Eagle-eyed readers will have already noticed that the word PRICELESS! is back in its time-honoured spot at the top right of our front cover, where a price would usually be.
It was supplanted this time last year in favour of a year-long 25th Season! shoutout. Before that it graced every cover for six seasons, commencing September 2013.
Before that, FREE was the word, all the way back to Vol 1 No 1 in September 1995. Although it must be said that in the first year we were somewhat inconsistent about including it. Everyone understood that, along with such timeless institutions as NOW magazine that’s what controlled circulation publications were.
So from “free”, to “priceless”, to a year of celebrating silver linings, and now back to priceless again. But for how long? And what comes next? Those are the questions.
Looking back, at kiosk.thewholenote.com (come on you can do it!) at the very first “priceless” cover in September 2013 makes me smile, not completely wryly. It’s a gorgeous cover photo of Tafelmusik’s Jeanne Lamon, hard hat in hand, standing in the under-reconstruction balcony at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church and Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts, Tafelmusik’s home from day one. She is smiling too.
WORK IN PROGRESS! the story title shouts from that cover. Which, from today’s vantage point – an entire world of faith, justice and the arts stood on its head – might just as well be taken as a sign of better things to come.
As to why we chose to go from “free” to “priceless” at that very moment in 2013, let’s just say, it was waving a flag: cocky, jaunty, danger ahead. Take your pick.
For now the priceless flag is back. But, as the signs say, “Watch This Space”. Because whatever it’s going to be, it won’t say “Free” again.
At what price The WholeNote? And who should pay? The answers to that are also a work in progress. No instant answers needed, but please, dear readers, give it some thought, and drop me a line.
In the meanwhile, please enjoy our “While you’re waiting” stroll through 25 years of WholeNote covers. And a bumper crop of stories bursting with ideas.
And look at “FOUR OF A KIND” on page 59. You could help keep the PRICELESS flag waving a little longer than it otherwise might.