Laura Keil and I accepting The Goat’s General Excellence Award last Saturday at the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver. /TRICIA WEEL, PEACE ARCH NEWS

By Spencer Hall

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the 2024 Ma Murray Awards News Media Awards in North Vancouver with former Goat owner Laura Keil. 

The Goat was nominated for three awards in total: one feature photo award for the photo Laura took that ran in the Goat’s February 2nd issue, announcing the opening of the Valemount Climbing Gym. 

The second was a feature article award for the piece Laura wrote that took a look back at the experiences of residents during the 2003 McLure outage, which left 7,500 people without power for four to six days.

The last nomination was for a general excellence award.

It was a little surreal to be in a room with so many journalists from B.C. and the Yukon. I’d estimate there were about 100 reporters, editors, and publishers in attendance, all brought together by their passion for local news and dedication to serve their communities.

I’m incredibly proud to report that The Goat won gold for general excellence, and silver for the feature photo and articles we submitted, but I took away more than a certificate and a trophy (and not just because our trophy didn’t arrive in time for the ceremony.)

As I sat at the ceremony, I realized we would never have made it there if it weren’t for the tireless work of Laura Keil, Andrea Arnold, and other past members of the Goat team. If it weren’t for them, it’s incredibly likely that local stories, like the ones mentioned above, wouldn’t be told. 

I’m humbled to follow in their footsteps and hope that I can continue to grow to provide the same level of service to my community.

Here’s to the year to come and the countless stories we have the privilege of sharing with you along the way.