Monday, June 30, 2008


Here's a sampling of what's going on in Alberta magazines today. Chew away.

Alberta Venture names Alberta's 50 Most Influential People

Edmonton, Alberta--In its 12th year, the annual list is the cover story of the July issue of Alberta Venture, hitting newsstands July 7th or available immediately online at Featuring Premier Ed Stelmach on the cover, other notable headline-makers include business leaders such as Encana CEO Randy Eresman, Calgary Opera backer Said Arrata, Nexopia creator Timo Ewalds and new Oilers owner Daryl Katz. This year's list also features a trio of Nobel Peace Prize Honorees in Stefan Bachu, Bill Gunter and David Keith.

"This year's list is populated with modern Medicis, human rights protectors, CEOs and rising tech stars," says Michael McCullough, editor of Alberta Venture. "It reflects Alberta's broader economy, a noticeable shift in thinking about economic sustainability, and a growing emphasis on arts and culture," he adds.

Alberta Views' Short Story Competition Deadline Today

Make your final edits and finishing flourishes because today is the deadline for Alberta Views' short story competition. Alberta Views has been publishing original fiction by Albertans for over 10 years, and is proud to host the only short story competition specifically for Albertan writers.

Did you know? The winner (Kari Lund-Teigen, Pruning Martin) and runner-up (Barb Howard, Western Taxidermy) in the 2007 competition were both honoured with Western Magazine Award nominations. Don't delay, get your submissions in today.

BC Imposes Carbon Tax Act

Taken from LawNow's e-newsletter, an easy way to stay informed about the latest law news.

This Act takes effect in British Columbia on July 1, 2008. It imposes a surcharge of $10 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide emissions in the first year, climbing to $30 per tonne by 2012. The tax applies to all emissions from fossil fuel combustion, including gasoline, home heating furnace oil, and natural gas. The tax is to be revenue-neutral, requiring the government to return the funds raised by the carbon tax to people and businesses through tax cuts. Low-income earners will receive a quarterly tax credit.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Awards season - Alberta mags do us proud

Alberta magazines cleaned house at the Western Magazine Awards last week in BC (no surprise to us). Even better, they are also recognized on a national level, garnering some notable wins at the National Magazine awards. We already knew Alberta had some crazy talented folks. The awards just confirm that. Congratulations to all!

Western Magazine Awards

Arts, Culture and Entertainment
Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts
• Escape from Beige, Chris Turner, Avenue

• The West Goes Green, Charlene Rooke, Western Living

Best New Magazine
Sponsored by Masthead

Magazine of the Year–AB/NWT

National Magazine Awards Winners Announced


Art Direction for an Entire Issue / Direction artistique pour l’ensemble d’un numéro
Malcolm Brown
The Giving Issue


Columns / Chroniques
Linda Goyette
Hidebound on the Hill; Please Don't Go; Namoya

Fred Stenson
The Good War; Western Canadian Tourism; Science Friction

Editorial Package / Dossiers thématiques
Chris Koentges, Arnica Rowan, Lisa Gregoire, Carol Harrington, Russell McCaw, Scott Messenger, Chris Purdy, Jennifer Cockrall-King, Lindsey Norris, Jesse Semko, Natasha Mekhail, Dan Rubinstein
The Giving Issue

Science, Technology & the Environment / Science, technologie et environnement
Jeremy Klaszus
Down the River

Karen Klassen
Mixed Signals

Graham Roumieu
Get Schooled

Spot Illustration / Illustrations éclair
Anthony Brennan
Bone Voyage

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yay! AMPA Loves the Eco Kit

It isn't that hard to be green, but it can be pretty dang painfully becoming green. Where to begin? What to do? What will it cost? Markets Initiative, the tireless environmental non-profit that works to protect ancient forests, has come up with a comprehensive (and compact) guide. The Eco Kit is directed at magazine publishers, and offers the skinny on everything from choosing eco-paper to creating demand to deciphering the chain of custody.

The Eco Kit can be downloaded directly from, or requested from AMPA. The hard copy is printed on "the wheat sheet," an eco-paper made from a by-product of wheat processing. Developing the wheat sheet was a joint effort by Markets Initiative and the Alberta Research Council, and went public as the substrate of choice for Canadian Geographic's recent environment issue. With major steps like these, green is getting a little bit more accessible.

Monday, June 16, 2008

48% of Canadians may be unable to read this headline

According to a recent study by the Canada Council On Learning, 48% of all Canadians, are, based on international literacy standards for modern societies, illiterate. More bad news? This low literacy rate is likely to remain the same through to 2031.

People who with difficulties reading can face the following:
- illness more often than those who are literate
- more medication errors
- more workplace accidents
- less earnings
- are likely to die younger

The study shows that "men and women of all ages, cultural backgrounds and demographic groups face literacy challenges." Furthermore, there are different literacy levels, rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being "very poor" and 4/5 considered "strong skills."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lynn Fraser, AMPA's Volunteer of the Year

Lynn Fraser’s official title is the managing editor of FreeFall. However, she goes well beyond her editorial duties for the magazine, doing everything including volunteer management for the volunteer-run magazine, the business management (developing financial stability), distribution, and sales. Plus, she helped build up FreeFall’s current board of directors.

L to R (at the Magazines Canada Volunteer Awards Ceremony): Shawn Dalton, Linda Hazelwood, Lynn, Linda & Jim Gourlay, Joyce Byrne (Magazines Canada board), Robert Goyette (Magazines Canada president)

If that wasn’t impressive enough, Lynn suffered a stroke a couple of months ago, and yet, continued to compile the last issue’s submissions from her hospital bed. She is a truly deserving winner of AMPA’s Volunteer of the Year, exemplifying how important and valuable volunteers are to the magazine industry. As recipient of this honour, Lynn travelled to Toronto to be recognized at a ceremony hosted by Magazines Canada.

L to R (at the Magazines Canada Volunteer Awards Ceremony): Colin Martin (filling Station board president), Anne Burke (publisher of Prairie Journal), Lynn Fraser

Congratulations Lynn!!

Venture Publishing Acquires Alberta Oil Magazine

Venture Publishing, publishers of business magazines Alberta Venture and Unlimited, added Alberta Oil, a Calgary-based oil and gas magazine, to its roster of publications. Formerly published by Skinnyfish Media, Alberta Oil has been a trusted resource for the energy sector, and Venture Publishing has plans to expand its editorial breadth, frequency, and reach.

Venture president and publisher Ruth Kelly says,"Alberta Oil is a great fit for Venture. It complements our existing roster of business publications and will allow us to drill deeper on this vital sector of Alberta's economy. We look forward to bringing our expertise to this already strong magazine and to increasing its value to its 60,000 influential business readers."

Changes to occur immediately include an increase in frequency from quarterly issues to six issues a year. A circulation strategy will be devised by Venture's director of circulation Diedre Van Norman, whose experience in Houston, Texas and Pennwest's Oil and Gas Journal will be invaluable. A redesign of the magazine will also be undertaken by National Magazine Award winning art-director, Malcolm Brown.

Look for the first issue under Venture's helm to be released in September 2008 at the Oil Sands conference in Edmonton.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Oilweek Celebrates 60 years

Oilweek, Canada's Oil and Gas Authority, is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this June. That's right, its 60th! That's longer than some companies last. A special collectible edition is on newsstands now (and it is slick, you'll want to pick one up).

I just interviewed editor Dale Lunan about the special date, so look for the feature in June's MagaScene, to be emailed next week.

Haven't signed up for MagaScene yet? Do so here, at:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Write 800 words for Amber

Attended Amber Bowerman's beautiful memorial service yesterday. It is a testament to her vivacity that the event was a celebration of her bright life and a reflection of all the laughter and joy she spread wherever she went.

Writer/Editor Susan Pederson has a great idea for keeping Amber's legacy alive -- donate proceeds from your next 800 word story to Amber's scholarship fund, c/o the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, #204, 1039 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0B2. Please memo "Amber" and note that AMPA is a non-profit society, not a registered charity; we cannot issue tax receipts.

Also, write a story about the Amber you knew and loved, or always wanted to know better, or never did know aside from her stories. She touched and impacted a lot of people through her writing and her giving nature. You could do the same...(read on)

AMPA Communications and Program Assistant


By Susan Pederson

Amber Bowerman was a beautiful, caring and talented writer, who left this world all too early.

It's an enormous loss to all who knew and loved her, and to those who will never read her words again. It leaves us all feeling deeply shaken, and those of us who also make our living as journalists feel a profound connection to Amber. I imagine the stories she was working on, the ones she was excited about, and I read about the interviews she missed the morning after her death. It seems unconscionable that her insightful written voice could be gone forever.

I want to do something with that sense of loss, so I’ve decided to donate the payment from the next 800 words that I write to the arts and journalism scholarship that has been established in honour of Amber, through the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association (AMPA). It surely will not bring Amber back, but I need to feel that in my own small way, I can take some action that will mark her remarkable life in a tangible way.

I want to encourage all others who make their living as writers to also “write 800 words for Amber” and donate the payment from those 800 words to Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, 204-1039 17 Ave. S.W. Calgary, Alberta, T2T 0B2 with memo "Amber."

Why 800 words? Because 800 words is a manageable amount to write at one sitting, so you can take action quickly. And since most of the writers I know are not millionaires, the payment from an 800-word assignment (or 800 words of a longer assignment) will not break the bank – but together, can make a real difference in the life of a rising journalist.

Please send this to every writer you know and encourage them to do the same, and as you write those 800 words, think of Amber Bowerman, and make it your best work ever.

Deadline: ASAP.

Monday, June 2, 2008

R.I.P Amber

Amber Michelle Bowerman July 23, 1977 - May 27, 2008

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that AMPA and the Alberta publishing community, say good-bye to Amber Bowerman, a passionate and talented writer, a loving and joyful friend.

"We have suffered a tragic loss in our publishing community. Amber Bowerman was a talented writer and magazine professional," says Colleen Seto, AMPA's Executive Director.

"For those of you who knew Amber, and also for those who didn't, what's obvious is that she was an amazing person. We must not only mourn her death, but also celebrate her accomplished and happy life," says Seto.

For those of you wondering how you can help or pay respects, for the time being, AMPA is collecting contributions for a journalism scholarship fund in Amber's name on behalf of the family. Cheques may be made out to AMPA and sent to: #204, 1039 - 17 Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2T 0B2. Please memo "Amber." AMPA is a non-profit society, not a registered charity; we cannot issue tax receipts.

In the weeks to come, AMPA will also confirm details about plans to commemorate Amber.

Condolences may be sent through the funeral home.

Details about Amber's memorial service can be found in her obituary.

Amber, you will be greatly missed.