Director’s Corner: Our 200th issue, the 15th anniversary Hope in Shadows calendar, and our 4th annual Megaphone breakfast is just a few of the things we’ve got going on
Megaphone’s many milestones this month
Fall is here, and with fall comes the return of everything: school for students; pumpkin-spice everything for people who know what pumpkin spice is; and Hope in Shadows calendars, heaps of events, and new projects for the Megaphone community.
This fall is also a season of anniversaries for Megaphone. This October we published our 200th issue! It’s a notable accomplishment for a magazine with humble beginnings and was only possible thanks to the hard work of Megaphone vendors and the support of readers like you. Alongside a lot of late nights for our editorial team. Read more and take a look back at where we’ve been.
Also this month, Megaphone marks a significant milestone for our beloved photography and calendar project, Hope in Shadows. It was 15 years ago the 2004 calendar first hit the streets with just a handful of vendors. Since then, it has grown to a thriving social enterprise and a key source of income for hundreds of low-income people in Vancouver and Victoria.
Looking through the archives of this project is looking at the ground-level history of a community. The photographs form a living historical record of people whose biographies you won’t often read in history books, but whose perspectives and lives tell stories worth sharing. This year again, Megaphone vendors took all the photographs in the calendar. Our vendors are the heart of this project, and we’re proud to share their stories and artistry. Make sure you buy an anniversary edition calendar from your Megaphone vendor before it sells out. Every purchase supports meaningful work for people impacted by poverty.
If you're in Vancouver, come break bread with us at the Megaphone Breakfast. Back for its fourth year, the Megaphone Breakfast brings together vendors, readers, volunteers, donors, and supporters to celebrate the community we’ve built together.
These anniversaries are special because they’re a reminder of the energy, heart, and commitment behind this project.
They’re a reminder of how many people believe so much that we all matter, that we all have something to contribute, and that we can build a better community together. The combined efforts of vendors, readers, volunteers, community, and staff keep this organization alive, thriving, moving forward, and growing.
And in that movement forward, I’m excited to share a new Megaphone project with you. For the last month, we’ve been working with a group of Downtown Eastside community members to amplify their voices as they share with us what it’s been like to live through the overdose crisis.
The result is an event series in Vancouver called How to Save a Life, an evening of stories and perspective from people on the frontlines of the overdose crisis. We’re taking this event to neighbourhoods all over Vancouver. The goal is to reach communities where overdoses and drug use are less discussed, and to help empower a skilful, compassionate response. The last event is on November 13.
We’re excited to be able to share our storytellers’ strength and wisdom with you and, we hope, inspire effective community responses to addiction and overdoses beyond the Downtown Eastside.
In hope and community, here’s to another 200 issues. Thank you for supporting Megaphone.
Jessica Hannon is Megaphone's executive director.