By James Keller
With publications like Fast Forward and the Calgary Straight around the city, it seems that Calgary has more than enough arts material floating around. However, according to Bemused Editor Jocelyn Grossé, there’s still a voice missing from the big players in Calgary arts media.
"It’s an arts magazine with a different angle," begins Grossé, who currently holds an English degree at the University of Calgary and is working towards her second. "Our mandate is a little different in that we’re trying to provide a platform for writers to have their work shown, for artists to write about their work and for new emerging theatre companies who haven’t been heard from before to get coverage."
Bemused, now out with its second issue-the first was released in April of last year-is a diverse mix of standard arts articles, autobiographical-like pieces written by artists, reviews and original writing of all kinds like poetry to scripts.
Grossé is quick to point out that the process involved in putting together the two issues, although much better in the most recent, involved overcoming many
"I’ve never produced an entire thing like that," she explains. "From the idea to the actual production of it, it probably took a year."
Much of this delay, aside from the sheer task of putting together an independent magazine, revolved around the money necessary to publish the 32-page effort. Although there is a modest amount of advertising in their newest issue, this wasn’t the case in the beginning.
"[Funding] doesn’t go to just anyone and it’s frustrating because it’s when you first start out that you really need the help," says Grossé. She acquired the majority of her funding through both the Faculty of Fine Arts and U of C Research Services in the form of a Special Projects Grant. Although, she doesn’t mind the limited amount of advertising in Bemused.
"You can get lost with all
the advertising," she begins, adding that she isn’t in the business of selling advertising. "It’s a smaller publication and I’d like it to stay small. I think it’ll stay more honest that way."
Honesty is hopefully what Be-
mused will provide, giving its readers a new lens through which to view Calgary’s arts scene.
"Bemused gives readers a different perspective on art and maybe a different art form than they’re used to," explains Grossé, again pointing to the amount of diversity presented within the magazine’s pages. "Hopefully a dancer will read the poetry and hopefully an artist will read the theatre and try to make connections that way, because I think all art relates to each other in some kind of way."
Readers, both in and out of the art community, can pick up Bemused at the Triangle Gallery, The University Theatre lobby and various coffee shops around town. Would-be contributors can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on submissions.