Canadian Magazine Industry News
5 May 2009,     TORONTO
New Arabella focuses on Canadian art, architecture and design
When Debra and Brian Usher bought a ranch in Caledon, Ont., they opened their art collection and gardens to the public, attracting visitors from across the province. Debra wanted people to be able to stay longer, but didn’t have the time to run a full bed and breakfast, so she and her husband, an industrial psychologist, considered how they could take people on a journey without leaving home. Their solution? Arabella, a quarterly magazine with a Canadian focus on Debra’s four greatest loves: art, architecture, design, and food and drink.

Arabella has a circulation of 80,000.
“We want our reader to be able to sit down with a cappuccino or a glass of wine and take them somewhere,” says Usher. She had first heard the word "Arabella" (which means “beautiful earth” in 11th century Roman) 25 years earlier and it had always stuck with her. She planned to name her daughter Arabella, but after having a son, it seemed natural that the magazine, which she refers to as “her baby”, would be given the name.

To finance the magazine launch, the Ushers sold their ranch and moved to Toronto, where the magazine is currently produced from their home. The first issue came out last fall and was mailed to readers across the GTA and southern Ontario through the National Ballet of Canada, art galleries and architecture firms.

When the Ushers were preparing to launch, various media houses in Toronto scoffed at their claim to not have a specific demographic. But, says Debra, “Art is timeless. We’re about aspiring, achieving and accomplishments. And that fits everybody.”

Local Ontario businesses make up the bulk of the magazine’s advertisers. The cost of a full-page, full colour ad is $2,700. The 300-page glossy has a 40-60 ad-edit ratio and a national advertiser, Ralph Lauren, recently signed on.

Mike Dunphy, publisher of Canadian Architecture & Design magazine, which launched last year, told Masthead that Arabella is “very well put together” but that the “content is much different than that of CAD from what I saw in my brief look.”

Arabella, distributed through Disticor, has a circulation of 80,000. The cost for a one-year subscription is $39.80, or $79.60 for two years.The cover price is $8.95

Contact: 1-800- 323-1068
— Lora Grady
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