Mercury Rising

By Julia Clarke
Photo by Janelle Maas

(Published in the January 2010 issue)

If you want to find out where all the Canadians are in San Diego, go to an ice rink," chuckles Barbara-Lee Edwards. That's where you're likely to find the Vancouver native when she's not co-anchoring Channel 8's evening newscasts. (Move over Sarah Palin, we've got our own self-described "hockey mom" with beauty-queen good looks.)

Between shuttling her six year-old son to hockey practice and her 13 year-old daughter to softball games, Edwards keeps a fairly low profile during her downtime.

"My favorite days are those when I wake up in the morning with absolutely nothing planned," she says. The Encinitas resident says an ideal day might start with breakfast on the deck at Ki's restaurant overlooking Cardiff reef, followed by a game of tennis at The Bridges (where she plays on a competitive women's doubles team) or a hike at Torrey Pines State Park. "It's just breathtaking there," she says.

And a far cry from the icy clime of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Edwards and her family lived for six years before KFMB-TV came calling. "They say it's the coldest city on earth with a population over 500,000," she says, a shiver creeping into her voice.

Edwards studied broadcast journalism at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, and got her first TV gig with a Vancouver station, where she reported on sports and weather. It was at her next job as anchor and producer for an affiliate station in Saskatchewan where she met her future husband, Curtis, a news and sports photographer.

Some evenings, Curtis and the kids swing by the Channel 8 studios to grab a bite with Mom between newscasts. And they were there to welcome her across the finish line of November's Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk. It was her sixth time participating in the 60-mile Walk, which raises funds and awareness for breast cancer .

"Women's health issues are really important to me," says Edwards, who reports on the latest medical headlines in her "Health Alert" segments. "In my early twenties, I had a scare with a lump, and it got me interested in learning more about breast cancer. I felt so in the dark because there was little information out there. The key is early detection and to get the issue out there," she says.

Edwards is also a big supporter of the American Heart Association (each year she emcees its Red Dress Luncheon) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County. It's her way of giving back to the community that's embraced her as one of their own.

"I really feel like this is home now," says Edwards. "And here you can play hockey year-round!"

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