Field Town Hall Meeting and FRAA Annual General Meeting November 14, 2016

Field Town Hall Meeting and FRAA Annual General Meeting November 14, 2016

In Attendance: Patrick Cais, Sophie Cais, Ryan Cameron, Bruce Bembridge, Barbara McNeill, Marilyn Toulouse, Katherine MacNeill, Christine, Krista Callen, Karla Gaffney, Lloyd Lafrance, Helen Barry, Desneige Meyer, Kim Chapman, Sebastian Harbottle, Jeremy Schmidt, Kathryn Cameron, Claudia Harding, Sally Watson.

  1. FRAA/FCC Report – Kathryn Cameron

Welcome, everyone, to the Annual General Meeting of the Field Recreation and Advisory Association.

We are without official Parks Canada presence tonight. Townsite Manager Ellen Francis is on medical leave until December 23. Marthe Boissonault will act in the position until Ellen’s return. She accepted the assignment on Thursday November 10, 2016 and has not had time to prepare answers to our questions from the last regular meeting of the FRAA/FCC (the Field Utility Board meeting scheduled for November 4 was cancelled by Parks Canada). Marthe has assured me that we will have answers at the next Town Hall Meeting, to be scheduled in January once the new Board of Directors sets meeting dates for the new term.

A heartfelt Thank You to Craig Chapman, Sally Watson, Claudia Harding, Jeremy Schmidt, Kim Chapman, Karen Schmidt, Kat MacNeill, Mike Le Grice, Kathryn Cameron, Tyra Cameron and Tanje Baker – the outgoing Board of Directors of the FRAA. Some are standing for election to fill another term. To our fellow volunteers who are not planning to be formal volunteers, thank you for applying for grants, managing projects, organizing and putting on events, keeping track of our finances and always boosting the community of Field.

To be more specific, this is what the FRAA accomplished in the past year.

We received grants of $20,000 from Columbia Basin Trust for:

  • new fire panel, alarm system and fire extinguishers;
  • security camera system;
  • six more acoustic baffles
  • sound system for the Community Hall and a portable sound system;
  • video projector;
  • Wi-Fi router;
  • project to convert all lights in the hall to LED – thank you Matt Morrison who volunteered to do the installations.

The FRAA share of these projects was $9,500.

We received a donation from the Friends of Yoho, and have used some of that money to purchase a new fridge. The rest of the donation will be used to purchase a new stove. Sally continues to research options.

We received a new bar fridge from Coca Cola, at no cost, on the promise that we will order product from the company.

We hosted functions:

  • Paul Charbonneau’s Memorial Service;
  • Christmas Pot Luck Supper and Skate With Santa;
  • 39th Annual Yoho Blow winter celebration;
  • Easter Pot Luck Brunch and Bunny Hop;
  • Spring Fling
  • Celebrating the Life of One of Canada’s Smallest Schools;
  • Canada Day Parade and Celebrations in concert with BC Ambulance Service and Field Fire and Rescue

Significant events happened since our last Annual General Meeting:

  • Kudos to Kicking Horse Ski Club for the excellent track setting and trail work done last winter, most notably the re-establishment of Monarch Trail and regular grooming of the Yoho Valley Road. It was an awesome winter offering and we’re looking forward to doing it all again this winter – when winter happens;
  • Yoho Trading Post was closed last winter and the building boarded up;
  • We received a response to our letter to the Minister of the Environment requesting that Field Visitor Centre be open in winter again. There is no change to the edicts of Budget 2012 that identified Yoho National Park as a medium use National Park;
  • Met with CP Rail, Parks Canada and Columbia Shuswap Regional District to discuss land use, train horns, length of trains, extended crossing closures for crew changes, Field Community Plan. One change has been implemented: some crew changes take place at the crossing which reduces the length of time the crossing is closed in some instances;
  • Rocky Mountain School District voted to close Field Elementary School, effective June 30, 2016. Not clear what will happen to the playground. The swings have been removed from the frame but the Blue Imp playground structure is still in place;
  • Townsite Manager Ellen Francis requested mediation to develop a productive working relationship with the community. Barbara McNeil continues to research our organization and function, and help clarify the role of FRAA;
  • FRAA applied for funding to install an electric car charge station in Field, as a potential 2017 legacy project, but the grant was not approved;
  • Two babies were born – Noa Morrison and Sebastian Harbottle;
  • Two young adult residents graduated from Golden Secondary School – Naomi Lenstra and Steven Young;
  • Fire Underwriters representative visited the community in June to assess our protection program and facilities. A report is anticipated in January 2017. It may impact fire insurance premiums for residents;
  • There was an increase in solid waste costs;
  • More preparation in 2016 construction season for twinning the TransCanada Highway from the BC Alberta Border to the outlet of Wapta Lake at the east end of Yoho National Parks, and from the former Misko Viewpoint to Finn Creek in the west end of the park. This places us between two big highway construction projects with ensuing delays, probably for a few years into the future;
  • Mount Dennis Slope Stabilization Project continues to be monitored; catastrophic impact not seen by Parks Canada as so dire as indicated in the June 2014 report;
  • Columbia Basin Trust representative visited community to encourage continued use of programs and resources available to promote social and economic well-being of community;
  • East Link pulled cable TV services and infrastructure from the community in September. Shaw Direct working on options for people who live in satellite dead zone to provide satellite TV service;
  • CP Rail started work on the catchment basin at the bottom of Stephen Creek to reduce sediment build-up in the culverts under the tracks over the creek;
  • Two former residents and totally awesome people died in 2016: Jacquie Hunter – Park Interpreter, mother, Friend of Yoho, member of the Field Arts Council and overall fun-loving wonderful person; and, Ian Church – Park Superintendent, father, visionary environmentalist, member of Field Fire and Rescue, K-Car pilot who sometimes obeyed the speed limit, and overall decent and generous person. We offer condolences to their families, and gratitude for the life they both brought to our village.

What we’re looking at for the next term:

  • Community Plan Review, a process intended to be done every five years and anticipated for 2016 but not started yet;
  • Catholic Church – the sale has fallen through. Residents have expressed sadness at the prospect of the church being demolished. Council has spoken to Bishop Corriveau to see what options are possible;
  • Canada turns 150 years old in 2017 – celebrations will dovetail with our traditional events during the Yoho Blow and Canada Day;
  • Movie nights, yoga classes and cooking classes, a weekend yoga workshop in the spring open to residents and out of town participants, Easter Pot Luck Brunch and Bunny Hop and Spring Fling;
  • Banff Fire and Safety completes frame around the alarm panel;
  • Environmental assessment results on using milled asphalt in community;
  • Update our website and Facebook page on a regular basis – if social media can work for Donald Trump so effectively it should work for us too;
  • Renewed relationship with Parks Canada through mediation process, communication and Parks Canada follow through on commitments to meet to discuss mutually important items and processes.

Upcoming Events:

  • November 23 – Gravel Bed Rivers Presentation at Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, 7:00 pm, $10 admission, jointly hosted by Y2Y
  • December 18 – Christmas Pot Luck and Skate with Santa at the Community Hall;
  • December 22 – Christmas Concert at Field Elementary School (performers, start your engines!);
  • December 31 – 2017 Fireworks;
  • February 3, 4 and 5 – Yoho Blow Winter Festival 40th Anniversary;
  • February 16 – Kicking Horse Ski Club 30th Anniversary Celebration at Emerald Lake Lodge


The health and success of the community of Field is tied directly to Yoho National Park. Residents of Field hold up their side of the social contract living in a National Park townsite. We welcome visitors, provide stellar services, host awesome events, get together, support each other and enjoy a truly enviable lifestyle. We have a beautiful, useful asset – the community hall. We have a population of less than 150 people, and accomplish many good things. This report only covers the accomplishments of the FRAA; it doesn’t cover the many contributions of the Friends of Yoho, Field Fire and Rescue, BC Ambulance Service and Kicking Horse Ski Club – and there’s plenty of crossover in volunteer commitment to all the Not for Profit organizations in the community. Residents of Field can’t sustain this community without Parks Canada presence in a reliable and supportive relationship.

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Sally Watson

FRAA Statement of Accounts as of November 9, 2016 presented. Motion to approve as presented by Claudia Harding; seconded by Jeremy Schmidt.

FRAA Annual Financial Statement August 6, 2015 to August 5, 2016 presented. Motion to approve as presented by Claudia Harding, seconded by Jeremy Schmidt.

Financial Reports attached to the email and posted on the bulletin board inside the Post Office.

  1. Barbara McNeil – Report on Mediation Process

As a mediator and facilitator has worked with private organizations, municipalities, and oil and gas companies. Received a request last spring from Townsite Manager Ellen Francis to mediate tension in her relationship with community council. Barbara has collected information by talking to people, attending meetings and researching documents that define the relationship. Goal is to create a defined, workable and purposeful relationship. Ongoing process. Next steps proposed: establish working group with two representative from each of FRAA and Parks Canada; identify the issues that need to be clarified; gather perspectives; determine course of actions; implement plan.

Kim: Parks Canada asked for this process but is not even present at the Town Hall Meeting. They need to show up.

Karla: Can residents provide insights without going through Council or Parks Canada? Can we talk to you directly?

Barbara: Probably best to present through working group.

  1. Field Fire & Rescue Department – Claudia Harding

It’s been a quiet month, no accidents, weather has been good, no snow. One new probationary member: Desneige Meyer, and one returning member: Sierra Sullivan. FFR always welcomes new recruits. Congratulation to Sophie Cais on successful completion of a course on operating the pump truck – received special mention from instructor. Three members are doing Hazardous Material training in Golden. Seven members completed First Responder course with Golden Fire and Rescue, offered in Field; participants are qualified to attend to First Aid calls when BC Ambulance not available.

      5. Round Table

  1. Patrick Cais: Just for information, Canada Post has requested Parks Canada to install a No Parking sign in the area above Luc Blanchette’s lot on Kicking Horse Avenue so the mail truck can navigate the turn down on to Wall Street in the summer. Parking on both sides of Kicking Horse Avenue at that location makes it very hard for the mail truck to do the afternoon delivery/pick up.
  1. Lloyd Lafrance would like to see the speed limit posted on Stephen Avenue to reduce speeding on the route. Also suggested that One Way signs be installed at all entrances to Stephen Avenue. Many visitors use Stephen Avenue as a two-way thoroughfare.
  1. Sally Watson reported that the Highway Service Centre has installed winter markers to guide the snowplough operators, and inform that the stop sign by the hostel on Wall Street will soon be taken out for the winter. Reminder to drivers to stop at all stop signs.
  1. Karen Schmidt recommends that a yield sign be posted at the intersection of Kicking Horse Avenue and Brook Lane. The fence around the Cathedral staff house property has created a blind corner. Drivers traveling downhill have the right of way, but drivers on Kicking Horse need a reminder to be cautious at that intersection.

       6. Election

FRAA will operate as one Board of Directors with assigned roles and responsibilities as outlined in our Constitution. We have nomination papers for nine positions with one outstanding nomination.

Welcome to the new Board of Directors, all recognized by acclamation:

Sally Watson, Claudia Harding, Karen Schmidt, Krista Callen, Kathryn Cameron, Desneige Meyer, Katherine MacNeill, Sophie Cais, and Michael Le Grice.

First Meeting of the new Board: Monday, November 21, 2016 to determine roles, meeting dates, event dates and set goals for the next term.

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.