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North Okanagan newspaper out of ink

Okanagan Advertiser, serving Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Enderby, shuts down after more than 120 years
The Okanagan Advertiser, first published in 1902, making it one of the oldest independent newspapers in B.C., rolled out its final issue on April 27. (Contributed)

The presses have been forever stopped on a century-old North Okanagan newspaper.

The Okanagan Advertiser – serving Armstrong, Spallumcheen and Enderby, and first published in 1902 making it one of the province’s oldest independent newspapers – rolled out its final edition on Thursday, April 27.

“It was a decision made by ownership and it was unavoidable, it had to be made,” said Advertiser publisher Will Hansma. “It’s going to leave quite a gap here in the community. We felt really honoured to serve the community in the capacity we have. It’s been a wonderful experience. But, regrettably, the era of the Okanagan Advertiser has come to an end.”

The move affects Hansma, his wife, Wilma, who served as editor, and reporter Heather Black.

The final edition’s front-page story announces the shutdown.

The Armstrong Advertiser had a handful of different owners from 1902 to 1948 when Jack Jamieson’s family took it over. He eventually sold in 2009.

“We made some changes to it. We couldn’t use the name Armstrong Advertiser so we changed it to Okanagan Advertiser,” said Hansma. “I feel we did the best we could in covering the communities, at least we tried our best. We’ve gone through a number of staff but were fortunate to end up with Heather. The last few years with her have been great.”

The paper survived the pandemic despite not making a lot of money, but the publication persevered. However, advertising revenue has waned over the past several months to the point it wasn’t enough to keep the presses running, leaving the current ownership group no choice but to cease operations.

The Hansmas will continue to operate Armstrong Enderby Publishing and Okanagan Printing out of the Advertiser building on Okanagan Street in Armstrong.

“Nothing’s changed there,” said Hansma.

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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