“We sell community. We sell connection. That’s what a good alt-weekly can still provide to its readership.”

In a Marketing Magazine feature on Canadian alt-weeklies, The Coast publisher Christine Oreskovich says that strong community ties have helped her publication thrive:

Convincing advertisers to stay on board is the brawl du jour of the alt-weekly world, but the ongoing success of a resilient few suggests that the business is not doomed. In Canada, many true independents are doing very well. In addition to NOW, which founding editor and publisher Michael Hollett describes as “thriving,” The Coast, a Halifax alt-weekly celebrating its 20th anniversary, is also enjoying a boost in readership (current circulation is 23,000 a week). Founding publisher Christine Oreskovich says the paper has endured a “rollercoaster of changes” and credits close ties with the Halifax community for the paper’s staying power.

“When an advertiser wants millions of eyeballs on a marketing campaign, we can’t provide that,” she says, referencing media giant Metro. “But we can provide targeted, contextual eyeballs.” Oreskovich has supported her community’s businesses since The Coast launched two decades ago and in return, her community supports her—by placing ads in The Coast. “People know who we are,” she says of herself and husband Kyle Shaw, the paper’s editor. “We go out and shop at our clients and go to the shows that we sponsor. We’re community cheerleaders just like The Coast is.”