Black Press Media’s best photos of 2020

Black Press Media's 2020 photos of the year.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses around the province to temporarily close. Among them were gyms and fitness centres, which when they did eventually reopen in May, did so with strict health precautions in place. Some of these precautions included limiting the machines individuals could use to work out, and cordoning off entire areas from the public. (Phil Mclachlan/Penticton Western News)
"I took this photo for the Oct. 29 issue of the Creston Valley Advance. The local independent movie theatre, the Tivoli Theatre, had a soft-opening on Oct. 26, after having been closed since March. When I arrived for the event, masked theatre employee Noah Doyle was just sitting alone in the ticket booth, not a customer in sight. He just looked so helpless, isolated and deserted. I think this photo speaks to how a lot of local businesses and industries, such as the movie theatre industry, have been left feeling alone and abandoned this past year. The film industry has been hit hard by COVID-19, and it looks like our movie-going experience is fading away as a result." (Aaron Hemens/Creston Valley Advance)
A dance studio owner in Williams Lake adjusts to COVID-19 restrictions. It looks like she is making the best of the situation. (Monica Lamb-Yorski/Williams Lake Tribune)
Nobody out in Kimberley but the bear cubs in April. (Brian Hay/Contributed to Kimberley Bulletin)
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoppers from large centres descended on smaller, more rural communities to buy goods such as toilet paper, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer that were sold out in cities. Safety Mart Foods in Ashcroft was no exception; on March 21, the cupboard was bare for anyone looking for tissues, paper towels, and toilet paper. (Barbara Roden/Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal)
The downtown fire in Mission destroyed three businesses and impacted many more. The massive smoke cloud could be seen for miles and shows that you don't need flames to show the destruction that can be caused by a blaze. It was one of the most read stories in Mission. (Kevin Mills/Mission City Record)
"2020's election was tumultuous, particularly in Chilliwack-Kent and especially with all the controversies that arose from Laurie Throness's statements. There are no parties, no pomp and circumstance, just watching the results, isolated from the usual parties, looking to an uncertain future," says Adam Louis, editor at Agassiz Harrison Observer. (Laurie Throness/Facebook)
(Laurie Tritschler/Grand Forks Gazette)
"It is a representation of multiple issues that came up in 2020, First Nations sovereignty for resources in the Discovery Islands, COVID-19, social issues and the environment. This is especially poignant considering the recent decision on the Discovery Islands fish farms in question." (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
"Who doesn't need a little puppy love on Valentine's Day and every day for that matter." (Sheri Regnier/Trail Times)
"This photo was taken at the Tofino anti-racism rally on June 8. It won a local Sustainable Development Goals Photo Contest as part of the SDG Global Week of Action. Hundreds of peaceful demonstrators gathered at the Tofino Village Green for this rally, and I feel this photo of a boogie boarder walking through the crowd holding the sign 'Chantel deserved help not bullets' captures the atmosphere of the community." (Nora O'Malley/Tofino Ucluelet Westerly News)
Eli Bell, from White Salmon, Wash., and Brooklyn Schulz, from Abbotsford, reconnected in Peace Arch Park on a Sunday in early June. The park separating Canada and the U.S. became a popular meeting spot for cross-boundary couples and family members shortly after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau closed the border to all but essential traffic. After the Canadian side of the park was closed, people began to flock to the U.S. side of the park, which continues to welcome visitors from Canada. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
"A sign that a year ago would have been very unique to a business but became sewn into the fabric of restaurant culture in 2020." (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Rob and Sarah Thibault load their vehicle after stocking up on bottled water, canned goods and bread-making supplies at the South Surrey Superstore, where some were waiting as long as an hour in line. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
Four-year-old Ethan Fritz waves at his dad with his mom Alyssa, Aug. 7, from the end of White Rock Pier. Pilot TK Minzak – who flies reserve for the U.S. Air Force, organized the fly-by after months of not being able to see Ethan due to border restrictions during the pandemic. The approach of a U.S. military aircraft caught more than a few White Rock residents and visitors off-guard. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
Tilly Knowles and Tina Derksen exchange a hug at the precautious station provided during a parking lot coffee house hosted by the Old Age Pensioners Organization and the Seniors Activity Centre on Monday. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo/Williams Lake Tribune)
Sonnet L’Abbé, one of the organizers of the Black Lives solidarity demonstration at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo, raises her fist during one of the speeches. (Greg Sakaki/Nanaimo News Bulletin)
Dawn Dickson, a resident at Berwick on the Lake Retirement Community, grooves on her balcony during a dance-off. Dickson and her neighbours were answering a challenge from Berwick Qualicum Beach. (Karl Yu/Nanaimo News Bulletin)
"To me this photo represents a turning point in society. What seemed like such an alien thing at the time (isolation) has, over time, become almost normal." (Phil McLachlan/Penticton Western News)
Grant Keefer, owner of Yellow Point Cranberries, pulls a boom into position as he rounds up cranberries floating atop the water in a flooded field at the farm located in Yellow Point south of Nanaimo. (Chris Bush/Nanaimo News Bulletin)
British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a pair John Fluevog shoes designed in her honour, as she views her image at the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. The business improvement association in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood honoured Dr. Henry on Friday with a sneak peek at a mural exhibition featuring her image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Millie, a trainee service dog, sits with her volunteer Adriana Chiossone while riding a bus during a training exercise at the Vancouver Transit Centre bus depot, in Vancouver, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Approximately two dozen dogs participated in training exercises on different types of buses as part of a one-day training program organized by B.C. & Alberta Guide Dogs and Translink, to accelerate training that has fallen behind due to COVID-19. Volunteers who help raise and train the dogs from seven-weeks-old to 15-months have been limited in the amount of public training they can do due to the coronavirus pandemic. The dogs that go through training later become paired with veterans or first responders dealing with PTSD, children who have autism, guides for the blind or enter the charity's breeding program. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
"This Pitt Meadows firefighter was already putting his life on the line before COVID-19 reared its ugly head. Here he is decked out in full PPE in April." (Colleen Flanagan/Maple Ridge News)
"This school had a novel way to send its grads off during an unusual year." (Maple Ridge Christian School submitted to Maple Ridge News)
Priest in residence, Father Nick Meisl listens to a physically distanced confession in a parking garage at St. Patrick's Parish in Vancouver, Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

In mid-March, the day-to-day hustle and bustle of everyday life in British Columbia came to a halt.

Like the rest of the world, B.C. streets grew quiet as business owners shuttered their doors and many of us took refuge in the comfort of our homes.

But quarantining wasn’t the full story – and looking back on this year, a lot of life was still lived.

We asked our reporters from across Black Press Media to reflect on the year and share their favourite pieces of work. These are some of our best news photographs which chronicled 2020.

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Best of 2020

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Vernon resident David Melanson, 21, left the South Hills Tertiary Psychiatric Centre in Brocklehurst at about 1 a.m. on May 12, the day he was reported missing. (Contributed)
Body of missing Vernon man found in Kamloops Lake

David Melanson, 21, left psychiatric centre around 1 a.m. the day he was reported missing

Canadian author Paul Young, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel, the Shack, will join Vernon-based foundation, the Emily Dahl Foundation, for a Fireside Chat event in June 2021. (YouTube)
Acclaimed author to talk mental health at Vernon event

Paul Young, author of bestselling book The Shack, to join Emily Dahl Foundation for Fireside Chat June 8

Vernon-based artist Patricia Neil Lawton is offering a cash reward to the person who can find her missing painting. (Contributed)
Vernon artist offers cash reward for missing painting

Artist Patricia Neil Lawton missing portrait of Billy Muir after downsizing

Shane Ertmoed (right) is serving a life sentence for killing 10-year-old Heather Thomas on Oct. 1, 2000. (File photos)
Child-killer from Vernon an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn

Your morning start for Friday, May 14, 2021

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Kelowna rain
Kelowna records driest March on record, spells summer trouble for Okanagan

In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Joyce and John Henderson were among 25 British Columbians named 2021 BC Achievement Community Award winners by the BC Achievement Foundation. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm couple recognized for their decades of contributions to community

Joyce and John Henderson receive provincial achievement award

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

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