Friday, December 09, 2016

Magazines Canada allies with ad intelligence provider MEDIARadar

Magazines Canada has allied itself with the advertising intelligence platform MediaRadar to provide the trade association with in-depth digital and print advertising sales information to its members and to use in its projects, from content to events.  
MediaRadar serves a growing number of top publishers, including Star Media Group, La Presse, Reader's Digest Magazine Canada, TVA Publications, and St. Joseph Communications.

It's a cloud-based platform using data science to provide advertising sales intelligence on more than 2.3 million brands across multiple media platforms, including: online, print, linear TV, social media, and newsletters. Ad sales professionals, management and research teams may use these insights to more effectively and efficiently get more qualified leads, create high-performance sales pitches, and close more deals.
“Actionable advertising research is part of our mission at Magazines Canada,” said Matthew Holmes, president and CEO of Magazines Canada. “This partnership with MediaRadar, a leader in ad sales intelligence, will have a direct impact on the rich information delivered to our members at key networking and training events, and in the research and advocacy we conduct for magazine media across Canada.”

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Volunteering for the sake of the industry, Martin Seto has some things to say

Earlier this week we reported the surprising news that Martin Seto had taken over as editor of Mastheadonline. Most of that post was based on a brief note on the Mastheadonline site. In order to get a better understanding of the situation, I called up Martin Seto and asked him to elaborate . Here are some of the things he told me:
  • He considers himself to be a "publishing industry advocate".
  • He's working purely as an unpaid volunteer. "I stepped forward. I think it's my duty. I'm doing what's needed for the magazine to go forward, to survive." (He declined to discuss the circumstances leading up to him "volunteering", but said the magazine almost closed before because of lack of revenue.) "If I didn't do this, Masthead could be gone."
  • His call for volunteer bloggers has resulted in more than 25 responses. "We need to bring the industry together. We have to try and create positive messages about this industry. We have to bring all stakeholders together."
  • There's lots that's right in the industry, but there is lot about it that is inefficient and overbuilt.
  • He said he found ad agencies were sympathetic, that they want to help sell magazines, but the industry is not providing them with the necessary tools. He reiterated what he said in a post on Mastheadonline
    • "Talking with the agency folks at the event (Magazine Day] the reason for this is not the agencies, who are big supporters of magazines, but advertiser attitudes towards magazine. The Ad tech community is going client direct and telling them that print is dead and they believe it, plus the cost of digital ads on some ad networks are as low as $2 CPM as they are dumping ad inventory on the market due to oversupply. These two issues need to be addressed by the industry."
  • Magazines and magazine organizations have not done a good job of marketing. "Traditional media have got put in the shadows because of digital hype."
  • "For Masthead to survive, we have to take a national perspective, and not just magazines."
  • "The industry is stuck in a corporate welfare syndrome. We don't know how to compete because we've relied on government funding for so long. It is propping up inefficient companies and that's not a good long-term strategy because you lose your competitive edge."
  • Masthead under his watch will continue to provide the same services and events, such as its job board and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs), which he produces.        


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Deep meets its funding target and will start publishing in 2017

It looks like The Deep has been successful in its crowdfunding. The campaign aimed to reach $18,500 after shooting past its $15,000 target and has now raised $19,038  from 321 backers in order to launch the online, long-form journalism site for Atlantic Canada. 

The venture will start by publishing one big story a month in 2017: "sweeping, ambitious, can't-put-them-down Atlantic stories that will stand toe-to-toe with the best magazine writing and reporting found anywhere."

Related and earlier posts:

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Quote, unquote: PM as a bad boyfriend

"The episode also appears to mark a tipping point in Justin Trudeau’s avatar as the nation’s progressive, swoon-worthy boyfriend. Suddenly, he’s the guy who orders for his date without asking what she wants then ignores her ensuing protest."
-- Anne Kingston in Maclean's magazine uses an hilarious analogy to take Prime Minister Trudeau to task over the "Cosmo-style" questionnaire that purports to be about electoral reform.


Quote, unquote: Paying the digital piper

If it turns out this has all been oversold and that there has been this immense waste of money chasing the digital dream, there’s going to be a piper to be paid.”
- John R. MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper's Magazine, on a recent panel discussion called "Digital or Bust: The future of magazines", hosted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation. (You may wish to read some of the other highlights published by the Ryerson Review of Journalism and watch the livestream.)


TIME magazine names Donald Trump as its "Person of the Year"

It's proof, we suppose, that Time's "Person of the Year" is not necessarily someone to admire: the December 19 issue of the magazine features Donald Trump. 
“This is the 90th time we have named the person who had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year. So which is it this year: better or worse?,” wrote Time Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs, explaining: “The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer.... 2016 was the year of his rise; 2017 will be the year of his rule, and like all newly elected leaders, he has a chance to fulfill promises and defy expectations.... For reminding America that demagoguery feeds on despair and that truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it, for empowering a hidden electorate by mainstreaming its furies and live-streaming its fears, and for framing tomorrow’s political culture by demolishing yesterday’s, Donald Trump is Time’s 2016 Person of the Year.""


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Precedent magazine cover story explores whatever happened to Michael Bryant

In what is something of a departure (in length, rather than its serious intent) the current (Winter) issue of Precedent magazine carries an excellent cover story by senior editor Daniel Fish about Michael Bryant. The coverline asks the apt question: Whatever happened to Michael Bryant? The former attorney general of Ontario who was caught up in a controversial prosecution after a confrontation with a cyclist on Bloor Street in Toronto, a confrontation that turned into a tragedy. And after a considerable and complicated aftermath how he is in the process of rebuilding his life built on empathy for the less fortunate, spending long hours as duty counsel in bail court in Brampton.
I asked him if there is anything he now finds toxic about the justice system that didn’t bother him as attorney general. “Start with this: everyone I represent today is in cuffs. And they’re innocent. That’s wrong.” To cuff everyone, he says, strips them of their presumption of innocence. “And if you treat people like they’re guilty, they start to believe they’re guilty. That’s when they start thinking, Well, you know what, I’m sitting in cuffs. I’m in jail. I must have done something wrong. Then they plead guilty.”
The personal transformation of Bryant into a criminal lawyer for an underclass who badly need one, ..well, you can read about it yourself online. And you'll know, at least in part, the answer to the cover question. 

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Magawards posts answers to frequently asked questions

It was predictable that, having made significant strategic changes to their ways and means, the National Magazine Awards would be getting a lot of questions about things like fewer awards and categories, how they are judged, definitions of a magazine, magazine website, tablet and so on. In an effort to anticipate and answer such questions, they have produced a guide to how to enter and have posted a frequently asked questions page on their website. Specific questions that the FAQ does not answer may be directed to

Not surprisingly and as but one example, constituents wonder why there are fewer awards this year than recently. Here is one Q & A from the FAQ:
1. This year’s National Magazine Awards program has 25 categories (plus 3 special awards), down from 40 in 2016. Why did you eliminate so many awards? 
Yes, this year’s NMAs are very different. Over the last few years, many people have told us that having so many categories diminishes the individual value of a National Magazine Award—and makes the NMA gala a very long show. The first NMAs (in 1977) had just 15 awards, and since then we’ve gradually expanded, mostly adding subject-specific awards. For our 40th anniversary we envisioned a new Strategic Direction for the NMAF with an emphasis on increasing the value and prestige of a National Magazine Award. A tighter awards program focusing on the unique forms (rather than subjects) of magazine creation is the result of a long and deliberative process. Plus, a program of 25 awards is more aligned with other prestigious awards programs like the Ellies and Oscars. 
We know it’ll take some getting used to, but we hope you’ll agree that the new NMAs (and expanded DPAs) are a better and brighter reflection of the Canadian magazine and digital publishing landscape.

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Mag world view: Pursuits print folds; Newsstand sales down ano 14% in Q3; Real food for kids

Mastheadonline to become "volunteer based community website"

Martin Seto
Martin Seto, a tech blogger with Masthead has now been appointed editor of the online magazine. He succeeds Leslie Emmons in piloting the publication, which has been in print and online for more than 20 years. 

Seto will continue his blog and continue as producer of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs). The magazine, he said 
"will evolve into a volunteer based community based website and one of the initiatives  planned is to create an open blog opportunity for anybody that wants to write about how Magazine/Newspaper/Publishing can be relevant again in the digital world."
The magazine, which has been published by North Island Publishing of Mississauga publishers of Graphic Monthly Canada for the commercial printing industry and Design Edge Canada for the graphic design industry (sold to the CJ Group in 2013), began as a print publication for the magazine industry, both subscription and permission-based. In 1994 Masthead was an early entrant in online, at first as a dial-up bulletin board (some of you kids won't remember these). Later, it discontinued print publication and carried on as an online magazine.

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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Mag world view: Dolly print gone; Charlie Hebdo savages Merkel; SI hearts LeBron James; Coach goes online-only

CCAB singles out and praises Canadian Business Journal for proving its website metrics

The Canadian Business Journal was singled out for praise by CCAB/BPA Worldwide for submitting to an audit of its website to prove independent verification of its data. 
"A BPA website audit provides advertisers assurance that the sites they choose to invest in deliver the traffic they claim," said Tim Peel, vice-president of BPA in a release. 
Such an audit (and the CBJ is the only business publication in Canada for which census traffic is measured), said Peel. The data, which measures unique browsers, page impressions, user sessions, unique browser frequency, page duration and user session duration, can be read in the BPA Reports Library


Magazine industry creators may want to add their names to letter about cultural policy

Creators within the magazine industry (writers, freelance writers, photographers and illustrators) will want to add their names to the joint letter addressed to Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, urging the government to put Canada’s creators at the heart of our cultural policy.

The initiative is supported by Canadian creative industry associations including Music Canada, the Canadian Independent Music Association (CIMA), the Writers’ Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, the Canadian Music Publishers Association, the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Canadian Country Music Association. (But curiously not included in the coalition are such magazine-related organizations as the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC), the Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) or even Magazines Canada (whose member magazines rely heavily on freelancers.))

People who consider themselves members of the "creative class" may wish to add their name to the letter here. The text is below.

Read more »

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TC Media acquires most of remaining Rogers Media b2b financial titles

Most of the remainder of the Rogers Media business-to-business titles have now been sold to Transcontinental Media GP. The transaction encompasses seven brands and associated events, custom publishing and market research -- largely in the finance area.

Properties covered in the deal (including all trademarks) are: Advisor's Edge and Advisor's Edge Report ( ) Adviser and Adviser to the newspaper ( and, Benefits Canada ( and advantages (, Canadian Insurance Top Broker (, Canadian Investment Review ( ) and Canadian Institutional Investment Network (

The magazines and other properties will now be part of a division including TC Media's other finance-related titles such as Investment Executive ( ) and Finance and Investment ( ) , The Business and The Business Plus - including Events Les Affaires - ( ) Acquizition .biz, Constructo Journal, ( ) and a management System for electronic bidding of the Government of Quebec (

Related posts:

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Squeezed out by contending awards, there will be no KRWs for b2b magazines this year

One of the casualties of the awards season in 2017 is that there will no longer be Kenneth R. Wilson Awards for trade and business-to-business publishing, which have been run in recent years by the Canadian Business Media (CBM). 

With the closure and sale of a swath of b2b properties (e.g. Rogers Media) and a defection from the National Magazine Awards of publishers from the organizing companies of the new Magazine Grands Prix under the auspices of Magazines Canada (St. Joseph Media, The Walrus Foundation, TVA Publications Inc., Reader's Digest and Rogers Publishing) the KRWs have been squeezed out. 

The National Magazine Awards Foundation has added a new award for "Best Professional Article", which will recognize excellence in business-to-business journalism meant to honour outstanding magazine writing dealing with subjects, practices, events or developments of importance to a professional industry. And b2b magazines may enter any of the written, visual and integrated categories of the 2017 lineup

The Magazine Grands Prix accepts entries in all its 26 award categories from eligible magazines, which include b2b. However there are no categories that are exclusively for trade pubs. 

The KRWs have been presented for 62 years and were named in honour of Kenneth R. Wilson an editor and writer who was active in a number of editor and journalist associations. A tragic airplane crash ended his distinguished career in January,1952 at the age of 47. 

Magawards unveils new lineup and opening of entries for 40th anniversary awards in 2017

The National Magazine Awards Foundation unveiled a new lineup of awards for 2017, marking the organization's 40th anniversary of recognizing and celebrating Canadian creators. Submissions open today and the deadline for entries is January 20 (the early bird deadline is January 13). [Complete release.]

The deadline for nominations for the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement is March 1. The NMAF’s most prestigious individual prize since its inception in 1990, this is an award that recognizes an individual's innovation and creativity through contributions to the magazine industry. [Disclosure: I was a winner of the award a few years ago.]

The awards will feature 25 categories, including 14 writing awards, 7 visual awards and 4 integrated awards. In most categories, there will be a maximum of 10 finalists determined by the jury. The top two will win the Gold and Silver medals. All other finalists will receive Honourable Mention. 

New  this year:
Read more »

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Layoffs and reassignments underway in Rogers Media's English language mag division

Layoffs and reassignments are underway in the English language magazine division of Rogers Media. According to a story in the Financial Post, one of the most high profile departures is Mark Stevenson, the editor-in-chief of Maclean's magazine. His role is being taken over by deputy editor Alison Uncles. 

Some unspecified staff are being severed entirely; others are being told they are no longer working for a particular title, but reporting and editing for a "vertical" division of the operation, which may mean writing for a variety of digital and publications remaining in print form. Reports are that 27 people are being let go. The company said it would have further announcements soon.

Rogers announced in September that, as of the end of December, Flare, Sportsnet, MoneySense, and Canadian Business will no longer produce print magazines and their content will only be available in digital form. The whole of the business to business division of the company was put up for sale (and many have been sold) as are several well-known French language brands such as L’actualité. Titles which don't find buyers will be closed down; one such casualty is to be LouLou, English and French.

Related posts:

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60 will be laid off at Rogers Media's French magazines by year end

As of December 31, 60 employees of  L'Actualité and the French versions of Châtelaine and Loulou will be out of work and only 20 employees will remain at the Rogers Media French language magazine division. 
According to a CTV Montreal story, the company, which announced in September that it was putting most of the French language magazines up for sale (and selling off its business-to-business titles in both English and French) is in negotiations to sell the well-respected newsmagazine L'Actualité. A deal should be announced within a few weeks.  
According to a Financial Post story, 
The layoffs also come in advance of plans to halve French-language lifestyle magazine Châtelaine’s print schedule to six issues per year, beginning in 2017. This mirrors previously announced changes to its English-language counterpart, Chatelaine. Both publications will continue to publish regularly through digital platforms. 
In September, Rogers said it intended to sell Châtelaine, but [Rogers spokesperson Andrea] Goldstein said the company has since reevaluated and was “able to create a model that could support the continuation of the brand in French.” 
Finally, after failing to find a buyer for women’s magazine LouLou, Rogers will close the English and French language versions of the publication at the end of the year. Rogers said it was unable to close deals with potential buyers who expressed interest.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Jane Franciso promoted to oversee new editorial Lifestyle Group at Hearst

Jane Franciso, the editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping and former editor in chief of Chatelaine, has been promoted to head of a new editorial Lifestyle Group at Hearst. As such she will oversee Meredith Rollins, editor-in-chief of Redbook, and Susan Spencer, editor-in-chief of Women’s Day. This, according to a story from WWD which says the promotion formalizes what is already in place on the business side with Good Housekeeping’s Patricia Haegele as publishing director of the group.

Previously at Hearst,  Elle Décor, Veranda,  and House Beautiful were merged into the Design Group in 2012. with Former House Beautiful EIC Newell Turner overseeing the three publications as editorial director.

Most of Rogers's b2b titles now sold; a few titles remain in play

Canadian Grocer, one of Canada's oldest magazines (started 130 years ago) has been sold by Rogers Media to a U.S. based company. It was one of a number of Rogers b2b titles Chicago-based Ensemble IQ acquired, including Pharmacy Practice +Profession Santé and The Medical Post. The purchased titles complement some of the company's U.S.-based titles Progressive Grocer, Shopper Marketing, Retail Leader, Convenience Store News and The Gourmet Retailer as well as Canadian titles Pharmacy Business, , and Your Convenience Manager. Ensemble IQ is a subsidiary of RFE Investment Partners (RFEIP). 

Rogers announced in September that it was selling off its b2b titles and its French-language magazines. So far, in addition to the announced sale above, Marketing magazine, CARDonline and the National List of Advertisers were sold to Brunico Communications, publishers of the rival Strategy, and Cosmetics and Cosmetique were sold to the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association. 

Still in play are  Canadian Insurance Broker, Benefits Canada, Advisors Edge, Advantages, Corporate Risk and Conseiller.

Quote, unquote: The big guys want different content support

“The key to growing Canada’s creative economy is to support large, well-capitalized companies that have the size needed to assume risks, invest in multiple projects and export Canadian content internationally.” 
-- Rogers Communications Inc. in a submission asking the federal government to change the way it supports Canadian content. Rogers makes no secret of the fact that a tax credit scheme would be a benefit to them rather than existing funding mechanisms. (The submission relates largely to film and television.) It recommended setting aside funding at the Canada Council for the Arts for organizations that are neither large, nor well-capitalized. [from the Financial Post]


Successfully reaching its goal, campaign for The Deep seeks to "stretch" support

The campaign to launch The Deep to provide longform journalism to and about Atlantic Canada has gone well, so well that the crowdfunding has topped the original $15,000 goal. With three days left to contribute, supporters are being asked to meet a "stretch" goal and reach $18,500.  The extra money will allow an expansion of photography and art, pay additional travel expenses for writers and get the project a bit closer to becoming self-sustaining.                                                                                                    

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Mag world view: Forbes in books; Time Inc. rejects Bronfman; Play-Doh mag; Milk Street; BW publisher out; Charlie Hebdo in German

Will Halifax ever be the same when the developers get through with it?

Halifax will never be the same once the developers get through with it; or at least that's the gist of the cover story in Halifax magazine. Kim Hart Macneill, associate editor at Metro Guide Publishing, has done a very thorough overview of various big developments and lamentable demolitions that have gone into the growing pains of the Halifax Regional Municipality. 

The central focus or the story is how the plan -- the "old plan" -- hasn't been updated since 1978 and is so out of date that developers are successfully dictating the rules. And there is a significant impact on small businesses.

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Is transitioning from print to digital a myth? Ken Whyte thinks so

There has been some low-level buzz about a recent personal blog post by Ken Whyte, the former publisher of Maclean's and head of Rogers Publishing and, latterly, founding president of Next Issue Canada (now, Texture). While he is careful to say his blog reflects his personal viewpoint alone, given his history a certain startle reflex is to be expected in the industry. 

First, he said that transitioning from print to digital is a myth.
"There is no transition from print to digital. There is print, and there is digital. Period. I find this depressing but it needs to be confronted. Show me a single title that has stood up and said, "Here, we've done it, we've made the leap from print to a flourishing digital operation that can support the expense of what's left of this newsroom."
Then, the very next day, in "a more optimistic scenario" he said there may be an upside to the crash of print legacy companies, such as making room for new ventures in the digital realm.
"Hundreds of newspapers and magazines are set to crash in the next few years. As this happens, we will see two things. First, the remains of these companies, and castoffs from these companies, will begin building digital operations if not from scratch, at least untethered to print. Freed of the burden of their legacy businesses, they will embrace their new realities, try many things, and learn a lot, and some of them may find their way to sustainable new business models. This huge new wave of effort by desperate practitioners of former print journalists may well produce something interesting."
Sounds like what Rogers Publishing is doing by eschewing print for several of its better-known titles, including Canadian Business, MoneySense, FLARE and Sportsnet, Doubtless this will be part of the chatter over pints at a forthcoming "End of Print" drink-up being hosted by art director John Montgomery. It's aimed at designers, photo editors and photographers and takes place December 15 at 7:30 p.m. at No One Writes to the Colonel at 460 College Street. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

Quote, unquote: In flight magazines; are they an endangered species?

"We are living in a new connected economy where consumers hold the power and wield it like a sword, ready to hack institutions off their favourites list in a mobile minute if they don’t give them what they want. Airlines are not immune from this phenomenon and must continually innovate to ensure they stay relevant for the rapidly-evolving generations of flyers."
-- From [an admittedly self-interested] study published by PressReader about how travellers and business flyers wish to access digital content mostly on their own devices in flight and that many airlines are doing away with printed magazines and newspapers altogether. 

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Seven of Canada's iconic trees featured in Canadian Geographic

Canadian Geographic magazine, in its December issue, features seven iconic Canadian trees. Writer Hans Tammemagi visits them all in different regions of Canada and tells their stories. 

The feature is illustrated by Mary Sanche. 

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Quote, unquote: Paywalls and the "right to read"

"This right to read is fundamentally important in a society that values knowledge and the freedom of expression. The decision makes it clear that business models for content distribution cannot run roughshod over certain fundamental users rights."
-- Copyright expert and blogger Teresa Scassa, in her post about the federal courts's ruling on a paywall copyright case involving Blacklock's, an online news agency. Ultimately, Justice Robert Barnes found that officials in the finance department of the federal government were justified and "fair dealing" in a "minor and discrete" way when they circulated copyright-protected material from the subscription site to each other. (According to a report in iPolitics, Blacklock's has filed more than a dozen lawsuits against various federal government departments and, between 2013 and 2015, collected $54,663 from various agencies for copyright infringement.)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New annual lesbian culture magazine LSTW launching in Montreal on Thursday

A Montreal group Lez Spread the Word is launching the first issue of LSTW a bilingual print magazine  on November 24 at at Never Apart in Montreal’s Mile-Ex neighbourhood (7049 Saint-Urbain St., from 6 p.m. on/Free admission.)  The 230-page pan-Canadian annual has been created by a group of more than 20 women, for queer women, and the founders hope the pan-Canadian publication will resonate throughout the country and beyond its borders.
"Working from the principle that it is more than necessary to broaden access to LGBTQ+ communities and increase their visibility, lstw aims to celebrate Canadian role models, promote diversity and shine a spotlight on lesbian culture in a way that has never been seen before," a release said.
The front and back covers of the inaugural issue features indie-pop musicians Tegan and Sara. 

Lez Spread the Word was created in 2012 to provide news and entertainment content online and to be a valuable resource for French- and English-speaking queer women


A. Rolph Huband was publisher of The Beaver magazine, later Canada's History

Noted is the death on Nov. 20 of A. Rolph Huband (1929 - 2016), who was the founding chair of Canada's National History Society and publisher of The Beaver magazine (now Canada's History). He had been a lawyer and corporate officer for 37 years at the Hudson's Bay Company and was instrumental in facilitating the donation of its collection of fur trade documents, artifacts and archives to the government of Manitoba. He secured an HBC endowment which allowed the magazine to continue and prosper. A memorial service will be held at The Oakview Funeral Home, 56 Lakeshore Road West in Oakville on Friday, November 25, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. Donations in his memory can be sent to the Canada's History Society