Instagram was a useful tool in 2021 — especially when it came to being isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic and we needed a silly animal video to lift our spirits.
The Tri-City News dedicated its time this past year to inform everyone to the best of our ability which stories you needed to know and visual components are a helpful item in conveying them.
Some provided insight into news stories, while others intended to bring humourous, heartwarming or jaw-dropping can't-miss content.
With that in mind, we've compiled our top nine (you may call it 'best nine') posts from the popular social media channel over the past 365 days (in chronological order):
- On Jan. 19, Trina Hunt was first reported missing to Port Moody police (PMPD). The news led to a massive search across the Tri-Cities for the 48-year-old woman and sparked interest across the internet from digital sleuths. It wasn't until May 1 when it was confirmed her remains were found near Hope, B.C. Her case is still open and no arrests have been made by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) as of this publication.
TOWN CENTRE SHOOTING
- On April 19, 20-year-old Bailey McKinney was murdered near a basketball court in one of the busiest areas of Coquitlam's Town Centre Park. It was the sixth shooting of 2021 in the city and came 15 days after a pair of early morning shootings were investigated downtown.
BIG BEAR IS WATCHING
- In time for Earth Day (April 22), Charles Harris shared several photos of a big black bear he saw swimming in a pond in Coquitlam River Park. Harris said he was lucky he had his DSLR camera on hand as the Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary drama teacher was among about 50 people who stopped to take in the view of the furry creature. It caught the eye of many an Instagram follower too!
CUTEST. COP. EVER.
- Paige was just an eight-week-old German Shepherd when she became the youngest member of Coquitlam RCMP's police dog services team in late July. She was cared for by local Mounties before officially heading off to Alberta for training sessions to earn her full-time badge.
- Surrey resident Hailey Whitmore's video of a deer prancing through Buntzen Lake in Belcarra Regional Park became an overnight hit on social media. Posted in late July during one of B.C.'s heat waves, she garnered nearly 750,000 views on TikTok as people wanted to see the deer's interactions with the water, sand and people. It was also Whitmore's first trip to the popular Tri-City summer destination.
- In late July, a heat wave not quite as bad as the heat dome in June swept across the Tri-Cities impacting humans and animals alike. Two bears decided to soak in the cool refreshing waters of Deboville Slough in Coquitlam along the Pitt River channel. Photographer Dženan Jauzović also caught the two play-wrestling in providing an entertainment factor for hikers and walkers.
- More like 'Wipeout' actually, but two other black bears — who appeared to be siblings — provided some wholesome content for the Tri-Cities after using a Port Coquitlam backyard as their personal playground. Arezou Kamkar sent the video below to the Tri-City News, which featured a balancing act along the fence.
- Let's face it! Everyone loves holiday lights. And Coquitlam's Lights at Lafarge Lake dazzled this year with thousands upon thousands of twinkling displays thanks to hundreds of city volunteers.
ICE, ICE BABY!
- And of course, no proper B.C. Instagram page would go underserved without something about winter's unexpected twists amid a year of unprecedented events. It was just days ago that temperatures in the Tri-Cities dropped below -20 C, freezing many bodies of water, buildings and roads in the process. The welcome sign at Dayanee Springs in Coquitlam proves that effect!