From the Publisher May/June 2015

ClubWest(To view our May/June 2015 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

As an avid Globe and Mail reader – kind of have to be since I got my newspaper industry start there – I was not surprised and highly pleased to see the name of one Nathan VanderKlippe pop up last month as the recipient of the 2014 Amnesty International Canada award, honouring outstanding reporting on human rights issues in Canadian media.

The surprise was not that he earned such a high award of distinction, but that he won such a high award of distinction.

Let me explain.

Back in the good ol’ days of owning another paper in Niagara West, Nathan came to me looking for a summer gig – as about 25-30 students do every year.

Bright and talented? Absolutely. Equally shy, though. I have seen some very good writers who simply could not survive in the publishing game because they could not overcome that shyness. If you don’t have the ability to stick your nose in where it is not welcomed from time to time, you would never be able to cut it as a journalist at any level.

To do a proper job, one cannot be a hugs and sunshine reporter. Readers need some meat on a story’s bones on occasion.

So that was the only question regarding Nathan and his future.

Me thinks he proved his point and more with this award.

His family is very proud I am sure, and they should be. It is nice to know I was able to give this outstanding reporter his start with his first paying gig. As always, Katherine Grant has done a great job highlighting some of his exploits. I think you will find it an interesting read.

And what spring edition of any publication worth its salt would not include features on some things to get readers off their couches and into the great outdoors?

Niagara West residents are spoiled having so many unique and picturesque conservation areas in their collective midst, to say nothing of the majestic Niagara Escarpment.

Enter George and Sylvia Prins. There are a lot of folks who enjoy a good walk and still others who might consider themselves more adventurous….so much so they take on the escarpment on a regular basis.

Few would march the entire expanse of the escarpment from one end to the other. Now that is a worthwhile project, complete with a bear encounter!

Now, if you planned a hike after whipping up and packing the tasty lunch – following Chef Jan’s frittata with chive pesto and chicken soup recipes – you would really be onto something

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher March/April 2015

ClubWest(To view our March/April 2015 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Front Page Mar Apr 2015

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Rick Manners a long time. He was one of the first people I met via his work with the Kinsmen Club of Grimsby back in 1995 when I helped start the super successful Greater Grimsby Open, as it was called back in the day: the Kinsmen’s mini-putt fundraiser which sells out every year.

He was also there when the Kinsmen helped me start the Grimsby Home Show – a tireless worker, a phenomenal artist and a man blessed with a motor that just does not quit.

He has not been well for a long time. He reluctantly speaks about his affliction and one thing is for certain, he does not dwell on it. When he was speaking about how he deals with his medical visits, I could not help but think of my father. My mom used to joke that his tombstone would read, “I can’t stay here. I have too much to do”.

This, too, is Rick, but for different reasons.

I can see doing another feature on him in a year’s time because I felt so bad leaving out so much. The man is an army of one and we could use a dozen more in our community just like him. Thanks very much for the time last week, Rick. It is much appreciated, as always.

And, yes, this is the March-April edition, but it is not too early to start thinking about gardening and landscaping. I said thinking, not digging through three feet of snow to plant bulbs.

We have some extremely knowledgable and friendly greenhouse folk right here in our midst and you will find some commentary in this edition from them. They are excellent sources of information, the people at Vineland Nurseries, so stop in and fire your questions at them.

ClubWEST also welcomes chef Jan-Willem Stulp to our list of contributors. Jan has some great ideas of themes he will cover in the coming months to entertain and challenge those who are culinary inclined. He has a wealth of experience and is excited at the challenge. We’re glad to have him.

Looking ahead, May will be another first for Niagara West.

ClubWEST is the area’s first lifestyle magazine and in May, as laid out in our inaugural edition last summer, we will be publishing the area’s first “destination” publication.

Our whole theme – ClubWEST is a great place to work, live and play – will go to high-end homes around the Golden Horseshoe from Niagara-on-The-Lake to Mississauga, a total of 100,000 homes. We’re already working on our content for that edition. It will be our chance to tell everyone just how great we have it here, and that is pretty darn good! So watch for that the first week of May.

We deliver on time, every time, no month-long delays here.

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher January/February 2015

ClubWest(To view our January/February 2015 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Front Page Jan Feb 2015

In life’s travels, it is always a positive thought to treat everyone nicely, professionally and fairly. One just never knows who might circle back and work their way into our life for a second time, or even on a permanent basis. It was a long time ago, 18 years to be exact, the first time I met Andrew Best and Jason Ginsburg.

They were Grimsby Secondary School Grade 10 keeners.

I was just about a year into my gig at The Grimsby Independent when the duo dropped in to bounce an idea off me. Having been around long enough to know there are no bad ideas, I listened to the boys’ vision for a new column for the paper. To give you a little a perspective good reader, this was before internet. Their idea was a column filled with brain teasers, number riddles and the like.

In nearly three decades in the publishing game, I would guess I have had hundreds of such proposals offered in my direction. This was the most innovative and took a lot of thought because these young lads had created everything they offered. It was not a situation of today where they could Google “riddles” and pages would appear.

Fast forward to this past summer. I received an email from Andrew letting me know he was living in Shanghai and would be returning home to continue development of a new company. It was a company he, along with his brother Addison and Jason could have launched from any place since its initial focus is online. The trio believe it is important to give back to the community from which one receives so, as it grows, their operation will be Grimsby based. You can read all about it right here in ClubWEST.

Speaking of new things…here we are in a shiny new 2015. That can mean only one thing: new years resolutions geared to fitness. Enter Katherine Preston. This is another lady I have known for a long time, another ball of energy and a class act. She is not just about exercise, rather, the whole ball of wax. Diet and lifestyle choices are also integral. Be sure to check out her information in this edition.

You may want to commit that information to memory before reading about all the tasty treats Beth Ashton of August Restaurant is cooking up. August has only been around six years, but has almost instantly earned a spot on everyone’s must-visit list. August is another example of “it’s nice to see good things happen to good people” because Beth and partner Clayton Gillie are top drawer folk. This edition’s chef feature covers some delectable comfort foods Beth has offered at their King Street eatery. If I was you, good reader, I would skip right to the slider page (Page 21).

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft