WATCH: Fernie rallies for support in Kraft Hockeyville contest

User groups have been displaced from their hometown arena since October’s ammonia leak tragedy.

It was a show of community spirit at its finest on Wednesday night, as Elk Valley residents came out in droves to support Fernie in winning the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

Parents, user groups, hockey teams and more came holding signs and wearing jerseys to rally support for the contest.

Right now, communities across Canada are vying for the $250,000 Hockeyville prize, which for Fernie, would go towards a new ice-making plant, something that would cost between $700,000 to $1 million.

Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano pointed out that a new all-season rink is sorely needed. Even during the rally, residents couldn’t skate on the outdoor rink because of weather conditions.

User groups like the Fernie Ghostriders, the Fernie Figure Skating team, Fernie Minor Hockey and more have been displaced from their hometown arena since October’s ammonia leak tragedy.

“It’s a bit emotional,” said Fernie local, Sarah Ingram, standing with a group of parents outside the Fernie Aquatic Centre. “I’m not surprised by how many people are here.”

Fernie Ghostriders head coach Craig Mohr brought his Junior B team out to the rally. The team has been playing home games in Sparwood since the arena closure.

“It’s awesome that all the user groups are out here,” said Mohr, adding that there was a number of faces out at the rally that he used to see on a daily basis at the Fernie Memorial Arena. “It’s nice to catch up with some of them.”

Many groups have organized ice time at the arena in Sparwood, however, some have had to travel as far as the Crowsnest Pass in order to play or practice.

Minor Hockey association president Tracey Kelly, alongside Fernie Ghostriders president Barb Anderson decided to organize the rally after touring downtown Fernie with Helen Urlacher and Mary Giuliano.

Urlacher is from Wilkie, Saskatchwan, a small town that also lost their arena, and placed in the top ten during the 2017 Hockeyville competition. Urlacher drove out to Fernie in January, in support of the city winning the contest.

“We wanted to do a rally to start ramping up nominations,” said Anderson, “to get as many votes as possible and win Kraft Hockeyville.”

“It’s been really tough on all of our user groups to not have an arena,” said Kelly. “We have a vested interest in having our arena open.”

Individuals can nominate Fernie by posting a note, story or photo of what hockey means to them and why the town is deserving a new arena at krafthockeyville.ca.

The final four nominated communities in Canada will be announced by Kraft on February 11, and if Fernie makes it to this stage, voting will begin. Stay tuned.

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

 

Hundreds gathered together Wednesday night at the Fernie Aquatic Centre chanting “Fernie, Fernie,” in support of winning the Kraft Hockeyville contest. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Just Posted

Royal Montreal Golf Club to host Presidents Cup

An impressive contingent of Canadian Players should be on home turf for the 2024 Presidents Cup

All Mercer Celgar workers in Castlegar return to work

At least 215 of the workers were laid off during a temporary mill shutdown in July

Arctic vessel named after Trail-born war hero

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom of story to see more photos of Lt. Robert Hampton Gray

Trail’s Champions Hockey School happy to get kids back on the ice

Popular Champions Hockey School goes ahead with pandemic protocols in place

Trail Blazers: From row boats to ferries to bridges

Trail Blazers is a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read