Six On / Six Off - Your McMurray Magazine: Four Years in the Making
Off: How can a magazine about Fort McMurray possibly have made it to four years? Are there even enough interesting stories to get it that far?
On: Maybe you haven’t been reading for the last four years, but what has become very clear in that time is this little community in northern Alberta is absolutely busting at the seams with great stories.
Off: It must get kind of boring, writing about the same place every issue. I mean, there’s a whole world out there.
On: The funny thing is that there is a whole world here in Fort McMurray, too, because this region attracts people from all over the world. Name a nation and we likely have a resident who once called that country home. That’s probably why writing about Fort McMurray – and especially the people – could never be boring.
Off: Four years. Big deal, some magazines have been out there for decades.
On: That’s true, some have – and every single one of them started somewhere, and celebrated their successes along the way. Despite all the challenges this region has faced, like a faltering economy and a natural disaster, this magazine has just kept chugging along. That’s kind of how those decades-old magazines did it, too.
Off: But what can a magazine really do for a community? I mean, it’s all about advertising, right?
On: Advertising is what helps magazines to survive, but what makes them thrive are the writers and readers. The shining stars aren’t the ads, but the stories of our residents. And magazines not only give opportunities to writers (like me) but they help our community to tell our stories not only to each other, but the world. This magazine has been remarkably successful in that regard.
Off: It’s all fluff and stuff. It’s not like this magazine tackles any hard issues.
On: Au contraire, my friend. This magazine has tackled some very sensitive moments in our community, including an entire commemorative edition that addressed the wildfire that changed our region forever. Magazines aren’t there to make the stories – but they are there to tell them, and from the very first issue, this magazine has done exactly that.
Off: What about the future, though? I mean, four years is great, but what’s next?
On: The great thing about magazines – and communities – is you never really know what might be next. It’s all a great adventure, first the one that we live and then the one that reflects the moments and stories of those lives. For the last four years Your McMurray Magazine has been here to record the adventure, and while I cannot speak for anyone else, I know I am incredibly grateful to have been part of the ride – and I am looking forward to finding out what is coming next, too!