Oilweek broadening horizons to connect Canadians with their energy

For more than 75 years, Oilweek has told the story of Canadian energy—through an oil and gas lens.

Now, as Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, Oilweek will pivot from a pure petroleum perspective to the broader energy landscape, and in the process, significantly broaden its audience base.

It’s due to recognizing that the country needs new and innovative ways of understanding the tensions—both both positive and negative—between its energy heritage and its energy future, noted Bill Whitelaw, president and CEO of JWN, which produces Oilweek’s print and digital tools.

Long a staple of upstream petroleum readers, Oilweek will broaden its user base to include everyone who has a stake in Canada’s energy future, from First Nations communities and post-secondary campuses to policy makers and politicians. Simultaneously, Oilweek will broaden its coverage and context to include all the forms of energy that will shape the country over the next 150 years.

That energy systems “mix” perspective is critical, said Whitelaw, in that all systems are inter-related and often inter-dependent.

“We’re at a pivotal point in this country’s energy evolution...and to continue to be successful as a society and an economy, we need to find better ways and means of conversing about how our various energy options connect and relate to each other. That means everyone should have at least a basic understanding of how things all tie together,” he explained.

“With an Oilweek that is broadly available to anyone with an interest in Canadian energy matters, we hope to be an important part of how we constructively and collectively map our energy future.”

Another central premise of Oilweek’s new focus will be to help Canadians understand, in the context of their everyday lives, how important their opinions are in terms of important dynamics such as shaping future policy and regulation. That means helping people of all ages develop a better understanding of energy fundamentals.

Oilweek’s position statement has for decades been “Canada’s Oil and Gas Authority,” noted Whitelaw.

“With our September issue, which will be the pivot- point edition, the positioning will change to ‘Connecting Canadians to Their Energy’…which which we hope will be the clarion call to get ordinary Canadians to embrace their role in being part of energy dialogue,” he added.

With that September issue, the Oilweek team will have completed a major push forward in terms of broader audience development—the first in a series of additions. The new “readership” constituencies will include:

  • All federal members of parliament
  • All provincial members of parliament in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec
  • Deans and senior members of business, engineering and science faculties of major Canadian universities, polytechnical institutes and colleges
  • Students on the same campuses and faculties
  • First Nations councils and businesses in Alberta and BC
  • Board and chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce
  • Mayors and councils of the top 20 largest cities in Canada
  • Boards and staff of the top 10 ENGOs, such as Pembina Institute, Greenpeace and the Sierra Club
  • Boards and staff of other key energy associations in sectors such as geothermal, solar and wind

“The is just the first wave of connecting to important groups,” noted Whitelaw “Very rapidly, we will bring on other provinces, business groups, communities and organizations—all those with a stake in where we go in terms of Canadian energy.”

While Oilweek will embrace and point to other forms of energy as important elements of the energy systems mix, it will remain committed to helping Canadians understand how the petroleum sector is evolving and responding to social and economic changes.

This includes highlighting how innovation and technology originating from fossil fuel roots are shaping the next-generation low-carbon economy.

While all the named groups and individuals, in addition to existing readers, will receive print copies of Oilweek , said Whitelaw, they will also have access to a range of digital tools that will bring to life key energy dynamics through data visualization and engagement technologies.

“We hope between the combined power of the print and digital platforms, more and more Canadians will get connected to, and involved in, energy dialogues.”

One critically important element of Oilweek’s “pivot” is that it will become a platform via which other voices can contribute to those dialogues,” he added.

“While our core content providers will still ‘populate the pages’, we will be reaching out to all these organizations and individuals to contribute to what we hope will be a dynamic and rich conversation which will constructively influence the way we approach our next 150 years as a country.”