“Meet a vendor. Meet a writer. Meet a community. Buy your Megaphone here!” pitches Sid Bristow while selling the latest issue of Megaphone. This upcoming July 22, Bristow won’t just be pitching sales, he’ll also be pitching the ceremonial first pitch at the Vancouver Canadians game.
Bristow won the honour in the third annual Vancouver Canadians and Megaphone vendor sales pitch contest. The contest allows vendors to submit sales pitches, which are then voted on by other Megaphone vendors and customers. It’s a way of celebrating the amazing work of Megaphone vendors, who are low income individuals who sell the magazine to earn their own income.
“I use this pitch on people who’ve never bought the paper before,” says Bristow, who sells Megaphone on the north-west corner of Broadway and Cambie. “People often hear about things happening in the Downtown Eastside but they don’t hear anything about the people. So if you buy the paper you hear more about the people and what they’re doing and if you keep buying the paper every two weeks, you’ll get to know the community.”
Megaphone vendors sell all across the city, from Kerrisdale to Cambie Village to Commercial Drive.
“Sid’s sales pitch is reflection of what Megaphone is all about,” says Sean Condon, Megaphone’s executive director. “The magazine and the vendors are a bridge between communities. They allow people to connect from different backgrounds and gain a better understanding of each other.”
This is the third year that a Megaphone vendor will be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at a Canadians games. The Canadians have been a strong supporter of Megaphone’s vendor program and this contest is just one way that they invest back into the community.
“To see how hard Sid has worked to make the lives of those around him better, there was no doubt we were thrilled to hear that Sid would be coming to historic Scotiabank Field to throw out a first pitch,” says Jeff Holloway, manager of community relations with the Vancouver Canadians. “Few things are more impressive than watching someone take pride in their job and in their life.”
Sid is one of roughly 40 vendors who sell the magazine, which is produced to create economic opportunity for homeless and low-income individuals. Megaphone vendors buy each copy of the magazine for 75 cents and sell it on the street for $2. Sid has been selling the magazine off and on for almost 20 years.
“I like selling Megaphone because it gives me a chance to make a few bucks,” says Sid. “I suffer from some physical injuries, and Megaphone allows me to work my own hours. If I’m having a good day, I work four to six hours and if I’m not, I can work one or two hours and can still make enough to get something to eat.”
Come on out and watch Sid throw the first pitch:
Monday, July 22nd
Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium
4601 Ontario St.