The Wren earns two Canadian Online Publishing Award nominations in its first year

The Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs) recognized The Wren for its audience development and website excellence in 2022.
Lyssa Martin, Brandi Schier and Kyra Grubb, staff at The Wren, stand together in a brush area in the Kamloops region. It's a sunny summer day. Everyone is smiling in the direction of the camera.
The Wren staff Lyssa Martin (left), Brandi Schier and Kyra Grubb, pictured in Kamloops (Tk’emlúps).

Every year, news organizations across Canada submit their work to the Canadian Online Publishing Awards (COPAs), which recognize the best in digital publishing and online community news. And this year The Wren has been named a finalist in not one, but two categories, despite taking flight less than a year ago.

“We’re continually engaging with our readers and community to discover exactly how we can contribute to the media ecosystem in Kamloops in the most meaningful way,” says Brandi Schier, CEO of Discourse Community Publishing. “Reader support not only strengthens our editorial mandate, but it allows us to put care and time into our articles, which isn’t possible under other revenue models.”

Kenthen Thomas’ teachings about Tk’emlúps, Secwepemctsín and the importance of language — originally published in newsletter format — are listed among the finalists in the awards’ Best Audience Development Series category.

“Part of growing up here was understanding our connection with the land, Secwépemc’ulucw [suh-WHEP-muhc-em-cooluc], and the stories,” Kenthen wrote in a July 19 newsletter.

Also nominated is The Wren’s website, which joins sister publications Sun Peaks Independent News and The Discourse as a finalist in the Best Community News Web Site category. Considering our site design was inspired by Kamloops’ gorgeous flora, fauna and colours, it only makes sense that it’s award-worthy!

COPA winners will be announced in February 2023, but at The Wren, we feel like we’ve already won.

The support Kamloops has given our small, independent news outlet since we launched in early 2022 means the world — and it shows us that there’s an appetite for community-based, in-depth storytelling here. We can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

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The Wren was founded by local residents who saw gaps in existing news coverage and believed our community deserved better.