Megaphone’s executive director Jessica Hannon and Delisle Doucet show off this year’s Hope in the Shadows calendar.

Calendar provides hope to Victoria’s low income, homeless

It was a big day for Delisle Doucet when he learned a photo he had entered in the Hope in Shadows calender photo contest was a winner.

It was a big day for Delisle Doucet when he learned a photo he had entered in the Megaphone Hope in Shadows calender photo contest was one of the winners and would be featured in the organization’s 2017 calender.

“I was so excited, I couldn’t even sleep that night. This means so much to me,” said Doucet, 52.

The Hope in Shadows calender is an initiative of Megaphone Magazine, a monthly publication designed to allow low-income or homeless members of Victoria’s population to have both a voice and an economic opportunity they might otherwise not have. Vendors purchase the magazine for $0.75 and resell them for $2, keeping the difference as their profit.

The Hope in Shadows calender initiative was originally a project in Vancouver’s downtown Eastside, but was taken over by Megaphone in 2014.

This year, all the photos in the calender were taken by magazine vendors themselves. They were issued disposable cameras and asked to take pictures that reflected the positive side of their lives in line within a theme of “hope and joy.”

“People who are doing well in life assume life is very bleak for those in poverty…people like our vendors. That impression creates a sort of ‘otherness’ for low-income people…setting them apart from the mainstream. That ‘othering’ of people is both inaccurate and unfair, and only serves to dehumanize them,” said Jessica Hannon, Megaphone’s executive director.

“We wanted to show how our vendors and others like them are just like everyone else…they appreciate the beauty of a garden and the inspiration of a sunrise. They share that humanity and should be respected as people.”

Doucet had always wanted to take a photo of the large red dragons at the gateway to Victoria’s Chinatown.

“I went down there around five p.m. and got this great picture of the sun just peeking out behind the statue. This was in May and it was really pretty,” he said. “I was just glad to have taken the picture but to have it win a prize and to see it in the calender is really special. I’m very proud.”

Doucet’s image was one of the roughly 1,000 photos submitted by Megaphone vendors in Victoria and Vancouver. Winning photos were awarded $100 and the top 30 photos also received $30.

But, for Doucet, the best part of the project was to be able sell the calender he was a part of creating. He’s already sold several at his regular spot at Douglas and Yates streets, and has been thrilled when people have asked him to sign the page featuring his photo.

“I’ve had the chance to talk to people about the picture and sometimes we talk about how I’m doing and I tell people I’m doing really good now” he said, adding he now lives in a 450-square foot-apartment where he helps with janitorial work.

“I have some friends and we hang out, and the magazine and calender let me work to earn some money. I really am doing good.”

There are only about a dozen magazine vendors currently working in Victoria, but Hannon hopes to increase that number in the coming year.

 

 

 

Just Posted

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

VIDEO: Uptown Noodlebox restaurant catches fire

Daycare evacuated while crews fight kitchen fire

Dance Victoria Nutcracker contest returns to Oak Bay village

Find Mr. Nutcracker and Tommy Tempo now through Nov. 26 for chacne to win ballet tickets

Victoria Police meet Aboriginal activists for afternoon flick

The group gathered as part of ongoing series of events supporting reconciliation efforts

Oak Bay snags Colonist Cup in 1-0 battle

Oak Bay, Reynolds senior boys soccer teams head for provincials Nov. 22

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Saanich gets behind new municipal spending rules

Mayor suggests other measures, such as term limits, needed to level playing field

Kaleidoscope Theatre start season with Secret Garden

Theatre troupe to stage Secret Garden, Peter Pan the panto and Pinocchio for 2017

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Most Read