Publisher’s Notes – May 23rd, 2024

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Since readers last heard from me, a lot has changed at The Islands Grapevine. Those of you who aren’t colourblind (I am) may have noticed some of those changes. I’ll just have to trust the feedback I’ve been receiving about the additional colour flourishes, which has all been positive. In addition Canada Post has rejigged our Denman circulation to better reflect the island’s population growth, which has us now serving 850 Denman homes.

Changes less noticeable have occurred as well. The paper’s precarious financial state that I’d referenced in January called for difficult measures. I decided against a GoFundMe. Our community has many worthwhile causes to donate to, and I am committed to the concept of self sufficiency in my business model. In truth, a restructuring was required if this 32 year old institution was to meet each of the new challenges presented. I moved The Islands Grapevine office to my house, saving about $5000 a year, which has allowed me to keep advertising rates at a reasonable level.

Another significant change has seen the Grapevine’s longest tenured employee move on to what I hope will be prosperous endeavours. Layout and production manager Chris Seguin not only assured the paper made it to mailboxes each Thursday as its dedicated printer of 14 years, but he was also the bridge I required while learning the ropes after taking over from outgoing Publisher, Sherry Stevens. Without his steadfast commitment, The Islands Grapevine would’ve been a distant memory, like a dodo bird.

What The Islands Grapevine has over that long departed bird is an ability to adapt to the changing times. Not so coincidentally, as our community’s paper of record, all of this is charted in our pages each and every week, some 1600+ weeks and counting! As the dust settles, we see that change can be good. The Islands Grapevine now goes out to over 1400 homes and businesses on Denman and Hornby Islands weekly, and has attained greater cost certainty along the way, while adding more colour to its pages! And we are proud of our updated website, theislandsgrapevine.com

As I am now the only paid contributor, I earn just enough to augment my modest income to pay my rent and support my family. And while much has changed with The Islands Grapevine, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to serving our communities. We are ever grateful to all of our contributors and advertisers as we seek to support our communities’ events and activities, its culture and local businesses, by refreshing our website, expanding our circulation and services, and improving the paper’s printed quality.. 

Thank you all. See you next Thursday!