As creators of Crowfoot Media planned how they would produce a print magazine, at the top of their list of decisions was that they would focus on quality, not quantity.
As such, the inaugural issue of Canadian Rockies Annual, which they will publish only once a year, is about to hit local newsstands.
The magazine, said Banff resident and Crowfoot Media founder and editor Meghan J. Ward, will be like a coffee table book that renews itself annually. The stories and images that will appear in this issue, she added, were selected for how they provide the reader with a “fresh take” on the mountain experience of the Canadian Rockies.
“They needed to convey an element of intrigue, excitement and/or enlightenment,” Ward said. “Being an annual magazine, and one we hope people will treat as a collector’s item, the content needed to be classic and stand the test.”
Contributing writers and photographers include residents of five provinces, from B.C. to P.E.I., and three countries. Approximately half of them represent the immediate Rockies region.
“There is a nice mix of local names and creatives from elsewhere who have produced strong images or stories about the Canadian Rockies,” Ward said.
The mix is fitting, since each of the members of the core Crowfoot Media team migrated to the Canadian Rockies from Eastern Canada, elsewhere in Alberta and Australia, and were inspired by the mountain landscape and both natural and cultural environments to stay and make this region their home.
“The Rockies became the new home that made sense for us and, like many of our readers, we were drawn by the mountains themselves and the opportunities they present to us,” Ward said. “Anyone who longs for the wilderness knows the kind of inspiration that can bring, and that provides some serious fuel for us.”
For additional inspiration, the magazine’s creators spent hours browsing through existing magazines they enjoyed and admired, as well as a few they didn’t like so much.
“And we draw inspiration from the people who come to us saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea,’” Ward said. “We kept our ears and eyes open at all times, sharing ideas along the way. There is no shortage of inspiration out there if you remain open to it.”
Their motivation to create the magazine grew from a need they saw for a publication that would share in-depth storytelling and captivating visuals, and that would appeal to readers of all ages who share a common interest in the Rockies’ mountain environment, including residents and visitors. Ward said she is especially proud of the calibre and diversity of stories, images and design of the magazine.
“We hope our readers will gain a newfound love, appreciation or fascination for our little corner of the planet,” Ward said. “For those who live here, we hope it’ll change their perspective on what the mountain life looks like, whether it’s drawing more inspiration from the people they rub shoulders with every day or engaging with mountain adventure in a new way. And we hope the content sparks some great dinner table conversations or new initiatives – that it’s the beginning of something and not the final product.”
To help lubricate that conversation, Crowfoot Media has planned a launch party taking place May 1 at Park Distillery Restaurant + Bar, with the added bonus of live music by Shred Kelly. As an added perk, all attendees will take home a swag bag filled with goodies, including a hot-off-the-press copy of the Canadian Rockies Annual.
Tickets are available online, or at Park Distillery and Unlimited Skate & Snow. Banff Ambassador Program alumni gain free entry by claiming a ticket in advance, (same link) and showing their BAP Passport at the door.
Print copies of the magazine will be available at local retailers after May 1.