This December marks the end of the second year of Electric City Magazine. It has been a long, strange, wonderful, and (if we’re being honest) incredibly stressful couple of years. Making this magazine has been a joy and a struggle, and we have used these pages to speak as openly as possible about that journey, and our thinking behind it.
And so, we are excited to announce the next phase of Electric City Magazine: a new partnership with the Resonance Centre for Social Evolution. You may be familiar with their work as Peterborough Dialogues, where they bring people together to discuss important issues of our time and work to find solutions, or with their news site Axiom News. As of January 2018, they will be purchasing the magazine, and we’ll be working together to bring together local journalism and community-building.
Working with the Resonance Centre will give us access to more stable funding and resources that will help the magazine keep going, and will also open us up to their capacity for convening and community-building. We’ll be hosting a series of summits and workshops on a range of themes that are important to this community, and we’ll be following those themes on a regular basis, month after month, in the pages of the magazine. (In some of our meetings, I’ve referred to these campaigns as “crusades,” but several people have reminded me that word has some negative associations and I probably shouldn’t use it in public. But… you get the idea.)
A little backstory on how this came to be.
Over the past two years, we have been blown away by the support this magazine has received—by the kind words and kind actions in the community, by the many people who have worked so hard for us, by the advertisers who took a chance on a weird indie magazine, and by the generosity of our Patreon donors.
But the harsh reality is that this is a costly business, started in a chaotic time when the old models for funding journalism are falling apart. People don’t pay for news anymore, and the advertiser base that used to keep media running isn’t as big as it used to be. More and more newspapers and magazines are closing, and Electric City Magazine is perilously close to that abyss.
At the same time, we have grown frustrated with our limited capacity, and the frequently limited capacity of the people around us. Every month, we see the drive in this community. We see people working hard for causes they believe in. When we can, we write an article about that hard work, but, because of limited space and limited resources, after the article gets published, we simply have to move onto the next thing.
Especially heading into 2018, an election year on the local and provincial level, that just won’t do. If we want to effect change in the world, we need to come together, and we need to build a movement. We have to push hard, month after month, in the magazine and out in our community.
Now, in our discussions with the Resonance Centre, we have always kept two things at the fore: (1) that we find a way to keep the magazine going, and (2) that it continue running as close to its current principles and methods as possible. This is a funky, scrappy little mag, and we want to keep it that way.
And we are confident that we will. The Resonance folks like the work we do (they certainly aren’t buying us as a thriving money-maker!), and they want it to continue. Aside from a few new pages and new articles on those themes, the magazine will be pretty much exactly as it’s always been. We’ll have the same editors and the same writers. We’ll still put great local musicians on the cover. We’ll still talk about the artists and activists that make Peterborough so special. We’ll still speak up for those who don’t normally get a seat at the media table. We’ll still work hard for this city, and we’ll still piss off at least some people on a pretty regular basis.
Only now, we’ll be getting out in public more, building more, and asking more for your input.
That starts in December, with an event, “Electric City Resonates: A Turning Point.” There, we’ll be giving all the details about this new partnership, and seeking your input about what you want to see in the magazine. We invite everyone to come out to the Mount Community Centre (1545 Monaghan Road) on December 9 from 10am to 1pm, and see what this will all be about.