Field Recreation Advisory Association Town Hall Meeting, March 11, 2019

In Attendance: Lloyd Lafrance, Ryan Cameron, Juliet Van Vliet, Julie D’Avignon, Katrina Froese, Heather MacNeill, Helen Barry, Charisse D’hamers, Estelle LeGrice, Craig Chapman, Sonya Leenders, Bonnie Brandt, Andrew Bullock, Ginette Therrien, Lorraine Zirke, Darren O’Brien, Steve Christy, Patrick Cais, Paulina O’Brien, Kathryn Cameron, Sally Watson, Dale Culler, Steve Jackson, Rick Kubian, Gregg Walker

Excused: Karen Schmidt, Greg Dowman, Flint Palmer

1. Special Presentation: Rocky Mountain School District #6

The School District has decided to return the leased land to Parks Canada and is negotiating the process. Parks Canada plans to use building and is negotiating a price to pay the School District.

Presentation information not received yet. Revised minutes will be circulated when the file is available. 

2. Special Presentation: Greg Walker, Parks Canada Fire and Vegetation

Parks Canada is working on Fire Management Plan for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks. Public consultation process is open until April 30, 2019. 

Presentation information not received yet. Revised minutes will be circulated when the file is available. 

3. Special Presentation: Steve Christy, Peak Broadband


What’s up?

Peak Broadband is installing underground fibre optic cable from Field to the Boulder Compound and Emerald Lake Lodge to provide high speed internet to remote areas

What you need to know

The alignment starts at Truffle Pigs near their propane tank and heads down beside 1stAve/Stephen Ave and goes all the way down the back road to the highway.  It splits there up east side of the TCH to the Boulder Compound and to just past the bridge to head down the Emerald road

The installation will mostly be completed by ploughing in conduit and direct bury cable, with some directional drilling and minimal open excavation

We are currently planning to start the project towards the end of May, or as soon as the frost is out of the ground

Expect minor delays and speed reductions while travelling in these areas at that time.  

Please join us on twitter at @peakbroadband OR Facebook at Peak Broadband for regular updates of the schedule and progress

All construction will take place during daylight hours

Residents from Centre Street down 1st Ave and Stephen Ave toward the back road can expect temporary construction noise as the Plough passes by

We apologise for any inconvenience this will cause, the project should be completed within a month


Providing high speed internet to Park and Emerald staff will provide a better living experience for seasonal and full time staff in outlying areas that contribute to the financial viability of the Village of Field.

The end result will also enable Peak Broadband to provide better packages at competitive prices to our existing customers.

4. FRAA Report: Kathryn Cameron, President FRAA

It’s been a busy seven weeks since our last Town Hall Meeting on January 21.

On February 1, 2 and 3, the FRAA hosted the 42nd Annual Yoho Blow, Field’s winter festival. It was a memorable event. Really great community participation and celebration – until the real Yoho Blow started late Saturday afternoon. Cancelled the Anything Goes Downhill Race due to extreme cold weather and rescheduled the Pot Luck Supper to Sunday, February 10 due to power outage on February 3. All other events went ahead. Congratulations to all the teams and people who excelled in contests. Event organizers excelled in the challenge making!

Kudos to Field Fire and Rescue and engaged residents who responded so positively to make certain all people in Field were in warm, secure housing during the power outage Feb 3, 2019. Thank you to BC Hydro crews who worked in extreme weather conditions to restore power as quickly as they did. This event sparked the current work to update protocols and contact info through the Field Emergency Services Questionnaire. If you have not filled out a questionnaire, they are available at the Post Office. If you have not returned your completed questionnaire, you can return it to the Post office.

FRAA offers condolences to families of the three men who died in the CPR derailment on February 4, 2019, and to our neighbours who work for CP and at the bunkhouse who knew the men.

February 10 we wrapped up the Yoho Blow with another delicious Pot Luck Supper.

February 14 we danced and celebrated Valentine’s Day with Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra at Groove is in the Heart.

Kicking Horse Ski Club hosted a Moonlight Ski on February 15 and the Yoho Nordic Challenge on February 17.

BC Hydro Conference Call Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 9:30 am to 10:30 am to discuss specific power outages of February 3 and February 8, outages in Field in general and performance of the Energy Storage Facility (ESF). Here is information provided by BC Hydro:

  • During the February 3rd outage the manager in charge relied on the cold temperatures and concerns for the community as justification to have crews remain on site until the work was completed.  Following the outage February 3, BC Hydro learned that only one battery bank discharged during the outage so basically it provided half the normal backup.  BC Hydro noted during that outage that the demand in Field was far higher than normally seen and both of those things in combination account for the ten hours of backup provided. 
  • During the second outage on February 8/9 crews hit an access window that allowed them to get on the tracks as soon as they arrived in Field and were able to make the repairs right away.
  • The life expectancy of the battery banks is between 12-15 years. The ESF is a “demonstration project” and since July 2013 the ESF has provided back up during 47 outages (planned and unplanned) for a total of 328 hours. As for an assessment of the demonstration project, BC Hydro is monitoring performance ongoing  and will conduct an overall assessment as we move closer to the facility’s life expectancy.
  • Parks Canada highway twinning project is currently (only) in Definition stage, and IF funding is approved, would take approximately 20 years to construct starting with the eastern boundary of the park.  Parks Canada has approached BC Hydro with an offer to supply and install underground direct buried conduit and civil works as part of their work to twin the highway, to be turned over to BC Hydro upon completion.  Cables are not included in the offer. BC Hydro has tentatively agreed to the offer and is currently in discussion with the Parks Canada project team to provide Engineering support.
  • If constructed, the empty 5” conduits and precast concrete manholes and junction boxes will be turned over to BC Hydro to own, operate, and maintain. Then, at some point in the future, BC Hydro may choose to allocate additional capital to install cables into the civil infrastructure.  This would allow the overhead Distribution circuit that is currently installed on the CPR right of way between ESF and Field to be decommissioned, as well as other downstream infrastructure as the twinning progresses towards Leanchoil/Golden.
  • Even with Parks Canada providing the civil infrastructure, the net present value of remaining works for BC Hydro to take over the installation, install cable, and reconnect all existing customers is still in excess of $12M.  The undergrounding/civil works represents approximately 32 Km of Distribution re-work.
  • As part of the proposed twinning project it is expected that if all goes according to plan, the overhead line between ESF and Field will be prioritized for conversion; however, there are several financial, regulatory, and schedule hurdles that must be approved before that could occur.

The new stoves were delivered on February 27, and installation complete on March 1.

The St. Joseph Project is moving along. We submitted a pre-grant application to BC Built Heritage on March 8 and the actual grant application is due March 15. Today we met with Kathleen Wilker from Parks Canada Development Office. She gave us feedback on our conceptual plan and will send us the Development Permit Application package right away. Notes from the meeting will be shared with russell and russell.

Winter Programs are going strong:

  • Tabata High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Sunday and Thursday evenings.
  • Just Breathe Yoga on Wednesday evenings, current session goes until March 27, and we’re negotiating a spring session with Hayley Markel. Stay tuned for details.
  • The ski trails are in great shape, we still have plenty of snow and it’s spring conditions!
  • Early Childhood programming continues as parents’ schedules permit.

Future events to include in your calendar:

  • Thursday, March 28 – Live Music at the community Hall with Sam Weber. Admission by donation.
  • Monday, April 22 – Earth Day Community Clean-Up and Easter Pot Luck Brunch
  • Sunday, June 2 – Spring Fling
  • Saturday June 8 – Garage Sale at the Community Hall
  • Early June – spring bin(s)
  • Monday, July 1 – Canada Day Celebrations. Canadian Heritage has approved a $500 grant to FRAA for the event
  • Sunday, July 7 – Field Summer Music Festival (FSMF). Flint has signed Whitetooth Brewery as a sponsor for the event, responsible for Beer Garden, including staffing and will make a donation to FSMF. Scat Cat on board as partial sponsor; will provide 4 porta-potties for $940 plus tax. Volunteer Coordinator to manage 25 volunteers from security to runners, ticket handlers, etc. Brings FSMF to 4 volunteer staff. Flint is opening a bank account so people can purchase tickets via e-mail transfer.

For those people interested in follow up on a request for information about a person who worked in Field 25 years ago that was discussed at the January 21st Town Hall Meeting, we found the person and the guitar. The two parties are in contact.

The Board continues to work on:

  • the constitution update
  • a Memorandum of Understanding with Parks Canada that will probably include a Contribution Agreement to have everything in one document
  • support for two full-time positions for Field Fire and Rescue
  • snow removal on 1st Avenue

5. Treasurer’s Report: Sally Watson, Treasurer FRAAMotion to approve report as presented: Sonya. Seconded: Paulina

Files attached to the distribution email.

6. Parks Canada Townsite Report: Juliet Van Vliet, Townsite Manager

  • Thank you to the Field Fire Department volunteers and to Chief Furfaro for the response to the CP derailment. 
  • Thank you to the Field Fire Department and the FRAA for teamwork with BC hydro in post-incident discussions regarding the February Power outage. 
  • Guest house inspections complete, thank you Field!
  • Idea for community discussion: Parking pilot in front of post office (15 minutes).
  • What are the most pressing parking concerns in Field?
  • Snow removal and spring preparations. Any outstanding issues? We keep a record of all snow removal comments/questions/complaints, please contact Townsites to provide comments outside of townhall meetings.
  • Park Management Plan engagement process – scoping phase until April 30 2019.
    • Parks Canada will discuss what the focus of the future management plans should be. We invite you to participate and have your say on Canada’s mountain national parks. Visit for more information. 
  • Fire Management Plan engagement process  – engagement open until April 30 2019
    • Parks Canada is developing a plan to guide fire management in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks. Learn more and let us know what you think from February 6 – April 30, 2019 at:
  • Pricing Consultations
    • New prices will come into effect on January 1, 2020. Prices on Parks Canada fees including admissions, camping/accommodations and experiences such as guided tours and programs will increase by 2.2% on 2018 rates. Admission fees will also be adjusted on a limited number of locations including some in the mountain parks because of the increased level of service and available infrastructure.
  • Update on billing for utilities: water, sewer and garbage 
    • Bill for quarters 1, 2 and 3
    • Any issues with payments please chat with me.
    • Future bills will be on time.
  • Terms of Reference / MOU discussions
    • Drafts to come, for review.
  • Updated contact information for Parks Canada Townsites and Realty
    • Currently based out of Lake Louise Superintendent’s office
    • Weekdays telephone 830am to 430pm 430-522-1186 

7. Friends of Yoho Report: Brenda Selkirk, Manager 

No report tonight.

8. Community Paramedicine Report: Craig Chapman, BCEHS

13 calls since the last town meeting on January 21. Wide range: MVA’s, medical calls, train derailments. There was a significant event today with avalanche east of town. 

On Feb 2 – 3 the community suffered a loss of power and telephone/cell service.  This can cause considerable concern especially when the weather conditions are extreme. In this event we coordinated with the Field Fire Department who were staged at the hall and could be dispatched by radio. In the event of a similar situation and you need an ambulance go to the designated command centre, or if you have access to a radio with Parks Canada channels call Banff Dispatch. If we are in service we can be reached by radio. We are currently working with the Fire Department and Parks Canada on the Emergency plan for Field.

Columbia Valley and our area are getting busier and we are being utilized more for inter-facility transfers and x covering Golden.  This can mean the ambulance is out of town for extended periods.

B.C. Auditor General Carol Bellringer released a report last week on the BC Emergency Health Service. The report found that access to emergency health services varies depending on where you live, with fewer or no paramedics trained to provide advanced care in rural and remote communities.

The target response times are nine minutes for urban, 15 minutes for rural and 30 minutes for remote. We are considered remote.

BCEHS says it is meeting those targets 79 per cent of the time for rural calls and 77 per cent of the time for remote calls. If the ambulance in Field is not in service or out of town residents could expect a response from Golden in approx. 40-45 minutes for a call that is considered high priority.

On Tuesdays andWednesdays Craig has scheduled hours in the role of Community Paramedic. For a variety of reasons that work does involve spending some time in Golden but Community Paramedic role continues to work on initiatives to support Field being a healthier community.  Currently working with the FRAA on the Church redevelopment. Community Paramedic is at the Community Hall on Wednesday most weeks between 1 and 3pm. Drop by and chat, check your blood pressure, information available on a variety of topics.

9. Field Fire and Rescue Report: Mike Furfaro, Chief

  1. Call Outs –16 as of 01 January 2019.
    1. 8 in Jan, 7 in Feb, 1 in March
  2. Members – Sitting at 21 members. 
    1. 6 Officers, 5 Firefighters, 7 Probationary Members, 2 Recruits

1 Auxiliary Member (Elaine)

  • New and Planned Purchases
    • New purchases
  • Completed Training 
    • 2 Members to Team Leader last weekend
  • Upcoming Training
    • 2019 CSRD Spring training calendar is in.
    • 2 Members to Crude By Rail course in Colorado in May.
  • Apparatus
    • Engine 1 (all good)
    • Rescue 1 (all good)
    • Rescue 2 (Siren Issues)
  • Field Emergency Plan
    • Field Emergency Plan? Review old Plan, Review new plan
      • FFRD will conduct initial size-up and potential initial containment then may assist in notification and evacuation of residence of Field.
      • Town notification options (Siren=1min continuous blast, Vehicle PA systems, door to door)
  • Upcoming Projects
    • Work with PC to formalize mutual aid agreements with L.L. (ID9) and Golden BC.
    • Having discussion with PC about importance of fulltime members on FFR.
  • My Absence from Chief’s Position  – Gone from 20 March to 20 April
    • Patrick Cais will be Acting Chief and all FFR enquires go through him.
    • 2nd to Patrick will be Dave Allen, Chris Allen, Doug Mostert.
  •  Thank you to everyone for their great work during the 03 Feb. 2019 extended power outage. Thank you to Craig Chapman for driving into cell range to initiate conversations with BC Hydro and Telus, and to keep everyone posted with updates. Thank you to Sally and Kathryn with the FRAA for running the Community Centre and a huge thank you to everyone who offered up rooms and accommodations for people to stay the night and to stay warm.

10. Round Table – Nothing brought forward