|Editor-in-Chief & Brand Manager||Patrick Walsh|
|Fishing Editor||Gord Pyzer|
|Hunting Editor||Ken Bailey|
|Categories||Fishing, hunting and conservation|
|Frequency||Six issues a year|
|Circulation||1.548 million (PMB 2010)|
|Paid circulation||90,000 (ABC)|
|Company||Outdoor Group Media (publisher Mark Yelic)|
|Based in||Toronto, Ontario|
As Canada's only national fishing and hunting magazine, Outdoor Canada has been in print since 1972 with a mix of how-to articles, buyer's guides, profiles, travelogues, reportage and analysis. In 2015, Outdoor Canada West was launched.
Along with promoting conservation and celebrating Canada's heritage sports, Outdoor Canada and Outdoor Canada West encourage anglers and hunters to improve their skills and broaden their knowledge of the outdoors. Included are fishing and hunting hot spots and roundups of the best new gear.
Published six times a year. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, it was named Magazine of the Year (50,000 to 149,999 circulation category) by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors, while editor-in-chief Patrick Walsh was named Editor of the Year those same years.
It was an ambitious idea: a homegrown national magazine covering absolutely everything about the Canadian outdoors. And this at a time when U.S. magazines dominated the newsstands even more so than today. So debuted Outdoor Canada in 1972, promising readers a Canadian take on fishing, hunting, conservation, hiking, camping, boating, skiing, photography, parks, wildlife and more. That first issue, for example, carried a piece on Ontario steelheading by veteran outdoors scribe John Power, a look at the Yukon's new Kluane National Park and a tale about Sir Edmund Hillary canoeing through the wilds of Quebec. Also featured were moose recipes and book reviews alongside articles on cross-country skiing, winter survival, snowmobiling, motor homes and boating. While Outdoor Canada has since refined its focus to concentrate on fishing, hunting and conservation, the magazine's original commitment to a uniquely Canadian perspective lives on.
The magazine was founded by the husband-and-wife team of Ron and Sheila Kaighin; the couple sold their home in North Vancouver and camped their way across Canada before setting up shop in Toronto. Sheila served as editor, taking over in 1973 from earlier recruits Mike Irving and Graeme Matheson, while Ron maintained the role of publisher.
The couple sold the magazine to the Canadian National Sportsmen's Shows in 1985. They both stayed on in their respective roles for another year before making a clean break.
Here is a brief timeline of the magazine's major milestones:
- In 1972, the 64-page first issue arrived in November with a print run of 15,000 copies. The cover price was 50 cents.
- In 1974, when venerable Rod & Gun magazine folded, Outdoor Canada honoured its 19,000 subscriptions. The magazine also debuted the first of seven logo changes, which continued to evolve in 1975, 1976, 1981, 1987 and 1994. The last logo change is the one currently in use today, minus the goose.
- The first Fishing annual is published in 1981, along with the alarming article by David Dehaas, “The death that rains from the sky.” The news was apocalyptic. “Experts in both Canada and the U.S. agree that acid rain will continue to increase for at least the next 20 years,” wrote Dehaas. While his sources may have been overly pessimistic, the problems of acid rain are still very much with us.
- In 1982, Bryan Berriault and Teddi Brown, who in 1986 became the new editor of the magazine, wrote Outdoor Canada’s first story on the then emerging concept of catch-and-release fishing. Though it has yet to become law in the way the authors predicted, the practice has been embraced by anglers across the country. Not only are half the fish caught now let go, but numerous far-flung lodges have voluntarily adopted the policy in an effort to preserve trophy fishing in their respective areas.
- The first Hunting annual is published in 1987. That same year a sweeping exposé is printed on the growing problem of the illegal trade in animal parts. Writer Don Cowan found that many wildlife officials turned a blind eye to the nefarious practice. Some even advocated legalization of the trade, Cowan wrote. Five years later, Canada passed the Wild Animal and Plant Protection Act, and the black market for bear organs, as well as for deer and elk antler velvet, waned considerably.
- In 1993, Teddi Brown brought attention to the fact that Canada didn't have a national fishing week, even though fishing is part of Canada's national heritage and it generates billions of dollars for the economy. Seven years of planning later and the Canadian National Sportfishing Foundation and its partners created National Fishing Week. The event boasts hundreds of fishing-related events coast to coast to coast.
- In 1995, Editor Teddi Brown died of cancer at the age of 62.
Outdoor Canada today
Soon after buying Outdoor Canada from the Canadian National Sportsmen's Shows in 1998, publisher Avid Media made a strategic decision: no longer would the magazine strive to cover the ever-expanding gamut of outdoor pursuits. Instead, it would focus solely on angling, hunting and related conservation issues.
The magazine is presided over by Patrick Walsh, who became editor in 2000 (James Little went on to edit Explore magazine until late 2012). Tailored to males between the ages of 18 to 49, and with a paid circulation of approximately 90,000, the magazine continues to offer exceptional content (see “Awards” below). In 2004, Outdoor Canada was purchased, along with the other three magazines belonging to Avid Media, by Transcontinental Media G.P. Transcontinental subsequently sold the magazine in September 2009 (along with sister title Canadian Home Workshop magazine) to Quarto Communications Inc., later to become Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media Partnership. In 2015, B.C.-based Outdoor Group Media obtained a 50% stake in the magazine, then gained full control in 2018. The magazine continues to be published out of Toronto.
Outdoor Canada has received numerous honours over the years, including 30 prestigious National Magazine Awards.
Outdoor Writers of Canada Awards
Outdoor Canada has dozens of awards from the Outdoor Writers of Canada, including (as of 2018): 30 first-place finishes; 22 second-place positions; and 23 third-place awards.
Outdoor Writers Association of America Awards
The magazine has taken home two first-place wins and two second-place wins from the Outdoor Writers Associations of America.
Canadian Society of Magazine Editors
The Canadian Society of Magazine Editors  has awarded Outdoor Canada its Magazine of the Year distinction three times (2005, 2011 and 2012), while also honouring EIC Patrick Walsh as Editor of the Year three times. As well, the magazine has earned CSME's Jim Cormier Award for Display Writing three times, and Best Front-of-the-Book honours once.
- CSME: http://www.canadianeditors.com/
- CNSS: http://www.sportshows.ca/
- Dehaas, D: "The death that rains from the sky", Outdoor Canada, Fishing, 1981.
- Cowan, D: "Deadly Medicine", Outdoor Canada, August/September, 1987.
- NFW: http://www.catchfishing.com/home_en/aboutNFW/about_nfw.htm
- CNSF: http://www.catchfishing.com/home_en/aboutNFW/about_nfw.htm
- Little, J: "The Teddi Brown era", Outdoor Canada, Summer 2002.
- Outdoor Group Media: https://www.outdoorgroupmedia.com/
- NMA: http://www.magazine-awards.com/
- OWC: http://www.outdoorwritersofcanada.com/
- OWAA: http://www.owaa.org/index.php.
- CSME: http://canadianeditors.com/