With Love, From CF To atbt

If you’re looking for all the best things in Calgary there is no better way than to pick up a copy of All The Best Things (atbt) Magazine. Better yet, go to one of their launch parties. Not only will you snag yourself the latest copy of the mag, you’ll also party the night away with the atbt team, live music and tasty beverages.

Calgary Fashion sat down with atbt creators Brendan Kane and Jessica (TheWitt) Wittman to talk shop about the magazine that’s putting Calgary’s best out there.

After internships abroad, the two SAIT grads, Kane the writer and Wittman the photographer, decided it was better to start up their own publication than go work for the traditional newspaper.

“We want to focus on people doing good things in terms of culturally, musically, humanitarian wise and fashion,” explains Wittman of the magazine’s vision. Flipping through the magazine you can see just that. The focus on what’s happening in Calgary goes beyond the articles and photographs. The advertisers are carefully selected as well.

“The idea is to give companies, as well as things that we cover, a better than fair representation that is not seen in other forms of media,” says Kane. All of the ads are full color, full page. The companies themselves are also independent local businesses.

“There are businesses that without us would not get the chance to ever advertise and if they did somehow muster it up, it would be little card sized that would get lost in obscurity with other publications,” says Kane.

Kane explains atbt’s vision further and it’s place among the underground scene in Calgary.

“The idea is to build up people like us within our own culture group. People who are doing their own grass roots movement because, let’s face it, there has been in the last six months a resurgence in grassroots initiatives.”

“Like Calgary Fashion, Market Collective,” Wittman adds.

“Market Collective, The Modern Leisure and Artlife,” Kane continues. “They are all these baby companies that have their heart in the right place that are doing things that mean something. They’re not big concert events, their hand crafted. At least with our magazine, if you’re walking by a newsstand, you’re going to see that there is heart into this, this is a handcrafted piece of artwork. It’s not just getting it out there, pumping out the news coverage – we never believed in that in journalism. We thought that if we were going to ever write about anything or photograph anything or travel to go see something, which we do a lot of the time, it’s more about recommending something, inspiring somebody. Everything that we put in the magazine, we believe should be either something people should do or check out or know about.”

Everything in the magazine is also everything they care about. “We’ve basically made this an extension of our social lives,” says Kane. “We’re going to be out, we’re going to be talking to people all the time. It’s our favorite part of our entire lives – meeting new people, finding out their stories …It’s just great to get the stories and put it together. So we just turned what we were already doing in our social lives into our project… it’s things we would normally do in our lives but with some sort of purpose.”

One of those things that they would normally do is throw parties. Every time an issue is released, atbt hosts a party at a local venue, most recently at the Palomino Smokehouse.

“When we release it and an event in the same suit will eventually bring people together,” says Wittman. “It’s kind of cool to read an article about these girls and have a couple of them there and if you’re just a reader of the magazine you can come, look it up and say ‘oh I saw them there’ – a face, a literal, to the name.”

Their purpose also includes supporting the underground scene that they are also a part of. Wittman explains: “People don’t generally break out of their clicks, you know what I mean? People know who’s in their scene and who’s doing what in their scene, but they don’t necessarily walk outside of that a whole lot and be uncomfortable. So to have an event to bring different groups together and letting them mingle in a casual comfortable environment helps break down those boundaries…

The big thing, in my mind, it’s to get people to support each other. If we all just try to do our own project or own thing, we still need to do that but we need to appreciate what other people are doing. Attend their events and have them support yours. So that big cross feed, that whole, that self-sustaining thing.”

Calgary may not be the most supportive city for the arts, but it’s perfect for a magazine like atbt.

“Calgary is the best place to start off a project because there isn’t very much competition,” comments Kane. “Maybe we wouldn’t try to do this in a bigger city that had three or four versions of us that are already prestigious. This is a new city, I think that there is nothing more exciting than being on the cusp of young people starting up entrepreneurial projects and artistic projects and having everybody else around kind of treat us as a new fresh thing.

“There is no better place than Calgary to start off your dream.”

Join the atbt facebook group for upcoming events, drop off locations and contact information.
Photos of Kane & Wittman taken from Facebook - but the one of Kane is by Tyler Stalman.


Marian said...

sounds like a great publication,shame its unavailable here!
muah x

stalman said...

Great interview, I love these guys.

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