Trevor Shirtliff, president of Market Zone Productions, is on his way to releasing three magazines this year. In April, Shirtliff mailed the first issue of Western Farm Family to 22,000 farm families in Manitoba. By September, 13,000 copies of Green Builder Canada will be sent nationally to construction contractors, home builders, land developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, and property managers, as well as government agencies and municipal offices. And Shirtliff's third launch this year and fourth since last fall—Green Mechanical Journal—is scheduled to reach 7,500 Canadian contractors and municipal offices by October. When asked why he decided to unveil three new magazines in the same year, Shirtliff simply replied, “Good business opportunities were presented to me.”
Western Farm Family is a magazine about the lives of farmwomen. Every issue will feature a profile of a woman with a farm background and touch on topics such as raising children, finances, and health issues. According to Shirtliff, the response to the inaugural issue has been encouraging. “We were bombarded with e-mails, letters, photos, phone calls,” he says. “Farmwomen really appreciate being recognized.”
Green Builder Canada will focus on trends, systems and products geared towards environmentally friendly, sustainable practices in the construction business. Its debut issue consists of a recap of the annual Canada Green Building Council National Summit and a feature story on one of the "greenest structures" in the country, the Manitoba Hydro building. Green Mechanical Journal also cover green practices, but Shirtliff says it is still in its early stages of development.
All three magazines will publish three times a year and be run by freelance editors and writers. To generate revenue, the controlled-circ titles will on ad sales. Companies that specialize in farm equipment fill the pages of Western Farm Family. The two green publications have just started targeting potential advertisers, but Shirtliff is confident he won't have problems attracting companies. So far, he’s luring architectural and engineering firms and suppliers of green materials. The cost of a one time, full-page coloured ad is as follows: Green Mechanical Journal, $3,100; Green Builder Canada, $3,650; Western Farm Family, $3,950.
The green genre is one that will only continue to grow in the future. Shirtliff says, “It is a figment of the Canadian business landscape that is just emerging and by all indication is going to have gigantic growth over the next decade.”
Shirtliff has been in the publishing business for more than two decades. Last fall, he launched Canadian School Counsellor and has already increased that magazine's circulation from 2,700 to 3,500.