Canadian Forum, founded in 1920, is Canada's oldest continually published political periodical. It originated at University of Toronto as the offshoot of a tiny magazine, The Rebel, and its first editorial board intended the new publication to be what its name suggested - a forum of political and cultural ideas. From the start, the Forum was avowedly nationalist and progressive, and usually on the left of the spectrum on political and cultural questions. In the 1990s it is avowedly nationalist, strongly feminist, and in favour of labour and the welfare state.
The Canadian Forum has always given ample space to poetry, fiction and the best work of Canadian artists. The Forum supported the GROUP OF SEVEN painters. Some of Canada's finest writers, a group that includes A.J.M. SMITH, Irving LAYTON, Dorothy LIVESAY, Earle BIRNEY and Margaret ATWOOD, began in its pages and have continued to publish there. On the political front, the Forum provided a home for Frank UNDERHILL's mordant wit and slashing prose all through the 1930s and 1940s, for Abe Rotstein and Mel Watkins, the leading economic nationalists of the 1960s, and for such well-known and committed intellectuals as Frank SCOTT, Eugene FORSEY and Ramsay COOK.
The Forum was co-operatively owned for most of its history, but for a time in the 1920s and 1930s it was operated by the publisher J.M. Dent and Sons, by Liberals, by Graham SPRY and by the LEAGUE FOR SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION. The current owner is publisher James Lorimer and Co. Whatever the ownership, however, its editors - including Northrop FRYE, Milton Wilson, Rotstein and Michael Cross, and currently Duncan Cameron - have been remarkably independent.