2021 Conference Schedule

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

9:50 - 11:00 AMWelcome and Keynote 1 - John Wilpers

John Wilpers Innovations That Will Transform Your Business

For more than ten years, John Wilpers has authored the Innovation in Magazine Media World Report for FIPP. His deep understanding of the macro issues facing publishers world-wide, along with his rapid-fire delivery, make his sessions a can’t-miss whenever he appears. This year, John has turned his attention to the solutions publishers are finding to navigate through the unprecedented challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic layered on top of transition of reader and advertiser habits. In this session, you’ll learn how small, medium and large media companies around the world are tackling changes to revenue forecasts, publishing models and managing remote teams. Don’t miss this keynote aimed at everyone with a passion for magazines, and walk away with ideas that have created turnaround opportunities for publishers across the industry.

John Wilpers has been a senior director at Innovation Media Consulting since 2008. He works with unprofitable, depressed, print-centric media organizations worldwide helping them transform into profitable, energized, multimedia, multiplatform, 24-7 content- and revenue-generation machines.

John has also authored the Innovation in Magazine Media World Report every year since 2010 for the world association of magazine media, FIPP. The book is purchased by thousands of media executives worldwide.

11:15 – 12:15 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

Revenue Mining: What it Takes to Grow Your Territory with Margo Bock

This indispensable session will help you succeed at the publishing industry’s greatest challenge: making more money. Media advertising veteran Margo Bock shares techniques that will help you uncover new sources of advertising revenue, and essential tips for creating integrated packages that upsell your existing clients and keep your funnel full of quality opportunities. Find out why integrated marketing creates far greater impact than the sum of its assets. Explore how different platforms and teams can work together to forge a robust connection with the audience, creating value for your advertiser, your audience and your content teams — while keeping your integrity intact.

Margo Bock has created integrated campaigns for every type of client — from Rolaids to Rolex — during her 20-year media advertising industry career. At Transcontinental Media, she served as Sales Director for the Home and Garden Group, including Style at Home, Canadian Gardening, Western Living and Vancouver magazine. As Integrated Sales Director, she worked on all Transcontinental print, digital, direct and POP offerings including Canadian Living, Elle Canada, Hockey News and French language publications. Since leaving Transcontinental in 2012, Margo has worked with Cineplex Media, and currently has her own consulting practice for Canadian content publishers. She also works as a Consultant with Magazines Canada for Advertising Sales Strategy , a Professor in the School of Marketing at Seneca College, and in National Sales for Everything Podcasts.

Channelling Success: A Newsletter Strategy That Grows Audience Engagement and Revenue with Michelle Kelly

In this session, Michelle Kelly of Cottage Life/Blue Ant Media will share how their brand has grown digital audience engagement by identifying content categories suited for standalone newsletters. You’ll learn how to match sponsors with content type, how to mine your archive for email signup incentives, and how to plan and create content for your website and newsletter that will increase open and click rates.

Michelle Kelly started her career in publishing in 1998, as the receptionist at Cottage Life. Since then, she has held various positions in the editorial department at the magazine until she was named editor in chief in July 2015 and Vice President, Content, Cottage Life in September 2019. She’s a member of the Professional Advisory Committee for Centennial College in Toronto, and is also the recipient of several Canadian National Magazine Awards and Editors’ Choice Awards from the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. Outside of work, Michelle sits on the board of Ready, Set, Play, a non-profit group that helps provide Toronto youth access to organized sports.

Investigative Reporting: The Non-Fiction Fairy Tale with Michael Lista

Good investigative reporting is about more than presenting information. It’s about creating compelling fairy tales — ones that stand up to fact checkers and lawyers. In this session, Michael shares his techniques for telling stories about bureaucracies, policies and systems that are grounded in human feeling. Michael walks you through the writing process that produced his most effective stories, from first phone calls and final turns of phrase to reading Shakespeare and Gay Talese.

Michael Lista is a journalist, essayist and poet in Toronto. He has worked as a book columnist forThe National Post, and as the poetry editor of The Walrus. He is the author of three books: the poetry volumes Bloom (a Quill & Quire book of the Year) and The Scarborough, and Strike Anywhere, a collection of his writing about literature, television and culture. A collection of his crime writing, The Human Scale, is forthcoming in 2022. His essays and investigative stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The Walrus, Canadaland, and Toronto Life, where he is a contributing editor. He was the 2017 Margaret Laurence Fellow at Trent University, and the gold medal winner of the 2020 National Magazine Awards for both Investigative Reporting and Long Form Feature Writing. His story “The Sting” is being adapted into an Apple TV+ series by Robert Downey Jr. and Team Downey, on which he is co-executive producer.

1:00 – 2:00 PMKeynote 2 - Jocelyn Bell

From The Observer to Broadview: Rebranding North America’s Oldest (Continuously Published) Magazine with Jocelyn Bell

Is your magazine due for a rethink? Maybe even a total overhaul? Would you risk your brand to reach new readers? Jocelyn Bell and her team asked all of these questions and ultimately took the plunge, complete with a new publication name, new design and  new editorial strategy. Along the way, they walked the fine line between making necessary changes without alienating (most) current subscribers. Find out what Canada’s oldest continuously published magazine has learned, two years after rebranding from The United Church Observer to Broadview.

Jocelyn Bell is the Editor/Publisher of Broadview magazine, formerly The United Church Observer. Stepping into the role in early 2018, she was tasked by the publication’s board of directors with stemming the ongoing losses in circulation. With 12 years of experience as the publication’s managing editor, Bell had a strong understanding of the Observer’s audience. Finding ways to keep the loyal church subscribers while attracting new readers to Broadview (launched in April 2019) has consumed her waking hours over the past three years. Bell graduated from Ryerson’s journalism program in 2000, and from Queen’s University in 1997. She previously worked for the Hamilton Spectator and Childview magazine.

2:15 – 3:15 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

The State Of Sponsored Content with Jerrid Grimm

Join Jerrid for a wide-ranging update on the world of sponsored content that will cover everything from changes in technology, revenues, benchmarks and legalities to advertisers’ expectations of publishers.

Jerrid Grimm is the co-founder of Pressboard, the award-winning content marketing platform used by the world’s most influential publishers and advertisers.

Jerrid Grimm grew up wanting Angela Bower’s job on the sitcom Who’s the Boss.  His career has since spanned mobile, experiential and digital disciplines, working with some of North America’s most innovative brands and publishers. Jerrid believes that stories are better than ads and co-founded Pressboard with a mission of leveraging technology to make content easier to product, measure and amplify.

The editor/writer relationship: A conversation with myself Sarmishta Subramanian

Sarmishta Subramanian has edited and written for some of the best-known magazines in Canada, and in this session, she will explore how writing makes you a better editor, and vice versa. From writing pitches to assigning stories, author voice and editing voice and building long-term relationships, here are some essential lessons for editors and writers.

Sarmishta Subramanian has been an editor at Saturday Night, The Walrus, National Post, Chatelaine, This Magazine, the Toronto Star, and Maclean’s, where she remains an editor-at-large. She is also consulting editor at The Logic. She was the editor in chief of the Literary Review of Canada, and editor of Best Canadian Essays 2020 (Biblioasis). She has produced award-winning radio documentaries for CBC’s The Sunday Edition and hosted and co-produced the podcast The Power of One. Her writing has appeared in a number of Canadian publications.


Thursday, June 3rd, 2021

9:50 - 11:00 AMWelcome and Keynote 3 - David Gibson

Doing More with Less – and Flourishing with David Gibson

One editor, three alumni magazines at a crossroad, and a briefly stressful, ultimately wonderful education in ingenuity.

In this session, we’ll cover three case studies (crisp and visual!) in which our editor and his creative teams really needed to get creative and figure out how to up their game as funding declined. If these particular solutions can work for you, great. If they can’t, then let’s try to find value in the various approaches to the challenges. We’ll move through the presentation at a brisk clip—and leave plenty of time for discussion and brainstorming among good and accomplished colleagues.

David Gibson is vice president for communications and marketing at Middlebury, where he oversees public affairs, marketing, internal and crisis communications, branding, web strategy, social media, creative services, and print and mail operations. He has three decades of experience advancing the interests of mission-driven institutions and has built programs clarifying their value in the world and bringing deeper engagement with stakeholders. Nearly half of his career was in magazines, including roles as editor and publisher at two alumni titles, at Cornell and Northeastern. At Cornell, he and his team won two Sibley “Magazine of the Year” Awards during his first three years. At Northeastern, he helped build one of the industry’s more lucrative advertising programs and earned Editorial Excellence Awards from Folio and CASE. As its managing editor, he helped Yankee earn its first National Magazine Award nomination for reporting. He has led editorial, public affairs, and campaign communications efforts at Hampshire and MIT and has consulted widely, including a term as vice president of strategic communications for the international consulting firm Grenzebach Glier and Associates.

11:15 AM – 12:15 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

Building Content-First Workflows that Support Multi-Channel Publishing with Kilian Schalk

In this eye-opening session, workflow design expert Kilian shows you how and why magazine brands must build change into their process, including how to identify needs by reviewing technical, cultural and commercial indicators. He’ll spotlight some common barriers to change, explore how teams working remotely can both block and enable progress, and workshop possible solutions to show how financial, organizational and audience benefits can accrue when a magazine takes the plunge. Come prepared to visualize change!

Kilian Schalk. An expert in workflow design and an “energetic, passionate devotee of continuous improvement,” Kilian has been working miracles in a multi-channel environment for decades. Most recently he positioned America Media, one of the oldest periodicals in the U.S., to “lead the conversation about faith and culture,” and in 2018 he created the blueprint for a workflow overhaul of Vanity Fair. Before founding PurpleGray Consulting in 2014, Kilian was Managing Editor for Editorial Development at Condé Nast, where he helped to define and implement cultural change across 18 titles. Prior to that he spent 11 years as Technical Director of Digital Projects for The New Yorker, where he was integral to the launch of the magazine’s website, digital archive, and kindle, nook, audible.com and iPad editions. He was also the youngest Production Manager in Rolling Stone history.

Mobile First Web Strategy: Making Your Website Great on Every Platform with Dana DiTomaso

Your website looks great on desktop, but is it fast enough and legible on all the devices your audience are reading you on? In this session, web and web marketing expert Dana DiTomaso will cover all the things you need to consider for your mobile visitors — who are likely more than half your daily visitors! Starting with improving site speed, and covering pesky attachments like PDFs and flipbooks, this session will also look at design decisions like font size and thinking about social sharing first.

Dana is President & Partner at Kick Point, where she helps people and teams do better marketing. Alongside the team at Kick Point, Dana pushes people and teams to set goals and track data so that they understand what strategies and tactics bring value and what is just a waste of money. Dana speaks at conferences around the world about reporting and analytics, SEO, and brand building. In her spare time, Dana is the weekly technology columnist on CBC Edmonton AM. She also enjoys drinking fancy beer and yelling at football players.

The Art of the Commission: Successful Collaboration Between Art Directors and Illustrators with Pete Ryan

Award-winning illustrator Pete Ryan has had many creative roles – from former art director to former college professor – he now makes his living as an illustrator. In this session Pete shares his unique perspective on how to troubleshoot collaborations between art directors, designers and illustrators (hint: a solid creative brief doesn’t hurt). Get Pete’s tips for perfecting the process from inception to finished illustration, and learn why he considers failed ideas sources of valuable data.

Pete Ryan was raised on a farm in the middle of nowhere. He’s a former college professor, former art director and former Ontarian who currently calls Nelson, BC home. Pete makes illustrations for Time, the New York Times and a variety of publications in Alberta. A global warming alarmist, golden retriever enthusiast and late ‘90s hardcore punk survivor, Pete can be found on a trail, in his garden or inside his studio.

1:00 – 2:00 PMKeynote 4 - Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice on Writing and Reciprocity

Join author and journalist Waubgeshig Rice as he discusses his approach and practices when writing about Indigenous communities and cultures. He’ll explain the importance of creating and fostering good relationships, and the research required to carry out the process in a proper and respectful way. He’ll also explore the cultural elements to keep in mind when writing and editing stories about Indigenous communities, and how reciprocity plays a key role throughout.

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

2:15 – 3:15 PMConcurrent Sessions (Breakouts)

10 Old-School Circulation Strategies that (Still) Work! with Eithne McCredie

With all this talk of pivoting to digital, are we losing our skills at growing and managing paid circulation? Are we using all the tools in our kit to convert visitors to qualified subscribers? If you have wondered how to get your print audience plan back on the path to sustainability, and what the strategies are that are working right now for paid and request circulation magazines across Canada, don’t miss this session. With decades of experience managing circ in and out of house, Eithne McCredie knows what strategies work to get your file in order.

Eithne McCredie has been in the magazine industry for over thirty years, currently as publisher of the Literary Review of Canada.  Prior to that, Eithne was the publisher (and co-founder) of International Architecture & Design magazine and has consulted on numerous Canadian magazines including Canadian Art, Brick, Small Farm Canada, Gripped, Canadian Cycling, Maisonneuve, Quill & Quire, Sharpe, Triathlon, Briarpatch, The Messenger of St Anthony, Toronto Life, Saturday Night, Canadian Running, Marketing, Harrowsmith and Opera Canada.

Eithne also conducts seminars and lectures on the business and marketing of magazines for Simon Fraser University, The Department of Canadian Heritage, Magazines Canada, The Alberta Publishers Association, The British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers and The Manitoba Magazine Publishers Association.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Design with Brian Morgan

With a career art directing some of Canada’s most treasured magazine brands, Brian Morgan is known for creativity from cover to cover. In this hour, we will journey with Brian through his magazine collection, trendspotting, finding inspiration and exploring grids, images and typography. Whether you are a seasoned art director looking to learn from one of the best, to a new designer, photographer or illustrator looking for a window into the future of magazine design, this session is not to be missed.

Although he studied printmaking at art school, and was then a bookseller out of college, Brian Morgan has worked as a graphic designer and an art director for the past 26 years, 20 of these in editorial design. He has worked for (or on) Maclean’s, Saturday Night, C, Dose, enRoute, and The Walrus. At the last he was the art director for nine years. He also sat on the executive committee of the National Magazine Awards. Brian lives and works in Montreal and is the art director of the Literary Review of Canada, and co-art directs Maisonneuve and Precedent with the Toronto photo editor, curator, and producer Rachel Wine.

Photo credit: Guillaume Simoneau


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.
Registration for the Awards Gala is free! Join us June 3 online at 5:00 pm MT to honour and celebrate the work of magazine makers – the editors, art directors, writers, photographers, and illustrators in 19 Showcase Award categories, 5 Alberta Achievement categories, and 6 new out-of-province categories.