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Jim & Linda Gourlay

 

Saltscapes logo
suite 209, 30 Damascus Road, Bedford NS B4A0C1
(902)464-7258 Fax (902) 464-3755
Saltscapes.com


Jan. 26/18

I would like, on behalf of the staff of Saltscapes magazine, to nominate magazine publisher Jim Gourlay for the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. The reasons for making this nomination, at this particular time, are outlined below. Supporting material will be sent by other means.
This year, Jim Gourlay celebrates 50 years residency in Canada (he’s a Scottish immigrant) and 50 years in the profession of journalism in Atlantic Canada. This is expected to be his final year as a magazine publisher.
He started his career in the era of typewriters, carbon paper, hot type and manual paste-up and has evolved with the industry to the sophisticated publishing software in use today.
He learned his craft as a newspaper reporter and editor and, in addition to his regular duties, carved out a journalistic niche for himself in the area of wildlife management and conservation, especially freshwater fisheries. His work has gained a high level of respect in that genre from both professional wildlife managers and interested members of the public.
He was the first Canadian journalist to break the story of the devastating impact of acid rain on
Atlantic salmon and fresh water generally in eastern Canada. He was the first Canadian journalist to break the story of the equally devastating impacts of open pen salmon aquaculture on stocks of wild salmon on both coasts. He also broke the story of the blatant abuse of aboriginal rights whereby non-aboriginal poachers were paying Mi’kmaq lawbreakers to illegally harvest moose in Cape Breton.
In 1985, Atlantic Insight magazine failed in a blaze of negative publicity. The title was sold, but it failed a second time a few years later. This was the most spectacular magazine insolvency of several in a row in the Atlantic region. The result was a public perception that the Atlantic region was just too small a market for consumer magazines and both banks and government blackballed the industry in terms of future financial support.
But, the unseemly demise of Atlantic Insight in 1985 also brought about the birth of a new magazine publishing enterprise operated by a partnership between Atlantic Insight’s former circulation director, the late Neville Gilfoy, and Jim Gourlay, a recent migrant from the newspaper industry and newly-minted magazine editor. Gilfoy essentially ran the business side of the partnership while Gourlay was responsible for the winning editorial content of all publications.
Gilfoy and Gourlay first produced a highly popular regional Outdoor magazine named Eastern Woods & Waters. They branched into a lucrative coffee table book enterprise before also launching the business magazine, Atlantic Progress.
In the mid 1990s Gilfoy and Gourlay amicably parted company and Jim Gourlay partnered with his wife, Linda, to launch a regional lifestyle magazine which he named Saltscapes, while still publishing Eastern Woods & Waters. While Linda assured the financial viability of the magazine with her remarkable sales and marketing capability, Jim produced a huge readership attracted to the engaging, award-winning content.
Currently, Saltscapes magazine enjoys a combined print and online readership of 512,000. In other words, a single family-operated magazine has almost exactly half the online and print readership of the nine paid-circulation daily newspapers in Atlantic Canada—combined.
In 17 years, Saltscapes has earned 57 international, national and regional awards (27 AJAs to date) for editorial excellence. In 2010, the Gourlays were invited to Rideau Hall to receive the Governor General’s Nations Table Award for their work in promoting healthy eating and local food buying in Canada.
In his 33-year magazine career, Jim Gourlay has sent more than 370 magazine editions to press—possibly a Canadian record for one person. He has also mentored and enabled others in the industry as a past president of the U.S.-based International Regional Magazine Association (IRMA) and as one of the two founding directors of the Atlantic Magazines Association (AMA).
His journalistic contribution and the resulting popularity of his magazines have been pivotal to the rebuilding of the magazine industry in Atlantic Canada. By demonstrating that it could, in fact, be done, others have been inspired to try.
LINDA GOURLAY
Linda is the engine that drives her journalist husband Jim, and she justly deserves equal recognition by AJA.  Throughout her career Linda has contributed significantly to industries that enhance the economy of Atlantic Canada, principally tourism, business development, and publishing. Her lengthy resume is not included with this nomination; nevertheless it reflects her long time association with various branches of tourism in the region.  Linda has not only served in various administrative capacities but has been a model and mentor to many others in the industry. 
In the mid-90’s Linda joined Jim in the publication of his Eastern Woods and Waters magazine.  Her vision took the publication well beyond serving the sporting community. In a few short years she took on some heady challenges - she developed a sound business plan, pulled together a devoted team of shareholders and staff, and saw the birth of Saltscapes.  The magazine brought the Atlantic Provinces into the homes of the region, the nation and beyond. 
Not satisfied with the success of Saltscapes magazine, Linda’s eye was on the development of an exposition that reflected everything good in the region.  The success of the Saltscapes Expo, held twice a year, is further testimony of her skills. 
In short, Linda is a people person of the highest calibre, a skilled developer, and a generous donor of her time and expertise. She communicates the big picture of Atlantic Canada effectively, including vision, mission, and strategic direction. She makes her decisions based on a mixture of experience, knowledge, analysis, wisdom, passion, and plain good judgment. Through her various efforts she has spread the word about our regional treasures far and wide.
Linda Gourlay is a unique kind of journalist, and one smart cookie.
Short History
In 1985 Atlantic Canada saw the birth of a new magazine publishing enterprise operated by a partnership between the late Neville Gilfoy, and Jim Gourlay, a recent migrant from the newspaper industry. Gilfoy essentially ran the business side of the partnership while Gourlay was responsible for the winning editorial content of all publications.
Gilfoy and Gourlay first produced a highly popular regional Outdoor magazine named Eastern Woods & Waters, before also launching the business magazine, Atlantic Progress.
In the mid 1990s Jim Gourlay partnered with his wife, Linda, to launch a regional lifestyle magazine named Saltscapes, while still publishing Eastern Woods & Waters. While Linda assured the growth of the magazines with her remarkable sales and marketing ability, Jim produced huge readerships attracted to the engaging, award-winning content. Throughout her career Linda Gourlay has contributed significantly to several industries that enhance the economy of Atlantic Canada, but principally tourism and publishing.
Currently, Saltscapes magazine enjoys a combined print and online readership of 512,000.
In 17 years, Saltscapes has earned 57 international, national and regional awards (27 AJAs to date) for editorial excellence. In 2010, the Gourlays were invited to Rideau Hall to receive the Governor General’s Nations Table Award for their work in promoting healthy eating and local food buying in Canada.