Field Recreation Advisory Association Virtual Town Hall Meeting March 29, 2021

In Attendance: Carla Evans, Connie Atkinson, Karla Gaffney, Michale Lang, Sally Watson, Sara Solvey, Stew McLean, Kathryn Cameron, Paulina O’Brien, Brenda Selkirk, Greg Dowman

1. FRAA Report 

         Kathryn Cameron, President FRAA

Thanks for joining the virtual Town Hall Meeting tonight in month 13 of the pandemic. We considered holding an outdoor meeting tonight but the weather nixed that option! Board members have kept the health and safety of everyone in our community as a guiding goal in our pared-down and flexible operations over the past year. 

As they are eligible, Field residents are booking vaccination appointments with Interior Health. For details about when your age group can make an appointment, please visit the Interior Health website at:

The vaccination clinic in Golden is located in the Curling Club.

The Board will continue to meet monthly. The next meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2021. 

There have been some changes to Public Health Orders on Gatherings and Events, including the orders that affect the FRAA. For details, please visit

So, here’s the latest information on Field Recreation and Advisory Association programs and projects.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Since indoor high intensity training is not allowed by the Public Health Order, HIIT continues to be available online with Laura Penner on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For participation details, please visit the Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Facebook page. 

Low Impact Group Exercise: We are looking at options for a low impact exercise option to offer outdoors, when Public Health Orders allow, on the skating rink pad at the Community Hall. Stay tuned for details.

Yoga Flow With Julie: The spring session planned for Thursday evenings from April 1 to 22 is on hold with the change to Public Health Orders today that bans indoor low intensity fitness and yoga classes until April 19. It’s still too cold and wet to consider outdoor yoga right now. Changes will be posted on the Village of Field Facebook events page.

Kicking Horse Ski Club: Enjoying the fantastic winter recreation of our area has been a real advantage for us this winter (every winter to be honest!). Huge thanks to Kicking Horse Ski Club for all their hard work to set-up and maintain the trails, and to keep skiers informed via the website. The Virtual Yoho Nordic Challenge was a resounding success! People from Golden and Calgary joined in and contributed $2385 to the club. For a full report and to see some great photos, visit Well done Kicking Horse Ski Club! And, it’s not over yet. With this latest breath of winter we have the chance over the next few days to extend a pretty awesome season.

Skating Rink: The ice is gone! We’ll look at outdoor spring use of the rink area for low and high intensity training, when Public Health Orders allow, and potentially yoga when it warms up. Resolving issues with the timers on the lights is in process.

License of Occupation with Parks Canada for School Gym Community Use: The FRAA is working on a Licence of Occupation for the gymnasium once the Parks Canada office renovation/construction is complete, possibly sometime in late May or June.

Community Passes for travel to Golden during Extended Closures in Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Phase 4: The first extended closure starts Monday, April 12, 2021, two weeks away. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MOTI) website for the project has information about applying for commuter passes, and will have details about community passes posted by the end of the month. Bookmark this website for quick reference over the next three years: and click on Construction for information about Traffic Management and Commuter Passes.

Yoho Trading Post plans to close during the upcoming extended closure.

St. Joseph Project: A draft of the Development Permit Application and supporting documents (Basic Impact Assessment, results of community consultation, conceptual drawings) has been sent to the design firm russell and russell and project committee members Craig and Sally for review. Next in the process: tender packages to circulate for bids from contractors, more grant applications, major fundraising event. We’re aiming for construction to start in spring 2022. This spring and summer, we need volunteers to observe the church and document any sightings of bats and birds that may use the building for nesting. If you are interested, please send an email to this week! 

BC Hydro Update: Response to questions presented by FRAA on long-term power provision on March 3, 2021 to Sally MacDonald, Public Affairs Officer East Kootenay for BC Hydro received March 12, 2021:

“I first wanted to give you an update on the status of the Energy Storage Facility (ESF). The fire at the facility is out, and we’ve secured the site while we assess the damage. A specialist engineer from NGK, the battery manufacturer, will attend the site to determine the extent of the damage. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we anticipate this will take some time as the engineer is travelling from Japan.

We’re expecting the ESF to be out of service for at least six months, and we’re looking at options in case the facility can’t be brought back into service.

In the meantime, we’re expediting the installation of a standby diesel generator which will be installed at the ESF site. The generator is expected to be in place this spring and ready to provide power to Field during an outage.

Regarding the Kicking Horse Canyon highway project, I can confirm that BC Hydro will continue to have access through the roadwork zone during the highway closure. BC Hydro will be considered an emergency service, like police and ambulance, during the highway closure. That means we will be able to come through to make repairs in the event of an outage.

During construction of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon project, BC Hydro will install a temporary distribution line through the construction area. This will consist of three kilometres of buried submarine cable, and two kilometres of overhead distribution where the line isn’t in the way of construction activities. At the completion of Phase 4 of the project, we will replace the temporary line with underground service through this section of highway.

We’ve also met with MOTI and taken steps to reduce the risk of unplanned outages during the construction, as well as limit the duration and frequency of planned outages.

Regarding Parks Canada’s project to twin the Trans-Canada Highway through Yoho National Park, we’re exploring options for undergrounding the distribution line to move it away from the CP rail line. A decision on this long-term solution won’t be made before Parks Canada schedules the twinning project. At this stage, our discussions with Parks Canada haven’t included extending the line to reach Kicking Horse Campground and Cathedral Mountain Lodge.”

FRAA Insurance: Johnston Meier staff suggested pulling our current three policies together into one policy but that will not be possible until the St. Joseph renovation is done. We have found a new provider for Community Hall insurance. Sally will address details in her report.

Constitution Update: On hold for now. The Board wants to be certain that the Constitution represents accurately what we do and how we achieve out goals. We’re embarking on negotiations this spring to develop a Memorandum of Understanding or Terms of Reference and a new Contribution Agreement with Parks Canada. We want everything to dovetail operationally and legally.

The Field Utility Board Meeting has been rescheduled for April 14, 2021.

Role of the FRAA and communications with CP Rail and Parks Canada: Basically, the FRAA is a volunteer organization that can be a point of contact and a voice to speak for the community. However, the FRAA has no authority to act or implement any changes to operations for either of these two corporate entities. Our advice to residents of Field is to call the CP Police/Community Contact toll-free number for all crossing and CP operational issues at 1-800-716-9132. For Parks Canada concerns and issues, and to be included on the Parks Canada community e-mail list, please contact the Townsite Office at The FRAA meets with the Townsite Manager to discuss utility reports and costs, and community issues that have been brought to our attention. The FRAA was not intended to take the place of residents’ voices; the strength of community concerns is augmented when more than one voice is heard. 

2. Treasurer’s Report 

Sally Watson, Treasurer FRAA

Motion by Paulina to accept the financial reports are presented. Seconded by Kathryn.

3. Friends of Yoho Report 
         Brenda Selkirk, Manager Friends of Yoho

The Friends of Yoho have temporarily moved out of the school office and will return to the same location when renovations are complete by Park’s contractors. We were able to move, store and get everything in a safe location during this time. We do not have a completion date but the contractors are working hard to get things done. Our Friends office will be made smaller and remain manageable for all our needs. For those who feel the need to contact the office use our email: This works best for now.

         We had a recent event to raise money and were successful with our first on-line auction. This took place March 18-21 with 35 items to bid on. A few items that were donated include Chateau Lake Louise package, pottery by the Velvet Antler, Kicking horse coffee package and a ski lesson with Jessica.  We raised $4000 with bidders from Calgary, Golden and locally. Thank you to all who took part and to those who donated items. We all agree that with COVID-19 this was terrific for those involved and look forward to another one.

         Parks will be opening the VRC in Field this summer. We are happy to be able to open our gift shop again. Both will open to the public May 1 and continue on to October unless we hear differently from Parks.    May hours will be 8-4 due to the road construction and timing for employees to travel back and forth. We have Caleb Chapmen returning for another exciting season in the store. We have stock from last year to sell and things look promising for this.

         We have a newsletter coming out in the next couple months. This will have a great local feel to it with articles about surviving in COVID-19 times. It has been a struggle for many of us and those who have battled through the tough world changes. It will be interesting to see how our gift shop does this summer.

4. Field Fire and Rescue Report 
         Patrick Caïs, Acting Chief, Field Fire and Rescue Department

Members are at 13.  Brad Tataryn left and some new members are not back yet.

Training in-person started again 2 weeks ago.

FFRD had few calls through January and February:

  • Power outage at the end of January following the train derailment.  FFRD was asked by PCA to host sheltering at the community hall
  • Structure fire at Emerald Lake Lodge.  A small heater used to de-ice water pipes under a cabin caught on fire.  It was detected early by the staff and extinguished.
  • Battery fire over three days.

BC Hydro offered a $5,000 grant to FFRD to thank us for our contribution to contain and get over the ESF fire.  To be used to buy equipment.

Dave Mitchell and Associates are going through a needs assessment audit of the fire department.  It has been requested by PCA.  They want to know exactly what the needs of the fire department are.

No word on the new position for Emergency Service Coordinator.  The deadline for application was March 26th.  We do not know the roles and responsibilities of this person.  

Lake Louise FD and Golden FD are now responding to road services.  Their level of service is unknown to FFRD.

FFRD contract with PCA expires on March 31st.  No news regarding the new contract yet.

5. Round Table 

Karla Gaffney reported that she has been in contact with Sally MacDonald about sourcing used generators that could potentially be used as back-up power sources for the community while BC Hydro determines what to do with the damaged Energy Storage Facility (ESF). Thanks for this Karla. The FRAA appreciates all the work people do in the community that makes everyone’s lives better. 

Paulina reported that Truffle Pigs will be closed for two weeks for seasonal maintenance starting April 29, 2021.