Peace Arch News was named the country's best large community newspaper Thursday evening by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.
The CCNA announced the award at a gala in Toronto, giving Peace Arch News highest marks out of nearly 50 entries in the 25,000-and-over circulation category. The adjudication was based on several criteria, including range of coverage, quality of writing, photography, layout and advertising design.
Second-place honours went to Mountain News in Hamilton, Ont., and third prize went to PAN's sister paper, the Surrey/North Delta Leader, which also won gold for best front page.
Thursday's announcement followed several accolades received by PAN in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, PAN was named the province's best overall newspaper in its distribution category – for the second year in a row – by B.C. & Yukon Community Newspapers Association judges, and members of PAN's writing staff received international honours by the U.S.-based Local Media Association.
"It's an incredible testament to the perseverance and dedication of our entire team to our readers, especially given the heartbreak we suffered last year," said longtime ad manager Rita Walters, who was named publisher last fall following the sudden death of community-champion Linda Klitch.
"We take great pride that the newspaper we present to our readers and business partners in our community has been judged so highly by our peers."
Receiving the award in Toronto on behalf of Peace Arch News, Black Press chief operations officer Rick O'Connor – a South Surrey resident – dedicated the award to Klitch's memory.