Pointing forward

It has been just over five years since a group of about ten Crown Point neighbours met over a kitchen table to devise a plan for a community newspaper. “The Point” was the perfect name for our new venture, and we had a fantastic team with a passion for connecting neighbours with stories about Crown Point. And before we knew it, in February 2014, we published our first issue of The Point! We printed 9,000 copies, and then came together to get them delivered. I knew then that we had something truly special on our hands.

The paper you’re holding is the 30th issue of The Point—our 5th-anniversary issue. Over the years, new volunteers have joined the team as writers, editors, ad managers, carriers, and designers. Some remarkable volunteers have moved on. Each and every one has made a valuable contribution to the success of our newspaper.

In 2017, we were nominated for a Hamilton Independent Media Award, also known as “The Maggies”. Though we did not win, we were proud of the recognition of our volunteer-driven, quality paper.

Projects like The Point rely on the availability and commitment of our volunteers. Keeping the momentum going has proven more difficult over the last year. For the first time, we were unable to cover the cost of printing and delivery with our ad sales; our team has had less renewal, and many of us are experiencing burn-out. These are normal challenges for community-engaged work.   

What does this mean for our future? Well, we’re excited to let you know that we will continue, but there will be some major changes. We’re moving to a fully online platform and you can find us at www.thepointhamilton.com. This move has been supported by a grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation to cover the cost of the website and templates. When you visit the site, you can sign up for notifications of new content. We will also be sharing in our Facebook group and on Google Plus, Instagram and Twitter.

What can you expect? The same great writers and content, new writers and content, and more timely stories. We’ll be publishing items weekly. There will be a calendar which allows members of the community to add their events. There will also be an opportunity to share your stories and photos.

We recognize that some of you will miss the paper format and that some of you won’t make the transition to the online platform. We value your readership and support of the paper. Unfortunately, we made this difficult decision in the interest of sustainability—so that we can continue to meet our initial vision of communicating stories about our neighbourhood with our neighbours.

We would like to thank our supporters: our readers, advertisers, volunteers, and carriers. Without all of you, we would not have continued this long. We look forward to many more years!

If you are interested in joining the team, please send us an email at contactthepoint@gmail.com.

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