Monday, January 28, 2008

Magaholics Anonymous

I had an enjoyable Friday night and Saturday at the B.C. Association of Magazine Publishers annual conference near Sidney, B.C. It's always fun to talk about the art and business of my favourite medium with other magaholics and periodical print junkies.

The keynote address was an inspiring talk by Bryan Welch, publisher of Mother Earth News and the UTNE Reader, who gave a few tips on trying to balance a sense of mission with a successful business model -- to make a living at writing, editing and publishing what you love.

One of the great things about magazine conferences is the reminder of all the publications, new and old, that are out there that even someone with an acute publication detector often misses. A few of my faves who were up at Dunsmuir Lodge this weekend:

  • Color Magazine: a super-hip skateboard culture magazine out of Vancouver that has to be one of the most inventively conceived and designed publications in Canada.
  • subTERRAIN Magazine: I probably offended the editors of a few literary quarterlies when I mentioned at the conference that I thought subTERRAIN (another Vancouver publication) was one of the only literary offerings in Canada to have an original focus (a sort of gritty urban surrealism) and a clear sense of its niche readership. Too many other lit-mags tend to have such a broad CanLit focus that they try to be everything to everyone and never distinguish themselves from each other (perhaps because most are published from the safety of a university).
  • Momentum: The magazine for self-propelled people: a fabulous little Van-City publication, distributed around North America, that promotes the virtues and possibilities of pedal power.
  • Unlimited: a new magazine out of Edmonton, aimed at young business types and other "social entrepreneurs" -- i.e., not another old boyz biz mag.
  • YES and KNOW magazines: science publications for young minds, based here in Victoria. I can't wait till my own ankle-biters are old enough to read these great mags.
Now, I only wish I had more time to indulge my magaholism.... Feel free to let me know of any other great new mags to gorge upon.

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