The Fernie Memorial Arena has been closed for nearly three months. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Sask. residents help Fernie get back on the ice after arena disaster

Residents of Wilkie, Sask. are voting for Fernie in the Kraft Hockeyville competition

Right now, towns across Canada are voting for the community they think best deserves $250,000 in arena upgrades, as a part of the Kraft Hockeyville competition.

Look back: Locals nominating Fernie Memorial Arena to win $250,000 in upgrades

Despite being nearly 600 kilometres away, some people living in the town of Wilkie, Sask., say instead of voting for their own town, they will vote for Fernie instead.

The Fernie Memorial Arena has been closed for nearly three months.

“Fernie, B.C. has a tragic story,” read a post from a Wilkie, Sask., Facebook page on Jan. 9. “Three of the rink workers were killed from a ammonia leak in their rink. Their hockey teams now are using local rinks to play in, and the Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C. remains empty and not usable.”

“Wilkie, Sask and area, round up the troops!” it continued. “We’ve suffered a loss and been displaced before, now it’s our turn to help them skate on their home ice again!”

In 2015, a fire almost destroyed Wilkie’s community centre. It took them two long years to rebuild, and according to locals, this process was not easy.

This past summer, they were able to step back into their community centre for the first time.

“Our hockey teams and curlers and back doing what they love… it’s a tremendous feeling!” says Kathy Heilman, a Wilkie resident who helped rally support for Fernie, in a Facebook message to the Free Press.

This post received much support and thanks from residents in the Elk Valley.

“Can’t thank you enough,” read a response.

So far, Fernie Memorial Arena has garnered 58 stories, 80 notes and 48 pictures from those supporting Fernie in the Hockeyville competition.

To cast your vote, visit

Just Posted

Fernie misses mark for Hockeyville final four

Residents of Fernie were surprised Saturday night, when the final four communities… Continue reading

Fernie local apprehended after break and enter

An eagle-eyed resident has helped Elk Valley police nab an alleged burgler.… Continue reading

Former Riders coach reflects

Mohr looking for new opportunities after contract ends

Athletes ready for world stage

Three Fernie athletes to compete in the world’s biggest junior freeride competition.

Hydro prices to surge

Elk Valley businesses brace for 3 per cent Hydro rate increase.

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Monster turnout at Boarderstyle

Female snowboarders make history

Sparwood skaters impress

Club farewells coach

Army cadets test survival skills

Cadets endure -18C conditions

Exhibition builds compassion

Opioid use in focus

Medicinal cannabis patient shares story

Fernie mom spreads compassion

Epic deal for FAR

RCR signs new partnership

B.C. emergency alert system being tested Wednesday

Alarm tone and message will play on TV and radio

BC Conservatives pumped by poll results

Surge in popularity has BC party picturing elected representatives in Victoria

Most Read