This Post Originally Appeared on my personal Facebook Page following the abrupt closure of Muskoka Magazine and What’s Up Muskoka by the all-knowing corporate overlords at a large media company.
It showed up in my news feed and after getting both smiles and warm feelings from reading both the post and the many wonderful comments which, I decided a slightly edited version would get a spot on this site.
Here’s to the memories!
The opportunities provided by What’s Up Muskoka and Muskoka Magazine, first as a freelancer then as a salaried staff member, go far beyond what the public saw in print and online.
Meeting new people, sharing their stories and exploring our communities in Huntsville and Muskoka is a life experience I’ll always be grateful for. The many times I was able to help a community organization or individual out just by writing a few words or taking a photo always brought joy to my heart.
I loved being a journalist, but even more I love living in Huntsville. This community is so rich with amazing people that I feel blessed to be a part of it.
From the incomparable Grant Nickalls, who is always there with words of encouragement, to my wonderful friend Manny Buttus at That Little Place by the Lights, it was a honour to write stories about their adventures.
I’ll miss my comrades like Sandy Lockhart, Matt Driscoll and Curtis Armstrong asking me why we are running another Huntsville Soccer Club story or photo just to make Dave Caplan happy.
Or making sure the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce had as much coverage as possible, although Kelly Haywood may have wanted a bit more (haha).
The list goes on and actually it’s amazing how much I was really able to get coverage for just by asking nicely (or was it complaining loudly, at this moment I can’t recall).
I’ll miss discussing upcoming theatre shows and events with wonderful people such as Hunters Bay Radio‘s Jeff Carter, the Huntsville Theatre Company’s former head honcho Jan Jacklin, the Huntsville Festival of the Arts members such as Karen Cassian, the BIA’s former boss lady Helena J. Renwick and many others.
I’ll very much miss being teased about getting my friends pictures and stories into our publications as much as I did. And I’ll fully expect the remaining media outlets to give my children Dante and Juliet as much press as I did.
I’ll miss being able to brag about the amazing photos my friends Kelly Holinshead and Heather Douglas provided either publication which accompanied one of my stories.
I’ll miss our editorial meetings, arguing with sales staff such as Laurie Johle or Martha Gillan about coverage for their clients, our monthly birthday gatherings, our pot lucks, and our team.
Alas, our time is done and it’s time to look ahead. In doing so, I’m grateful to live in such a wonderful community that several people from other media outlets, including a pair of talented writers in Roland Cilliers and Dawn Huddlestone, as well as TV personalities like Melissa Candelaria and Scott Acton reached out with kind words of regret and encouragement. Most likely, this would not happen in other places.
So, myself and my former colleagues are on to new adventures and perhaps new careers.
Personally I’m feeling very positive knowing I live in such a supportive community who has already made me feel like everything’s going to be alright.
So, for all those mentioned above and those who were left out but not forgotten: Thank you Huntsville and Thank You Muskoka!