|Owner(s)||Great West Newspapers (Glacier Media)|
|Ceased publication||March 2015|
|Headquarters||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
Fast Forward Weekly (FFWD) was a news and entertainment weekly which provides news, alternative viewpoints, entertainment information, review articles and specialized advertising. It was distributed throughout Calgary, Banff and Canmore. It is owned by Great West Newspapers, LP. With an assessed readership of 70,000 upon a distributed circulation of 30,000, the paper was one of the most widely circulated and well-respected alternative newspapers in Canada. FFWD ran with a sales staff of 4 incredibly talented individuals at any given time. Some of the notables over the years include Scott Preston, Melissa Mercier, Natasha Solvason and Den Williams.
The paper originated in December 1995 as Calgary's first alternative weekly publication. As of 2007, it was the only freely-distributed weekly newspaper of its type in the city, having outlasted a number of competitors including a short-lived Calgary edition of The Georgia Straight, which had originally been called VOX, the long-running Calgary Mirror (which folded in 2001), and the Mirror's successor, FYI Calgary In-Print, which ran for only five months in 2001.
While the paper was initially arts-focused, in it later began covering more news stories and social issues.
In 2008, the paper was criticized over publishing a controversial article quoting Calgary Conservative MP Lee Richardson on comments regarding immigrants and crime which he later stated he regretted; clarifying he was referring only to youth gangs in the city. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the reporting "gotcha journalism" for taking his comments out of their intended context, while other party leaders called for his resignation.
One of Fast Forward's most popular editions was its annual Best of Calgary readers' poll. For this, readers voluntarily submitted their responses to a large variety of questions, indicating their favourite (or least favourite) aspects of Calgary, including its food, people, culture, infrastructure, political leadership and more.
After 19 years, Fast Forward Weekly shut down. Great West Newspapers announced February 21, 2015, that the last issue would be March 5, 2015. "Ad revenue was not enough to support the continuance of a free weekly newspaper" was cited as the main reason for the publications demise.
The future of ffwdweekly.com is yet to be determined. Around 2015 July it remained online, but without updated content. On January 13, 2016, trying to view the website only resulted in "Could not find an active MetroPublisher site for this domain. Please check that your MP site is active and the correct domain names are set."
- The Peak: "Dan McLeod's Straight" Archived August 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (refers to history and role of FFWD)
- Braid, Don (September 26, 2008). "Sliming of Tory a typical campaign crock". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Fekete, Jason (September 26, 2008). "Harper rejects calls for Calgary Tory candidate's resignation". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 2, 2015. Retrieved July 29, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)