Sounder publisher only Canadian in Top 25 under 35 newspaper awards

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, November 21 2017

Sarah Holmes, publisher and co-owner of the Gabriola Sounder, has been included as one of the “Top 25 Under 35” recipients by Editor & Publisher (E&P), a monthly magazine covering the North American newspaper industry.

She is the only Canadian on the list, which is open to staff of any department within the newspaper industry. 130 nominations from across North America were submitted.

Nu Yang and Sean Stroh, both with E&P, called this year’s collection of recipients an “eclectic” group, “who all believe in the power of the press. They come from different backgrounds, work in different markets, and serve in different positions, but they all play a crucial part in delivering information and the truth to their communities.

“Whether it’s a small, weekly paper or a large, daily publication, these men and women are working hard to ensure the success of the newspaper industry.”

Holmes’ peers in the provincial and national associations congratulated her on her inclusion on this year’s list.

George Affleck, general manager for the BC & Yukon Community Newspapers Association, said, “How Sarah juggles her many commitments continues to amaze the team at the BCYCNA office. We often ask if she has she found more hours in a day that we are not aware of, because 24 hours can’t possibly be enough for someone who is an entrepreneur, a mom, a volunteer, and more.”

Earlier this year, Holmes finished her term as president of the BCYCNA.

Affleck said, “In her term as president, Sarah provided consistent and inspirational leadership to the staff at the office. And she’s a lot of fun to hang out with too.”

John Hinds is the president and chief executive officer of Canadian News Media Association where Holmes currently sits on the board as a representative for independently-owned newspapers in Canada.

“We are really happy that one of our board members is on the list. Sarah has made a real contribution nationally by bringing the voice of small independent newspapers to the table. Her age and experience also provide the industry with a new and often challenging perspective. 

“On a board level, she is a thoughtful and engaged member and we appreciate the challenges that living on Gabriola present when attending meetings in central Canada.”

As a fourth generation newspaper publisher, Sarah Holmes became publisher of the Gabriola Sounder at age 24. 

Her father, his two brothers, her grandfather and her great-grandfather all owned and ran newspapers - primarily in Saskatchewan and Alberta. 

Her brother currently owns and operates an independent printing press in Wainwright, Alberta.

Kerry Slater, BCYCNA special projects manager, said, “Sarah is one of those people you meet in the industry who is in it because she loves newspapers.

“Ink is in her blood, and when she speaks either to her friends and family—or to fellow industry members—you can hear the passion she has for community newspapers.”