First up today is the Best Vendor Contribution Award – celebrating the valuable contributions made by street paper vendors to their paper. Our top five have been selected, and are presented below.
These finalists have gone forward to our international judging panel who had the tricky task of picking our champion. The winner is announced during the INSP Awards ceremony next Wednesday evening.
Don’t forget to see who else has made the finals in our categories here.
“A moving, personal account of the death of Kupfermuckn vendor Ursula Mitterlehner’s partner, who suffered from AIDS.”
“L’Itineraire vendor Jo Redwitch reflects on her former career as a sex dancer in Montreal. Her essay is in reaction to Canada’s controversial new prostitution bill, which has been widely denounced by sex workers because it makes the sex trade illegal and could create more victims. Jo believes the bill “isn’t suited to the reality of sex work” and hopes more sex workers can “find the courage to speak out and share their point of view” to challenge common stigmas. Her essay is a brave example.”
“On August 3, 2016, we discovered that the victim of a drive-by shooting in Uptown was Penny Gearhart, an active participant in the StreetWise community. Penny and a friend were walking down the street when gang members started shooting, and she got caught in the crossfire. Penny was a vendor in Uptown and on restaurant row on Randolph. She regularly visited the offices to join our writers group and help out with whatever was needed. She was caring and compassionate and had a larger-than-life personality. In memoriam, we compiled some of Penny’s writing, some previously published and some not. The pieces capture the heart and humour of Penny, but also capture her fears. She was right to be worried about the gang violence infecting her neighbourhood, because it ultimately took her life.”
“Vicky B is a vendor for The Contributor’s and one of our most celebrated writers and on her own, created the concept for five-part series detailing what it’s like to call a hotel your home.”
“One of the most challenging aspects of living with mental illness is the isolation. Curbside Chronicle vendor and photographer, Chazzi Davis, uses photography to counteract the loneliness and as motivation to live a fuller life. Twenty years ago, Chazzi lost everything due to mental health issues, and has found that taking abstract photos is like therapy for him. Chazzi uses editing software to make his photos more abstract. He likes to play with the colours and textures to make them unique.”
Take a look at the finalists we’ve already announced here. Don’t forget to check back each day this week as we reveal the remaining finalists for the 2017 #INSPAwards.