Alberta Street News is spreading more than awareness and philanthropic spirit this winter, as its readership reach expands throughout the province.
Sexual abuse and poverty are only two of the topics covered by Alberta Street News in its October 2012 issue.
Published monthly by the Edmonton Street News Society, Alberta Street News is filled with content driven by volunteers that aims to give a voice to the hidden issues that are affecting Alberta.
Founded in 2003 as Edmonton Street News by Linda Dumont, former editor of the Boycle McCauley News, 2012 brought the newly renamed Alberta Street News. Having been involved in street news since 1993, Dumont is no stranger to the hard work and challenges of the business.
“Vendors needed a paper to sell after Calgary Street Talk closed,” said Dumont on the name change and the closing of Calgary’s street paper.
“We have five vendors in Calgary now and sending them 850 papers a month.”
The vendors buy papers at cost from Alberta Street News, then distribute them to the public on the streets.
“Many of our vendors are using the wages earned from selling street news to supplement wages,” said Dumont.
“Many can’t work and are collecting welfare or AISH.”
One vendor that is often noted throughout Calgary is Rory Gaudon, who can be seen monthly distributing the papers in Calgary’s Kensington district.
“The first copy is always free from me. After that I sell them on a donation basis,” said Gaudon.
“It’s great because you can write about anything.”
Contributors tell the harrowing tales of people facing poverty, abuse, and neglect.
“Being able to tell your story is really important,” said Dumont.
“In telling and retelling your story you begin to feel empowered and once you feel empowered you start to have power over your life.”
Dumont sees less people buying the papers since she started with street newspapers in 1993, but believes that it is due to the economy.