire about Magazines Canada's generous bursaries. Note: Magazines Canada members only.


- Leverage the power of digital media
- Cost your online ventures
- Market your brand effectively
- Utilize the latest tools for measurement and analysis
- Build online communities
- Increase your online revenue streams

PLUS—Web Weekend's faculty of experts will be available for one-on-one consultations. Find solutions to your magazine’s specific issues--the faculty will be happy to meet with you.


- Print and online editors
- Web development and I.T. staff
- Publishers
- Designers
- Circulators
- Advertising sales Managers


Magazines Canada members, Alberta Magazines Publishers Association members and students: $495, others: $750

Tuition includes all materials, coffee breaks, breakfast, lunch and access to a dedicated Web Weekend Continuing Ed Forum.


Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30, 2008 (Saturday & Sunday)


Grant MacEwan College, Centre for the Arts, 10045-156 Street, Edmonton

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Calgary Multiarts Variety Show #4

Don't forget to check out the Calgary Multiarts Variety Show #4 on March 22, 2008. The festivities start at 8:00pm and supports two very good causes. Check it out!

WHAT: Another fast-paced variety show including bands, poets, theatre, comedy, and independent short films brought together for a cause; and, a celebration of Calgary's imagination!

WHY: In support of Inn from the Cold Charity and Single Onion Poetry

Saturday, March 22 2008

The Soda, 211-12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB

8:00 pm

$8 at the door


- Musk Cup (improv jazz feat. Chris Dadge & friends)
- Gutterawl (rock)

- Lara T, Kirk Miles, Bronwyn Haslam, Wakefield Brewster

- Swallow a Bicycle Performance Troupe

Stand Up Comedy:
- Col Cseke

Independent Short Films:
- Created or Curated by Garth Whelan

MCs: J.J. Powell & Laurie Fuhr

For more information, to volunteer, or to contact performers for interview, please contact:

Laurie Fuhr, Event Manager
999-2566 (cell) or

Monday, March 17, 2008

Transcontinental's 1st quarter revenue up 4%

Transcontinental, banner sponsor of the Alberta Magazines Conference, and Canada's largest consumer magazine printer, reported a 4% increase in revenues and some great gains in new contracts. Read more...

Friday, March 14, 2008

McNally Robinson bookstore closes Calgary location

Known to the Calgary community as a haven for local writers and events, it's sad to announce that Canada's largest independent bookstore, McNally Robinson, is closing its downtown Calgary doors on August 1st.

No doubt a huge blow to the community, it seems to be another inevitable consequence of boom times and inflation in oil-rich Alberta. Find out more here...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Flickr pics

Hi guys,

Photos from the 2008 Alberta Magazines Conference are up, including one very embarrassing one of the AMPA team!

Check them out:


Monday, March 10, 2008

Conference: the winners

I've forgotten how hard daylight-savings time hits when it's in 'spring forward' mode. Thursday (gala night) was a 14 hour day for the AMPA team, and similarly for Friday (sessions day). If I seemed harried, well that's what I was going for....righhhht.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Alberta Magazines Conference March 6th & 7th (over 260 of you). This was our biggest, and many say, best, conference to date.

For those of you who couldn't make it, here's a quick recap of the festivities:

Thursday night
Banner sponsor Transcontinental treated Gala attendees to Transcontininis, their special (and secret) blue drink, complete with a cherry on top. In the middle actually. Blue and red, it was pretty as well as tasty.

Many people asked me if there'd be food at the Quebecor sponsored gala or if they needed pre-eat. Totally valid question as it's something I'd normally pounce on. Yes there were eats. What kind? You had to be there as it's making me quite hungry to recall it.

The lovely Matt Masters band performed a short set for the crowd, spoken word artist Robey Stothart, aka Sabo Forte, performed two pieces, one he wrote especially for AMPA members (check out the full piece in the next issue of MagaScene), and Chris Turner, author of The Geography of Hope, urged publishers to pay their freelancers more money. As a freelancer in addition to being an AMPA-ite, I definitely concur with that.

The Editor of the Year Award was announced at the Gala. The recipient of our inaugural award honouring excellence by an editor of an Alberta magazine is Michael McCullough, editor of Alberta Venture. Congratulations Mike! Check out for more details.

The silent auction featured over 50 items, and some of you got amazing deals on hotel packages, spa treatments, professional development courses and the like. The live auction also featured killer deals for those who bidded. Lucky.

Friday was a jam-packed day. Began with breakfast and a presentation from Neva Murtha of Markets Initiative. The smaller rooms were smaller than we would've liked, so we'll be looking into improving this for next year's conference.

Keynote Jason Brightman espoused the web's virtues and blew people away at his session, as did many of our illustrious speakers like Kim Machado, Charlene Rooke, and Kevin Menshik at their respective sessions.

Showcase Awards -
were announced during the wine and cheese at day's end. Congrats to all!
Winners of the Showcase Award are:
Best Editorial Short - Alberta Venture magazine for "Roughing It In the Patch"
Best Feature Layout - techlife magazine for "Corbin in the Kitchen"
Best Cover - CalgaryInc. magazine for "Philanthropists' Bright New Ideas"

Check out the entries at

I was in bed by 9:00pm Friday night from all the running around. Normally this is not something a 25 year old would gloat about in a public forum, however, I think given the circumstances there was no other outcome. The end of the conference is a bit sad for me, like a baby you've nurtured only to have it grow up and run off to school.

And now for the shout-outs...
Thank you to our volunteers: Betty, Don, Sheila, and to the AMPA team: Angie, Cathy, Colleen, Julia (and Ollie), Margaret, Committee members: Jim Z, AMPA Board of Directors: Rob T., Gary D., Merla T., Allan L., Karen C., Karen N., Tracy H, Tom T, Agnes Z, and all the attendees.

And we cannot forget the sponsors, with whom this would not have been possible: Quebecor World, Transcontinental, Calgary Colorpress/Central Web, CDS Global, Access Copyright, Travel Alberta, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, JuneWarren Publishing Ltd., Grant MacEwan College, Masthead magazine, McCallum Printing, Mount Royal College, PrintWest, Printworks, Prolific Graphics, SAIT Polytechnic, Teldon Print Media, Texterity.

And now...time to start planning next year's conference! Will keep you updated on how that goes!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And now...with more boxes!

We're two days away from the 12th Annual Alberta Magazines Conference, and the best way of telling, aside from couriers' sarcastic comments about our "spacious office," is by looking at this:

It looks like something's exploded, and yes, that's Colleen, AMPA's ED trying to work amidst the chaos that is pre-conference time.

My desk is no better.I'm embarrassed to say that this is an actual snapshot of my work area. Those dishes are, oh, about 3 weeks old...

However, despite the disaster zone that is currently our office, we're pumped about the conference and all that it contains: performances, Showcase Awards, Editor of the Year Award, Trade Show, and all the mix and mingling you could ask for. Can't wait to see you all!