THE GALLEY             Quill
Newsletter of
the Media Club of Ottawa


* Members' News 2018
* Meeting Reports 2018

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Third Quarter
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May 2018
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           N E W S......

from and about Members, Former Members and Friends

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WELCOME to Bogdan Gajewski
Our Newest Member was the winner of our one-year free membership draw, presented at our 2017 December luncheon. Born in Poland and educated as a mechanical (aerospace) engineer, he emigrated to Canada in 1985.

His media interests includes hosting a Polish program at Carleton University’s radio station, CKCU from 1995-2000, publishing a number of books - mostly in Polish - from 2000-2015 and presenting video productions of interviews with interesting people and volunteering at Rogers t.v. since 2016.

June Coxon: An article by June was published in the March/April issue of Fifty-Five Plus magazine. Called “Breaking Bread With Traditional Ways,” it is about an Indigenous Cook course being offered at Algonquin College.

Jayne Simms-Dalmotas:

Olive Dickason - See University of Alberta page on Facebook (event took place in 2017) and will be the subject of our May 2018 meeting

Susan Hallett has rejoined the Media Club of Ottawa, Shr had an article published in the Winter 2018 issue of Taste and Travel magazine. Entitled “Mint in Its Myriad Forms,” you can find it on page 85.


Jean Portugal - Long time Media Club of Canada member, Jean Portugal has died at age 95. As her half page obituary in The Globe and Mail on January 2 says, Jean "spent years chronicling the accounts of Canadian Veterans of the Second World War, and published their stories as We Were There, in seven volumes." 

Her books, published in 1998 by the Royal Canadian Military Institute, contain 350  illustrations, 1.2 million words and 3,500 pages. She interviewed 750 Canadian war veterans for the series.

Iris ten Holder  manages the website of the Media Club of Ottawa and publishes a printed version of The Galley/
With her husband Wim, Iris owns Arbour House Studios in Britannia, She maintains the website for
Ottawa Rug Art and Photography and is in the process of opening a store on Shopify for rugs and other knit fashions.

Shirley Van Dusen:
Ottawa artist Shirley Van Dusen is internationally recognized for both her sensitively rendered portraits and her evocative paintings of iconic scenes of Ottawa and the surrounding valley. Her paintings of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, the Canadian Tulip Festival, Prime Ministers and everyday folk are held in notable private and public collections around the world including Prime Ministers Pierre Elliot Trudeau (1919-2000) and Brian Mulroney, the National Press Clubs in Ottawa and Washington, DC and the Bank of Canada. At 91, Van Dusen continues to paint prolifically.
She is a life member and Fellow of the Ottawa Watercolour Society, an art teacher and published writer.
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David French*:

Joe Banks;

Helen Bednarek VanEyk:

Margaret  Virany  was recently admitted to  hospital and has returned home, Our thoughts are with her and her family. 

You may already be following Marg Virany’s interesting blog. If you haven’t found it yet, you might like to start by reading 
about the Media Club’s beginnings in
cozybookbasics .  

Henry Heald (1929-2016):
We are creating a special page on this website for Henry Heald  including his contributions to the club over the many years of his membership. His last book Before I Die: Not A Bucket List was published posthumously and is available from UofT Book Store

Jim Watson:

Rosaleen Dickson (1921-2018)

Patrick Meikle:

Dawn Monroe of Cochrane, Ontario, who reached a major milestone on March 1. She now has 2,700 mini biographies on her Famous Canadian Women website! Many of the women were, or are, CWPC/Media Club members. To read about them go to

* former member
** honorary member

Former Members

Aline and Lorraine Lafreniere

Valerie Knowles
An article by former long-time member Valerie Knowles appeared in the March/April issue of Legion magazine, entitled “War and the Women’s Vote.”

Susan Korah
, a former long time club member who's still actively interested in the Media Club,  spends most of her time working out of the country,.
Susan had an article published in the Winter 2018 issue of Taste and Travel. It’s called “From Luxembourg With Love” and is on page 36.

Jacquie Cernat Mathieu

Former club member and past president, Jacquie Cernat Mathieu had a stroke onMarch 23 She reports that after spending weeks at the Bruyere Hospital she is now home and is feeling much better.

Books about Media Club/CWPC members

Olive Dickason Biography 

Darren Prefontaine, curriculum development officer at the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), in Saskatoon, is writing Olive Dickason's biography and expects it to be printed in 2018. Watch for more news about this as it becomes available. Olive's portrait already hangs in the institute's art gallery and GDI also has an Olive Dickason Room. Olive's daughter, Anne, recently mentioned that the University of Alberta will be dedicated a room to her in 2017.

Report of March meeting

Lessons learned through 40 years of publishing

By Jayne Simms-Dalmotas

At the Media Club of Ottawa meeting of March 20, 2018, Tim Gordon, publisher, Burnstown Publishing, illustrated, through numerous examples, the ups and down of the publishing business.  He left the impression on the one hand, that it’s not for the faint of heart, but, on the other, that it has led to many great adventures, including:

       -    his experience with an author who placed the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis at the back of a book without giving credit to the poet.  This case of plagiarism resulted in the destruction of 1500 books and almost entangled the publisher in a lawsuit;

   -    a book about brewing that sold well at point of purchase in Ontario beer stores but the beer stores eventually lost sales because many customers thought it was a freebie and walked off without paying for it

  -     accompanying the author of Don’t Have A Cow to a dowsing conference to help her promote her book, but after attending a seminar where people made animal sounds, and learning that the author had plagiarized material for her book, concluded that part of the publishing world is good and some of it is weird;

-     satisfying examples of how reaching out to the right target market through specific channels can bring in excellent sales, such as the $25 bicentennial book by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada which had an initial sale of 1700 copies by contacting its members through a flyer, or, how the book Black Jack about the riderless horse who walked behind President John F. Kennedy’s funeral caisson was of such interest to Arlington Cemetery that it commanded an initial run of 5,000 copes;

  -   how brilliant ideas can sometimes reap great rewards, as in the phenomenal story of The Gas Barbecue Cookbook.  The publisher was inspired to approach companies selling gas barbecues and offer them discounts for buying, in advance of publication, 1,000’s of copies to give to customers with purchase, so that the recipe book eventually sold 1.6 million copies.

Tim Gordon demonstrated how a publisher must be savvy to succeed in the current environment.  His publishing company used to focus on the broad base, consisting of the general public who were readers.  They now go after niche markets and use a direct sales approach.  As well, they have had to take off the blinders and disassociate from mainstream chain bookstores, which take 40% off the top, plus a brokerage fee.

Today Burnstown Publishing will package books for people, using a royalty-based approach.  They co-publish with first-time authors who contribute seed money for editing and design, and help to publicize the books.  They have learned to be careful of big orders because “they can come back to bite you”.

In conjunction with the author, they will first identify the market and then do a small test run.  They use a formula that tells them how many books they need to sell in order to break even.  This way, it’s possible to easily recoup expenses.  So they might print 100 books at a time as a limited edition printing.  They might also pre-sell books to small bookstores.  Gordon pointed out that he still deals with the brick and mortar independent stores and believes they will continue to survive if we all support them.

Meeting Reports
Report of April meeting:

The Canadian Media Concentration Research Project Explained

On Tuesday April 24 Dwayne Winseck, Carleton University Professor (with a cross appointment at the Institute of Political Economy) and award winning author, spoke to the Media Club about his recent work.  As director of the Canadian Media Concentration Research Project (CMCRP), his talk informed us of their ongoing work on the state of the various media industries in Canada.

“The US has been in a state of reaction as to how to cope with the emergence of the internet on our economy.  The Mark Zukerberg (SP) and Facebook investigation is a good example,” Winseck says.  “The industry has been largely unregulated, since no one was really aware of the power and far-reaching effects this new player had.  So the need to analyze its impact on the economy through the CMCRP study was born”.

The study is a series of yearly reports identifying which media are growing, which are stagnating, on the decline and back on the upswing in terms of revenue gained and lost.

They’ve done this by collecting and organizing data from telecommunication, internet and media industries in Canada, spanning the period from 1984 to 2016.  Within those industries they gathered data in sub-industries. These sub-industries were then regrouped to form broader sectors.  They then grouped related, comparable industry sectors into three higher level categories, as follows:

‘network media’, (mobile wireless, internet access and broadcast distribution);
‘content media’, (TV,  newspapers,  magazines) and
‘internet media’, (internet advertising, search, internet news sources).

By using this ‘scaffolding’ approach, the data can be combined to give a birds-eye view of the network media economy and its impact on revenues.

The project also allows us to address the emerging question: ‘has media concentration increased or decreased over time?’ 

The internet and wireless markets in Canada are all owned by single parent companies.  We stand out in the world because of the extremely high levels of both vertical and diagonal integration that exist.  Diagonal integration exists when mobile wireless and landlines are owned by one and the same player.  Four vertically integrated communications giants - Bell, Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor - own all the major TV services except for the CBC and Netflix.  Winseck believes independent research is important because the internet change is as much about politics, culture and the structure of markets as it is about technology and economic issues.

The Public Policy Forum’s “Shattered Mirror” report last year argued that revenues and profits of the internet giants come off the backs of writers, journalists and from cannibalizing the revenue that professional journalism and the music, film, television and publishing industries need to survive.  Large players such as Bell, Shaw, Rogers and Quebecor argue that they need to become even bigger to compete with the internet giants.

Others believe this ‘blood in the water’ view is taking us to a knee-jerk reaction, as some go for regulatory policy gains that would have been unthinkable just a short time ago, such as  the rush to harness the internet giants in order to crack down on ‘fake news’ and propaganda by regulating them like ‘publishers’ or broadcasters.

The existing legislations such as the Telecommunications Act, Broadcasting Act, and Copyright Modernization Act, are all under review.  Government and CRTC studies of local news and the TV and film industries are undergoing the same thing.

Winseck believes that, while being sympathetic to pleas for cultural policies that fit the ‘internet age’, the analyses behind many of the charges are badly flawed.  While opinions exist, the evidence to back them is scant. He also thinks that the CMCR Project gives a good vantage point from which to appraise the various claims. “It also helps to counterbalance the record in an area where idea and opinion are being flooded by vested interest groups and their hired guns”. 

“Some communication historians call times like these a ‘critical juncture’ or a ‘constitutive moment’, when decisions made will become imbedded in technology, markets and institutions for a long time thereafter,” Winseck said.  “In short, what’s at stake is not just numbers and economic trends, but what kind of media we want and deserve, and that are fit for a democratic society.”

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Links to Other Meeting Reports

MAY 2016  
Glen Gower -  by Cynthia Cee

2010-11 year_review

SEP 2012  
Gordon Stobbe -  by Adam Feibel

OCT 2012
Linda Wiken -  by June Coxon

DEC 2016
Thomas Virany  -  by Iris ten Holder and June Coxon
Waubgeshig Rice -  by Jayne Simms-Dalmotas

Lorraine and Aline Lafrenière -  by Jayne Simms-Dalmotas