A new heritage project in Fernie will tell how the community was destroyed by fire in the early 1900s.
The city received $50,000 through a Canada 150 grant, which will go toward an art project focusing on the city-wide event.
Museum Director Ron Ulrich says the incident literally changed the face of Fernie in minutes.
“Much like the Fort McMurray fire in its intensity, it destroyed the entire town of Fernie in 19 minutes on August 1st in 1908,” Ulrich says. “So the $50,000 that we received would allow us to do a piece of public art dedicated to interpreting and telling that story of the 1908 fire.”
The community’s Historical Society also received $82,000 through the grants for infrastructure and gallery improvements.
Ulrich says the work will ensure the museum has a suitable home for the rest of the century.
“What this allows us to do is really concentrate on finishing off some of the heritage and conservation issues that we have with the building,” Ulrich says. “So it ensures that the building has the lifespan for another 100 years and allows us to do a few upgrades and tweaks to the upstairs gallery that allows us to present even better exhibitions in the future.”
– Fernie and District Historical Society Director and Curator, Ron Ulrich
– Jeff Johnson
(Photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie)