Kiara Strijack and Dave Flawse are the student co-managing editors behind the 30th anniversary issue of VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine. (Photos courtesy Carrie Davis/Scott Bell, cover by Chantelle Calitz)

Kiara Strijack and Dave Flawse are the student co-managing editors behind the 30th anniversary issue of VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine. (Photos courtesy Carrie Davis/Scott Bell, cover by Chantelle Calitz)

Vancouver Island University’s literary magazine ‘Portal’ celebrates 30 years

Virtual launch featuring contributor readings takes places on April 30

Vancouver Island University’s student-made literary magazine is celebrating its 30th birthday.

On April 30, students in VIU’s magazine publishing course are launching the 30th annual issue of Portal. At 108 pages it’s the largest issue yet and includes some special features to mark the occasion.

“The magazine just gets more and more ambitious with each issue,” said Joy Gugeler, who has been teaching the course for the last 10 years and holds the position of Portal’s publisher.

She said she’s “thrilled” to be part of the 30th anniversary issue, adding that producing it during a pandemic was an accomplishment.

“Particularly in the really challenging year that we’ve had with COVID as a country, as a city, as a university and as a class, it has been that much more [of] a fly-the-flag kind of victory where we were able to do it entirely through Zoom and e-mail and online back-and-forth exchanges of documents,” she said.

Gugeler said Portal has evolved “quite considerably” over the past 30 years. It started off as The Stump, one of a few publications produced by VIU’s creative writing club back when it was still Malaspina College. In 1991 students in the publishing class voted to change the name to Portal and it became a class-run magazine.

“It used to be a black-and-white publication that was printed on campus and just for campus,” Gugeler said.

Since Gugeler took over, Portal has become a full-colour publication now printed in Montreal and distributed across the country as a member of Magazines Canada, the national association representing Canadian magazines. Gugeler also oversaw the creation of Portal’s Portfolio reading series and national writing contest, Portent.

VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine is turning 30 years old. Here are all 30 covers of the student-made literary publication. (Image courtesy Chantelle Calitz)

VIU’s ‘Portal’ magazine is turning 30 years old. Here are all 30 covers of the student-made literary publication. (Image courtesy Chantelle Calitz)

The 30th anniversary issue includes poetry, prose, scripts, art and book reviews by students from VIU’s three campuses. New features for this year include a portfolio spotlight with three writers from different cultural backgrounds, interviews with three literary magazines from across Canada on how they’ve weathered the pandemic and where they see the future of publishing, and interviews with three VIU creative writing alumni now working in book and magazine publishing in Vancouver.

This year’s student co-managing editors are Kiara Strijack and Dave Flawse. Flawse said Gugeler approached him to take on the role, and it was not as he imagined.

“I just kind of said ‘yes’ and I thought it’d be fun,” he said. “And what it ended up being was a lot more work than I expected but we still had lots of fun moments.”

Strijack said she feels “honoured” to be part of the 30th anniversary issue.

“Overlooking and editing about half the magazine was just really incredible,” she said. “A lot of work, but really incredible and really rewarding to see it all come together.”

Gugeler said it was an effort that went beyond campus grounds.

“With our designer being in Edmonton and most of the other students being up and down the Island – we have some in Toronto and we even had a student in the Bahamas – all trying to put together this issue that’s printed in Montreal and trucked across the country for a week and comes to our doorstep, that’s a truly international project,” she said.

The 30th anniversary issue of Portal can be found here.

WHAT’S ON … Portal magazine launch takes place via Zoom on April 30 from 7 to 9 p.m.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Literature

Just Posted

The City of Nanaimo has developed concepts for an extension of the Harbourfront Walkway from Departure Bay ferry terminal to Departure Bay Beach. (City of Nanaimo image)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City hasn’t shown it has capability to build walkway

Is it really a good idea to consider a hyper-expensive, complicated mega-project, asks letter writer

Regional District of Nanaimo directors discussed asking the provincial government for increased funding, awareness and enforcement against human trafficking. (File photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo asking province to better address human trafficking issue

Directors agree to write to the premier and solicitor-general after hearing from advocate

Conductor Willi Zwozdesky and pianist Nico Rhodes led 66 local vocalists in song for the Nanaimo Sings video project Keeping Calm and Singing On. (YouTube screen shot)
Nanaimo Sings virtual performance features 66 vocalists

Fifth Nanaimo Sings festival was to have taken place this year

The bow-legged bear was seen roaming 2nd Avenue on Friday, May 7 and again in Brown Drive Park on May 13. (Submitted photo)
Bow-legged Ladysmith bear euthanized after vet examination

CO Stuart Bates said the bear had obvious health issues

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
UPDATE: Queen presents Nanaimo doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

A driver was taken to hospital after crashing a pickup truck into a tree on Rutherford Road near Bradbury Road on Friday, May 14. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Driver taken to hospital after crashing truck into tree on Rutherford hill in Nanaimo

RCMP investigating incident at Rutherford and Bradbury roads on Friday, May 14

Tamara Cameron, Uplands Park Elementary School music teacher and librarian, students Ben Leduc, second from left, Avery Kojima and Kinley Robson, as well as other music students from the school, will benefit from $8,000 from MusiCounts, for instruments and recording equipment. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Money for new instruments music to ears of Uplands Park school staff and students

Grant from music education charity MusiCounts means students will have more ways to be creative

Sarah Boileau in her home studio on Monday, May 10. Boileau’s work will be on display at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville through May 30. (Submitted photo)
RCMP arrested a man in north Nanaimo who wound up empty-handed after allegedly failing at shoplifting, bank robbery and robbery at ATM machine. (File photo)
Man arrested in Nanaimo after failed attempts at bank robbery, ATM mugging, shoplifting

RCMP arrest suspect in office-supply store after ‘short-lived crime spree’

Most Read