New Anglophone Magazine for Laval Families
The first issue of Laval Families was launched at the Cosmodome last October.
“This is the first English magazine for Laval and the north shore,” says publisher Luigi Morabito. “The magazine is built on feedback from the community. We’re non-political. Most of the authors are from the community.”
Attendees at the launch included seniors, children, community groups and health sector employees including Alexandre Duplessis, from the executive committee of the city and Nick Milas and Robert Vallerand, from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier school board.
The event was the first time that any of them saw the 32-page magazine, which features how-to stories about health, education, childhood development and tourism. It also includes first-person accounts about Anglophones trying to be served in their own language.
The lead story in the first issue, for example, features Laval mom Natalina Pace’s efforts to get autism diagnoses and services for her children in English. Thanks to her efforts, five four-year-old Anglophone children with autism start pre-kindergarten at L’Etincelle this month. Pace was able to inform the community about her success on a blog on the Laval Families website (www.lavalfamilies.com).
Morabito says he has received lots of congratulations on his efforts so far. “I’ve received dozens of emails; people are saying it’s about time.”
The path towards the venture began three years ago. Morabito owns a consulting company called Community & Corporate Solutions. As part of his work, he organizes meetings that bring local schools, community groups and the health sector together in an initiative known as Networking and Partnership Initiative (NPI). NPI’s are now underway in LaSalle, Dorval, Lachine and elsewhere, but they began in Laval.
“When I started with NPI’s in Laval, the big question was always ‘where can we access information,’” said Morabito. “If someone needs an English psychologist or a speech pathologist, you don’t know where to start. It’s hard enough to admit you need help without having to figure out how you might get it.”
“Why don’t I put a magazine together,” said Morabito. “There are needs in the community. How can we develop something?”
The idea led him to a series of mini-focus groups in his home, at other people’s homes and at coffee shops. “I spoke to about 100 people,” he said. “In my three years of researching, the first year and a half was part-time researching the idea. Then a year of prototype development followed.”
The result is a plan for quarterly Laval Family magazines until at least 2014. Morabito plans to distribute 25,000 copies of each one through schools, in publi-sacs and at a variety of drop points.
The next issue comes out January 21.
About the Author
Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.