The Fernie Memorial Arena has been closed for nearly three months. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Sask. residents help B.C. town get back on the ice after arena disaster

Residents of Wilkie, Sask., are voting for Fernie in the Kraft Hockeyville competition

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.

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

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

The Fernie Memorial Arena has been closed for nearly three months.

“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!”

In 2015, a fire almost destroyed Wilkie’s community centre. It took them two long years to rebuild, 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, in a Facebook message to the Free Press.

This post received much support and thanks from residents in the Elk Valley.

“Can’t thank you enough,” read a response.

So far, the Fernie rink has garnered 58 stories, 80 notes and 48 pictures on the contest website.

To cast your vote, visit Kraftvillehockey.ca

Just Posted

Surrey-based group maps places to find affordable food

Surrey and White Rock Food Coalition targets food security

Youth and seniors learn from each other

Seniors Health Network launches intergenerational program in White Rock

Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society raises $8,000

Donations collected at Christmas event last week

Realtor blanket drive collects 360 bags of clothing

Annual event helps South Surrey and White Rock residents in need

VIDEO: Hundreds of volunteers collect, wrap toys in Surrey at Sikh elementary school

Guru Nanak Free Kitchen, Sikh Academy partner together on annual toy drive

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Most Read