Lumby supports vote for Fernie Hockeyville idea

Okanagan village that won 2016 crown backs Saskatchewan call to vote for Fernie after arena disaster

The idea gave Angie Clowry goosebumps.

Clowry, one of the main organizers of Lumby’s 2016 Hockeyville Canada victory, is back on the Hockeyville bandwagon after hearing a town in Saskatchewan has thrown its Hockeyville support behind Fernie, B.C., whose arena has been closed for three months after a deadly ammonia leak resulted in the deaths of three men.

“After what Fernie has gone through, it’s a beautiful thing to do,” said Clowry of Wilkie’s decision to support Fernie for the title of Hockeyville 2018, where the winner will get $250,000 in upgrades to its local rink.

The Fernie Memorial Arena remains closed. The Junior B Fernie Ghostriders of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League have been playing their home games in nearby Sparwood, 31 kilometres away.

Wilkie’s own Saskcan Community Centre was severely damaged in a fire in 2015, and took about $300,000 in upgrades to get it operational again.

Related: Sask. residents help Fernie get back on the ice after arena disaster

Towns across Canada are voting for the community they think deserves $250,000 in upgrades to a local ice rink, as a part of the Kraft Hockeyville competition.

Despite being nearly 600 kilometres away, some people living in Wilkie say instead of voting for their own town, they will vote for Fernie instead.

“Fernie, B.C. has a tragic story,” read a post from a Wilkie, Sask., Facebook page on Jan. 9. “Three of the rink workers were killed from a ammonia leak in their rink. Their hockey teams now are using local rinks to play in, and Memorial Arena in Fernie, B.C. remains empty and not usable.”

“Wilkie, Sask and area, round up the troops!” it continued. “We’ve suffered a loss and been displaced before, now it’s our turn to help them skate on their home ice again!”

It took two years to rebuild the Saskcan Community Centre, and according to locals, this process was not easy.

This past summer, they were able to step back into their community centre for the first time.

“Our hockey teams and curlers and back doing what they love… it’s a tremendous feeling!” says Kathy Heilman, a Wilkie resident who helped rally support for Fernie.

Clowry wants Lumby and North Okanagan residents to throw their support behind Fernie.

“It would be nice to bring Hockeyville back to the West Coast,” said Clowry.

Related: Locals nominating Fernie Memorial Arena to win $250,000 in upgrades

The 2017 Hockeyville winners were O’Leary, PEI.

As of Friday morning, there were 82 stories, 63 pictures/videos and 131 notes showing support for Fernie.

Voting can be done at

Arena nominations run until Feb. 11. Judging takes place from Feb. 12 to March 16, then the top-four finalists are announced March 17. Voting on the top-four opens March 30.

The grand prize winner ($250,000 in arena upgrades and hosting an NHL pre-season game) will be announced Sturday, March 31, on Hockey Night in Canada.

Lumby’s win in 2016 resulted in a pre-season game at Vernon’s Kal Tire Place between the Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers.

(with files from the Fernie Free Press)

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Couple keeps South Surrey neighbourhood clean

Bob Cockerill, 83, and his wife Ev, 80, pick up garbage on their morning walks

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds take game one

Quarter final BC Hockey Major Midget League series underway

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Most Read