Fourteen years old and this is my first time. It happens in the stacks of my high school library. I’m searching for something. I don’t know what. Separate today by three months of summer and I am still in eighth grade playing dodge ball (horribly). Now, I’m full of angst—and not just about whether Cam D. in English class likes me or likes-likes me. I’m worried about everything: social inequality, human rights, the environment, legislation. Legislation! Ninth grade was my introduction to the world and the world, I was discovering, is messy. I thought: Why had nobody told me? Cue This Magazine. I still remember plucking my first issue (“Capitalist Crunch” July/August, 1998) from the shelf and turning that first page, what it felt like. And that, dear readers, was my first time.
I’m confident many of you also remember yours. Maybe, like me, you immediately understood the significance of what you’d found, even if you couldn’t put it in words: a truly independent, alternative magazine that tackles Canadian issues with wit, originality, and strong journalism. Maybe you only discovered us a week ago, or maybe you’ve been with us since the very first issue 45 years ago. New or old, we all understand This doesn’t just occupy a special place in our hearts and minds, but in Canada. Throughout its four decades and counting, This Magazine has published great stories that matter and has inspired countless readers and writers.
I started my journalism career five years ago as an intern at This. While I’ve worked as a journalist and editor in Toronto since then, the bulk of my time has been spent in the Arctic. There, I travelled Canada’s territories and northern Alberta to write about everything from pipelines to prisons. I did this first as a reporter at the North’s newspaper chain and later as associate editor of another independent Canadian magazine, Up Here Business (which recently won Magazine of the Year at the Kenneth R. Wilson business press awards). For two years of that time, I also worked as the front section editor of This and wrote a feature for the magazine that was nominated at the most recent National Magazine Awards. All of which is to say: if true Canadianism is measured by how much we can stand the cold, then I’m really, really Canadian.
This is a small magazine with big ideas, big goals, big stories. We’re lucky that means we get to work with the best and brightest creative minds in Canada—and to share their work with longtime and first time readers alike. None of it, of course, would be possible without the work our dedicated team of volunteers and the support of the thousands of subscribers and donors who help keep us publishing year after year. My continued thanks goes out to all those who support This Magazine. I’m just as excited about the magazine as I was all those years ago, my first time in the library stacks.