Write where you live
CBC contest celebrates Canada through our neighbourhoods
By Ted Simpson
Pritchard, 33, is an associate producer with CBC Radio in Ottawa and an editor with local arts and culture website, Apartment613. He is one of a dozen bloggers from Whitehorse to St. John’s who have been chosen to write about the changes and challenges facing the Canadian neighbourhoods they call home in a new series entitled Hyperlocal, launched on April 3.
“We’re all telling stories about our neighborhoods, what’s changing, how things are evolving for the good or the worse,” says Pritchard, who has been keeping a close eye on the local scene for years.
Hyperlocal is a five week project to collect stories from all over Canada. Along with the twelve professional bloggers who will be submitting weekly stories, anyone can submit their story in the form of text, photos audio or video. The goal is to spark a national conversation about our changing environment.
Submitted stories are being shared on an interactive map, organized by location. Clicking on a green flag icon will take you to one of the bloggers’ stories. Clicking on a purple pin will take you to a story submitted by a member of the general public. The gold stars lead you to Editors’ picks. And the gold flags are stories contributed by established writers: Think novelist Miriam Towes for Winnipeg.
One submitted story will be chosen to be reworked by the National Film Board into an interactive multimedia project for nfb.ca.
Pritchard will be submitting one story per week to Hyperlocal, focusing on the nuances and institutions that make his Hintonburg neighbourhood unique. The community fits perfectly with the theme of change, as Hintonburg is a neighborhood that has seen dramatic changes over recent years.
“It’s a neighborhood in transition,” says Pritchard. “It’s a totally different neighborhood than it was 20 years ago.”
His first blog entry featured the newly reopened Elmdale Oyster House and Tavern, and its journey from rough-and-tumble bar to a new foodie hot spot.
“I want to capture the challenges of a neighborhood that is transitioning,” says Pritchard, wondering out loud “how you balance a vibrant main strip without pushing out the people that have been here for decades?”
A Hintonburg resident since 2006, Pritchard has developed a passion for his community reflected in his writing and his life.
“I want to buy a house here to call home because it is so vibrant,” he says. “It’s really welcoming, that’s what I love about it, that’s what I hope the neighborhood will preserve.”