National e-news update, December 20, 2017

News, events, tips and updates from Editors Canada

In this issue:

1. PARTY PLANNING: Join the team organizing 40th anniversary events for Editors Canada
3. ACTIVE VOICE: Call for submissions
4. CONFERENCE 2018: We need your help delivering a bilingual conference on the prairies
5. LOCAL GROUPS: How do you start a branch or twig?
6. EDITING CANADIAN ENGLISH: Looking for a last-minute gift?
7. WEBINARS: Train online in the New Year
8. DISCOUNTS: Staples Advantage
9. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!
10. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure
11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

1. PARTY PLANNING: Join the team organizing 40th anniversary events for Editors Canada

The national executive council (NEC) would like to mark this event in a way that members want and will enjoy. So we struck a 40th anniversary task force. We’re now looking for task force leaders and members.

What you can put on your CV if you get involved in this project (depending on what part you participate in):

  • project management
  • team leadership
  • team work
  • social media experience
  • communications advice

The project will have two phases.

  • Phase 1: research and recommendations (January to June 2018)
  • Phase 2: implementation (September 2018 to December 2019)

Phase 1: Research

  • What have other editing organizations done to mark anniversaries?
  • What has Editors Canada done in the past (example, 30th anniversary)?
  • What would members, branches and twigs like to see?

Phase 1: Recommendations

  • Make recommendations to the NEC on how to proceed with the project.
  • Create a calendar of events and projects, along with members who will be responsible for implementing the events and projects.

Phase 2: Implementation

  • Supervise and monitor the events and projects as they unfold in 2019.

Contact the president or past-president if you are interested.

Gael Spivak (president) and Anne Louise Mahoney (past president)


Headshot of Jay Draper

Jay Draper joined Editors Canada (then known as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada) in 1991. Soon after, he was invited to join the BC branch’s program committee. Young and inexperienced, Jay jumped on his chance to get to know other editors and build his career.

His first full-time editing job was as a station editor at TV Guide. “It didn’t involve a lot of editing,” he recalls, “but it did get me into publishing, and has the word ‘editor’ in the title!” After about a year, TV Guide consolidated its publishing in Toronto, so Jay returned to freelancing, and was happy to land a six-month contract at WorkSafeBC, which eventually turned into an eight-year gig. In 2000, he took on his current role of managing editor at the British Columbia Medical Journal. Jay still freelances on occasion, editing medical and health-care texts.

Pleased to see that Editors British Columbia is “vibrant and lively” today, Jay remembers the challenge in recruiting members onto committees. Although the branch was smaller than it is now, and had its challenges, he remains thankful for the connections it brought. “I’ve met a lot of great people, made a lot of friends, and got most of my jobs through the association,” he says. “Maureen Nicholson connected me to my job at WorkSafeBC, and the late Claudette Reed Upton recruited me for my current job.”

Jay continued to volunteer during his early career, taking on the role of chair of the BC branch in 1998-1999. When he and his wife welcomed their first child shortly after, Jay took a break from volunteering to focus on family life. Yet he still found time to help when needed. In 2010, Jay volunteered for the national conference in Vancouver, and started marking certification exams a few years ago.

When not editing, Jay enjoys reading, hiking, tennis, badminton and travel. He also has an abiding fascination with crows—a large one watches over him from his bookshelf, a talisman, perhaps, helping him find creative ways to crack the tougher editing nuts.

The volunteer of the month highlights the dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going. Volunteers are the backbone of the association. We are grateful for the many members and affiliates who answer the call when help is needed.

3. ACTIVE VOICE: Call for submissions

The winter issue of Active Voice (digital edition only) will be on a travel theme. We are looking for submissions for articles, photos, book reviews, etc.

If you would like to propose an item related to editing and travelling (working while on the road, editing travel guides or websites, how language usage varies between English-speaking countries, etc.), we welcome your ideas! Please send a brief description and possible word count to by January 8, 2018.

4. CONFERENCE 2018: We need your help delivering a bilingual conference on the prairies

Our 2018 national conference takes place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, next spring. Editors Canada is committed to reflecting Canada as it is today: linguistically, culturally and geographically. That means we’re also committed to delivering a bilingual national conference.

While 30% of Canadians reported being able to conduct a conversation in French in the 2016 Census, that number drops to less than 5% in Saskatchewan. Taking a look to Manitoba and Alberta, the picture is not much better —9% of people in Manitoba and 7% of people in Alberta reported being able to conduct a conversation in French.

How can you pitch in?

We’re asking francophone and bilingual members from across Canada to help our local organizing committee plan programming in French and to provide English-to-French translation so we can communicate about the conference in both of our official languages.

If you can spare even a couple of hours to help us translate one or two messages, it would be a tremendous help. 

Volunteering for a small task as part of a larger planning committee is a great way to learn more about the inner workings of a major conference without the responsibility of organizing it. You will get a sneak peek at many aspects of the conference, such as programming and speakers, and get to know other volunteers from across Canada.

To get involved, email

With your help we can make this a memorable and inclusive conference!

Michelle Boulton
2018 conference committee chair

5. LOCAL GROUPS: How do you start a branch or twig?

Branch/Twig Toolkits are now available for download in the members-only area of the  association website. The toolkits contain information for new twig coordinators and members of branch executive committees, or for anyone who is interested in learning more about how to establish or to administer an Editors Canada branch or twig.

The toolkits reflect a national effort from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, and are available in English and French. Many thanks to the dedicated work of the following people:

  • Project coordinators: Stacey Atkinson, Anne Louise Mahoney, Lisa Ng, Margaret Shaw
  • Writers: Stacey Atkinson, Dee Noble, Margaret Shaw
  • Content reviewers: Elizabeth d’Anjou, David Johansen, Michelle Ou, Gael Spivak, Caitlin Stewart, John Yip-Chuck
  • Editors: Beverly Ensom, Margaret Shaw, Claire Wilkshire
  • Proofreader: Beverly Ensom
  • Translators: Diana Newton-Smith (branch toolkit); Jonathan Paterson (twig toolkit) French copy editor: Stéphanie Robitaille
  • Contributors of sample documents that the toolkits link to: Carolyn Brown; Editors British Columbia; Editors Ottawa-Gatineau (Maureen Moyes); Editors Quebec-Atlantic Canada; Marianne Grier; Tiffany Sloan; Breanne MacDonald; Editors Hamilton-Halton

6. EDITING CANADIAN ENGLISH: Looking for a last-minute gift?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find the perfect last-minute gift for the word nerd in your life. Editing Canadian English is a must-have for writers, editors, students and teachers who work in Canadian English.

The eBook comes in .epub and .mobi formats and is available for purchase on Kindles, Kobos, Nooks and iPads, and on AmazonChapters IndigoBarnes & Noble and many other places eBooks are sold.

Many thanks to Karina Sinclair (Editors Hamilton-Halton) for creating this fun video!

7. WEBINARS: Train online in the New Year

A grey laptop with the Editors Canada on the screen alongside an open book with a red ribbon bookmark.

Get a head-start on your New Year’s resolution to improve your skills in 2018. With Editors Canada webinars, you’ll find sessions on topics as varied as STEM editing, estimating, digital photography and self-publishing. Each session is presented by a top-notch instructor. Visit our webinars page to learn more about each session and to meet the instructors.

Don’t forget: Editors Canada members and student affiliates save 30% on the registration fee.

Upcoming webinars

January 15–29: “Copy Editing Live!” with Elizabeth d’Anjou
January 17: “Better Time Management for Successful Editors” with Daphne Gray-Grant
January 24: “Estimating Editorial Costs” with Greg Ioannou
February 7: “Introduction to STEM Editing” with Heather Saunders

Catch up on demand: Webinar recordings are available

Did you miss an Editors Canada webinar? Many of our webinars have been recorded and are now available for purchase (and some are even free). When you buy a webinar recording, you’ll receive a video file to watch at your leisure on your computer or mobile device. The file is yours to keep, so you can watch it again and again.

Visit our webinar recordings page to see what’s available now. We’re adding new recordings regularly and some are available for a limited time only, so be sure to check often.

8. DISCOUNTS: Staples Advantage

Looking for discounts on office supplies? With the Staples Advantage Program, Editors Canada members can save on frequently used office supplies. Sign up for access to a core list of discounted items, including printer toner.

To see the core list of items and sign up for the program, visit the Members’ Area.

9. MEMBER NEWS: A round of applause!

Editors Nova Scotia member Valerie Mansour is editor of the just-released Nova Scotia Cookery, Then & Now: Modern Interpretations of Heritage Recipes. The book is based on an online exhibition of recipes dating back to the 1700s at the Nova Scotia Archives. Valerie and the Archives staff selected 83 recipes for the book, which were then matched with Nova Scotia chefs to create a modern version. Valerie also edited the recipes, wrote book and chapter introductions, and interviewed the 25 chefs and food industry professionals involved in the project. With stunning photographs of the modern dishes, as well as archival images, the book is a beauty—just in time for Christmas! It is published by Nimbus of Halifax and can be ordered directly from them, or through your favourite local bookstore.

In November, Editors Toronto member Michael Redhill won the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel Bellevue Square. The $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize is the richest literary award for a work of fiction in Canada. The prize has been awarded annually since 1994. Read the Editors Canada news release.

Editors Canada Member News is where we share information about members and affiliates who win awards, publish books and make their mark in other important ways.

Do you have an achievement you’d like to share? Are you excited about a new project or opportunity that has come your way? Let us tell the world all about it! Please send your stories to the member news coordinator.

10. NATIONAL OFFICE: Holiday closure

The national office will close for the holidays on Friday, December 22, and will reopen on Tuesday, January 2.

Best wishes for a happy holiday season. See you in 2018!

11. NEC: Notes from your national executive council

In December, many of us look back on what we’ve accomplished over the past year. Thinking about that, and my first six months of leading the national executive council, I’d like to mention some of the work we’ve done or supported.

We accomplished these tasks:

  • published an ebook version of Editing Canadian English
  • created new resources for in-house editors
  • signed a partnership agreement with the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD)
  • completed the branch and twig toolkit
  • launched a new slate of webinars for the year
  • wrote the Communications and Marketing Strategy 2017–2021
  • Published the 2017 issue of our national magazine, Active Voice
  • Launched the John Eerkes-Medrano national mentorship program

We supported these projects:

  • computer-based testing for the certification exams
  • second sitting of the Agrément exams

We started these projects:

  • task force to look into improving access to member services
  • revised freelance editorial agreement
  • Canadian dictionary
  • plans to celebrate our 40th anniversary

We also did some important administrative tasks that contribute to the long-term stability of the association:

  • expanded the signing officer procedures, so that the NEC has clear instructions on complying with federal government requirements
  • sourced a plain language lawyer to help us review certain documents
  • analyzed membership fees and our budget with economics and statistics tools (such as demand curves and sector employment numbers)
  • documented annual communications and administrative tasks

And there are more good things to come as 2018 unfolds.

Enjoy the holiday season (I hope everyone can take a good break from work). See you next year!

Gael Spivak, president

Welcome to Editors Canada!

British Columbia

Angela Aidoo Djorgee, Chris Baxter, Heather van der Hoop


Elizabeth Krispin


Laura McKay, Tishina Shannacappo


Saleh Waziruddin


Younhee Jin, Carolyn Laidman, Sheila Mulrooney, Anne O’Hagan, Sarah Snobelen, Momoye Sugiman, Aparna Sundar


Natasha Raymond, Ginette Young

Quebec/Atlantic Canada

Lise Habel, Rachel Lestage

The national e-news update is produced on behalf of the national executive council by the national office.

To top