Join members of Fernie's Chinese community, our guest speaker, the Calgary Chinese Music Development Association and the Vantol Percussion Collective for this year's Chautauqua Cultural Dinner. Catering by the Old Elevator Chinese Restaurant.
CHINESE MUSIC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION5:30 - 6:00 PM | 6:30 - 7:30 PM
1 | FERNIE FIRE DEPARTMENT692 3RD AVENUE
The young town of Fernie’s first major fire reduced the business section to ashes in four hours. From these ashes rose a “fireproof” downtown and the newly incorporated City of Fernie.
In the early morning hours of April 29, 1904, at Richards General Store, a small, unnoticed fire quickly grew and spread. With no alarm to call out firefighters and a lack of pressure in the water mains, it was difficult to contain. The chemical fire engine worked well until the only person able to operate it was overcome with the smoke. Fortunately no lives were lost, but by morning, the entire business section of Fernie was gone; sixty-five buildings along six blocks of Victoria Avenue (Second) and Baker Avenue (First) valued at almost $500,000 (1904 dollars).
It didn’t take Fernie long to recover. The Board of Trade met the next day in the Fire Hall. Discussions of widening Victoria Avenue and resurveying lots led to the ongoing topic of incorporation. Spurred on by the spring fire, the city of Fernie was incorporated July 28, and the first municipal election took place August 19.
The 1908 Great Fire destroyed much of Fernie in 90 minutes on August 1, 1908. Fernie rebuilt, stronger than ever. During Chautauqua's Doors Open, you will be able to explore 7 of Fernie's architectural gems and visit one of Fernie's early fire trucks. Stop by the Fernie Fire Hall to also learn more about fire safety!
3 | CHRIST CHURCH ANGLICAN561 4TH AVENUE
4 | HOLY FAMILY CATHOLIC CHURCH521 4TH AVENUE
5 | FERNIE HERITAGE LIBRARY492 3RD AVENUE
Built in 1907, the building was gutted but not destroyed in 1908 Great Fire. An exhibit on the 1908 Great Fire is located on the landing of the main staircase.
Today, the building houses the Fernie Heritage Library, an active cultural centre.
6 | FERNIE MUSEUM491 - 2nd AVENUE
The Miner’s Walk, established in 2011, is a fascinating glimpse into Fernie’s coal mining heritage. The walk features interpretive panels, sculpture, challenges for children, ironwork art from the Fernie Forge and municipal garden with picnic tables and benches.
7 | KNOX UNITED CHURCH201 2ND AVENUE
The Presbyterian congregation rebuilt their church on the same site in 1909. On June 6, 1925, the Presbyterians, Methodists, and Congregational churches amalgamated, forming the United Church of Canada. Needing only one building, the Methodists moved here and the building was renamed Knox United Church.
The automobile has been a way of life since 1919 in the Elk Valley. The advent of the automobile led to the formation of the Tourism Association of Southern Alberta and Southeast BC in 1912. Some of the early vehicles that would have taken to the road in search of adventure will be on display. Hosted by the Fernie Museum.
ANTIQUE CAR SHOWFERNIE HERITAGE LIBRARY
KTUNAXA CULTURAL ACTIVITIES
History and culture meet on the grounds of Fernie's century-old City Hall for Heritage on the Lawn with hands-on activities for the whole family, including Ktunaxa tipi and cultural activities, museums and interpretive centres from throughout the East Kootenay and Crowsnest Pass region, and the Chautauqua Vintage Market.
Join us for one (or all!) of our historic tours as we explore the many facets of Fernie's history and heritage preservation. Presented in partnership with Heritage BC.
FERNIE'S GREATEST HERITAGE HITS11:00 AM - 12:30 PM | MEET AT THE FERNIE MUSEUM
ABOUT ELANA Elana Zysblat is an accomplished heritage consultant with expertise in heritage conservation, cultural tourism and community engagement. Since 2012, Elana’s practice as an independent heritage consultant has reached all areas of BC, with an emphasis on the Kootenay region since 2016.
IS THAT FROM EATONS? A TOUR OF FERNIE'S CATALOGUE HOMES1:00 - 2:30 PM | MEET AT THE FERNIE MUSEUM
ABOUT JOHN John Atkin is a storyteller at heart. With years of research experience and a strong familiarity with heritage in Vancouver and the Kootenay region, he provides building research services for clients that include Statements of Significance, Heritage and Character Assessments, and Conservation Plans.