Wednesday, July 30, 2008

AMPed Up - Design Pairings August 14th

Join AMPA and the Uppercase Gallery in Calgary's Art Central for a gathering for designers on Thursday, August 14.

Design Pairings is a networking and learning opportunity, featuring a talk and design feedback from Uppercase founder and proprietor Janine Vangool. The evening focuses on pairings: which typeface perfectly suits which image? Plus, Uppercase will have all its best toys on hand: letraset, woodtype, dimensional letters, rubber stamps, stickers, pegboard letters, typewriters, etc. so that people can play with type. No computers—this is all hands-on.

Janine graduated from the Visual Communications program at the Alberta College of Art & Design in 1995. Her solo design studio, Vangool Design & Typography, was formed the following year. Her client focus remains in arts and culture, creative small business and publishing. Past and current clients include Calgary Opera, ACAD, Ottawa Art Gallery, TRUCK gallery, Art Central, Beyond Magazine and Whitecap Books. Her award-winning work has been included in Communication Arts Design Annuals. She was a member of the 2007 Alternative Pick illustration jury and was a judge for the 2006 Junos' music packaging category.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


100 7th Avenue SW, Downtown Calgary

7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

FREE event, open to the public

PS - Wine and cheese will be provided. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Magazines Canada's Recommendations to Canada Post

A delegation from Magazines Canada met with a federal panel reviewing Canada Post's operations and made recommendations on how Canada Post can ensure a continued mutually beneficial relationship with the magazine industry. Here are the key recommendations the delegation made, along with more information about the review from Magazines Canada's Cover Lines:

1. There should be a “postal contract” between Canada Post and the Federal Government which clarifies the crown corporation’s roles and responsibilities.

2. An independent regulator should be created to ensure compliance with the “postal contract” and provide for arbitration of disputes.

3. Lettermail Rates should rise with actual delivery costs

4. Rate increases should be transparent, timely and predictable

5. Competition should be introduced in magazine delivery

6. Distance- Related Pricing should be put on hold pending the Panel’s report.

The delegation pointed out that the Canadian magazine industry’s very substantial reliance on Canada Post did not happen by accident. Building a reliable ‘Canadian’ distribution system, with Canada Post at its centre, has been federal policy for over 150 years.

Noting the interest in the postal services of other jurisdictions as possible models for the future, the delegation stressed two points that make Canada unique in some important ways:

Canada is a huge land mass with a dispersed and relatively small population. Few other jurisdictions in the world face the same challenges in moving mail and magazines.

From an industry point of view, our proximity to the US magazine and entertainment industry is a truly unique situation found no where else in the world. This has been a defining aspect of magazine policy for years and for good reason. The US is the world’s largest exporter of magazines and Canada is its largest export market.

Magazines Canada will certainly welcome learning from the postal experiences of other countries but underlines the need to ensure that Canada’s differences are fully taken into account.

Magazines Canada will provide a comprehensive submission to the panel by September 2008 that it will also release to members.

The delegation included Terry Sellwood, General Manager, Quarto Communications, publishers of Cottage Life and explore magazines, and Vice Chair, Magazines Canada; François Blondin, Business Manager, Production & Information Technology, Transcontinental Media and Chair, Magazines Canada Postal Committee; Michael Fox, Senior Vice President, Rogers Media Publishing and member of the Magazines Canada Public Affairs Committee; Mark Jamison, CEO, Magazines Canada; and Jim Everson, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Magazines Canada.

For more information, contact Mark Jamison, CEO, Magazines Canada at

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calgary Blow-Out 2008!

Blow Out! 2008

Started in 2004 as a one-night event to celebrate the diverse literary talent in Calgary, The Calgary Blow Out! became a full-fledged festival in 2005. Held in the late summer every year since then by the editorial collective of filling Station magazine, the festival has expanded at times to include music, film, theatre, and, this year, visual art. Blow Out! continues to showcase an explosive amount of creative work from both established and emerging artists.

All events are FREE, open to the public, and promise to blow you away (in a good way, of course).

filling Station Magazine is thrilled to announce
The Fourth Annual

Thursday July 31 to Saturday August 2 2008

PLUS: NEW! Small Press Book & Arts Fair, Saturday August 2 1:00-5:00 PM
with media artist performances by local artists Travis Murphy & Anne Koizumi,
Samuel Garrigó Meza and The Arbour Lake Sghool

This explosive literary festival once again puts the spotlight on Calgary's talented writing community, featuring twenty-five poets, performers, and fiction writers that are either locally-based or have strong ties to the city.

Four Amazing Events:

Event A: Flywheel Throwdown!
Filling Station's regular reading series pumps us up for the Blow Out!
(Please note the new venue!)

Thursday July 31, 7:30 PM
Pages Books on Kensington
1135 Kensington Road N.W.
Readers: Christopher Blais, Emily Carr, Jocelyn Grossé, Jonathan Ball


Event B: The Big Fat Opera Takeover
Great big literary voices challenge the Pavarotti-sized acoustics of Arrata!

Friday August 1, 8:00 PM
Arrata Opera Centre
1315 - 7 Street SW
Readers: Christian Bök, Aritha Van Herk, Carmen Derksen, Glen Dresser, Ian Sampson, Jordan Scott, Julia Williams
Host: Jonathan Ball
DJ: DJ Geosphere


Event C: Small Press Book & Arts Fair
New addition to the Blow Out! Includes media artist performances by local artists Travis Murphy & Anne Koizumi, Samuel Garrigó Meza and The Arbour Lake Sghool starting at 3:00 PM!

Saturday August 2, 1-5 PM
Arrata Opera Centre
1315 - 7 Street SW
Participants: Small pressers, artists, bands, and other folk hawk handmade books, glossy print mags, zines, broadsides, CDs, and other enticing you-name-its.


Event D: The Pantoum of the Opera
There may not be phantoms or even pantoums*, but all manner of words haunt Arrata tonight!

Saturday August 2, 8:00 PM
Arrata Opera Centre
1315 - 7 Street SW
Readers: Craig Boyko, Jason Christie, Melanie Little, Chris Ewart, Clem Martini, Andrew Wedderburn, Sheri-D Wilson
Host: Derek Beaulieu
DJ: Pilgrim

* The pantoum consists of a series of quatrains rhyming abab. The second and fourth lines of the first quatrain recur as the first and third lines in the following quatrain. Succeeding quatrains introduce a new second rhyme, i.e. abab bcbc. The form can include as many stanzas as the poet wishes as long as they follow this structure. The closing stanza opens with the second line of the previous stanza, but the second and fourth lines come from the first stanza. Hence, the last stanza is structured like this: Line 2 of previous stanza Line 3 of first stanza Line 4 of previous stanza Line 1 of first stanza. Most Blow Out readers won't be reading these!


Of course, there'll also be books, booze and plenty of filling Station Magazines available for purchase!

All Blow Out! events are absolutely FREE and open to the public. Join us in celebration of Calgary's booming literary talent!

Laurie Fuhr
Managing Editor, filling Station

filling Station gratefully acknowledges the kind support of the following sponsors of Blow Out! #4:


ABOUT filling Station
filling Station is a locally-based, nationally-distributed literary magazine that is dedicated to showcasing innovative poetry, fiction, drama, film and visual art, and promoting local and international arts communities.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Simply Magnetic

AMPA's got some awesome new swag. We've got these handmade magnets from artist Paul Abrey. They're cheeky, they're unique, and they support your local Albertan magazines. As a tactile person, my favourite thing about them is the texture (matte finish), and way they feel in my hands (lighter than you'd expect).

5 x 5 cm square tiles made of MDF, painted twice, sanded twice, silkscreened, then lacquered--a lot of love went into these magnets.

You can order them by mailing a cheque to:
Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA)
#204, 1039 17 Avenue SW
Calgary, AB T2T 0B2

$2 each, $6 for the set of four. +$2 for shipping.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

AlbertaViews' one-question survey on universities

AlbertaViews magazine will publish its annual Education issue this September. One of the feature stories, written by U of C professor Harry Vanderlist, considers the autonomy of Alberta's universities. The story asks: How have universities in Alberta changed over the past two decades? What do we want from our universities, and where are they heading?

Please feel free to complete this one-question survey about Alberta's universities. Responses should be sent to

The results will be published anonymously, but if you'd like to make additional comments and will allow AlbertaViews to publish them along with your name, please indicate this.

Q: What should be the main purpose(s) of Alberta's universities?

(Choose up to three; order selected randomly)

a) to be the critic and conscience of society

b) to train workers

c) to preserve knowledge

d) to promote social class mobility

e) to encourage the pursuit of truth

f) to invent useful products/technologies

g) to prepare citizens for democratic participation

h) to be a place to which citizens can withdraw to gain perspective on life

i) to perform research on behalf of the corporate sector

j) to be a place for people to develop fully as human beings (i.e. their hearts, minds and souls)

Additional comments:

Your name (optional):

In order to ensure your response is tallied, please reply within 10 days. Results will be published in AlbertaViews' September issue. Email Ellen Close at, or phone 403-243-5334 with any questions.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Calculate how much Distance-Related Pricing will affect your publication

Starting January 2009, Canada Post will be switching to distance-related pricing for magazines. According to Canada Post, the changes are needed to offset rising fuel prices, an increase in Canadian addresses, and letter carrier costs remaining the same despite decreases in the number of letters mailed.

This could have some devastating effects on Canadian publishers.

More info below (from the Magazines Canada blog):

To find out exactly what the ramifications are, Magazines Canada has created a downloadable, do-it-yourself calculator that will give publishers a clearer sense of the inflation of their mailing costs under the new scheme. The calculator, based on an Excel spreadsheet, is also available on the organization's website under "Public Affairs".

Of course, the national lobby organization has a clear motive for publishing the calculator; it is hoping that publishers will do the math and let the organization know how hard they will be hit before writing to their member of Parliament to protest.

Canada Post will be releasing its new official rate card on July 14, at which time it will release the correct postal codes to use for mail entry points. As discussed in an earlier post, many publishers were finding that their LCP software was not producing accurate counts because CP was providing incorrect codes which counted all outgoing mail as national in nature. Under DRP, magazines are expected to pay no increase for delivery of "local" copies, up to 1 cent for regional and up to 3 cents for national. In effect, national distribution may cost many magazines an unprecedented increase in delivery costs of up to 8%.
"Many titles not based in large urban centres but that have mostly national reach could be at serious risk,whether or not they are eligible for the Publications Assistance Program (PAP)," said MagsCan in a release. "On top of the negative impact, the Government of Canada is rejecting its own cultural policy concerning access to content.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Magazines: Kids Love 'Em

According to a 2008 Canadian Youth Magazine Resonance Study, kids read magazines. Not only that, they are fiercely loyal. The study was funded by Toronto's Paton Publishing (and is a follow-up to a study in 2001/02). It consisted of more than 200 kids aged 8-14 who documented their weekly reading habits, and general attitudes towards print.

Here are some findings:
  • despite a cornucopia of media available, 93% still like reading magazines, more than half felt magazines gave them more interesting things to do
  • kids multitask less when reading a magazine when compared to most other media
  • because magazines are portable, they provide kids with instant gratification anywhere
  • magazines can be shared with family and friendsmagazines can be read over and over again
  • top magazines are: YTV's Whoa!, Owl, and Pop! while other mentions included The Magazine, chickaDEE, Kidsworld and National Geographic.