The People Who Helped Make It All Happen
In late 1989, we received a letter from a young teenager in Indianapolis. He congratulated us on our magazine and expressed a keen interest in the North. In July 2007, almost 20 years later, he was named editor of Up Here magazine.
Aaron Spitzer directed the editorial content of the magazine for seven years (2007- 2013), with a brief break to complete his Master’s degree. Aaron is now in Norway to finalize a doctorate in political science. He was our second longest-serving editor. The first was Rosemary Allerston, who was at the helm for 11 years (1985-1996). Rosemary is now retired in Ontario. Our third longest-serving editor was Cooper Langford (1997-2004), who completed six-plus years before moving to Toronto as editor of the Financial Post magazine. Cooper returned to the Up Here family in 2018 as editor of Up Here Business.
During our first publishing year, we sought out and hired a talented group of some three dozen freelancers, almost all from the North. A few like Bill Braden, Tessa Macintosh, and Fran Hurcomb (who photographed our first cover) continue to contribute to the magazine.
Bonnie Dickie, who went on to a successful career as a film producer, was one of our most prolific contributors during that first year, as was Mick Mallon, a well known northern linguist. Others whose bylines continued over the years include Lyn Hancock, Rachel Crappo, and Jim Green.
Some others who have been part of the Up Here team include: Joy Watt, our first and longest-serving advertising sales manager (1984-1997); Susan Abernethy, now a senior bureaucrat in the GNWT, who spent five years overseeing circulation; Samia Madwar who is currently the managing editor of The Walrus magazine; Liz Crompton who was editor before moving to Reader’s Digest; and Kathy Gray, who helmed the advertising group for 12 years before heading off to start her own magazine.
Our longest-serving employee in the history of Up Here is John Pekelsky. He was listed as one of several designers in our first issue, assumed the role of art director in 1989, and for the past 30 years has not only continued to turn out professionally designed, award-winning magazines but has also overseen the production schedule, ensuring each magazine goes out on time.