The Quebec Hot Air Balloon Association can be traced back to the early 2000s, 2004 to be exact. Believe it or not, the magazine was founded by a defence attorney, Mr. Walter W. Deshields.
In 2001, when he was just a young professional, Deshields attended the London International Hot Air Balloon Festival in London, Ontario.
It was one of his fondest memories seeing those hot air balloons take to the sky along the sunrise. That moment stuck to Deshields for the remainder of his life. Every year, he would go to hot air balloon festivals all over Canada.
In 2004, after attending more than 8 festivals in only two years, he started his blog. The Balloon Wanderer. For his first blog entry, he created a picture montage of all the hot air balloon festivals he went to.
In the first week, that post got a total of 4,500 reads with no paid ads. Deshields continued with the blog and it quickly garnered more than 5,000 readers in Ontario where he is residing.
A blog to Online Magazine
In 2008, Deshields was approached by a group of hot air balloon enthusiasts wanting to start an online magazine focused on hot air ballooning in Quebec. He was offered to be the editor-in-chief of the online magazine and without any doubts, he went for it.
That is when the Quebec Hot Air Balloon Association came to be. They started releasing quarterly copies. In 2014, they moved from a quarterly to a monthly publication.
They feature not only hot air balloon festivals, but everything related to hot air balloon activities there is in Canada. We are talking about hot air ballooning as an outdoor activity and even hot air balloon designs.
QHABA Went Global
In 2018, the association was invited to be a sponsor in the 2018 Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, one of the biggest there is in the world. Thousands of people gather in New Mexico to gaze and marvel upon hundreds of hot air balloons in the air.
That was a major turning point for the association as it got more international recognition and was able to build a global network.
The online magazine now has more than 30,000 subscribers all over Canada and even in other countries such as the USA and UK.
Imagine a simple blog of someone who fell in love with hot air ballooning that became a global community.Contact us today for more info.