Magazine article Canadian Dimension

CD and "Culture"

Magazine article Canadian Dimension

CD and "Culture"

Article excerpt

I WROTE MY FIRST EDITORIAL PIECE for Canadian Dimension in 1990, and joined the collective soon afterwards, contributing a column for the "Connections" section of the magazine for several years. In 1992, I began editing poetry for the magazine as well, writing short introductory notes to accompany each poem I chose for publication.

What I remember about our editorial process in the early 1990s was that when we met to decide the contents of each issue, those in charge of magazine sections--labour, the world, and so on--pitched stories and argued for space in the issue. I remember being a little taken aback by the absence of a guaranteed number of pages for cultural issues and stories, and by the possibility of an issue of CD appearing on newsstands with no cultural content. Having to argue for the value and contribution of culture to a political magazine made no sense. It seemed obvious to me that politics without cultural commitment and understanding was unthinkable, but I argued all the same.

The changes I have noticed in CD over the past 20 years involve more than its redesign, or its growing and changing editorial collective. What I notice more than anything is an important shift in the magazine's coverage of culture and cultural matters. Far from occupying its own section of the magazine, culture--understood broadly as the network of lifeways, institutions, practices and expressions in which and through which we live--permeates the magazine's pages. It is not just that CD reviews books and films, or provides a space for poetry or photo-essays, or that it profiles artists like Allyson Mitchell or Colleen Cutschall. …

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