I’m gearing up to embark on a new and exciting chapter in my professional life (more on that on January 8), but today – well, today belongs to the Westender.
December 21 marks the final issue of the Westender. For 68 years, the reporters and columnists at the Westender have shone a spotlight on the people, art, and culture that infuse Vancouver with life and passion. It’s been a paper where Vancouverites have discovered what makes this city truly remarkable – where writers have flexed their creative and investigative muscles; where arts organizations have found their audiences and restaurants have found their patrons – and where I personally found my voice and calling when I was most in need of both a couple of years after giving birth to Mari.
Thank you, Martha Perkins, for recognizing kernels of moxie and passion within me when I felt that I had little to offer, and nurturing it all into Reel People. Thank you Rob Manglesdorf and Kelsey Klassen for your belief and trust in my work (even when I pushed those deadlines to the max and beyond).
Thank you Westender for giving me the space to share so many important stories: about miscarriages (including my own), post-partum depression, poverty, sexism, racism, #metoo, grief, divorce, murdered and missing Indigenous women, identity – all of which impact the screen industry in some way, and reflect who we are as a city.
Thank you for providing a forum in which to share the truth about Darren’s death when no other outlet was inclined to do so.
Thank you for connecting me with the film and television community: an industry for which I am now ride-or-die.
Westender: Thank you for all that you have done to serve Vancouver.
And to my loyal readers: Thank you for reading Reel People. Every time you read one of my articles, you proved something I believed – and that the Westender believed – from the word go: There is significant interest in Vancouver screen scene stories.
I have more screen scene stories to tell. I’m not going anywhere.
The passing of the Westender leaves a void in this city’s cultural landscape, but I am determined not to leave the film and television community and its fans underserved. This isn’t the end. On January 8, I will launch my new project (which has been long in the making), and lay out the numerous ways in which I will continue to serve the actors and filmmakers and artists whose work powers the YVR screen scene.
In the meantime, I’m pouring one out for the Westender. Thank you.