Jack Sigvaldason


Sig, as he is called by everyone who knows him, has 56 years of experience in the communications business.


Sig hails from Winnipeg where he joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1952, working in advertising and editorial, then with Stovel Advocate publications working on their business publications. Sig started his own advertising agency, Sigvaldason & Associates, in 1957 where he worked in advertising and public relations which included a daily radio show and writing newspaper features. From 1963-69 Sig worked for the Baker Lovick Ad agency as an art director, copy chief, radio and TV director, creative director and a columnist for an agricultural paper.


Sig had all of these major accomplishments under his belt before he moved his family north to Yellowknife in 1969 to start a new career as the editor of News of the North.


Sig was fired from News of the North in 1971 for antagonizing the territorial government, the federal government, the municipal government, the Indian brotherhood, Inuit Tapirisat and the majority of advertisers.


Within 90 days of Sig’s departure from News of the North he started the Yellowknifer with Jack Adderley, who had been fired as well. March 1972 marked the start of Northern News Services which now publishes 7 different community newspapers weekly out of Yellowknife. 


During the initial startup period the paper was produced on the kitchen table and the bathroom was used as a darkroom. Many times his teenage daughter was forced to wait to use the bathroom until the photos were developed!
Also during this time, he helped Pat Engbers start a newspaper in Hay River and Harry Leishman start a newspaper in Ft. Smith.


The Yellowknifer's mission statement, according to the first editorial, was to combine “having a ball with making a buck by providing a local fun paper crammed with news and pictures concerning Yellowknife personalities and events at least once a week.”


The banks and government lending agencies all thought the paper would not be viable on the basis that two papers couldn’t make it in one town. It was tough slugging those first few years. Sig’s wife Mae helped cover payroll when he could not … thank goodness she had a good job.


The Yellowknifer was popular and circulation grew like wildfire. Seven years after Sig was fired from News of the North, he bought the News of the North, kept all of their staff and changed the name to News/North. A few years later he started a second weekly edition of the Yellowknifer. He then purchased the Inuvik Drum and started the Deh cho Drum. He then started publishing in the Inuktitut language with the launch of the bilingual paper Kivalliq News, and the Nunavut News/North. Oh; and along the way he purchased a commercial printing company, Canarctic Graphics.


Northern News Services newspapers have been recognized with many national awards for their editorial content, photography and advertising over the years … most of these due to the high standards that Sig has maintained. Sig once told me that our success is dependent on the people we work with … our biggest asset is our people … they now total over 100 at six different locations in 3 time zones. Many have been with us for over 20 years.


Sig has been the publisher since 1972 and has been a constant player in the growth and change at Northern News Services. He has embraced technology and is currently active in web design and working in html developing our online presence.


He’s still having a ball and making a buck!


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