Chatelaine (magazine)

For the French-language version of this magazine, see Châtelaine.
For other uses, see Chatelaine (disambiguation).
Editor Lianne George
Categories Women's magazine
Frequency Monthly
Total circulation
(June 2013)
Year founded March, 1928
First issue March 1928 (1928-March)
Company Rogers Media
Country Canada
Based in Toronto
Language English
ISSN 0009-1995

Chatelaine is an English-language Canadian magazine of women's lifestyles and the number one magazine in Canada in paid circulation. Both Chatelaine and its French-language version, Châtelaine, are published monthly by Rogers Media, a division of Rogers Communications. It was first published in March 1928 by Maclean Publishing. Due to falling print ad revenues, Chatelaine is to reduce its publication frequency to 6 times a year beginning in 2017. Other Rogers Media publications are also to either reduce their publication frequency or become digital only publications. Rogers Media also announced that it intends to divest itself of its French-language publications, including Châtelaine.[2]

The magazine, website, iPad apps, eBooks and special interest publications cover a variety of women's interests, from food and recipes to fashion, beauty and home decor, to health, books and real-life stories.

From 1957 to 1977, Chatelaine's editor was Doris Anderson, under whose tenure the magazine was a leader in Canadian coverage of women's issues, including the rise of feminism as a social phenomenon. Other recent editors include Mildred Istona and Rona Maynard. The current editor is Lianne George.

The magazine celebrated its 85th anniversary in May 2013.

The creation of Chatelaine

Chatelaine was first published in March 1928. It was created by the Maclean Hunter Publishing Company as a means to reach a different demographic than its other publications, Maclean's and the Financial Post.[3] Maclean Hunter Publishing Company solicited ideas from Canadian women in order to choose a name for the magazine, offering a $1000 prize for the winning entry. The contest, which drew 75,000 entries, encouraged a great deal of hype about the magazine's inauguration among Canadian women. A rancher's wife from Eburne, British Columbia won with her suggestion of "The Chatelaine." The title refers to the ring of keys which housewives long ago would use to get into every part of the house.[4]

Chatelaine in the 1920s and 1930s

The first issue of Chatelaine was published the very same month that Emily Murphy presented the Persons Case to the Supreme Court, a major turning point in Canadian women's history. In December 1929, Murphy wrote an article for Chatelaine entitled "Now That Women Are Persons, What's Ahead?" In its first years, the magazine served as a sounding board for women at the end of the first wave of feminism. Along with providing advice on style, cooking, homemaking, and child-rearing, Chatelaine published editorials from some of the most influential female thinkers of the time. In 1928 and 1929, article topics included panic over the rising divorce rate, "Wages and Wives" (April 1929), and the high maternal mortality rate in rural Canada (July 1928).[5]

The economic hardships of the Great Depression changed the tone of Chatelaine. During the 1930s, the magazine became less political. Popular parts of the magazine included monthly budget meal plans and romantic fiction. There was a rise in male-authored articles, including "Men Don't Want Clever Wives," and "What Did Your Husband Give Up For Marriage?"(August 1938).

In order to maintain Chatelaine's selling feature as a Canadian woman's magazine that reflected the ideas of women across the country, the magazine encouraged participation from their readers, offering a prize of $25 to the best letter written in response to one of their articles. In October 1938, Edith Hunter of Calgary won the $25 for her letter in response to "What Did Your Husband Give Up For Marriage?"[5] contesting the article. Chatelaine tried to maintain its position as a voice for Canadian women, and included a few political articles with a feminist edge such as "When Women Enter Public Life?" (September 1938), and "Why I Had a Civil Marriage" (March 1935).

Chatelaine and World War II

The editor of the magazine from 1929 to 1952 was Byrne Hope Sanders. Sanders took some time off from the magazine during World War II after being seconded to Ottawa. She was made a Companion of the Order of Canada for her work as head the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, where she implemented food rationing and set up a consumer council of women.[4]

During the Second World War, Chatelaine participated in the media and propaganda frenzy by publishing cover images of young women in uniform, working on farms, and contributing to the war effort. After the war, as husbands returned home from overseas, the magazine immediately switched to images of ultra-femininity and articles on being the perfect wife in Canada's post-war climate.[6] Also after the war, there was a sharp increase in articles about motherhood and family life. Editorials such as "Don't Delay Parenthood" (May 1946) were suitable companions to the "Baby Boom" period.

The Doris Anderson Period, 1957-1972

After five years under male editor John Clare (editor 1952-1957), feminist Doris Anderson took over the position of editor in 1957. This is the most studied period of Chatelaine history.[7] Under Anderson, Chatelaine began publishing controversial content about subjects including sex and women's rights.

In 1963, Anderson considered publishing an excerpt of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. This is the book which many scholars believe set off the second wave of feminism. Anderson famously turned down the excerpt, claiming that the magazine had already covered the material Friedan wrote about. This anecdote is often used to distinguish Anderson and her publication as ahead of its time. Anderson later said that she regretted missing out on what she called "the scoop of the century."[4]

Woman of the Year

In the past, the magazine has named a Woman of the Year, honouring a Canadian woman for her achievements in the previous year. Honorees have included Prime Minister Kim Campbell, athlete Chantal Petitclerc, pop singer k.d. lang and Jane Doe, a Toronto woman who waged a successful court battle against the Toronto Police Service after alleging that in 1986 the police force had failed to issue warnings about the Balcony Rapist, who subsequently raped her.[8] One of lang's most famous songs, "Miss Chatelaine" from the album Ingénue, is about her selection as the magazine's Woman of the Year.

Chatelaine Radio

In July 2013, Rogers Media launched Chatelaine Radio, a two-hour weekly lifestyle radio program.[9] The program, hosted by a local personality in each market but with common health, food and fashion features contributed by the magazine's editors, initially premiered on four Rogers Radio stations, CHFI-FM in Toronto, CHFM-FM in Calgary and CHYM-FM and CIKZ-FM in Kitchener-Waterloo.[9]

See also


  1. "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Alliance for Audited Media. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
  3. Peter S. Anderson. "Maclean Hunter Limited". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
  4. 1 2 3 Rona Maynard, Introduction to "A Woman's Place", Toronto: Maclean Hunter Publishing Limited, 1997.
  5. 1 2 Sylvia Fraser,ed., "A Woman's Place", Toronto: Maclean Hunter Publishing Limited, 1997.
  6. Margaret Ecker Francis, "Nostalgia," Chatelaine magazine, November 1946.
  7. Valerie J. Korinek, "Roughing It In the Suburbs: Reading Chatelaine Magazine in the Fifties and Sixties." Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
  8. Kim Pittaway (January 1999). "Who is JANE DOE?". 72 (1). Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  9. 1 2 "Rogers Media Launches Chatelaine Radio". Broadcaster, 18 July 2013.

External links

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