The legacy of local ski pioneers will be celebrated and honoured during this year’s Griz Days celebrations with the Fernie Skiing Heritage Wall of Fame Induction Gala.
The gala will take place on Friday, March 6 and will be the third induction ceremony held in Fernie. The first ceremony took place in 2012 when the wall of fame was started and the second was in 2014.
According to Griz Days coordinator Lori Bradish, the gala is the perfect fit for this year’s Griz Days theme, Celebrating our winter heritage.
Bradish mused, “What better way to acknowledge our theme and celebrate our winter heritage than to recognize those individuals, groups and companies which have been an integral part of the development of one of our biggest winter past times?”
Fernie Skiing Heritage started the Wall of Fame in 2012 in order to celebrate pioneers, builders and sports leaders who have made significant contributions to skiing culture in Fernie. Mike Delich is the organizer of the gala event and spoke about his vision for Fernie Skiing Heritage.
He noted that one of the main goals is to “establish and maintain an enduring legacy of the rich cultural history of snow sports and mountain life.”
There are three categories that Fernie ski legends can be recognized under: Founders and Pioneers, Builders, and Sports Leaders.
The Founders and Pioneers category recognizes people or organizations that have built or started an enterprise that has contributed to the development of skiing in Fernie. The people in this category have also helped to establish a strong skiing heritage in Fernie, British Columbia and Canada at large. This category currently has eight inductees including Heiko Socher, Kim Sedrovic, the Elk Valley Ski Touring Society, and others.
The second category is the Builders category which also has eight current inductees. This award recognizes individuals or entities “who have contributed to the development of skiing and snow sports in Fernie, have maintained a long term dedication to the sport and have contributed to the proud heritage of snow sports in Fernie,” according to a press release from the Griz Days team. Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, Linda Socher, and Dave Aikens are just a few of the inductees that have been celebrated.
The final category, Sports Leaders, recognizes athletes from Fernie who have distinguished themselves in both national and international competitive snow sports. These people have often represented Canada at international events. Currently, there are seven individuals in this category, including Emily Brydon, Dave Ellis and Nancy-Jo O’Neill.
As it has been six years since the last induction ceremony, this year’s gala is sure to be an exciting evening for snow sports lovers. Tickets for the gala, which will be held at the Best Western Mountain Lodge, are available at Skiingheritage@fernie.com.