The Bear Whisperer is a vendor who sells Megaphone, the Hope in Shadows calendar and Voices of the Street literary anthology in downtown Vancouver. This is a story of his travelling days, hard work and journey to British Columbia – the province where he found the opportunities that changed his life.
For winning photographer Buffie Irvine, the Hope in Shadows project became more than a photo contest. She has been a Megaphone vendor for eight years and her father for 14. When customers realise the family connection, they start talking to her and it makes her feel close to her community. The Hope in Shadows photography project made her feel close to something else; something that she loved. Her Dad.
A mom of two kids and two cats, Julie “Jewel” Chapman would take everyone under her wing for protection if she could. Her altruistic activism fuels her work within the Downtown Eastside community of Vancouver, where she is a support worker for sex workers and those struggling with addiction. Despite some people’s negative attitude towards the DTES, Jewel feels that her neighbourhood is a wonderful community full of hope.
When we hear from vendors, it is usually to learn more about their experiences with homelessness and how working as a street paper seller has helped them. But vendors do all sorts of outstanding, inspiring things that we might not know about. Gerald “Spike” Peachey aims to use all of his experiences from the streets to help build a city where everyone can live their best lives by running for councillor in Vancouver’s civic election later this month. He sets out the reasons why the people in his district should vote for him.
“I’m your sister and I walk with you,” says Suzanne Kilroy, as she discusses the importance of National Aboriginal Day, which is today. Here, she talks about the significance of the celebration, and the feelings of kinship with others and pride in her heritage that the day inspires in her.
In a piece written for the fall edition of Megaphone’s Community Journalism 101 workshop, Peter Thompson discusses his love of food. In particular, he writes about bannock – his personal favourite – and shares an anecdote about how, during his childhood, he learned how to smoke fish.
This month, Canadian street paper Megaphone, which is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, but has stretched its patch to include Victoria, turned 10 years old. In this retrospective piece, individuals involved with the street paper, from founding members, to editors, to vendors, look back on the magazine’s decade long life so far.
Vancouver vendor Priscillia Tait took the winning cover photo of the 2018 Hope in Shadows calendar. Here, she talks about the setting she chose for the photograph, as well as her family, growing up in an Indigenous community and her experience of homelessness.
In honour of #VendorWeek 2018, Megaphone vendor James Witwicki and L’Itinéraire vendor Yvon Massicotte had a ‘face-to-face’ interview to swap experiences of how both wound up selling street papers.
Today, North American street papers will join in with the #VendorWeek celebrations by hosting selling events, some for the first time. This #VendorWeek tradition is a chance for those unfamiliar with the street paper movement to understand better what street paper vendors do.
Megaphone vendor Mark Irvine says at 65 his new life goal is ‘learning how to live’, after a troubled past involving problems with drugs and alcohol, and time in prison.
Norah Winnifred Parlett was a spy in WWII, and a the main breadwinner for her five kids. Her son, Megaphone vendor Bob, talks about their complicated history and the love they share.
From stapled photocopies to award-winning magazines: Megaphone’s departing leader shares a decade of street paper insight
As Megaphone boss Sean Condon says goodbye to the street paper network, he tells us what he’s learned from 10 years at the Vancouver magazine. A behind-the-scenes must-read for street paper fans.
“After seven years of being homeless, I can see firsthand why everything is a mess – which inspired me to write this article.” Megaphone vendor Ron McGrath invites us all to solve homelessness together.
Overwhelming public support saw the Vancouver street paper raise enough money to fund an in-depth investigation into ending homelessness… in just 36 hours!
Megaphone vendor Claude Ranville explains how a temporary job at TED Talks encouraged him to overcome his addictions by using art as a form of therapy
After recording a spike in “unnecessary” homeless deaths in British Columbia, Vancouver street paper Megaphone is taking the government to task. Executive director Sean Condon tells INSP more must be done to stop homelessness becoming “an early death sentence” for the province’s most vulnerable.
Heroin is illegal in Canada, but as part of a radical new study, the government gave special dispensation for a study in Vancouver to prescribe the drug to people with chronic addiction. Megaphone vendor Spike explains how a heroin prescription saved his life.
“I have many loyal customers. They mean everything. Without them, it wouldn’t work,” said Eric who sells Megaphone in Vancouver, Canada. He recently won vendor of the year for his work in the community , awarded to him by his readers.
Megaphone vendor Charlize Gordon writes about her gender transition while staying in shelters and subsidised housing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “Sometimes on the streets I would have insults hurled at me. Other times ignorant men would physically attack me. I don’t take it personally, because they have no idea what I am going through.”
The launch of the calendar was a time for joy – and sadness, as the team found out that Alkina, pictured here in a photo from the calendar, had just passed away.