No Guts, No Glory
Thirty-five years ago, I wrote the following for the first issue of Up Here magazine:
“Launching a magazine anywhere, anytime is a gamble and all of us have felt the terror as we considered that leap. To all of us, ‘no guts, no glory’ has been the rallying cry when we wondered what a small regional publisher was doing in the national magazine business. Collectively we think that the type of guts it takes to launch a magazine from a remote corner of Canada exemplifies the type of guts all northerners have. As for glory, well glory is always something that comes tomorrow for northerners. It hangs just beyond our reach but spurs us on from day to day...from year to year.”
Today, in this new digital economy, it takes even more guts to be in the magazine publishing business. But all is not gloom and doom. Here are some facts: Canadians want Canadian content. Of Canadian owned-and-controlled magazines, 80 per cent of the content is Canadian. Even as the internet expands, the number of Canadian magazines continues to grow. There were 335 new titles launched in the past five years.
It is often assumed that the growth of the internet means the end of print media. Not so. Magazines, including Up Here, are finding innovative ways to use the internet to extend and deepen the relationship with their readers. Up Here now has a weekly email newsletter, active social media channels, more information on our website, and in 2020, we’ll have a new website with several interactive components.
Real glory remains elusive. That is something we will achieve only when southern Canadians recognize and celebrate the North and northerners as we do.
Honestly, it’s been a struggle to keep the North in the face of Canadians (on newsstands, in the air, in mailboxes, inserted into national newspapers, at consumer shows) but we took this on 35 years ago, and bit by bit we believe we’re succeeding.
To continue our efforts, we will need ongoing investment from the public sector and continued investment from businesses and consumers in the form of advertising and subscription dollars.
Thanks for your support over the past 35 years. You have helped to spread the word and bring Canada’s North the attention it deserves. We hope you enjoy our anniversary issue.