Director's Corner: After 10 years at Megaphone's helm, Sean Condon recounts his wondrous journey and what's next for him
Moving on from Megaphone
Ten years ago, my life became married with this magazine. At the time it was known as Street Corner (it was renamed to ‘Megaphone’ in 2008). I remember being in awe of the power and potential of this project and feeling a great certainty that I would stay intertwined with it for some time.
The past decade has been a wondrous journey. From Street Corner to Megaphone to Hope in Shadows, I’ve worked with hundreds of inspiring vendors, writers, artists, and supporters that have all helped grow this project into something really special.
From a simple street paper, Megaphone has become an award-winning monthly magazine for Vancouver and Victoria, with a powerful Voices of the Street literary issue and beautiful Hope in Shadows photography calendar to accompany it. It has been a pointed and determined voice that speaks out against poverty and homelessness and offers solutions on how we can create healthier and more equitable communities.
But Megaphone is not so much a magazine as it is a community asset: a project that belongs to everyone who sells and buys it. It is a bridge between people and communities.
It is a conduit for social change.
So it’s with mixed emotions that I’m letting you know I’m moving on from Megaphone. I’ve accepted a position with the Vancity Community Foundation and I’ll be working to support social enterprises, much like Megaphone. I’m immensely proud of all that was accomplished over the past 10 years and know it’s a good time for me to take a leap into my next challenge.
I know how lucky I am to have held this position. Megaphone provides an incredibly necessary economic opportunity and voice to people who have been marginalized because of their health, income, gender, or race. I am eternally grateful to the vendors for giving me the chance to work with them.
It’s been an honour getting to know each of you, learning from you, and building something really powerful together.
Looking back over my decade at Megaphone, there’s a few important things I’ve learned: never judge someone before you’ve gotten to hear their story; everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed; social change happens in immeasurable ways (both small and grand); and you have to fight like hell for what’s right.
Megaphone had a long, rich history before I got involved (from Spare Change in the ’90s to The Street, and Street Corner) and I know it will continue to flourish. I’m really proud to announce that Megaphone’s operations manager Jessica Hannon will take over the helm. I know she’ll be a great leader for the organization and will continue to push this project forward.
As the year winds down, I look forward to watching the launch of Megaphone’s electronic payment app (September), the vendor-created Hope in Shadows calendar (October), and the start of the homelessness solutions journalism series (November). It will be an exciting end to the year.
Lastly, I want to give a big thank you to everyone who buys this paper, for supporting the vendors and for listening to and learning from them. Please continue to buy the magazine from them and tell everyone you know to do the same. Without you, none of this would be possible. Your support has given me great hope that we can end poverty and homelessness in our communities.
Thanks for everything!