I've been a volunteer writer for Calgary Is Awesome (C.I.A.) for over a year now. I started in September of 2014 and was looking forward to what my second year would bring. Unfortunately there was a major dispute with the owners of the C.I.A brand. Apparently the sole owner of C.I.A (who is based in Vancouver and also owns Vancouver Is Awesome and Toronto Is Awesome) was making a profit off of his army of volunteer writers. From the sounds of things he had secured some substantial ad funding to advertise on his websites, which were seeing over 20,000 visits per month. He was also publishing a book with the work of the Vancouver crew and also making a profit off of that.
|A teaser image for our official launch date|
Sarah (the Managing Editor here in Calgary) approached the owner to inquire about our own advertising on the C.I.A website, as she'd been approached by numerous companies interested in advertising with us. Turns out he was against this proposal, which would have also paid us writers a small amount based on how our stories were performing online. This latest setback, coupled with the shady dealings that had now come to light, lead the C.I.A team to hold a meeting and our discuss options. The whole situation turned into a legal battle (that was fought entirely by Sarah) and ultimately lead to the entire C.I.A team abandoning the website and striking out a partnership with the Managing Editor from Toronto, who had an even worse battle with the owner. This new endeavor came to be called the Calgary Guardian and our sister website is the Toronto Guardian.
The new website will feature articles and stories on everything from arts, culture, entertainment, lifestyle, news, and the outdoors. The team of 10+ writers are all Calgary community members who offer diverse backgrounds and perspectives, many of which will be recognizable from their previous work with C.I.A.
All of my previous work from C.I.A has now been uploaded onto the Calgary Guardian website and can be found on my Author's Page.
We are now in the process of rebuilding our fan-base and increasing our social following. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and would love for you to give us a 'Like' or follow us wherever possible.
We are all looking forward to this new and exciting launch and we can't wait to see where this journey takes us.
We hope you'll be there to share it with us!