Abbotsford News press hall move spurred by expansion

Black Press now operates a brand-new facility on Vantage Way in Delta, where it produces all of its community newspapers

The Abbotsford News and numerous other sister community papers, as well the Vancouver Metro, are now being printed at a new Black Press facility in Delta.

For almost 40 years, the press hall at the Abbotsford News has produced millions of newspaper pages from its location at Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford, just off South Fraser Way and Sumas Way.

Every week since the late 1970s, huge rolls of newsprint have whirred through the Goss Urbanite web offset press to bring local papers to Abbotsford and communities such as Mission, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, White Rock and Surrey.

A new era began on Monday, Feb. 2 with the closure of the press hall at the Abbotsford News and its move to the Vantage Way Production Centre in Delta along with about all 20 press personnel and support staff.

The remaining staff – including the newsroom, advertising, production and accounting – will continue to operate out of Abbotsford.

Publisher Andrew Franklin said the press hall move is a positive one for Black Press, which owns more than 150 titles in print and online in Canada.

“Print is alive and well. Black Press is looking at new contracts and we’re looking to expand,” Franklin said.

Black Press currently holds the contract for the printing of the Vancouver Metro and the National Post.

Now, with the move to the Vantage Way site, Black Press adds a contract for The Province at the Vanpress facility in Burnaby.

In addition to the new press at Vantage Way, Black Press also installed new inserting equipment to handle the increased flyer volumes.

Franklin said that between the existing press facility at Vanpress and the new Vantage Way site, Black Press will service all of its community papers in the Lower Mainland, in addition to the contracts for the three dailies.

(Photo below: Staff of the press hall are shown during one of their last days at the Abbotsford News facility before moving to the Vantage Way Production Centre in Delta.)

 

Franklin said the move to Vantage Way was made in part to accommodate the printing of the daily newspapers in a location that is more accessible to Vancouver and enables more efficient delivery times.

He said readers will not notice any delays in the delivery of their community newspaper, as printing schedules have been adjusted to account for the extra travel time.

Franklin said the Vantage Way location is a state-of-the-art facility with a new Goss DGM 430 press that is more efficient and technologically advanced than the old press.

Harvey Toews, who will manage the pre-press area at Vantage Way and has been with the Abbotsford News for 45 years, said he feels fortunate to have been involved in the “ever-evolving technological advances” in the newspaper industry.

“The transition to the Vantage Way Production Centre marks a significant change and improvement in press technology. I am happy to be part of the team to facilitate this project,” he said.

Press foreman Garry Buller, who has been with The News since 1974, said the move brings with it a “lot of reflection on how far we’ve come.”

He recalls working from a small shop down the road from the current Abbotsford News building where an old Linotype machine was used in which printing involved moulds filled with molten lead.

“There have been many technological changes throughout our career, but it’s been the staff and people I work with that have made it an honour to be able to continue this trade and develop better ways to bring you (the reader) the best product we can,” Buller said.

Franklin added, “In our ever-changing media world it is pleasing to see that despite advances in online marketing, community newspapers continue to be a strong factor when it comes to local advertising and being connected to your own community.”

The Abbotsford News originated in 1922, after George H. Heller purchased the 16-year-old Abbotsford Post and renamed it the Abbotsford, Sumas and Matsqui News.

The paper was sold in 1938 to Lang Sands, and then in 1949 to Cecil Hacker. A British company, The Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Limited, purchased The News, the Chilliwack Progress and the Fraser Valley Record (now the Mission Record) in 1962, and Hacker became president of all three.

The Abbotsford News is now part of the Black Press chain, which acquired the publication in 1997 along with 15 other Lower Mainland  community newspapers. David Black of Victoria is the majority owner of Black Press, which has operations in B.C., Alberta, Washington, Hawaii, California and Ohio. The company has approximately 3,500 employees.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse, off duty cop testifies in Langley murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Trinity Western University’s men’s hockey team will host the three-team Captains Cup, featuring the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the Spartans, starting November 12th (Courtesy TWU)
Captains Cup hockey series comes to Langley

Trinity Western University to host UBC and SFU at George Preston arena

LOSC members worked out at the Aldergrove outdoor pool on Saturday, Oct. 24 (LOSC/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Swim club ‘broken-hearted’ by Langley Township pool decision

Staff report said it will cost less to reopen WC Blair instead of Walnut Grove

.
ON COOKING: Chef offers a new take on pumpkin spice

Pumpkin puree can be used to make a salad dressing

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and staff by parents must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read