Canadian Holmes

Canadian Holmes, Journal of the Bootmakers of Toronto

Editors: Mark and JoAnn Alberstat

Canadian Holmes, the magazine of The Bootmakers of Toronto, began life in the fall of 1973, a little more than a year after the group was founded. The title was a play on that of a newspaper supplement of the time called Canadian Homes, a home improvement magazine that was distributed in the Saturday editions of major Canadian newspapers. Canadian Homes is no longer with us but its namesake is, although in a form that’s a good deal different to the original photocopied and stapled issues. Edited first by Cameron Hollyer and then by Irving Kalushner, the five early issues contained a miscellany of articles, reviews, columns, puzzles, and artwork, and the final one stated that ‘Future issues of Canadian Holmes are destined to appear regularly.’

Unfortunately, life intervened, as it has a habit of doing, and more than a year went by before Kate Karlson and Chris Redmond seized the initiative and produced Volume 3, Number 1. Rather than stapled sheets, the finished product was a proper journal, with card covers, and this template has remained in place ever since, although the magazine has grown considerably since that first, eight page, edition. It does, however, still retain the original mix of contents, with the addition of such features as ‘Traces of Bootprints’ (from the editors) and the ‘Bootmakers’ Diary’ (which summarizes the doings of the Society and its members).

The journal has had a number of Editors over the years, including long-time Editors Chris Redmond (1986 – 1991). Trevor Raymond (1992 – 2007). Currently, The Editors of Canadian Holmes are Mark and JoAnn Alberstat.

From the start, Canadian Holmes was that relatively rare item, a Sherlockian publication prepared to publish articles which looked at the Holmes stories as literature, with Arthur Conan Doyle as their creator, a tradition which continues to this day. Not that Canadian Holmes doesn’t ‘play the game’ of looking at Holmes and Watson as real people, with ACD as the literary agent; both types of article rest comfortably beside each other within the magazine’s pages. And while there has been an emphasis on articles which are written by Canadians, or which examine Canadian connections within the canon, the magazine is by no means limited to writers or subjects based north of the 49th parallel. There’s a wide Sherlockian world out there, and Canadian Holmes embraces all those who live there, and who want to share their thoughts about Baker Street and its myriad byways.

Articles and news about Sherlock Holmes and his world are welcomed by the editors. Articles can be sent electronically to Mark and JoAnn Alberstat, preferably as attachments in Word.

If there are accompanying illustrations or photographs, please contact the editors about the best means of sending them. Articles can range in length from 500 to 8,000 words; articles longer than this will certainly be considered, but may have to run across two issues. If you would like to review something new in the Sherlockian world, whether it be a book, film, audio recording, or television show, please contact the editors first to ensure that it is not already being considered.

Contributors who are members of the Bootmakers will receive one complimentary copy of the issue on publication; non-Bootmakers will receive two complimentary copies.

Sample copies and back issues are available. For more details, please see the Membership page. Enquiries are welcomed by the editors.