Hundreds gathered together Wednesday night at the Fernie Aquatic Centre chanting “Fernie, Fernie,” in support of winning the Kraft Hockeyville contest. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

WATCH: Fernie rallies for support in Kraft Hockeyville contest

User groups have been displaced from their hometown arena since October’s ammonia leak tragedy.

It was a show of community spirit at its finest on Wednesday night, as Elk Valley residents came out in droves to support Fernie in winning the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

Parents, user groups, hockey teams and more came holding signs and wearing jerseys to rally support for the contest.

Right now, communities across Canada are vying for the $250,000 Hockeyville prize, which for Fernie, would go towards a new ice-making plant, something that would cost between $700,000 to $1 million.

Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano pointed out that a new all-season rink is sorely needed. Even during the rally, residents couldn’t skate on the outdoor rink because of weather conditions.

User groups like the Fernie Ghostriders, the Fernie Figure Skating team, Fernie Minor Hockey and more have been displaced from their hometown arena since October’s ammonia leak tragedy.

“It’s a bit emotional,” said Fernie local, Sarah Ingram, standing with a group of parents outside the Fernie Aquatic Centre. “I’m not surprised by how many people are here.”

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Craig Mohr brought his Junior B team out to the rally. The team has been playing home games in Sparwood since the arena closure.

“It’s awesome that all the user groups are out here,” said Mohr, adding that there was a number of faces out at the rally that he used to see on a daily basis at the Fernie Memorial Arena. “It’s nice to catch up with some of them.”

Many groups have organized ice time at the arena in Sparwood, however, some have had to travel as far as the Crowsnest Pass in order to play or practice.

Minor Hockey association president Tracey Kelly, alongside Fernie Ghostriders president Barb Anderson decided to organize the rally after touring downtown Fernie with Helen Urlacher and Mary Giuliano.

Urlacher is from Wilkie, Saskatchwan, a small town that also lost their arena, and placed in the top ten during the 2017 Hockeyville competition. Urlacher drove out to Fernie in January, in support of the city winning the contest.

“We wanted to do a rally to start ramping up nominations,” said Anderson, “to get as many votes as possible and win Kraft Hockeyville.”

“It’s been really tough on all of our user groups to not have an arena,” said Kelly. “We have a vested interest in having our arena open.”

Individuals can nominate Fernie by posting a note, story or photo of what hockey means to them and why the town is deserving a new arena at krafthockeyville.ca. Nominations are open until February 11.

The final four nominated communities in Canada will be announced by Kraft on March 17, and if Fernie makes it to this stage, voting will begin on March 30. Stay tuned.

 

Just Posted

Spike in Jaffray bear calls cause for concern

In 2018 there were 38 calls about bears spotted in the Jaffray area, compared to one call in 2017.

Snow on the way for Elk Valley

Winter weather advisory issued for East Kootenay with up to 15cm of snow expected over the next week

Snow removal still an issue for mobility challenged in Fernie

Disability advocate sees little improvement in sidewalk clearing; City promises to review policy

Sparwood trails community growing

Sparwood Trails Alliance grows trail network, membership; hosting fatbike event February 2

Huge demand for youth funding in the Elk Valley

Emily Brydon Youth Foundation overwhelmed by 2018/19 winter applications from local youth

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

OPINION: Jaffray bear meeting good first step, but not enough

A large number of individuals attended the grizzly bear meeting in Jaffray… Continue reading

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Most Read