Editorial: Why Van Mag is headed in a different direction

You may have noticed a shift in tone at Van Mag over these past few months. Our editor-in-chief explains

March 7, 2016

By Max Fawcett

Honesty, it’s said, is the foundation of a healthy relationship, which is why it’s important for me to start mine off with you, the reader, by saying this: I never thought I’d have this job. That’s not because I don’t think I’m smart or talented enough to do it properly, although I’m quite sure you could find a few people in this city who might argue otherwise. No, I never thought I’d have this job because I never thought I’d move back to Vancouver.

I grew up in this city and lived here until I was 22, but when I left to go to grad school back east in 2002 it felt like I was buying a one-way ticket. The job market was tough, housing was prohibitively expensive (if I’d only known, right?), and economic opportunities seemed more promising elsewhere.

In the years that followed I did an entirely unintentional tour of Canada’s biggest cities, living two-plus years in Ottawa, three and change in Toronto, three more in Edmonton, and finally two in Calgary. Each time I settled in a new city I found myself meeting other ex-Vancouverites who had fled in search of their own opportunity, and each time we’d tell ourselves that we’d love to go back home if only it were financially feasible. But the further real-estate prices rise, the more distant those dreams become, and that has repercussions that extend well beyond the lives of thousands of people who grew up here and can never come back.

I was able to come back, although I promise it wasn’t easy. I did it in part because I wanted to contribute to the conversation about where this city is headed, and in part because I was given the extraordinary opportunity to lead a magazine that can help me do that. We have a brand new look, a (mostly) new team of editors, and a roster of whip-smart new contributors that includes Charlie Demers, a great talent and a man who understands Vancouver better than anyone I’ve ever met. I cannot properly convey just how excited I am to see what these new elements will bring to the important conversations that are shaping this city’s future.

But while we represent something new, the core of what Vancouver Magazine is remains the same. Former editor Malcolm Parry once described it as a “brash, civic-minded, politically-oriented publication,” and we intend to live up to that tradition. And if you ever find that we’re not? Well, be brutally honest with me about it. After all, you can expect the same from us.

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