The 10 Most-Read VanMag Stories of 2020

10. Meet the Finalists for Bar of the Year

This year we had an idea: our Jan/Feb issue is traditionally concerned with all things drinking, so why not transport the drinking categories of the Restaurant Awards—Sommelier of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Best Bar, Best Brewery—into their own special edition of the magazine? And so, our shortlist for Bar of the Year was born.

9. How a Vancouverite’s Twitter Gag Became Right-Wing Propaganda

Nathan Hare’s joke image of bagged soda somehow became ammunition for those opposing Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

8. The 2020 Made in Vancouver Awards

We’ve proud of the creative folks who sew, saw and stir in our city, but COVID-19 has made us more grateful than ever for local makers. Evaluating this year’s entries has been a bright light between video calls and grocery-store trips for our judges, and we’re finally ready to shed our (metaphorical) masks and share the best of the best with our second annual Made in Vancouver Awards. 

7. New Film “Indian Road Trip” Travels from the Rez to Wreck Beach

“I had just spent about ten years doing Indigenous social justice work, covering AIDS, HIV, fetal alcohol syndrome, and death in custody,” says filmmaker A.W. Hopkins, “And I wanted to do something that shows a different side of Indigenous people, something that is humourous and captures the people in an authentic way.”

6. Best Neighbourhood Restaurants 2020

These are the restaurants you imagine walking to once a week if you lived in the ‘hood. Sometimes they serve tacos, sometimes tuna tartare—but whatever they do, they kill it night in and night out, in a way that perfectly encapsulates their home turf.

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5. Sex Doll Rental Service Brings, Er, Companionship to Your Front Door

After Canada’s first sex doll brothel shuttered its doors, months after opening in Vancouver, a new rental delivery service hoped to penetrate the luxury masturbation market. 

4. What It’s Like to Get Tested for Coronavirus

We’ve probably all experienced it firsthand by now… but back in March (remember March?) our executive editor was the first person we knew to get “the swab.” And while she waited for her results, she wrote all about it.

3. The 2020 VanMag Power 50 List

This is the face of power in the upside-down year that is 2020. Our list tries to capture some of the people who helped (and are still helping) Vancouver navigate the greatest public health threat in half a century. But it also recognizes that there was more than COVID: there was a scary ramp up in the opioid crisis, a social justice call to arms, an improbable spike in real estate prices and a hundred other issues that made Vancouver the always-compelling place to live that it is.

2. Vancouver Magazine’s 2020 Restaurant Awards

It’s been a weird year, to say the least. But it just makes us appreciate our amazing restaurant scene more than ever. Presenting our 2020 Restaurant Award winners. Hope you’re hungry.

1. Our Favourite Local Designers Making Face Masks Right Now

These are some of the local designers that have pivoted to making us those much needed safe—yet fashionable—non-medical grade face masks in line with COVID-19 recommendations.