Happy birthday to us! Since 1999, homeowners across our region invited us to step inside their homes, from Fogo Island, Newfoundland to the Acadian Shore in New Brunswick and Montague, P.E.I, to Antigonish, N.S. While house styles and design trends change from year to year, what never changes is the hospitality we experience everywhere we go.
I’m proud to be the editor of East Coast Living as we celebrate 20 years with you. I started with the magazine in 2016, building on the work of the editors who came before me.
Amber Harkins took the helm as editor and creative director in the fall of 1999. I never had the opportunity to meet her, but in reading those early issues, I feel her creative energy and the joy she found in sharing our region with readers. Amber’s direction and vision focused the magazine’s mission: to highlight the uniqueness and beauty of living in Atlantic Canada, always giving readers practical information they can apply to their own homes.
In 2006, Amber left East Coast Living to pursue new projects, she stayed a close friend to East Coast Living and its team.
In 2011, Amber was diagnosed with cancer. Friends say she always dreamed of going to Italy. She’d never visited, but if the country came up in conversation she could talk about the city and its attractions like a local. After her diagnosis, her doctor suggested she make the trip before starting treatment. She spent weeks soaking up the art and culture of the country with her high-school friends. It was everything she hoped it would be. At age 40, Amber died on Feb. 26, 2012. She’s remembered fondly by her co-workers and through the Amber Harkins Memorial Award, a $3,000 annual scholarship to a NSCAD University student.
Janice Hudson was our next editor. She brought to the magazine a love of fine craft, gardening, and design. During Janice’s maternity leaves, Suzanne Rent took over. A lover of local fare, we have her to thank for an array of beautiful food shots in our archives. While she’s no longer with Metro Guide Publishing, she periodically returns to our pages as a freelance contributor.
This issue kicks off our 20th year and we’ll celebrate throughout the coming issues. Keep building with us. See our website and upcoming issues for lots of stories looking back—and ahead, with all the practical DIY advice you expect.
In the coming pages, we travel to Amherst, N.S., to revisit a home we first highlighted in 2008. Frances and Bruce Purdy moved to Ontario in their 20s, but left their hearts here. The couple started making annual pilgrimages back to the Amherst shore in the 1970s. In the 1990s, they built a small cottage and introduced their children to the area. Now, their adult daughters bring their own children to a new cottage on the same stretch of land. In this issue we’ll look at what’s changed for the family since 2008. You can find the original story on our website.
In keeping with our celebration theme, we asked four local mixologists to share cocktail recipes you can make at home to toast our anniversary and collected some of our best loved recipes from the last two decades.
On the décor side, we look at ways to style your staircase and trends that stand the test of time. Plus, 20 ways you can make your home more eco-friendly on a budget. Read on, because we packed a lot of DIY ideas into this issue.
Over the last 20 years, readers suggested many of our favourite stories. Thanks to you we highlight artisans, designers, architects, and creators from across all four provinces. This fall, we launch our annual reader survey to learn what you want to see in up-coming issues of East Coast Living. Complete our short survey and we’ll enter your name in a draw to win a $100 gift certificate for any RCR restaurant.
Here’s to the next 20 years.