EDMONTON – Take a walk down Alberta Avenue, and the Edmonton entrepreneur story is front and centre; everything from restaurants, to bakeries, to hair salons.
Since March, there’s also been the office of a small city magazine called ‘Diversity.’
“We try to focus more on some of the stories in the community that most people don’t talk about,” explains magazine publisher and founder Frankline Agbor, who places an editorial focus on success stories and community events.
Agbor started a publication called ‘Afro Canadian Magazine’ in 2012.
“It started as a hobby and interest in telling stories,” says Agbor.
But soon, he realized there was interest beyond the African community. The magazine was relaunched as ‘Diversity’ in November 2014, and interest has grown.
“Actually, it’s the most surprising thing,” Agbor happily explains to Global News.
The magazine is published six times a year and is distributed to about 80 locations in the city, including a business a few blocks away owned by Margaret Amedume.
“The other day I told him I’m really proud of him (Agbor) and I could see tears,” says Amedume in her salon. She started the business, which also includes a fashion and accessory store, about two months ago. An ad was placed in ‘Diversity.’
“People are connected to the magazine, to other people through the magazine,” says Amedume, adding, “you find a whole lot of information.”
The meeting space at the office of Diversity Magazine in Edmonton Vinesh Pratap/ Global News
The meeting space at the office of Diversity Magazine in Edmonton
Vinesh Pratap/ Global News
The magazine office, located on the second storey of a store front building on 118 Avenue, has become a community hub. Next to the workspace, there are couches and a television lending to a relaxed atmosphere.
“We have a lot of our meetings here,” says Agbor about the space. “We meet some of the artists and talents and different people in the community.”
“It wasn’t supposed to be a job,” says Agbor.
The magazine, under the name ‘Diversity,’ will celebrate its one year anniversary this Saturday. There are three full time staff, including Agbor, along with a handful of part-timers.
“I would say we are trying to break even,” Agbor comments, adding the magazine relies solely on advertising for revenue.
“We are so proud the community has supported it this far and they are happy to support it and to keep it going.”
As interest has grown, the requests for coverage has also jumped. Along the way, Agbor has learned a lot about the communities he covers.
“Everything is based on relationships and actually passion,” a proud publisher concludes.