Have you heard the news on the street? You can now find a new newspaper here in Kamloops called The Big Edition.
The 32-page, advertisement free newspaper is a productive alternative to the issues of panhandling in Kamloops, especially in the downtown core. The Big Edition was spearheaded from the city’s Lived Experience Committee, which consists of a range of people that have been personally affected by poverty, homelessness, abuse and addiction.
The Big Edition, with the nickname of “The Big E,” was named after the founder and biggest supporter of this project, Elmer King, who died unexpectedly last May. The original launch was set for this past summer but after the loss of King, the launch was delayed several times due to legal and health issues of those filling in for King, until their first issue hit the streets last week.
Glenn Hilke, the project facilitator, has been working hard with volunteers to turn this project into a success. The entirety of The Big Edition will be brought to life by the help of city volunteers with the knowledge and drive for change.
Each vendor will receive their first 50 editions free and sell them for $3, which will bring these vendors $150 for their first bundle. After they have built a small savings, vendors can purchase additional editions for 50 cents, giving the vendors a profit of $2.50. Hilke encourages tipping vendors, as well.
Extra help for this project has come from the generosity of Interior Authors Group member Alex McGilvery who agreed to lend a hand with proofreading, editing, layout and design for the first three issues. The effort McGilvery is providing will help the volunteer staff build their skills so they will be able to continue the work for issues to come.
Articles in the January edition feature a wide array of stories from a variety of community members. This edition features anything from poetry and fiction to nonfiction, including personal tales from queer families in Kamloops to the looming depression from Greyhound’s final departure from western Canada.
Hilke hopes that The Big Edition will reach 20 street vendors along with bulk sales and distribute upwards 10,000 editions monthly.
The beauty of The Big Edition is the lack of constraint; anyone can submit their work no matter the style as long as you are respectful. While this alternative newspaper is built as a helping hand to those balancing on the poverty line, anyone can become involved.
For those interested in becoming a vendor, contact Hilke at 250- 571-5414 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.