When I turned 40 I made a decision that changed my life dramatically. I decided I wanted to write about the community I lived in – prior to that I had freelanced for the Calgary Herald in Special Projects (writing advertorials). One day I woke up and realized if I wrote one more weekly Auto Focus, or spouted the benefits of Botox again, I was no longer being true to myself.
That revelation led to the creation of airdrielife magazine. And as a direct result of that, my involvement in the Airdrie Festival of Lights which led me to the wider community and discovering that you need to give to get. My early successes were directly related to my engagement in the community.
Which led me to creating the Amazing Airdrie Women Awards, and then last year when I was wondering if I was still on the right path the creation of Awesome Airdrie Kids – of which the second roster of these young people are featured in this issue.
I have had a lot of doubts over the years; a lot of wins and a lot of losses. I have won several awards and I have epically failed at a few projects. I have suffered from Tall Poppy Syndrome (look it up). I was once told by a very wise boss “Happiness isn’t a place, it is a method of travelling.” I forget that every now and then, but now looking back at 50 issues in 15 years, I see so many moments along that journey that were indeed very happy. Most of that happiness comes from the connections that have been made, with an incredible roster of contributors over the years and the exceptional work they produced. They say people come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime, and when I flip through the back issues this resonates so strongly with me.
Most of you do not know that airdrielife is run out of my home. I am the only full-time employee. Everyone else is freelance, from sales (thank you, Wendy Pratt!!) to copywriting. I rely on these people who have come in and out of my life, some like Kim Williams, my designer who has been taking my vision and making it a reality since day one. Or Kristy Reimer (45 issues) and Sergei Belski (42 issues) who take amazing photographs – they have literally been here for the long haul. Vanessa Peterelli joined me in 2009 as the sharp-eyed copy editor and contributor and thankfully is still part of the team. And the late Anne Beaty. From 2009 – 2016, Anne played a very pivotal role in shaping our editorial for which I still have “what would Anne do?” moments.
airdrielife was always meant to be a placemaking tool. Placemaking “pays close attention to the myriad ways in which the physical, social, ecological, cultural, and even spiritual qualities of a place are intimately intertwined.” Source pps.org
I hope that airdrielife holds a place in your life and continues to. We’ve expanded our reach past the pages allowing readers to connect through our social media and website and most recently the addition of videos, podcasts and a weekly e-newsletter the a-list.
So my deepest thank you to the people who have made my life so meaningful for 4,900 pages:
Kent Rupert and the Airdrie Economic Development team – first class all the way.
The advertisers who believe in our conduit to the community like Westmark Holdings (Cooper’s Crossing) who have held that back page since the first issue (they promoted new homes from the low $200s!!) and McKee Homes who have been in every issue (condos from the $160s single family from $180s!!). To Vesta, Qualico, Genesis all in that first issue who came back every time a new project launched. To the hundreds of businesses who have chosen airdrielife over the years, thank you for giving us the privilege of telling Airdrie stories.
To Kathy Anderson – a former Edmonton Journal colleague (and my first business partner) who bought into my idea and then sold it to everyone so we could launch!
To the more than 50 contributors and freelancers who wrote, photographed, edited, designed, researched, interned, did admin/bookkeeping and delivered airdrielife. This magazine exists today because of your enthusiasm and talent.
To my unsung heroes – Sharie Tanner, her husband Randall deLooze and their amazing kids who make sure this magazine is all over the city.
And lastly, but most importantly, to my family, Scott, Jeanine and Ali, who encouraged me to explore my creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and were and are my biggest cheerleaders. Thank you for being my life.
Sherry Shaw-Froggatt, Publisher
Read more about the 50 issues HERE