Work on Fernie’s outdoor skating rink is underway, thanks to a overwhelming response from volunteers in the community. The rink is set to be finished before the holidays. Alexandra Heck/The Free Fress

Fernie to have skating by Christmas

The new outdoor rink is tentatively set to open for skating on December 20, with the grand opening to take place on December 21.

Look back: Fernie receives funding for outdoor skating rink

Many skating options will be available at the soon-to-be-completed skating rink in Fernie. It will be open to all ages, and a few hours every day will be dedicated to those groups with programming already in place. Several groups of younger youth are looking forward to using this ice as they have trouble traveling outside of Fernie to skate on other ice. Right now these groups include Isabella Dicken Elementary, The Fernie Academy, the Learn To Skate program and Timbits. Times for these programs will be scheduled in to work with Fernie Minor Hockey and Fernie Figure Skating Club.

The regulation-size ice surface of the new outdoor rink is larger than the Fernie Memorial Arena. Half ice was a priority when planning for the outdoor rink. Fernie Minor Hockey recently purchased half-boards so that two different activities can take place simultaneously.

When the ice isn’t being used for youth programs, the outdoor rink will be open to the public. The City of Fernie has proposed that ice hockey be played at the outdoor rink, and pleasure skating take place at the Courthouse. Pleasure skating is set to take place at the large rink for a few hours on weekends.

A full schedule of program times and public skates will be released after the leisure services board meets on Wednesday, December 13.

According to the schedule in its current state, the outdoor rink will open at sunrise, and the lights will be turned off at 10 p.m. In discussion, the Leisure Services board decided on 10 p.m. to allow men’s hockey to be played in the evening.

Some residents of nearby homes voiced concern that the lights from the rink would disturb them at night.

“We’re really hopeful that the citizens will be respectful of the community right beside the Aquatic Centre, and abide by those times,” said Leisure Service Advisory Board Chair, Jocelyn Sombrowski.

Lights will be set up at the rink, feeding off of power from the Aquatic Centre. Two lights will be placed on the south side of the rink, facing towards the Aquatic Centre and away from surrounding homes. Additionally, two lights will be placed at either end of the rink.

The water source for the bike wash will be used to flood the arena. An on-demand hot water tank will be used by the Zamboni to perform hot floods on the ice.

“The ice should be really good,” said City of Fernie CAO Norm McInnis.

The Zamboni will be kept on-site in a heated housing unit.

Many local businesses have donated time and resources to help bring this structure to life. A full list of businesses who helped make this possible will be published with the story on the grand opening.

editor@thefreepress.ca

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

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

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

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read