Vancouver, B.C. — Get beyond the headlines of the homelessness crisis by picking up the 13 winning images portraying hope and joy on the streets in this year’s Hope in Shadows calendar. A heartwarming community ceremony kicked off street sales of the 14th Annual Hope in Shadows calendar this morning. The calendar – a project of social enterprise Megaphone magazine – offers meaningful work for people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Individuals sign up to be vendors, selling the monthly Megaphone magazine and annual Hope in Shadows calendar on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria make community connections and earn income.
To create this year’s Hope in Shadows calendar, Megaphone held a series of photography workshops, handing out 50 Fujifilm single-use contest cameras to its homeless and low-income vendors in June. Vendors were asked to capture images in their communities on the theme of “Hope and Joy.”
Roughly 1,000 photos were developed, and then whittled down to 13 photos that make up the 2017 calendar by an expert community jury and public votes. “The work Megaphone vendors do is the daily work of building community,” says Jessica Hannon, Megaphone executive director. “In rain, snow, sleet, and hail they work – selling the Hope in Shadows calendar and Megaphone magazine.”
This is the first Hope in Shadows calendar in which all the photos were taken by Megaphone’s homeless and low-income vendors themselves. “It’s a glimpse into the world vendors see. It captures a different side of our communities – the people, things, and relationships that bring hope and joy, even in the face of overwhelming stigma and hardship.”
The winning photo, taken by long-time vendor Mike McNeeley, is called “Dignity.” It’s a striking portrait of Trevor Widen (Haida nation) taken on East Hastings St. With Trevor’s wide smile and gentle strength, the image fittingly illustrates the contest theme of “Hope and Joy.” About the photo, winning photographer Mike McNeeley says, “it’s a very beautiful thing to witness—that someone is proud of who they are and their heritage.”
Following the awards ceremony, vendors will begin selling the 2017 Hope in Shadows calendar in Vancouver. Each year, the organization trains hundreds of vendors, and puts roughly $130,000 in the pockets of vendors through calendar and magazine sales. It’s low-threshold and meaningful work for people who may have significant barriers to employment.. Vendors purchase the calendar for $10 and sell them for $20, keeping the profit and earning an income.
New this year, you can find and pay vendors directly with your smartphone using the brand-new Megaphone App, available for free download from the iTunes and Google Play store. Digital versions a selection of the winning images available via dropbox – email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link.
EMBARGOED UNTIL OCT 18th, 2016 at 11:30AM
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About Hope in Shadows and Megaphone
Megaphone magazine offers employment and empowerment to people experiencing poverty. Megaphone publishes a monthly magazine and an annual calendar that are sold on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria by homeless and low-income vendors. Vendors buy each magazine for 75 cents and sell it for $2, and each calendar for $10 and sell it for $20. They keep the profit. By selling Megaphone and Hope in Shadows, people experiencing poverty, homelessness, and addiction or other health challenges can earn income through meaningful, dignified work.
For additional information or to set up an interview, contact: