RADmag is a student-run magazine. Which is to say that every issue — and every single image in any given issue — was conceived and executed by a student at Ryerson University. Of course, you’d never be able to tell; one of the most common observations we get is about how professional the magazine looks. RADmag is great at taking the talent and creativity living in the artistic quarters of Ryerson, and refracting it, through the fields of fashion, design and photography, to a wider audience of readers.
Yet what sets RADmag apart from a number of fabulous campus magazines across Toronto, and across the country, is its mission. For years now, RADmag has placed itself into a particular cultural feedback loop. Our team works hard to ensure not only that the faces and bodies in our magazine properly, and dutifully, reflect the identities of the people who read it, but also that it makes some sort of meaningful and urgent commentary on the world we are all moving through, as young people, every single day.
Issue 09, of course, was no different. In fact, in many ways, it’s a culmination of all the momentum we’ve been building since the magazine was established in 2014.
This season, the magazine featured three in-house editorials, each acting as some sort of meditation on what it might mean to be you, right now. One photo story might deal with what it means to navigate female friendships and to stay connected as you transition through life stages; another might tell you something about what it means to belong, and to show up and claim space. No matter where you look in Issue 09, you’ll find some images that grapple with issues that have been perpetually concerning Ryerson students: youth culture, racism, sexism, ageism, sustainability.
Naturally, our launch party had to be representative of our best issue yet. And it was! This year, the event took place at the Centre for Social Innovation, in the Annex. We converted the space into a tangible version of the magazine, with physical installations emulating some of those in-house editorials, and a number of posters, pulled from the pages of the magazine, plastered against the walls.
So aside from the fact that the Issue 09 Launch Party was a bustling, fun event where all sorts of creative types came together to celebrate our latest issue, the event also acted as much more than just a party for Ryerson students.
RADmag is the brainchild of so many talented Ryerson creatives, featuring not only work by the team itself, but, primarily, submissions from a group of talented and introspective students. And in the pages of the magazine — in the lines of text, in the photos, in the margins — we were able to communicate what the future of art and design in Toronto will look like as it falls into the hands of today’s brightest stars and emerging talent: Ryerson’s graduates.
How will future fashion grads solve cultural challenges in the fashion industry? How will design students solve design problems? How will photographers, stylists and writers use the power of imagery and storytelling to communicate the messages of those who don’t have the platforms to make their voices heard? In this issue, you’ll find out.
So yes, it was a launch party: it was fun, there were drinks, there was some fantastic fashion. But Ryerson art graduates aren’t just a group of indie kids — they’re the critical decision makers of the future that are going to deal with the issues past generations have left for us to contend with.
By Connor Garel and Kelsey Adlem
Photos by Tom Wood