U of O alumni launch second issue of indie magazine, seek local artists to contribute

Ottawa is chock full of artists waiting for their time to shine, and PACE magazine is happy to be their outlet.

This quarterly magazine, whose name stands for “Poetry, Art, Culture, and Enlightenment,” is a politically charged, grassroots publication started by University of Ottawa alumni Timothy Doan and Stéphane Mukunzi in 2016, and features local Ottawa photographers, writers, and designers.

PACE saw its second issue come alive at its recent launch party on Jan. 7 at Club SAW. The event was free to attend and reflected the vision of the project, as guests enjoyed drinks and live entertainment from Urban Legends Poetry Collective, as well as a live DJ and a visual showcase of work featured in the magazine.

“One of the realities about Ottawa is that it’s a big city, but people are so spread out that they don’t necessarily get to interact with one another,” Mukunzi explained. “The idea behind the launch is to have a venue for Ottawa artists to meet and mingle and … know what’s happening.”

Although the magazine is currently being sold for $15 at select locations around the city, the team hopes to distribute it for free in coming years.

“The most important part of where I see PACE in the future is giving it out for free,” said Doan, adding that accessibility and inclusivity play a large part in the magazine’s values. “The end goal is to get people’s minds enlightened to stuff that’s happening around the city.”

This is also seen in their acknowledgement that “PACE is written and distributed on unceded Algonquin territory,” a statement which Mukunzi hopes will create a sense of openness and dialogue around the issues facing Ottawa today.

“This is a good product, it’s cool, it’s a nice thing, but we want people to recognize that the idea behind this is to have a critical conversation about the things that matter to us and this is our way to include as many people as possible,” he said.

“It’s small but it’s a way to recognize that.”

Despite the magazine’s humble beginnings, Doan and Mukunzi have high hopes for the future.

“Eventually I want to be printed en masse and sold throughout the country,” said Doan, naming VICE as one of the team’s chief inspirations, although they plan on sticking to their non profit mandate. “(I see us) moving into recording visual content … back where VICE started out is where I want to end up.”

“We don’t want to be held back by revenues,” Mukunzi added. “We want to feed the collective consciousness, as we believe it’s necessary.”

While they are still on a high from celebrating the launch of their second issue, Doan and Mukunzi noted that they’re gearing up for their spring issue and currently accepting submissions at pacemagazineottawa@gmail.com.

PACE magazine is currently available at Compact Music and The Gifted Type as well as on their official website. You can also find them on Facebook.