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It’s Our Anniversary: 95 Years Of Chatelaine!

Nine decades after our very first issue was published, we continue to talk about all of the issues—big and small—that matter to Canadian women.
A compilation of archival Chatelaine covers from 1928 to present day

In her inaugural editor’s letter, way back in March 1928, Anne Elizabeth Wilson laid out Chatelaine’s mandate: to cover “the multifarious and ever-growing questions which are uppermost in the minds of women in the Dominion today.” Like many nonagenarians, the magazine dabbled in some views that haven’t exactly stood the test of time: There was 1932’s clickbait-y “I Wish I Were A Woman” (yes, it was written by a man, and yes, it included lines like “a new day would bring no greater difficulties than the simple planning of three meals…”); there was also 1983’s “A Who’s Who of Canada’s Sexiest Anchor Men,” which went all in on Keith Morrison. But for every clunker in our archives, you’ll find plenty more thoughtful, prescient pieces on issues that matter to Canadian women. Chatelaine was talking about being childless by choice back in 1947. In 1966, we were examining the urgent need for more daycare. We wrote about what it was like to transition in 1971 and toxic diet culture in 1995.

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Those stories reflect and respond to the ongoing conversation that Canadian women have had with Chatelaine from the start—from even before that, actually, since our name (which refers to the woman in charge of a large house) was chosen among 75,000 submissions sent from across the country. The winner, a “rancher’s wife” from Eburne, B.C., named Hilda Pain, envisioned “the gracious figure of a chatelaine…inviting with outstretched arms the women of Canada to enter and enjoy the restful charm of her home.” In the 95 years since, you’ve sent us countless letters both flattering and furious (so much for restful charm?) about the stories we’ve run and the subjects we need to tackle next.

A photo of a pink Chatelaine cover with a birthday cake with 95 lit candles. The Spring 2023 issue of Chatelaine, available on newsstands and Apple News+ now.

I’ve been at the helm of Chatelaine for four years now—a drop in the bucket in terms of our history, but a period of great change nonetheless, both for the world and for the magazine industry. Many titles, including this one, have reduced their print frequencies and redoubled their digital efforts. But I’m incredibly proud of our first quarterly issue of 2023, which brings you profiles of three amazing Canadian women: tree scientist Suzanne Simard, public health expert Dr. Joanne Liu and the late, great cookbook author Edna Staebler. There are also features on rural home births and finding joy in divorce, as well as 11 delicious cake recipes, one from each decade of our existence. Talk about multifarious!

I can’t thank you enough for your support—and for your spirited feedback. Find our Spring 2023 issue on newsstands and Apple News+ now, or become a Chatelaine subscriber and help support the next chapter of our iconic Canadian magazine. Let's keep the conversation going!

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