From the Publisher November/December 2014

ClubWest(To view our November/December 2014 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Front Page Nov Dec 2014One of the first things taught in any self-respecting journalism school is that everyone has a story to tell. A good reporter should be able to hang out at a gas station for 10 minutes and extract a half-dozen story leads just by listening to customers.

Over the near-20 years I have been covering all things Niagara West, I have spoken to Debbie Zimmerman countless times: in formal interviews, at public events, or over a coffee to catch up on things. Just when you think you know a person…

My goal, as always when I speak with someone I know well, is to find out things I don’t know about them because if I don’t know, chances are the general public would not either. I learned a lot in our chats for my feature in this edition of ClubWEST. As a kid, Debbie sounds like she was a bit of a
punk. And in the nicest way, she still is.

She is an intensely informed and motivated punk, ideal to have for political representation. She knows what the community needs (because she listens) and she has no problem dropping the mitts and fighting for it. She says she is taking a self-imposed break to cool her jets and recharge. Good for her! Niagara West communities have been blessed with some talented, hard-working representatives over the years but none

And speaking of none better, two of Beamsville’s main street shops represented in this edition are certainly at the top of their respective fields. Klaas Salverda, now with his son Ben, at Beamsville Bakery have crafted a reputation for excellence over four decades of serving its clientele. Meanwhile, Nik Halkias at County Cycle serves as a model of what those who nibble the pastries from across the street should be doing to burn off the “donut effect”, namely cycling anywhere and everywhere. This summer he went on an extreme bike adventure in Portugal. He can scratch that from his bucket list.

Smithville resident Jennifer McCready combines her passion for photography and empowering women to create classic 1950s style pin-up photos – including this month’s cover shot which used NewsNow’s general manager Catherine Bratton as a subject, along with a Beamsville Bakery Black Forest Cake.

There are so many people in our midst that are doing cool things every day. They are living the ClubWEST mantra of “Passions, Pursuits & Passtimes”. Our goal is to unearth these gems and serve them up to you, our devoted readers. Our other goals, like being on time with deliveries, are more mundane, but very important to running a credible organization.

Enjoy your read!

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher September/October 2014

ClubWest(To view our September/October 2014 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

ClubWest Cover Page Sept 4I got a ton of comments on my buddy Ben’s quote above, so I think I will leave it there for the first year.

Well, thanks one and all for the fine reception for Niagara West’s original lifestyle magazine.

There is no need to bore you with an overview of pleasantness, but we have run a smattering of some letters we received.

Much appreciated, by the way.

But, as Ivan Carruthers duly notes in this edition, what is happening in the future? Where are we going and how best do we get there?

I had a very long chat with Ivan, his stepson Steve Ecker and Steve’s wife Mary about all things Carruthers Printing and West Lincoln as a whole. I love history and Ivan has been there done that when it comes to the community for the last six-plus decades. What an impressive man.  It is great to see good things happen for good people. So many things about what Ivan said proved the old adage that one can achieve anything with a little elbow grease.

And if you happen to stop for a glass of wine while achieving those goals along life’s highway, who better to share a glass with than John Howard.

John’s business and life goals, while different, are very much centred in the exact same area as Ivan’s. Both men have an intense love for this area. John could live anywhere in the world.

He has business interest in France, yet, Vineland is the centre of his business universe as is Niagara in his personal life as it also houses his daughter and her child.

Her decision to return to Niagara after studies abroad was not lost on John, who has made a conscious effort to develop what he has right here in front of him in Niagara West.

Again, similarly, Ivan continues to do this same sort of thing taking on the role as West Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s president for a fourth time, nearly two decades after he “retired”. He still invests in his community.

Not to be outdone by the boys, we have Margaret Andrewes, Lincoln’s own whirling dirvish. Having dealt with Margaret on many occasions over the years, when she was wearing one of her many hats, she lives the “if you need something done, give it to a busy person” adage.

These people, and their efforts over decades, do not magically appear like a rabbit which local magician extraordinaire Calvin Cutts can so consistently produce. Just as Calvin has crafted his reputation as the area’s premier children’s entertainer, these other story subjects have continued to do great things to make everything around them better.

We could use a dozen – or three – more just like them, wouldn’t you agree?

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft

From the Publisher July/August 2014

ClubWest(To view our July/August 2014 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

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

Cover page of ClubWest first edition, July/August 2014.
Cover page of ClubWest first edition, July/August 2014.

These little comments stick in my brain.

There is a reason they hang around for centuries. Not only do they ring true, but they inspire.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Niagara West’s first glossy lifestyle magazine, just for us, local residents who are members of the very exclusive ClubWEST.

ClubWEST is not a notion or a dream. It is a very real feeling a great many of us who live here feel every day. We know how lucky we are to reside in this area. In our other incarnation, NewsNow, we work a great deal with all the businesses, organizations and groups which make the area hum.

ClubWEST will present us with an opportunity to tell one and all the real stories behind some of the interesting facades of the our community – indeed, their passions, pastimes, pursuits. You think you know someone? Well, we will tell you things not only that you didn’t know, but that you would never have surmised about people who may live right next door.

Many, many area residents know Mary Rashleigh, the long-time curator of Grimsby Public Art Gallery. However, did you know one of her greatest adventures was riding an elephant in Thailand?

Did you know Canada’s greatest golfer – and newest ClubWEST member via the grand opening of his new winery – Mike Weir showcased uniquely Canadian dishes and VQA wines when he hosted the legendary Champions Dinner at Augusta National the spring after he won his green jacket in 2003? You can read about that right here!

We’re not worried about being big and bad. That is not our style. We are ALL about taking care of our readers, first and foremost. If we put out a great publication, whether that be a magazine or a real community newspaper, the rest will take care of itself.

And this has proven true as we look at the second anniversary of our community newspaper in the rearview mirror and we look ahead to doing new and innovative things for our “club members” in Niagara West both in print and online.

We are actually putting out just over 15,000 magazines with ClubWEST, but we rounded down a bit. If you don’t happen to get one, we will have some overrun at the office and in select locations around the area. Readers can call the office to find a spot close to where they live to pick one up. We will also be online at:

One can read the full e-edition at that site as well as other website-only offerings. So grab a coffee, or a cold beverage, sit back and enjoy!

Publisher, ClubWEST Magazine
Mike Williscraft