January may be the month we’re supposed to kick-start our lives and make the changes we have talked about, dreamed about and, for many of us, failed to do anything about. (Guilty!) But there’s something alluring about a fall makeover. It’s almost counterintuitive to what’s happening around us. Leaves will soon be falling from the trees, the grass will lose its lustrous green hue and the flowers will be past their bloom. It’s a time of saying goodbye to summer and, in some cases, to friends, family or colleagues who are heading off to school or embarking on other adventures. Yet in spite of what could be a rather melancholy time, there’s this yearning to push our limits—to try something new, to feel alive. That’s why we dedicate this issue to helping you “fast-track” your life. Start your transformation by reading our tongue-in-cheek “Hack Your Life” special (page 108). Then get serious #inspo from health and beauty editor Carli Whitwell’s fall running package, “Road Warriors” (page 162). One woman’s story, however, should remind us all about the importance of not letting our dreams fade. Stephanie Gilman, our former #lifereboot columnist, writes about her emotional decision to stop taking the drug that may keep her cancer-free in order to have the baby she has always wanted. “What if I gave up hope, let fear call the shots and deprived myself of the life I was meant to live?” she writes in “Baby on Board” (page 100). Others who are living their lives sans regrets are the talented women in Canadian film whom Birks and Telefilm Canada are honouring at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Check out “In Camera” (page 90) for culture editor Sarah Laing’s spirited round-table chat. Another woman who is open to adventure—and to supporting artisan designers—is Alexandra Weston, director of brand strategy at Holt Renfrew and the driving force behind the H Project. Executive editor Christina Reynolds joined her for an inspiring four-day South American scouting trip in “Crafting a Future” (page 168). I’m proud of this month’s photo shoot “Natural Anthem” (page 154), which beauty director Vanessa Craft envisioned and championed along with her teammates, Victoria Di Placido and Carli Whitwell. Finally, in keeping with the notion of fast-tracking one’s life, fashion director Juliana Schiavinatto and art director Brittany Eccles take us (literally) to the speedway to offer a new twist on “fast fashion” in “Ride or Die” (page 116). So here’s to all of you leading a life that’s authentic, inspired and memoir-worthy. Start your engines, ladies!
P. S .
Seeing as how we’ve declared September our “New Year,” I think it’s appropriate to look back on what we’ve accomplished. It has been a remarkable time for the über-talented ELLE Canada editorial team. We turned 15! We launched the new #ELLECanadaCloset! And our trophy wall is now lined with two gold Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) and the following accolades from the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors: Best Magazine (Medium Circulation), the Jim Cormier Award for Best Display Writing, Editor of the Year and Runner-Up for Best Tablet Edition. In addition, the fashion team earned a gold medal at this year’s National Magazine Awards. Thank you to everyone who shared their talents so generously, including the other members of the team I haven’t mentioned yet, like Elaine Jyll Regio, Liz Guber, Lisa Guimond, Steven Kawalit, Brian Fleming, Danielle Campbell, Ciara Rickard, Jane Fielding and Marge Dunham-Landry. I am immensely grateful, and humbled, to have worked with you.