Canadian Magazine Industry News
10 May 2011,     WATERLOO, ON
Metroland launches new green annual for Waterloo region
A new environmental magazine has blossomed in southern Ontario this spring.

Launched April 13 by the Grand River Media division of Metroland Media Group Ltd., Green focuses on environmental issues in and around Waterloo Region and Wellington County. According to editor-in-chief Lynn Haddrall, “Green just seemed like a natural.”


“Our focus in our magazines has been about celebrating success so, that’s what this was about as well. But we also wanted to bring things that maybe weren’t that well known — that would be a little bit of a surprise — to people in the community, even to people who are already looking at environmental issues up close.”

Topics in the first issue included articles about ecologically friendly driveways, greenwashing in marketing campaigns, wetland conservation and building more energy-efficient homes.

The magazine’s 30,000 issues were printed with vegetable-based ink on Forest Stewardship Council of Canada certified paper.

Since re-use and recycling are such important green concepts, Haddrall said Metroland has tried a couple of new distribution strategies to get the publications into the hands of readers.

In addition to selling the $4.95 magazines in local bookstores, copies were sent to locations and organizations that demonstrate an interest in environmental causes. These include Sustainable Waterloo, REEP (Residential Energy Efficiencies Project) Waterloo Region, the University of Waterloo Faculty of Environment, Grand River Conservation Authority, Conestoga College and Columbia Lake: Health Centre.

Used copies are being collected for distribution to local schools as part of an academic program designed for students in Grade 4 to Grade 8 called “Our Ever-Changing Earth.”

Unlike the distribution model, the advertising model is very traditional: a 50:50 editorial to advertising ratio (although Haddrall said this first issue runs slightly higher on the content side), targeting advertisers in the real estate, automotive, home improvement, alternative energy, education and local retail sectors. Rates range from $962 for 1/6th page up to $3400 for a full page.

At this point, no firm decision has been made about the magazine’s frequency.

“We’re not sure what the cycle will be. Maybe it will be twice a year. Maybe it will be annual. We’ll be gauging the support and the feedback, but I haven’t had anything negative.”

Haddrall said the company has positive experiences producing both an annual publication, Technology Spotlight, and twice a year magazine, Taste. The division’s flagship regional lifestyle magazine, Grand, comes out six times a year.

— Carolyn Gruske
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