Outdoor Rink Grand Opening in Fernie, BC December 21, 2017

Photo by Ryan Schultz Photo

Fernie is buzzing with excitement as the Grand Opening of its first NHL-size ice rink fast approaches. This December 21, 2017 the City of Fernie in partnership with the Calgary Flames Foundation and the Fernie Lions Club is hosting an opening event beginning at 5pm.

A project that was proposed and begun on November 27, 2017, with the donation of the rink boards from the Calgary Flames Foundation, project management by Chuck Shoesmith of the Fernie Lions Club, and additional support by a multitude of volunteers and Elk Valley businesses, it's been impressive to say the least to see how the community has come together to make this happen.

The grand opening marks the kick off of a holiday schedule of public skating available daily (weather permitting) from first daylight to 10pm. The event features the opportunity for minor hockey and figure skaters to try out the new surface, followed by an open-skate for the public with music, bonfires and a Lions Club concession with hot dogs and hot chocolate.

"Seeing the effort of the community to come together over the past weeks to prep the site, erect the boards, make the ice, and add changing rooms, heated Zamboni storage, and get this ice ready in time for the holidays has been amazing,” says Mayor Mary Giuliano. “There has been tremendous support with over $200,000 donations in time, services, and materials from within the community and from outside donors that have made this possible and volunteers have stepped up and are ready to maintain the ice over the season.”

“The mandate of the Calgary Flames Foundation includes the goal to improve the quality of life for people in our community,” said Ken King, CEO and President of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the Calgary Flames Foundation. “We hope this impact is made in Fernie and the outdoor rink becomes a second home to many residents. It has been inspiring to watch the community rally around this project.”

The City of Fernie Leisure Services Advisory Board continues to collect donations to cover construction costs and maintenance over the season. They are also still recruiting volunteers via fernielsab@gmail.com.

Limited scheduled programming is slated to begin on the ice in early January, and a full list of donators and volunteers will be posted on our site in the New Year as well.

Happy Holidays, Fernie. And thank you to the many, many involved in this feel-good, community oriented project.