Free fireworks are always a big hit at Griz Days.

Free fireworks are always a big hit at Griz Days.

Chamber makes its case for Griz Days 2021

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is committed to making Griz Days happen, but is looking for city support

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce requested the City of Fernie formalize its contribution for the 2021 Griz Days winter festival.

In a presentation to a Committee of the Whole meeting this week, chamber executive Brad Parsell laid out what the next Griz Days would look like, and what it wouldn’t.

All events planned are being designed to meet current public health requirements, and Parsell said that “what you won’t see is anything that attracts more than 50 people.”

Events to return under the current proposal are the Extreme Griz Competition, Griz Pins (with reduced numbers due to reduced opportunities to sell in person), appearances from the Griz himself, wood carving and snow sculptures as well as a fireworks display which Parsell said would likely be larger.

Satellite events will also be coming back (at the chamber’s discretion), while Fernie Alpine Resort will play a part.

Events that won’t be back are the pub crawl, parade, beer garden, live music, lumberjack show (basically most events associated with downtown street closures) and the Dummy Downhill.

Parsell added that there was “no interest in incorporating a virtual music concert” as part of Griz Days 2021.

“The feeling around the community is that that’s definitely been played out a little bit.”

The chamber, which is the key driver and organizer of Griz Days is 100 per cent behind ensuring the festival goes ahead despite the challenges of the pandemic, said Parsell, who said the chamber is now well-versed in pivoting events to function under the public health requirements of the pandemic.

Despite this, financial considerations are front of mind for the chamber, with members of the business organization doing it tough, Parsell said the chamber was expecting corporate sponsorship of the event to be as much as 50 per cent less than in a usual year.

Normally, Griz Days carries a price tag of $50,000 – of which 50 per cent comes from corporate sponsors and 20 per cent from the City of Fernie.

“Knowing whether the City will contribute the usual $10k is critical to our planning,” said Parsell. “With an estimated budget of $30,000 to deliver a modified Griz Days in 2021 – the City of Fernie partnership would represent a third of total funding.”

Councillors voted to direct staff to bring a report to council on formalizing a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fernie for the next three years, with the particulars of the city’s financial contribution to be discussed when that report is voted on.

City staff expressed support for the festival.

Questions and comments from councillors included queries on safety and security given the normal popularity of the festival, and the limits on numbers imposed by the province. In response, Parsell said that “safety of our community is our number one priority,” explaining that there would be lots of virtual events and no large events in person.

READ MORE: Griz Days to go ahead in 2021, will ‘look different’: Chamber



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Culture

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

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Real estate has been moving very briskly in Kimberley since last summer. Bulletin file
Hot Kimberley real estate market leads to tightened inventory

Real estate sales in the entire Kootenay region have been brisk for… Continue reading

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Gas prices jumped in Golden to 131.9c this week, a trend that's supposed to continue into the summer. (Claire Palmer/Golden Star)
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Clovechok concerned as gas prices continue to rise

Fuel prices are supposed to skyrocket this summer as British Columbians await BCUC analysis

The area shaded in yellow was purchased last year by the Regional District of Central Kootenay. The purple area is the current purchase. Map: Submitted
Cottonwood Lake fundraiser reaches goal

The Nelson community group has raised $400,000 to purchase 40 hectares of forest

Most Read