(28/02/2017) - Sparwood, B.C. - Mackenzie Adams was born with multiple birth defects, losing both legs as an infant. Thirty-five surgeries later, the now-successful Sparwood Senior Boys shooting guard strives to inspire others to do what they love no matter what. The following season, Adams was voted captain of the senior boys basketball team. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press [Winner - Best Feature Photo - Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, circulation 4000-12499]

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(13/04/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - The year is 1947. Ten-year-old Gerry Pang sits in his living room with his mother and brothers, listening to Hockey Night in Canada on the radio. This has become a tradition on Saturday nights while their father is fighting overseas. He doesn’t know it yet, but these moments will spark a love within him for hockey that will last a lifetime . . . After coaching hockey goaltenders since 1997, Gerry Pang has finally decided to hang up the skates. Full story on Thefreepress.ca.

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(13/08/2017) - Fernie, B.C. - Nate Hilts of The Dead South cracks a beer at the start of 'In Hell I'll Be In Good Company', Wapiti Music Festival, 2017. 

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(18/05/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - For the first time in Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club history, one of their swimmers has qualified for nationals. Fernie’s Olivia Howse beat the 1500-metre Freestyle qualifying time of 19:44 by 11 seconds with a long-course time of 19:33, opening up a slot for her to compete against approximately 30 other athletes at Nationals.

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(27/09/2017) - Fernie B.C. - “The goal I have every day when I wake up is just to be better on the bike than I was the day before,” - Matt Dennis; Fernie local, Dirt Jumper, Adrenaline Junkie. 

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A girls fancy dancer moves into the sunlight at the Onion Lake Cree Nation (Saskatchewan) annual powwow, summer 2016. Dancers came from as far as New Mexico to compete. Shot for @Postmedia.

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(21/11/17) - Fernie, B.C. - When Dr. Bryan Kolb entertained the idea of writing a book about neuroscience, everyone told him he was crazy. It was the late 1960s, while he was in his 20s, when the only ongoing brain research data was being collected from rats. Two years later, Dr. Kolb published what would become a worldwide resource about the human brain. He is now known as one of the world’s leading neuroscientists. Over the past 50 years, Dr. Kolb has contributed to Canada and the world's knowledge about the human brain. On November 17, 2017, Canada gave back. During an all-day ceremony, Dr. Kolb, accompanied by his wife, Debbie, was among a few esteemed Canadians to be named an Officer of the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. Pictured is Dr. Kolb feeding his horse, Teddy, on his farm in Cokato. 

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(03/18/2017) - Fernie, B.C. - For his fourth birthday, Oliver Williams wanted to be a firefighter for a day. Today, thanks to the Fernie Fire Department, his wish came true.

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(17/10/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - Happy thanksgiving, Reverend Andrea Brennan says, greeting me with a warm smile and a hug. Dressed in black jeans and earthy tones, the Fernie church minister matches the fall colours around downtown. The neckline of her loose-fitting poncho reveals the white of a clerical collar. She pushes open the heavy wooden doors to the old stone church, revealing a long traditional hall filled with pews. Heavenly light from colourful stained glass fills the room. Brennan is one of the most recognizable faces around town for one particular reason – she’s always smiling. For almost three years she has served as the minister of the Christ Church Anglican in Fernie. Behind the everlasting smile is a person confident in what they believe in and not afraid to challenge the status quo. Aside from breaking the stereotype by being a female minister, Brennan is also openly queer. She is also serving at a time when her denomination is considering marrying same-sex couples. Full story on Thefreepress.ca.

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(19/09/2017) - Elko, B.C. - It’s day 10 of 14 for the Rocky Mountain Unit crew. As the team of 20 firefighters pull into the smoky town of Elko, they park their trucks at the Community Hall. With green and blue tents staked up across the yard at the small centre, this is where they stay for the night. The The B.C. crew has been working in conjunction with American firefighting teams to battle the wildfire blaze, which is raging across northern Montana and into B.C.

One by one they pile out of the Province-issued pickup trucks, chainsaws lined neatly down the sides of the box. A pair of black, sooty boots drop out of one of the trucks, and two weary feet dangle there. Inside the community hall, Phyllis Johnson is just putting the finishing touches on the dinner she has prepared. Full story on Thefreepress.ca.

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(05/07/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - Current Fernie mayor Mary Giuliano has announced that she will be seeking re-election in the upcoming B.C. municipal elections in October.

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(27/10/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - Isla Neal, Beau Neal, and Griffin Hopkins pose in autumn-themed picture frames during the annual Pumpkin Hunt, held at the Fernie Nordic Centre.

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(27/04/2017) - Sparwood, B.C. - Fifty-eight years into her life, Marsha Bradcoe found herself, and subsequently set herself free. The now 63-year-old has lived in Elkford for the past 40 years of her life, and five years ago, came out as transgender. As far as she knows, she was the first in the area to do so.

“The day that happened, a lot of people caught their breath,” said Bradcoe...

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...Living in a rural mountain town of 2,523, with mining as the main industry, she was afraid she would not be accepted. However, the response was quite the opposite. Bradcoe previously worked at the Fording River Operations Teck mine in Elkford as a haulage driver, retiring on the 28 of March after 38 years of service. Standing at 6’2”, 400 pounds with a large bushy beard, she was an unexpected candidate for a sex change. Full story at Thefreepress.ca.

(Finalist, Jack Webster Award for Community Reporting) (Winner, Canadian Community Newspaper Awards, Best Feature Story)

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(22/09/2017) - Sparwood, B.C. - Living as a transgender person in the small mining town of Sparwood B.C., isn’t as bad as one would think. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Hadden Kelloway, 56, has been living as a transgender person for the past eight years, and is in the final stages of transitioning into what he always knew he was; a man. Full story at Thefreepress.ca.

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(07/11/2018) - Fernie, B.C. - For 18 years Gordon Milne sat and watched.

Every Tuesday morning he would attend Alberta Ballet and watch the dancers practice – he was inspired by their movements, talent, and emotion they portrayed. For 18 years Milne has been translating this emotion onto canvas. Full story at Thefreepress.ca.

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The Elko Fire Department groups for a photo during Firefighter Appreciation Week, September 2018. 

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A man canoes at Island Lake, summer 2017.

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New York, NY - (12/10/15) - Yellow medallion taxi drivers gather to protest against Uber, a smartphone based ride-share system, claiming it's stealing from their day-to-day work. Uber allows almost anyone to make a quick buck by registering their daily commuting vehicle as a taxi. Stats show there are now ~18,000 Uber cars on the streets of NYC compared to ~13,500 Yellow cabs. The Black Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to improve the quality and effectiveness of public debate for people of foreign ethnicity in America. Photo by Phil McLachlan

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Sointula, B.C. - (30/05/15) - Roy Small, also known as Tiggy Small is a retired puppeteer who started his career in the 60's on the streets of Montreal. "It's always a bit of a scrape when you find yourself relying on the good will of the public. They're… erratic." Small was always interested in it as a hobby. "I like to model things out of plasticine and so forth, I'm not very good at carving but I can model pretty well." Small performed at many venues across North America including the Smithsonian Museum. In the 70's he taught drama and fine arts at the University of Calgary, but now resides in the quiet seaside town of Sointula, Vancouver Island where he has stayed ever since. "So, here I am, research puppeteer; doing a bit of modelling here and there. Sewing up a bit, doing repairs for people. And it's alright… it's alright." Photo by Phil McLachlan

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Campbellford, Ont. - (17/09/15) - Stacey Baskin sits amongst over 100 other bikers in a Canadian Tire parking lot during a biker meet on Thursday night. Baskin recently overcame an intense battle with breast cancer. She now rides with "Leather and Lace MC", an all-women motorcycle club dedicated to supporting breast-cancer research and recovery. Members range from the west coast of Canada all the way Southeast to home base in Florida. Every summer the riders band together as a family and travel south through Death Valley. Photo by Phil McLachlan

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Tofino, B.C. - (02/01/16) - A man wades out into the endless expanse of frigid Tofino waters at the Tonquin beach inlet. Photo by Phil McLachlan

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Guatemala - (20/02/11) - Smiling faces were seen among local children despite the corruption that ensnared a mountain town near Antigua. The mayor of the village had taken the money allocated for hydration and fled the city only weeks before I arrived. Women and children came from miles across carrying water on their heads. It was our job to dig a 30 foot well for this family and ensure they had a secure source of hydration for the upcoming summer.

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