Central City Foundation’s partnership with Megaphone Magazine exemplifies our strong commitment to supporting programs that provide services that help people thrive by offering innovative opportunities for employment.

Earlier this fall, Megaphone Magazine officially launched their new mobile payments app by inviting Mayor Gregor Robertson to Cambie and 10 Avene to be the first to download and make a purchase using this new technology.

Central City Foundation CEO, Jennifer Johnstone, was also in attendance, as well as Megaphone Executive Director, Julie Hannon, the team at Denim & Steel who created the app and several Megaphone vendors.

“We feel strongly that this application is going to help vendors make more sales, help market the magazine and the Hope in Shadows calendar and make a big difference in the lives of vendors,” says Jennifer Johnstone. “We were thrilled to be invited to be the funding partner on this.”

Megaphone Magazine is a street newspaper that provides employment to those who face barriers to traditional work. Vendors buy the newspaper and then sell the publication for twice that price on the streets throughout the city.

As more people use debit or credit, fewer people are carrying cash. This has posed a problem for Megaphone vendors who have seen their profits decline.

Megaphone Magazine approached Central City Foundation for a grant that would go towards developing an mobile payment app that will allow Megaphone customers to pay using their smartphone.

CCF donors provided a sizeable grant which allowed them to hire Vancouver based developers, Denim & Steel.


Tasked with the challenge of creating a mobile payments app that did not take away from the interpersonal relationship Megaphone vendors share with customers, Denim & Steel developed an app that requires participation on both parties to make the transaction.

The app is also opened sourced and any street vendors around the world may use the code to develop their own version of the app, meaning our donors’ contribution to Megaphone transcends the streets of Vancouver and may impact street vendors around the globe.