Monday, January 23, 2012

The Latest AMPA Gossip: Your January 2012 Water-Cooler Update

The cold-snap may be behind us, but there's no denying that it's still winter out there. So why not warm up with a cuppa joe and catch up on the latest chatter in the Alberta magazine world? And as always, if you have any news to share, drop me a line!

Change is the Name of the Game at Avenue
Life-changing events abound in the Avenue world. Calgary editor Käthe Lemon is expecting her first baby this June with her husband, Tyler. No word on whether it’s a boy or girl—they’re waiting to be surprised when baby arrives! Excited for a new playmate for my Annabel!

Similarly, Edmonton editor Steven and his wife, Noelle, are pregnant with their second child due in June. Edmonton associate editor Omar Mouallem will also tie the knot to his fiancée, Janae, on June 23 with a honeymoon in Beirut to follow. There, he will introduce his new bride to his grandmother and see Lebanon through fresh eyes. Congrats to all on their upcoming celebrations!

As for changes on the Calgary Avenue staffing front, longtime web editor Tony Charron has moved on to a position at  Critical Mass, while former senior editor Jesse Semko has joined the Chamber of Commerce.

Other changes at RedPoint Media include former managing editor of corporate publications and special projects, Abby Miller, moving to accounting firm Meyers Norris Penney to work on an in-house magazine. Former up! managing editor Adam Trinh has gone freelance while his replacement, former Calgary Herald Neighbours editor Pam Fieber will soon join the team.

Where Calgary Editor Bids Cowtown Farewell
Where Calgary’s Laura Pellerine wrapped up her last day on the job December 30, after working her way up from AMPA intern to top editor. She and husband, Ryan, made a cross-country move to Montreal where Ryan will be working with one of the top 10 marketing firms in Canada. Laura will work out her freelance chops while sussing out a new permanent position, and is contemplating starting up her own blog. All the best to Laura in la belle province! 

And welcome to Ian Doig, former FFWD news editor, who has taken over for Laura at Where.

airdrielife Publisher Proven Influencer
It’s little surprise to anyone who knows Sherry Shaw-Froggatt that she ranked first in the Airdrie Echo newspaper’s list of Most Influential People of 2011. Not only does she publish airdrielife, she’s also a keystone in the community founding the Creative Airdrie Society, and is the brains behind the ARTember festival and Amazing Airdrie Women Awards. I’ve always enjoyed working with Sherry—she’s a giver and a doer; two attributes that I greatly respect. She’s contributed ideas, elbow grease and talent to many AMPA events including the Alberta Magazines Conference. Kudos to Sherry for this well-deserved recognition. 

Potential New UK Adventures for Zalewski
An uncorroborated Facebook post indicates that the former publisher at JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group and former AMPA Prez, Agnes Zalewski may be heading across the pond to the UK for a new job in publishing. Zalewski  has not officially confirmed or denied the statement, only that she’s “looking at going over for six months initially on contract to see how all the pieces fit.” In the meantime, she can be found yoga-ing like crazy.
--- Colleen Seto
AMPA Blogger-in-Residence

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Magazine Writing and Editing: February Events

Editorial Insight from Canadian Geographic Editor
The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association presents Crafting the Perfect Pitch (webinar) and Feature Writing: An Editor’s Perspective (seminars) with the managing editor of Canadian Geographic, Dan Rubinstein:

Crafting the Perfect Pitch
February 2, 10:00-11:00am, online

Feature Writing: An Editor’s Perspective
February 2, 1:30-3:00pm, Memorial Park Library
February 3, 9:30-11:00am, Stanley Milner Library (6 flr, Rm 7) 

Get Your Grammar On with Frances Peck
The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association, in partnership with the Editors' Association of Canada—Prairie Provinces Branch, presents Grammar Boot Camp (webinar) and Sentences with Style (seminars) with renowned editor, author and speaker Frances Peck:

Grammar Boot Camp
February 14, 10:00-11:00am, online

Sentences with Style
February 14, 1:30-3:00pm, Memorial Park Library
February 15, 9:30-11:00am, Stanley Milner Library
(6 flr, Rm 7)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Calling all Hosers! Avenue Edmonton's SCTV Petition

I'd like to introduce you to Shauna MacDonald, AMPA's most recent volunteer blogger. For the past 7+ years, Shauna has been a post-secondary instructor of business and technical communication. She is passionate about pop culture, technology, finding creative solutions, and just about anything else that is new and exciting.

Coo roo coo coo coo coo coo coooo! Calling all hosers!  Do you remember SCTV (originally "Second City TV")?  Did you know that at one time it was filmed in Edmonton?  

Edmonton’s Avenue magazine is doing its part to ensure that the pop culture significance of SCTV is not forgotten, by starting an online petition requesting that the city of Edmonton create an SCTV-themed monument. In addition to supporting the monument, petitioners are asked to share their suggestions for the type of monument. Perhaps a statue of a golden touque? A mural of TVs being thrown from windows?  

And this is only the most recent example of how Avenue magazine gets involved in the community. Their “Top 40 Under 40” list, which has been around since 2009, recognizes those that “help to improve the quality of life in Edmonton and put this city on the map.” The nominees are carefully selected by a panel that includes Mayor Stephen Mandel. Recognizing the hard work, dedication and success of these 40 individuals is important for our community, as it has the power to inspire the rest of us to be our best and do what we can to better Edmonton.

Avenue also maintains four blogs with a community focus: 

  • Heroes and Visionaries” celebrates local successes, including some of Global TV’s Women of Vision.
  • Bits on Bites” keeps readers and foodies up-to-date on Edmonton’s culinary delights.
  • Culture City” discusses topics ranging from events and festivals, to stories that affect all of Alberta.
  • Beautiful You” shares fashion and beauty topics with a distinctive Edmonton flair.

Avenue magazine has worked hard to integrate itself within Edmonton’s culture, so I recommend that you check it out and see how Avenue can complement your life as an Edmontonian.  

Oh yeah...and don’t forget to sign the petition!

--- Shauna MacDonald
AMPA Volunteer Blogger

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Design for Alberta Venture Magazine

When I got my first issue of Alberta Venture (AV) for the New Year, I noticed right away that there was a completely different look and feel to the magazine. Not only has the masthead changed, no longer giving Alberta and Venture equal weight, the cover paper stock is also slicker and glossier.

Redesigned January 2012 issue cover
December 2011 issue cover
Inside, there are new departments including a new front-of-book section called The Briefing, which is short and newsy instead of the former mini profiles. The back page column, This Way Forward, is also new, with its first incarnation written by publisher Ruth Kelly. Here she explores her entrepreneurial roots and introduces AV's theme for the year: An Exploration of our Entrepreneurial Spirit.

This is only the third time that AV has had a major overhaul, since Kelly relaunched it in 1997 after buying the name, mailing list and one issue's worth of paper from the provincial government for a paltry $100. For this redesign to happen in its 15th anniversary year was no coincidence. As stated on the AV website, Kelly says: “While the anniversary is a great reason to do it, every good magazine should go through a self-examination and understand the changing patterns in its readership on a regular basis.”

No doubt this makeover was a huge undertaking by the AV team, not least of all because boss-lady Kelly isn't one to settle for second best. Added to that, they've redesigned the website, set to launch in February. 

So it's definitely a fresh start for the AV team for 2012. Congrats for a job well done and happy anniversary!
--- Colleen Seto
AMPA Blogger-in-Residence

Friday, January 6, 2012

Top 12 Alberta Magazine Blogposts: AMPA’s 2011 Year at a Glance

We're past due for an unscientific and entirely-biased selection of Alberta Magazines blogposts from the past year. More specifically, excerpted highlights from each month’s biggest AMPA news, industry insight, plus “a few of my favourite things” that we did in 2011:


Tips for those Magazine Tweets

[January 28, 2011, posted by Rebecca Lesser]

AMPA hosted the seminar "Social Media Fundamentals" with guest speaker Liz Hover, digital media manager for Canada's National Screen Institute. I've decided that—after two awe-inspiring hours (no exaggeration, this was a lot of info) of tips on everything from twitter and facebook to website and blogging...



Editor of the Year; Who's Gonna Win?
[February 24, posted by Colleen Seto]

Forget the Oscars; the real contest to watch is the Alberta Editor of the Year Award (EYA), presented by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts... Can we say “all over the board” in regards to this year’s field of nominees? The EYA has always been immensely tough to judge largely because the variety of magazines in Alberta is so expansive…


Okay, so not everyone can win. But that doesn't mean we can't all have a good time. And that's precisely what happened tonight at the Alberta Magazines Conference gala where winners of the Alberta Magazine Awards were announced to a full house amid swanky live jazz tunes and prime rib dinners…

An Idiot's Guide to Blogging
[April 20, posted by Colleen Seto]

Yesterday, AMPA hosted a blogging session with Granville editor Hilary Henegar in Calgary, and she’s doing it again today in Edmonton. Here’s a recap of what she had to share. First, set your online editorial mandate to parallel that of your magazine’s…

To Post or Not to Post?
[May 30, posted by Rebecca Lesser] 

Say what you want about the role of Canada's postal service in our "e-nabled" age of online billing, banking, emailing and socializing, but there's no time like the present day state of postal union negotiations to contemplate the reasons we'd miss our snail mail…

The Future of Digital Publishing (Part One of Two)
[June 27, posted by Rebecca Lesser]

There are no certainties when it comes to predicting the future, especially when it comes to digital publishing. Understandably, some prefer to sit back and see how this all plays out before launching headfirst into the unknown. It can’t hurt, however, to hear the perspective of some of the bigger players... All of this is to say that there was much to be learned at AMPA’s “Publishing in the Digital Age” luncheon with Evan Hansen, editor-in-chief of…

Sayonara, or until next time...
[July 17, posted by Colleen Seto]

Some of you may be wondering about the posting for the AMPA E.D. position. Yes, it's official. I've resigned and will not be returning to steer the AMPA ship this fall. I thought I'd take a moment on the AMPA blog to share a fond farewell…


After what may seem like an eternity for many publishers, Canadian Heritage has released its new formula for support under the Canadian Periodical Fund (CPF) for the Aid to Publishers (ATP) component… While the case remains that few Alberta magazines qualify for any funding at all given our largely controlled circ marketplace...

AMPA AGM 2011: Fond Farewells, New Beginnings
[September 23, posted by Andrew Mah]

I’ve been to more than a few AMPA AGM's over the years—back when I was an intern, later as magazine editor, and then as AMPA’s incoming executive director last year… The spirits did flow, but I also attribute the atmosphere to some of my favourite people: magazine people. I’m clearly biased, but those who work for magazines are, with remarkable consistency, friendly, creative, savvy and good hearted…

Alberta Best on Page Celebrated the Power of Magazines
[October 27, posted by Rebecca Lesser]

We laughed, we cried, we oohed, we awed. Okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but this past month we truly were inspired by the creativity on display at the Alberta Best on Page travelling exhibition. The show (held in Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton) featured Magazines Canada's annual Best on Page display of national and international award-winning print ads…

Connecting Local Talent with Local Magazines
[November 21, posted by Rebecca Lesser]

The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association is thrilled to officially launch the AMPA Contributors Directory, an initiative to connect local talent with local publications! Search the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association's comprehensive database of magazine creatives available for freelance and contract work for your publication or media organization...

How to Integrate Your Magazine with Social Media
[December 12, posted by Colleen Seto]

Now that Facebook is up to 800 million active users, (confess already, you just logged in and checked your Facebook, didn't you?) it really does make sense for magazines to use it for promotional purposes...

 Happy New Year AMPA Friends and Followers!

--- Rebecca Lesser
AMPA Communications & Programs Coordinator