We are so grateful to all the Megaphone sponsors, donors and champions who amplified marginalized voices alongside us in 2022!
Because of your support, we were able to return to offering in-person programming and events, deepen the engagement of Megaphone vendors and storytellers and continue providing meaningful income-earning opportunities to Megaphone vendors and storytellers experiencing poverty, inadequate housing, substance use and other marginalizing barriers.
Here are our top ten highlights of 2022 and just some of the examples of your support in action:
1. Creative Writing Workshops
The return of our popular in-person Creative Writing Workshops! We had 10 Megaphone vendors and storytellers in each of the four workshops, offered a stipend to participants and took submissions for publication in our 2022 Voices of the Street literary anthology.
2. Voices of the Street Launch Event
A powerful evening of poetry read by writers published in Voices of the Street: Stealing Looks at the Sun - writing about climate change in 2022, our annual literary anthology. At our launch at the SFU World Arts Centre, ten poets read their work, two contributing photographers spoke about their images, and we were honoured to hear from Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Fiona Tinwei Lam.
3. Climate Disaster Project
A peer-reported series on surviving climate disasters, written by eight Megaphone storytellers, as part of the Climate Disaster Project led by the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. We heard from Megaphone vendor Peter about the fires that burned his hometown of Lytton, storyteller Yvonne about the beauty of Haida Gwaii, Suzanne about the floods that devastated Merritt and more. APTN Investigates aired a special about the Climate Disaster Project that featured some of the Megaphone storytellers who participated. Watch it here.
4. Megaphone's First Podcast Series
In the summer of 2021, Megaphone piloted its first Podcast Mentorship. Led by Helena Krobath, the mentorship invited peer vendors and storytellers Jules Chapman, Angel Gates, Nicolas Leech-Crier, and Yvonne Mark to create their own unique podcast episodes, inspired by writing and themes from the 2021 edition of Voices of the Street.
For two months, the storytellers explored and played with the dimensions of storytelling unique to podcasts. They learned about audio storyboarding, vocal techniques, interviewing and audio recording, theme music and sound effects. All the while, the storytellers scripted and refined their storyboards, conducting interviews with authors from Voices of the Street, creating an original persona, or writing their own poetry in response to a work that moved them.
In early 2022 the ambitious undertaking was released. Featuring interviews with writers and personal reflections on how their lived experiences merge with the themes of the text—this podcast series illuminated Voices of the Street in a unique way. Listen here.
5. Community Journalism 101
The return of our five-week Community Journalism 101 workshop series, allowing 16 Megaphone vendors, storytellers and peers to receive free, low-barrier and empowering training to tell stories about their community and be better equipped to recognize fake news, biases and stereotypes in reporting.
6. Community Journalism Mentorship Program
Our Community Journalism Mentorship Program moved from a pilot project to our regular programming as we partnered with Langara College to create the Megaphone and Read Mercer Entrance Award that provides two scholarships to Megaphone peers to attend Langara Journalism Department’s Fundamentals of Reporting course. Megaphone storytellers Mike and Yvonne took part in 2022, following in the footsteps of their peers Julie and Nicolas, who completed the program in 2021. After months of mentorship and hard work at school, Mike and Yvonne completed the course and joined Megaphone’s growing newsroom!
7. The 20th Anniversary of Hope in Shadows!
The launch of the 20th anniversary edition of the Hope in Shadows calendar! Our community jury narrowed down over 1,500 photo contest submissions to the Top 30 that best represented this year's theme of ‘celebrate’ and from there the public voted on the top 13 to be featured in the calendar. 3,500 Hope in Shadows calendars have already been sold by Megaphone vendors!
8. Weekly Vendor Advisory Board Meetings and Monthly All Vendor Meetings
The return to regular, in-person monthly vendor meetings and Vendor Advisory Board meetings. These are crucial spaces for vendors to advocate for and support their fellow vendors.
9. Speakers Bureau Continuing to Challenge Stigma
Speakers Bureau storytellers were able to return to in-person workshops, telling their stories in their own words to help challenge stigma surrounding drug use. The Indigenous Women’s Speakers Bureau, in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority celebrated and honoured their ongoing work during a land-based retreat.
10. Megaphone Champions Like You!
A community of supporters—like YOU—who uplifted the voices of Megaphone vendors and storytellers by purchasing Megaphone magazine, Voices of the Street and Hope in Shadows, attending our events, making donations and making a commitment to challenge harmful stigma.