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Alive Celebrates a Milestone

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Alive Celebrates a Milestone

Sometimes things happen in our lives for which we have no explanation. So it was when I was invited to apply for the position of editor-in-chief at alive magazine.

Sometimes things happen in our lives for which we have no explanation. So it was when I was invited to apply for the position of editor-in-chief at alive magazine.

Oh, sure, I had the necessary qualifications: I was a registered nurse in another life, I held a relevant degree and diploma, I had a long-time interest in natural health, and I worked with a homeopathic doctor in England. But I had decided not to apply for the position because I thought it unlikely that I would be successful at such a prestigious magazine.

The rest, as they say, is history. I was lucky enough to join the alive team just as interest in natural health was exploding. We immediately began the ride of our lives as alive, already the undisputed voice of natural health in Canada, responded to the new wave of interest by providing retailers, readers, and manufacturers with a reliable source of knowledge they could trust.

Many people know that alive was born on the back of a napkin in the early 1970s when natural health was on the fringe and very much the domain of hippies. From those humble beginnings, alive has grown into an entity respected by hundreds of thousands of Canadians–through alive magazine, alive.com, the alive Academy of Natural Health, and our many valuable affiliations.

We’re Among the Best

At the heart of any great organization is a great team. At alive we have a better than great team–we have one of the best. Our editorial department finds the words while the art department sets them on paper for you to read. But behind the scenes there are many committed and loyal alive employees who keep the company running smoothly to get the magazine into your hands.

Our parent company, Teldon International, was recently recognized as one of the top 20 companies to work for in BC. Teldon employees–including the alive staff–were chosen at random to fill out an anonymous questionnaire about how happy they were with the work they do, who they work with, and other related questions. Being on this list of best companies for the second year in a row is quite an accomplishment; it proves how committed the alive crew–from photographers, to accountants, to editors–is to their contribution to the alive magazine that you read every month.

We’re Led by the Best

Kudos also went to Ryan Benn, the president of Alive Publishing Group Inc., who was a 2007 winner of the prestigious Forty under 40 Business in Vancouver (BIV) award. Benn demonstrates “a remarkable passion for business–and an unerring pursuit of excellence,” according to BIV.

Benn brings his enthusiasm to alive in a way that encourages and inspires the whole alive team. Under Benn’s direction, alive has increased its circulation, won three Apex international publishing awards, completed a circulation audit by the Auditors Bureau of Canada, and become a member of publishing organizations such as British Columbia Association of Magazine Publishers, Print Management Bureau, and Magazines Canada.

We Listen to Experts

One of the important ingredients of success, one that brings extra credibility to our magazine, is our Editorial Advisory Board (EAB). These people are all experts in various fields of natural health. They keep up to date with what is happening in the industry, not only because it is where they work but also because they have a genuine interest in helping others discover the many benefits of a natural approach to health. Along with providing top-notch writing, the Editorial Advisory Board ensures that alive maintains the level of excellence readers have come to expect.

“As a registered dietician, author, and editorial advisor for alive,” says EAB member Karlene Karst, “it is exciting to be a part of a magazine that shares my passion for motivating and inspiring readers with in-depth, accurate, science-based articles to help Canadians learn more about the healing properties of healthy food and natural medicine.”

alive magazine is the most prominent, legitimate voice for health and wellness in Canada,” says Sam Graci, EAB member, researcher, and author. “The future for alive magazine is to promote optimum well-being, a sense of feeling fulfilled, happiness, and health as a dynamic partnership between our mind and body.”

Dr. Nigma Sciortino, another EAB member, adds “alive is in a league of its own. As a naturopathic doctor practising in West Vancouver, it has been an honour and pleasure to work with a magazine that cares for the readers and shares the vision of science- and research-based health and lifestyle information that is cutting edge and encompasses the most important gift of life–health and wellness.”

We Walk the Talk

From freshly prepared vegetable and fruit juice each morning to a healthy organic lunch each noon, alive walks the talk. A fun working environment where birthdays, weddings, new babies, and anything else we can think of are celebrated, to any feeble excuse at all for a potluck of unparalleled taste, alivers enjoy life.

But alive isn’t inward looking in any way–organizing fund raisers for many excellent causes, helping serve meals to the less fortunate, and generally caring for our fellow humans and the environment are just a few more ways alive lives the life it writes about. Over the past years, alive has donated thousands of dollars, magazines, and hours of efforts to assist charitable grassroots organizations.

Caring for the environment is an important focus for alive, you will no doubt have noticed that we are already printing on 30 percent post-consumer paper. Also, because we only deliver to readers who subscribe and to health food stores who order our magazine, we don’t suffer the waste of stockpiled magazines that get thrown out each month, or the monumental waste of returned magazines that don’t get sold on newsstands. In addition, subscribers have been letting us know how pleased they are with the new fully biodegradable plastic wrap on their mailed magazines.

We Asked You

Last year, alive commissioned third-party research to determine what you, the reader, are looking for in a magazine such as alive. President Ryan Benn also led his sales team on a cross-country series of “alive across Canada” presentations. These well-attended affairs led to an even greater understanding of the needs of retailers and readers, helping us to hone your favourite magazine with every issue.

We Educate Others

Another major component of i is our alive Academy of Natural Health. For more than 15 years, students have been taking the accredited, tax deductible certificate and diploma courses that enrich personal knowledge and enhance product and industry knowledge, often leading to advancement in the workplace.

A distance education and online school, the alive Academy of Natural Health is structured to promote accessibility and flexibility for anyone wanting to learn more about natural health. This is just one more example of how alive is promoting healthy lifestyles.

We Inform Online

The largest natural health Web portal in Canada is right at your fingertips: alive.com. Complete with a searchable database of hundreds of alive magazine articles, alive.com provides visitors with the opportunity to search by author, content, or subject.

But we don’t stop there–discussion forums where people from the community can share their thoughts, favourite recipes, and health questions with experts in the field, online quizzes, polls, and tests are just a few of the great benefits to be derived from our award-winning website. Add Web exclusives that allow users to access more information than we have room for in the magazine and you have an all-around excellent source of natural health information.

We’re on the Air

alive has hit the airwaves with the alive Tip of the Day and major weekly interviews on the Good Life Show, hosted by Jesse Dylan. Each weekday show–available on the Sirius satellite radio network as well as local Canadian regional channels–includes an “alive Tip of the Day.” One of Dylan’s major interviews of the week will be archived for alive readers. Visit alive.com and click on the “alive on air” button to enjoy listening to Jesse interview some of the top leaders in natural health.

We Reward Excellence

This year marks the 14th annual alive Awards of Excellence, which were established to promote and recognize excellence in product innovation and to enhance the credibility of natural health products. Each fall we gather votes from retailers in a variety of categories, handing out gold, silver, and bronze awards to those manufacturers who stand out from the crowd.

When you see the gold, silver, or bronze alive Award stickers on product packaging in stores or advertisements, you can be assured that Canadian retailers selected that product as one of the best available. For a complete list of alive Award winners, you can visit alive.com and click on “alive Awards.”

Looking Ahead

So, what does the future hold for alive?

One thing you can be certain of, given the team here: we won’t be slowing down any time soon. As natural health becomes more mainstream, we will keep our finger on the pulse of what is going on. We will continue to bring you investigative journalism you won’t find elsewhere. We guarantee our articles will always be science based, relevant, and timely. We will bring you the research–even when it is contradictory–so you can make informed decisions about the health of both yourself and your family.

We will strive to bring you the latest news on the environment and on eco options. Our lifestyle articles will always reflect what you want to read, and we won’t shy away from advocating integrative and alternative advances.

Little did I know that when I was invited to work here at alive, I would be lucky enough to be part of such a wonderful team of individuals from writers to readers, from designers to proofreaders, who really believe in what they are doing and who relish the thought of sharing their expertise with others.

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