A rally has been organized for Wednesday night to let everyone know why Fernie is “Hockeyville”.
Fernie is making a run at the annual Kraft Hockeyville competition that calls on communities to demonstrate their commitment to the sport of hockey.
The winner receives $250,000 in arena upgrades and gets to host a NHL pre-season game.
The Elk Valley community is looking to garner more attention for its bid that’s already received support from places like Wilkie, Saskatchewan and Lumby, British Columbia as well as hockey teams like the KIJHL’s Columbia Valley Rockies and clubs from Calgary, Alberta.
Those two communities began advocating for Fernie after learning of October’s tragedy when city employees Wayne Hornquist, Lloyd Smith and Calgary refrigeration contractor Jason Podloski died at Memorial arena due to a gas leak.
The facility has been closed since and the City expects it will need costly repairs to reopen.
Fernie Minor Hockey President Tracey Kelly helped plan Wednesday’s rally and says the support from other towns across Canada has been overwhelming.
She admits it has brought her to tears, and can’t express the amount of gratitude it has brought Fernie.
Kelly says the pain of losing those the three men is still very fresh but to know people from all different areas of the country are rooting for them leaves her speechless.
The rally goes 6 PM at the NHL-sized outdoor rink by the Aquatic Centre, and Kelly is calling on all arena users to show up and highlight why Memorial arena and hockey mean so much to Fernie.
The minor hockey presidents says Memorial Arena is part of the lifeblood of the community, and its closure has left a huge hole in Fernie.
– Fernie Minor Hockey President Tracey Kelly on the support from other communities
(Photo courtesy of Thomas Hopkins)