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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Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo/submitted)
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How can we still be debating the value of old-growth forests in 2021, asks letter writer

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. (News Bulletin file)
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The City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee has recommended spending $200,000 from reserves on a feasibility study and conceptual designs for a community centre in the south end. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will study options for south-end community centre

Finance committee recommends spending $200,000 from reserves for feasibility study and concept plans

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Nanaimo city councillors, at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, April 14, recommended spending $400,000 on nighttime security throughout downtown and the Old City Quarter. (Stock photo)
Nanaimo city councillors recommend $400,000 spending on downtown security

City will also spend $50,000 to hire consultant to prepare a public safety action plan

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Beef to the beefers. Please season your beefs. We require a little more spice in our Wednesday-morning work beef huddle.
Beefs & Bouquets, April 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

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