Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Women Healthsharing Inc.
- Healthsharing Magazine
- Healthsharing Collective
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
Healthsharing was a Toronto-based publication concerned with examining women’s health issues and alternatives to mainstream health care from a feminist viewpoint and it has been called “Canada’s first women’s health magazine”. The Healthsharing Collective was comprised, for the most part, of volunteer labour and regularly a minimum of two paid staff members. It was officially incorporated in 1978 and published quarterly between 1979 and 1993. It is clear from the collection of letters which flowed into the Healthsharing Collective office on a regular basis that the magazine was well received and was an integral part of women’s health activism during the fourteen years of its existence. Although the first years of publication ran smoothly, it soon became increasingly difficult for the magazine to survive and much of the energy of the collective was spent not only on maintaining and improving the magazine, but also on advertising and soliciting funding from government and other agencies. In 1990, the Conservative government cut the Secretary of State’s Woman’s Program and this hit Healthsharing hard. Although the magazine managed to survive for three more years thanks to donations from supporters, subscription renewals and a transfer of $344,000 in grant funds originally intended for a regional women’s health network, they published the last issue in fall 1993.
The administrative records are incomplete and run from 1984 to 1993 and largely reflect the beginning of the Collective. Despite Secretary of State funding in the mid-1980s, pressure to obtain more funding for expansion was crucial. While the notion of expansion was clearly an exciting one, their concepts and methods of collective organizing based on devoted volunteer efforts made obtaining stable funding difficult. The collective continued for many years in this way, at times successfully soliciting additional funds for special issues through Health and Welfare and Employment and Immigration work programs. In this way, they were occasionally able to pay extra staff.
Although the magazine was run through a collective editorial board in order to create a feminist alternative to traditional hierarchical structures, there were in practice several managing editors over the life-span of the magazine beginning with Volume 5, 1984. The first managing editor listed was Elizabeth Allemang until 1985. At this point, the number of managing editors begins to vary from a minimum of one to a maximum of three women at a time. Although these shifts reflect the changing lives of the women themselves, they also reflect some of the challenges faced by many feminist publications and grass-roots organizations. Many women’s organizations are mostly volunteer based, which means its collective members have other jobs as well. Furthermore, many of these groups are run by activists involved in other collectives facing similar funding and structural challenges. Often burn-out and inconsistency are the result. Although Healthsharing is no exception to this rule, they maintained a core group of women who came and went over its fifteen year life-span. In 1987, Connie Clement was effectively the managing editor. The other names which appeared regularly were Elizabeth Amer, Amyra Braha, Connie Guberman, Lisa McCaskell, Susan Elliot, Alice Grange and Diana Majury. In 1988, the editorial position was assumed by Amy Gottlieb. She remained editor for a little more than three years, until 1991, when Hazelle Palmer was introduced to the magazine for the first time. From 1991 to 1993, Hazelle Palmer was editor and member of the collective. The second last issue was released with Janet Creery as editor and for the final issue, Amy Gottlieb resumed the editorial position. Regardless of the many twists and turns in the magazine’s administrative past, they released every issue successfully save one, when they received what was to be a mortal blow, the Secretary of State funding cut in 1990.