In concert

Brad Paisley performed at the SOEC on March 6, 2020, just days before the province shut down mass gatherings.

Rather than dwelling on how bad 2020 was, let’s start the New Year on a positive note.

Locally, there were some good things that did indeed happen over the past 12 months. Here are just a few we can all likely agree on:

• Summerland Secondary School graduate Lucky Bromhead was nominated for an Emmy Award for her make-up work on “Schitt’s Creek,” which shattered Emmy records by sweeping the seven major categories, including best actress for Catherine O’Hara, who thanked Bromhead in her acceptance speech.

• Okanagan Skaha School District 67 agreed to an audit (thanks to James Palanio, Tracy Van Raes, Kathy Pierre and Barb Sheppard who voted ‘yay’ in a 4-3 vote), finally admitting programs were slashed at the expense of our students because someone didn’t balance the books. A crowd of 100 intellects attended the public meeting, asking uncomfortable — but fair — questions, including teachers’ union president Kevin Epp, who stole the show.

• In a unanimous vote by trustees, SD67 promoted Todd Manuel to superintendent and restructured its administrative team with talented people.

• Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth was promoted to head of the Oliver RCMP detachment.

• The Penticton Art Gallery drew attention from all across North America for its Bob Ross exhibit, which attracted record attendance.

• The Penticton Hospital Foundation eclipsed its $20 million goal following a $65,000 donation from Kevin Huey in memory of his friends Bob Tait and Ted Papenfus.

• For the first time in years, a new hotel opened in Penticton, the Fairfield Inn and Suites, close to the SOEC and Trade and Convention Centre.

• City planner Ben Johnson was a silver winner of the Excellence in Policy Planning Award by the Planning Institute of B.C.

• Country music star Brad Paisley performed to a sold-out SOEC crowd on March 6.

• Communities across the Okanagan took a stand against racism and police brutality, staging safe, socially-distanced “Black Lives Matter” rallies and a parade in Summerland in support of a local family.

• The City of Penticton was the latest B.C. community to allow alcohol on some public beaches and parks. Predicted litter and public intoxication issues failed to materialize.

• While very few junior teams were actually playing, our Penticton Vees won the Okanagan Cup tournament.

James Miller is managing editor of The Herald. Email: james.miller@ok.bc.ca