2022 Conference Schedule

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

10:30 - 11:30 AMWelcome and Keynote 1 - James Hewes

Around the World in 60 Minutes with James Hewes

We’re kicking off the 2022 Alberta Magazines Conference with a trip around the world of magazine media and brands. James Hewes, president and CEO of FIPP, joins us hot off the heels of the 2022 FIPP World Media Congress in June. James will share what the biggest media brands in the world are investing in, as well as emerging and dominant trends in small and large shops globally. This jam-packed session brings the world to Alberta. Get ready to be inspired!

Having held various positions in his 12-year stint at the BBC, James Hewes was part of the team that sold the business to private equity in November 2011. He was then Publishing Director for Top Gear, Good Food, Easy Cook and Lonely Planet Magazine and a Director of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. He spent five years in Dubai, running Gulf News Publishing and responsible for more than 30 product areas. He launched the group’s first consumer brand in Arabic – wheels Arabic. Appointed President & CEO of FIPP in September 2017, he joined from The Art Newspaper, having been Interim CEO since December 2016. He is also a member of the Advisory Board at Dojoko, an education-focused start-up and a member of Oxford Brookes University’s Journalism Advisory Board.

11:45 - 12:45 PMKeynote 2 - Shani Gwin

Decolonizing Media with Shani Gwin

Shani Gwin has over 12 years of professional communications experience working for government, private and not-for-profit organizations. She is a sixth-generation Métis. She’s a member of the Cunningham Clan on her mother’s side and a descendant of the Michel First Nation and Ferguson Clan on her father’s side. Shani is a proud Métis woman with a passion for elevating Indigenous voices, projects and issues.

 

2:00 - 3:00 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

Creating Arresting Covers for Print and Digital with Sun Ngo

Chatelaine is one of Canada’s best-known and beloved media brands, publishing continuously in print since 1928. In this session with creative director Sun Ngo, we’ll learn how she approaches designing a women’s general interest magazine that balances food and style content with personal stories and reported features that tackle big issues. What is it like to design—and redesign—a brand as old as this one? How has the design process evolved alongside the brand’s digital evolution? What is the secret to those amazing covers? Sun has loads of stories to share, including integrating sponsors into covers and editorial, and how her years art directing Today’s Parent influence her approach today.

Sun Ngo grew up in rural Delhi, Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in sociology and criminology. She never took an art course growing up and can’t draw to save her life. Her first job out of university was at Random House Canada, whose parent company at the time was Condé Nast. There, she typeset thousands of pages of text, while dreaming of one day working at Vogue.

Taking Your Custom Content and Clients from Meh to Yeah! with Dan Rubinstein and Joyce Byrne

Any custom publisher or editor can relate: the dreaded meeting about ROI. And nobody wants to work on content that nobody will read! Writer and editor Dan Rubinstein knows a thing or two about creating compelling stories and getting the best out of writers, designers and clients. In this session for custom magazine teams (and anyone who has had to package a topic they weren’t in love with out of the gate) Dan will take us through some of the strategies and tactics for creating content for clients that is informative, delightful, and delivers that ROI. Dan is joined by long-time colleague Joyce Byrne for the second part of our session. Having worked together on many magazine projects, including taking them from ideation to award-winning reality, this duo will explore the experience of turning blah client magazines into bravo, retaining the business, and getting to the core of how great content delivers customers, drives donations, creates greater public awareness, builds brands — and gets more clients knocking on your door.

Joyce Byrne is Alberta Magazine Publishers’ past President and an award-winning veteran of the Canadian magazine industry. She has led creative, marketing and sales teams and boards in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary, and has worked on nearly every type of magazine, from literary to light industrial, with consumer, business, health and cannabis in between. Joyce is AMPA’s curriculum consultant and the host of this year’s AMPA Webinar Series. Her personal brand is I Love Magazines.

Dan Rubinstein is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and editor who lives in Ottawa but got his magazine start in Edmonton, where he lived from 1998 to 2008. Currently the Senior Writer at Carleton University and Editor of Raven magazine, he freelances for a wide range of publications, including The Walrus, enRoute, the Globe and Mail and many others. A former Editor at Canadian Geographic, Alberta Views, Alberta Venture and Edmonton’s Vue Weekly, he has also edited custom magazines for clients such as Ottawa Riverkeeper and the Azrieli Foundation. His first book, Born To Walk, about the transformative properties of walking, was published in 2015. His next book will be about stand-up paddleboarding, which he loves even more than magazines. www.borntowalk.org

Everything is Figure-outable! How to Create the Most Effective Working Relationship Between EIC and Sales Director with Michelle Kelly and Rosemary Munroe

As advertisers face ever-increasing options for spending their dollars, magazines have struggled to stand out among platforms where there’s less onus on content creators to adhere to editorial ethics. But we know that the trust between readers and publishers is what sets our products apart—people read magazines because they know that magazines can be trusted. So how do we maintain that trust while competing with the likes of Facebook and Google?

Maintaining a separation between “church and state” is a constant endeavour. Which is why it’s critical for the sales and editorial teams to have a strong and realistic working relationship. It’s not always black-and-white—sometimes you have to find the grey.

In this session, we will outline how we manage to keep our clients happy while maintaining an ironclad trust with our readers (it IS possible!), including real-life examples of how we’ve overcome the inevitable challenges along the way.

Michelle Kelly started her career in publishing as the Office Manager at Cottage Life. Since then, she has held various positions in the editorial department at the magazine until she was named Editor in July 2015 and Vice President, Content, for Blue Ant Media in September 2019. She oversees all digital, social, and print content for the brand, including the recently launched Cottage Life Podcast. She sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Centennial College in Toronto and is a board member for the International Regional Magazines Association. She is also the recipient of several Canadian National Magazine Awards, including Editor Grand Prix in 2021. Outside of work, Michelle volunteers for Ready Set Play, a non-profit group that helps provide youth access to organized sports. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Rosemary Munroe has worked as the Director of Media Sales and Brand Integration at Blue Ant Media since 2017, collaborating with clients to build multi-platform media solutions for Cottage Life. Prior to starting at Blue Ant, she served as Publisher for Today’s Parent, and was the founding Sales Director for Glow and Pure magazines. In addition, she was the Director of Brand Revenue Extensions at Rogers Media, with a portfolio including Maclean’s, Chatelaine, and MoneySense. Throughout her career, Rosemary has prioritized building strong collaborative relationships with her clients with the goal of developing engaging media solutions that deliver strong results.

IMHO: Writing and Editing Opinions and Columns with Max Fawcett, Jen Gerson,  Kyle Wyatt and moderated by Omar Mouallem

Op-eds and columns have long been a mainstay of media brands, with the authors enjoying their own name recognition and building audiences–that follow them from outlet to outlet if they move around. In the West, several new digital first media brands have burst onto the scene recently, creating new spaces for writers and to the delight of readers. In this lively panel moderated by Omar Mouallem (Pandemic University School of Writing), Max Fawcett (National Observer), Jen Gerson (The Line) and Kyle Wyatt (Literary Review of Canada) will share the scoop on writing and editing columns…the short and the long timelines, the demands to promote yourself, how to find your niche and create a beat, and much more. This hour was built for writers and editors alike and will have room for your questions too.

Max Fawcett is the lead Columnist for Canada’s National Observer and the former Editor of Vancouver Magazine and Alberta Oil. He was born in Vancouver, lives in Calgary, and is distantly related to the worst Prime Minister in Canadian history.

Jen Gerson is a freelance journalist and co-founder of The Line, a commentary newsletter for Canadians.

In addition to founding Pandemic University School of Writing, Omar Mouallem is an author, journalist and filmmaker. He’s contributed stories to The Guardian, WIRED, and NewYorker.com and received three National Magazine Awards and other honours. Several of his articles have been adapted into books and movies, including Praying to the West: How Muslims Shaped the Americas, which was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2021. He also wrote, directed and produced The Last Baron, a CBC Gem original hailed by enRoute magazine as one of the best Canadian food documentaries.

Kyle Wyatt is the Editor-in-Chief of the Literary Review of Canada, having previously served as the long-time managing editor of The Walrus. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, where he won the A.S.P. Woodhouse Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in the Department of English.

3:15 – 4:15 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

It’s Plus Web, Not Versus! Making Better Magazine Websites: Branding, UX, Accessibility and More with Marina Beniaminov

Digital magazine design — our magazine websites — need to put the reader first. Making our readers comfortable in the space you created for them and eager to return. Marina Beniaminov has been art directing and building websites for magazine brands and corporate clients for 20 years. In this session for art directors and web designers, Marina will look at user experience on content-heavy sites, mapping out a reader journey and how longer articles can be better designed for readability, including how to balance the need for marketing and advertising integrations. And with legislation coming around accessibility on websites in Canada, what you need to know to help make the next iteration of your website accessible to everyone. Plus, a look at how style sheets can be adapted to better reflect your brand, beginning with colours and fonts but pushing further to make your website the best reflection of your print brand that it can be … and poised for audience growth and content growth for years to come.

Marina Beniaminov started her career in graphic design as a magazine production artist more than 20 years ago. She has experience with various aspects of design – from UX and UI for automotive industry, and environmental design at Royal Ontario Museum, to infographics for GE Energy. She is currently a Creative Lead and Principal of Pixel Studios where she creates marketing and corporate communication collateral for the financial and pharmaceutical industry. In her spare time, Marina abandons the virtual world of pixels and screens and paints on actual stretched canvases.

 

Working with Emerging and First-Time Writers with Kyle Wyatt

New writers find their way to magazines in different ways. Some are ambitious young people who reach out directly, and others are established professionals in other fields who have never considered themselves writers—but who have an idea. Still others are spotted by the editor. Regardless, emerging and new voices can lend texture, perspective, and depth to a magazine’s existing writers’ stable.

But contributing to a magazine can be a strange process for a first-timer—something editors who are stretched thin may well forget. So how do you introduce a new or emerging writer to the unknowns of magazine editing?

In this session, Kyle Wyatt will take us through many of the helpful strategies he has developed to guide such writers, from idea generation to publication; to help them overcome the occasional bout of imposter syndrome; to introduce them to the magazine’s imagined reader and style; and to understand timelines and many safety nets of magazine publishing. Plus, why they might want to write for a magazine audience in the first place.

Kyle Wyatt is the Editor-in-Chief of the Literary Review of Canada, having previously served as the long-time managing editor of The Walrus. He holds a PhD from the University of Toronto, where he won the A.S.P. Woodhouse Prize for Best Doctoral Thesis in the Department of English.

Selling Branded Content with Rosemary Munroe

Advertisers are investing dollars into branded content more than ever before—it is the fastest growing category of ad revenue for most publishers today.

In order to make the most of this opportunity, publishing sales teams need to understand that branded content needs to be sold in a different way than traditional advertising campaigns. In this one-hour seminar session, you’ll learn effective and practical tips and techniques to successfully sell branded content across all platforms, both proactively and in response to a request for proposal.

Rosemary Munroe has worked as the Director of Media Sales and Brand Integration at Blue Ant Media since 2017, collaborating with clients to build multi-platform media solutions for Cottage Life. Prior to starting at Blue Ant, she served as Publisher for Today’s Parent, and was the founding Sales Director for Glow and Pure magazines. In addition, she was the Director of Brand Revenue Extensions at Rogers Media, with a portfolio including Maclean’s, Chatelaine, and MoneySense. Throughout her career, Rosemary has prioritized building strong collaborative relationships with her clients with the goal of developing engaging media solutions that deliver strong results.

Why Podcasting Can Kick-Start Your Revenue Diversification Strategy with James Hewes

Podcasting has become an essential component in every media brand’s portfolio in recent year but how do you make money from podcasts? FIPP CEO James Hewes will be sharing the latest research and case studies of successful podcasting businesses, showing how you can build multiple revenue streams quickly and easily through an effective audio strategy.

Having held various positions in his 12-year stint at the BBC, James Hewes was part of the team that sold the business to private equity in November 2011. He was then Publishing Director for Top Gear, Good Food, Easy Cook and Lonely Planet Magazine and a Director of BBC Haymarket Exhibitions. He spent five years in Dubai, running Gulf News Publishing and responsible for more than 30 product areas. He launched the group’s first consumer brand in Arabic – wheels Arabic. Appointed President & CEO of FIPP in September 2017, he joined from The Art Newspaper, having been Interim CEO since December 2016. He is also a member of the Advisory Board at Dojoko, an education-focused start-up and a member of Oxford Brookes University’s Journalism Advisory Board.

4:30 – 5:00 PMAnnual General Meeting

Please join us at the Annual General Meeting of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association during our annual Conference Thursday, September 22 at 4:30 pm at Grey Eagle Conference Centre in Calgary. You do not need to attend the conference to join us at the AGM, but we’re hoping you will.

All AMPA members are encouraged to attend the AGM, but only Voting magazine members are eligible to vote. Voting members, if you are unable to attend, please assign your proxy to someone at your magazine, to a board member, or any other voting member by filling out the proxy form and emailing it back to us (ampa@albertamagazines.com) by Thursday, September 15.

6:00 PM ALBERTA MAGAZINE AWARDS GALAAwards Gala

The Alberta Magazine Awards program honours and celebrates the work of magazine makers who collectively bring passion and insight to our unique Alberta culture and ensure Alberta voices and stories are shared throughout the province and beyond our borders.

Join us September 22, in person and online at 6:00 pm MT to honour and celebrate the work of magazine makers – the editors, art directors, writers, photographers, and illustrators in 10 Showcase Award categories, 5 Alberta Achievement categories, and 3 out-of-province categories.

Friday, June 23rd, 2022

9:00 - 10:00 AMWelcome and Keynote 3 - Jack Marshall

Subscription and Membership Publishing: Trends and Tactics for Paid Content Models with Jack Marshall

With digital ad spends declining, there has never been a better time for publishers to explore subscription models for their online content. And it doesn’t have to be one way or the other, publishers are finding that a blend of advertising and subscriptions can maximize revenue, drive sustainable growth, and meet the needs of their audiences.

In this keynote meant for everyone with an interest in the future of their brand, Jack Marshall of Toolkits will take us through some of the most popular and emerging models for subscription publishing, as well as some tactical advice on where to get started adapting your brand today. Jack covered digital media for The Wall Street Journal and Digiday (and others) before moving on to build and operate subscription products and consumer revenue initiatives. He brings decades of knowledge, and he, his team, and his daily Toolkits newsletters (for subscription and brand publishing) are the industry go-to for creating subscription products.

Jack Marshall is a media operator, product manager and editor with a proven track record of building content-led digital products and subscription businesses for a variety of audiences across a range of verticals. He spent a decade covering digital media and publishing businesses for leading media companies including The Wall Street Journal, Digiday, Incisive Media and News Corp., before moving on to build and operate subscription products and consumer revenue initiatives. As co-founder of business information and consulting company Toolkits, he now advises publishers and media companies on how best to establish, grow and optimize engaging and sustainable subscription and membership products, and how subscription models can effectively drive revenue as part of a broader revenue mix.

10:15 – 11:15 AMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

Photos, Photo-Essays and Long-Form: Digital-First Approach at The Narwhal with Shawn Parkinson

In the short time since its founding in 2018, The Narwhal has established itself as a leader in investigative reporting and on-the-ground photojournalism. In 2022 The Narwhal took home Gold and Silver at the Digital Publishing Awards as well as Gold at the National Magazine Awards in photojournalism categories. Joining us to share how this digital-first journalism organization plans and produces these visually stunning, socially important stories is The Narwhal’s art director, Shawn Parkinson. This session for art directors, web and print editors, writers and photographers will touch on how the team approaches these big stories, and how they keep their website user-friendly for long-form visual storytelling as well as their other editorial pillars.

Shawn Parkinson is a designer and filmmaker based in Vancouver. He is the art director of The Narwhal, a non-profit investigative journalism magazine that dives deep to tell stories about Canada’s natural world you can’t find anywhere else. Shawn is responsible for leading and evolving The Narwhal’s award-winning brand and visual storytelling.

Shawn also builds brands, communications and products for forward-thinking clients with his creative agency, MAKE TODAY. In the past he has led creative projects at Destination British Columbia, Hootsuite, and Vancouver 2010.

Secrets of the CL Multiverse: How to Be a Superhero Content Creator with Michelle Kelly

As content creators, we are asked to cover a lot of bases. It’s not just about getting readers to turn the page or click on the next link; now, we need to engage our audience across several social media platforms—at once!—as well as through emerging digital platforms such as podcasts, with multiple newsletters, and even through live events. Problem is, budgets aren’t growing with demand.

So what’s a clever content producer to do?

At Cottage Life, we’ve developed a strict strategy on what content we serve readers, where we serve it, and why. What works on Facebook might not work in a newsletter; what works in print may not work in digital. What works on the podcast, might be boring at a live event.

Understanding who your audience is on each platform is critical for making sure you are being as efficient as possible with your money and time. This session will be a case study into how CL brings ideas to life across different platforms and why being strategic about this is crucial to engaging readers in our brand in a meaningful, long-lasting way.

Michelle Kelly started her career in publishing as the Office Manager at Cottage Life. Since then, she has held various positions in the editorial department at the magazine until she was named Editor in July 2015 and Vice President, Content, for Blue Ant Media in September 2019. She oversees all digital, social, and print content for the brand, including the recently launched Cottage Life Podcast. She sits on the Professional Advisory Committee for Centennial College in Toronto and is a board member for the International Regional Magazines Association. She is also the recipient of several Canadian National Magazine Awards, including Editor Grand Prix in 2021. Outside of work, Michelle volunteers for Ready Set Play, a non-profit group that helps provide youth access to organized sports. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

10:00 AM – 12:30 PMRoundtable Discussions

Lessons from 25 Years of the Stinging Fly: A Literary and Cultural Magazine Roundtable with Declan Meade and Matthew Stepanic

Over the past 25 years, The Stinging Fly literary magazine has worked to publish and promote the very best new Irish and international writing. It has a particular interest in seeking out and nurturing new writers. Sally Rooney, Nicole Flattery, Colin Barrett, Kevin Barry, Mary Costello and Claire-Louise Bennett are among the many writers who have featured in the magazine early in their publishing careers. Fiercely independent, The Stinging Fly has steadily expanded its remit over the years so that it now also publishes books, hosts a busy online platform, and organizes various workshops, an annual Summer School and a mentoring scheme as part of its writer development program. Founding Editor and Publisher Declan Meade joins us to share the story of the magazine, from its early days through staying afloat during the pandemic, its open submissions policy, how they keep paying writers, and what moving into education (the Summer School and workshops) and book publishing (The Stinging Fly Press) has meant for their day-to-day operations as well as planning for the future.

In this super-sized session, we’ll begin with the story of The Stinging Fly, and have room for questions, discussion, and sharing of ideas.

Declan Meade is Publisher and a Founding Editor of The Stinging Fly literary magazine, which he established in Dublin in 1997 to publish and promote the best new Irish and international writing. Declan also runs The Stinging Fly Press through which he has edited and published short-story collections by writers such as Colin Barrett, Kevin Barry, Claire-Louise Bennett, Mary Costello, Wendy Erskine, Nicole Flattery and Danielle McLaughlin. He has also edited several highly acclaimed short-story anthologies, including These Are Our Lives (2006), Let’s Be Alone Together (2008) and Stinging Fly Stories (with Sarah Gilmartin, 2018).

Matthew Stepanic is a queer writer who lives and works on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton. He is the co-founder of Glass Bookshop. He is a co-author of the collaborative novel, Project Compass (Monto Books, 2017), and the author of Relying on that Body (Glass Buffalo Publishing, 2018), a poetry chapbook about RuPaul’s Drag Race. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Is Dead, CV2, Eighteen Bridges, and others.

Roundtable for University, Alumni and House Magazines with Dan Rubinstein and Lisa Cook

If you are tasked with editing, designing, or writing for a university or alumni magazine, or the in-house publication of an association in Alberta, no doubt you are balancing a bar of extremely high quality expectations with resource challenges and very busy story subjects. In this roundtable especially for our university, alumni and in-house members, Dan Rubinstein and Lisa Cook will lead a dynamic morning that is both presentation and sharing. Dan and Lisa will mine their years of experience, including how to develop story ideas, how to leverage your network of writers, the need to be extremely high quality content, working with internal versus external writers, and how to wrangle busy faculty members. Plus the origin story of Carlton University’s The Raven, gaining trust with leadership, and how to measure and report your impact (metrics!).

After we explore these topics, we will have ample time for questions, sharing, and discussion. Join us and get inspired!

Lisa Cook is the Editor-in-Chief at the award-winning University of Alberta’s alumni magazine New Trail and the Associate Director of Communications at the UAlberta’s Office of Advancement Strategic Communications. Having led the magazine for the last seven years, Lisa is credited for her vision, creativity, and mentorship for transforming the 96-year-old alumni magazine into a popular, general-interest publication. Lisa graduated from the University of Regina with Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications, English, and Political Science, and was named 2017 Editor of the Year at the Alberta Magazine Awards.

Dan Rubinstein is a National Magazine Award-winning writer and editor who lives in Ottawa but got his magazine start in Edmonton, where he lived from 1998 to 2008. Currently the Senior Writer at Carleton University and Editor of Raven magazine, he freelances for a wide range of publications, including The Walrus, enRoute, the Globe and Mail and many others. A former Editor at Canadian Geographic, Alberta Views, Alberta Venture and Edmonton’s Vue Weekly, he has also edited custom magazines for clients such as Ottawa Riverkeeper and the Azrieli Foundation. His first book, Born To Walk, about the transformative properties of walking, was published in 2015. His next book will be about stand-up paddleboarding, which he loves even more than magazines. www.borntowalk.org