Two Canadians launch a New Zealand print magazine heading into 2020. The story sounds familiar, another new business brought down by COVID. However, there’s a twist.
“COVID hit right as we were finishing our second issue. We couldn’t even deliver it. Yeah, we were nervous. But with Kiwis and Canadians unable to travel and needing lockdown reading material, we grew a bit of an underground following,” says Nathan Weathington, publisher of 1964: mountain culture/aotearoa.
Named for the year Mount Aspiring National Park was founded, 1964 is a reader-supported, quarterly print and digital magazine based in the far south of Aotearoa, New Zealand. 1964 is a high quality, throwback print magazine that’s made with coffee tables in mind.
The magazine, which includes art, photography, feature articles and poetry, focusses on New Zealand’s remote places and the people who seek them out. The style of the magazine lends itself to a slow, cover-to-cover to read, with stories ranging from a profile of a small-town taxidermist to a look back at a vintage Superman comic starring a giant extinct bird from New Zealand.
Internationally, you might assume a New Zealand magazine would have a stronger following in the UK or the US, but the bulk of their international subscribers are Canadian, and from British Columbia specifically.
“Historically there is a lot of crossover between British Columbia and New Zealand,” says Laura Williamson. The editor of 1964, she is originally from Vancouver.
“With similar climate and opposite seasons, skiers, fishers, ranch workers and tourists have been travelling between our New Zealand and BC for decades. That’s how I ended up in New Zealand.” But didn’t the Internet kill print magazines?
“Digital was supposed to kill books and vinyl records as well, but they’re still thriving. Similar to vinyl, I think a magazine has that feel that digital just cannot replicate. We can’t stare at screens all day,” Nathan explains.
If someone in your life has a connection with, or interest in, New Zealand, consider giving them 1964: mountain culture/aotearoa magazine. Subscriptions are only $50/year (four issues) and shipped to Canada for only $29.95/year.