Canadian Magazine Industry News
2 October 2009,     CALGARY
Read Alberta Magazines Month asks Premier what he�s reading
The first of October marked the start of Read Alberta Magazines Month (RAMM). Kicking off with a party in Calgary, Colleen Seto, executive director of the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) says the yearly month-long series of events is meant to raise awareness about Alberta magazines. “Primarily it is to let the general public and our Member’s of Legislative Assembly know that Alberta magazines are relevant not only in the content they have but also because they tell stories from an Albertan point of view that wouldn’t be told elsewhere,” she says.

In addition to contributing local stories, Seto wants to bring attention to the role the Alberta magazine industry plays in the provincial economy. “We employ more than 800 people in full-time positions,” she says. “We contribute more than $35 million to Alberta’s wage economy. Our contribution to the GDP, mainly of Alberta is over $100 million.”

This year in addition to a series of events which include a film viewing, and professional development courses RAMM has launched the campaign ‘What is Ed Stelmach Reading?’. The campaign has not only asked the premier of Alberta what local magazines he reads it is also suggesting titles for him. By suggesting, Seto says they are sending the premier a sample of Alberta published magazines every two weeks so he can experience the wide range of writing the province offers. The aim of the campaign to is to bring change to the way Alberta magazines are funded. “Right now our magazine funding is set up through the Alberta Foundation for the Arts,” she says. “Funding is essentially available only
Laying out desserts at the RAMM kick-off event
Laying out desserts at the RAMM kick-off event
through cultural titles, so only 11 titles receive funding through the magazine publishers operating grant.” Seto says this funding does not represent the over 200 Alberta magazine titles and wants the criteria to be removed. The governments in Manitoba and Ontario don’t have such restrictions on their magazine funding and Seto says the AMPA wants Alberta to follow suit. 

Overall, Seto says the message of RAMM is to read magazines produced in the province. “It’s like the eat local movement, read local,” she says. “The benefits are obvious. We are letting people know the variety and quality of magazines available right here in the province.”

For more information on RAMM and the events going on throughout October, visit

— V.M.
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