EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! Your news, your clubs, your shows, your special events, and your viewpoints. That's what your West End Journal will be all about.
Welcome to the first "edition" (can we say that when we're floating in cyberspace?) of The West End Journal, the only media outlet devoted entirely to the residents, organizations, and businesses of Vancouver's West End - Coal Harbour community.
We define our West End as extending west from Burrard Street, from shore to shore. Davie Village, English Bay, Coal Harbour, the yet nick-nameless Robson and Denman area, and the Robson High Street are the cornerstones of our community. Stanley Park is our beautiful back-yard!
OUR STORY TO DATE ... My name is Kevin Dale McKeown, and I have been a West End resident for most of the past fifty years. Long-time locals may remember my tour of duty in the early 80s as managing editor of the West Ender weekly. Real old-timers may remember my byline in that paper from a decade earlier.
Launching The West End Journal has been a team effort, one that began nearly two years ago when I asked graphic designer Shannon Pawliw of Mighty Sparrow Design to create the logo that now graces our website and other materials. Web designer Amanda Peters built The West End Journal website you're on now, the email newsletter that announces each month's headlines, and the printed calendar of events that will pop up around the neighbourhood to drive folks to the website.
James Oakes has provided a steady stream of great photographs for The West End Journal's Facebook page and his photo of Luna at English Bay is our first banner image. John Streit has been generous with his photos as well. Other friends and neighbours have helped with ideas, suggestions, and cautionary tales, and I thank you all.
Enough about me. If you really want to know more, my bio can be found under the "About" tab above.
AND NOW IT'S YOUR TURN ... When I first started talking up The West End Journal, a longtime colleague reminded me of a staff pep-talk I used to give back when we were working for The West Ender. Apparently I preached that "A community newspaper should be like the parish newsletter. Everybody should pick it up with the expectation of seeing something about themselves or someone they know."
How this becomes that parish newsletter is through your contributions. Email your story and editorial ideas, propose topics you'd like to write about in the Viewpoints column, and make sure I'm on the mailing list of every entertainment troupe, sewing circle, book club, and anarchist society in the West End.
I'm standing by at email@example.com, waiting for your news.
FULL CIRCLE ... As I write this in my tiny breakfast nook / writer's den I am three blocks away from where my story began, in the Denman Street sushi bar that was, in 1970, the shabby little office of The West Ender weekly newspaper where I sold my first theatre review.
And so I've come full circle, rolling with the changes and challenges of the neighbourhood I love, doing what I've always done ... writing the parish newsletter.
Thank you for reading.
Kevin Dale McKeown
Editor & Publisher
The West End Journal