The Walrus: A Canadian Valentine

The Walrus

I first subscribed to The Walrus in the fall of 2010. They had a stand at Word on the Street Toronto, and it was drawing a large crowd. I’m forever glad that I was just as curious as the average person because I walked away with a subscription and a sweet tote bag for the price of $20. 

 
My lovely tote bags. Great for books and groceries.

What intrigued me was the promise of an eclectic arrangement of articles, editorials, poems, and short stories each month with a focus on Canadian literature and current events. Talk about a classy magazine! I confess, I have not had the time to read each issue cover to cover (or haven’t made the time) but it’s a crowd favourite with guests and my family. Whenever I leave it out on the coffee table someone is sure to pick it up and find at least one piece to read. The cover art is also fantastic, and usually features a Canadian artist. Kate Beatondid one of my personal favourites for the Summer 2012 issue. (I also happened to buy the limited edition tote bag with her design on the cover).

 

Illustration by Amedeo de Palmafor for “The Marineland Dreamland” by Craig Davidson (The Walrus July/August 2013).

The Walrus has certainly evolved since then and keep on the edge of new technology and new ideas by offering a student discount on subscribing and even digital copies for iOS devices for the green-minded. They, of course, have developed a social media presence through Facebook, Twitter, and even Tumblr where they publish some of the gorgeous graphics and photos from inside. And if you can’t get enough of the print content then The Walrus TVoffers documentaries inspired by articles, additional interviews, and bonus content. Like the page says, “Smart on the page, smart on the screen.” 

 
This October marks The Walrus 10th anniversary and I was super excited for the special issue to arrive in my mailbox one month early. It features a profile called “Portrait of a Ten-Year-Old Girl” as an answer to Susan Orlean’s 1992 article on the ten-year-old American boy. Caitlyn Pinto is the Canadian kid at ten; it’s a fascinating read from an anthropological view. A second profile on comedian Russell Peters and his “post-racial” comedy routine also catches the eye. Round those out with a visual essay on water and a short story from Lisa Moore (author of February, the Canada Reads 2013 title winner) and I’m already compiling a list of who I will lend this issue to first!
By far, The Walrus truly is “the magazine about Canada and its place in the world.” A valentine to Canadians everywhere, really.