Jeff Schmuck: Forecast is Canada’s new ski magazine, and it’s going to do everything under the snowy skies to make you smile, laugh, think, and showcase why skiing is the most fun thing to do on the planet. It’s going to be lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek, not take itself too seriously, and cover all facets of skiing, as opposed to just focusing on one aspect of it.
JS: The head office comfortably resides on the outskirts of the concrete jungle of Toronto, and the majority of our staff works out of there, but I work remotely from home in the sushi and yoga-loving mountainous utopia that is Vancouver. Depending on how much I had to drink the night before, it can be a long and disorienting commute from my bedroom to my plush red couch in the living room, but it’s worth it for the mountains and sushi. But I hate yoga.
JS: After SBC Media (the parent company of SBC Skier) was unfortunately and unexpectedly forced into bankruptcy protection, a stampede of our staff, including myself, our associate editor (Travis Persaud), our lead designer (Jeff Middleton), our general manager (Mike Hartman) and our sales team (Jamie Reekie and Kevin Page) were approached by the rambunctious rebel rousers at the King Publishing Project (publishers of King Snow, King Shit, Later, Concrete and The Board Press) to launch a new ski magazine. We quickly galloped over, and Forecast was born.
We’ll be launching the inaugural issue at the International Freeski Film Festival (iF3) in Montreal on September 24-26. Hopefully someone will be sober enough at some point that weekend to read it.
JS: A really long-ass list, haha. We went through close to 230 names before coming up with Forecast. One of the first decisions we made when it came to the name was that we didn’t want to have a title with the word ‘ski’ in it, because nearly every other ski magazine out there has that, and we wanted to make a conscious effort to stand out from the herd (I promise that’s my last horse reference) and be unique, because that’s what we’re aiming to achieve with the magazine itself. We all agreed that Forecast was a strong and cool sounding word, as it’s something that skiers can relate to (i.e.: weather forecast, snow forecast, etc.), and also because we’d like for the magazine to play a role in forecasting the direction skiing is heading in. Plus all writers are guilty of loving double entendres.
JS: We’ll be launching the inaugural issue at the International Freeski Film Festival (iF3) in Montreal on September 24-26. Hopefully someone will be sober enough at some point that weekend to read it. Following that, you’ll be able to find it in ski shops and at other events in Canada (namely Freshtival and the Toronto Snow Show, which is the largest consumer ski show in North America), on newsstands, and via subscriptions
JS: We’ll be unleashing four issues per volume. The second one will be released in mid to late October, the third at the beginning of December, and the fourth at the beginning of January.
JS: By giving us your money! In all seriousness though, our subscription details will be readily available once our website is live. But seriously, give us your money, because we want Escalades.
JS: It will be primarily focused on Canada, and one of the most exciting aspects of our distribution model is that like all of King’s publications, the majority of our circulation will be available for free at shops and events in and around the ski epicentres of The Great White North. We’ll also be on major newsstands across the country, along with subscriptions that will be available for purchase. In terms of any forthcoming distribution plans for outside our big ass border, stay tuned.
JS: We’ll be focusing on both equally. Obviously the magazine will be our proverbial bread and butter, both from a timeless and aesthetic standpoint and on the advertising front to start, but with that being said, in today’s digital media-dominated landscape, it’s imperative that we pour just as much time and energy into our online efforts to stay viable, and I’m confident that the incredibly valuable experience and knowledge I obtained while working for Newschoolers prior to my tenure at SBC Skier will lend a helping hand to that.
JS: We’ll definitely be showcasing video-based content from our contributors and the ski community at large as much and as often as possible, in addition to a few ideas we’ve got in the works with some of our partners that will peanut butter a lot of skier’s jelly. Hang tight for more info.
JS: We’re aiming to have it online within the next week or two, unless someone at the NSA who thinks skiing is lame catches wind of our mischievous plan to burst his or her bubble and decides to stop looking at dick pics for a minute or two and hacks into our servers.
JS: On the editorial side of things, it will possess certain elements of the exo-skeleton of any good ski magazine, complemented by a number of unique, entertaining and off-beat pieces that will make people laugh, unless they don’t have a sense of humor. Design-wise, it will definitely look different than other ski magazines. For starters, it’s quite a bit wider (because sometimes the size of the boat is as important as the motion in the ocean), has a hearty and thick paper stock, the cover will be free of any brain aneurysm-inducing text, and it will have a simplified and clean design that we’re hoping will score us ad deals with Bounty and Febreze.
JS: There was a definite learning curve when it came to moving from a solely web-based entity to print, but I took it head on, embraced the differences and challenges, and learned a lot in a short amount of time, largely thanks to my mentor Leslie Anthony. When it comes to putting together a magazine versus posting content online, there’s more moving parts, things that can go wrong that are outside of your control, and a lot more planning and waiting for things to come together. But I’ve found it to be a lot more rewarding in the end, as I find print to be more tangible, and particularly because I’ve wanted to be the editor of a ski magazine since I held the first issue of Freeze Magazine in my hands when I was 16. So to say it’s beyond a dream come true for me would be an understatement.
Design-wise, it will definitely look different than other ski magazines. For starters, it’s quite a bit wider (because sometimes the size of the boat is as important as the motion in the ocean), has a hearty and thick paper stock, the cover will be free of any brain aneurysm-inducing text, and it will have a simplified and clean design that we’re hoping will score us ad deals with Bounty and Febreze.
JS: Well in some respect we’re not an overtly independent magazine per se, as we’re under the umbrella of what is now the largest action sports publication group in Canada, but since The King Publishing Project is run by an individual (Ryan Stutt), we’re much more on the independent side of things as opposed to being some sort of suit-and-tie wearing mega corporate bean counting media conglomerate (otherwise they would've never been able to call a magazine King Shit!), which is incredibly refreshing for everyone involved.
Plus being that we’re in Canada, Forecast is in somewhat of a unique and beneficial situation, in that we have fewer ski publications to compete with in comparison to our friends and counterparts in the States. Being niche is neat.
JS: I certainly will, however being that I’ve been riding this merry-go-round for many years, I’ve learned that it’s not necessarily the best idea to attempt to formulate concrete plans until the snow covers the concrete, as depending on how well Mother Nature and Ullr are getting along, plans can fall apart or come together quicker than a New York minute.
With that being said though, I do have some potential article ideas in the works that involve cheap Jager shots in Andorra, copious whiskey consumption in Montana, powder hounding and pond hockey with ex-NHL players in the Kootenays, and a certain republic that’s difficult for scumbag journalists like myself to gain entry to.
JS: Having fun, launching our website, holding the first issue in my hands, and hopefully not having to purchase Just For Men to hide any grey hairs that may sprout over the course of the next month.
JS: Ensuring that for as long as I live, this magazine is fun, and something that anyone and everyone who loves to ski will enjoy, no matter what type of skier they are, when they started skiing, where they ski, why they ski, or how old they are.
JS: At the risk of giving a serious answer as the editor of a ski magazine that’s aiming to be somewhat un-serious, with the harsh reality of climate change and constantly changing weather patterns, I’ve become somewhat of a pessimist about El Niño, La Niña, and the Farmer’s Almanac, as it’s now seemingly impossible to accurately predict whether it’s going to be a good winter or not. But at the same time, since I’m the editor of a magazine called Forecast, I feel as though I’m now exceptionally qualified to make an incredibly accurate prediction for this season: it’s going to snow a lot, or a little, between the months of November and April… which I suppose makes me more of a realist.
JS: That’s a damn good question, and one I ask myself everytime I go south of the border and see how much cheaper fast food is and how much fatter Yankees are. You think you guys would have caught on to the glory of gravy and cheese curd covered french fries by now… or wait, are you still calling them Freedom Fries?