We amplify marginalized voices and create meaningful work for those experiencing poverty

We amplify marginalized voices and create meaningful work for those experiencing poverty

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The Question Is… How long have you been a vendor?

For the first question of 2024, Julie Chapman checked in with members of Megaphone's Vendor Advisory Board (VAB) to see how they're feeling heading into a new year. 

Julie Chapman

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The VAB is an elected board of vendors that meets regularly to discuss issues of interest to vendors and to advise Megaphone staff of any concerns. Elections are held four times a year. VAB members also offer story ideas and help brainstorm best practices when it comes to sales.

Peter Thompson 

I have been a vendor for 16 years. I like the people because they are from this community. We have become good friends who feel more like family.

The relationships I have with my peers are uplifting and good for the soul. The staff are also a great group of people. Working with Megaphone gives me a sense of well-being and pride. I am doing something that makes life a little brighter. I like to keep people happy and smiling. One word of kindness goes a long way.

Paul Shawdover 

Megaphone represents the community and gives voices to all walks of life. I have been a vendor for eight years and I get self-satisfaction by giving back to the community.

For 2024, I would like to brainstorm ideas and ways that vendors can increase their sales and productivity, and share those ideas with the others.

David Deocera

My feelings can’t be easily quantified or commodified. I like Megaphone because it is aligned with my values. It is a social enterprise that is not aggressively capitalist. They return the profit back to the community they serve. I like the idea that I am a conduit of information; from the community to the public. I also like the community they represent. The Downtown Eastside has its ups and downs, struggles and accomplishments, however, it is real not fake, living, organic.

I have been a vendor for seven years and it gives me a sense of community and belonging. 

Stephen Scott 

My goal is to fulfill my dream of being able to hold a koala bear while visiting Australia. I would also like to travel to New Zealand.

I am involved with Megaphone to connect with others and do creative writing. I have been selling Megaphone products and writing stories for the Voices of the Street literary anthology for 12 years. I love to express myself by writing poems and stories about addiction, as well as other personal life experiences and challenges My message is: please never give up.

Stories of change are best when shared

From social media to texting to email, consider sharing links to the Megaphone stories that move you—so that we can all move forward.

Julie Chapman

Julie Chapman


Julie Chapman is a born-and-raised Vancouverite who now lives and works in the Downtown Eastside. Julie was a longtime volunteer with SWUAV (Sex Workers United Against Violence), and is currently involved with the B.C. Association for People on Methadone and the BC Centre for Substance Use. She is a member of The Shift peer newsroom, and is a published poet and writer. She is also a self-taught pianist.

What Sets our Newsroom Apart

Rooted in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, we're committed to amplifying voices that are overlooked by mainstream media. We’re actively growing our team of storytellers and journalists to serve our community.

More about our Peer Newsroom

“Why "The Shift?" So the framework of Megaphone magazine can “shift” to being a more inclusive street paper, empowering those with lived and living experience to tell the stories that matter the most to them and their communities.”

Paula Carlson Editorial and Program Director

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