During our first year we offered a programme of ’52 Things’ made with and for the city’s creative community to showcase the fantastic people and places in our city. You can find the full 52 here.

Emma Clark is the publisher and founder of the free Cardiff entertainment publication, Buzz Magazine. It celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Over this time it has reported on the city's cultural life and adapted to changes in the digital sphere. Emma maintains the day to day working of the magazine and also develops the Buzz media training programme. With over 25,000 copies distributed monthly across South Wales the magazine continues to grow in its reach.

Can you tell us a bit about your work? 

Buzz was founded in 1991. The aim was to provide an arts and entertainment guide for Cardiff, and South Wales, by covering everything from clubs to folk, to art to stage and food & drink. This type of culture magazine was lacking at the time and it was the right time to launch Buzz. The publishing landscape has changed dramatically over the last 25 years. In the beginning we would take huge sheets of acetate to the printers. Now with one click the files are whisked off. Despite the internet, niche magazines are thriving and the need to hold a tangible bit of print is still with us. 

Why have you chosen to work in Cardiff? What inspires you about being here?

I grew up in Barry and have moved back there. Cardiff was always the big city and where there would naturally be a creative community. To continue producing an arts magazine it needs to be in a vibrant location and to be involved in its environment. The people that are in Cardiff are inspiring. There are so many small independents - freelancers creating and making brilliant work, whether it’s in film, music, animation or festivals there is a constant flow of really interesting work and people making things happen.

You’ve launched Buzz TV. What is it? What does it aim to do?

Over the last few years it became increasingly clear that Buzz could offer more. Creating an online and video version of the printed magazine was a natural progression from what we were already producing. The aim of Buzz TV is to create interesting and engaging videos, short films, and behind the scenes footage of the content in the magazine. But as we got started we progressed to interviews, round table discussions and ‘a day in the life’ style filming. In a relatively short time the number of views for Buzz TV is over 100,000 and increasing all the time.

What challenges have you found in working in Cardiff?

Probably the same as most independent SMEs. It tends to be down to capacity and finding enough time and energy to plan new business opportunities and implement them. As with any small business there is only so much time to run your existing business - developing new ideas/products takes time. Also finding the right support when you need it without wasting time going through the wrong channels. Endless breakfast meetings or contacting any number of business help/support centres can be time consuming and frustrating.

How successful has Cardiff been at making itself a creative capital city, particularly in your area of work?

Over the last few years there has been a huge amount of focus on the ‘creative industries’ which is clearly a good thing as I am involved with this sector. Because of the nature of my business I tend to find out what is going on and what organisations are working on. I do think there is an element of preaching to the converted - many people outside of this sector are unaffected by what is happening in the creative industries.

In terms of publishing/advertising there could be more assistance in developing this area, perhaps a business match scheme a bit like Match.com where businesses can share skills to develop both businesses further? The problem with this and many similar ideas is who pays for this.

Which 3 things need to happen to make Cardiff a more creative city?

  • More collaboration between the arts/creative industries and partnerships with public/private organisations. This is happening more now out of necessity rather than by choice.
  • A long term robust future plan for creative and cultural projects/businesses is needed which would ensure the future of our cultural heritage and bring a much larger audience to the capital.
  • A long term strategy to engage the public and not just the individuals and companies working within the creative industries sector.

Describe your favourite creative place in Cardiff.

Bute Park - beautiful any time of the year.

What’s next for you? What projects are on the horizon What new ideas are you working on?

To keep developing Buzz TV, produce short films and to grow Buzz productions and work in collaboration with companies where there is a synergy. 2016 is the 25th anniversary of Buzz Magazine so we are planning a big party and an exhibition looking back over the last 25 years. The landscape has changed so much. Many readers will remember the hippo club, Mrs Brown’s, Cardiff city farm, Rockola, when the barrage was built. All these have changed or gone. It’ll be a trip down memory lane!

What do you think Creative Cardiff should try to achieve?

Hopefully Creative Cardiff will be a dynamic facilitator for the creative industries, not just arranging talks and events but making a real difference to the businesses and individuals who work here by providing a focal point for exchanging ideas and allowing new partnerships and collaborations to form and develop.