A $25,000 Community Gaming Grant will help the Fernie Nordic Society begin the process of mapping and designing new trails in the Elk Valley, announced Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett.
By creating trails designed to meet Cross Country Canada’s criteria for races at the regional, provincial and national level, these trails will allow Fernie to host high-caliber racing events, which will contribute to the local economy, provide world-class ski trails during the winter and family-focused mountain bike trails in the summer. The trails will also significantly enhance tourism and recreation opportunities in the community.
In the fall of 2012, the Fernie Nordic Society conducted a competitive bidding process to identify a trail designer to help design trail options for Nordic skiing in the area. That process resulted in Reidar Zapf-Gilje -one of the top Nordic trail designers in the country-agreeing to work with the society on the development of a new trail plan. Most notably, he was involved in Nordic trail designs in several capacities for the Vancouver-Whistler 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including the design for 50 kilometres of Olympic training and post-Olympic recreational ski trails.
The Fernie Nordic Society’s membership has grown by 35 per cent this year alone. They have over 300 members and registrations continue to be processed. Their Kids Skill Development program has expanded by 85 per cent over the past 6 seasons, having grown from 10 kids in their first year of lessons to almost 70 kids to date.
Government gaming grants benefit local communities by allowing eligible organizations to apply for gaming revenues that support a broad range of local programs and services.
Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bennett –
“Nordic skiing is a wonderful outdoor activity during the winter months and clearly a growing pastime in the Elk Valley. I am very pleased government is able to support the Fernie Nordic Society, wish them continued success and look forward to another great ski season in the valley next year.”
To find out more about projects funded through this program: http://www.gaming.gov.bc.ca/grants