Châtelaine, founded Oct 1960 and published in Montréal by Maclean Hunter Ltée, now a part of the Rogers Communications media empire, is one of the largest French-language women's magazines in the world, with a total paid circulation of 193 127 in 1994. Launched by its first director general, Lloyd M. Hodgkinson, Châtelaine grew rapidly from its original run of 111 905 copies. Four editors-in-chief have directed it over its 33 years: Fernande Saint-Martin until 1973, Francine Montpetit until 1984, Martine Demange until 1989, then Micheline Lachance and most recently Catherine Elie. The president is Jean-François Douville.

The magazine has played an important role in Québec for the last quarter century. Virtually alone in the field when it first appeared, at a time when TV-though still in its infancy-had virtually wiped out francophone magazines, it decided that its mandate would be to inform Québec women of the huge changes in society and in their family and personal roles. From its first issues, it has tackled controversial issues such as contraception, equal rights for women, divorce, child care and the role of women in politics. The publication has also offered its readers fiction by the country's best writers, including Gabrielle ROY, Anne HÉBERT and Yves THÉRIAULT. Over the years, major sections on fashion, food and consumerism have been added.