British Columbia Magazine
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2007)|
British Columbia Magazine is a geographic and travel magazine in British Columbia. Its coverage includes independent travel, outdoor exploration and recreation, geography, wildlife, conservation, people, science and natural phenomena, First Nations culture, heritage places, and history within the province, with a tradition of extensive use of photography. Originally founded in 1959 as Beautiful British Columbia magazine, the publication will mark its 50th year in the summer of 2009.
In 1959, founding editor Clyde Harrington pitched the idea of an all-colour British Columbia travel publication to the B.C. provincial government. The first issue, titled Beautiful British Columbia: Land of New Horizons, appeared that year, at a time when B.C. was little known outside of Canada.
The fledgling magazine used full-colour, large-format layout and high photographic content, techniques that were relatively uncommon at the time. The cover line on the summer 1959 launch issue proclaimed "48 pages of sparkling colour". Beautiful British Columbia Magazine used the new colour palette to celebrate B.C.'s diverse, spectacular scenery in pictures and stories. The magazine reflected a new era of boundless optimism and expansionism in the province, heralding major new highway construction and the launch of a government-run ferry fleet (BC Ferries) that would transform travel within B.C.
In the early 1960s, sales increased dramatically as residents began to send Beautiful British Columbia Magazine subscriptions to friends and relatives across Canada and around the world. The quarterly magazine, now incorporating an annual scenic calendar, soon developed one of the largest circulations in Canada according to the national Print Measurement Bureau (PMB).
Over the next 20 years, the magazine played a major role in the development of today's multi-billion-dollar tourism industry, putting B.C. on the map as one of the world's great destinations. During this period, with a field almost to itself, the magazine published many B.C. gift and travel books.
In 1983, as part of a provincial government privatization program, the magazine was sold to the Jim Pattison Group. The now-independent magazine evolved from a tourism publication into an environmentally conscious geographic and travel quarterly. A new title, Beautiful British Columbia: Ours to Cherish, mirrored the new editorial mandate, and the magazine began to win the first of dozens of regional and international awards for its articles, design, photography, and printing quality.
In 2001, Tourism British Columbia acquired the magazine from the Jim Pattison Group. With the Fall 2002 issue, the magazine's title was changed to British Columbia Magazine. The publication continues to win editorial awards and has a paid circulation of more than 120,000, holding its place as one of the largest paid circulation magazines in Canada.
Similar Earlier Publications
An earlier periodical, British Columbia Magazine, bore the alternate title Westward Ho!. Published monthly in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 1907 to January 1915, it ceased publication in the First World War, and never resumed. Westminster Hall Magazine, begun in June 1911, changed its title to Westminster Hall Magazine and Farthest West Review with its December 1912 issue. Appearing as the Westminster Review from November 1915 to December 1917, it was published as British Columbia Monthly: The Magazine of the Canadian West from January 1918 and until its last number was produced in December 1927.