OVER ITS 33-YEAR HISTORY, FOCUS has brought readers quality, independent journalism focused on the Victoria area. It is our mission, our raison d’etre.
Back in 1988, though, FOCUS was born as Focus on Women, a monthly print magazine aimed at empowering women through telling the stories of Victoria-area women, along with solid writing on women’s issues. Founded by Leslie Campbell, it ran until 2004, when it became the gender-fluid FOCUS: Victoria's Magazine of People, Ideas and Culture.
Publisher David Broadland and editor Leslie Campbell re-focused FOCUS towards enhancing dialogue on important local social, political, environmental and health-related issues, as well as covering Victoria’s lively arts scene. The magazine gained a loyal following of curious, intelligent, influential people in the Greater Victoria area and Vancouver Island.
Victoria is an unusually well-educated and aware community and FOCUS has always reflected its readers’ concerns and interests with intelligent writing by Victoria’s most accomplished writers. FOCUS has won recognition for its journalism, including awards from the Western Canada Magazine Association and the Jack Webster Awards.
With a strong emphasis on the arts, civic design, political and environmental issues, and interviews with the people who move and shake the city and region, the print magazine was supported by subscribers and local advertisers.
For 32 years we printed on paper—a.k.a. trees, one of the planet's best carbon storers. When we moved from a monthly to bi-monthly schedule in 2016, it was driven largely by the desire to decarbonize. And then, in 2020, aided by a severe drop in advertising revenues due to the pandemic, we have moved our entire publishing online, saving trees, the emissions they store plus the additional emissions caused by shipping truckloads of FOCUS from Vancouver and through the mail system. The move allows us to publish more stories per month at far less cost to the environment.
FOCUS has always had to operate efficiently in order to survive. Over our 32-years, we’ve also had to shift gears and directions from time to time—and this is certainly one of those times. But we have every intention of continuing with our core commitment to provide Victoria citizens with quality journalism about their city, the Capital region and the province. Our redesigned digital magazine aims at being a valued community hub—still dedicated to the type of place-based investigative reporting, news analysis, commentary, and arts coverage for which FOCUS has become known.
We encourage readers to participate in FOCUS by registering on the site, even if you do not subscribe or otherwise contribute. That will allow you to receive our emailed newsletters which include a list of recent stories. We also welcome all readers to comment, respectfully, below any story to further the conversation. As well, you email us at email@example.com or through the contact button to let us know what you think and what you want from us. FOCUS exists to serve its community of readers.
Though we are primarily reader funded, we do carry a small number of local advertisers who support Focus’ work. Advertisements on the site do not imply an endorsement of the products, events, or campaigns being advertised, and advertisers have no input on our editorial decisions.
In 2020, for the first time ever, we received a “Special Measures in Journalism” grant from Heritage Canada which we used to help us pay our writers. In 2021 we received an additional funding from Heritage Canada's Canada Periodical Fund, which was used towards content.
Now largely supported by a community of Victoria-area readers, all donations /subscriptions are directly invested in FOCUS’ journalism. Donations/subscriptions enable the site to remain open to all.
A healthy community—indeed a healthy democracy—requires strong media outlets holding the powers-that-be, whether corporate or government, to account. With readers’ support FOCUS can keep Victorians well-informed through original writing on important issues. Investigative journalism and local news analysis are especially needed.
We welcome your comments and inquiries either by phone or through the website’s contact button. And of course, your donations.
Donations can be made through our “Subscriptions” page, by calling us at 250-388-7231, or sending an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support! Please keep well and keep reading.
Leslie Campbell, Editor & David Broadland, Publisher
email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org