By Charlie Senack
After two decades and hundreds of issues, the Kitchissippi Times is gearing up to celebrate our 20th anniversary!
This is a big accomplishment for a small, locally-owned, community paper which relies on the neighborhood for support.
Between 2008 and 2023, 473 Canadian news operations have shut operations, according to the federal government. Last month, Metroland Media group announced they would immediately stop the print run of 70 weekly newspapers, resulting in 605 jobs lost — about 60 percent of Metroland’s workforce.
Despite these turbulent times in the journalism industry, we are still here being a voice for tens of thousands of readers monthly. And at a time when the world is turning faster than ever before, community-run journalism is more crucial than ever.
The Kitchissippi Times was founded in the fall of 2003 by now Ottawa mayor Mark Sutcliffe.
“Each issue of the Kitchissippi Times will serve as a lively, entertaining, printed record of the rich and varied lives being lived in the area bound by the Ottawa River, O-Train, the Queensway/Carling Avenue and Woodroffe,” Sutcliffe wrote in his original manifesto for the newpaper. “The paper will capture the spirit and personality of those neighborhoods by giving a voice to the particular habits, tastes, and doings of the people who live here.”
And that is a legacy we have ensured has lived on for the past 20 years.
When the paper was first formed, other names were tossed around for what would become a community staple: The Duke, the Village Times, Kitchissippi Echo, the Village Bugle.
The paper has launched the careers of many young writers and photographers.
Ellen Bond, who has been a photographer with the Kitchissippi Times since 2015, has shot hundreds of photos for us over the years, covered 81 Humans of Kitchissippi profiles, and has attended dozens of community events.
“Kitchissippi is a vibrant electric area,” she said. “We are an inclusive community and I’ve been so happy to have shown through my photography what makes this place where we collectively live special. My first professional photography gig was with this paper and I am eternally grateful for the experience.”
Bradley Turcotte, who is KT’s longest reporter, has been with the company since at least 2010. He said the paper has provided him with an opportunity to share undervalued stories.
“Initially I became a writer because I like telling stories. As our world and country become increasingly corrupt and inequitable, articulating stories from the community… becomes more important,” he said. “I take great pleasure in reporting on the good things community members do.”
Join us at our event!
To mark our special anniversary, Kitchissippi Times is hosting a community party on Nov. 14 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Thyme and Again, located at 1255 Wellington St. W.
This is a free, public event. Please come and join us as we celebrate the importance of community journalism!
The November issue of Kitchissippi Times will also have a section devoted to the biggest newsmakers of the past 20 years. It will be a great trip down memory lane as we provide a timeline of how the community has been built and transformed over two decades.
But we need your help: The Kitchissippi Times does not have any of our records from 2003 until April 2010. If you have any old issues lying around in your closets or basements, please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any archives you have.
We hope to see you all on November 14!