BY WENDY ELLIOTT
Kings County Advertiser/Register
After a year’s break, the spring issue of Coastlands magazine is out with a cover story about the region’s food and agriculture system breaking down - and how it can be fixed.
The bright red issue's theme is agriculture in Atlantic Canada. The cover story, by Deborah Stiles and Greg Cameron, details how small-scale farmers are being squeezed out of the food production system.
The new issue of the Maritimes’ policy review features writers from Kings and Annapolis counties. Novelist Susan Haley of Black River interviews Tracey Tomlik, a Kentville-based advocate for urban farming. Andrew Hardy of Granville Centre, Judy Kennedy of Granville Ferry, artist Geoff Butler of Granville Ferry and cartoonist Janet Larkman of Granville Centre all contribute, as the spring issue looks at community economics, education, health, immigration, justice and poverty. The editorial remembers both Viola Desmond and Sharon Oliver, while discussing the spirit of the law.
“Coastlands is an independent magazine for readers who care about social justice and public policy in the Maritimes,” says editor and publisher Rachel Brighton.
“This is a local publication with a regional focus. You can support local businesses by buying it locally, and you can support local authors at the same time.”
Community is a frequent theme for Brighton in her almost 20 years as a journalist, editor and freelance writer in Canada and Australia. She has edited a collection of interviews, The Road Here: Stories from Senior Women in Rural Nova Scotia, and also writes a weekly column for The Chronicle Herald, Just Business. She has worked in communications, business management, policy research and as a consultant for the provincial department of economic development. Based in Bridgetown, she and her husband have three young sons.
Brighton told Canadian Magazines Coastlands is the same publication it was before the hiatus, but with a more mission-driven focus.
“At root, it asks how a concern for human dignity and social justice should inform public policy.”
Topics are being narrowed down to community economics, education, food and agriculture, health, immigration, justice and poverty.
Brighton says the only other change, apart from using more photography inside the magazine, is the decision to include spiritual perspectives in the editorial mix. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in theology at the Acadia Divinity College in Wolfville.
The magazine is published four times a year and is sold at The Box of Delights Bookshop in Wolfville, Endless Shores Books in Bridgetown and The Green Barn in Granville Centre. Subscriptions at $40 a year. Coastlands is published by Finest Point Periodicals Ltd. in Bridgetown, typeset and printed at Gaspereau Press in Kentville. The firm also publishes an online edition of The Nova Scotia Policy Review, which focuses on labour market news and analysis.