Canadian Forum

The Canadian Forum was a literary, cultural and political publication and Canada's longest running continually published political magazine (1920–2000).[1]

History and profileEdit

Canadian Forum was founded on 14 May 1920[2] at the University of Toronto as a forum for political and cultural ideas. Its first directors were G. E. Jackson, chairman, Barker Fairley, literary editor, C. B. Sissons,[3] political editor, Peter Sandiford,[4] business manager and Huntly Gordon, press editor.[5] Throughout its publishing run it was Canadian nationalist and progressive in outlook.[1]

The magazine was published monthly.[2] As a cultural and literary publication it published the artistic works of the Group of Seven and Frank Carmichael as well as poetry and short stories by Irving Layton, Earle Birney, A. J. M. Smith, Harold Standish, Helen Weinzweig, Margaret Atwood[1] and Al Purdy.[6]

Politically, it was a forum for thinkers such as Frank Underhill, F. R. Scott, Ramsay Cook, Mel Watkins, John Alan Lee, Eugene Forsey[1] and Robert Fulford.[6]

In 1934, publisher Steven Cartwright purchased the periodical from J.M. Dent & Sons.[7] After owning it for about a year, Cartwright unloaded the money-losing venture for one dollar to Graham Spry a member of the socially progressive think tank the League for Social Reconstruction (LSR).[7] It was printed using Spy's printing press company, Stafford Printers, which also printed the Ontario CCF's newspaper The New Commonwealth.[7] Spry purchased the press with financial help from both the LSR and English socialist Sir Stafford Cripps, hence the name Stafford Press.[7] in 1936, the LSR bought the Forum for one-dollar from Spry, and assumed all its debts.[8] University of Toronto Classics professor George Grube, a member of the LSR, became the editor in 1937.[9] During his tenure, the periodical was the LSR's official organ.[10] Grube stepped down as editor in 1941, about a year before the LSR officially disbanded.[9] It has also been operated at times as a co-operative and was owned for a number of years by James Lorimer and Co.[1]

Editors have included Mark Farrell,[11] G. M. A. Grube,[9] J. Francis White, Northrop Frye, Milton Wilson, Abraham Rotstein, Denis Smith and the final editor Duncan Cameron.[1]

The magazine suspended publication following its summer 2000 issue.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Granastein, J. L. (2011). "Canadian Forum". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Toronto: The Historica-Dominion Institute. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  2. ^ a b Roy Macskimming (11 January 2012). The Perilous Trade: "Book Publishing in Canada, 1946–2006". McClelland & Stewart. p. 76. ISBN 978-1-55199-261-7. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ Charles Bruce Sissons (1879–1965)
  4. ^ (1882–1941)
  5. ^ Canadian Forum, vol. 1, No. 1, Oct. 1920, p. 14 and No. 2, Nov. 1920, p. 45
  6. ^ a b c Fulford, Robert (2001-04-17). "The Canadian Forum: alive or dead?". National Post. Toronto. Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Horn (1980), p.129
  8. ^ Horn (1980), p. 130
  9. ^ a b c Podlecki (1994), p. 237
  10. ^ Horn (1980), pp. 14, 202
  11. ^ Horn (1980), p. 131


External linksEdit