tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Magazine Week in Canada

What's better than a warm spring afternoon in the park? How about a warm spring afternoon in the park with a large stack of magazines that has been quietly, patiently yet doubtless eagerly awaiting my return from India.

And what beats the heck out of that? Having a [part-time*] job that encourages one to spend his afternoon in the park reading a large stack of magazines.

It's Magazine Week in Toronto, where if last week's optimism-infused launch party for cultural affairs pub Eighteen Bridges and perfectly unassuming 45th anniversary soiree for indie icon THIS Magazine haven't completely exhausted local magazine lovers, surely the upcoming Kenneth R. Wilson Awards (June 7), MagNet Conference (June 7-10) and 34th annual National Magazine Awards (June 10) have all the makers and takers of Canadian rags (and itinerant party crashers alike) drooling for more.

The KRWs, for those of you who just said 'Huh?', are doled out to the best in b2b magazine publishing in Canada. This is where you find out if "Diamond Market Sparkles after Rough Ride" from Diamonds in Canada magazine wins the award for Best News Coverage, or "New Interest in Maggot Therapy" from Canadian Medical Association Journal is feted in the category Best Professional Article.

(These are actual titles. Other all-dressed wordplays at this year's KRWs: "Checking out the Check-ins (Marketing magazine)"; "Carbon Reins" (Alberta Oil); "The Inn Crowd" (Hotelier); and my personal favourite, "The Alpha Log" (Today's Trucking).)

MagNet is Canada's premier magazines conference, being held this year at the Marriott Courtyard. Alluring seminar titles include The Yahoo! Guide to Effective Web Writing, Dismantling the Print-Digital Divide, Web Analytics for Magazines (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet), and Get Serious about Social Networks. (Yes, we're sensing a meme here.)

The NMAs need no introduction, only further debate as to whether the puns in the Fashion & Beauty category ("The Unwearable Lightness of Being", "To the Manor Worn", etc) deserve their own category. And the three finalists for Magazine of the Year all seem like underdogs you'd root for in the park; all three made my stack to read in the sun today.

Excitement is in the air. Get. Some. Magazines.

* Full disclosure: I work part-time for the NMAs and KRWs, so really this post has been 40%--a majority government, if you will--propaganda, and 60%--a near-powerless minority of lefty parties--pure unaffiliated love. This blog is, to be sure, in no way affiliated with any of the above organizations.

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