During my time in Sun Peaks, I’ve had the opportunity to celebrate many community milestones, and now Sun Peaks Independent News is celebrating one of our own— 20 years of community publishing! It feels all that more significant after everything we have been through together over the last two years.
Established in 2002, this newspaper began as nothing more than an idea and loose plan, borne of the hard work and hustle of the original owners, Cathy and Adam Earle. I will always be grateful to them for taking that chance and putting their idea out into the world. To see a need in your community and respond with passion and purpose is the quintessential act of community building.
When I purchased Sun Peaks Independent News in 2015, there were many people who didn’t understand my decision. Investing in journalism, a “dying industry,” didn’t seem like a solid idea. I was young, without any business experience. To be honest, there were parts of that decision I didn’t understand myself at the time, but I was honouring an instinct and a feeling about what the organization could be.
Over time, I began to prove to myself and others that I had made the right choice. I’m proud to say that over the last seven years we’ve continued to refine and build on that foundation laid 20 years ago.
We’ve grown our readership, vastly increased journalists’ wages and increasingly tackled larger and more complex stories while never forgetting our community roots.
We’ve also consistently been there for our residents when they needed us, through wildfires, the pandemic and other major events. There aren’t many independent news organizations in B.C. — or even Canada — that can say that.
The support this community has shown SPIN over the years has been unmatched in my eyes. From the very beginning, organizations offered interviews, businesses reached out to place ads in the paper and readers devoured the issues cover to cover. It has also served as a point of connection for those living around the world who consider Sun Peaks their home away from home.
We never would have had the chance to celebrate 20 years if readers hadn’t stepped up over the last two years to contribute financially. The number of Canadians who are showing they value community news through this kind of support is slowly increasing, and Sun Peaks is part of this growing trend.
For a small community, our readers shattered industry norms and expectations and they continue to support our digital newsletters. These larger one-time, or smaller recurring contributions (memberships) are key to our ongoing sustainability.
It’s truly been an honour to guide and build an organization that holds such a special place in people’s lives. I want to thank everyone who has supported Sun Peaks Independent News along the way.
To mark our 20th year of publishing, we are looking for 100 readers to become new members so we can continue to regularly publish the digital newsletters and stories our readers rely on. If you believe in independent, local journalism serving the Sun Peaks community, please consider becoming a member today.
If you are already a member, thank you so much. If you want to participate in our 20th-anniversary celebration anyway, your one-time contributions also go a long way!
We’re in this together — here’s to the next 20 years!