Throughout 2021, Black Press journalists have brought you stories that matter. This year has shown us that local news is critical — especially in such “unprecedented times”.
But there’s so much more depth and richness to community news beyond the daily cycle. We asked our journalists across Western Canada what their favourite stories were from the year and we hope you’ll love them just as much as we do.
1. LOVE HURTS: Black Press journalist goes inside a romance scam
For seven days, Similkameen Spotlight editor extraordinaire Andrea Demeer went undercover to expose how online romance scams can manipulate people into losing their money. In the first six months of this year, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received 521 reports of romance scams from across the country, accounting for losses of $19.2 million.
2. Comox Valley woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation
Award-winning Comox Valley Record journalist Erin Haluschak shared the story of a Comox Valley woman who fought through layers of bureaucracy to reclaim her Indigenous name on official government documents after learning her family name was recorded incorrectly by the government generations ago.
3. Turbans used to rescue hiker above waterfall in Golden Ears park
Langley Advance Times reporter Colleen Flanagan broke the story of a group of hikers who tied their turbans together to rescue a man who slipped and fell into a waterfall pool at Golden Ears Park. The five men were later recognized by Premier John Horgan for their efforts.
4. Northern B.C.’s famed abandoned town preserved in time awaits its turn
Local Journalism Initiative reporter Binny Paul brought us the story of Kitsault — a remote, abandoned northwestern B.C. town along the coast of the Observatory Inlet. Originally built as a mining town, Kitsault awaits the construction of a $20-30 billion LNG project. Until then, it waits.
5. Secwépemc Elders guide stories, bless sites for Shuswap Landmarks project
Martha Wickett of the Salmon Arm Observer crafted a beautiful story of Secwépemc language landmark signs placed in parks around highly visited Salmon Arm parks. The landmark signs were created in partnership with an Elders advisory committee representing the First Nations in the region.
6. Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford
Abbotsford News reporter Vikki Hopes shared the ceremony of an Abbotsford couple who were planning to get married when they held an impromptu hospital ceremony – organized in three hours – so that the bride’s dying mother could witness the milestone.
7. John ‘Earthquake’ Tenta wrestled around the world before death 15 years ago
Surrey Now-Leader reporter Tom Zillich remembers John ‘Earthquake’ Tenta, a Surrey-born pro wrestler who once feuded with Hulk Hogan, Dino Bravo, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Bam Bam Bigelow, Bret Hart and others.
8. Nelson’s Dave Stevens will run forever, and then a little farther
This long-form feature from Nelson Star’s Tyler Harper profiles 39-year-old ultramarathon runner Dave Stevens, who won the 160km Run Rabbit Run race in an astonishing 18 hours one minute 46.5 seconds.
9. 1,000 km route opens northern Vancouver Island to ‘bikepackers’
Marc Kitteringham of the Campbell River Mirror writes about a new 1,000 km bikepacking route between small communities on northern Vancouver Island that offers a slower, more immersive form of tourism and economic opportunities for the northern Island region.
10. Let’s uplift the heroes in India’s battle against COVID-19
In May 2021, India struggled with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 that saw daily case counts reach over 400,000. Vanderhoof Omineca Express editor Aman Parhar highlights the efforts volunteers across India to help save their neighbours, friends, family and anyone else who needed help.
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