Behind the Pages
As part of our 20th anniversary celebrations, we’ll feature profiles of those who make up the In The Hills family.
In celebration of our 20th anniversary, each of our four issues this year has included brief profiles of the people who make up the In The Hills family. The nine contributors in this final installment bring the total to 38 – a surprising number even to us, but also confirmation of what a truly collective effort it is to produce the final product. We’re proud of all these very talented professionals, and confident that in the coming years they will continue to explore all there is to know about life in Headwaters. This is the fourth installment. Learn more about our contributors in Behind the Pages installment one, two and three.
An employee of Orangeville’s BookLore for the last 16 years, Tracey Fockler holds an honours B.A. from the University of Guelph specializing in Canadian Fiction. Her first story for this magazine appeared in 1995, and she is the long-time reviewer for the magazine’s round-up of new, local books which appears each year in the winter issue.
An Orangeville resident, Tracey tries not to despair over the faltering health of the Canadian publishing industry, and implores people to support their community by shopping at local independent stores. One of her stand-out In The Hills experiences: wrestling a hungry, “possibly evil” goat for her notepad while conducting an interview for a story about Woolwich Dairy in 2006.
Globe and Mail writer Tralee Pearce comes by her connection to In The Hills via marriage: “It all started when [editor/publisher] Signe Ball married my dad in 1998,” she says. “Signe started to produce the magazine in the farmhouse where I grew up. As a writer, I’ve learned so much from Signe and her brilliant vision for the magazine and passion for the area.”
Tralee, her husband and four-year-old son have recently moved to Caledon from downtown Toronto, and they’re having a great time renovating their century home, connecting with friends old and new, and exploring the local art scene. She says “It’s a great place to wake up in the morning.”
One of our longest-running contributors, Julie managed the “What’s On” calendar of events for much of the magazine’s first decade. She has also written many feature articles for both In The Hills and Food In The Hills. Julie recently left a job in science communication at Environment Canada to undertake contract writing, editing and research, and to pen short stories.
In 2009, on a break from renovating their century house in Honeywood, an eight-months-pregnant Julie and her husband Bob drove a vintage Volkswagen camper to their second home in Costa Rica, so their son could spend the first year of his life in the tropics.
While the magazine’s creative types love nothing more than to rush madly off in all directions, the fact is none of it could happen without someone keeping track of the books and all the administrative details.
That’s where Cindy Caines comes in, for both In The Hills and for On The Bay magazine in Collingwood, where she lives. Though she feels lucky to have a rewarding career that she loves, family is Cindy’s number one priority. Some of her passions include bowling, snowshoeing, watching football, and her work as a leader with Scouts Canada.
Perhaps most extraordinary: She loves fried liver!
Tony Reynolds’ flair for the dramatic has served him well over a long career. He spent 15 years writing commercials and radio programs for CFRB and CKFM in Toronto, and researched, wrote and voiced a myriad of other radio, television and corporate productions. He credits his wife Susan for many of the original ideas for his nearly 30 stories for this magazine, spanning a broad range of topics.
Working from his home above the stores on Broadway in downtown Orangeville, these days Tony is developing a yet-to-be-launched blog, working on material for Hills of Headwaters Tourism and Dufferin.biz, and writing a boating website, waterwaysontario.com.
Over the last eight years Lisa Watson has reviewed local music for In The Hills not just as a fan, but also as a talented songstress who released her second CD, Love Songs for the Open Range, in late 2012.
Her enthusiasm for the local scene is boundless. She has contributed to the Headwaters Arts Festival as both a presenter and performer for more than a decade, and is a fixture at benefit shows and good causes throughout the community.
Currently, Lisa is developing a project she calls Mirthwalk, a philanthropic effort to help people afford alternative healing, and Music Street, a concept aimed at elevating the profile of local music.
John Denison founded and served as publisher of Boston Mills Press in Erin for over 35 years, publishing more than 900 non-fiction titles during his tenure. Boston Mills Press won numerous awards over that time, including Heritage Canada’s first Communications Award. The firm was also the first Canadian publisher to produce a book using Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) paper.
Upon retirement, John embarked on a full-time career as a writer of young adult fiction, including the titles Fartboy, Hanna: The President’s Daughter, and Unlock Holmes: The Case of the Disappearing Willie. He has also produced a free online novel, available at occamsworld.com. John shares his Erin farm with 25,000 pine trees.
Monica Duncan can list more than 18 things she didn’t know until she moved to the hills: an eclectic collection of wisdom spanning tractor repair, bread making, and the amorous adventures of fireflies. Along with her contributions to In The Hills and Food In The Hills over the years, Monica’s writing career included publication in more than a dozen local and national periodicals.
She says that lately, her writing has been “ascending the food chain,” from food to critters to recent interviews with fascinating people (including, fittingly, an animal communicator who talked to her dog). Residing on a Headwaters hobby farm with a huge pond, fields and forest, Monica says there is “much entertainment in the panoply that variously splashes, trots, swoops and skitters by.”
Elementary teacher Laurie May looks for the humour in everyday country life. Her blog “Two Blue Boots” was launched on the In The Hills website in June of 2013 and already attracts an impressive number of visitors and comments.
Describing herself as a lifelong learner, Laurie is addicted to courses and workshops, and has studied improv, standup and writing in the comedy program at Humber College. She is also a graduate of playwright Dan Needles’ Page to Stage classes, and a member of Tremont Collaborative, a theatre group in Collingwood. At home in Mono, Laurie enjoys cold white wine with peanut butter and banana sandwiches.