The Fernie Gateway Project is a collaborative partnership between the Rocky Mountain Grizzly Centre, the Fernie Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre, the Fernie Derrick Society and the City of Fernie.
The goal of this joint venture is to create an attraction-type facility, that houses the Phase I home of the Rocky Mountain Grizzly Centre to further the goals and objectives of scientific research and interpretive programs; a permanent location for the historical wooden oil derrick with an upgraded and enhanced interpretive display; provides a welcoming atmosphere which will enhance the visitor experience with upgraded and expanded Visitor Information Facilities and Visitor Services programs, in an effort to increase tourism visitations and enhance the eastern gateway to the City of Fernie, the East Kootenay and British Columbia.
The final product will be an outstanding landmark that characterizes the entrance to the Fernie, and a draw for the traveling public, and a center of excellence for grizzly research and interpretive educational programming, and a positive demonstration of the Fine Balance that can be achieved between nature and the environment, and development and industry.
The Fernie Gateway Project was officially launched on May 30 with a preview of the project concept drawings by design architect Nic Vale of Lablonde Partnership. The Lablonde Partnership designed the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site facility at Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump in Fort McLeod, Alberta, as well as the Tourism Alberta Visitor Centre at Glacier National Park in Montana.
Thank you to all who came out to support the project launch. A project of this magnitude would not be possible without the generous support of the community. One of the fundraising proponents of the evening was the unveiling of the Gateway Project Landscape Mural with various landscape elements available for sponsorship. BP Energy Canada sponsored the oil derrick and Elk River elements, while the IGS Group sponsored the Black Bear, and the Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Grizzly Bear. Other sponsored elements include two hikers, and two coal cars. There are still a number of elements available for sponsorship. Interested individuals are asked to call the Fernie Chamber of Commerce for more information.
The May 30 event was made possible by the generous support of Park Place Lodge, Packhorses Creek Outfitters, Red Tree Lodge and Restaurant, Island Lake Lodge and the Old Elevator Restaurant and Charlie Russell.
The silent auction, which includes 4 unique and exciting items, will close on Thursday, June 11 at 3:30 p.m. For more information about how you can bid on these items, call the Fernie Chamber of Commerce.
A special thank you to renowned Grizzly expert Charlie Russell for his passion and commitment to the Grizzly Bear and to this project.
The May 30 event raised $13,400.
The Fernie Gateway Project is hosting a public reception and information session on Thursday, June 11 at 3 p.m. at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Centre for anyone interested in viewing the project concept design drawings and learning more about this exciting and worthwhile project
For more information, please contact the Fernie Chamber of Commerce at 250-423-6868.