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 featured volunteer recognizes the contributions of our dedicated people who keep Editors Canada going. Volunteers are the backbone of the association, and we are grateful for the many members and affiliates who answer the call when help is needed.
Want to make a difference in your association? Find out more about volunteering for Editors Canada.