Thursday, November 27, 2008

Magazines Ontario Receives OMDC Funding for Innovative Digital Initiative

The Ontario Media Development Corporation has announced that Magazines Ontario will receive a portion of the $3.3 million Entertainment and Creative Cluster Partnerships Fund to support its Digital Discovery program.

The Digital Discovery project will see the creation of a digital newsstand, allowing member magazines -- with a particular emphasis on those from Ontario -- to create digital editions of their titles, with the aim to generate additional revenue and increase readership.

"This project supports the creation and hosting of digital editions of Ontario and other Canadian magazines. Magazines Canada will research and, through an RFP process, select an independent and seasoned provider of digital services to develop a conversion, delivery, and maintenance solution. A marketing plan will help magazines utilize the materials created to access new markets, improve customer satisfaction and keep pace with trends in new media and mobile technology."

"This exciting project will allow magazine creators to take more homegrown content to the world," said Magazines Ontario /Canada CEO Mark Jamison. "This is truly a public-private partnership because with each dollar invested by the Ontario Government today, the industry will immediately invest another $3. The return begins right away."

See the OMDC press release here:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Special Holiday Deals from AMPA

Bundle Up!

Brr... it's cold out there! Tired of running around, trying to find perfect gifts for friends and family in this chilly winter weather? Bundle Up! With AMPA's holiday subscription packages!

Choose from one of our fail-safe bundles, grouped by area of interest. Subscribe to two mags from your choice bundle and get 15% off, or subscribe to three mags and get 25% off!

AMPA will send your giftee a card AND a beautiful, handmade AMPA magnet by December 25th, and they’ll receive their magazines in time to cure their January/February doldrums.

Just choose from the list below, send your picks and the recipient's name and address to, and we'll send you an invoice for the discounted price.

Act now - we hate to remind you, but time is running out!

Arts and Literary Bundle

dANDelion, Filling Station, Legacy, Other Voices, Penguin Eggs, Prairie Journal, Galleries West, and Canadian Scrapbooker

Food and Wine Bundle

City Palate, Wine Access, and the Edible Prairie Journal

Business Bundle

CalgaryInc., Unlimited, Northwest Business, Cool Companies, Alberta Venture, Oilweek, Oil and Gas Inquirer, and Oilsands Review

Family Life Bundle

Bride & Groom, Calgary’s Child, MOM Magazine, Homeschooler’s Guide, and Real Woman on the Run

Animal Lovers Bundle

Canadian Cowboy Country, Canine Review, Citizen Pet, and Western Horse Review

Sports and Recreation Bundle

Blaze, IMPACT, Fly Fusion, and Alberta Outdoorsman, and BLOOM

Social/Political Bundle

Alberta Views, LawNow, FARMING FOR TOMORROW, Prairies North, and Windspeaker

Monday, November 17, 2008

Magazines Ontario Website Launched!

A Magazines Ontario committee was formed in May, 2008, and today their website was officially launched, with links to AMPA, MMPA (Manitoba and Saskatchewan), AQEM (Quebec) and AMA (Atlantic provinces).

Several industry leaders have joined the new committee including Graham Scott of This, Terry Sellwood of Cottage Life and Explore, Sharon McAuley of Toronto Life and Matt Robinson of Outpost. More members will be announced shortly.

A key focus for the committee will be public affairs and issues specific to Ontario magazines. The committee will advise and advocate for Ontario-based magazines, and liaise with the Ontario Ministry of Culture, Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Arts Council on issues specific to the Ontario magazine and publishing industry.

"Although Magazines Canada has always pursued many Ontario issues on behalf of dozens of Ontario-based members, it has always done so under its national 'brand.' That changes with the creation of Magazines Ontario as part of the 'big tent' approach," said Terry Sellwood, committee member and Vice Chair of Magazines Canada. "Although many of our members have a national audience, being based in Ontario means they must know regional business conditions. This committee will work for Ontario magazines and make the connection to associations and titles right across Canada."

AMPA welcomes the Ontario Magazine committee to the club! Check out the new website at

Friday, November 14, 2008

We Will Survive.....Right?

With the current economic crisis reaching global proportions (the BBC reported this morning that the Euro is in recession for the first time since its inception), the arts seem to be the first budgetary appendage on the chopping block.

With the Harper government announcing the cancellation of Canada's first National Portrait Gallery last week after more than seven years of planning, and world-renowned paintings by British artist Francis Bacon and US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat being auctioned off for a quarter of their anticipated value (a mere 27.4 million as opposed to 86.2 million...but a huge drop nonetheless), the visual arts market is taking a nosedive in the economic crunch.

But what about the literary arts market? Toronto Life editor Sarah Fulford spoke this week at Ryerson University about why magazines will survive, despite the unstable economy. Only time can tell what will and won't endure, but as we watch and wait with our fists (and wallets) clenched tightly, her optimistic voice is a breath of fresh air. So read on, and breathe deeply...

“When people talk about the death of print, they’re really talking about the death of newspapers. For about 4,000 reasons, most of them too complicated to address here, newspapers are every year less reliable, less comprehensive, less good at their primary function.”

“As physical objects, magazines are lovely to own. We live today in the great age of design. Never before have ordinary people been so obsessed with decor, fashion, architecture or style. There is an enormous appetite for consumable beauty and magazines play into that marvelously. Done right, magazines are eye-catching objects of elegance, satisfying to hold and behold.”

“I think people read magazines to belong to a community, to get a sense of intimacy, to experience catharsis, beauty, and in some way feel smarter. In short, they read them to understand the way people live today.”

“The greatest threat, in my opinion, to the core of Canadian magazines is not the recession because we will survive this one. It`s not the Internet, either, but rather an internal spiritual danger...In my world, writers often seemed to paint their subjects in the best possible light. They certainly weren’t betraying their subjects—if anything they were betraying their readers who had paid $4.95 for their issue.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Filling Station presents the Hot Sundae Launch Party!

Hot Sundae is a Filling Station Magazine launch, featuring Single Onion’s Annual Poetry Orgy, renowned surrealist author Stuart Ross (Toronto), and Musicians Travis Murphy & Heat Ray - all together in one bowl!

Filling Station, the locally created, nationally distributed literary and arts magazine, launches Issue 42. Single Onion Poetry Society’s Annual ‘Poetry Orgy’ brings surrealist author Stuart Ross from Toronto together with readers from 7 different local poetry groups: Most Vocal, Red Mile Revenge, dANDelion, Magpie Haiku Poets, Calgary SLAM!, Passion Pitch Poetry and NoD Magazine. Up and coming indie rock darlings Heat Ray, including members of beloved band Hot Little Rocket, put a cherry on top of the evening, with support from visual-artist-come-musician Travis Murphy. Don’t miss this sinfully delicious evening!

Hot Sundae Launch!
November 16, 2008
7:30 PM
Marquee Room
610 8th Avenue SW (in Uptown Theatre building)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Canadian Writers Group Launched

Derek Finkle, an award-winning Canadian freelance writer, has successfully and officially launched the Canadian Writers Group, a first-of-its-kind agency for freelance writers in Canada.

“Even for the most talented and productive magazine and newspaper writers, freelancing in Canada hasn’t been a profession with a sufficiently viable career arc in my lifetime,” Finkle said in a recent press release.

The agency will represent freelance writers in their negotiations with magazines, newspapers, and online publications, as well as marketing writers to corporate and editorial employers and liaising with other agencies. Along with Derek Finkle, one of the agency's greatest resources is media lawyer Ian MacKinnon, who will provide legal advice on the negotiation of rights and other issues on behalf of the group's writers.

The CWG website reports that in 35 years, the rates that consumer magazines pay their freelance writers have increased very marginally, if at all. The CWG intends to reverse the devaluation of Canada's freelance writers, and will work to reconcile these long-standing problems by negotiating fair fees and rights for all stories, blogs, columns, and corporate projects written by CWG members.

The Canadian Writers Group has held two preliminary meetings in Toronto so far, and has signed more than 80 of Canada's most talented and renowned writers, and they hope to sign at least 70 more this fall. The agency will open for business in February 2009.

For more information, details, or to join the group, please visit their website at: