Rheostatics’ Dave Bidini is getting into the newspaper business

June 05, 2017

You might think that now would be a questionable time to jump into the world of print publishing. With news outlets moving increasingly toward digital-only platforms, and multiple papers and magazines around the world folding or doling out massive layoffs, it would appear (as it has for some time now) that journalism is somewhere between a hard place and a really, really, like, diamond hard place. But there’s not much room for cynicism when it comes to telling community stories, and so author, journalist, and Rheostatic Dave Bidini has made the hopeful decision to start his own west end Toronto newspaper.

The new broadsheet—dubbed the West End Phoenix because, I’m hoping, it will represent community journalism rising from its ashes—will be published monthly starting in October, and cost $56.50 per year to be delivered straight to your door step. Celebrated writer Margaret Atwood is on the board and advisory council, along with filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal. Melanie Morassutti and Susan Grimbly, both ex-Globe and Mail employees, will serve as deputy editor and senior editor, respectively.

“I believe that our diverse and wild neighbourhood has the appetite for long-form writing, rich photography and beautiful newsprint, and for the Pet of the Month and some fine comics at the back of the paper, too,” Bidini said in a statement. “We hope the West End Phoenix will become a living document of a time and place, and the voices of that place.”

So far, the paper promises contributions from comic artist Jeff Lemire, Odario Williams aka Grand Analog, and writer Claudia Dey. Toronto’s west end is a vibrant, diverse place packed with stories that deserve to be told, so here’s hoping Bidini’s foray into the newspaper biz is a successful one.

In Other News:

Festival Lineups:  Victoria’s Rifflandia, Hamilton’s Supercrawl, Edmonton Folk Festival, Vancouver’s Westward Music Festival, Canada Day at Parliament Hill, Wasaga Beach’s Georgian Triangle Music Festival

About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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