When we launched Vancouver Is Awesome almost 12 years ago there's no way I could have known what was in store for it.
The nucleus for what begun its life as a small group blog, mostly populated by content from volunteers, was a singular desire to showcase what makes this city awesome.
I hoped to create an outlet that reminded residents of what keeps them - us - here despite all of the bad stuff.
And I did that, with help from hundreds of people. Volunteers, board members, community partners, early-days donors, mentors, friends, strangers, and people with stories to share.
It took off quickly (within six months it was consuming a large portion of my workday) and in time it slowly evolved into a more well-rounded look at life and current events in Vancouver.
It also turned into a business in order that it be able to stick around in the long term, and the success in that came slowly as well.
A little over two years ago I sold this publication to Glacier Media, and they were (and are) able to offer so many resources to us (of course I stayed on board after the sale; I love this job). Being a part of a larger organization that operates 100+ community publications across Canada is the best thing that ever happened to V.I.A..
We added a few new staff members, introduced hard news to the feed (not just the fluffy stuff), and we've continued to grow and become a go-to source for a lot of you to keep informed about everything happening here.
As our readership and our publication continues to grow we are making more new hires, employing more and more people full time.
On this Thanksgiving weekend I need to extend a thanks to you, the reader.
We serve up 25 free articles per day on our website here, and through our social media channels and our newsletter.
The obvious thing that keeps us going is people like you reading these articles, so I'll thank you for that, but I also want to extend an extra special thanks for all of the positivity you send our way (in comments and letters), for sharing our stories on your own social media accounts, and for the connections you make for us to tell stories.
This weekend I'm reflecting on how thankful I am for the people of this great city who reach out to tell us about other people they know who we should do stories about.
I feel our outlet provides a valuable service to this city, for free, but we rely on the community to keep it going.
You are awesome.