Canvas who?

Student magazine is planning a name change after mix-ups with new online learning system.

Lydia Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

Sydney Holets started getting emails from students late this summer. She knew something was wrong when the emails were full of questions about Canvas Online, Hamline’s new online learning system.

Holets is a senior and editor-in-chief of Canvas Magazine, Hamline’s student magazine. The unfortunate similarity between the two names has already caused considerable confusion and made for a rocky start of the semester for the magazine.

“I knew we were going to run into problems when I knew that Canvas was our new learning system,” Holets said. “We have Canvas Magazine and Canvas Online. I knew that having the same name was just not going to work.”

Canvas Magazine is a lifestyle magazine that combines creative news, student artwork and quirky profiles or stories to highlight the untold stories of the Hamline community. But sharing that with students gets tough, Holets said, when the magazine is confused with the online learning system that launched university-wide this summer. 

This confusion was especially problematic during the Fall Student Org Fair last week.

“Someone came up and asked ‘are you a table for the online learning system?’” Holets said. “We’re like ‘no, we’re definitely not.’”

Canvas Magazine’s editorial staff, which includes Sydney Holets, Jennifer Rosario, Hannah Keller, Kat McCullum and Oracle staff member Ally Gall, brainstormed new name ideas. These are: Midway Magazine, Beyond the Bishop Magazine and Illumine Magazine.

They have set up an online poll where students can vote for names or submit their own suggestions. Vote at

Holets’ goal is to decide on a new name by mid-October so that when the magazine publishes it’s fall edition at the end of December, they can do so under a new name and brand.

Chloe McElmury, former editor-in-chief of the magazine and Hamline graduate of 2019, said having to change the name is an unfortunate setback.

“I already felt like we were an underdog on campus [last year] and had to explain how we were different,” McElmury said. “This year was really meant to be a year to get our name out there, but now they’ve got to start all over again.”

Canvas Magazine is unfortunately familiar with starting over again, particularly when it comes to names. Two years ago, the name of the student magazine was changed from Pipers In-Depth to Canvas Magazine. 

That change was relatively successful, in part because McElmury and former design chief Natalie Pieterick, ‘19, made a concerted effort last year to establish a strong brand for Canvas Magazine. A name change will mean doing that work all over again.

“It feels like we’re starting from complete scratch right now, which is kind of exciting but there’s also a lot of uncertainty at this point,” Holets said.

Uncertainties over the name change will not prevent the magazine staff and contributors from getting started on planning stories and art for the fall issue. 

The magazine has their first brainstorming meeting from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 19 in GLC 101E. The meeting is open to the public and is a great opportunity to learn about the magazine, pitch stories or become a contributor.

Students can read previous issues at