Two men who have been instrumental in providing Fernie residents with recreational opportunities have been honoured at the annual business awards.
Chuck Shoesmith was named Citizen of the Year while Volunteer of the Year went to Rick Wiess.
Shoesmith owns Shoesmith Construction and over the past 40 years has completed hundreds of projects in the Elk Valley.
One of his most significant projects was the Fernie Outdoor Rink, which provided local hockey players and other user groups with a venue after the closure of the Fernie Memorial Arena last year.
Shoesmith worked with a number of different organizations and businesses to build the foundation for the outdoor rink then facilitated its paving for year-round use.
The recreational community also has a lot to thank Wiess for.
The local man is heavily involved in trail building and maintenance around Fernie, coordinating the Thursday night volunteer trail maintenance through the Fernie Trails Alliance, assisting with events hosted by Fernie Mountain Bike Club, and grooming trails during winter as a volunteer member of the Fernie Nordic Society.
Mostly recently, Wiess coordinated and helped build the last portion of the Elk Valley/Tran Canada Trail connecting Hosmer to Fernie to the entire Trans Canada network.
“Rick’s commitment to ensuring we have fun and safe trails to walk, hike, bike and run is truly inspiring. Without him, our trail network would suffer a big loss,” said Kimberley Vlasic on behalf of The Free Press.
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