Ever since Jackie Flanagan founded Alberta Views in 1997, the magazine has been an essential read for people who want to engage thoughtfully with the critical issues of our time—from politics and the environment to arts and culture. Throughout, Flanagan has acted as a visionary, a steward and a champion for new writers and fresh points of view.
Flanagan was told that she’d never find 500 people interested in subscribing. Today, that number is rounding 6,000, with 1,500 newsstand sales per issue.
Flanagan has always invested deeply in the editorial side of the magazine, drawing out unique perspectives and expert voices. Thanks to her efforts, Alberta Views has showcased not only notable Canadian magazine writers, but up-andcoming journalists and academic writers, whose thoughtprovoking work Flanagan has recruited and developed for a popular audience. Alberta Views is a key piece of Flanagan’s larger vision to celebrate and nurture local writing talent. Flanagan also endowed and created the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program at the University of Calgary in 1993, which supports literary talent through two annual residency programs. Like the magazine, this program is credited with advancing the careers of Canadian writers and invigorating the local writing community.
Over the years, Flanagan’s unwavering commitment to her vision has withstood its share of naysayers. Shortly after Alberta Views launched, Flanagan was told that she’d never find 500 people interested in subscribing. Today, that number is rounding 6,000, with 1,500 newsstand sales per issue. Alberta Views was named Magazine of the Year at the 2009 National Magazine Awards and has received countless honours for its consistently outstanding content.
Despite her pursuit of excellence, Flanagan runs an exceptionally low-stress publishing operation. Her respect for work-life balance, combined with a talent for organization and scheduling, has made it possible to maintain high standards and predictable timelines without all-nighters and last-minute scrambles.
No wonder Alberta Views staff and volunteers—not to mention the province’s entire magazine industry—continue to be inspired.