Meet three of the hardworking folks – Cindy Caines, Gail Grant and Cecily Ross – behind this issue.
In The Hills’ indefatigable operations manager, Cindy Caines, has been with the magazine since January 2013, lending her talents to every department. If you’ve ordered a subscription, placed an ad — and of course, paid for an ad – she’s the one who’s kept track of the details and made it happen. Freelancer payments? Finance? Scheduling? Check, check and check. Beyond keeping everyone on track, Cindy is a team player who weighs in on everything from business development to strategy.
And she won’t hesitate to jump in and prevent a lead or file from falling through the cracks. “It’s not a job, it’s a passion.” Cindy, who grew up in Newfoundland, lives in Grey Highlands with her “partner and best friend, Ken.” They have three grown kids and one still in school. When she’s not at work, Cindy enjoys reading, theatre, glamping and walking her dog, Bella. “Post-pandemic I look forward to attending live theatre again and hugging people.”
Gail Grant came to writing later in life, and by accident. When she was in her late 60s, she and her daughter travelled to Africa, and on a dare the two of them summited Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. She wrote about the experience and so enjoyed the process that she approached editor Signe Ball with an idea for a column highlighting life as a senior.
Her column, “Over The (Next) Hill,” plus “Snapshot,” a profile of a local community elder, has been part of this magazine since 2015. “The aging process is both unique to the individual and of significance to the community,” says Gail. “This platform provides me with the opportunity to meet our seniors and give a voice to what they’re doing, and what’s on their minds.” Gail says writing keeps her own mind tracking forward. In this issue, Gail meets a nonagenarian stone sculptor, two women who started a swimwear line aimed at seniors, and a 65-year-old mail carrier.
“Village life is in my soul,” says Cecily Ross. Cecily grew up near Belfountain, went to high school in Erin and then, after decades of city life, retired to Creemore, the little town with a big heart, 12 years ago. She has worked as a writer and editor for the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Harrowsmith and Chatelaine. Cecily has been writing for In The Hills for longer than she can remember. An award-winning journalist, she has published a memoir (Love in the Time of Cholesterol, 2005), a novel (The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie, 2017), and is hard at work on another.
She and her husband, Basil, with their Covid puppy, Lulu, enjoy hiking, cooking, snowshoeing and reaping the generosity (especially during a pandemic) of small-town life. In this issue, Cecily talks to three area farmers who have embraced a revolutionary agricultural practice that holds out hope for the sustainable future of food production and the health of the planet.