By Dean Midyette

Pioneer Publisher

For me, looking into a mirror is scary at the best of times, but the days that linger between Christmas and New Years call for us to gaze not at ourselves, but over our shoulders and reflect on the year that is quickly drawing to a close.

As I was driving into work this week, the radio seemed filled with comments from those who cant wait for 2016 to end. If we allow ourselves to dwell on international stories, like the ongoing slaughter of innocents in Syria or the divisiveness of the U.S. presidential election and the Brexit vote in the UK, there are certainly some worrisome signs.

The Pioneer, however, is a local publication with an eye not dissimilar to Saurons that focuses locally. Look around; we live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Mordor, this is not.

This year, as in years past, our communities and the people who have chosen to live here shone. The word must be getting out as the number of students is on the rise, businesses are thriving, the new multi-use centre continues to take shape, and the snow at our award winning ski hills is spectacular.

What makes our community unique is the people our families, friends and neighbours. When we walk down the street, people greet each other by name. We have a vibrant arts community and an incredible number of service groups that are well supported by volunteers and donors. And when an event or fundraiser is held, we show up boy, do we show up! We also chose to solve disagreements with respectful dialogue, with an eye on common objectives and that which could divide us.

This Christmas season, I was inundated with stories about people who chose to offer support to those less fortunate. There were staff members celebrating Christmas that chose to give to a family in need, Christmas Star shopping spree winner Robyn Oliver taking some of her winnings and donating to the Food Bank, and a gentleman who heard about someone in need of a winter coat, someone hed never met, and the perfect Christmas gift arrived a day later. When fortunes turn, we are always there to step up and give back.

So bring it on 2017 were ready to celebrate another fantastic year!