March 04, 2011 Features & Images » Feature Story

Ten terrible years for Skier Magazine 

Popular publication celebrates a decade


They were captains and sailors, criminals and police, critics and artists. They cared deeply, but didn't give a hoot. And during the years they worked together on Skier magazine, Leslie Anthony and Jake Bogoch had the power to make you laugh, cry, and, if you were part of the ski industry, just look plain silly. As the mag celebrates it's 10th season of rabble-rousing, it's worth a look back. - By Ulises Dalton

A decade ago, the ski world was a relatively peaceful place. Canadian skiers modestly - and quietly - pushed limits in their corners of the sport, largely without record. The elite superstars of international racing and a handful of steep-and-deep American ski-film companies ruled the slopes.

But ski culture was beginning to change and Canadian skiers were about to receive a lot of attention: Gaper Day was shortly to blossom into a grassroots ski institution, and the skiing newsstand was about to be subjected to a dose of intelligent but irreverent humour. It all arrived with the kicking-and-screaming birth of Canada's Skier magazine.

"At the time, Canadians were leading the world in freeskiing - both big mountain and park and pipe - but you wouldn't know the extent of it if you only read American ski magazines. Or - and this is the worst part - other Canadian ski magazines," explains Leslie Anthony.

Skier filled the gap, a do-it-all publication documenting big-mountain, backcountry, park, pipe and urban adventures. Skier was crafted both for the skiers out there in the trenches as well as those city-dwellers who love the sport and, more importantly, ski culture. Spurred by the rapid and revolutionary changes taking place in the sport - and a perceived parallel need to stop taking everything so seriously - the resulting magazine married Powder- like action, abundant personality, and plenty of cultural iconography with knowledge and authority, delivering a package with the timbre of Outside meets South Park. No one imagined it would last a season, let alone 10, a testament to the niche that was waiting for it.


Rumble beginnings

It began in the fall of 2000, when ski journalist Robert Choquette ( Ski Canada, Le Ski ) invited Anthony to help start a new Canadian ski magazine with Toronto-based SBC publications ( Snowboard Canada, Skateboard Canada ). After the first year's successful three issues, Anthony felt former Powder -intern Jake Bogoch would be perfect for the editorial team. Bogoch had been contributing to Skier whilst living in Calgary and made the move to Toronto. Although Choquette/Anthony had overseen a successful launch, Choquette moved on to other concerns after year two and the Bogoch/Anthony combination blossomed into an entirely different type of partnership. More like an explosive mix.

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