We’re very proud to announce that This Magazine won a gold medal at the Canadian Newsstand Awards last night in Toronto. The Newsstand Awards recognize excellence in cover design and marketing, and for a small magazine like This, it’s a huge deal to be recognized alongside heavyweights like Flare, Maclean’s, Canadian Art, and Châtelaine. Our winning cover was the provocative November-December 2009 special issue, “Legalize Everything!” (You can read that issue in its entirety here.)
Deserving of recognition for this fantastic achievement are: Lisa Whittington-Hill, our Publisher; David Donald, our art director; Stephen Trumper, our cover consultant/guru; Transcontinental/LGM, our printer; and Magazines Canada/Disticor, our distributors. Thanks also, of course, to the many talented contributors who made this such a special issue, the board of directors for making the whole enterprise viable, and thank you for buying into the idea of This Magazine—and, more to the point, buying a copy or subscribing.
Join me for a little aside about this crazy magazine-selling business, won’t you? This is, in fact, the fifth time in a row (!) we’ve taken the gold medal in the Small Magazine category. But we haven’t let it go to our heads: newsstand sales—that is, people walking into stores and buying a single copy off the shelf—are in decline coast to coast, and we’ve found it especially challenging in the last few years because a shocking number of independent book and magazine stores have gone out of business. Those smaller merchants are the kind of places that promote This because they really get our mission and love the magazine—but there are fewer of them than ever before. And your local megabookstore is less likely to put This on display because they concentrate on selling high-volume, high-sex-appeal, high-turnover magazines with celebrities on the cover. (In fact, those big magazines pay the stores to put them on display more prominently, something we can almost never afford to do.)
That’s why—while we believe it’s still super-important for This to be visible on newsstands, so that we can introduce ourselves to new readers who wouldn’t otherwise discover us—we encourage you to buy a subscription to the magazine. When you buy a single copy of This off the shelf, only a small fraction of that sticker price makes it back to us to support the magazine’s work (the store, the distributors, everyone who touches it on the way to and from the newsstand gets a cut). But when you subscribe, you’re directly supporting the magazine and its contributors, and subscription revenue is more stable and predictable, meaning that we can concentrate less on worrying about the bills and focus on making the best small magazine in Canada.
OK, nagging over. We’re thrilled by this win and thank all of the wonderful people who made it a reality. Our thanks to the judges for recognizing This among the other strong contenders in the category, and congratulations to our fellow winners. See you on the newsstand!