Park Place Lodge

Years ago a Library garden was just an idea, today not only can Fernie Heritage Library boast of a lovely garden but recently an addition was accomplished that nearly doubles the space and includes a unique log picnic table for public use.

The Library Board worked diligently to procure the funding to make the addition happen and thanks go to TECK for donating the monies needed to make a long-time dream a reality.

The addition brought other changes as well, for instance handicapped parking has improved and where parking stalls were previously situated bike racks were placed. The racks became a contentious issue when it was perceived by many that parking spots were lost to accommodate bike racks considered to be for the sole use of Academy students. To ameliorate this issue Council and City Staff determined that new racks would be purchased by the City for public use. To explain further the number of parking stalls remains the same however they are now situated behind the bike racks. Next spring planters will be placed in front of the racks to act as a safety buffer between them and parked vehicles.

Councils have been discussing providing bike parking in the downtown core for some time. Vehicle parking spaces will be utilized and bike racks will have a standard look, the new racks at the Library will begin the plan.

The Adopt-a-Magazine program is on at the Library, prices range from $15 upwards for different publications. A Preschool/Storytime program has begun in Elko, four classes from Fernie Secondary School are using the library on a regular basis with many of the students coming back for homework and computer us. There are Lego Challenge and Fairy-tale stories each week, stories, games and crafts on Wednesdays, Thursdays has the Daily Disaster News Team, Friday Horrible Histories and ancient Civilizations, and on December 22 there will be a Christmas Extravaganza.

This past Thursday the Chamber held its annual Community and Business Excellence awards. Nearly two hundred people crowded the Golf Course Restaurant to enjoy a champagne and chocolate fountain reception and dinner catered by CP Catering.

Awards began with New Business of the Year sponsored by GPI Accountants. Nominees were Country Animal Hospital, Happy Cow Ice Cream and Desserts, and Spa 901 with Country Animal Hospital taking home the trophy.

Fernie Business of the Year sponsored by GPI Accountants had Fernie Brewing Company, Fernie Fix-Claris Media and Yama 2 Go with Fernie Brewing Company getting the trophy.

Outstanding Customer Service sponsored by Fernie Alpine Resort, Freshies, Gearhub and Mow and Snow competed and Freshies handed the trophy.

Chamber Business Excellence sponsored by the Chamber went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory.

Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by Community Futures East Kootenay had Judith Johannsson and Sonya Erzinger of Ghostrider Trading, Krista Turcasso and Vanessa Croome of Claris Media, and Phil Gadd of the Loaf Baker with the trophy awarded to Krista Turcasso and Vanessa Croome.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year sponsored by TECK Coal had Chantel Belanger of Trillium Day Spa, Luke Nelson and Henry Barrett of Backcountry Trail Experts and Naomi Lentz of Heaven Boutique with Naomi Lentz winner.

Community Impact Award sponsored by Finning, the Fernie Arts Station, Goldstar Cleaning- Cleaning for a Reason and The Trails Alliance competed with the Arts Station awarded the trophy.

As mayor I had the privilege of announcing the City sponsored Youth Achievement Award had been presented to Jessica Teeple at the High School graduation ceremonies this past June. Jessica was singled out for her involvement in all aspects of high school. Congratulations Jessica.

Before reading the City sponsored Citizen of the Year award nominees I made some remarks, “I extend compliments to all of the nominees because they are the leaders and champions of successful enterprise in the City of Fernie for 2012. It is your effort that keeps our town a real community drawing people here to live and enjoy all recreational opportunities. It is your willingness to take chances, to take the necessary risks to create something new and wonderful that will continue to keep Fernie the great place it is.”

Personally and as Mayor I wanted to Congratulate and thank each one for believing in Fernie and for daring to create the innovative businesses, services and amenities that each was being acknowledged for and honored that evening.

The Citizen of the Year recognizes individuals who live and continuously volunteer in the community.

This year nominees were Mario Rocca, Mario has been a strong yet humble advocate for youth. As a 40 year member of the Rod and Gun Club and a 35 year member of the Elks Lodge he has been instrumental in organizing projects and taking a leadership role while working tirelessly in supporting and raising funds for youth in need and in sport.

Judith Johannsson, Friendly, intelligent and contributes in a myriad of ways, a long-time Women’s Centre Board member instrumental in helping to relocate to new premises, a founding member of Options for Sexual Health Clinic, member of the Forever Fernie committee, Official Community Plan and Quality of Life Committees, Ghostrider Camp, donates to many causes and is always ready to lend a helping hand.

Stephanie Rogers, described as a “pocket dynamo”, Stephanie single-handedly organized the Breast Buddy ski-a-thon to raise funds for the Clear View Mammography Unit. She helped organize a Women’s golf tournament and a number of Art Auctions donating her own work; she has a long involvement with Hospice and Ducks Unlimited Charity.

These three nominees are all exemplary citizens, Sincere Congratulations to each one and to Stephanie Rogers for receiving the award.
The evening ended with guest speaker Bruce Kirkby, award winning Explorer, writer and Photographer. Bruce is an excellent speaker with the ability to use words that provide visual images in one’s mind as he tells of places he’s been and the experiences he’s had.

Sincere thanks go to Sarah Parry and Rachel Bone for organizing a truly classy and enjoyable event.

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