Friday, 24 February 2012

Defunct Harrowsmith Country Life Gets More Government Money, Some Subscribers Receiving Alternative Magazine

If you were a Harrowsmith magazine subscriber you probably feel more than just a little upset at the knowledge that your beloved magazine will no longer be published.  I can't believe how many hits this blog has had based on google searches containing the words Harrowsmith, Luc Lemay, and Malcolm Publishing.  Anyway, this is supposed to be an update.  From Masthead we have this news from January, 2012.  Basically, if you ordered your subscription using Rogers Magazine Service you'll be sent issues of Garden Making.  Garden Making is a quarterly issue and you'll have the magazine for the duration of your Harrowsmith order.  Apparently that's about 2000 of you and you'll have the option of renewing your subscription at the end of the order period.  As for the rest of us long standing customers who renewed directly to Harrowsmith, you and I have been screwed.  There are no answers as to why the plug was pulled on Harrowsmith, just a whole lot of disgruntled subscribers.  The best that I can do for myself in the future is pay attention to the publisher listing of whatever magazine I'm subscribing to and avoid Malcolm Media like the plague.  As far as Garden Making magazine goes, I don't think I'll be ordering it.  It's supposed to be award winning I know but it's issued quarterly and  that's a long time to wait between issues.  In the meantime, I have good news for you cyber junkies!  You see that link on the side bar that says Use StumbleUpon, click on it after you read this and then click on Stumble.  It's a way to get linked to great gardening ideas from magazines, newspapers, bloggers and whatever else you can imagine.  I've been using it for a few days now and I've got these great ideas based on gardening searches.  I know it's not the same as having a magazine in your hand on a cold winter's night but it's a very close substitute.   Take heart my friends, I've got your back, and I'll keep you posted should anything else come up related to Harrowsmith.  Right now, I have my doubts we'll hear anymore on the subject.

FYI, here's an update on what's going on with the Sponsorship Scandal.  Remember,  Luc Lemay is trying to avoid criminal charges for his role and I can't help but think that this is relevant.  If you're not p.o.'d enough then this will get you really riled, guess what magazine received money for 2011-2012 as part of Canada Periodical Fund?  Harrowsmith Country Life to the tune of $330, 130.  Doesn't that just leave a sour taste in your mouth?  Pass it on.


  1. Unbelievable they got grants for 2011-2012! What a mess! Fortunately, we just picked up the occassional isue at the newstand so we're not left in the lurch!

  2. When your comment came in I was busy writing my M.P. to see what we could do about this. Some people paid for two year subscriptions right up until July! It reeks of fraud.

  3. I'll see your incensed and raise you a livid. Michel Paradis (VP at Malcolm and Harrowsmith publisher) committed to refund my subscriptions in an email last year. I've emailed him regularly ever since and am just ignored. I would be angry enough without that commitment. But not fulfilling his commitment makes the worst of organizational leaders.

    1. Wow, isn't that something. Talk about adding insult to injury.

  4. Is there no way a class action suit/ criminal charges (or something similar) could be brought against them to get our subscription money back? They should not be able to do this...

  5. When my subscription didn't arrive on schedule I figured that something nasty happened to this wonderful magazine. This just shows how deep corruption runs in Quebec.

  6. I can't help but feel that complaining about the cost of the subscription and also the subsidy to keep it publishing is really small-minded. Canadian publishers really suffer compared to US counterparts at getting the volume for affordable printing, let alone the mailing costs. How much does a black-and-white book cost you? $10? $12? more? Now add four-colour glossy, and all the expenses of maintaining a staff and authors able to pull of 12 books per year. It is EXPENSIVE and prohibitively so. Without the tax credit, Canadian publishers can't make it at all. But our own news and articles for our consumption (Canadian that is) it is culturally important and the proof is the subscribers who value it. They get a deep discount in return for their loyalty. Moreover, at the newsstand, the price can't compete if it is that much more than the US versions that get bundled and shipped by multi-title publishers - you'd best off compare them to single- or two-titled houses.

    Accept that you won't get your $20 or whatever back, be sad of the magazine's demise and grateful for having participated in it, and understand that when the company wraps up its final taxes it will have to be refunding back its unused portion of the periodical fund. It was a great publication and I can't help but feel that this has nothing to do with an ancient sponsorship scandal or anything about oh-how-corruptly-the-Quebecers-eat-their-cheese and more to do with a right-wing agenda of dissuading us that we ought to have any lifestyle that implicates any care for the environment - or lying to us when it says that an urban lifestyle is more environmentally friendly. This is one less venue that consolidates and publishes voices in the spectrum who care about country life.

  7. Let me add to the sadness, despair and pissed-offness. I subscribed to a two-year renewal just before the demise of the magazine. Unlike MORE magazine (who contacted me and sent ELLE in its place to my disgust)no communication came from Harrowsmith owners/publisher. I am totally distraught with the loss of my favourite magazine and of course being ripped off!


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