Masthead News Archives
July 30, 2002
Canada Council announces this year's grant recipients
TORONTO: The Canada Council for the Arts sent out letters earlier this month to the successful applicants of the grants to literary and art magazines program. Included in the list of 111 grant recipients, including six e-zines, is Lola magazine. Lola, the beloved, happy little arts mag that covers the scene in downtown Toronto since its inception in 1997, was formerly unqualified for the grant because it doesn't have a 50 percent paid circulation. The Canada Council announced the criteria change at the end of January, 2002. The deadline for applications was March 1st. Out of the $2,760,900 budget allocated for this program, up $146,000 from last year, Lola received $20,000. The top grant recipients include:
1. Canadian Art Foundation $113,500
2. Parachute, revue d'art contemporain $104,600
3. Border Crossings $102,600
4. C The Visual Arts Foundation $77,200
5. Vie des Arts $73,100
6. Cahiers de théâtre Jeu $70,200
7. Quill and Quire $69,000
8. MIX, the Magazine of Artist-Run Culture $63,500
9. Musicworks $60,100
10. Fuse Magazine $59,200
For more on changes to the Canada Council's grants to literary and art magazines program, watch for the September issue of Masthead.
July 25, 2002
Literati toast Toronto Life fiction issue
TORONTO:"It was the best of times and the worst of times"...well not exactly. Toronto Life's 6th annual Summer Fiction Launch party was actually really happening. Hosted at the Bistro 990, the soirée was held to recognize the literary accomplishments of André Alexis, Krista Bridge, Billie Livingston, Tim McGrenere, and Andrew Pyper whose short stories were chosen for this year's summer fiction issue. Editor John Macfarlane had quoted Dickens as he described the recent state of Canadian publishing. "It's never been easy writing and publishing books in a country as small as this one," said Macfarlane, "and yet there's never been so much literary achievement to celebrate." There to celebrate were all of the authors sans Mr. Pyper as well as writer Robert Fulford, photographer George Whiteside, freelancer John Lorinc, Saturday Night editor Matthew Church, Broken Pencil publisher Hal Niedzviecki and the issue's editors Sarah Fulford and Gary Ross, along with a wine-guzzling, martini-sipping crowd of editors, publishers, literary agents and yet more writers. If there are serious struggles in the industry you wouldn't have noticed any last night.
July 23, 2002
Ownership changes at Supertrax
NEWMARKET-The founding president and publisher of Supertrax International, Atlantic Snowmobiler, Ontario Snowmobiler and All-Terrain Vehicleall with a total distribution over two millionis planning on taking his hands off the throttle. Terry Kehoe has exchanged shares with brothers Mark and Kent Lester, who now solely control Supertrax International and All-Terrain Vehicle magazinesa deal which took place mid-July. Kehoe described the changes in ownership as "a natural progression" as he plans to retire. "But it's been a great ride," says Kehoe. "We're the market leaders in everything that we've done here." Kehoe's sons, Richard and Raymondthe new publisher of Ontario Snowmobilernow have a significant interest in Atlantic and Ontario Snowmobiler along with Marketer Shows Inc., which includes the world's largest snowmobile show. C.J. Ramstad continues as a minority shareholder in the American edition of Supertrax International.
July 16, 2002
Art directors play musical chairs
TORONTO-There's been lots of movement in various big-name art departments over the past few months. Check it out: Planting her pole firmly at Ski Canada is freelancer and former Modern Woman art director Kim Woodside, who for the past three years has art directed Travel & More, the Air Miles magazine. She took up duties this spring. Quarto's adventure title explore is now under the art direction of Jackie Shipley, who succeeded Susan Meingast in June. Shipley was formerly AD at Zeller's Family, produced by Rogers Publishing for the retailer. Meingast, by the way, is now freelancing, kayaking and has begun painting for an exhibition. Former Canadian House & Home and Gardening Life creative director Jacques Pilon is the new art director at FiftyPlus magazine, taking over from Vickie Rowden who is with child and has decided to move on. Pilon's handiwork will be evidenced in the October issue, which will sport a redesign. Freelancer Giselle Sabatini, who spent 15 years at Maclean's as associate art director and acting AD following the departure of Nick Burnett, takes over from James Nixon at Homemaker's. Sabatini has also been freelance art directing at Seasons since March. Meanwhile, relocating to Markham, Ont., is Robert Biron. The Kaleden, B.C.-native will wet his line as the new art director at Avid Media's Outdoor Canada. Biron, a known fly tier and fisher, formerly ran his own digital imaging and publication design company with his main client being quarterly fly-fishing mag Home Waters. Former Nuvo art director Arto Tavukciyan is now plying his craft at rival upscale glossy Luxury. Finally, Elle Canada art director Fernando Resende is engaged in a major physical rehabilitation process after sustaining serious injuries in vehicular mishap while on holiday in Arizona this spring. In Resende's absence, associate art director Alonso Escudero will receive backup from Beatriz Juarez, who joined Elle Canada this month on contract.
July 11, 2002
Reader's Digest sends press to junk heap
MONTREAL-After 27 years on the same press, Reader's Digest has ordered the scraping of its finicky Baker Perkins G-12 web press. The relic had been operated under contract by Montreal-based Quebecor World in the printer's Montreal facility. The printer recently dismantled the old press and is now printing the magazine on its own web offset machines. "It started to cost us major money in repairs and the quality was slipping to a point where we didn't want it to go any further," says Reader's Digest production manager Linda Melrose. Reader's Digest has no plans to purchase another press. "The presses now are so fast, we couldn't use all the hours," Melrose says.
July 9, 2002
Publisher anticipates $300,000 legal battle
MISSISSAUGA-The publisher of extreme women's fitness magazine Oxygen, based here but distributed mostly in the U.S., says he's "preparing to go all out" in a legal action visited upon him this spring by California-based Weider Publications, owners of Shape magazine. At issue, says Bob Kennedy, is Weider's contention that Oxygen (circ 150,000) is copying the cover design of Shape (circ 1.6 million)-with the model subjects bleeding off the right-hand side of the page, copy decks stacked on the left and models' outfits often being the same colour as the background. "We feel this is a very frivolous case," says Kennedy, who is hunkering down for a legal battle expected to cost $300,000. He's already spent $60,000, he says. Brothers Ben and Joe Weider, the former based in Montreal, did not return calls.
July 5, 2002
Dogs in Canada editor slips his lead
TORONTO-What happens when you beat out 43 other magazines to win the Best All-Breed Magazine award from the Dog Writers Association of America two years in a row? In the case of Dogs in Canada editor-in-chief Allan Reznik, you get thrown a fat bone from stateside admirers. Reznik, 46, has accepted a lucrative offer by California-based Fancy Publications to edit consumer title Dog Fancy (circ 300,000) and business monthly Dog World (circ 60,000). "It's very exciting," says Reznik, who's been with Dogs since 1992. He'll relocate to the Irvine area next month. The search is on for his successor at Dogs in Canada.
July 2, 2002
CMPA to withdraw from Mags U
TORONTO-In a move that will create "total flexibility," the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association board of directors has voted to withdraw from Magazines University-the country's largest professional-development conference for magazine professionals. Mags U was composed of five industry players: the CMPA, the Canadian Business Press, the CMC Circulation Management Association of Canada, auditor CCAB/BPA International and Masthead magazine. The CMPA was the biggest player, having sponsored 14 of 30 seminars at this year's event. The board's vote came just days after Mags U wrapped up last month with a record 3,000-plus in ticket sales generating estimated revenues of $285,000.
So, why pull out now? CMPA board chair Al Zikovitz said it's in the CMPA members' best interest. "We have the total flexibility to do the seminars we'd like to do and not worry about anybody else," he said. Within the Mags U framework, organizers tried to limit the number of seminars on similar issues competing at the same time; for example, the same time slot would not have two seminars on newsstand sales. Zikovitz also noted that the CMPA was unable to offer pricing flexibility concerning package deals within Mags U. Zikovitz says dates and details for the CMPA's seminar series haven't been finalized.
The CMPA's decision has taken virtually everyone by surprise. "I think it's disappointing that we're not combined as a unified entity," says Canadian Business Press board chairman Bruce Creighton. "We've worked closely with the CMPA on a number of issues, including Mags U, and I think Mags U was good for the industry and will continue to be good for the industry," he said. CMC president Wayne Leek and CCAB/BPA senior vice-president Richard Murphy say they're waiting to see how the CMPA proceeds before commenting on their Mags U role.
Mags U was established in 1991 by stitching together a community of common interests amongst industry players.