photos: Jennifer Brown

A Special Edition of the Hope in Shadows calendar hits the streets

The 2016 Hope in Shadows calendar hits the streets. This year's calendar is a retrospective, featuring some of the top photos from the project's 12-year history. Get your special Hope in Shadows calendar from your Megaphone vendor. 

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Starting today, Megaphone vendors in Vancouver and Victoria will sell the annual Hope in Shadows calendar. Every year, the calendar contains stunningly beautiful photographs by and of a community that fights to overcome tremendous obstacles. As a calendar, a voice, and a bridge, Hope in Shadows has become a special gift in British Columbia. And this year’s calendar will be a little extra special.

Each Hope in Shadows calendar features photos taken by Downtown Eastside residents of their friends, family, and neighbourhood. For the past 12 years, Pivot Legal Society has run the project. It has become a powerful voice and economic generator for a community marginalized by poverty, addiction, racism, and mental illness.

This year’s calendar, a joint venture between Pivot and Megaphone, will be a special retrospective of the project’s amazing history, featuring some of the project’s most impactful photos. One look through the calendar will show you how this project has been a witness to the Downtown Eastside’s changes and challenges, and a testament to its survival.

Choosing just 13 photos from more than a decade’s worth of work was incredibly difficult. I’m still blown away by the immense talent that exists in this community (and how this was all done with disposable cameras!). Our panel of judges, which included vendors and community members, looked at more than 450 award-winning photos and managed to pare that volume down to a 26-photo shortlist.

See more Hope in Shadows photos here

We then worked to contact the photographers and subjects, which proved challenging for the older photos—some people have passed away, while others have long left the neighbourhood—which is why we weren’t able to feature many photos from the very early years.

It reminded me that while it has a rich history, the Downtown Eastside is a place of transition for some people—some people are here for just a short time until they find what they need to move on. Poverty and addiction are often temporary pains, and shouldn’t be used as permanent labels to identify people.

We're excited about this year’s historic calendar and the project’s transition. Now as a Megaphone project, we can offer the seasonal Hope in Shadows vendors an opportunity to earn an income year-round by selling the magazine. This will mean more income for people experiencing poverty and homelessness.

Megaphone and Pivot are proud to present the 2016 Hope in Shadows calendar—it’s a beautiful and powerful look back on a community that is always fighting its way forward.

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