It’s not exactly a wash, but the release of LAKE magazine’s eighth issue this Friday will mark its last print run.
Four years into the ecological literary and art publication’s history, the UBCO creative and critical studies department, which supports the publication, has decided it no longer has the resources to continue, at least in its present print form.
“The whole publishing industry is changing and it’s always been difficult to keep a magazine going,” said Nancy Holmes, a creative writing professor, poet and one of the magazine’s editors and founders.
“Because the art and literature was ecological, done out in the middle of the forest, it didn’t have the advertising dollars from big galleries to support it. I think we just sort of fell through the cracks,” she said.
The journal managed to secure both BC Arts Council grants and Canada Council grants annually, but the university’s professors were supporting it with space and editing time and it was becoming a burden, Holmes said.
And yet, the professors are not ready to throw in the towel.
“I think it’s been a great avenue for student work,” said Holmes, noting students were frequently published alongside submissions from all over the world.
This final issue, for example, features work from Tim Lilburn, who is the author of eight books of poetry and has received the Governor General’s Award and the Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award.
The society that runs LAKE met last summer and decided the issue would be the last in print; although there is a move afoot to bring the publication back in an online capacity.
This January, the group is hoping to launch strictly online with a new fourth year publishing course the university will offer.
Asked if the loss of the print product will make a difference, Holmes said that she loved the aesthetic appeal of the magazine, but she is a Kindle user herself and has no problem with online or electronic media.
She noted it will be interesting to see if it affects the magazine’s influence.
Anyone interested in supporting the magazine and its ongoing impact on the cultural fabric of the Okanagan can join the society.