While many a Victorian favours Spring in our fair city, I have always preferred Autumn. I love the fallen Gary Oak leaves, the feasts, the colours, the rain, and the decline in the number of tourists who swarm our city during the warmer months. Economists would probably despair at my isolationist tendencies; after all, isn’t tourism the driving force of our fledgling economy?
Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine who owns a restaurant in town. His lounge has become a cherished cultural hub, a place where ideas are shared, and a shelter from the hordes of lost tourists who stumble around Government Street for part of the year. Whereas many business owners put a lot of thought into how to lure tourists into their business, my friend has put an equal amount of thought into how he can keep them out: “I don’t want tourists coming in here”, he says, “I want to foster a safe place for members of our community.”
I guess the litmus test for a business’s true worth is how it does in the colder seasons. Many fly-by-long-summer-night ventures have popped up in the downtown core, hawking shitty products and services to people who probably know better, yet cannot resist the urge to spend, spend, spend in hopes of making their vacations make up for the drudgery of their everyday lives; I have worked for places like this, and it is never fun. Other businesses cater more to the people who reside in this town year round. These businesses at once provide meaningful employment to people of our city while developing a strong, devoted following amongst locals.
Our vision for Victoria is much in line with that of my friend: we want to provide a safe space for our contributors to showcase their amazing talent. If people from outta town want to pick one up, we won’t mind, but it is most certainly not written with them in mind. We want to continue to grow slowly, and quietly go about printing these little magazines for the reading pleasure of Victorians… twelve months a year.