This week, we are celebrating the anniversary of our community paper Cornwall Seaway News. The history, present and future of the paper can be summed up in numbers. It has been 34 years since the paper was founded, we go to nearly 39,000 homes every week and we reach hundreds of thousands more online every month.
“In September 1985, we produced and delivered our very first Seaway Shopping News,” said Seaway News co-founder and General Manager Rick Shaver. “Circulation was 29,850 and the internet wasn’t even a word yet. Our friends at Remax (Terry and Jamie) bought our back page and still advertise with us today. Out of the 39 advertisers that day, we still have a handful including Remax, Cornwall Square, Accesoware, Farm Boy, Julius Miller (now Leons) Cameron Real
Estate, Rogers Cable TV (now Cogeco) and Brookshell (now Seaway GM) who are active clients.”
While our numbers grow, our close-knit team has grown as well.
The team which began with co-founders Rick Shaver and Dick Aubry, who has since retired, has grown to include long time members like Jennifer Mayer, Colleen Benton-Parette and Kim Froats.
Sales Coordinator Jennifer Mayer has been with Seaway News for most of the past 34 years and remembers the wonderful people she’s worked with in that time.
Jennifer Mayer has been working at Seaway News almost since the start and she remembers the many changes and evolutions that have taken place in the business. One thing that has not changed has been the close-knit character of the team that makes Seaway News possible.
“There are a lot of memories,” she said. “Too many good ones to list. We’ve had a great staff over the years.”
Colleen Benton-Parette began at Seaway News as an intern and has risen to become the manager of the Production Department and a liaison with the business’ owners and administration.
Kim Poirier-Froats has worked at Seaway News for 15 years in the Production Department. She and Colleen Benton-Parette make all of our products, the paper, the magazines and even some of our web components look beautiful.
“It’s pretty awesome when you have a career where you don’t mind going to work,” she said. “You know how people always ask you “How’s work?” I always answer “great, I love my job!” Also, my co-workers … they are like my second family. We all get along.”
Shaver said that he was proud of the work accomplished at the paper by his Sales Coordinators and Production Department.
“Both are instrumental in our ad order system,” he said. “Their contribution is as important as Editorial and Sales.”
The paper has grown and added new sections over the years. Every week included with Seaway News is Cornwall Express for our French readers who want to read local stories about their community. Our cartoonist of 25 years James Lapierre has brought a lot of fun and laughter to our editorial page. Seaway News has also added popular columnists such as Claude McIntosh of Mac’s Musings and Nick Wolochatiuk of Dances with Words.
Sadly, this year we lost long-time columnist Sultan Jessa, who passed away in August. Sultan was a pillar of the Cornwall community and a beloved journalist. We were glad to have his columns grace our pages for more than 10 years.
One of the most successful and popular additions to the paper has been the famous, or infamous, Scuttlebutt section. Scuttlebutt is a section that Seaway News is very proud of, our readers are always excited to see the names of the people they know in Scuttlebutt.
Rick Shaver explained that in its 34th year, Seaway News is committed to growth and being a leader in news in Cornwall and SD&G.
“This year we will not only focus on the growth of our paper, but reaching hundreds of thousands more online,” he said. “Who would have guessed that 34 years later, our shopper would become the blanket news coverage for our area.”
For myself, being Editor at Cornwall Seaway News for the past three years has been a great experience. There is nowhere else where I could grow the way I have, and I feel privileged to be able to tell the stories of the community I grew up in.
“Seaway News staff are the success of the business. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our Editorial team of Nick Seebruch and Shawna O’Neill, or without our sales team of Patrick Larose, Steve Jasmin, Stef Kolbinger and Brett Conway. Our products are beautiful thanks to Colleen Benton-Parette and Kim Poirier-Froats and because of our Sales Coordinators Jennifer Mayer and Pamela Horton. Every member of our team is a valuable piece of our operation,” said Shaver.