Focus respectfully acknowledges that we live and work on the traditional lands of the Lək̓ʷəŋən peoples, known today as Songhees and Esquimalt Nations
OVER ITS 35-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 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 at far less cost to the planet.
FOCUS has always had to operate efficiently in order to survive. Over our 35-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 information about their city, the Capital region and the Province. Our digital magazine aims at being a valued community hub—still dedicated to the type of place-based 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. We also welcome all readers to comment, respectfully, below any story to further the conversation—or send us your citizen journalism or commentary. You can also email us at email@example.com or through the contact button.
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, however, we are supported by a community of Victoria-area writers and readers. All writing, editing and management is, as of fall 2023, provided on a volunteer basis. Donations/subscriptions help with site costs, enabling it to remain open to all. Over its long history, FOCUS has covered a wide-range of civic issues and local people; as such, this website serves as an important archive of the city's recent past.
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.
We welcome your comments and inquiries either by phone or through the website’s contact button. And of course, your donations, including your written submissions.
Donations of funds can be made through our “Subscriptions” page, by calling us at 250-888-7172, 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