I’m a glutton for magazines and, undoubtedly, have way more subscriptions than warranted for any normal person. Although online media continue to nip at the heels of print media, magazines continue to hold their own, especially where the publication is able to use online multi-media features to enhance its offline offerings. Just as with the U.S., Canada has a wealth of solid mainstream publications, but the ones that most attract my attention are the regional and niche publications. With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to take a look periodically at some of the country’s noteworthy smaller magazines, and to do that by starting way up north.
Amazingly, the far north is graced with at least two truly terrific general circulation regional magazines, Up Here and Yukon, North of of Ordinary. The more broad ranging in scope and literary of the two appears to be the monthly Up Here, which principally focuses on life in the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, although it occasionally touches upon the far northern regions of Canada’s other mainland provinces. The magazine’s layout conveys a playful, slightly hip aesthetic and its editorial content provides enough variety to satisfy even picky readers. The latest issue I have (September 2010) features stories on Inuit who have moved south to Ottawa and Toronto, the failed effort in the 1960s and 1970s to develop a modern-day Shangri-La in the far north, a desperate Nunavut survival tale from almost a century ago, and, on a lighter note, the winners of the annual “Write Like Robert Service Poetry Contest.” From an online perspective, Up Here‘s website makes available selected content from past issues, including entertaining multi-media features. Not surprisingly, others have also taken note of this nifty little publication with lots of personality — so much so that Up Here received the prestigious 2010 Magazine of the Year Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.
Link to website of Up Here: http://www.uphere.ca/
Yukon, North of Ordinary stakes out a narrower geographic niche, emphasizing happenings in the Yukon. The magazine devotes more attention to business matters in its editorial voice. However, the quality of its feature writing is quite good. The Fall 2010 issue profiles spooky haunts in Dawson City, reports on a cultural festival of the local Tr’ondek Hwech’in people, and explores how far flung Yukon families use technology to stay connected across wide distances. The publication also serves as the official inflight magazine of Whitehorse-based Air North, so several pages cover matters of interest with that airline. While Yukon‘s website is not as robust as that of Up Here, Yukon‘s site archive provides better overall access to past issues. Both these magazines have a great deal that is useful and entertaining to offer their respective readerships and they each demonstrate why print media continues to retain our interest notwithstanding the pull of the web.
Link to Yukon, North of Ordinary: http://www.northofordinary.ca/