This Issue |
Like a well-designed home that brings joy to its inhabitants, our Interiors edition aims to entertain, and possibly guide, readers. To succeed, we listen to our intuition — which, for me, means our contributors. No analytics system can tell us what readers want. (Is it useful to know where a homeowner bought that 3-D modelling software? Do readers want to know the cat’s name?) Our contributors are our eyes and ears, our foot soldiers who look at the city with an eye for what Ottawa Magazine readers want.
That’s why it’s important I share with you two major changes for us in 2018.
Jane Corbett, art director of over 30 years, is retiring. Jane started in 1985, when a company called Capital Publishers was based in an office tower on Cumberland Street. Ottawa Magazine came in 1988 — that means that in every issue, Jane put words and pictures together in a way that enticed readers, structuring magazines to offer comforting patterns as well as surprises. Plus, she often wrote the headlines! A skilled wordsmith who writes with sensitivity and humour, Jane’s own writing will appear in our next issue as she recalls the horror, suspense, and triumph that she experienced during the flood of 2017.
We have a saying around the office that Ottawa Magazine is like “Hotel California” — you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. While The Eagles might have been referencing the pitfalls of Hollywood excess, we’re proud of the longstanding relationships we’ve built with our contributors, and much credit is due to Jane for this, as she always supported photographers and illustrators to stay true to themselves. As Jane moves into the next phase of her life, we look forward to seeing her name on the contributors list and wish her the best in her other ventures.
In addition, after five years as our restaurant critic, and 20 before that reviewing food for the Ottawa Citizen, Anne DesBrisay feels it is time to “put down the fork. Or at least to leave the pen at home.” (For more, read “Dear readers and restaurants” on CapitalDining.com.) Anne is known across Canada for her reviews; more recently, she worked with chefs in a different way to produce Ottawa Cooks. I remember well the day she told me about the project: a patio lunch on Somerset, Anne exhilarated by this new endeavour. It wasn’t without its challenges; after all, it meant shedding her cloak of anonymity that she held so dear. That’s the thing about Anne — she cares more about revealing the truth for readers than about the perks that come with being a media VIP. As further testimony, she was a few minutes late for our last lunch date because she had witnessed a car accident on the 401 — and stopped. Many people would have kept driving; many would have been too rattled to talk business after such an incident. Not Anne. She is a pro and I will miss her.
Our contributors are the lifeblood of our publication. Similar to the architects and homeowners featured in this issue, they make hundreds of decisions that affect the final product. And while I will miss working closely with Jane and Anne, I trust that they will continue to be part of our extended family. Coming Up: As Jeff Eustace takes the reins as art director (no rookie, having joined Capital Publishers in 1988 and worked on every issue of Where magazine), our spring issue will focus on real estate — the hot ’hoods, new condos, and housing trends that are changing our city. It’s also our 20th-anniversary issue, so we might have some fun going through the archives. Do you have a favourite story or cover image? Let us know!