As mentioned in the last editorial, some of our beloved staff who have been with The Nav for a couple of years or longer are doing what they came to VIU to do: graduate. Student presses are like a constant revolving door, taking in new staff to take up the mantle as others make space for them by graduating. Below I’d like to spotlight the outgoing staff for their service to The Nav and thank them for sacrificing Friday nights to meet deadlines, Sundays to stitch together the beautiful full-colour 40-page magazine in your hands, and all the time spent chasing stories for The Nav’s in-print and online platform. This is our last issue for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Aislinn Cottell, Copyeditor:
I don’t know many copyeditors. In fact, I know only one—Aislinn. The copyeditor position at The Nav is no joke. With Friday deadlines, the copyeditor copyedits the entire issue before The Nav’s Production Sunday. Aislinn has been with The Nav for over four years. She’s seen it all in that time—the transformation from bi-weekly paper to 40-page magazine, to the in-print content shift to longer reads, the evolution of The Nav’s online platform, and the shift from The Navigator to The Nav along the way. During all that change, she’s served under three managing editors: Molly Barrieau, Cole Schisler, and me. My transition from Arts Editor to Managing Editor would have been so much harder without Aislinn’s experience and friendship. Thank you for both, Aislinn, but that just feels too dull. One of the beautiful things about working with your peers is learning from them. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without Aislinn’s careful eyes. Granville Island Publishing is fortunate to have you.
Caileigh Broatch, Features Editor:
Caileigh and I have similar Nav stories. In our third year at VIU, we began submitting work as contributors. When editorial positions became available at The Nav, Caileigh and I applied together for the Features Editor and Arts Editor respectively. That first year as staff was tough, eh, Caileigh? Caileigh didn’t just throw herself into feature writing, immersing herself into a myriad of different communities, but she also served as Managing Editor for Portal—VIU’s annual literary magazine. Her trudge has made me feel inferior at times, knocking down barriers she didn’t even know were there until she faced them. Her reportage for The Nav has brought you a Best of the City series, which illuminated small business and activities suited for students in Nanaimo, an investigation into Malaspina Theatre’s ghost, and an honest self-inventory of her school pride, as well as many other stories. Caileigh’s time with The Nav and Portal helped her get a foot in the door with Broadview Press, where she now does freelance editing work. Caileigh inspires me to push a little further; I am where I am today because of that.
Lys Morton, Associate Editor:
Lys, whose name rhymes with this, has always been on my left. Yes, that’s a Captain America reference. Not everyone gets to say they ran a university student press with their best friend, but Lys and I will say that for years to come. The Associate Editor position at The Nav changes every year to adapt to the new Managing Editor’s vision. However, this year was, indeed, truly special. Lys helped me build The Nav’s weekly online news platform where editors reported content exclusively for the web. Admittedly, he also has had a large hand in managing the staff as well. This job isn’t easy, but it becomes easier when you have another pair of shoulders to carry some weight. Similar to Aislinn, Lys has been with The Nav for three managing editors and worked as the Arts Editor, News Editor, and Associate Editor positions during that time. After publishing and editing experience with The Nav, Lys has published book reviews with Medium, and his creative non-fiction is forthcoming in Rebel Mountain Press’s Disabled Voices Anthology. Lys is done “faking it until he makes it.” He’s made it.
Erinn Sturgeon, Arts Editor:
Back in my Arts Editor days, I remember writing a story on Nanaimo hip-hop. While pursuing that story, I talked to many great artists, one of which was multi-Juno Award-winning artist and producer Rob the Viking. However, as you’ll see in this issue, Erinn has raised the bar even further for the next Arts Editor, by interviewing VIU’s Ralph Gustafson Distinguished Poet, Gregory Scofield. However, this isn’t a case of Erinn going out on a high note. If you’ve been following her work through the year, you’ve seen her immerse herself in different arts-related events and scenes to keep you up-to-date with what’s fresh and artists you should know about. Speaking from experience, that’s no easy task. Art is an ever-changing landscape. Like art, I watched Erinn change, taking risks and becoming bolder. When you witness transformation, it encourages you to transform yourself.
N.M. Mellino, News Editor:
It’s not every year you get to put someone in a student editorial position who has already been to a polytech journalism school. As News Editor, Niko has brought compelling stories to The Nav’s pages this year; stories he has had to go off the beaten path for, as you’ll see in this issue. Armed with a wide breadth of experience and expertise from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and a warm passion for Latino culture which bleeds into his prose, Niko reminded me, and you, of the importance of voice and language in writing, whether it be English or Spanish. Each and every one one of us is a storyteller with unique storytelling methods.
Sara Holmes, Art Director:
“We win together, we fail together.” Literally, this is Sara and I’s mantra, and, likely, it’ll be The Nav’s mantra, too; a quote finely painted on the office wall to remember the importance of teamwork. The Art Director oversees the graphics team, who are tasked with making The Nav a work of art. Sara is a staff member who’s been around for three managing editors as well. First, starting out as a graphic design assistant before earning her place as Art Director. Those horoscopes you all love so much don’t write themselves. Full credit belongs to Sara (AKA, Madame Holmes). Some of you have complimented our covers; they come from Sara’s brilliant mind. Like my friend Lys, watching someone effectively manage a team of their own has brought a large amount of joy to my life. Recently, Sara, and current Nav Graphic Designer, Teigan Muddle, started their own design company that makes custom pins, called Fox & Koi. Graphic designers have taught me an important lesson: when in doubt, make your own job.
Sadly, I too join the above list. It’s been my privilege to serve as The Nav ’s managing editor this year. It’s too easy to stand on others’ shoulders and call myself tall. The six issues of The Nav produced this year wouldn’t have been possible without the parting staff members, staff members who’re staying for another term, and you, Navigators. Your new Managing Editor is Elijah Robinson, who starts shortly after this issue. We’ll continue to advertise our open positions until they’re filled. If there’s one thing I can say about my time at The Nav, it’s that it’s a work experience like no other at VIU.