People Profiles

Anicka Quin, MPUB, Publishing

September 15, 2015
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The Globe and Mail called it the great recession. Between 2008 and 2009, companies across Canada crashed and burned—including 37 consumer magazines. The reason: there just weren’t enough Anicka Quins to go around.

Quin is the editor-in-chief at Western Living Magazine. She completed a Master’s Degree in Publishing at SFU in 2003.

Western Living Magazine was not only one of the few periodicals that managed to survive the two-year economic crisis but is now stronger than ever with a a distribution of 143,770. One only needs to look at Quin’s leadership to see why.

“In our industry, there is always going to be a threat but so long as we know who we are we can steer through them. More recently, the concern has been advertorial magazines. However, our magazine is about providing quality content and we have maintained that focus. Now we are starting to see many of those advertorial magazines start to fail,” she says. 

Quin's vision and dedication to what Western Living Magazine represents is matched only by her passion for her role.

“I love being an editor because it means I get to be part of two creative worlds. One is the staff here—I love helping writers create the best story they can and in a voice that is authentic to them. And the other is the designers we profile. I am inspired by how they can create something from nothing and transform a vision into a reality,” she says.

Quin is not only inspired by the furnishing and spaces designers produce, but how they do it.

“For one piece I went to Sweden to the Ikea headquarters. Here were people that had designed lamps that millions of people have purchased and they were so humble and down to earth. Most hadn’t even brushed their hair!” she says.

Quin also works to strengthen practice across the magazine publishing industry as a whole by creating professional development resources, such as webinars on cover design and staff management, for Magazines Canada. As well, she helps aspiring professionals find their path in the business by volunteering as a mentor for the YWCA High School Mentorship Program. She was awarded the Magazines Canada Volunteer of the Year in BC in 2008 for her service.

Quin’s success keeping Western Living Magazine alive and well in one of the most volatile industries around, can be traced back to her graduate school experience.

“I had been working as an editor for a few years, and wanted to take a break to think about what it meant to be an editor. In the Master of Publishing program, I learned a lot about the industry—from developing a business plan to working with writers. It really helped me hone my practice,” she says.

Quin also notes that she met her future boss at Western Living Magazine for the first time when he visited one of her publishing classes.

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