The Alpine Review
This is the first interview in my multi-part series The New Magazines on the excellent new magazines currently being published in Montreal.
The first time that I picked up The Alpine Review, a “bi-annual comprehensive magazine that tracks changes in thought, systems and creations around the world”, my mind was blown by the overall quality and design of the publication. Every article seemed fresh, on-point and well-researched. On top of that, the editing and illustrations were simply spectacular.
So what is The Alpine Review about? It has an extremely broad range, examining changes in society, technology, culture, business and beliefs. In their words, the magazine is about the “ideas, people and places that matter, that have the potential to influence or inspire the operators of change in society. Tied together with a uniting theme or philosophy, each issue keeps you informed and inspired”.
Issue one featured articles about the Internet of things, collaborative consumption, Berlin, Warby Parker and more.
Issue two was released in October 2013. Make sure you get a copy, this is essential reading for open minds.
Patrick Tanguay, Editor at The Alpine Review
Patrick Tanguay is a creative generalist on a constant quest for information—always reading, researching and connecting. He’s interested in the disruption of everything, in the rise of open and in understanding the shifts our world is undergoing. He is a developer at Taste of Blue, the co-founder of Station C, the oldest coworking space in Canada and a founding trustee of The Awesome Foundation Montreal.
1. How did your first get interested in magazines and get the idea to start The Alpine Review specifically?
Magazines in general, for ever. In making a magazine, it came after a series of lunches surrounding a research project for a client where we realized there were a lot of the things we were interested in that all connected in a certain landscape of topics, a landscape we wanted to spend more time researching and thinking about and which wasn’t that present in one “media property”.
Through various discussions we decided that a print magazine was the best way for others to learn about those topics in a calm, “lean back” manner and that it would provide us with a good way to discover and connect to networks of people we might want to work with as well as draw their interest in working with us.
2. Can you tell us a bit more about The Alpine Review and its mission or purpose? Who is your reader?
There are probably two core types of readers. First would be someone who’s already quite versed in one or many of our topics and who enjoys having one place to learn about adjacent topics and broaden their interests. The second is people more peripheral to all of that but who feel they need a place to catch up and get up to speed. Hence the “compendium of idea” phrase we use, for many it’s a collection of what they haven’t had the time to follow and research. With issue one we’ve found that often turns out to be creatives working in agencies/studios of various forms and in a variety of markets.
3. Why is publishing a print copy still relevant in the digital world of 2013? How do you think about distribution?
It’s relevant because it’s still the best reading experience. A quality printed magazine or book remains the best way to disconnect and learn about something in a concentrated manner with no distractions. In terms of distribution we’ve found (and are looking to add) a series of stockists with the same attention to detail and quality we have. That usually means independent, well curated shops who feature their magazines well and know about them. And of course we also sell directly through our website.
4. What is the editorial process of The Alpine Review? How are the topics for each issue chosen?
We read constantly and keep track of the most interesting “signals” we find. When we start the editorial process for a new issue we throw all those signals in one spreadsheet and start looking for connections, overlaps and how it would all fit together. Mostly we don’t commission articles, we find interesting fields, then an interesting “brain” in that field, contact her or him, see if there’s a fit and what could work in terms of article.
We find that there’s a good overlap but also a healthy divergence of interests between myself and Louis-Jacques Darveau, who’s both the publisher and my co-editor. So far just pitching our interests and finds together has provided a good mix without specifically trying to go in “missing” directions or trying to fill in gaps. Still, we’ll be adding “editors at large” to broaden our perspective. Finally we’ve had the good fortune already with issue two of getting some very high calibre people contacting us with offers to contribute pieces which has been fantastic for us.
5. What are you working on now? What’s next?
Issue two is off to the printers this week. Which means after some de-briefing we’ll start thinking about issue three but for the very next few weeks we’ll be working on our digital offer. We’ll be offering digital variations of the magazine and there’s quite a bit of work to do in getting all of that together.
More articles from The New Magazine series by LP Maurice:
This article and The New Magazines series was originally published on Swell.