It’s been more than a year since COVID-19 changed how we go about our lives, but some locals don’t know anything but this reality.
There have been around a dozen new faces born into the world to couples in Sun Peaks and the surrounding area during the past year.
Rachel and Dave Roberts welcomed Hudson Roberts in May last year.
Rachel was seven months pregnant when the state of emergency was declared, and was worried about having to give birth without her partner present— in addition to the obvious concern about the health and wellbeing of herself and her unborn child.
“It certainly hasn’t been the experience I had always envisioned for our first year as new parents… and some aspects have been particularly difficult, but I am also so grateful for where we live, having my parents here, and the fact that we have been healthy throughout,” Rachel said.
The usually social Roberts didn’t feel as isolated as new parents often do— because all of their friends and family were also staying at home during the pandemic. The new parents got used to using the apps WhatsApp and FamilyAlbum to keep connected with relatives who weren’t able to visit.
“People often comment that it must be so strange for him to see people with masks. But really, he doesn’t know any different,” Rachel said. “He is a very happy and chatty little dude, and still gives people smiles regardless of their masks.”
Rachel said she was grateful to live in Sun Peaks during this time for many reasons, especially because of the natural beauty the village is nestled in.
“I can’t wait for this summer, as Hudson learns to walk, for him to get to run around outside, get dirty and just be a toddler. If we were still living in our basement suite in East Van, things like that wouldn’t necessarily be as simple to do during the pandemic.”
Delina and Charles Albrow welcomed their daughter Foxley Rose Albrow in July of 2020. Delina also mentioned how isolation felt somewhat regular when adjusting to life with a new baby, but this time was a bit different.
“Maternity leave tends to always be a bit of isolation. I mean, you’re kind of stuck at home with the baby anyways. But a big difference, of course, is not having the family support. Charles, his family would have normally come over, and they live in England. So Fox is now nine months old and she’s never met any of his family,” Delina said.
Delina’s parents live in the Cariboo, but they haven’t been able to visit with them since last October due to provincial health orders. While they couldn’t visit with family and friends, the family took advantage of the outdoors to keep themselves and the kids entertained.
“The fact that we live at Sun Peaks gave us a really good release spell for getting out of the house,” Delina said. “Having this in our backyard has been great.”
Jackie and Anthony Van Vliet had Audrey Thea Louise Van Vliet in July 2020.
Raine Henry Toews was born in July 2020 to Christina Antoniak and Jonas Toews.
Wesley Alfred was born to Kayla and Andrew Alfred in October of 2020.
Beckay Dusenbury and David White welcomed their daughter Isla Rose White in October of 2020.
Ella-Mei Yoshiko Stevens was born to Aino-Maija Knuutila and Scott Takeshi Stevens in October of last year.
Chantelle Groenwegen and James Bingham welcomed their daughter Avery Silvia Bingham, their first child, in November 2020. Bingham said it has been a busy experience for the two, who also opened up their first retail business, Roxxy Bomb’s Pet Food + Supplies.
“We don’t have any family close by. So that makes it very difficult,” Bingham said. “The toughest part is that lack of connection and support that you get from face-to-face and being in person… You know, face-to-face interaction is such a huge part of children’s development overall. So, hopefully, you know, things won’t have a lasting effect.”
Holly Elizabeth Robson was born in December 2020 to Lisa Phillips and Rich Robson.
Ayla Mae Sleziak was born at the start of the new year in January 2021. She was born to Meghan Kolodka and Mike Sleziak.
Kurtis and Brianna Wyllie welcomed their son Liam Keith Wyllie around Valentines Day this year.
Gemma Harris and Simon Wixey welcomed their son Henry Wixey just a few months ago in March 2021.
Last, but certainly not least, is the newest resident in the village. Leigh Kolodka and her husband Sam Loxton welcomed their first baby, Gus Theodore Loxton, less than one week ago, at the end of April 2021. SPIN wishes all of the parents the best, and looks forward to seeing these children growing up in Sun Peaks—even if from a distance.
If you think there is a baby we’ve missed, feel free to let us know so we can add them to the story! Contact [email protected]
Correction: A previous version of this article contained an improper spelling of the surname Wixey. This has been corrected and the team at SPIN apologizes for any confusion this may have created.