Publisher’s pick of 2020’s top stories

 | December 28, 2020

As we near the end of the year, here’s a look back on some of our favourite stories. Here are our publisher, Brandi Schier’s, top 5 articles of 2020.

1 – Early COVID-19 coverage

While there is so much work to be proud of this year, our community coverage in the early days of the pandemic underscored the importance of local news as we worked around the clock to update residents on what essential services remained open, provided the first glimpse into the economic impact of the early resort closure and relayed important local health updates to residents. Almost 90 articles chronicling the effects of the pandemic on Sun Peaks can be viewed here

2 – Heffley Lake stakeholders grapple with increased popularity

Heffley Lake as seen from above. Photo SPIN

This investigative piece brought together many voices and concerns regarding one of our favourite local lakes. While it took place over the backdrop of the pandemic, this article touches on many of the ongoing themes that come up when covering recreational spaces, such as the right to access, safety and environmental factors, and who is a “local.”

3 – Medical emergencies facing unneeded wait times

Data shows ambulances are attending calls without SPFR being notified in situations they could help patients. Photo SPIN

I wanted to include this piece as it was somewhat lost in the initial pandemic news cycle, however it remains an important concern for our rural community. SPIN used Freedom of Information requests, deep background interviews and residents’ personal experiences to weave together an interesting look at what can be a life or death issue. 

4 – Nature as therapy: reflecting on a healing journey

Nikula with a memorial for snowboarder Craig Kelly which overlooks Baldface lodge. Photo Tim Zimmermann

So many people, including myself, have had their lives irrevocably touched and changed by cancer. This story featuring a young outdoor recreationist and cancer survivor highlighted so many important themes for me, such as the healing balm of the outdoors, the importance of community, gratitude as a daily practice and the power of women. 

5 – Making mountain towns more inclusive

Photo by Black People Hike: Vancouver

While the BLM protests may have seemed a world away to many Sun Peaks residents, this story featuring Juju Milay, an advocate who has been on the frontlines of creating more outdoor spaces for People of Colour, reminded us it’s our responsibility to confront the many barriers to inclusion that exist in our mountain communities. Truthfully, I was disappointed this article didn’t spark more discussion with our readership so I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it with you once again.