April 2014 editor's letter: A new leaf

Editor-in-chief Karine Ewart is excited to inspire and move readers with new, fresh ideas.


Photo, Roberto Caruso.

I always say that summer is my favourite season in Canada, but to be truthful, for those of us who prefer the hot temperatures, spring is really our first love. Every year I cherish that day in April when I feel the warm kiss of the sun and excitedly anticipate what’s just around the corner: throwing open the windows, smelling the fresh, clean air, ditching my jacket (even if it’s only 10 degrees out) and getting out my open-toed shoes.

Speaking of fresh, we are having a fresh start of sorts here. As you may know, the lovely Jane Francisco, editor-in-chief of Chatelaine for four years, has left to embark upon a new adventure in New York City. In January, I was asked to join the team — and I couldn’t be more honoured. I know what this iconic brand has meant to Canadian women for over 85 years. I was so proud when my 12-year-old daughter, Milla, recently made Chatelaine’s legacy a pillar of her grade 7 speech about gender equality: “My mom gets to tell stories about how amazing women are. How awesome is that?” I couldn’t agree more.

When I was Milla’s age, my first job was pumping gas at my best friend’s dad’s gas station in southern Ontario. I spent the rest of my teen years teaching swimming and lifeguarding at the beach in the same small town my husband, Jay, and I returned to when our twin boys, Wyatt and Theo, were born in 2005. (Our fourth child, Beckett, was born in 2006.)

I have loved magazines for as long as I can remember. They always provided an escape to a world I longed to be part of. Admittedly, on my first day at Ryerson University’s graduate school of journalism in 1995, I felt a bit intimidated: It seemed as if most of my classmates were aspiring to become hard-core newspaper journalists. When we went around the room introducing ourselves, I said, “My name is Karine, and I want to work at a fashion magazine.” The room was dead silent. But by the time I dropped out a year later to accept a job at Harper’s Bazaar and move to N.Y.C., I felt pretty okay. My subsequent positions at fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands in both Canada and the U.S. have reinforced my love for my job, and I feel so fortunate to be able to do what I do. Not to mention the amazingly creative people I have had the pleasure of working with, both past and present.

Which brings me to you, our Chatelaine audience. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you for your loyalty and dedication. I hope under my watch you’ll still find stories in every issue that will inspire and move you — and I promise that my team and I will continue to do everything in our power to make your everyday as extraordinary as we possibly can. The newest, freshest ideas (did you see our homemade jelly doughnuts) are right around the corner. I can’t wait to share them with you.