Note: Et Cetera co-Managing Editor Nick Jean, a named subject of this article, did not oversee, edit or participate in the presentation of this story.
Correction: The initial story posted had several errors. The magazine launched at the launch party, Oct. 25. This date was incorrect. The Central bar is on Markham Street in Toronto. The story initially said it was in Markham. Young Inspirations is an arts collective for which Rach has done photography. The initial story said it was an arts and culture blog for which Rach worked as a photographer.
Former Humber journalism student Megan Rach took a risk and accomplished something special by publishing a print-only arts and culture magazine four months after graduation.
Rach successfully completed Humber’s journalism program in June 2014. Soon after graduation, Rach said the pressure of what to do next was when the idea of Wake magazine came to her.
“It more or less got started kind of as a crazy idea,” said Rach. “I wasn’t really sure what to do in my field and a lot of it was fueled by the fact that I am really into print journalism.
“I came out of school always hearing the same thing, ‘Print is dead,’ and ‘Print isn’t really what it used to be and it’s all digital now,’” she said.
“I think that there’s a certain sort of feeling that you get from print that you don’t necessarily see from a digital copy of something.”
Now, Rach, along with Nick Jean, who is masthead editor and art director for the magazine and co-managing editor of the Humber Et Cetera, and her brother Dylan, the social media manager, officially launched the publication on Oct. 25.
Wake published work from 13 different contributors in the initial issue.
“I really wanted to do something different and something that not a lot of people were trying out,” Rach said. “We’re trying to be as unique as possible.”
Rach said the magazine focuses on features and such things as short stories, articles about music and art pieces. The magazine will be published bi-monthly and sold in a print copy.
The magazine launch party was hosted on Oct. 25 at The Central bar on Markham Avenue. Rach said the initial print run on sale there was almost completely sold out.
“A lot of people came out to show their support. I think that there’s this undying amount of support in Toronto,” Rach said.
Lara King, Rach’s former magazine teacher at Humber, had Rach as a student for three years and knew she had a passion for magazine writing.
“Although she was managing editor (of a Humber’s Convergence magazine), she took on a number of different roles,” King said. “She’s been very creative and when she finds a passion about something she will do it, without sleep.”
King said she saw the magazine when it was still being put together and is enthused.
“We (as teachers) believe that you should learn it all, but the entrepreneurial side is so exciting. You get to start something up and give it a try and see what the world thinks and be able to do what you really want to.”
Wake magazine is currently partners with artist collectives Young Inspirations, an arts collective dedicated to exposing the young talent in the city; Headquarters Cooperative, a record label; and Current Sessions Productions, a non-profit group of film makers.
Jessica Paiva, founder of music-oriented Young Inspirations and a former classmate of Rach, said Rach has done photography for the collective. In turn, when Wake started, Paiva said she wanted to become a part of it.
“Young Inspirations is very keen on music and musicians so I gave her the opportunity of contacting any of the musicians we’re a part of,” Paiva said.
“So it’s all about networking and giving out musicians to Wake magazine for them to write articles about them.”
Jordan Circosta, founder of Headquarters Cooperative, said Rach had been involved in the Headquarters social circle. So when the time came, a partnership between Wake and themselves was created.
“We get the advertisements in Wake as the Headquarters Cooperative and she gets to sell the physical magazine at all of our events indefinitely,” said Circosta.
“As she starts running more specialized events, we’ll be helping her to promote them as well.”
Nicholas Posthumus, director and co-founder of Current Sessions Productions, said Rach used to take photos for them as well as advocate for the company, and they in turn supported her with the magazine.
“We have a whole group of artists that’s constantly growing, that have worked with us and when Megan needs to throw events we can get bands together who are local to support her,” said Posthumus.
“Or if she wants to feature a musician in her magazine she’ll typically use an artist that we worked with (previously) or that we’re currently working with.”
Posthumus said he has read the magazine and approves.
“I mostly can’t wait to see what she does with the next one, and how it grows and what she keeps adding on to it. It feels like the first building block to many others.”