BMC News Staff Celebrates Five Years
After five years of working together on BMC News, Vikki Wiercinski and Paula Kirman still love the work. Vikki is our layout and design artist who doubles as Advertising Coordinator. Paula is the Editor and Volunteer Coordinator (with Colleen Chapman).
Most of Vikki’s work is low-key and behind the scenes, but Paula is the eyes, ears, and mouth of the operation, always walking around with her camera and notebook on standby. Paula started at the paper on April 1, 2006, and took on a share of the Volunteer Coordinator job (with Colleen Chapman) on April 1, 2008. “April Fool’s Day holds a special place in my heart,” she says. Vikki started doing layout and design in August of 2005.
The achievements they are most proud of include: the new website with all 32 years of the paper online (bmcnews.org), going from spot colour to four full-colour pages, and placing a newspaper box on 95 Street outside the Italian Centre.
They both are proud of the more professional look of the paper and its improved standing as a credible voice for the community. Vikki notes that “this is especially important as more and more focus shifts to the area as city redevelopments begin in earnest.”
In working with the BMC News archives for the new website, Paula got a close look at all the changes and growth at the paper since it began in the late 70s. She notes that many people still involved in the paper have been supporting it for decades. Paula enjoys working with new and seasoned volunteer photographers, writers, distributors, and board members, as well as attending festivals, meetings, and other community events. With her camera she captures the beauty of neighbourhood churches, houses, and gardens; with her pen she describes life in the inner city; and, with her phone and laptop she encourages volunteers to report on all the things she can’t.
They both are proud of the more professional look of the paper and its improved standing as a credible voice for the community.
Paula originally wanted to be an English teacher, but she’s developed a niche for herself as a community journalist. Now she educates the public about community events and social issues. She is still passionate about contemporary Canadian literature, “Leonard Cohen in particular,” and she delights in helping others develop their writing and photography skills.
The News is only one of her occupations, of course. She does freelance writing, editing, and photography. In her spare time she writes and performs songs, and is involved in social justice activities. She also walks and bicycles for relaxation.
In addition to layout work, Vikki designs the newspaper’s advertising, its business cards, and other things, like the newspaper box. She recently had some illustrations in the March issue of Avenue magazine. Vikki also loves to travel. “My big dream trip is visiting Japan and China,” she says, and she has “an interest in local food and loves cooking for friends.” She even has a couch in her kitchen “so guests can sit and we can chat as I cook.”
She owns two antique letterpresses, “which I am slowly working on restoring,” and helps coordinate the semi-annual Royal Bison Craft Fair. According to her website, veekee.ca, Vikki is a graphic designer who “revels in making the world a little fancier, one thing at a time.” BMC News and the Boyle Street and McCauley area are definitely a lot fancier now than they were five years ago.