A tight squeeze

Juice journal found funding just in time

Sam Swanson

A communal sigh of relief accompanied last Friday’s launch of the ninth edition of Juice, the University of Winnipeg’s student creative writing journal. This year, the journal, which in the past received the majority of its funding from the UWSA, scrambled to secure funds from other sources to cover publishing costs.

“We were really scared for the future of this publication,” said Kelly Nickie, one of the journal’s student editors.

Although the UWSA was not able to cover the entire publishing cost, UWSA president Jason Syvixay said that along with a $500 contribution, they committed themselves to helping find Juice other sources of funding.

“We didn’t recognize it as a lost cause,” Syvixay said. “We did a lot of behind-the-scenes work with [the editors] and a lot of liaising with other services on campus for funding.”

Syvixay approached Neil Besner, vice-president students and international, and Brian Stevenson, provost and vice-president academic, and asked them to provide funding for Juice. After a series of meetings with Syvixay and the Juice student editors, Besner and Stevenson agreed to split the remaining funding for the journal’s publication.

“I just said, ‘Listen, I don’t care; I am going to find a way to fund it this year,’” Besner said, adding that cuts had to be made to their respective department’s budgets in order to accommodate Juice.

“We just kind of scraped the money together,” he said.

Although Besner said he and Stevenson were happy to contribute this year, they will not be able to provide ongoing funding for Juice.

Nickie said the Juice editorial board is working to secure a long-term source of funding for future publications of the journal.

Juice is now a registered charity through the University of Winnipeg Foundation, giving students, alumni and the public a chance to donate funds directly to the publication.

Nickie hopes this will provide some of the funding for the journal, but said they are still seeking more secure sources of funding.

Syvixay is pleased with the outcome of the situation and feels an important lesson was learned in the process.

“What is good about the whole process is upholding Juice accountable for their business plan,” he said. “They started looking at ways to reduce the cost of their publication.” He added that Juice cut their publication costs this year by about $1,000.

Nickie said she is grateful the UWSA helped them find more funding to ensure the journal continued to be published.

“It was really great that they helped us connect with these people on campus and to discuss ways to get funding through them,” she said.

Published in Volume 64, Number 6 of The Uniter (October 8, 2009)

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