Every once in a while, a new magazine comes about that really surprises me and that is certainly the case for Lester's Army, a literary magazine published out of Vancouver. It connects youth and seniors through storytelling. Its tagline is "a young magazine on growing old".
The magazine is a collaborative project of Arts in Action and The Purple Thistle Centre, a youth-run community and resource centre and artist-run studio. I'll let the people who put out Lester's Army speak for themselves:
"We bring youth and seniors together through creative writing, story telling, art, photography and finding common social ground where the two generations can pass the time together. We then produce a magazine that reflects our shared ideas and experience."
Each issue has a central theme and some common elements -- life, death, war, reviews, photography, fashion, dating. For instance, on dating, senior and youth contributors share personal accounts. Then there's the war section where"everyone has a story to tell".
"The global conflict portion of our magazine is especially important. We have found that including a section on war creates common ground between seniors, regardless of race and origin. We also believe that history can be interpreted in many ways and that personal accounts of war directly challenge pandemic views of history."
Things that Lester's Army writes about can apparently have real impact: a story by a 70-year old contributor led to the creation of The Shelter Project ; a group of 11 seniors collaborated on designing a model of emergency shelter that would suit the needs of people like them.
A subscription to the magazine is $15 for three issues.
[Thanks to the Magazine Association of British Columbia (MABC) for welcoming such an unusual title into membership and for noting it in its newsletter.]