Canadian Magazine Industry News
26 September 2013,     VANCOUVER
BCLiving.ca moving to print in English and Chinese
It's rare enough in the current climate for online magazines to expand with a print edition. Canada Wide Media's BCLiving.ca is hatching two, one of them a Chinese-language quarterly.

The other is an English edition that will print 10 times per year with double-issues in December/January and July/August. While the mags are named BC Living, the focus will be on residents of the Lower Mainland Vancouver area. "This is very much a city magazine," said Tom Gierasimczuk, vice-president of editorial.

The cover of BC Living's 2013 media kit gives a taste of what the mag will look like
The cover of BC Living's 2013 media kit gives a taste of what the mag will look like

The BCLiving.ca website, launched prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics, was intended as a general province-wide hub featuring everything from lifestyle to travel that Gierasimczuk said targeted "everybody." It became the company's most successful online product with 125,000 unique monthly visitors, and provided a stream of audience data that informed how the brand would approach its foray into print.

The decision to cover the province from the eyes of the Vancouver-area reader was also pushed by what Canada Wide Media saw as an open space in the marketplace.

Gierasimczuk name-checked TC Media's Vancouver Magazine and said it does "a fantastic job" and mentioned that a number of city blogs admirably cover the city. "But as far as we're concerned, there was a real lack of a holistic media lifestyle brand in this space," he said. BC Living will address all the verticals of an all-encompassing city brand, like shopping, fashion and well being, "in a convenient, daily, cross-platform way," he explained.

That means BCLiving.ca is switching gears and will follow the roadmap established by the 2013 redesign of its sister, BCBusiness, adopting more of a daily newsroom model to both separate itself from and inform the content of the printed editions.

  One of the things we've noticed is the complete, almost ignorance by English media of this massive, fantastic audience."
- Tom Gierasimczuk
The Chinese quarterly edition will contain around 75% of the same content as the English version, featuring a mix of original features, translated content tweaked for the audience, and straight translated pieces. It will be overseen by editor Kelly Bai, who moves between Vancouver and Hong Kong, and a design team based in Hong Kong.

Gierasimczuk, who moved to B.C. from Toronto after working as editor-in-chief of Marketing Magazine, said the Greater Vancouver Chinese audience, with more than 400,000 residents tracing their ethnicity to China according to the 2006 Census, has been ignored for too long.

"Since I got here from Toronto, one of the things we've noticed is the complete, almost ignorance by English media of this massive, fantastic audience," he said. "The magazine will be instrumental in attracting these high net-worth immigrants to all that Vancouver has to offer, as opposed to just assuming they'll stay in Richmond," he said.

The cover of the inaugural English edition will feature local style and shopping guru Susie Wall, while the Chinese edition will feature Wanting Qu, a B.C.-born singer and Vancouver's official Tourism Ambassador to China.

A full-page ad costs $3,610 for the English edition, $2,480 for the Chinese.

BC Living-English will have a run of 31,000, with 15,000 distributed through Friday home delivery free through the Globe and Mail, 11,000 available for free at select high-end locations, 3,500 via paid distribution on newsstands and the rest slated for marketing giveaways. The first issue is the November shopping edition.

The Chinese version will release 10,000 copies through high-end decor, design and furniture stores, financial planners and insurance agents, real estate companies and realtors, and Chinese medical and dental clinics. Its first edition is a Winter shopping issue.
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