Thanks to just over $30,000 in federal funding, the building that houses the Fernie Museum and Information Centre will continue to be restored
Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced the Fernie and District Historical Society will be receiving $30,300 under the Harper Government’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).
“Fernie has a huge history of over 100 years, from coal mining to skiing, to a number of other things,” said Wilks. “As you can see from the downtown area, it has a historic value to it. This funding will continue on with the opportunity to renovate this building so it relives its past.”
He went on to say, “Our Government is committed to creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity in our communities. By improving facilities such as this, we are helping to boost economic activity and maintain a high quality of life for Canadians.”
The Fernie Museum and Information Centre was founded by the Fernie and District Historical Society in 2004 at its original site, where the Lunchbox is now located. Shortly after, the Historical Society began working with the City of Fernie to relocate to the historical building at the corner of Second Avenue and Fifth Street. Following the City’s purchase of the building from BC Hydro in 2008, the Historical Society signed a 25-year lease and relocated there in early 2009.
The Historical Society has been restoring and renovating the building since taking it over, including upgrades to the washrooms, the installation of a handicap service elevator, and working on the museum’s core exhibit. The $30,300 in CIIF funding will go towards the final phase of the revamp project, improving the exterior of the building.
“The building is one of Fernie’s most distinctive heritage buildings, and along with the other heritage buildings on Main Street, it stands as a legacy from Fernie’s early citizens,” remarked Laura Nelson, President of the Fernie and District Historical Society. “The buildings really speak to the determination and the commitment that [those citizens] had despite many hardships to this area, and it’s really important that we respect the hard work they put in to shape this community and take care of its heritage buildings.
“We’re really pleased to be a part of that, and this money will help.”
The Historical Society is hoping to have the revamp of the building’s exterior, and everything inside of it, complete by the end of 2013.