Originally, Word on the Street (WOTS) was a youth-directed and youth-created print newsletter that covered a wide range of topics relevant to the lives of young people in the core neighbourhoods of Saskatoon. For several years, CNYC facilitated the process of compiling content to publish a 12-page, quarterly newsletter and made it available to the community. Youth would write and submit short stories, articles, poetry, lyrics, as well as photographs, and other types of visual art. This newsletter provided youth with a platform to voice their opinions, share their experiences and allowed them to critically engage with issues that affected them. But WOTS was also an opportunity for mainstream society to access information and experiences of a demographic that is frequently overlooked by media or depicted in negative light, which propagates a perception that alienates and further marginalizes inner-city youth and breeds intolerance and misunderstanding.
In 2008, WOTS was discontinued, generating an unfortunate void in our programming that effectively removed one of the few platforms for youth voices and decreased CNYC’s connection to the larger community. This was a significant loss for the organizers and contributors of WOTS, but also for our readerships and all of Saskatoon. Many nostalgic conversations about WOTS were had, but it wasn’t until recently that a decision for CNYC to reinstate the newsletter was made.
WOTS 2.0 will be relaunching this spring — online! We are excited to be shifting the newsletter to an online forum in order to showcase a greater diversity of projects created by youth here at CNYC. WOTS will still provide our readership with the same quality of powerful, interesting and dynamic written works as before, but also videos, short documentaries, photography, photo essays, audio storytelling, music, spoken word poetry, posters and much more. Please stay tuned as we continue to work to bring you back the new and improved Word on the Street.