The 10th anniversary Hope in Shadows Calendar is now available on the streets of Vancouver. The calendar serves many purposes but its two main features are to showcase the photography of low-income residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community and also provide training to vendors who are all from the community.
The Hope in Shadows calendar sells through our vendor program, which offers low-threshold sales work for people impacted by poverty and marginalization. By attending a basic sales training session, low-income people are licensed to sell the Hope in Sahdows calendar on the streets of Vancouver. Vendors get one free calendar to get started and make $10 profit for every $20 calendar sold. We train over 200 vendors every year.
I usually get my calendar from Catherine who has been posted outside Waterfront station in previous years. In 2010, she told me that she suffers from depression and severe anxiety and that getting out to sell the calendars is a highlight for her each year.
Last year Paul Ryan, Project Director at Hope in Shadows, told me that selling calendars is a stepping stone for a lot of people. “It helps them gain self-esteem and build confidence. It’s a way that they can feel good about earning money again.” Some of the vendors use the program to compliment a low-income for their household as well, especially with the holidays around the corner.
You can find a street vendor at most major intersections in Vancouver, on the West Side and Downtown, outside SkyTrain stations and in other high-traffic areas.
The Hope in Shadows Book is also available. Co-published by Pivot Legal Society and Arsenal Pulp Press, it is a collection of personal stories behind some of the stunning contest photographs that have been published in the calendars. The book has now sold more than 5,000 copies on the streets of Vancouver. In 2011, they also sold a record-breaking number of calendars — over 14,000!
When you make your purchase you’re not only getting a calendar that features local photography, you’re supporting the vendors and making a difference in our community. Follow Hope in Shadows on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about this project.