Saturday, August 04, 2007

More Canadian Cultural Renewal

I was privileged this evening to have dinner with Fr. de Souza (writer for the National Post), Tom Mcfeely (an editor for the National Catholic Register), his wife, and some friends from College and Career.

I have had some ideas about getting people together to start brain storming on how to engage cultural renewal in Canada and Tom knew about this, so he told me to put my idea across Fr. de Souza to see what he thinks.

Fr. de Souza felt that publishing journals in the realm of First Things, for example, would be a bit too difficult to get going in Canada.  In the US, it has about 40,000 subscribers and is probably the most prominent politically conservative, religiously orthodox journal in the US.  Since Canada's population is only about 1/10 the size of the US, he feels it would be difficult for people, in a journal, to be able to get their readership up enough to make it a financially viable endeavor.  

I will be honest that I was rather surprised to hear this.  While I understand his reasoning, I do think that if things are promoted properly then people will subscribe.  I am sure that it would not be difficult to get many subscribers, again, promotion is everything.

He was also a bit down, I found, on the idea of think tanks, because they need money and people seem hesitant in giving money for such things.

I think he is in principle for such endeavors, but feels that since our population is so much smaller and less religious, it would be hard to get such things off the ground.

He did say, however, what he does think would work.  He said that we ought to encourage people to write for their local newspapers, so that their opinions could be heard on a local level and that, generally, editors for local papers are willing to have local writers to write on local issues as it gives the paper that local feel it wants.  

He also mentioned the idea of a website in which there would be access to content and news on a regular basis.  He believes that this is the best means.

I still think the other things are possible too, though, and I am going to be continuing to be bouncing ideas off of people.  I do see the idea of a website being very popular and something that can give us the boost we would need to eventually get a journal off the ground.

I also had another idea but I forgot to put it past him.


1 comment:

Colm said...

I think D'Souza is generally right. First Things has yet to break even, much less turn a profit, which means it relies on massive donations from private backers - backers of the type that simply do not exist in Canada. And as for Think Tanks, there are several politically and socially conservative ones that already exist in Canada that could use some support. The Fraser Institute for one, and the Vanier Institute of the Family (it's something like that) is another.

A website however is a much more plausible idea and a much easier project to bring into fruition. For one, you already have a very healthy stable of Catholic contributers in the form of Catholic Explorers (all of whom are anxious to have the blog read and engaged by more). Furthermore, it's also been shown that Catholics are using the 'net more and more for their news on things secular and spiritual. Just look at the sheer number of sound Catholics sites at St. Blog's. There's a big audience there.