Fernie chamber plans for snowless Griz Days

Chamber of Commerce expresses concern over the continuous warm weather and how it might alter plans for the annual Commit 2 Pain Rail Jam.

  • Feb. 19, 2015 5:00 p.m.

With the Griz Days winter festival just around the corner, the Fernie Chamber of Commerce is expressing concern over the continuous warm weather and how it might alter plans for the annual Commit 2 Pain Rail Jam.

During the Feb. 10 council meeting, Fernie Chamber of Commerce executive director Corien Sieders asked for the city’s support in the Griz Days festival, while addressing her concern over the lack of snow this season.

“We are looking into what the opportunities are and what we can offer if there’s no snow in town,” Sieders said, noting that at the beginning of February, the chamber met with Tourism Fernie and some other key stakeholders in the Griz Days festival to discuss what they can do to ensure the festival attracts out-of-towners and Fernie locals alike.

In terms of the Commit 2 Pain Rail Jam, Sieders noted that the chamber is currently working towards a solution so that they can still host a similar event if it fails to snow.

“We are looking into a plan B to have a mini skateboard jam, or we will set up a certain trail for the snow bikes,” said Sieders.

Coun. Phil Iddon noted that despite unfavourable conditions, the annual Snow Drag race — a snowmobile race — was able to go forward as planned.

“I know we had snow issues for the snow drags and they did a great job at doing construction for that,” said Iddon. “There are options for us and that’s great.”

During the 2014 Griz Days winter festival, 250 man hours were dedicated and the city put forward $16,000, $7,700 of which were related to equipment cost, including the cost of the rail jam equipment according to Chief Executive Officer Jim Hendricks.

“The event is a true representation of a model community event in which many partners and stakeholders are involved in the preparation, execution and conclusion of Griz Days,” Hendricks said. “Without the city’s ongoing support, the event would not be able to achieve the level of success it has in the past.”

Sieders noted that she plans to speak with Griz Days stakeholders over the next week in order to put an alternative plan in place for the rail jam event, along with other snow related festivities. If additional funding is required, the Fernie Chamber of Commerce will bring their findings forward to the city prior to the event.