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LOLA - Our History

Lola magazine started in 1997 when Sally McKay, John Massier, and Catherine Osborne first met at Lakeview Lunch on Dundas Street West, Toronto. The original concept was to create a city art magazine on the cheap that was a genuine reflection of the art and of the people making and showing their art around town. In December 1997, the first issue of Lola was distributed for free at various Toronto galleries.

Issue one was a huge success. In the first review of the magazine, Globe and Mail art critic John Bentley Mays wrote happily that Lola had her finger on the pulse of the artistic life of Toronto's streets. Hal Niedzviecki, editor of Broken Pencil, wrote: "Oh Lola! How bleak the world was before you!"

One of the strongest features to take shape since the startup of the magazine has been the Shotgun review section, a collection of dozens of short-short reviews of various art exhibitions and events written by people from all over and from all walks of life. Hundreds of writers have contributed and about 300 exhibitions are reviewed every year.

Over the years Lola has earned a reputation for being a leading expert in its coverage of Toronto's visual arts scene. Among those who have contributed to Lola: Award-winning journalists Gerald Hannon, R.M. Vaughan, and Gordon Laird. Lola has been runner-up of the National Magazine Award's "Best Magazine of the Year" for two consecutive years, and received a Silver Award in the Arts & Entertainment writing category. In 2001 Sharon Salson Gregg joined the team as publisher.

Lola is a member of the Independent Press Association, Berkeley CA, the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, and Ontario Media Development Corporation. We acknowledge the financial support of the Canadian Heritage's Canadian Magazine Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts. We are also grateful for The Kinks, and the support of our contributors, advertisers, and subscribers. (February 2003)

See Lola In the Media for a complete index of articles on Lola.

See Press Releases for recent Lola e-newsletters

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