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Those of us who live in large urban centres might take zine fairs for granted. Sometimes it can feel like there is no end to the opportunities for DIY creators and small press projects have to showcase, sell, and exchange their work. But in smaller or more remote locales, a zine fair can have a huge impact, giving an opportunity for likeminded zinesters to meet in person and providing a crucial space for people interested in the medium to access it.

This weekend, one such event will be having it’s second edition. Expozine Sudbury, the only zine fair in the smaller northern Ontario city, will be bringing together zinesters across the area on May 12th in partnership with the larger Salon du livre de Grand Sudbury.

I realized there was lots of creative people here and that’s when I decided  that maybe they need a platform to express their creativity,” says Chloé LaDuchesse, the organizer of the zine fair. “There are lots of artists in the north, in Sudbury especially.”

While the zine fair is smaller than your typical big city zine fair, clocking in at about a dozen vendors, the importance of having events like this is all the greater for artists like Chloé looking to connect.

“I do it mostly because I want to know who makes zines, because I want to meet these people,” explains LaDuchesse. “So it’s a little bit selfish in a way, but that’s the cool part since it’s a smaller community.”

Of course, organizing in a small town has its challenges. Figuring out the right venue can be difficult, as is getting the word out when some local folks may have never even a seen a zine. Luckily, LaDuchesse is Sudbury’s current Poet Laureate, and she has been able to use her platform to give her zine fair more visibility.

So how can you support the festival?

“The main thing they can do is to come and appeal to our vendors,” says LaDuchesse. “If my vendors are happy, they’re going to come back and they’re going to talk to their friends.”

Check out the facebook event for a full list of vendors and programming. If you can’t make it to Expozine Sudbury this year, spread the word to any friends you may have in the area. Long live local zines!

Expozine Sudbury is taking place at La Fromagerie, 80 Elgin St in Sudbury from 10am – 3pm. It’s totally free to attend. 

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