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Posted by on Sep 1, 2010 in General Interest | 0 comments

Trailblazing in Kitchener-Waterloo

In Kelowna BC, October 2007, I picked up this amazing little newspaper that I had never seen before. I read it all the way home on the plane. The paper was everything I have always thought should be central to any community. It featured only good news, happy faces, exciting events, and people who live together and make their community what it is.

Dawne Taylor-Gilders SNAP KW

Dawne Taylor-Gilders

I felt the excitement and wanted to be part of this great concept. I researched the paper and found their headquarters in Newmarket, Ontario.

The timing was such that they were hoping for someone born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, active in the community who would consider starting the newspaper there. When such opportunities present themselves, I know how to say ?yes?.

People close to me said things like ?You?re crazy? or ?You?re just crazy enough to do it?, ?It will be too much work? and ?Does this community have room for another publication??

My family thought it was a perfect fit. My friends know that I have always loved taking pictures and that I love people, events and action. They encouraged me to go for it. My family and friends continue to pitch in and keep me going. Members of the Kitchener-Waterloo community show more appreciation than I ever expected.

People shriek ?SNAP? when we walk in to cover events. What continues to keep me motivated is the constant challenge in terms of time, creativity and availability and of course the ongoing support of my family.

As the newspaper rapidly grew, I began to look for volunteer photographers and out of that, met my associate Mark Essner. His family has been as supportive to him as he is to me.

I grew up believing that enthusiasm was contagious. So when I introduced the concept to our city officials and the community, I counted on their enthusiasm and I still have it. The love for the paper has spread throughout the city. It?s like a ?feedback loop? and the excitement, keeps me energized.

I had never imagined that a job could be this much fun. I have repelled off the TD building, put out fires as a civilian fire fighter, arrived at galas in limousines, flown in helicopters and, quite honestly, have rediscovered my community. I am honoured to promote the community to itself.

Page 9, Fall 2010

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