Back in 2017, I was new to KW and whispers of an art party at a secret location were going around town. Little did I know that my first Steel Rails would turn the wheels of motion towards my time as editor-in-chief (EIC) of the Community Edition (TCE).
That night, I met the team of volunteers working tirelessly to put on the epic annual event. And, If you don’t know, they are what makes TCE truly magical — the volunteers that make it possible — the writers, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, copyeditors, production helpers, artists … to name just a few.
My journey, from volunteering as a staff writer to becoming EIC, was one of the most meaningful times in my life. It also opened doors to the entire community.
Made by the people, for the people, TCE highlights the key issues that impact us most, and celebrates all the ways people in this community create art and culture. It gives a platform to anyone who wants to have a voice and it recognizes those advocating for change.
Through my role as EIC, I’ve been able to engage with community leaders and learn about the key issues that we all need to keep fighting for.
When I first took over in late 2019, I had no idea that we were about to embark on a pandemic.
It’s been a weird, terrifying, while also amazing journey. My team and I have had to figure out how to pivot many times through printing and production hurdles, while trying to support local business and keep TCE alive.
We somehow figured out how to do things remotely together as a team in an industry that thrives on face-to-face interactions.
Like many of us who are going through these times, it’s been tough, but I don’t know what I would have done without the care and support of my organization and the friends I made through my time here with TCE and Wilfrid Laurier Student Publications (WLUSP).
I may be moving on to other challenges, but I’ll still be involved with the organization. Once you are part of this place, they fold you in and lift you up no matter where life takes you afterwards.
I’ll remain EIC for the coming months until we find the right candidate, and then help that person get settled in here.
If you, or someone you know is interested in the role of EIC for TCE, you can find the job posting on the WLUSP website here.
The next time you see me, hopefully we’ll all be dancing together at Steel Rails.
Melissa is the current Editor in Chief of the Community Edition. You may have seen her around town asking people what excites them locally. When not writing, she's usually obsessively listening to music while hanging with her grumpy cat Hansel. A mental health advocate, you'll find her meditating or playing outdoors — climbing rocks and trees, hiking local trails, freediving and surfing in the ocean. "There’s something so healing about water. Water, trees, sunshine and fresh air are what we all need."
Follow on IG or Twitter @melissaembury