Deborra Hope, a fixture on the Global BC anchor desk and its predecessor BCTV, has passed away after an almost decade-long battle with early onset dementia. She was 67.
Originally from Trail, BC, Hope left home at age 18 to attend the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she got her feet wet in journalism reading newscasts and hosting on campus station CITR and reporting for student newspaper, The Ubyssey.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she studied journalism at Carleton University and began working as a junior reporter with The Canadian Press. She went on to join the now-defunct United Press International (UPI) as a Vancouver-based reporter, until being lured away by former BCTV news director Cameron Bell in 1981. She hosted the Early News at 5 p.m. and the InSight segment during the News Hour at 6, in addition to the 6 p.m. newscast, alongside Tony Parsons, for many years.
Hope, who was married to Global BC cameraman Roger Hope, retired at age 59 in October 2014 when she started to show symptoms of early onset dementia. She eventually entered long term care. Global BC’s Squire Barnes documented the family’s journey with Alzheimer’s in a feature story in 2020.
Tributes from those who worked with Hope have been flooding social media.
“Deb Hope was one of the best, and a class act,” wrote CTV Vancouver News Director Ethan Faber, who started his career at BCTV, in a post to Twitter. “She sat with me in the edit suite when I worked on my very first story. She was kind and patient and a fantastic journalist and mentor to many. A huge loss for our profession.”
Global BC News Director and Station Manager Bhupinder S. Hundal called Hope “a unique journalist who built an amazing and everlasting connection with her peers and the audience.”
“She did it with incredible skill, combined with dignity and humanity,” said Hundal, in a statement provided to Broadcast Dialogue. “Deb is one of the great voices of BCTV/Global BC and the province of BC has lost one of its most influential people. Our thoughts are with the entire Hope family during this time.”
Hope was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2022 “for her contributions to Canadian journalism as a reporter and anchor, and for her tireless involvement as a volunteer.”
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