The Grande Prairie Smart Guide is one of the most outstanding city magazines published in Alberta. In a city of just over 55,000 people, it’s impressive how hyper-local it is and that there’s enough advertisers to support the package they produce: interactive website, 32 page, full colour glossy print magazine and smartphone apps with real time information about local events, restaurants, shopping, movie times, nightlife and other activities in Grande Prairie. The free app also features GPS mapping, Facebook check-ins, movie listings, community events, restaurant reviews, weather reports and fun local user-submitted photos and videos.
The success of the magazine can be attributed to its hyper-local content. All of it, but for one recipe, focused on people, places and events in Grande Prairie. The June/July 2015 issue cover features Shannon Dunfield, Grande Prairie’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year described as “a powerhouse who gets things done” in support of Aboriginal youth in Grande Prairie.
This issue also features two interesting points of view on the election of the NDP in Alberta under the leadership of Rachel Notley. Even then the magazine takes a local focus on the election. The two articles are written by two former City of Grande Prairie councillors, David Biltek and Dan Wong (check out Wong’s open letter to Rachael Notley to see more about his perspectives).
Other articles include a two pager on the Grande Prairie Golden Age Senior Centre founded in 1959 that has grown to serve 280 members and an article on the extensive renovations to Muskoseepi Park: new walking trails, new golf greens, new junior playground centre with a rubberized surface and a new dock at Crystal Lake Park. This issue also feature the obligatory recipe: this month on how to make the five basic sauces of a classic French kitchen: Bechamel, Espanola, Tomato, Hollandaise and Voloute.
The magazine, now entering its third year of publication, partners with two local radio stations: CFRI at 104.7 FM branded 2DayFM and owned by Vista Broadcasting and CJCY at 96.3 FM branded Reach FM owned by Touch Canada Broadcasting. Both stations match the value of the articles on local community groups with donated ad space that promotes the nonprofit groups featured in the magazine. It also partners with a local youth group that the editor has worked with for many years. In return for distributing 11,000 copies of the magazine to residences in Grande Prairie, the group receives payment typical to what newspaper carriers receive.
The magazine accepts articles and story ideas from Grande Prairie residents or former residents if they are original, relate to Grande Prairie and to personal experiences or expertise. They are looking for short articles of 300 to 400 words or longer articles of 700 to 1,000 words. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, address, phone number and email address.
Single copies and subscriptions are available for purchase from their website at: www.gpsmartguide.com. Download the June/July 2015 issue from their Facebook page or their website.
Publisher: Smart Guide Marketing & Communications