Glass Canada

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Editorial: April 2012

Making a bigger tent

March 29, 2012  By Patrick Flannery

You may have noticed something different on the cover of this issue of Glass Canada: a human being. Don’t be alarmed, this is all part of a plan to keep your magazine relevant.

You may have noticed something different on the cover of this issue of Glass Canada: a human being. Don’t be alarmed, this is all part of a plan to keep your magazine relevant.

Those of you who have received the magazine for a while will know that we traditionally feature some striking piece of glass-intensive Canadian architecture on the cover. We will still be doing that, but we are going to change it up fairly frequently, as well. One reason is simply for variety. Each magazine cover should be a strong statement in itself that causes the reader to stop, look and read about what is inside. We need to find different themes and looks to keep you, the reader, interested and engaged.

Another reason is my feeling that we need to talk about some of the issues and events in the industry as well as the technology and methods. Technical discussions will always be an important part of Glass Canada. But you, dear reader, are already a technical expert in your craft and it would be presumptuous of me to think I have anything to teach you about how to design a building envelope or install a window. It is good to see other people’s installations and read a bit about what they did and how they overcame the challenges posed by the project. But I think it may ultimately be more useful to you to read about regulators’ reactions to falling glass problems, standards in material handling safety or, as in this issue, strategies for relieving the industry labour shortage – areas where you are certainly concerned, but may not be an expert. This magazine’s mission is to help you make money in your business, so I want to be sure the content you are reading is useful and new as well as interesting.


Our shift in cover themes also reflects a broadening of this magazine’s focus. Glass Canada has always been distributed to residential window and door fabricators and contractors as well as commercial architectural glaziers, and we want to make sure we are speaking to all the sectors of the glass industry in Canada. Someone whose main business is making vinyl windows for the replacement residential market (like Euro Vinyl, on page 18) gains little from seeing and reading about a massive skyscraper re-cladding project. I think we can find a good balance of content that is focused on the various sectors of the industry, along with content that is potentially of interest to everyone, as is this issue’s cover story.

Finally, photos with people in them are just innately more interesting to look at. An old editor of mine used to use the example of a beautiful painting of a majestic mountain landscape. The scenery and the colours and the themes could be as beautiful and moving as you like, but if you just add a little hiker down at the base of the mountain, instantly the whole picture becomes about that person. Is it a man or a woman? What is he/she doing there? Will the hiker try to climb the mountain? Our brains are actually wired by evolution to seek out people and focus on other people to the exclusion of much else. As an editor, I might as well take advantage of that to make a more interesting cover. I’d be interested to know if you think I’m succeeding.

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