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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An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

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