Behind the pages: How the Kitchissippi Times is made

The Kitchissippi Times team poses for a photograph in a kitchen. Newspapers are on the counter.
The Kitchissippi Times team. From left to right: publisher Michael Curran, graphic designer Céline Paquette, editor Charlie Senack and sales representative Eric Dupuis. Photo by Ellen Bond.

By Charlie Senack

When readers pick up a copy of the Kitchissippi Times, they see a polished product that has been planned over the course of at least a month. But how does it all begin? 

As one issue goes to press, I am already busy working with our team of freelance writers to research what is happening in the community. We look for stories that are taking place through the vast neighbourhoods of Kitchissippi, while ensuring we have a mixture of profiles and harder news content. 

Graphic designer Céline Paquette, meanwhile, is hard at work planning a layout for the upcoming issue.

“I like to have an overview of the pages and plan them in advance. Being organized ensures we don’t miss anything,” Paquette said. “We sort where all the advertising will go and ensure we have enough room for each story. This then gives the editor an idea of how much content will be needed. It’s like a big jigsaw puzzle.”

A look at a PDF showing many boxes. They are to represent where stories and ads go in the paper.
A look at the layout for the November 2023 issue of KT.

At the same time, sales representative Eric Dupuis is busy dealing with the local business community to book advertising.

“A lot of the business owners in Kitchissippi have unique stories and backgrounds. I know their kids’ names, they know my kids’ names,” he said. “I’ve heard many stories about how advertising with us has made a positive difference. It’s great to talk to them and get that village feel. You don’t get that working for a large news organization.”

Over the course of a few weeks, Kitchissippi Times reporters spread out across the community, attending local events and visiting people’s homes and businesses. Bradley Turcotte often covers the arts and culture scene, Daria Maystruk and Christina Korotkov focus on profiles, and Simon Hopkins hits the streets to gauge residents’ opinions on topics.

Ellen smiles as she poses for a photograph holding her camera.
Kitchissippi Times photographer Ellen Bond. Photo by Charlie Senack.

KT photographer Ellen Bond is tasked with capturing the beauty of the neighbourhood. She started working for KT as the ‘Humans of Kitchissippi’ writer and photographer between her first and second year taking photography at Algonquin College. Bond spent years as a teacher before returning to post secondary school after turning 50.

“I love having the freedom to go and look at what captures my eye whether it’s people taking in the spring weather or flowers and plants in the summer,” she said. “My favourite thing is seeing the joy on people’s faces when they see the photos I took of them. They take my photos and use them as their profile picture on social media, make Instagram stories with it, and put it on their fridges.”

One of KT’s most read columns is ‘Early Days’, written by local historian Dave Allston. His passion for the past started in elementary school. Allston then wrote a history column for Newswest in the 1990s, and then joined our team in Spring 2017.

“Kitchissippi has the perfect storm of history. There are families who have been in this area for almost 200 years,” he said. “People enjoy reading about it, and the ‘Early Days’ column adds a lot of value to the neighbourhood experience. It’s great to bring the buildings, streets and people of the past alive again.”

After all of the stories are collected, graphic designer Paquette begins to work on the pages. She listens to murder mystery podcasts while sorting where the text and images will go.

Tanya poses for a photograph next to a grey wall.
Tanya Connolly-Homes is Kitchissippi Times’ creative director. Provided Photo.

After publication is near complete, it is reviewed by Tanya Connolly-Holmes, who is responsible for all the design elements that are used. She was also in charge of the paper’s redesign in 2018.

“Evolution means that you have to have a constant eye on what’s changing in the neighbourhood. We need to be more connected with the people in Kitchissippi,” Connolly-Holmes said. “What are people reading about? What are people interested in?”

Once approved, the paper is off to the printers where it will then be delivered to 30 newspaper boxes across the community. The process then starts all over again for the next month!

Simon and John sit on a stage as they talk.
Kitchissippi Times reporter Simon Hopkins interviews Parkdale United Church Orchestra conductor John Kraus in Oct. 2023. Photo by Charlie Senack.
Charlie and Karen stand on a street corner and talk.
Kitchissippi Times editor Charlie Senack interviews Karen Wright from the Civic Hospital Neighbourhood Association in Sept. 2023. Photo by Simon Hopkins.

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