A new online media outlet has opened shop on the web, offering informative and engaging content with a distinctive Western Canadian Catholic voice.

The website Grandin Media (grandinmedia.ca) aims to tell the stories of Catholic life in Alberta and also to apply the lens of faith in its coverage of issues that matter in the wider community. Under the leadership of News Editor Andrew Ehrkamp, a small but dedicated Grandin Media team is posting news reports, feature stories, cultural and social analysis, and high-quality pictures and video.

“Our goal is inform, to inspire, to evangelize and to fill a gaping and persistent hole on the Canadian news media scene – the Catholic angle and the portrayal of our faith as we know it,” says Ehrkamp. “Instead of having the secular media define what it means to be a Catholic and to live out our faith, we’re doing it ourselves.”

“We’re providing news where the faith hasn’t been edited out. In fact, it’s at the forefront.”

In addition to local reporting, Grandin Media offers content from across Canada and the Catholic world through partnerships including the Canadian Catholic News cooperative and the international Catholic News Service.

Readers will be able to keep abreast of the top stories each week by subscribing to an email newsletter.

Grandin Media is published by the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton. Its publisher is Archbishop Richard W. Smith. The site succeeds the Western Catholic Reporter, which had chronicled Catholic life in the Archdiocese for 51 years in the traditional printed newspaper format. Archbishop Smith announced in 2016 that the WCR would cease publication and the archdiocesan Communications Office be restructured.

“The current media environment, the way stories are told, and the way people consume news are all changing rapidly,” the Archbishop said at the time. “In order that Christ be proclaimed, the Church must be fully conversant with this evolving environment and effectively present in the midst of it.

“It is important that we find new and more effective means to engage our people, wherever they may be on their faith journey and wherever they may look for their news of the day.”

Social media forms a major part of Grandin Media’s outreach, through Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.

Columnists at Grandin Media include Archbishop Smith and Rev. Ron Rolheiser OMI, the internationally acclaimed teacher and writer who got his journalistic start at the Western Catholic Reporter. More will be added in the coming weeks.

Grandin Media takes its name from Vital Justin Grandin, a member of the Oblate Missionaries of Mary Immaculate who was just 28 when he was appointed a coadjutor Bishop of Saint Boniface. When he was actually consecrated two years later in 1859, the humble Grandin chose as his motto “God chooses the weak of the world.” 

Grandin went on to become Bishop of the sprawling new Diocese of St. Albert in Alberta. His cause for beatification was introduced in Rome on February 27, 1937, and Pope Paul VI declared him Venerable on December 15, 1966.

Grandin reportedly covered over 25,000 miles on snowshoes during his ministry across the Prairies and the North, and his snowshoes today form part of the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. Today his name also graces schools, buildings, an Edmonton community, and even a restaurant.

Like its namesake, Grandin Media plans to cover great distances with great humility, but this time in the world of online information. We invite you to visit the site, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and let us know what you think.

If you have any questions or know of a good story that Grandin Media should cover, please contact Andrew Ehrkamp, News Editor, at news@grandinmedia.ca or 780-392-2441.