They call themselves “Canada’s favourite humour magazine” and there’s no denying it. The Syrup Trap publishes Canada’s funniest website, along with a print magazine in partnership with Geist Magazine, and a book is in the works. I can say with certainty that there’s nothing funnier consistently being published in Canada.
Started by UBC students in April of 2013, the Trap is ripe with biting satire that I imagine you’ve found yourself laughing over at least once by now. It’s almost impossible that you haven’t yet enjoyed what many consider to be Canada’s answer to The Onion.
What’s also close to impossible is running a fledgling media property like theirs with no budget, which is what appears to be the case right now. Speaking from the experience of starting Vancouver Is Awesome seven and a half years ago, it’s a slog bringing an independent publication from a passion project into a sustainable business. We’re still figuring it out over here, though we’ve made a few leaps and bounds.
In the early days we did an annual thing where we’d get people to help us keep the lights on by essentially buying raffle tickets for a prize pool we’d gather from generous local businesses. It’d raise a few thousand dollars and it was really a great leg up while we were figuring out ways to sustain the business that didn’t involve asking readers to pay for it. We’re still in debt to all of our readers who helped us out, and who have seen us change over the years. Some of them are still loyal readers and I imagine some have fled to the hills because they don’t like sponsored content, which is one of the things that keeps us going now.
These days there are more options for people starting things to garner financial support online. From Kickstarter to the ease of which Shopify lets people sell things, I’m not saying it’s easy but there are more options. One of them is Patreon, a platform where you can pledge a certain amount of money to something you love every month to support it. The Syrup Trap has a campaign set up on it where their base goal is to simply get $1,000 pledged each month. If they can bring in that amount they’ll be able to hire an editor, and if/when they get even more support from their readers they’ve got other goals (like producing more video content, etc). Check out their campaign HERE.
We made a pledge for $10/month for the next 12 months and we hope you might consider pitching in too. If we don’t all chip in, they might not be around for much longer.