British Columbia

Megaphone Magazine vendors gather to celebrate street paper success

More than 30 newspaper vendors will take the streets today at 10:30 a.m. to sell Megaphone Magazine to people in downtown Vancouver in the “Big Sell.”

Street papers around the world are growing says executive director of Megaphone Magazine

Dan DCoste says selling Megaphone magazine helped him get back on his feet when he was homeless and fighting an addiction. (Mark Gryski/CBC)

More than 30 street paper vendors will take the streets today at 10:30 a.m. to sell Megaphone Magazine to people in downtown Vancouver in the "Big Sell."

The event is part of International Vendor Week, a celebration of the work done by people who rely on magazine sales as a source of income. Megaphone, which was created in 2008, is one of over 100 papers around the world that help people in poverty by allowing them to sell the magazines to passersby at a profit.

"They work hard, they work through rain and snow and heat, and today and this whole week is really a chance for us to say, you guys are amazing you do incredible work, and we want to support you," said Sean Condon, executive director of Megaphone Magazine.

Andrea Lo of the Vancouver band The Belle Game was one of the people selling Megaphone magazine on Thursday. (Mark Gryski/CBC)

Many of Megaphone's vendors are people "who have had a lot of doors shut because of mental illness, because of addiction, because of poverty," said Condon.

But they look for the same things as most people when it comes to finding a job.

"They're just looking for that opportunity to earn an income and to connect with people. And it' something that we all want and something that we all share."

Dan DCoste says selling the Megaphone Magazine helped him get back on his feet when he was addicted and homeless. 

"It's been really good to me," he said. "The paper tackles complex issues pertaining to the Downtown Eastside. It's a great paper."

'It's a way for people to connect'

Megaphone Magazine was launched in 2008. (Mark Gryski/CBC)

The newspaper industry is struggling but Condon says circulation of street papers like Megaphone is actually growing. It goes to show how big of difference community-friendly vendors can make, he said.

"I think it's a way for people to connect with each other … we have people hawking papers on the street and I think there's still a really strong power that comes from that."

In 2016, Megaphone helped 164 vendors make $125,000 by selling its magazines, according to the organization.

To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Megaphone Magazine celebrates vendor success with "Big Sell."


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