A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WHOLENOTE
The WholeNote started life in 1994 as a classical music column by flutist Allan Pulker in The Kensington Market DRUM, a little downtown Toronto community newspaper run by David Perlman. By the spring of 1995 David Perlman and Allan Pulker had agreed to stop swamping the DRUM’s entertainment pages Pulker’s column about all the classical concerts within a ten minute bike ride of Kensington Market. In return, DRUM agreed to incubate a separate publication for classical and new music. In September 1995, Pulse, a 4 page tabloid, free to 150 prearranged distribution points, was born.
In 1996, the temporarily re-named TMFKAP (“The Magazine Formerly Known as Pulse”) ran a reader contest for a new name because of a trademark action initiated by Tower Records (remember them?!). The first edition of The WholeNote by that name, in May 1996, was 24-pages; 14,000 copies. The same year we published our first member directory, with 39 upcoming season profiles from music presenters – this would become our annual October Blue Pages.
Milestones in the first ten years: circulation grew to 20,000 copies/issue; listings expanded to include “Further Afield” (beyond GTA); our first 64-pager; the launch of DISCOVERIES (CD review section) fifteen years ago; our first Choral Canary Pages.
Our second decade: In March 2009 Allan Pulker stepped down as publisher but remains to this day as Chairman of the Board. David Perlman became Publisher/Editor in Chief. The WholeNote has over these last ten years established successful ongoing relationships with the Ontario Arts Council and the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and with their assistance continued down the path of diversifying our publishing platforms to include a website, social media, and a regular mid-month newsletter called HalfTones.
Unlike many magazines in the last decade, we have never abandoned print. We continue to publish and distribute in excess of 30,000 print copies of every issue, free of charge, to over 800 distribution points throughout Southern Ontario. And we have never abandoned the principle of free concert listings for all presenters, thereby ensuring our readers of the most comprehensive possible coverage of Southern Ontario’s endlessly fertile classical and post-classical music scene.
Our survival is a testament to the vitality of the community we portray in our pages – you the audiences, you the musicians, you the presenters, and you our beloved advertisers, contributors and staff. Without you there would be no story to tell. Without your support we would not be here to tell it.