Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Participants wanted for Shifting Landscape of Magazines - Web 2.0 Study

PLEASE JOIN IN NOW BY SURFING & COMMENTING
The study welcomes the participation of anyone who is working, or has worked, in magazines. The more people contributing to this important conversation the better, so please join in. To participate, all you have to do is browse the site and comment, comment, comment. Based on the interest of people who would like to participate (but haven’t had a chance to yet), the study has been extended to run until the end of January 2010. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far.

STUDY OVERVIEW
This past May, media veteran Joel Johnson wrote a post on Boing Boing about the tensions between Wired.com and Wired magazine, expressing fear that mainstream magazines would not be able to make the transition to online because “they can’t accept that the work at which they have excelled for years will be just as important when it’s online — and online only.” Thirty minutes later the first response to Johnson’s piece was posted, followed by a steady stream of comments that would sustain...READ MORE

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Happy Holidays from the AMPA team!

Wishing you and your loved ones a warm and relaxing holiday season.

The AMPA office will be closed from December 24th, returning on January 4th, 2010.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Free tools for Alberta instructors - Western Magazine Awards Foundation Curriculum Project

Through a grant from the WMAF, Janice Paskey, assistant professor of journalism at Mount Royal University, together with MRU journalism student Jessica Petillot, and Information Design student Julie Cripps, worked on a series of PowerPoint presentations that bring award-winning WMAF winners to the classroom.


These are available free of charge to all instructors through login from the WMAF home page.

To All Professional Publishing Program Instructors
The Western Magazine Awards Foundation is pleased to offer course curriculums in both writing and art direction. Using the winning entries in the Provincial Gold Awards and the Art Direction Awards, the WMAF has developed teaching programs to help students understand what works in today’s magazine publishing world—and why.

The curriculums are available for use, by instructors only, at any college or university level writing, design or magazine publishing program. There is no charge for this service.

To access the secure login area, please visit www.westernmagazineawards.ca and click on the 2009 WMA Curriculum Project link. You will be asked to identify yourself and your educational facility. Within 48 hours, login credentials will be emailed to you from corey@westernmagazineawards.ca. Then, login again to our web site and click on the Curriculum and Instructor Notes link. You will find a PowerPoint presentation as well as Instructor Notes for each entry.

This is a new program for us and the WMAF would love to hear what you think. Please share your opinions by writing to corey@westernmagazineawards.ca.

Thank you for including the Western Magazine Awards in your Publishing Program.


Western Magazine Awards Foundation Curriculum Project

The publications represented in these presentations are:

The Beaver, Manitoba
beavermagazine.ca
­­­­
Westworld Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan
canadawide.com

Swerve, Alberta/NWT
calgaryherald.com/swerve-magazine

up! magazine, BC/Yukon
up-magazine.com

Vancouver Magazine, Best Art Direction Cover/Best Art Direction Article
vanmag.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Magazine Closures Taper Off

Folio recently reported that while there were 428 titles in the U.S. that closed their doors, that number is still down from closures in 2008 and 2007. While magazine closures are never a happy thing, the fact that the number of mags shutting down is down is a good sign for the industry at large.

See the whole story.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Paper made from wheat, rice and straw bits? Uh huh. Agricultural Residue Papers can become a reality--with your help!

Paper in North America comes from trees. But we can learn from countries like China and India that have 20% of their paper made from alternative sources, like wheat, rice and straw.

Though 300 book publishers, magazines and newspapers in North America support both the development and use of paper made from agricultural residues (such as the Wheat Sheet seen in Canadian Geographic's June 2008 issue), no infrastructure for these papers exists.

If you are a magazine publisher, decision-maker, large paper consumer, Canopy needs your help to shape the next steps in creating a future for a North American agricultural residue pulp and paper infrastructure.

Have your say—this study will help Canopy identify new and emerging opportunities for environmental paper development. Complete the survey by December 20, 2009.

For more information, please contact: Neva Murtha, Second Harvest Campaigner 604-817-4964 neva@canopyplanet.org

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Web Words: engage readers AND search engines with Lisa Manfield

How can a magazine's website, or any website, keep your attention?

Magazine and web consultant Lisa Manfield gave workshops in Calgary and Edmonton on how a magazine's website can satisfy both the human reader and the bots that crawl your website.

Whether you're a magazine, or trying to sell a service, here are a few quick tips on what you can do to maximize your online presence.

Know how people read online
In print, people are generally content to pore over copy and devote time to reading. Online, people are specifically looking for information. People scan a page in under 10 seconds and if they don't see what they want, then buh bye, they're onto the next website.

Websites are not the best place to put content that couldn't fit into a magazine. In fact, Lisa says that the opposite is true. The web is so vast and attention spans so short, that the content has to be relevant, easy to navigate and engaging at first glance--there are no second chances.

How to write for online
Magazine writers and editors are so fond of crafting clever headlines in print, but this does not work online! Text has to be broken up into sections with clear headings and subheadings so people can scan for information quickly. While narrative arc is the hallmark of good stories in print, computers cause eye fatigue, so chances are, you'll lose your reader at hello if they don't see what they want right away.
  • use bulleted or numbered lists where possible
  • stick to one idea per paragraph
  • cut your word count in half from what it would be in print
  • make it easy for readers to find what they want
  • use the inverted pyramid style (most pertinent information up top)
Search Engine Optimization: what it is and what to do
Your site is being constantly crawled by bots sent out by search engines. These bots evaluate your content to gauge how relevant it is to a search (search engine indexing).

Some things that affect your site's ranking include:
  • the age of your URL (seniority is good)
  • the frequency of site updates
  • the size of your site
Make your site easy to find by:
  • using keywords
  • place keywords in: titles/subtitles, body text, links, photo and video captions, anchor links (embedding a link into a keyword)
Think like a reader and test your site
Conduct a Google search on your site like a reader would. Does it show up on the first page of search results? Or the 10th page? You can analyze search results using Google Adwords to see if your keywords work.

These are just some of the things you can start to do. If you want more (and trust me, it gets a LOT more detailed and specific), contact consultant Lisa Manfield.

Happy surfing!
-Anh

Communications Specialist, AMPA

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tell Your Story in 5 minutes. Edmonton Story Slam is in its 4th season

Edmonton Story Slam: SEASON 4!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
& the 3rd Wednesday of every month
at the Blue Chair Cafe, 9624 - 76 Avenue
Sign up at 7 p.m. Stage opens at 8 p.m.
5 audience judges. 5 minutes. 10 writers.
Cash prize.

Edmonton Story Slam kicks off Season 4 of live story telling events every month at The Blue Chair Cafe. First chance to Slam is NOVEMBER 18. Everyone is welcome to attend and participate -- it's the best potluck entertainment around. Now is the time to take a risk, feel your pulse, live larger, have an experience you will always remember. Visit your dreams, explore your past, stir your creativity, question your existence, write a story and get on stage to share it with an eagre audience in a welcoming, yet competitive, environment. We gather on the 3rd Wednesday of every month to celebrate stories, be they inspired from our own lives or derived entirely from the labyrinth of our minds.

Arrive early. Share a meal, tip a cup and join a community that welcomes new members and embraces old friends. We have heard stories about childhood, old age, middle age, yearnings, parenthood, mistakes, reckonings, dreams, nightmares, sexuality, food, voyages, adventures, relationships, journeys, war, truth, lies, ancestors, spirituality, ghosts, what ifs, and what might be. Add your musings to the collective.

Congratulations to Tyler Enfield, who is the Edmonton Story Slam Champion for 2008-2009. Season 3 celebrated its peak with The Slam Off finals, which were held October 21 in front of an enthusiastic crowd. To all those who tried to attend and were turned away because of popular demand, please join us for our regular season. Better yet, write a story and get on stage. Past Slam Off champions are: Mark Ramsden (2007) and Jadon Rempel (2008).

Thank you to The Blue Chair Cafe and staff (www.bluechair.ca), Tracy Kolenchuk (Photography: www.pbase.com/tracyk/story_slam_at_blue_chair; also see www.tracyocamera.com); Duncan & Craig LLP; NeWest Press (www.newestpress.com), Vue Weekly. Thank you also for all the hard work from the writers, donations from the audience and enthusiasm from a board of dedicated slam lovers!

Join the Edmonton Story Slam on Facebook for updates and events. Contact: edmontonstoryslam@gmail.com or call 780-915-8869.

Mark your calendar with the Season 4 Slam schedule: 3rd Wednesday of every month
November 18
December 16
January 20
February 17
March 17
April 21
May 19
June 16
July 21
August (no slam: break)
September 15
October 20
November 17

The Rules:
- Sign up at 7 p.m. First 10 writers. Writers must sign up in person.
- Names are drawn randomly from a hat for order of appearance. Writers must be present when names are drawn in order to participate.
- Stopwatch starts ticking as soon as writer begins speaking.
- Each writer tells/reads a story in 5 minutes.
- 1/2 point deducted from score for every 10 seconds over (5 second grace period).
- Gong at 7 minutes.
- 5 audience judges score each story out of 10. High and low scores are eliminated (best out of 30).
- Top score wins the competition and earns a coveted spot in Slam Off (date TBA), where monthly winners face off for the annual title.
- $5 donation (suggested) from the participating writers goes to the Edmonton Story Slam Society to help maintain operations.
- Stories may be fact, fiction or somewhere in-between.
- All pass-the-hat donations from the AUDIENCE go directly to the monthly winner.

Donations from individuals and corporations to the Edmonton Story Slam Society are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for your support!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nov/Dec workshops: Websites, Ad Sales, Money Saving Strategies

I know some of you are waiting for blogs from RAMM. We're not sitting idle--AMPA's been busy working on some exciting seminars (websites, ad sales, money-saving strategies) for November and December. Keep an eye on the early-bird deadlines (first one's November 9th).

Hope to see you there!
-Anh

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November 16, November 18, 2009

Web Words: How to Engage Both Readers and Search Engines

In this workshop, we’ll explore how and why web readers consume online content differently than they do print, and look at best practices for keeping online audiences engaged, including the essential skills of web writing, editing and formatting, and the importance of optimizing your content for search engines. We’ll also take a look at your magazine sites and collectively discuss what works, what could be better and ways to effectively incorporate multimedia into your online mix. So come ready to perform a hands-on review of actual sites, including your own!

About the Speaker
Lisa Manfield has worked in print and online publishing for 13 years as Managing Editor at Orato.com, Marketing Manager at The Tyee, Contributing Editor for Backbone Magazine, Business & Finance editor at Suite101.com, Associate Editor at CGA Magazine and Editor of REALM Magazine. As a publishing consultant, she has developed print and online content, marketing collateral and courseware for CBC TV, the Knowledge Network, WorkSafeBC, the BC and Alberta Magazine Publishers Associations and Magazines Canada. She teaches “Writing and Editing for the Web” and “Marketing Magazines Online” for SFU Writing and Publishing Program and Summer Workshops respectively. She was a member of the editorial collective of Room for eight years and on the Board of Directors (three as VP) for the BC Association of Magazine Publishers.

Lisa came out to the Alberta Magazines Conference this past March, and will add to what she shared with you then, helping you to maximize your websites.

In Calgary:
Monday, November 16

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave SE

In Edmonton:
Wednesday, November 18

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
CORRECTION: Strathcona Library, 8331 104 St NW, Strathcona Program Room (2nd Floor)

Register now via ampa@albertamagazines.com or 403-262-0081.

AMPA Members/Students (with valid FT status): $20 if registered by Nov. 9; $35 afterwards.
Non-members: $30 if registered by Nov. 9; $45 afterwards.


Payment via cheque must be received PRIOR to event to the AMPA office. If payment is $60 or more, we will accept a credit card.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Inject New Life into Your Ad Sales

If you sell advertising for magazines, you need to attend this half-day intensive seminar. Get the goods on developing a sales strategy in this tough economy. We’ll explore how to reach clients, stay on the rate card, handle objections, and build ad sales opportunities inside and outside your magazine. Designed specifically for ad sales people, this seminar ensures you’ll gain a better understanding of how magazine advertising works. Learn the tools of the trade that will help you develop sales strategies—and get the business.

About the Speaker

Gwen Dunant has been in the publishing industry for over 25 years, primarily as an advertising sales consultant. She has sold national and retail advertising space, worked with client publications to develop effective sales tools (such a media kits, rate cards, readership surveys, etc.) and done numerous sales trainings for small to mid-sized publications. She has given seminars at Mags U, MagNet, Ryerson University and many regional associations across Canada. She has played a key role in the development of many professional development programs for Magazines Canada and the Atlantic Magazines Association. She is also the author of “A Short Guide to the Development and Use of Sales Tools for Selling Advertising Space in Canadian Magazines” as well as a contributor to “Small Magazines Advertising – Essentials for Publishers and Sales Representatives”.

Monday, November 23, 2009

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave SE, Calgary

Travel bursaries are available to qualified out-of-Calgary magazine members.

Register now via ampa@albertamagazines.com or 403-262-0081.

AMPA Members: $25 if registered by Nov. 13; $35 afterwards.

Non-members: $35 if registered by Nov. 13; $45 afterwards.

Cash or cheque is preferred. If payment is $50 or more, we will accept a credit card.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Taking a hard look: Money-saving strategies for publishers
There is money to be saved in most, if not all, magazine budgets. Of course publishers should pursue efficiency whenever they can; but in hard times, it's even more important to trim wisely and well. In this seminar, magazine consultant D. B. Scott will examine the typical magazine budgets and explore the kinds of hard questions that need to be asked by the people who manage them. Where is the greatest potential for saving money? And areas where it is penny-wise, but pound foolish to cut? The seminar will provide an opportunity to talk about attending magazines' particular challenges and to identify at least one area everyone can dig into when they get back to the office.

About the Speaker
D. B. Scott (David), the President of Impresa Communications Limited, has built a solid reputation as a consultant, writer, blogger, teacher, market researcher, publisher and editor. His concentration and specialty is the magazine industry. He has been called on for advice in such critical areas as strategic planning, content development, marketing, launches and relaunches, redesigns, audience surveys and focus groups, meeting facilitation and review and development of production and publishing systems. He is a member of Magazines Canada' professional development committee and its Travelling Consultants program. He teaches The Business of Magazine Publishing at Ryerson University in the Chang School for Continuing Education.

Friday, December 11, 2009

1:00 pm to 4pm

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, 2425 9 Ave SE, Calgary

Travel bursaries are available to qualified out-of-Calgary magazine members.

Register now via ampa@albertamagazines.com or 403-262-0081.

AMPA Members: $25 if registered by Nov. 30; $35 afterwards.

Non-members: $35 if registered by Nov. 30; $45 afterwards.

Cash or cheque is preferred. If payment is $50 or more, we will accept a credit card.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magazine Soapbox

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Magazine Soapbox on Tuesday, October 20th at the TRUCK Gallery!!!
Editors Anne Burke from The Prairie Journal and Leah Gillis from FreeFall talked openly about the ins and outs of small, independent magazine publishing. Both editors voiced the many possibilities for emerging and established writers and visual artists to contribute to local arts and literary titles and are keen to explore new and innovative ways to partner with creative people to enhance the cultural landscape in Alberta.

When Burke recalled the history of small, literary magazine publishing in Alberta and more specifically Calgary, she remembers Dandelion stood alone on the shelves. Now, more than 20 years later Dandelion is accompanied by publications such as AMPA members Prairie Journal, FreeFall, filling Station and Other Voices to name just a few. Although the landscape of literary magazines has grown, working in the industry is not for the faint of heart. Both Burke and Gillis agreed, "It is a labour of love" but with hard work also comes rewarding work. For both editors, one of the biggest rewards is the ability to expose writers and visual artists by giving them a platform to share their craft with the world.

Reader Geo Takach talked about the importance of magazines as contributors to the creative and cultural aspects of our communities and noted the importance of researching various types of publications to see where your work fits best. "When you have an affinity for a publication, your writing will most likely make sense within it."

Kim Firmston gave an emotionally charged reading of her latest piece of fiction, Life After War that is published in the Fall issue of FreeFall.

Thanks again!!!

For more information on AMPA's Arts and Literary members, visit www.albertamagazines.com

Friday, October 9, 2009

Paul Tough Q & A

AMPA is pretty stoked to be hosting a session by Paul Tough - New York Times Magazine editor, Slate, GQ, Esquire and New Yorker contributor, and author of Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada's Quest to Change Harlem and America.

Tough will be in Edmonton on October 23rd for The Inside Story on Magazine Features: Q & A with a Magazine Pro, at the Stanley Milner Public Library in Edmonton.

Paul will discuss how to develop a killer feature story, plus it's your chance to pick the brains of this star editor. So bring your questions and get ready to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

Cost: Free for AMPA members and students if registered by October 15th; $10 for AMPA members and students after October 15th.

$10 for non-members by October 15th; $15 for non-members after October 15th.

To register, email ampa@albertamagazines.com with your name, phone number and email address.

See Tough's answers to some of our questions in the next MagaScene, coming out Wednesday October 13th.

If you had the chance, what question would you ask Paul Tough?


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reality Bites - Re-cap of A Realistic Approach to Creativity in Magazines Panel

On Monday October 5th, as part of Read Alberta Magazines Month (RAMM), we invited panellists to Mount Royal University to speak on the subject of creativity and its role in the business of publishing. The discussion was passionate, insightful, but perhaps most importantly, a fierce reality check for those who think they can cut it in the magazine industry without burning that midnight oil.

The panellists were Veronica Cowan, art director at Where Calgary; Kathe Lemon, editor of Avenue Calgary; and Jack Newton, publisher of Where Canadian Rockies, speaking to a room made up mainly of aspiring designers with a sprinkling of writers-to-be. The panel was moderated by AMPA Executive Director and freelance writer and editor, Colleen Seto.

The Creative Process
Editor Kathe Lemon spoke of creativity as a process, rather than the popular notion that creativity is chaos. She said that this shift in perception is a necessary one, because at a monthly magazine, one must be creative consistently, day after day, month after month. But creativity shouldn't simply be limited to extravagant ideas, it has a practical application in a workplace where "nothing ever goes as planned." Things go wrong all the time. So, be creative in your problem-solving.

Art director Veronica Cowan suggested immersing yourself in all kinds of art. For herself, she looks at sculptures, paintings, and anything that can inform her design. But, she emphasizes that knowing how to use design software like InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator is important as well.

It's okay to take chances with art, but be able to back your vision up to the editor. Cowan said that showing the editor two versions of an ad (ex: version A is what the editor wants, version B is what the art director envisions) can help inform decision-making. Lemon, on the other hand, disagreed, noting that compromise between all parties is necessary, and that time constraints often mean that mocking up multiple versions of something is not possible.

Don't Be Boring
Publisher Jack Newton said that one of the most important skills a person can have, is the skill to "not be boring." True story. Being boring is the death of the growth of anybody in a creative industry.

Writer/editor Colleen Seto said that being flexible is key to getting work again. Meet your deadlines. Comply with re-writes. Communicate. Offer creative story ideas. Do all these things and more, and you'll be able to find work.

For those looking to get started, either as a writer or designer, remember this: Know the magazine you're pitching to, inside and out. Who is the magazine's audience? Read back issues to see if your topic's been covered already. You're not only selling your idea, but you're selling yourself--what makes you the best person to write or design this story? All panellists agreed that demonstrating you've done your research is key to making your first inroad.

Internships
The panel recommended that students participate in an internship with a magazine. All of Where Calgary's editorial staff were former interns. Many interns have also been hired on-staff at Avenue Calgary. That said, interns need to do a number of things: a) apply at the magazine(s) they wish to work for directly, b) demonstrate they are the right candidate, c) show they are critical thinkers, and d) be keen, keen, keen.

AMPA provides publishers with subsidies so that they are able to offer a valuable work experience to students or recent graduates. Find out more about internships.

Conclusion:
Most students and newbies are most concerned with how to "get started" in the industry, failing to realize that longevity and staying in the industry is the true test of success.

While it might not have been the most glamorous, praise-laden diatribe on the industry, I thought the panel's honesty was most valuable. Magazines require hard work, so if you entered the industry on the premise of an easy ride, you'd do best to reevaluate--stat.

Don't miss more exciting panels and events during October. Check out AMPA's events page for details.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What is Ed Stelmach reading?

That's a question we, at the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, also had.

So, we decided to help Premier Ed Stelmach build his collection of Alberta mags, in case he wasn't aware that there are over 60 magazines that are part of AMPA, and over 200 publishing in Alberta alone.

Here are some quick facts about Alberta magazines:
  • The Alberta periodical publishing industry encompasses nearly 200 magazines and nearly 100 scholarly journals.
  • Based on Statistics Canada data, the estimated 2008 value of the Alberta magazine industry is $83.4 million in revenues.
  • Based on the above value, the return on investment made in Alberta magazines by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for fiscal year 2008¨C9 was 179:1.
  • The annual contribution made by Alberta magazines to the GDP (mainly of Alberta) is $106.8 million.*
  • more facts can be found at whatisedstelmachreading.com
If you read and enjoy magazines, no matter if you're from Alberta or elsewhere, we urge you to send a letter to Premier Ed Stelmach to show your support of this vital cultural industry that provides jobs for a creative community of writers, photographers, designers, and more! It's an easy online form that will have an impact on the industry in Alberta.

Have a look and tell us what you think of our psychedelic campaign.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Alberta mags, now on Twitter

No fail whales here.....We're finally on Twitter!

Find out the latest Alberta magazines' events, promotions, and news by following @albertamags.

Or, follow us here:
http://twitter.com/albertamags

Read Alberta Magazines Month kick-off, Art Central, this Thurs

October is a busy month for Alberta magazines because, if you didn't know, it's Read Alberta Magazines Month!

Right now, we're busy prepping for our RAMM launch at:

Art Central, this Thursday, October 1st, 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm in Calgary.

Exhibitors so far include: an arm wrestler from AirdrieLIFE; Nectar Desserts, Wild Rose Brewery, Alloy featured in Avenue (Calgary); fly-tying expert from Fly Fusion magazine; illlustrators from Vehicle magazine, and more.

There will also be a scavenger hunt with fabulous prizes, plus, free food, music, magazines :)

Come one, come all--this event is FREE and open to the public.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Remembering Gordon Morash


It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Gordon Morash, who contributed to several Alberta magazines such as Alberta Views, Avenue Edmonton, Legacy and Where Edmonton. He died of cancer on August 28, and his memorial service takes place this evening in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

Morash juggled writing (fiction, essays and arts journalism), editing (books, websites and educational materials) and teaching (creative, non-fiction and food writing). He participated at one of our Read Alberta Magazine Month readings, and wooed the crowd with his wit and style.

His obituary can be read here.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Support the small guys

Across the country, small independent book and magazine shops fight till the end to keep their doors open. Sometimes they come out on top but of late too many indie stores are forced to close their doors. In a recent post from Masthead Online, independent stores in Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton and the like are saying good bye to their beloved stores. These precious stores are forced into these unfortunate situations due to the current ecomomic state as well as the big guys like Chapters whom they cannot compete with. Their closures not only mean one less space to peruse but it also means one less public shelf for small and independent magazines. Already faced with their own challenges, small magazines need the support of small indie stores who need the support of buyers, like you! As Matthew Blackett of Spacing magazine states, the closures of these stores not only effect business but they are cultural hubs that extend beyond the functions of a bookstore and act more as community centres. Many independent stores are in a precarious position right now but as consumers and cultural ambassadors, it is our job to spread the word and support. Without them the delicate balance of small and large stores, of commercial and independent publications will be greatly disturbed.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August Flywheel, this Thursday

What better way to celebrate the last month of summer than with a spectacular reading? Join Stephanie Davis and guest host Meghan Doraty for a fantastic lineup during the August 6th edition of Flywheel, including the 2009-2010 Markin-Flanagan Writer in Residence, Marcello Di Cintio.

Kye Kocher
Meghan Doraty
Lisa Rose Berreth-Feragen
Marcello Di Cintio

Join filling Station at Pages on Kensington, 1135 Kensington Road N.W., Calgary at 7:30 pm sharp.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Arts & Lit - What does that even mean?

"I had no idea there were so many magazines published in Alberta," is a refrain the AMPA staff hear all the time at events. We heard it again at the Calgary Folk Music Festival last weekend, at our booth with Alberta arts, literary and cultural magazines. A lot of you had questions about these particular mags. I hope to elucidate a few things here.

What are arts & literary magazines?
Simply put: magazines that promote art, culture and literature. This often includes a mixture of visual arts (drawing, painting, photography, design) and literary arts (creative writing, non-fiction, poetry, prose, experimental).

Though published on a regular basis like any magazine, the content itself is not bound by time constraints; the purpose is usually to enlighten and showcase the creative talents of writers and visual artists in a local community, country, or worldwide.

In Alberta alone, there are at least a dozen such magazines that operate from government grants, donations, and volunteer hours like dandelion, filling Station, FreeFall, Galleries West, Legacy, Notebook, Other Voices, Penguin Eggs, Prairie Journal, to name a few.

Why do they matter?
Arts and literary magazines have a place in the mag-scape because they provide an alternative voice to content creators and they serve as a forum for creative arts in a paper form. They are often operated by volunteers or collectives, with a specific mandate to provide exposure to a particular group of artists or content (i.e.: contemporary writers in Canada).

Most arts and literary magazines have formed a supportive and active community around them. They hold events like readings, spoken word poetry slams, arts fairs, fundraising events. Magazines like filling Station even promote a Poet's Hotel, where willing participants provide accommodations for visiting writers.

I love them not least because they are so diverse, but also because like any magazine, an editor has done the work for me in selecting quality submissions. Like what all art should do, I find that arts and lit mags elicit emotions, provoke thought, provide inspiration. Knowing the passionate folks who work tirelessly behind the pages helps, too. But really, the content speaks for itself.

Where can I buy an arts and literary magazine?
Distribution for small magazines can be a challenge, and you perhaps you've seen one at an AMPA event that you haven't found anywhere else. I suggest looking at your local independent bookstore. In Calgary, try Pages in Kensington and Owl's Nest Books; in Edmonton, check out Audrey's Books or Greenwood's Bookshoppe.

Go to www.albertamagazines.com to see a comprehensive listing of arts and literary magazines in Alberta. Subscribe today and support your arts community, one word at a time.

Friday, July 24, 2009

filling Station brings literary performances to Folk Fest!



Words are folk too!

For the first time ever, literary performances will be part of the Calgary Folk Music Festival!

filling Station
brings you some of Calgary’s best and brightest poets and fiction writers under the sun.

Fill up on inspiration at the inaugural filling Station Tent in the Community Area at Prince’s Island Park throughout Saturday and Sunday July 25th & 26th!

Open Mic: Writers are also invited to bring their own work to read at the Open Mic from 4:30-5:30 both days.

Sign up at the filling Station table any time during the day – first come, first served. Sound set-up includes an XLR & ¼ inch combo input jack for musical instruments and another for iPod, so readers are welcome to incorporate music into their performance if desired!

Reading Schedule

filling Station Tent at Folk Fest ‘09


Saturday:

Hosts: Jani & Joan


Laurie Fuhr –10:15 a.m.

Joan Sarro – 11:30 a.m.

ryan fitpatrick – 12:30 p.m.

Samuel Garrigo Meza – 1:55 p.m.

Colin Martin – 2:55 p.m.

Jani Krulc – 4:15 p.m.



Open Mic: 4:30-5:30


Sunday:

Hosts: Colin & Jocelyn


James Dangerous – 10:15

Jocelyn Grosse – 11:25

Helen Hajnoczky – 12:10

Ali Riley – 2:15

Ian Sampson – 3:25

Ross Priddle – 4:15


Open Mic: 4:30-5:30


For more info on available opportunities, please email meditor.fs@gmail.com

Check out our new website in progress at www.fillingstation.ca

Copy Editing with Jaclyn Law

Save the dates!


Copy editing seminars with Jaclyn Law

Edmonton, August 26, 2 to 5pm

Calgary, August 27, 1 to 4 pm


Jaclyn is a former copy editor with Chatelaine and now works with Cottage Life and FASHION magazines.

Her copy editing seminars will go over the importance of copy editing, what it is, what it isn't, common errors, style issues, a section on copy editing for literary mags and plenty of exercises and Q & A so bring your specific questions and challenges!


AMPA Members: $30 if registered by Aug. 7; $35 after Aug. 7

Non-members: $45 if registered by Aug. 7; $50 if registered after Aug. 7


More details to come with locations and a course outline.

Register at ampa@albertamagazines.com or 403-262-0081.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sugarbowl for the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation


The Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation invites you to come eat, drink and be merry... and lawn bowl too, of course! Lawn bowling was one of Amber's favourite activities, so what better way to come together and raise money for the foundation. All proceeds will go towards establishing a scholarship endowment fund at SAIT Polytechnic in Amber's name, where she went to school and worked.


Saturday, August 8th, 2009

6:30pm - 10:00pm

Calgary Lawn Bowling Club

1238 - 16 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB

Tickets are $50 for singles or $200 for a team of four. Team registrations get free team buttons customized with your team name!

Registration & free lawn bowling lessons start at 6:30pm and the tourney will kick off at 7:30pm. There will be bragging rights and prizes for winners.



For those who can't make it to the fundraiser, please note that donations are always welcome and appreciated.

Email info@amberbowerman.ca to register today. (There is a maximum capacity so don't hesitate or you'll miss out on the fun!)


Full details at: http://amberbowerman.ca/wordpress/


Please spread the word to all your friends, family and colleagues!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009 Calgary Folk Festival this week!


Music, sunshine...and magazines?

The staff at AMPA are stoked to be at the Calgary Folk Music Festival this Saturday July 25th and Sunday July 26th in the community area.

Our booth will feature arts, literary and cultural magazines for you to sample, including: dandelion, filling Station, FreeFall, Galleries West, Legacy, Notebook and more.



Visitors will receive a special discount on subscriptions to select magazines, and rad gifts. Plus, you can ask the AMPA staff all your burning questions, such as: how many magazines are published in Alberta? How can I start my own magazine? Why is this province so supportive of independent publishers?

We hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Congrats to Cowboy Country TV for Rosie award win!

Airing this past weekend on Global TV, the 35th Annual Alberta Film & Television Awards, known as the Rosies, celebrated excellence and outstanding achievement in Albertan film, television and new media. The event actually took place back in May in Edmonton.


Among the winners was Cowboy Country, winning the Rosie in the Best Light Info or Lifestyle Series. The Cowboy Country TV series is based on Canadian Cowboy Country magazine. Publisher Rob Tanner is the show's executive producer, and has really made a huge success of his magazine brand extension, bringing the magazine's stories to life on the small screen. "I'm thrilled our industry peers have recognized the quality of our show, and I credit its success to the talent of our production team in bringing to life the stories that have appeared in our magazine," he says.


Kudos to the CCC team!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

New magazine publishers - we want you!

People love magazines. They love magazines for the storytelling. They love them for the artistry. They imbue them with their passions and aspirations. This became abundantly clear to me as I met with new magazine publishers over the last few weeks. I've spoken to an arts magazine, a creative graphic design mag, and a soon-to-be published mag for foodies. Very different subject matters, but what they've got in common is a drive that is fueled by a dream of telling unique and compelling stories. Believe it or not, even high printing costs and the complexities of circulation have not deterred them.

And this is where we come in. AMPA exists as a resource for both emerging and established publishers in Alberta. The industry can seem like a minefield of unknowns, especially for startups. We are here to help answer questions and to drive this home: glossy paper does not a magazine make. Perhaps you've never heard of advertising-editorial guidelines? You should find out what they are if you want to be a magazine readers can trust.

Better yet, we offer Template magazines (definitive how-to guides to magazine publishing in Alberta) available for purchase to anyone. It's a primer for all the questions you never knew you had to ask.

We recommend Template to newbies because they're comprehensive, yet accessible. Templates are the best place to start. Click here for details on how to order copies.

Ultimately, no matter what you say or what you aim to achieve, it's up to your magazine's pages to do the talking.

So, what do you really want to say? Think about it. Then talk to us.

More info:
www.albertamagazines.com

Monday, July 6, 2009

go Indie Pressers!!!

Late Saturday morning, I strolled down to the Arrata Opera Centre with a couple of friends to check out the treasures at the Independent Press and Arts Fair in conjunction with the 5th Annual Calgary Blow-Out. We were surrounded by amazing zine creation from local, national and international artists. Diving into the pages, we discovered sweet drawings, insightful words, inspiration and hours and hours of work formed in these beautiful objects. Alongside the tables blanketed with zines, other local artists made appearances with their hand made creations - hand dyed silk scarves, photos, jewelery, prints, drawings, sock monkeys just to name a few. My friends walked with a few zines in hand and I with the latest issue of Uppercase magazine and an embroidered badge all the way from Texas!
Huge thanks to filling Station, NoD and CJSW for putting on this event!!!
Next year, I hope to see you and your zine there!

-sw

Friday, July 3, 2009

Magazines work during Stampede week. Gasp!

That's not entirely true across the board, but the folks I know put the "over-and-above" in overtime. With Stampede kicking off today in Calgary with an extravagant parade, it seems like the whole city's hunkering down for its annual stay-cation.

Not the case for many Alberta magazines. Long lead-times can mean wrapping up stories for publication in September, perhaps even starting on October stories. The long leads also mean that the majority of mag folks won't get an all-access media pass (too bad!). But that's ok. While you're on the Stampede grounds eating your corn dogs and mini-donuts, Alberta magazines are working furiously behind the scenes. And so are we, here at AMPA. We're open Monday to Friday from 9 to 5, all summer long. Email us, phone us, come visit (just phone the office before dropping by)--we're happy to chat with you whether you're a newbie or seasoned pro.

On a personal note, I plan on hitting at least five pancake breakfasts over the next 10 days. Yahoo! Wish me luck and if you're in Calgary, happy Stampeding!

www.albertamagazines.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ina Saltz headlining 2010 Alberta Magazines Conference!

At this year's Mags University in Toronto, I had the pleasure of taking two courses with Ina Saltz on magazine cover design, and pacing and flow. I had heard her speak before and was impressed. This time was no different. So, I thought, why not woo Ms. Saltz to come out to AMPA's conference next March? So I asked. And she said yes!

So, mark your calendars for March 11 & 12, 2010, at the Alberta Magazines Conference in Calgary to hear the fine musings of Ms. Saltz and get invaluable one-on-one critique on your magazine design!

For those of you unfamiliar with her work, Ina Saltz is an art director, designer, writer, photographer and professor whose areas of expertise are typography and magazine design. She has worked on the likes of TIME, Golf and Worth magazines, and teaches at The City College of New York and Stanford's Professional Publishing Course.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blow-Out Exploding Contest. Tune into CJSW on June 25th.

The Blow-Out Exploding Contest!

How deep are you? How low can you go?

You could perform alongside Clinton St. John (The Cape May, Pale Air Singers) with his band on one of his songs during his Saturday July 4th Exploding Concert performance, plus take home two Full Passes to Blow-Out, a subscription to filling Station Magazine, and a Clinton St. John CD!

For your chance to win, tune into CJSW's Writer's Block this Thursday, June 25th from 6 to 7 pm! Call in to the studio at (403) 220-3991 and read two lines of poetry in your deepest voice, and hosts Stephanie Weidmann & Paul Kennett (plus a special guest or two) will decide who's the deepest!

More about Writer's Block:

CJSW's weekly foray into literature just got a lot more local! New co-host Paul Kennett will join regular host Stephanie Weidmann to create a revamped literary program, focused on local events, writers, poets, publishers, while keeping an eye on the bigger literary picture across the country and around the world! Be sure to tune in to Writer's Block, 6-7pm Thursday evenings (90.9 FM in Calgary).

More info:
- filling Station magazine
- CJSW

Buying Cigarettes for Dogs book launches in Alberta

Author Stuart Ross is touring Alberta, stopping in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton to celebrate the launch of Buying Cigarettes for Dogs (Freehand Books), a book of short stories.

Support local literary talent and have an entertaining evening out to boot!

Calgary: Wednesday, June 24th, 7 pm, The Palomino, 109 7th Ave SW, with special guests Jonathan Ball and Helen Hajnoczky (Filling Station's Poetry Editor)

Red Deer: Thursday, June 25th, 7 pm, Sunworks, 4924 Ross Street

Edmonton: Saturday, June 27th 3 pm, Audrey's Books, 10702 Jasper Ave NW

More links:
- Vue Weekly review
- Vancouver Sun review

Monday, June 22, 2009

the 27th annual Western Magazine Awards

...and the winners are...
AMPA members are among the top at this year’s Western Magazine Awards! Congratulations to all the winners!

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment
Nickelas Johnson (research by Greg Hudson), Poemosapien, unlimited

Environmental
Chris Turner, The Big Decision, AlbertaViews

Fiction
SPONSORED BY CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
Susan Ouriou, Violette Bicyclette, AlbertaViews

Travel and Leisure
SPONSORED BY WESTJET
Christopher Frey, Where Do You Think You're Going? unlimited

Gold Award Best Article - BC/Yukon
SPONSORED BY BC MINISTRY OF TOURISM, SPORT & THE ARTS
Chris Koentges, Tourists, Stay Away, up! magazine

Gold Award Best Article - Saskatchewan
SPONSORED BY SASKATCHEWAN MINISTRY OF TOURISM, PARKS, CULTURE AND SPORT
Allan Casey, The Little Boat That Could, Westworld

Best New Magazine
SPONSORED BY BC ASSOCIATION OF MAGAZINE PUBLISHERS
Techlife

Magazine of the Year
Alberta/NWT
Unlimited

Friday, June 19, 2009

New awards photos up on AMPA's flickr page!


Check out the latest photos from National Magazine Awards at AMPA's flickr page. Kudos also to Erinne Sevigny with Other Voices magazine for winning AMPA's Volunteer of the Year award. She was also in Toronto to be honoured with notable volunteers from across the country at the MagNet conference.

Western Magazine Award winners announced tonight

The winners of the 27th Western Magazine Awards will be announced tonight, Friday June 19th at a gala at the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel Harbourside.

28 individual contributors to Alberta magazines' AMPA members have been nominated. AMPA members Techlife, published by NAIT's corporate communications team is up for Best New Magazine; Alberta Venture, Alberta Views and Unlimited have been nominated for Magazine of the Year - Alberta/NWT; while Prairies North is up for Magazine of the Year - Saskatchewan.

I, for one, am eagerly awaiting the results. Will Alberta Views and Kris Demeanour score another big win in the magazine and new writer category? Will there be any backstage drama or big upsets? How did the judges even determine winners amongst the high calibre of talent? Why does the regional publishing industry rock so much?

Stay tuned for the winners...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The 5th Annual Calgary Blow-Out

Filling Station Magazine, NoD Magazine and CJSW present:

The 5th Annual

CALGARY

BLOW-OUT!

7 Events Over 3 Days! Thursday July 2 to Saturday July 4

This dangerously explosive festival, benefit, and launch for Filling Station Magazine and NoD Magazine once again puts the spotlight on Calgary’s

innovative writing & arts community with 7 exciting events featuring readings, performances, concerts, art, film, and more!

TICKETS: $5 per Performance Event, $8 per Exploding Concert, or $20 Festival Pass. Available Now at Megatunes, Pages Books on Kensington,

and Sloth Records!


For full event details click HERE

The Physcial Presence of Mags

A recent post on the Folio blog by David Mammano, founder and CEO of Next Step Publishing Inc. initiated some interesting dialogue in his article "Top 10 Reasons Print Should Remain a Vital Part of your Marketer's Mix".

In brief, the top 10 reasons are:
10. Print provides differentiation
9. Print offers incredible branding
8. Print makes introductions
7. Print readers are focused
6. Print travels
5. Print sways trendsetters
4. Print drives users to other platforms
3. Readers are receptive to print
2. You can pass along print, it has longevity
1. Print is a lead-generation tool!

Some might argue if print is not already dead, it is dying fast and with that magazines must direct their focus to online marketing and distribution tools. On the contrary, others feel the physical presence of magazines in itself is the power behind the page and in turn a print mag will fuel reader engagements with other technological resources.

As an admirer of objects - physical, tangible materials that one can engage with, I see the value of print. This does not mean new technologies can be ignored or under utilized, but rather as a result of these new technologies, the longevity of print mags will find renewed importance and value in today's society that too often undermines well crafted objects.

Go to http://www.foliomag.com/2009/top-10-reasons-print-should-remain-vital-part-your-marketers-mix
for full article details and comments.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Saving the Trees, one piece of paper at a time

Canopy, (formerly known as Markets Initiative) an environmental advocacy group celebrates its 10th anniversary and its new name change.

The organization is credited for many sweeping changes to publishers paper policies and increasing the use of ecological papers such as Ancient Forest Friendly and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper.

Canopy's most notable achievements include: making Harry Potter the greenest book in history.

Recently, "Indigo Books & Music became the first international retailer to implement a cutting edge environmental policy and engage its entire supply chain on greening books."

On June 16, 2009, The Globe and Mail became the first daily newspaper in North America to "develop an overarching environmental policy" which includes provisions for preference for Ancient Forest Friendly papers when sourcing virgin pulp fibres, working with suppliers to establish benchmarks for recycled content, and exploring non-wood paper options.

Needless to say, the ancient forests that Canopy has saved from being cut down extends beyond doing what is right for the environment, it actually makes it easier for all of us to breathe. Congratulations on 10 years of immense success and we look forward to even more progress on the paper front.

More info at:
www.canopyplanet.org

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mags U/MagNet recap coming soon...I hope.

For those of you who are actually anxiously awaiting my recap of PD in Toronto, it is coming. Or at least I hope so. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Huge Night for Alberta at National Magazine Awards!


It was an exciting evening for Alberta magazines last Friday, when the magazine industry across Canada gathered to honour some of its best. Top prize went to Alberta Views, winning Magazine of the Year. Woohoo!

Alberta Views also won Gold in the Essays category with Chris Turner's piece "The Big Decision."

Best New Magazine Writer was Calgary's Kris Demeanor who wrote "Get a Real Job" for Unlimited magazine.

Calgary writer Chris Koentges was the most celebrated individual winner this year, winning an impressive 2 Gold and 2 Silver awards, including a sweep of Gold and Silver in the category One of a Kind, for “L.A. Torn Mad with Footsteps” in up! magazine and “Driving Mary Siegel” (Swerve). Koentges’s article “Helen Koentges” (Swerve) won Gold in Health & Medicine and Silver in Personal Journalism.

In the Homes and Gardens category, Martin Tessler took Silver for Western Living.

It was also fantastic to see AMPA consultant Cynthia Brouse honoured for her work. She received the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement. You go Cynthia! We are all rooting for you as you battle breast cancer.

See a full list of winners at the NMAs site.

Friday, June 5, 2009

filling Station Blow-out seeks volunteers July 2 - 4, 2009

Volunteers are needed for filling Stations 5th Annual Blow-out July 2nd to 4th, 2009.

Held at Pages books in Kensington and Arrata Opera Centre, this year's festival is bigger than ever, featuring seven events: three performance events, an Independent Press & Arts Fair, The Blow-out Art Show & Sale, and two Exploding Concerts.

If you would like to participate as a volunteer, or for more information about filling Station magazine or the incredible Blow-Out festival, please email Laurie via blowout.fs@gmail.com.

More links:
Calgary Blow-Out blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MagsU re-cap

This is a big week in magazine publishing, with two major professional development extravaganzas occurring. Mags University took place June 1-2 and MagNet is occurring June 3-5.

AMPA's executive director Colleen Seto is in Toronto this week for both conferences to keep abreast of the latest industry ideas, practices, improvements, speakers; to network and build contacts; and to bring everything she's learned back to Alberta. Colleen has been so busy that "there has been zero downtime," for her to recap the week's events. Watch out for her updates next week.

For the time being, check out Masthead editor Marco Ursi's Mags U recaps part 1 and part 2.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Will Work for Free

Would you work for free to get a byline? If you're like many bloggers 'employed' by The Huffington Post, the answer would apparently be 'yes.'

Publisher Arianna Huffington built an empire worth about $200 million. She has just been awarded a lifetime achievement award from Syracuse University. The distinction is not without controversy, however, as Huffington is being lambasted for her unwillingness to pay content creators.

Read Simon Dumenco's rant on the irony of Huffington's award. It seems that he is not the only one unimpressed by the pro-bono labour model, one that preys on those who want the exposure. Gawker's compiled a handy pie chart on how HuffPo pays its interns. Believe it or not, some interns even pay HuffPo for the privilege of blogging.

From this blogger's perspective, it's a sad state of affairs that gets continually perpetuated because the demand is there. Working for free is volunteering--it should be called out as such. It's fine to have volunteer bloggers and writers, so long as a substantial part of your business model isn't reliant on said free labour.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June Flywheel: Upward and Onward

Come join the Flywheeler's at Pages Books on Kensington (1135 Kensington Road NW) Thursday, June 4th for some great performances by some of Calgary's finest!

Ross Priddle
Sarah Gibbs
Helen Hajnoczky
Charlotte Gill
and Eva Tihanyi launching her new book, Truth and Other Fictions

As some of you already know, Ryan Fitzpatrick has retired from curator of this fine reading series but come out to support the new hosts Stephanie Davis and Ian Sampson. It will be a great night of readings!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2 Calls to Artists

Filling Station, Calgary's own unique arts and literary magazine has just announced 2 open calls to artists for their upcoming Independent Press & Arts Fair and their Blow-Out Art Show and Sale!

About the Independent Press & Arts Fair:
The Independent Press & Arts Fair will take place from 10-4 on Saturday July 4 2009. The tables are just $20.00 or $10.00 with the donation of a prize to the Silent Auction. Accommodation to artists producing art 'objects' rather than solely visual work will be given priority. If interested in purchasing a table, please reply to Managing Editor of Filling Station Laurie Fuhr at meditor.fs@gmail.com or 403 999 2566. Space will fill up fast so act now!

About the Blow Out Art Show & Sale:
The Filling Station Blow Out is a festival which celebrates established and upcoming local writers, and also includes performance artists, visual artists, independent music, and Calgary's only Independent Press & Arts Fair. Unlike other local festivals, Blow Out puts clear emphasis on our Calgary literary community and plays a key role in energizing its members. The event also serves as Filling Station Magazine's most crucial annual fundraiser.
Due to restrictions for hanging art in the Arrata Centre (a Heritage building), we challenge artists to find new and interesting means of displaying their art for this show. For visual artists, items can be affixed with wall-friendly materials like white Uhu tack, displayed using traditional free-standing options like easels or stand frames, or use can be made of unexpected solutions like laundry drying racks, planters, bicycles, etc. Interested artists, please send images along with an artist statement including contact information for artwork purchase inquiries and pricing for work to curator Janet Biagioni at janet@luciddesigns.ca. Artists may set up their work on Thursday, July 2 from 6-10 PM or on Friday, July 3 from 6-7 PM. Art will be on display July 3 and 4 during other events of the Blow Out including 2 reading and performance events, the Independent Press & Arts Fair and 2 concerts. A reception will take place from 12-4 on Saturday July 4 including music and refreshments.

These events take place in the heart of downtown Calgary in the beautiful Arrata Opera Centre (
1315 7 Street SW, Calgary, AB), a converted cathedral. Just steps from 17th Ave SW, every event is full of passers-by, patrons who've heard of the events through media, postering and word of mouth!

About the Filling Station Magazine & The Blow Out: Filling Station Magazine is an innovative Calgary literary & arts magazine with national distribution. They are a non-profit society registered with the Government of Alberta. This year, Filling Station Magazine's 5th Annual Blow-Out will take place on July 2 at Pages (1135 Kensington Road NW, Calgary, AB)
and July 3-4 at the Arrata Opera Centre.

For more information, check out http://calgaryblowout.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amber Webb-Bowerman's Spirit Shines On


One year ago today, the Alberta magazine publishing industry lost an indefatigable bright light. Writer, journalist, mentor and friend to many, Amber Webb-Bowerman was killed in a murder-suicide where Joshua Lall also took the lives of his wife and two girls.


At a news conference Tuesday, the focus was on moving forward and continuing Amber's spirit. The Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation announced that it will offer six annual scholarships per year to students in journalism and arts programs. The foundation has so far been supported through donations from across Canada.


Says Bowerman's widower and foundation president Chris Bowerman, "It's creating something positive out of something devastating and meaningless. It seemed impossible that we could not keep her spirit alive. She had too much spirit, too much life and energy and enjoyment of life for it to just go away."


"I think what we've done is we've transferred some of that energy into positive change," said Bowerman. "The inspiration was, and always will be, Amber. She was an extraordinary person and an exceptional journalist."


More links:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/News/Family+friends+unveil+education+awards+created+honour+Amber+Bowerman/1632650/story.html

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/calgary/story/2009/05/26/amber-bowerman-calgary-scholarships-foundation.html

http://www.calgarysun.com/news/alberta/2009/05/27/9582486-sun.html

http://www.mastheadonline.com/news/2009/20090522707.shtml




Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Latest News from Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation

As a board member of the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation, I'm pleased to announce what we've accomplished in Amber's name, one year since we tragically lost her.

We've established six post-secondary scholarships with a value of $1,000 each in Amber’s name:
• The University of Regina, in journalism
• Grant MacEwan College, in professional writing
• University of Calgary, in music
• Mount Royal College, in journalism
• ACAD, in painting
And because Amber was a student at SAIT Polytechnic, and was an editor of the Weal student newspaper, we have partnered with the SAIT Students Association to also offer a journalism scholarship.

We've also partnered with the Western Magazine Awards to establish a student writing award which will be given out on June 19. Through these scholarships and awards, we hope to help students step into careers in areas that were important to Amber.

Chris Bowerman, foundation president, summed things up at this morning's media conference: "With the generous donations of countless Calgarians as well as people from across the country, the Amber Webb-Bowerman Memorial Foundation was established to provide journalism and arts scholarships to deserving students. It is truly a testament to Amber’s zest for life that when people heard her story, they were compelled to reach out and do something positive in her memory. The generosity of our donors inspired us, even through our own grief, to create this memorial foundation as a tangible and lasting legacy."

Thank you to all of our donors and supporters, and we hope to see you at our upcoming Sugarbowl fundraiser on August 8th.

Learn more about all of our programs and the fundraiser, and make a donation at: amberbowerman.ca. (The foundation is a registered charity that issues tax receipts.)

Monday, May 25, 2009

7th Annual Calgary Book Drive & Sale!

Supported by The Calgary Herald, the Annual Calgary Book Drive and Sale is in its 7th year! This initiative aims to support Servants Anonymous and Raise a Reader Day.

Servants Anonymous is a non-profit organization that assists young women 16-29 who have decided to leave prostitution and life on the streets by providing shelter, life skills, recovery skills, education and job experience so they can maintain healthy lifestyles for themselves and their children.

Raise a Reader Day, The Calgary Herald's annual literary initiative aims to foster the love of reading in young people. This is a Canada-wide event to promote the growth of healthy children through the joy of reading.

By bringing a toonie (only $2 folks) to the Crossroads Market on June 12-14 and June 19-21, you can contribute to both these essential and beneficial initiatives to promote healthy living plus find great books of all kinds!

Crossroads Market, 1235 26 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB
Admission $2
Sale Days Friday June 12 & 19 (12-6)
Saturday June 13 & 20 (9-5)
Sunday 14 & 21 (11-5)

All firehalls accepting books except stations 13 and 25.
Collection is from May 7 to June 4.

Happy reading to all!

-stef