The verdict is in. With a record number of responses––more than 100,000––and a record number of categories (239), the 13th annual edition of the Best of Vancouver is one of the biggest papers that we’ve published in our 41-year history.
Rod Filbrandt (Above) And Mark "Atomos" Pilon (Spot Illos)
Gregory Adams, Carolyn Ali, Lucas Aykroyd, Jon Azpiri, Alan Bates, Ian Caddell, Jenny Charlesworth, Jack Christie, Ron Coldham, Jon Cranny, Raj Paul Dhillon, Martin Dunphy, Amanda Growe, Mark Harris, Crystal Huba, Stephen Hui, Am Johal, Patty Jones, Vanessa Kwan, Judith Lane, Ted Laturnus, Sarah Leavitt, Tara Lee, Mark Leiren-Young, Sean Minogue, Shana Myara, Christopher Poon, Doug Sarti, Steve Smysnuik, Annette Spreeuw, Barbara Stowe, Rebecca Tay, Colin Thomas, Mel Tobias, Jacqueline Turner, Alan Woo. Craig Takeuchi (Editor)
Those who’ve come out on top in the Best of Vancouver readers’ choices can take pride in having collected more votes than did some politicians elected to municipal councils and school boards in Metro Vancouver. Of course, the voice of the people can sometimes look a bit messy. And those who question the readers’ wisdom can always take solace in Oscar Wilde’s aphorism: “Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.”
Or perhaps you prefer the more Churchillian view: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
Regardless, it’s clear from the overwhelming response to our on-line questionnaire that Metro Vancouver residents care deeply about this region. Many spent more than an hour going through the lengthy ballot to vote on everything from the best pickup bar to the best place for a wedding besides a church. Readers who answered 25 or more questions were entered into a grand-prize draw for a $3,000 trip to Las Vegas.
In the category of Vancouverite closest to hell, Mayor Sam Sullivan was the repeat winner, with Premier Gordon Campbell coming in second once again. And in a fitting sendoff to his glorious career as a player and all-around good guy, retired hockey star Trevor Linden led the balloting for best local hero. He pushed the Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, out of the top spot. That should be enough to convince political parties to start trying to persuade Linden to join their team.
The Best of Vancouver features profiles of eight folks who are shaking up the status quo and making this a more humane city for the rest of us. As in previous years, we also highlight four communities. This year, we’ve expanded the definition beyond geographic boundaries to include communities based on identity and interests. It’s time to celebrate our diversity. And our city. And the people who live here.
One of the most popular aspects of our Best of Vancouver issue is the writers’ choices, and feel free to feast on the original insights provided by some pretty talented, weird, and demented people (whom we all love dearly). You can read their names on this page. We appreciate their efforts, and we hope you do too. And if you disagree with anything they say, tell us what you think. After all, the last time we checked, we were still living in a democracy.