Local Media Part 5: The Mirror of Our AwesomenessThe Walleye Magazine
At a time when we’re bombarded by news and headlines calculated to raise blood pressure and inspire keyboard outrage in the Comments Section, the Walleye – Thunder Bay’s Arts & Culture Magazine – serves as a mirror of our awesomeness, holding their monthly publication up for Thunder Bay residents like a bright reflection of all the best things about life in the Thunder Bay area. Since their first issue in July 2010, the Walleye has grown from a small fry of 32 pages into a feast of words and visuals that sometimes runs over 100 pages. Chock-full of stories powered by imagination, innovation and dedication, the Walleye reminds us every month of the many reasons we should be proud to say “I’m from Thunder Bay.”
Originally started with volunteer staff and contributors, the Walleye has grown into a small-business publication with two permanent paid positions and over 20 paid contributors. Not only do they support a community of local writers, photographers and graphic artists, they help foster local talent by providing a venue for volunteers to improve their skills.
10,000 copies of the Walleye are distributed in the region, as far south as Two Harbours, as far northwest as Kenora and as far east as Nipigon every month. Distributed through partner locations in the city and distribution boxes in the rural areas, printed copies tend to really get around and have even been photographed and reported on – in the style of the infamous red-hat garden gnome – in exotic locations as close as Armstrong, Ontario and as far away Machu Picchu in Peru. Another 27,000 people read online every month. Wherever it goes and wherever its readers may find it, it’s busy making us look good, whether it’s to strangers who haven’t discovered us yet or to ourselves, who sometimes need to be reminded how great life in Thunder Bay can be.
Three years ago the Walleye opened a storefront on St. Paul Street in the north core and joined a group of businesses working to improve the neighbourhood. Since then they’ve become a neighbourhood hub where readers, supporters and neighbouring businesses drop by to talk story ideas, exchange leads and share the love.
The Shop-Local Connection
We’ve said it before: if you love your local media, you should love up on the businesses that support them, because they’re the ones that make it possible. The Walleye is a great example of how local business makes a community richer – before they’d even started laying out their first issue, the Walleye had Thunder Bay advertisers on board to help cover their expenses and make their vision possible. Every month since then, their inspiring publication has been supported by print and web ad revenues from TBay businesses.
Love the Walleye? You can support them by visiting their advertisers and letting them know you’re a reader. Even if you don’t make a purchase today, they’ll be glad to know their investment is being recognized and will be more likely to continue to invest in the future.
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