Since starting at The Walleye, many times I’ve had readers commend the magazine on how we have our fingers on the pulse of all things arts and culture in Thunder Bay. Although our well-informed editorial staff does a fantastic job of generating leads for content, I’ll let you in on a little secret: a lot of our ideas for stories come from readers. With the amount of artists, musicians, and small businesses blossoming it helps to have those tips to keep us at the forefront with the happenings of the city.

No more is this apparent with our annual Best of Thunder Bay survey, where we let the masses speak and determine what we feature in the pages of the January issue. I’m very happy to report that we’ve had a record amount of voters participate in this year. For our cover story we profile some of the winners you might or might not know. As always, we encourage readers to check out those unfamiliar names and places featured in the results, in hopes of answering more questions for next year.

Keeping with our “best of” theme, Michael Sobota shares his favourite films of 2017 and our sommelier Jeannie Dubois highlights some of her best of picks in wine, spirits, and beer. Plus Kirsti Salmi chats with the organizers of Definitely Superior Art Gallery’s Derelicte as they get ready to celebrate 10 years of putting on the popular fashion odyssey fundraiser. Also in the issue, we catch up with Anishinaabe writer, comedian, and podcaster Ryan McMahon to find out about his multi-part investigative podcast.

Coming into January it will be my three year mark as editor of the magazine, and although I’ve got more grey hairs my in beard since I’ve started—probably one for every early print deadline—it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Congratulations to all winners in our readers’ survey, thank you to all those who participated, and thank you to Thunder Bay for the vibrant arts and culture scene. You make our jobs easy.

-Adrian Lysenko