The Fernie & District Historical Society was a recent recipient of tourism anchor funding that B.C. handed out to help major attractions and transportation companies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Major Anchor Attractions Program provided one-time emergency funding to major anchor attractions and tour bus companies that service tourism attractions.

The Fernie & District Historical Society was one of 83 grant recipients and the only recipient in the Elk Valley. Sara Edmondson, Executive Director of the Fernie & District Historical Society, commented, “The Fernie & District Historical Society is grateful for the continued support of the Province of British Columbia in funding heritage, arts and tourism services for our community. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been heavily felt in communities such as Fernie, and the FDHS have successfully navigated a series of challenges over the past 18 months to keep the doors of the Fernie Museum open to the public.”

Major attractions in rural areas that see 15,000 visitors or more a year, and tour bus companies that serve 30,000 passengers a more a year, were eligible for up to $500,000 in funding, while major attractions in urban centres with 75,000 or more visitors were eligible for up to $1 million in grant money. See the complete list of recipients here.

Edmondson also said, “The funds distributed through the BC Major Anchor Attraction Program grant will be well-utilized to continue providing our organization’s valuable services, including heritage education programming, rotating shows and exhibits, support for artists, and the ongoing management our extensive collection of artifacts and archives. These extensive activities benefit both local residents and visitors alike. The Fernie & District Historical Society has been involved in preserving the knowledge of Fernie’s past since 1964 and we look forward to continuing our work long into the future.”

About the Fernie Museum Operations:
The Fernie Museum promotes the living landscapes and cultures of Fernie and the Elk Valley-Crowsnest Pass region through the permanent and temporary exhibits.

The Fernie Archives Centre & Collections Centre protects and preserves over 10,000 documents, photographs and historical artifacts. The society follows heritage practices to ensure that these items are maintained for the future benefit of the community. The Archives Centre facility is provided courtesy of Fernie Scotiabank.

Public programming includes education services, free and paid events including the popular Lunch & Learn Series and various community engagement efforts, plus larger festivals such as the annual Fernie Chautauqua Festival.

This summer the Fernie Heritage Walking Tour offers:

THE 1908 GREAT FIRE | On August 1st, 1908, a wildfire swept through Fernie, razing the town in just 90 minutes and causing over $5 million in property damage. The resulting building ordinances created the town that you see today.

FERNIE AT WAR | Far from the front, Fernie was still devastated by the impact of WWI. Many young men signed up and never returned, while local internment separated families and turned hardworking immigrant miners into convicts.

RUMRUNNERS! | When prohibition hit Canada, local entrepreneurs did a roaring trade transporting whiskey and other goods between Fernie and the Crowsnest Pass. Events came to a head on September 21, 1922 with a car chase followed by a violent shoot-out which led to a tragic end for Fernie’s bottle king and his young assistant. Canadian Prohibition was every bit as dramatic and deadly as you’ve seen in the movies. Don’t miss this true story of triumph and tragedy.

Reservations are required, please call the Museum on 250-423-7016 during regular opening hours to book, or email at least 24 hours prior to your preferred tour time.

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