Thirteen Questions for Kristi Dorian of The Aquarian
1. In business since: The Aquarian published its first newspaper in December 1993.
2. What exactly do you do: The Aquarian serves as a networking, central hub of information for the alternative thinking, environmentally conscious and globally concerned community in Winnipeg and beyond.
The Aquarian’s niche business has been built on a quarterly, tabloid-sized newspaper that has been in publication for 25 years. In spring 2013, we embarked on a new adventure by creating a dynamic online presence to partner with the InPrint department.
Some of the topics we cover include:
Wellness and holistic health (natural, complementary, alternative), environmental issues and concerns, spiritual/alternative beliefs and lifestyles, food (organic, humanely raised, plant-based), social, cultural and political issues and much, much more.
Our Mission: The Aquarian is an informational and networking resource for a thinking community; we have a progressive approach to everything from health and spirituality to the environment and politics.
Our Vision: We have personally seen the transformative impact that exploring new and alternative ways of thinking can have on individuals and communities. We provide an ongoing opportunity for dialogue based on mutual respect, exploration that leads to fulfillment and action that creates sustainability.
Click to read The AQ’s full Mission, Vision and Values sheet.
3. Who will we meet when we visit your business (staff): The Aquarian is currently “parented” by myself, Kristi Dorian, however to “raise” The Aquarian it takes a dedicated community of volunteers, writers and readers, editors and advertisers – each adding their unique fingerprint to the growth of the newspaper and website. (See our official bios online.)
Instead of a traditional office space with open visiting hours, The Aquarian conducts a virtual storefront. Our website offers much of the information you will need to initially work with us – advertising rates, past issues, writers’ guidelines, locations to pick up a paper, articles and events.
We can also meet and greet you at your place of business, in person, over the phone or via email and the Internet. A few times a year, we can be found at some local events with The Aquarian booth.
In January 2012, I became The Aquarian’s new guardian after the retirement of Janet Whitley, who had nurtured and cultivated the newspaper for 16 years. I have been volunteering, writing and office managing with The Aquarian for 22 years. Now I also coordinate all of the day-to-day operations, design basic ads, oversee the content and publish the quarterly newspaper. My newest responsibility is as webmaster for our exciting and dynamic online adventure.
The Aquarian‘s success and longevity is due to the dedicated team behind the scenes and the community who benefit from our information and services.
The Aquarian receives articles and submissions locally and internationally from writers, publishers and advertisers. We currently contract three editors – Syd Baumel, Susan Hurrell and Meg Crane. We have numerous volunteers who help with distribution of the paper around Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. There is an advisory board who reviews and discusses the direction of The Aquarian to keep everything on track while breaking new terrain.
Of course, the cornerstones to The Aquarian are our readers and advertisers. The Aquarian is wholly supported by the companies and organizations that place ads in the newspaper and online. Please make sure to support our advertisers and to mention you saw their ad in The Aquarian! Thank you to everyone who picks up a paper and/or clicks their mouse on our website.
The Aquarian continues to offer a space for a passionate, holistic and alternative thought community to connect. I am so grateful to all of you!
4. You started this because: One day in my late teens, my dad introduced me to the New Age Connection, the precursor publication to The Aquarian. A passion sparked to life that day for this community of people who challenge my beliefs, open my eyes to new possibilities and inspire my daily life. This ongoing enthusiasm to participate and network with like-minded people creates the drive in me to keep The Aquarian moving onward and forward. I celebrate 22 years with The Aquarian in spring 2017.
5. Your motto/vision statement: In 2014, The Aquarian formally developed our guiding principles in the form of a Mission, Vision and Values Statement sheet. Click HERE.
From a personal perspective I have a few key ‘mottos’ that guide my everyday life:
“Be positive, light and joyful.”
“Something ventured, something gained.”
“When in doubt, go without!”
“Ask, always ask…the answer may be no, but it also may be YES!”
6. Most gratifying moments:
- Accepting the guardianship of The Aquarian in January 2012 and adding my own positive flair to the organization.
- Launching our new dynamic, vibrant, functional and current website in April 2013.
- Building a new diverse and dedicated advisory board while redefining and honoring the hard work of the original group.
- Changing The Aquarian’s tagline to Enlighten Up! in 2013, and then switching that up to create an updated masthead in 2016.
- Having my first article published in the Fall 1995 issue of The Aquarian, “The Spirit(s) of Halloween”.
- Starting my own column, Kristi’s Kaleidoscope, in 2005.
7. Biggest inspiration or influence: Every time The Aquarian sets up its booth at local expos and shows, I am inspired by the diversity of people who come to meet and greet us. You come to share your stories of reading The Aquarian, networking with our advertisers as well as to share your much welcomed feedback and ideas. Keep on coming!
I am also inspired by the dedicated team of AQ volunteers – people who help deliver the newspaper in Winnipeg and rural Manitoba, and our volunteer advisory team’s encouragement, innovation and passion for The Aquarian – all of these people drive The Aquarian forward.
Like me, these are people who all have day jobs and live very full lives, but still manage to share their passion and donate their time to help grow The Aquarian.
8. What are some of your company’s milestones and successes, awards and celebrations?: The Aquarian is celebrating 25 years in publication and growing stronger than ever—wahoo!
As mentioned above, launching our new website in 2013 dramatically changed the path of The Aquarian. We now have a positive international presence, we are receiving global readership and article submissions, and we are able to offer a wider range of advertising options at reasonable prices. The best part is we filled the gap created from publishing a quarterly newspaper; now readers can continue connecting with us through our website as we post weekly articles, events and information.
9. What causes / charities / local events do you support? The Aquarian strives to be an open, welcoming forum for all not-for-profit organizations and charities. We encourage organizations to send in their Public Service Announcements, as well as community and special events so we have the opportunity to promote and/or report the events.
On a personal level, any organization advocating for animals holds a special place in my heart, such as Hull’s Haven Border Collie Rescue, The Winnipeg Humane Society, Craig Street Cats, Winnipeg Lost Cat/Dog Alerts
10. What business-related story do you tell at dinner parties? As my work with The Aquarian progressed over the years, I realized it’s a great litmus test when I meet new people. As I mention The Aquarian and its philosophies, I watch to see the person’s reaction. This gauges my next step – keep the discussion more mainstream or pursue some deeper, spiritual slants.
The Aquarian can be shared with all people of course – as we discuss environmental issues, social justice situations or food topics, but we also delve into some unique and unusual topics such as the spirituality of Steampunk, Bronies, manadalas and channeling angel energies. There’s something for everyone!
The Aquarian is a great conversation starter and some of my best friends came into my life through the welcoming doors that opened up through the paper.
11. If you could tell your customers one thing about your business that they don’t know, what would it be?
The Aquarian is a community-based publication entirely funded by the businesses, organizations and companies who place advertisements. Monies are put back into The Aquarian to keep it moving forward and to cover expenses.
All of us at The Aquarian are passionate team members who volunteer most of our time; we all have day jobs, families and a variety of other passions as well. We do strive to pay our editors and writers for their expertise, but donations are certainly accepted!
It’s also important for our advertisers to realize that The Aquarian has deep roots here in Manitoba with a strong, loyal readership base for over 25 years. So please advertise! We offer reasonable rates, a niche market and we have proven our longevity.
We believe that the more our readers see your company name, the more likely they are to remember who to call when your service is needed. So please keep advertising!
12. What do you hope your customers experience when they walk in the door? I hope that the people who connect with The Aquarian feel welcomed. I strive to provide efficient professional services with a smiling face, an open mind and a passionate heart.
13. Plans for the future? The Aquarian continues to cultivate and grow our website content through local participation and global readership. We plan to rejuvenate our display booth (done!), expand our distribution sites and be open to inspiration.
The Aquarian, Kristi Dorian, Publisher/Owner