Kamloops council asked to approve funding for street newspaper

The social planning council is recommending Kamloops council approve funding that could launch a street newspaper in Kamloops, among several other community initiatives.

Street Scene’s first issue is due to be released this summer.

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Elizabeth Fry Society’s lived-experience committee will produce the paper, which will include stories from under-represented voices in Kamloops and beyond. Homeless and low-income people will have the opportunity to sell copies for a cut of the profits.

The street newspaper model has been around since the late 1980s, originating first in New York City before expanding across the world. In Vancouver, Megaphone is a well-known street newspaper.

Glenn Hilke is facilitating the project, which was submitted to the social planning council as a $15,000 annual social enterprise accelerator grant through the next three years. The social planning council has given the project a green light, along with pitches from the Kamloops Music Collective Society and Kamloops Food Policy Council. Six applications were received for the program.

The social planning council is also recommending council approve $49,000 worth of social planning grants, including $3,750 for a 12-week mentorship program that would connect senior and emerging artists, $11,800 to the North Shore Business Improvement Association to hold engagement sessions to better understand and forecast community needs and $5,000 to Spinal Cord Injury B.C. to provide adaptive paddle boarding and wheelchair rugby.

The Canadian Mental Health Association Kamloops Branch was denied funding for a $9,300 special project grant to reward CMHA employees for not driving to work. The request was rejected for not having broader community impact.

City council will consider the funding recommendation at its Tuesday meeting.

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