After long and painful negotiations and deliberations for four years, with the literary and arts community, with the arts councils and donors, with our co-editors, and our foundation directors, we have jointly decided that Descant magazine in its present form is no longer sustainable.
In A Cabinet of Curiosities, Descant 167, Winter 2014, will be our final issue.
This has been a very hard decision to make. For the last three years Descant has been in a deficit position, and as head of the Descant foundation and Editor in Chief of the magazine, I carry all the debts.
Our vigorous fund-raising campaign this fall was very successful and I want to thank all of you who donated to the magazine. Unfortunately, we did not raise enough money to offset the shortfall. Grants have been in decline for more than five years, although other revenues such as sales and subscriptions have held steady or increased. We have cut costs everywhere we could, but many expenses over which we have no control have continued to spiral up.
I have personally searched for a solution, but have been unable to find either a patronage base or an editor (or editorial collective) to replace myself and take over the magazine, and be responsible for its publication and its foundation.
Descant has an enormous community. It is an international magazine with a strong focus on Canada and on emerging artists. We have trained dozens of interns, hundreds of editors have worked with us over the years, and thousands of writers and visual artists and musicians and dancers have been published in our pages.
Our issues have examined cities, like Venice and Berlin, countries like China and Latvia, regions like North Africa, artistic practices like music. We have published special issues on writers, Michael Ondaatje, Dennis Lee, Barbara Gowdy, and composers, R. Murray Schafer, themes like History of the Book, Romantic Love, Hotels, Fashion.
We couldn’t have done it without all of you.
We are now in production with our Winter issue, number 167, and the launch date will likely be late January 2015. We are also planning a huge celebration on the cusp of Spring. Check our website for news or send the office an email to get on our email list.
The co-editors and I are proud to have been able to publish for so many decades. It has been a pleasure and a privilege. We thank you all.