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

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

Chris Turner, The Big Decision, AlbertaViews

Susan Ouriou, Violette Bicyclette, AlbertaViews

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

Gold Award Best Article - BC/Yukon
Chris Koentges, Tourists, Stay Away, up! magazine

Gold Award Best Article - Saskatchewan
Allan Casey, The Little Boat That Could, Westworld

Best New Magazine

Magazine of the Year

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



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
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:

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

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!