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

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

New wildfire by Whiteswan

Lightning-caused blaze at 7 hectares

Valley reaches top 20 ‘friendliest towns’ in Canada

Invermere and Radium Hot Springs receive high praise on popular travel booking website

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Solar panels charging the future at Columbia Valley Centre

Panels offset power costs at new multiuse centre in Invermere

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Trump sends letter to Trudeau calling for increase in NATO defence spending

The letter comes as tensions between Canada and the United States have risen to a dramatic high

Most Read