Find Posts By Topic

Most memorable videos of 2023

It’s that season when, as the calendar prepares to make its final flip, we like to cast a nostalgic look back at the year. Where did the time go? In a year that signaled rebuilding, reconnecting, and reinvention, we offer you some of our most memorable videos of 2023. These recommendations come from dedicated Seattle Channel team members who bring you a huge variety of high-quality videos year after year. You’ll find that it’s you, Seattle, who is the star of the show. 

All signs point to memory lane 

Vanishing Seattle celebrates city’s past through captivating collection of salvaged signs 

Production Manager Ed Escalona was transported down memory lane when he watched our short about Vanishing Seattle’s exhibit of vintage signs at RailSpur during this summer’s Seattle Art Fair.“ As a Seattleite born and raised, it was fun walking through a virtual time machine, viewing signs from so many places I’ve been to, all now long gone,” he said. “It was fun remembering my first high school date at the Coliseum (Jaws, of course) and celebrating my 21st birthday at Andy’s Diner.” Take a quick tour of the exhibit of Seattle signs, past and present. 

Stories that inspire 

Artist Carolyn Hitt: Capitol Hill’s mover, shaker & community builder  

For Nancy Guppy, host of Art Zone, Seattle’s local art scene is a constant source of inspiration. Art Zone packs every episode with stories about Seattle’s creative scene, and choosing one favorite story from the year is not easy. “I particularly like the Art Zone story on Carolyn Hitt because of her clarity of vision,” noted Nancy. “Carolyn’s passion and drive to make art is equaled by her hands-on commitment to care for and provide opportunities for the artists and residents in her local Capitol Hill neighborhood. In short, Carolyn inspires me.” Learn more about Carolyn and the community she built at Capitol Hill’s Blue Cone Studios and So Below Photo & Design. 

Terrain talk on TikTok 

“Seven Hills of Seattle” 

Tyler Sipe, a multimedia producer for the station, loves creating content that engages the Seattle Channel’s social media audiences. This summer, he posted a TikTok video about the city’s defining topographical feature – its hills. “Seattle’s hills are a part of the city’s identity, and people here will inevitably express their opinions about them. They either love them for the views or loathe them for the unwanted workout,” said Tyler. “The “Seven Hills of Seattle” was fun to create, not only for its historical tidbits but also for the conversation it sparked with our TikTok followers.” 


From “Pill Hill” to skid row to a hill that no longer exists, learn the story of the “Seven Hills of Seattle.” #seattle

♬ History, inventions, discoveries, documentaries:L(1210900) – 8.864

A boring story

Travel the MudHoney boring-machines subterranean commute & MudHoney breaks through

Some projects dig deep and take several years to come to fruition. “Back in 2018, City of Seattle colleague Keith Ward told me about his position as Project Management and Delivery Executive for the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. This massive infrastructure project includes a 2.7-mile long, 19-foot diameter underground storage tunnel, pump station, and heavy construction works in five Seattle neighborhoods,” says Seattle Channel General Manager Shannon Gee, talking about the origins of a pair of videos produced this year. “A 2021 contest christened the tunnel boring machine “MudHoney,” and the work went largely unseen, at least until summer 2023 when they let us go “under the scenes” to tour the tunnel and mark the end of MudHoney’s journey. The tunnel will help prevent polluted stormwater and sewage from discharging into the Lake Washington Ship Canal, Salmon Bay, and Lake Union, an estimated 75 million gallons yearly. Many thanks to Seattle Public Utilities for your continued work on this huge project, and congrats for hitting this critical milestone (and drilling through lots of miles of stone!).”

Finding a glimmer of hope 

The Fight Against Fentanyl 

Brian Callanan has been Seattle Channel’s public affairs host since 2011, but this is the first documentary he’s produced for the channel (with senior producer Susan Han). “It’s tough to truly understand the opioid crisis until you meet someone who’s lost a loved one because of it,” says Brian. “Laura Lynch’s daughter Brillion died after a fentanyl overdose just after her 18th birthday, and it clearly tore Laura’s family apart. But her willingness to share her story, along with the inspiring outreach work of the Third Avenue Project, Eastside Fire & Rescue, First Clinic, and so many others, gives me a glimmer of hope in the midst of the fentanyl epidemic. The challenge now is for elected leaders to listen to voices like Laura’s and create some public policies that can make an impact on this complex problem.” Watch the documentary “The Fight Against Fentanyl” for a local look inside the opioid crisis that is responsible for claiming the lives of 150 Americans a day. 

Music to your ears 

The Magical Master Guitar Maker Roy McAlister 

Story ideas can come from the most unexpected places. “Late summer 2022, my wife and I were unknowingly sitting a few seats away from guitar maker Roy McAlister at a Jackson Browne concert in Woodinville,” recalls producer and videographer Pete Cassam. “On stage, Jackson picked up one of his many guitars and told the audience it was ‘made by someone special who is here tonight, Roy McAlister.’ He said he was grateful for Roy and his master craftsmanship of lutherie through the years. Jackson then played a song or two with his McAlister guitar. I emailed Roy a few weeks later to see if he would be willing to share his story. He agreed, even though he is fighting cancer. I teamed up with Vince Pierce to film the interview and b-roll at Roy’s shop in Gig Harbor. We really enjoyed meeting him and learning about his craft. Roy is just a super humble guy with an amazing story, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to share his story.” Don’t miss this video for an inside view of Roy’s workshop and the life of a luthier. 

Uncovering a treasure trove from a life in pictures 

Life Through the Lens of Al Smith 

Seattle has always been a hotbed of talent, some very well hidden. “Even though photographer Al Smith passed away in 2008, his images are still being discovered,” says producer and videographer Randy Eng. “The Museum of History and Industry estimates the Smith family donated more than 40,000 photos from Al Smith, Sr.’s collection, which could take years (decades?!) to catalog! One thing that made working on this story special to me was Al’s son, Al “Butch” Smith, Jr., whose wonderful laugh and enthusiasm were quite contagious. The other is that Al Smith took all these pictures because he loved his Seattle community and thought it was important to document. He was not a reporter assigned to cover these events. He just WENT on his own time and dime… often dragging his kids along with him.” Watch to experience Al Smith, Sr.’s Seattle, from the lively jazz scene of the 1930s and 1940s to community celebrations, parades, and day-to-day life. 

Sublime artistry “freezes time in a rectangle” 

Process: Brian Sanchez 

Videographer and director Vince Pierce has visited a lot of artist studios to document creative spaces and artistic practices for Art Zone, so what makes one studio visit stand out from the others? “I had been drawn to Brian’s work for years, but I didn’t know why,” said Vince. “Observing him in his studio and exploring his process added depth and meaning to his vivid abstractions.” See for yourself; we think Brian Sanchez’s hypnotic color-rich process will draw you in as well. While you’re enjoying his brushwork, don’t forget to breathe.    

A sweet story 

New Northwest Syrup Source  

“I love it when ingenuity and opportunity intersect,” says Norm Ohashi, senior producer of CityStream, Seattle University Conversations, and other signature Seattle Channel offerings. “That’s the case with one of my favorite stories of the year, with a thankless tree species many people long regarded as a weed. But now the Bigleaf Maple has an opportunity to shine. Even better, it can show the world its sweeter side! Just the thought of people trampling through the woods to tap Bigleaf Maples is such a feel-good moment. Why should the Northeast hog all the attention? I appreciate the Pacific Northwest hobbyists who saw an opportunity and decided to sink their teeth into it. A whole new cottage industry is about to take off!” Check out this video to learn more about the locals tapping into the syrup market. 

History teaches us to see our city in a new way 

Paying Tribute to Seattle’s Black Landmarks and Namesakes 

Pam Dotson is Seattle Channel’s production coordinator, diligently keeping the channel humming along by juggling all the production and staff scheduling. In addition, she’s our resident history buff. “I’m always a fan of all things history related, and what they teach me about my city,” said Pam. “What a treat to learn history and anecdotes about the people for whom our streets and parks are named, and from a woman who actually knew the people first-hand! She brought these placenames to life, and I won’t ever drive by these street signs or visit these parks again without thinking about the impactful Seattle residents and icons they’re named for.” In this video, listen to Mary Henry share a few stories from her book, “Tributes: Black People Whose Names Grace Seattle Sites.” 

Books unbanned 

Seattle libraries UNban books 

“As you might have deduced (you sleuth, you) from the background of this video, I am, have always been, and will always be, an avowed and proud bookworm. Some say I collect faster than I can read; I say you’re absolutely right, but you can’t stop me.” This video pick comes from Addy Pratt, communications specialist at the channel and our talented TikTok wizard. “The Seattle Public Library (of slanty-glass-wall fame) inspired me to share a little banned-book history when they joined the Books Unbanned Initiative, offering young people across the county access to their digital collection. This video is one of my favorites of 2023, not only because it’s about reading or history or fighting censorship, but also because it required my traipsing around Seattle on foot, library to library, chatting with librarians, and collecting books as I went. Can you believe they pay me for this?” 

Open your eyes to a new world at your feet 

Moss, the brilliant green icon of the Pacific Northwest, and the microscopic world it supports 

Even in a big city like Seattle, nature is everywhere. From crows to coyotes, Seattle Channel explores the hidden parts of Seattle, some in plain view. “I love it when one of our stories teaches me something new, especially when it opens my eyes to a bountiful microscopic world literally growing under my feet,” remarked Jennifer Nerad, a multimedia producer at the channel. “And, as a new gardener, I’m happy to have something growing in my yard that I know will thrive no matter what I do.” Learn a bit about the 700 species of moss that grow in the Pacific Northwest and the creatures that thrive inside the moss ecosystem. 

Watch Seattle Channel on cable television channel 21 on Comcast (321 HD) and Wave (721 HD) for cable subscribers in Seattle. Programming is also available online on Seattle Channel’s website, YouTube, or find older videos in the Seattle Municipal Archives Digital Collections. Follow Seattle Channel on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.