WHEN WE STARTED CANCULTURE we had a grand vision of setting up headquarters in Ottawa, Toronto, and expanding to other parts of country. How much we could offer to our readers back then when it came to arts and culture reporting was still up-in-the-air, so separating ourselves from the pack was important. We decided to focus on longform journalism with pieces on roller derby, ghost bikes, the tsunami cleanup in British Columbia, the failed Toronto A La Cart program and the decline of Ontario Place.
It took time to brainstorm story angles and work with writers to hash out these features and since our launch in 2011 we were always proud when the finished piece appeared front and centre on our homepage. Local newspapers could be relied upon for reviews, Q&A’s and stories about art gallery showings, but how in-depth were these stories?
The idea of reporting on Canadian culture from coast-to-coast excited us. But at times our focused waned — quicker hits, reviews, Q&A’s — to some of the things you could find in your local alt-weekly or daily newspaper. Those stories were easier to assign to writers and had a quicker turnaround. In the push to get more content on the site we sacrificed the type of quality and writing that inspired us to launch CanCulture.
Now a year-and-a-half later, we are going back to our roots and are committed to creating the best quality content for our readers. You may have noticed that the site has been pretty barren these past few months, but we’ve been preparing. You can call it a relaunch of sorts. From here on out, you can expect to see CanCulture filled with longform articles about everything from the death of the drive-in to a burgeoning indie game culture in Montreal. It won’t be easy, but we’re in this for the long haul. So I invite you to join us as we rediscover all that Canadian culture has to offer.
Arik Ligeti is a managing editor and co-founder of CanCulture.
David Ayling is a Michigan-based cinematographer and a graduate of Bowling Green State University. The screenshot above was taken from his video “Welcome to Port Hope.”