Why this year's Rotary Supplement faces P.E.I. pandemic challenge head on

·1 min read
The choice of cover photograph leaped right out at him, says John Barrett. (Mitch Cormier/CBC - image credit)
The choice of cover photograph leaped right out at him, says John Barrett. (Mitch Cormier/CBC - image credit)
Mitch Cormier/CBC
Mitch Cormier/CBC

The publisher of this year's Rotary Supplement on P.E.I., the 33rd annual edition, knew there was no ignoring the COVID-19 pandemic this year, so he made it the publication's theme instead.

It's called the COVID Recovery Publication, and the cover features a group of people holding tape measures, ensuring they are all standing six feet apart.

"I thought, 'That has to go on the front cover' — and I think a lot of people got a great kick out of it," said supplement committee chair John Barrett.

The supplement also includes a feature section honouring the seven advertisers that have been with the publication every year since 1987. It too is COVID-themed, with the businesses sharing how they dealt with the pandemic.

Mitch Cormier/CBC
Mitch Cormier/CBC

"I was pleasantly surprised by the positive spin that pretty well all these editorials had," said Barrett.

"Rather than sort of being down and out and 'Oh, poor us,' everybody sort of rose to the occasion."

Different method of delivery

Many Islanders look forward to the supplement as a sign that summer has arrived.

The tradition continues in 2021, but the publication will be arriving in a different way this year. As its name suggests, it has always been delivered as a supplement to local newspapers. This year, Rotary is going with Canada Post.

The dwindling number of subscribers to print editions of newspapers made Canada Post a better way of reaching more Islanders, said Barrett.

Because of the change in how it's distributed, the supplement will also have a new name by next year.

The supplement is a major fundraiser for the charitable group, said Barrett, typically earning Rotary a little more than $120,000 a year.

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