Making the zine

// Chris Gee
// Chris Gee

If you’re looking for an inclusive environment to witness the creativity of DIY literature, look no further than the Edmonton Zine Fair. Now in its sixth iteration, the Zine Fair will be hosting a plethora of workshops, art, live music, food, and of course—zines.

“It’s always really surprising to see the variety of things people come up with every year,” says creator Mattie Cuvilier.

Cuvilier started the Zine Fair three years ago. He wanted to offer an unrestricted fair, featuring zines of varying content, quality, and professionalism.

“I had a zine and knew other people who had zines and thought it would be cool to just have something that was completely open with zero barriers that we could share with the public,” he says.

When Cuvilier announced the first Zine Fair he thought it would gain only a little traction, but—much to his surprise—it was the exact opposite. Zine creators from across the city contacted him, eager to show their own work as well as discover the creations of others.

“It definitely had its own culture right from the beginning,” he says.

Cuvilier is also the founder of Clean Up Your Act Productions (CUYA), a promotions company and record label focused on setting up all ages punk and hardcore shows in the Edmonton area. With CUYA, Cuvilier is constantly pushing certain acts and events—the promotion never stops, he says. With the Zine Fair however, it always seems to happen “organically.”

The subculture of zines has been around since the 18th century amateur press movement, but the style really took off during the ’70s as part of the punk DIY counterculture in the UK, US, and Canada.

Now, zine content covers just about anything.

“It definitely transcends punk and music. That only represents a small portion of the content,” says Cuvilier. “That DIY ethic that came from punk is in the art and the way people are presenting their art, but there is also a lot of stuff that is very personal.”

“It’s very important to some people and some people don’t really care at all, but I think that only reinforces it for the people who like it and care,” he adds.

Like every year, the zine fair will feature a unique array of vendors and workshops.

Junk Runko, a distributor of art, jewelry, and custom clothes will be making another appearance this year along with Twelveohtwo Zine Distro, which focuses on music and punk culture.

Musician and artist Corey Hamilton of Dramatic Situations—his self-published literature platform—will also be hosting a workshop for people interested in making their own zine.

Sun., Dec. 18 (6-10pm)

Sewing Machine Factory,$5

Stephan Boissonneault


1 Comment

  • Thanks for the photo + mention! I want to clarify though that twelveohtwo carries mostly personal narrative style zines that are primarily written by women, queers, trans folk, indigenous folks, black, folks, and people of colour.

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