A little over a decade ago, Orville Chubb with Trudy Callaghan, his wife and business partner, had a vision: They believed Edmonton needed a magazine that reflected the sophisticated, optimistic city that was quickly replacing what was once a simple prairie town.
Orville, who passed away peacefully on Sunday, was the driving force behind the success of Avenue Edmonton. He was surrounded by family.
Orville had publishing in his veins. He launched Inkwell Press when he was just 26, and then Odvod Media in 1999. Avenue Edmonton published its first issue in the autumn of 2006. The magazine reflected what Orville was at heart, a champion of Alberta’s capital, a person who saw the potential in the people of Edmonton. And, in turn, Edmonton’s writers, photographers and illustrators showed what kind of excellent work they can do in an environment as exciting as the one Avenue provided. In 2018, the magazine was nominated for 18 Alberta Magazine awards; it was nominated for 13 the year before. In 2015, it was named the province’s magazine of the year. And, Avenue also has won a National Magazine Award.
But, of any of the accolades received by Avenue, Orville was most proud of the John Poole Award for Promotion of the Arts, which was presented to him at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts in 2011.
Avenue‘s commitment to excellence – and to Edmonton – will continue.
“There is no better way to honour Orville than to keep building this great magazine,” said Trudy Callaghan. “We know that his deepest wish would be that the magazine continue to reflect the best of Edmonton, and that is what we will continue to do.”
Orville was known to many as a magazine publisher, but his commitment to Edmonton shone through in his support of the arts, sport and public service. He was treasurer for Arts on the Avenue. He was a fervent supporter of the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts and Ballet Edmonton.
Orville loved basketball – he spent a lot of time on the court as a referee. The Edmonton Basketball Officials Association gave him a leadership award for his work. In the office, he often spoke about the game, whether it be the games he’d refereed or the NBA matchups he enjoyed.
He also was a Land Rover enthusiast; this year, he fulfilled a dream by taking his vehicle off the streets and into the wild; he completed the Alexander MacKenzie Trail between Quesnel and Bella Coola, B.C.
He was elected to the Edmonton Public School board in 2013, and served one term. Orville was passionate about the need for a more inclusive school system; he spoke about schools that have to be more open to Indigenous and disabled students.
His staff at Odvod Media and Avenue Edmonton are really like an extended family. While we take pause to celebrate the life of our publisher, we are committed to the success of the magazine going forward. Odvod Media will continue to provide clients with marketing and communications expertise.
“Avenue has always been an outlet for our love of Edmonton, but never more than now as we honour Orville’s legacy,” said Acting Publisher Chelsey Swankhuizen.
The family and the Avenue and Odvod extended families are grateful for any thoughts you have for us right now. We ask that, in lieu of flowers, please support the Edmonton Opera, Ballet Edmonton and Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts.
The current contacts for Avenue are Acting Publisher Chelsey Swankhuizen and Editor Steven Sandor.