FERNIE, BC – The City of Fernie will be hosting an opening event in partnership with the Calgary Flames Foundation for the new outdoor arena on Thursday, December 21st at 5pm.

The NHL-size natural ice rink (200 by 85 feet) is being constructed on City land adjacent to the Fernie Aquatic Centre thanks to generous donations from the Calgary Flames Foundation, National Hockey League (NHL), Canadian Arena Products, the Fernie Lions Club and numerus community donors.

The grand opening of the outdoor rink will kick off a holiday schedule of public skating that will be available daily, weather-permitting, from first daylight until 10pm. The event will feature an opportunity for minor hockey and figure skaters to try out the new ice surface, followed by an open-skate for the public with music, bonfires and a Lions Club Concession with hot dogs and hot chocolate.

“Seeing the effort of the community to come together over the past weeks to prep the site, erect the boards, make the ice, and add changing rooms, heated Zamboni storage, and get this ice ready in time for the holidays has been amazing,” says Mayor Mary Giuliano, who will officially open the outdoor rink on December 21. “There has been tremendous support with over $200,000 donations in time, services, and materials from within the community and from outside donors that have made this possible and volunteers have stepped up and are ready to maintain the ice over the season.”

“The mandate of the Calgary Flames Foundation includes the goal to improve the quality of life for people in our community,” said Ken King, CEO and President of the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and the Calgary Flames Foundation. “We hope this impact is made in Fernie and the outdoor rink becomes a second home to a many residents. It has been inspiring to watch the community rally around this project.”

The City of Fernie Leisure Services Advisory Board continues to collect donations to cover construction costs and maintenance over the season. They are also still recruiting volunteers via fernielsab@gmail.com.

Limited scheduled programming is slated to begin on the ice in early January.