Our last print issue was in March 2020. Since so many of our distribution points were temporarily or permanently closed due to COVID-19 concerns, the Community Edition switched exclusively online for the past five months. We promised we would be back in print when it was safe to do so — here we are. For now.
Over the past five months, we shifted our focus to stories of isolation, transformation, resilience and stories of our local front-line workers who were vital to our safety. We held staff meetings and a conference virtually to educate our team, and shared laughs and tears over Zoom. We lived through collective grief, marched for Black Lives Matter, asked important questions of our leaders and ourselves — and we did it all together.
Some of our most beloved local businesses, like Chainsaw (where we hosted our trivia nights) have closed their doors forever and we will miss them greatly. Find out what you can do to keep our local businesses alive this month on page 10 and go vote for the BEST OF WR shortlist to help independent business in the Region receive the recognition they deserve.
We made the difficult decision to cancel Steel Rails 2020 — our annual mystery art party that turned 10 last June — in efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy. We learned a lot about ourselves during these times, and we united as friends, family, neighbours, businesses and communities.
What does the future hold? Unknown. What we can say, is that the Community Edition will continue to be here to elevate the stories of all the voices in our community.
To our readers, thank you for continuing to engage, hold us accountable and inspire us — regardless of what platform we’re on. And for trusting us to pivot into the unknown with you. To our staff and volunteers, thanks for treading new waters with us.
Melissa is the former editor in chief of the Community Edition. You may have seen her around town asking people what excites them locally. When not writing, she's usually obsessively listening to music while hanging with her grumpy cat Hansel. A mental health advocate, you'll find her meditating or playing outdoors — climbing rocks and trees, hiking local trails, freediving and surfing in the ocean. "There’s something so healing about water. Water, trees, sunshine and fresh air are what we all need."
Follow on IG or Twitter @melissaembury