This story originally ran in the Spring 2015 (V9I1) edition of Yukon, North of Ordinary.
There are many ways to pass the time during a six-hour drive besides fiddling with the stereo and nodding off. Recently, when Greg Karais (YNoO’s general manager), Manu Keggenhoff (YNoO’s art director), and I set out on a road trip, we spent the hours talking shop. We rarely sit face to face due to our satellite-office setting, so we took advantage of the opportunity to take care of business while confined to a car en route from Ottawa, Ont., to Portsmouth, N.H., for the 2014 IRMA Conference.
IRMA stands for International Regional Magazine Association, which YNoO has been a member of for a few years. The conference was a chance for us (including YNoO’s publisher Krystal Karais) to sit down with like-minded publishers, editors, and designers to share ideas, troubleshoot issues, discuss branding, and take a look at where the industry is headed. Thus our car ride was the perfect preparation for the conversations awaiting us.
YNoO ended up having the largest publication contingent at the conference, and our posse quickly became known as “the ones from the Yukon.” Whether spurred on by banter with us or after flipping through the stunning photos in our winter issue, the other attendees knew we came from a place of majestic beauty and community comforts. No one shied away from asking with genuine intrigue what brought us to the territory and what it’s like to live here.
There were even discussions about hosting a forthcoming IRMA conference in the Yukon, which was met with unanimous desire from the members to cross “explore the North” off their bucket lists.
When the conference drew to a close, it was clear YNoO had successfully carved out its niche as a regional magazine and stands tall amongst its IRMA counterparts. Unlike many other publications, we’re not government funded or subsidized; our team is much smaller; and our subject matter—the territory itself—is unlike anything or anywhere else.
It also deserves mentioning that we walked away with a bronze for Best Cover (under 35,000 circulation) at IRMA’s annual awards for our fall 2013 issue. Needless to say, it had us giddy with pride.
It was a pleasure sharing similarities and differences with our IRMA colleagues who are also contributing to the regional-magazine world. I’m confident that while our magazine is small, we left a big impression.
As we piled back into the car for our return trip, we were charged with ideas of where to go and what to do with YNoO. Aside from the conference, we’re sitting on the exciting edge of beginning our 10th year in publication, in 2016.
Keep an eye out for creative adjustments to the magazine with each new issue. And, of course, we always love to hear from you, so drop me a line and let me know what you think of YNoO and what you’d like to see from us next.