Minutes from FCC and FRAA meetings.

Field Recreation Advisory Association (FRAA) Virtual Board Meeting Wednesday, June 23, 2021

In Attendance: Sally Watson, Paulina O’Brien, Sonya Leenders, Kathryn Cameron

Excused: Heather Galligan, Greg Dowman

1. Field Summer Music Festival – July 9, 2022

Flint, John and Courtney have been working hard to confirm the line-up for 2022, book accommodation for performers, secure vendors, etc., and are ready to start promoting Field Summer Music Festival 2022.

            The FRAA supports FSMF by providing the venue for the event, including use of the kitchen and main floor for “green room” service to performers. The Board recommends that FSMF secure third-party insurance for the event, a stipulation of hall use/rental agreements. 

2. Canada Day 2021

The FRAA will not host events this year. Public Health Guidelines may change with announcements potentially given on July 1, 2021. Our focus continues to be the health and safety of the community.

            This is a year to think about Canada – its history, values and identity, and legacy with Indigenous peoples. To learn more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Calls to Action, please visit http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf

A child-oriented version is also available at https://fncaringsociety.com/sites/default/files/child_friendly_calls_to_action_web.pdf 

3. CSRD Grant In Aid to Assist Community Organizations Impacted by Covid-19

The FRAA application for $5000 to cover operating costs and projects of community organizations that were impacted by pandemic public health guidelines has been approved! Generally the FRAA received around $5000 in revenue from hall rentals each year. In the 14 months of the pandemic, we received $500 in hall rentals, and no revenue at all from hosting events. The Grant In Aid will be used to cover fixed costs of utilities, and fund the change room repairs to replace broken windows and the change room outdoor exit door. Good work Sonya and Sally!

            Sonya will order the doors and windows as soon as we receive the grant money so the materials are here when the contractor can do the work this summer.

4. Programs and Public Health Guidelines

Morning Flow with Julie presents Yoga every second Saturday, at 10 am at Field Community Hall, and started June 12, 2021 with the second session scheduled for this coming Saturday, June 26, 2021. Admission by donation. All levels welcome. Sessions will be announced the week they occur rather than scheduled for the whole summer at one time. Public Health physical distance guidelines currently allow a maximum of 10 people indoors at the Community Hall. Please wear a mask and sanitize your hands as you enter the hall. You can remove your mask once you are on your mat, and must wear a mask to exit the session.

Self-lead High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will start again in the next couple of weeks, at the Community Hall, either outdoors on the rink area or indoors, weather calling the shots. Posters will be circulated once details are nailed down. HIIT with Laura Penner continues online via Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society; please visit their Facebook page for details. Laura will not offer in-person HIIT classes in Field until allowed by Provincial Public Health guidelines on non-essential travel are lifted. The FRAA has asked for a written Covid-19 Safety Plan from the HIIT group, to include cleaning after use of the Community Hall.

Parks Canada renovations at the school are nearing completion. The FRAA and Parks Canada are working on a License of Occupation for community use of the gym. Once the agreement has been signed HIIT programs will move to the gym, possibly by the end of July.

5. BC Hydro Power Back-up

Message received from Sally MacDonald, BC Hydro Community Relations Manager for East Kootenay, after the FRAA expressed concern that the proposed temporary back-up generator may not be in place until December:

“I’ve reached out to the project team responsible for the temporary diesel generator, and confirmed that there’s been no change to the project timing. While it’s taking longer than we anticipated to get in place, we’re targeting the end of summer to have the generator in place and able to provide backup power during extended outages.

Please share this with others in the community, and let me know if there are any other questions. I’ll be back in touch as soon as I have more information.”

Are you concerned about managing an emergency situation? There is information about how to prepare for power outages, potential evacuations due to wild fires or floods and a lot more at https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-en.aspx

6. In-Person Town Hall Meeting 

For several months Parks Canada LLYK Field Unit Superintendent Rick Kubian has wanted to address the community at an in-person venue to share updates on Parks Canada operation in Field and Yoho. Generally the FRAA does not meet in July and August because the summers are pretty hectic here. The next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 20, 2021 following the next Scheduled FRAA Board Meeting on August 31, 2021 and a Field utility Board Meeting on September 8, 2021.

The FRAA Board of Directors recommends that Parks Canada rents the Community Hall to host an in-person Parks Canada meeting dedicated to Parks Canada issues to address the community, separate from a regularly scheduled Town Hall Meeting hosted by the FRAA.

7. Window Cleaning June 19, 2021

Annual exterior window cleaning has been done, and the invoice for $84.00 received and paid. 

8. Landscape Contract 

In December 2020, Parks Canada informed the FRAA that the long-standing landscape contract would not go ahead this year, as Parks Canada had decided to hire a team of four groundskeepers to cover Parks Canada grounds keeping responsibilities in Field, Lake Louise and Radium, year-round. Summer positions were staffed June 21, 2021. 

            The landscape contract generally started in early May each year, with mowing public areas a major first step to keep dandelions under control. Dandelions are a high-value early season food for bears and have certainly been an attractant in Field this spring, with a bear warning for the community currently in place and numerous sightings and encounters in the village, everywhere, not only the perimeter of Field, over the past two weeks. 

            The landscape contract outlines what work is to be done and when it needs to be done. The guidelines exists because through experience and communication, patterns of what works, when and why were incorporated. Almost two months into a normal operating season for the landscape contract public areas are finally getting mowed. Public gardens and the plaza are not yet graced by the normal care and attention that make Field attractive. Yes, we’re still in a pandemic situation with restrictions in place, but the transition to a new way of operation has not served residents or wildlife this year. 

            Parks Canada, you are not getting a passing grade on this initiative.

9. Community Approach Vaccination Clinic at Emerald Lake Lodge on July 12, 2021

The Provincial Booking System may not have the clinic at Emerald Lake identified as a location option yet. Keep checking to see if it is available once you receive your invitation to book a second shot or to book a first shot. Once it’s a selection option, go for it!

New information for mRNA vaccinations in British Columbia is attached as a separate file with the minutes.

10. St. Joseph Project

We’re moving along on the project. 
            We submitted an application for a Development Permit to Parks Canada on May 25, 2021 and received a permit number to use in all correspondence on the subject in the future. We identified spring 2022 as the construction start date.
            This week we sent project plans to four contractors, two in Calgary and two in Golden, requesting bids. 
            Our next step is to start applying for more grants. Once we have three contractor bids we are eligible to apply for the gas tax funding through the CSRD. We also plan to re-apply for Gaming Grant funds now that we are further along in the renovation/restoration process. We want to do FRAA fund raising projects as well once we are closer to the end of the pandemic when people can have safe interaction with people as well as computers! Any ideas, please share!
            Barred owls nested in the church belfry again this spring. We have discussed how to manage the owl’s desire to nest there (this was the fourth year running) with Parks Canada’s Human/Wildlife Specialist and were advised to wrap the belfry in wire this fall so there’s no conflict in May when we want to start construction. It’s been cool to see the owls, but in our hearts we want them to nest in the forest.

            We sent an update to Columbia Basin Trust, a granting body that has committed $150,000 to the project with another $150,000 from them committed once we receive funding from other funding sources.

            The designer asked if we want to include a potential back-up generator and plug-in connection to ensure power to the facility. Given the importance of power to the lift operation, we have advised them to include this option.

            Great big shout out to Bryan Keefer for mowing the lawn at the church! We really appreciate what you do. No dandelions there!

11. Honorarium 

There are two years of honorarium payments from Parks Canada to disburse. We have a spreadsheet template from 2018 that we’ll use for the past two years as well. Should be laid out by the end of the month.

12. Round Table

  • Residents experiencing long-term effects of major water issues below 2nd Avenue met on June 17, 2021 to discuss how to communicate and work with Parks Canada to resolve the problems that are damaging their properties. Sally attended the conversation as a representative of the FRAA. Affected residents to factually outline how they have been affected and compiled into one document that can be submitted to Parks Canada as a starting point. One leaseholder has had geotechnical tests on their lease completed. Parks Canada has also contracted geotechnical work on the area. One piece of information shared is that Parks Canada will address the water issues as one entity, and there may be an announcement soon.
  • Sonya has flowers in the four planter boxes on the deck and three hanging baskets complete at the Community Hall, with two hanging planters yet to finish. They look beautiful Sonya!
  • St. Joseph Project fundraising suggestion to discuss with Parks Canada: When all functions have moved from the current Admin Building to the school, would it be possible to auction off the perennials in the flower beds to support the church project?
  • What should we do as a community when Health Restrictions are lifted and we can get together again? Send us your suggestions. First one tossed around is a Garden Party. Another idea is a Bocce Tournament. Since we haven’t had a Spring Fling again this year, what about an End of Season party? Let us know how you want to celebrate!

Field Recreation Advisory Association (FRAA) Town Hall Meeting, Monday, May 31, 2021

1. FRAA Report 

         Kathryn Cameron, President FRAA

Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of Field Town Hall Meetings! With flexibility top of mind, I’m almost willing to go out on a limb and say this may be our sunset virtual only Town Hall Meeting . . . a risky statement, I know, but I am personally looking forward to in-person meetings in the Community Hall again, with questions and discussion and laughter and all the rest! In the meantime, it’s great to be able to still share information, and talk via amazing technology. Having this option for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend Town Hall Meetings is really good. Thanks to our tech master tonight, Craig Chapman.

Here’s a recap of events and activities the FRAA have been involved with over the past two months.

We had three Board Meetings (April 12, May 10 and May 24), and attended two Field Utility Board Meetings with Parks Canada (April 14 and May 28).

More stringent Public Health Orders issued on April 19, 2021 meant that we were no longer able to offer indoor low intensity programs at the Community Hall so the last session of Yoga Flow with Julie on April 22 was cancelled. On May 25, 2021 Public Health Orders reinstated offering low intensity fitness programs indoors and high intensity outdoor programs so we’re figuring out what to do for spring and summer programming, including Canada Day options. The changes to Public Health Orders that govern how the FRAA conducts meetings and programs can be found on the government website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#pho-order

HIIT with Laura Penner continues to be offered online with Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Please check their Facebook page for details and registration. Until non-essential travel between provinces is possible, Laura won’t travel to Field to offer in-person high intensity interval training.

The Community Hall is getting some attention, preparing for more use in the future. We have one potential hall rental for Christmas 2021, depending on Public Health Orders. Big shout out to Thomas Caïs and Axel Cameron for cleaning up the change room – organizing the skates, hockey sticks, helmets, vacuuming and sweeping the floor, and bringing in the snow shovels and benches. The kitchen is clean, and it looks like the mice have been vanquished, or they moved outside!

Sonya is working on an application for a Grant In Aid from CSRD to help us cover normal operational costs that would have been covered by hall rentals in the past year, as well as funding to replace the windows and outside door in the change room. We’re applying for the full $5000 the FRAA is eligible to request.

The FRAA has a business license from Parks Canada now! Kicking Horse Ski Club needs a Restricted Activity Permit to do trail preparation and maintenance, and the FRAA needs a Restricted Activity Permit to have an outdoor fire pit for events, like the Yoho Blow. In order to apply for a RAP, the organization needs a business license. Woohoo! We have the business license and also the ski club RAP. 

We submitted the Development Permit application to Parks Canada on May 23, 2021 and received an email from the Development Office with a Development Permit number for all interactions on the St. Joseph Project on May 27, 2021 – DP #YNP 21-1081. The owl chicks have hatched. Still no reports of any bat activity on the church site. Next steps are tender packages to get bids from contractors and apply for more project funding.

Parks Canada held a virtual session to go over the proposed Draft Management Plan for Yoho National Park on May 12, 2021. To review the plan and offer feedback, please visit https://www.letstalkmountainparks.ca/yoho-national-park

Thank you to all who sent requests to Interior Health to hold a Community Approach vaccination clinic in our area on May 14, 2021, to clinic organizers, people who administered vaccines, and everyone who attended. Thank you to Emerald Lake Lodge for hosting the clinic. It looks like those who have received their first vaccination will receive an invitation to book their second shot sooner than the 4-month interval expected.

The TransCanada Highway is open again. Kicking Horse Canyon construction information is available at https://www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca. Don’t hesitate to ask questions by calling the 24/7 Construction Information Phone Line: 1-844-815-6111. The FRAA will have a debrief with Art MacLean to discuss options for the next round of extended closures that will start around September 30, 2021 and go until the end of November 2021. When the highway closed on April 12, Field residents made the smooth transition from cross-country skiing to road biking! 

There will be a referendum this fall during municipal elections in November for residents of the Town of Golden and Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A (that’s us!) to vote on borrowing money to build an indoor Aquatic Centre in Golden. Find out more at https://www.goldenondeck.ca

Passages: We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Réjean Lareau on his death two weeks ago. Réjean lived, worked and played in Field and Yoho for decades, built and maintained trails, adventured, built and renovated homes and businesses, skied, climbed, trained for big competitions like Iron Man, and had a laugh we all remember. No one who knew him ever said, “That Réjean is a boring guy.”

2. Treasurer’s Report 

         Sally Watson, Treasurer FRAA

Financial Reports will be circulated with minutes of the meeting.

The Board will disburse two years of Honorarium payments at the next Board Meeting.

Motion by Sonya and seconded by Kathryn that the financial reports be accepted as presented.

3. Parks Canada Reports

         Tracey LeBlanc, Townsite Manager

  • Spring Clean Up Bins: Parks Canada is bringing in the spring clean up bins the week of June 7, 2021. They will be in place for two weeks in the Parks Canada parking lot behind Truffle Pigs. A community update will be sent out that identifies what materials can be disposed of in the bin. 
  • BC Hydro: Parks Canada contacted BC Hydro last week – they are continuing work to prepare for the temporary diesel generator to be installed in Field. At this time, Sally did not have an estimated in service date for the generator but will be in touch as soon as she does to share an update with the community. 
  • Emergency Services Coordinator Position: I am moving forward with the hiring process for the emergency services coordinator position and have all the interviews scheduled to take place this week. My hope is to be able to get someone in the position by June-July. 
  • Field School to Admin Conversion: Parks Canada is continuing the work on the Field School to Administration conversion. The hope is to have the work done by July with all Parks staff moved over in the fall. 
  • Playground Equipment: Parks Canada recognizes that the playground equipment at the school area is an important feature to keep for the community – if there are recommendations for locations for the playground equipment in Field, please let us know and we can look into it. The hope is to keep the equipment accessible and available in Field. 
  • Twin Falls Tea House RFP: Work is moving forward on getting the Request for Proposal for the Twin Falls Tea House out to the public at the beginning of summer. The intent is that proponents will have the summer to prepare their RFP, submit it and hopefully have the Licence awarded for the fall before the snowfall. If you are interested in getting the information on the RFP, please let me know and I will ensure that you are included in the stakeholder updated when it is released. 
  • Highways: Highways will start with the clearing of Lake O’Hara Road this week. Early in June, they are planning to starting on the Takakkaw Falls Road. 
  • MOU: Parks Canada and the FRAA a meeting on Monday to discuss elements for the update of the MOU/Terms of Reference for the FRAA.

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

We hope everyone enjoyed the Spring newsletter that came out last week. It was full of great articles and pictures. We would like to hear your guesses for the baby picture contest found on page 11. Send these to info@friendsofyoho and if correct you will be entered to win a prize. These need to be in by June 15th. Good luck everyone. https://www.friendsofyoho.ca/newsletter.htm

We are having an on-line membership drive in June for 3 weeks. This is being organized for the convenience of payment with PayPal. Thank you to those who have renewed your membership this year. We are increasing our discount from 10% to 15% off gift items at the store.  New, renewal, and lifetime members will all be entered into a draw for a lovely original painting of Wapta Falls a gift basket from The Friends of Yoho. More details to come shortly for this event. 

The Historical Walking tours will begin again in July with volunteers and board members hosting a fun time around town.

The store has been opened on weekends and sales have been as expected with road closures and restrictions. We will be increasing our hours and days as things ramp up. Memberships can be purchased at the store, and do this soon.

5. Community Paramedicine Report

         Craig Chapman, Community Paramedic

  • Field Ambulance Station 409 Kilo was busy this winter providing service in Golden as they have been short-staffed.
  • Also working in the Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic at Golden Curling Club, and at the Community Approach Vaccination Clinic on May 14, 2021 at Emerald Lake Lodge. It has been particularly gratifying to work at the vaccination clinics, touching base with people but especially rewarding to be able to vaccinate family and friends at the Emerald Lake Lodge Clinic. Good to see that so many people were able to get their first shot so close to home. Believe that 143 people received their first shot at the local clinic. Not sure if there will be another clinic at Emerald Lake Lodge for second shots; believes that with the highway open again the Golden Curling Club clinic site will the closest clinic for further vaccinations.
  • Field Ambulance Station is getting a refurbished, updated ambulance to replace the current vehicle this fall. 

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

  • Members are at 15.  
  • We had an attempt for training in person in March but we stopped in order to follow the BC Covid-19 restrictions.
  • FFRD had a couple of calls through April and May:
  • Chimney fire on April 14th.  No damage to the owners.
  • Smoke alarm.  No consequences.
  • FFRD signed a one-year contract with PCA, expiring on March 31, 2022. Services rendered by FFRD cover structure fires in Yoho National Park.  FFRD will also support PCA when emergency plan is activated.
  • Dave Mitchell and Associates finished a needs assessment audit of the fire department, requested by PCA.  They wanted to know exactly what the needs of the fire department are.  The report is a 90 plus pages document and it needs to be reviewed by PCA and FFRD.
  • No word on the new position for Emergency Service Coordinator.  The deadline for application was March 26th.  We do not know what the roles and responsibilities of this person is.  It will be part of discussions with PCA in the coming months.  
  • Tuesday night training is back on June 15th.  It follows the ease by BC Health on gathering restrictions.
  • FFRD launched a recruitment campaign and some new Fieldites already showed interest in joining.

7. Questions/Round Table

BC Hydro:

Sara: Tracey, on the information from BC Hydro about a temporary back-up generator to be in place by the winter, a 9 to 12 month timeline from the time the battery burned to have a back-up power source in place seems to be too much. Will Parks Canada advocate to have that timeline shortened? Winter can happen here in October, colder temperatures certainly in November and December. People are working from home these days. Power is critical. People are anxious about outages, keeping warm, being able to work.

Tracey: Parks Canada has communicated with BC Hydro, sending reminders and identifying the need for power in the community, and will continue to keep that communication open. Parks Canada has no ability to change BC Hydro’s work plan. 

Sara: Probably a good idea to work through our MLA and MP as well to keep the sustainable power issue alive with BC Hydro.

Craig: Has heard that with international travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements it might be some time before technicians from Japan will be able to come to Canada to assess the state of the Energy Storage Facility and determine what BC Hydro should do about it.

Carla: Concerned that BC Hydro is looking at a temporary solution with a diesel back up generator.

Kathryn: Both Parks Canada and BC Hydro know that Field residents want the power line to be removed from the mainline of the CPR and put underground when the highway is twinned in Yoho National Park. That is the most logical long-term solution. We will continue to advocate for that to happen.

Playground Equipment:

Pauline: Tracey, I want to confirm that the current playground location at the school will eventually be a parking lot, equipment that can be moved will be moved (the swing set is definitely dodgy) and Parks Canada is asking for recommendations for potential sites for a new location for the  playground?

Tracey: Yes, not sure when the parking lot plan will happen. Parks Canada holds a lease with CP on the current Field Admin site. That is a potential playground site. Parks Canada may need to remove the building once all Admin functions move to the school building.

Sonya: CP may be planning to build their new bunkhouse facility on that site. Plans to demolish the housing north-east of the CP Resthouse seem to be on hold while CP determines the best options for additional accommodation for staff in Field.

RV Parking in Field

Patrick: Tracey, in regards to the proposed parking lot by the school/admin building, traffic congestion in the summer is problematic, especially for large RVs. Is it possible to have RV parking space included in that new parking lot when it is built?

Tracey: I get back to you with an answer.

Meeting adjourned at 7:58 pm

Field Recreation Advisory Association Board Meeting May 10, 2021

In attendance: Sally Watson, Paulina O’Brien, Sonya Leenders, Kathryn Cameron

Excused: Heather Galligan, Greg Dowman

1. Covid-19 Community Approach Vaccination Clinic May 14, 2021

Thanks to everyone who contacted Interior Health requesting a local vaccination clinic. Thank you Emerald Lake Lodge for hosting the clinic. Reports of some issues with registering and booking an appointment. Interior Health says there are still appointment times available at the clinic. All you need is a Field address. When you register, a temporary BC Personal Health Number will be assigned.

Call 1-833-838-2323 to book your appointment! Phone method seems to be less difficult.

2. CSRD Grant in Aid up to $5000 for Community Organizations that lost revenue due to Public Health Orders

At the April 15, 2021 Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Board Meeting, Directors approved the allocation of $100,000 of its COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant funding to go towards non-profit and charity groups in the CSRD’s Electoral Areas to support their continued community services. Many of these groups are dealing with shortfalls and unforeseen expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this initiative, the Board approved Policy F-37 COVID-19 Safe Restart Grants-in-Aid, which will guide the application process and the allocation of funds.

Qualifying organizations can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to assist with these financial difficulties. 

Sonya to start Application process, to be submitted by the end of May.

Generally, the FRAA receives between $4000 and $5000 in revenue from Hall rentals. In the past year the FRAA received $150 for the only rental since March 2020: the BC Election. 

We have asked a contractor to give us estimates for a new change room door and replacement windows for the change room. A Grant-in-Aid from CSRD will certainly help us with these necessary improvements.

3. Community Hall Cleanup and Maintenance Tasks assigned:

Kitchen – Kathryn

Bathrooms – Paulina

Inside Windows – Sonya 

Change Room – Winter Poachers (expect a phone call to make arrangements)

Mouse Control – Sonya

Hall Flowers – Five hanging baskets and four window boxes to make. Budget of $200. Sonya to coordinate.

4. Programs and Events

All programs and events are on hold pending changes to current Public Health Orders on Gatherings and Events. For all details: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-order-gatherings-events.pdf

The Board will meet again in two weeks to review Public Health Orders and determine what is possible for getting together. The next Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 31, 2021. After the Board Meeting on May 24, 2021 we’ll know if the Town Hall Meeting will be virtual or in-person, or a combination of virtual and in-person. Stay tuned.

5. St. Joseph Project 

Development Permit Application information to be circulated to the Board for review. Intent is to submit the Application by the end of the week.

The designer and engineers have been asked for advice on preparing tender packages to send to prospective contractors.

6. Street Cleaner 

Highways has indicated the street cleaner will be in Field in the next ten days to two weeks, depending on progress of highway cleaning and line painting.

7. Spring Bins

This is a year for spring bins. Townsites is getting quotes. Dates to be determined.

8. Yoho National Park Management Planning Virtual Session, Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 6:00 pm 

This Wednesday, May 12, Parks Canada will be hosting a virtual public information session on the draft Yoho National Park management plan.

The session takes place from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. It will include a presentation of the plan, followed by a question and answer period.

To learn more, or to register to receive the Google Meet link, please email: pc.yoho-opinion.pc@canada.ca.

For more information, contact:

Lesley Matheson

Partnering and Engagement Officer

403-431-2325, lesley.matheson@canada.ca

9. BC Hydro Planned Outage Wednesday May 12, 2021 from 9 am to 3:00 pm

BC Hydro is planning a power outage which will affect approximately 200 customers in Field, BC, on Wednesday, May 12th, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  This will replace the date originally announced (May 14th).  The length of the outage has been increased to accommodate the scope of work requiring completion.

The scheduled outage will allow BC Hydro to move service to a temporary underground distribution line through the Kicking Horse Canyon construction area on the Trans-Canada Highway, reducing the risk of future unplanned outages.

Questions? Please contact: Sally MacDonald, Community Relations, East Kootenay BC Hydro

Email: sally.macdonald@bchydro.com 

Tel: 250.489.6841 

10. FRAA Business Licence

The FRAA now has business license to operate a community organization in Yoho National Park. We needed it to apply for Restricted Activity Permits to maintain ski trails and have a fire pit at the Community Hall.

11. Round Table

Sonya: Signed a three-year contract last year to provide gardening and lawn maintenance services. Discussing status of the contract with Townsite Manager in light of Parks Canada intention to hire a three-person maintenance crew to provide the service to Lake Louise and Field. Sally suggested that when the Parks Canada crew is hired they could also be tasked with sanding and repainting the picnic tables in the Plaza.

Sally: The FRAA to request a debrief with Art MacLean on the extended closure to review protocols re: 

  • need for times the commuters and residents are escorted through the construction zone to be firm and consistent;
  • Covid-19 work-place protocols in the construction zone, i.e. workers not social distancing or masking when travelling in work vehicles; and,
  • Resident Passes to travel through the construction zone during extended closures – people aren’t returning the passes they signed out so the supply is running low. Kathryn to send an email to Art.

Next Meetings:

FRAA Board Meeting: May 24, 2021 7:00 pm

Town Hall Meeting: May 31, 2021

Field Recreation Advisory Association Board Meeting April 12, 2021

In Attendance: Sally Watson, Paulina O’Brien, Sonya Leenders, Kathryn Cameron

1. Programs and Events

HIIT continues to be offered online with Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Please check their Facebook page for details and registration.

The FRAA has received a request to use the ice rink for outdoor, self-lead HIIT. Public Health Orders allow a maximum of 10 people to meet in an outdoor setting but it must be the same 10 people who share a bubble, not 10 random people who would only get together for the program. FRAA to request a COVID-19 Plan for the program before we’ll make a decision.

Yoga: The Public Health Order circuit-breaker ban on all indoor health and fitness programs has been extended to midnight on May 25, 2021 (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#pho-order). April 22 was the last originally scheduled session this season; it’s cancelled. We’ll send out information about yoga programs in late May.

Earth Day: We didn’t talk about a town clean-up. There’s still quite a lot of snow. Tabled for now. However, Wildsight Golden will host a virtual event and Earth Day Scavenger Hunt participation draw on April 22, 2021. Visit their website: https://wildsight.ca/events/wildsight-golden-earth-day/. The Scavenger Hunt information is attached to the minutes distribution email.

2. Review Meeting Schedule for 2021

FRAA Board MeetingField Utility BoardTown Hall Meeting
May 10April 14May 31
June 14May 26September 20
August 30September 8November 15 – AGM
October 18  

3. Community Hall Weekly Walk-through: Insurance requires weekly checks only. Kathryn to do walk-through every Thursday or Friday.

Maintenance and Repairs: Sonya to talk to the contractor finishing her kitchen to see if he’s interested in replacing the change room outside door and fixing the broken window. We’ll check with the contractor at the school to see if there’s an outside fire door we could salvage.

The window continues to offer unauthorized access to the change room. Any people who have been going into the change room via the window – stop it now. You’re violating Public Health Orders and disrespecting the community.

4. St. Joseph Project

Development Permit: Waiting for numbers confirmation from designer, then we’ll submit the application and start the process.

Owls and Bats: Owls are active! Heard in the area and seen in the belfry. No sign of bats so far. Thanks for the reports observers!

5. Constitution Update: On hold until we have either a Memorandum Of Understanding of Terms of Reference.

6. Resident Passes for Travel to Golden during Extended Closures for Kicking Horse Canyon Construction:

            Resident Passes will be available at Truffle Pigs from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm for the duration of the extended closure that starts April 12, 2021.

            Resident passes are different from commuter passes. Commuters are issued passes for travel to and from work, and are not returned until the end of the extended closure on June 1, 2021. Resident passes are intended as single use passes for intermittent trips to Golden.

            You can sign out a numbered resident pass at Truffle Pigs’ front desk the day before you plan to go to Golden. You will provide your name and email address or phone number. Please return the pass when your trip is complete.

            Truffle Pigs has committed to provide the Resident Pass program throughout the extended closure, and will have someone available at the lodge from 9 am to 6 pm daily during their scheduled 2-week spring maintenance closure from April 29 to May 13, 2021.

            If you don’t already receive updates from Parks Canada, please contact the Townsite Office, at pc.llyklotissementsurbains-llyktownsites.pc@canada.ca, to have your email added to the list.

            For more detailed information, visit https://www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca

            Don’t hesitate to ask questions by calling the 24/7 Construction Information Phone Line: 1-844-815-6111

7. FRAA Insurance: Final invoice submitted to Parks Canada for payment

8. BC Hydro plan to set up a diesel generator to cover the community during power outages: To request update from Sally McDonald.

9. Round Table

In order to secure Restricted Activity Permits for trail work on ski trails and outdoor contained fire pits at the Community Hall, the FRAA needs to have a business license. Application to be submitted by April 24, 2021. There is no charge for not-for-profit organizations.

Kid’s Room: Not used often but still available. Kathryn to get key from Jana before April 18. Public Health Orders apply. Keep at top of mind that outdoor interaction is proven to be safer than indoor activity.Next FRAA Board Meeting Monday, May 10, 2021 at 7:00 pm.

Parks Canada Reports for Town Hall Meeting March 29, 2021

Submitted April 9, 2021 by Townsite Manager Tracey LeBlanc

As we discussed over the Easter break, I was going to provide you with an update for the FRAA meeting that I was unable to attend. Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or concerns. I will be contacting you shortly to have a chat about the landscaping/maintenance key areas. (see the last bullet below).

From the Visitor Experience Team

Opening dates for Parks Canada facilities in Yoho National Park:

o   Visitor Reception Centre – May 1st

o   Kicking Horse Campground –  May 20th   

o   Monarch Campground – May 6th

o   Takkakaw Falls – June 17th, road pending

Changes coming from the BC MOTI highway construction:

o   Yoho West gate will be closed during the hwy closures

Date of the launch of the booking of Lake O’Hara reservation systems

o   LOH Campground on Parks Canada Reservation System, opens on April 27th

o   LOH Day use – Random Draw open for the month of April, winners announced early May

o   LOH operational June 18th

From the Highway Department

They will be running their night shift until the third week of April. They are also anticipating to start the sweeping and pre-marking for the line painters soon on the highway.  

From Townsites and Realty

In January 2021, Parks Canada came to an agreement with the Rocky Mountain School District #6 to assume ownership for the Field School in Field, B.C. Parks Canada is renovating the interior of the building to provide refreshed office space for Parks Canada and other organizations, such as the FRAA, working in Yoho National Park. No changes are planned to the exterior of the building at this time. We are anticipating that the work will be completed by June 2021. 

For the summer season 2021, Parks Canada is piloting a new landscaping/maintenance crew that will work in the communities of Field and Lake Louise. Parks Canada, through the Manager of Townsites and Realty, will be engaging the community on what key areas they believe should be addressed in Field from a landscaping/summer maintenance perspective.

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: https://news.interiorhealth.ca/news/covid-19-vaccines/

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 https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#pho-order

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 https://www.khsc.ca. 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: https://www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca 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 fieldraa@gmail.com 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 pc.llyklotissementsurbains-llyktownsites.pc@canada.ca. 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: info@friendsofyoho.ca. 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.

Field Recreation Advisory Association Board Meeting March 8, 2021

In Attendance: Sally Watson, Sonya Leenders, Kathryn Cameron, Paulina O’Brien, Heather Galligan

Excused: Greg Dowman

1. Programs

            Health and safety of the community is the FRAA priority, and we will continue to operate by the guidelines and public health orders of the Public Health Officer. There will be changes in the next few months as people receive vaccines. It’s a dynamic situation. The Board will meet monthly to discuss options as changes happen and communicate how those changes affect FRAA operations in 2021. Programs now offered have Covid-19 plans in place; participants are asked to follow protocols. 

Changes to Public Health Order on Gatherings and Events: No change from the most recent order issued on February 10, 2021. Visit the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus to read the Public Health Order and also the guidelines issued on February 5, 2021. 

High Intensity Interval Training (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 at the Community Hall. Attendance and protocols would follow those in place for yoga. Stay tuned for details.

Yoga Flow With Julie: Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm at the Community Hall, admission by donation. Please wear a mask as you enter the hall, sanitize your hands (sanitizer is on the table at the entrance or wash your hands in the washroom) and proceed to set up your mat a minimum of 2.5 meters from other participants. You can remove your mask for the yoga session. Please put on your mask again and maintain the 2.5 meters distance recommended as you gather your mat, sanitize your hands, put on your coat and boots and exit the community hall. The hall can safely accommodate 10 participants. Residents from Lake Louise have expressed interest in attending. The Board feels that travelling to attend yoga is not considered essential travel, so we’ll keep it local for now.

Kicking Horse Ski Club: 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 https://www.khsc.ca. Well done Kicking Horse Ski Club!

Skating Rink: There have been some issues with the timer system on the outdoor lights. It appears the system needs to be reset after power outages. We plan to work on some options this summer for next season.

License of Occupation with Parks Canada for School Gym Community Use: The lease surrender between Rocky Mountain School District #6 and Parks Canada for Field Elementary School is officially complete now. The FRAA is working on a Licence of Occupation for the gymnasium. Office renovation/construction scheduled for March 8, 2021 to end of May. Parks Canada says contractor will use gym as a staging area for materials during renovation so not available for community use until the contractor is finished.

2. Community Passes for travel to Golden during Extended Closures in Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Phase 4

            The FRAA has been asked for advice on administering the Community Pass system through Canada Post. 

            The Board recommends that residents who own vehicles be issued their own numbered passes, linked to a vehicle license, similar to Parks Canada Resident Passes, which can be used to book a trip on an online booking app, similar to what skiers use to book their time at the Lake Louise Ski Area, during the limited open periods in an extended closure.
            Our rationale for not using the Post Office or calling Art McLean, at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI):
1. The Post Office is only open from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Monday through Friday, offering a very limited time frame for people to book a pass and pick it up;
2. Extended closures will be in effect 7 days per week, so on two of the days, there is no access to community passes if they are in the Post Office;
3. People who live in Field, work in Lake Louise and go to Golden for services (doctor, dentist, groceries, etc.) will find it difficult to manage appointments that may come up last minute when they leave Field for work early in the morning and return to Field at the end of the work day in late afternoon/early evening;
4. The Post Office already has challenges meeting demands of Post Office Services under Covid-19 operational guidelines. Adding this service could impact Post Office operations and service, their priority;
5. Asking Art to be available 24/7 during extended closures is not a realistic option for him. 

            A specific pass for a specific resident who can book online is much more professional and reliable. Commuters will be issued passes they keep and carry to simplify the process. It makes sense that residents be granted the same level of consideration, with the rider that they book online in advance of their trip.

            MOTI will communicate how the Community Pass system will operate. 

3. St Joseph Project 

            We continue to work with the designer and engineers. The focus of the FRAA is to initiate the Development Permit now that engineered drawings are a reality. Also working on grant applications and fundraising options. The new timeline for construction start is spring 2022.

4. Community Hall Use as Emergency Shelter during Power Outage January 26, 2021

            CP used the hall as an emergency warming and registration centre for people who don’t have a back-up heating system to use when there’s no power for forced air furnaces or baseboard heaters. CP provided blankets, food and bottled water. Eleven people made use of the facility, which was staffed by Field Fire and Rescue members from 3 pm to 11 pm that day. No one needed the facility for overnight accommodation.

            The Board will research how other community facilities are funded for use as emergency shelters.

5. BC Hydro Energy Storage Facility (ESF)

            There was an internal fire in the battery banks on February 16, 2021 . The ESF is out of service until repaired. BC Hydro is working on interim power back-up for the community in the event of a power outage. BC Hydro will communicate with us when they have more information.

            The FRAA is concerned about short-term and long-term energy security for Field. We sent this email to BC Hydro and Parks Canada on March 1, 2021:

“The Field Recreation Advisory Association (FRAA) wants to express to BC Hydro and Parks Canada, on behalf of residents and business owners in Field, BC and Yoho National Park, our desire to address electric power supply security for our community and area.

We understand the challenges of terrain, weather, line repair and maintenance, the present state of the Energy Storage Facility, and the role of CP priorities in keeping the power coming to Field. It’s a huge responsibility. We commend BC Hydro for providing service to the community since the line from Golden to Field was powered in the 1990s.

Looking at an immediate short-term back-up option while the ESF is not available, is it possible to install a diesel generator to power the community during outages to replace the ESF?

In the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure meeting with the community on February 25, 2021, we learned that during the Kicking Horse Canyon Project Phase 4, part of the power line will stay above ground and part will go underground. Project managers said they are aware of the sensitive nature of power provision to this area. It appears that section of BC Hydro’s line to Field will remain reliable, however, details about the plan between the contractor and BC Hydro during construction would give residents of Field more information about how there will be guaranteed uninterrupted power during the massive rebuilding of the 4.5 km of highway. 

Parks Canada has held public consultation events in Field to present TransCanada Highway Twinning proposals for review and comment. Given that most power outages in Field have occurred after incidents on the section of the power line installed above-ground along the CP right-of-way, it makes sense to move that line underground along the new highway during the highway twinning project through Yoho National Park when that project proceeds. The FRAA believes that will mitigate the occurrence of most outages in the future and provide a long term solution that allows for much easier access to BC Hydro infrastructure than if the line is left in its present location. This option will also allow for power provision further east to Kicking Horse Campground and Cathedral Mountain Lodge, which operate using diesel generators during their seasons of operation. Have there been any formal discussions between Parks Canada and BC Hydro to include this option in the project?”

6. FRAA Insurance

            Currently, we have three separate policies to cover facilities, programs and director liability. Our insurance provider, Johnston Meier Insurance, has suggested consolidating all three policies into one to address redundancies. Sally and Kathryn had a conference call with Johnston Meier Insurance on March 4, 2021 to answer questions about coverage, programs, state of facilities. The broker indicated we may have options to look at this week. We have renewed two of the three policies and are on month-to-month coverage with the third policy. 

7. Constitution Update

            The FRAA has updated the constitution but hasn’t uploaded the document to the BC Society’s Act website. Given the experience of the pandemic, the plan to work on either a Memorandum of Understanding or Terms of Reference with Parks Canada in 2021, and negotiating a new Contribution Agreement with Parks Canada in 2021, the Board feels we should hold off on registering the updated Constitution until we have digested the impact of the pandemic and signed agreements with Parks Canada. We want everything to dovetail operationally and legally.

8. Financial Report

            To be presented at the Community Update scheduled for March 25, 2021,

9. Contribution Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding or Terms of Reference      

            The Board is making a list of what we would like to see in new agreements with Parks Canada.

10. Next Meetings

Field Utility Board: March 17, 2021

FUB Agenda
1. Quarterly Reports
2. Town Hall Meeting format for March 29, 2021

3. Update on Parks Canada’s requests to LL Fire Department and Golden Fire Department to provide Road Rescue to Yoho National Park

4. TransCanada Highway Twinning through YNP: Do plans include moving the BC Hydro line to underground along the highway?
5. Town Walk About follow-up and Discussion about reinstating an annual walkabout meeting to assess/identify items that need to be addresses
6. Contribution Agreement

7. Memorandum of Understanding/Terms of Reference discussion and goals timeline

Town Hall Meeting: March 29, 2021 


FRAA Report

Treasurer’s Report

Parks Canada Reports

            Townsite Manager 

            Assets Manager

            VE Manager

            Resource Conservation Manager

Friends of Yoho Report

Field Fire and Rescue Report

FRAA Board Meeting: April 12, 2021

Field Recreation Advisory Association Update January 25, 2021

Public Health Order dated January 8, 2021 does not allow public meetings at this time. The Board can meet but no members of the public can attend.

The BC Public Health Officer will update the order on February 8, 2021. Based on the guidelines stated then we will look at options for an in-person and virtual meeting in February.

Superintendent Rick Kubian and Policy Advisor Alex Kolesch have said they would like to attend the next Town Hall Meeting to share information and answer residents’ questions about the information they present. They’re on standby until we can have an in-person public meeting with virtual participation as well that will reach as many residents as possible.

This update presents information that would have been given at the January 25, 2021 Town Hall Meeting. 

1. FRAA Report 

            Kathryn Cameron, President FRAA

Here is what the FRAA Board members have worked on since our last Town Hall Meeting and Annual General Meeting on November 16, 2020:


  • Virtual FRAA Board meetings on November 28, 2020, December 16, 2020 and January 11, 2021. Minutes of all meetings have been circulated to the community email list and are posted on the Village of Field website www.fieldbc.ca
  • Conference Call meeting with Parks Canada Superintendent Rick Kubian December 11, 2020.
  • Conference call Field Utility Board Meeting January 20, 2021


Covid-19 guidelines from the British Columbia Public Health Officer have determined how FRAA programs and facilities operate this winter. We are committed to health and safety of the community and will continue to follow guidelines as they change. 

  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) continues virtually via Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Centre on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with Laura Penner at 7:00 pm. Please visit the LLSRC Facebook page for participation details. If you want to receive reminders, send a text to 250-344-8291 to be added to the contact list.
  • Yoga Flow With Julie on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm at the Community Hall, admission by donation. Please wear a mask as you enter the hall, sanitize your hands (sanitizer is on the table at the entrance or wash your hands in the washroom) and proceed to set up your mat a minimum of 2.5 meters from other participants. You can remove your mask for the yoga session. Please put on your mask again and maintain the 2.5 meters distance recommended as you gather your mat, sanitize your hands, put on your coat and boots and exit the community hall. The hall can safely accommodate 8 participants. 
  • The Ice Rink is flooded and in use – well done Rink People! The change room remains locked. For night time skaters, the lights are set to be on from around 5 pm to 11 pm. The timers were installed several years ago and may need to be updated or replaced. The FRAA will have an electrician assess them. There are benches outside to use for putting on skates/boots. You can also use the benches and chairs on the Community Hall porch. Please maintain a physical distance of 2.5 meters between yourself and other skaters outside your personal bubble. The change room door is locked from the inside. Entering through the windows for whatever reason is not good; please comply with the guidelines.
  • Kicking Horse Ski Club continues to provide us with wonderful cross-country skiing! Tally-Ho Trail, Kicking Horse Trail, Tree Hugger Trail, Emerald Lake Alluvial Fan and Horse Trails, Emerald Connector and the Yoho Valley Road have all been packed, groomed, track set and skier tracked, and are in great shape. Visit the website www.khsc.ca  for trail reports, membership information and club updates. QR codes are now available at trailheads to make donations and memberships easier for skiers and snowshoers to make payments to the club. E-transfers now enabled to deposit memberships and donation directly to the FRAA account at Columbia Valley Credit Union. Big thanks to the Kicking Horse Ski Club team!

Parks Canada Invoices and Honorarium

All outstanding invoices for public washroom use and Honorarium for 2019/2020 have been paid in full. The new contribution agreement is very specific about itemizing 12 meetings attended by a maximum of 5 FRAA Board members to achieve the annual maximum contribution of $6000. Given the volunteer nature of the FRAA it is doubtful the organization will realize that financial maximum in the duration of the current agreement. Our community is doing so many things that would normally fall in the responsibility/role of municipal jurisdiction that are simply not recognized by Parks Canada management. It’s a conundrum.


Sally filled out the questionnaire on changes to coverage as requested by our insurance provider Johnson Meier Insurance in Golden. The FRAA requested quotes with larger deductibles than are currently in place for our three policies that cover buildings and other assets, programs and director liability. For many years Parks Canada has paid our insurance in lieu of a municipal recreation grant. The FRAA anticipates receiving invoices in the next week, which will be forwarded to Parks Canada for payment.


Townsite Manager Tracey LeBlanc indicated at the Field Utility Board meeting that Field Fire and Rescue have been consulted on the Emergency Service Coordinator position.

Parks Canada has made formal requests for Golden Fire Department and Lake Louise Fire Department to respond to road rescue in Yoho National Park.

St Joseph Project

It’s been an intense three months of work. New conceptual drawings were developed and circulated to the community for public comment – only positive comments in response. Level Engineering was contracted to produce engineered drawings for mechanical and electrical services to the renovation, FRP Engineering was contracted to produce structural engineering drawings and Studio C Architecture was contracted to provide architectural review and guidance. The designer, russell and russell design is reviewing all drawings submitted and coordinating with Studio C. The final report to Columbia Basin Trust for the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas grant to cover costs for engineered drawings was submitted in mid-January. Next steps: Development Permit, tender the project for contractor bids, apply for more grants.

Constitution Update

Tabled for now. To be discussed at next FRAA Board Meeting scheduled for February 8, 2021.

Community Hall 

To meet insurance requirements, we inspect the Community Hall three times a week with a complete walk-through of upstairs and downstairs rooms: Sally on Tuesdays; Kathryn on Thursdays; and, Paulina on Saturdays.


Congratulations to Pavo and Chloe on their engagement! 

Congratulations to Spud on his retirement!

2. Treasurer’s Report 

            Sally Watson, Treasurer FRAA

Files attached to distribution e-mail.

3. Parks Canada Reports 

            Tracey LeBlanc, Townsite Manager

Not available

4. Friends of Yoho

            Brenda Selkirk, Manager

Not available

5. Community Paramedicine, British Columbia Emergency Health Service

            Craig Chapman, Community Paramedic

Not available

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

Not available

FRAA Board of Directors Meeting January 11, 2021

1. Programs 

  • HIIT continues virtually via Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Centre on Tuesday and Thursday evenings with Laura Penner at 7:00 pm. Please visit the LLSRC Facebook page for participation details. If you want to receive reminders, send a text to 250-344-8291 to be added to the contact list.
  • Yoga Flow With Julie on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm at the Community Hall, admission by donation. Please wear a mask as you enter the hall, sanitize your hands (sanitizer is on the table at the entrance or wash your hands in the washroom) and proceed to set up your mat a minimum of 2.5 meters from other participants. You can remove your mask for the yoga session. Please put on your mask again and maintain the 2.5 meters distance recommended as you gather your mat, sanitize your hands, put on your coat and boots and exit the community hall. The hall can safely accommodate 10 participants. Residents from Lake Louise have expressed interest in attending. The Board feels that travelling to attend yoga is not considered essential travel, so we’ll keep it local.
  • The Ice Rink is flooded and in use! Well done Rink People! The change room remains locked. For night time skaters, the lights are set to be on from around 6 pm to 11 pm (it’s tough to get exact times on the timer so the lights may not be on at exactly 6 pm or go off at exactly 11 pm). There are benches outside to use for putting on skates/boots. You can also use the benches and chairs on the Community Hall porch. Please maintain a physical distance of 2.5 meters between yourself and other skaters outside your personal bubble. The change room door is locked from the inside. Entering through the windows for whatever reason is not good; please comply with the guidelines. 
  • Kicking Horse Ski Club www.khsc.ca is amazing! Tally-Ho Trail, Kicking Horse Trail, Tree Hugger Trail, Emerald Lake Alluvial Fan and Horse Trails, and the Yoho Valley Road have all been packed, groomed, trackset and skier tracked, and are in great shape. Right now the focus is on getting the Emerald Connector groomed and trackset. Visit the website for trail reports, membership information and club updates. This just in – QR code available at trailheads to make donations and memberships easier for skiers and snowshoers to make payments to the club.

2. Parks Canada Invoices and Honorarium

Washroom invoices for 2018, 2019 and 2020, plus the Honorarium for 2019/2020 have been accepted and entered for payment by Parks Canada on January 18, 2021. The FRAA will work with Parks Canada on submitting the Honorarium for 2020/2021 by the end of February 2021.

3. Insurance

The FRAA received the annual Notice to Renew from Johnson Meier in Golden, with a questionnaire to complete, indicating any changes in coverage. Sally to work with Johnson Meier to complete the paperwork so invoices can be issued. No change to coverage. FRAA insurance covers buildings and other assets, programs and director liability.


The FRAA advises Parks Canada leadership to include Field Fire and Rescue members in the process to develop the Fire Services Coordinator position to ensure that creating and implementing this position will meet the needs of Field Fire and Rescue. 

5. St. Joseph Project

Engineers are working hard to complete engineered drawings for mechanical, electrical and structural elements of the renovation this week, with architectural review being done throughout the project. We will meet the January 15, 2021 deadline to pay for the work and submit the final report for the Community Initiatives grant. Once we have the engineered drawing in hand, the FRAA will put the project out to tender and continue applying for grants. Talking about potential fundraising options in 2021.

6. FUB Agenda for Meeting on January 20, 2021 

  • Quarterly Reports – Q1 – April, May, June and Q2 – July, August, September 2020 
  • Include FFRD input from members in development of Fire Services Coordinator position
  • License of Occupation for community use of school gym
  • Snow removal and snow storage discussion
  • Who is responsible for locking VRC washrooms when there is a power outage in Field?
  • Initial evaluation of traffic lights at Field intersection 
  • Contribution Agreement

7. Town Hall Meeting Agenda for Meeting on Monday, January 25, 2021

  • Zoom Meeting plus 15 in-person attendance, RSVP
  • FRAA Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Parks Canada Reports
    • Townsites
    • Highways
    • Visitor Experience
    • Resource Conservation
    • Asset

8. Round Table

  • Weekends in Yoho National Park are very busy! Wapta Falls parking lot full with 14 vehicles parked on the highway shoulder on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
  • Parks Canada has ploughed the Sherbrooke Lake parking lot to accommodate backcountry users in the Great Divide area (Sherbrooke Lake skiers and snow shoers, Wapta Traverse backcountry skiers).
  • Be vigilant and careful. Some businesses are open – follow Public Health Office guidelines and protocols specified by businesses to protect you and staff.

FRAA Board Meeting via Zoom December 16, 2020

In attendance: Sally Watson, Kathryn Cameron, Sonya Leenders

Excused: Paulina O’Brien, Heather Galligan, Greg Dowman

1. St. Joseph’s Project – Grant extension and quotes from structural engineers

            Grant for engineered drawings, architectural approval and geotechnical work was originally due to be completed by December 15, 2020. However, the FRAA revisited the whole concept in June 2020 following consultation with neighbours, which meant new drawings with public consultation before going ahead with engineered drawings. This was completed by November 30, 2020. We have received acceptable quotes for electrical and mechanical drawings, and architectural review through the process and are currently waiting for quotes from two structural engineering firms. The FRAA anticipates receiving the quotes by the end of this week. We applied for an extension and the final grant report is due by January 15, 2021.

2. FFRD 

            In a meeting with Parks Canada on December 11, 2020, the FFRA learned that Parks Canada is pursuing their regional solution approach. 

  • Parks Canada met with the society that administers Lake Louise Fire Department (LLFD), Banff Lake Louise Emergency Services Society (BLLESS) last week, and Parks Canada will ask to enter into a formal agreement for LLFD to respond to road rescue in Yoho National Park between Lake Louise and Field. BLLESS Board to review the request in January 2021. 
  • Parks Canada has sent a formal request to Town Of Golden Chief Administrative Officer to Have Golden Fire Department (GFD) respond to road rescue from Yoho National Park West Gate to Field. 
  • No timeline on when agreements will be signed.
  • Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) will reimburse any Fire Department that responds out of their jurisdiction in the province of British Columbia. Responses to road rescue in Yoho National Park by LLFD and GFD will be reimbursed by EMBC. No cost to Parks Canada
  • This is not a stop-gap measure. Parks Canada sees this as a reasonable way to provide a long-term approach to road rescue services in Yoho National Park. Only talking about road rescue service from LLFD and GFD. FFRD will continue to provide structure fire protection services to Field and Yoho National Park. On the question of HazMat response, it is 99% fuel spills and long term clean-up is required, there is seldom short-term containment needed. 
  • FFRD will continue to provide structure fire protection services so no foreseeable impact on insurance in the community. Parks Canada has a strong interest in maintaining FFRD long term.
  • CP Rail is responsible for providing emergency response to CP Rail emergencies.

Rebuttal from FRAA:

  • LLFD has recruitment issues, greater than those experienced by FFRD. LLFD has a minimum 30 minute response time on a highway that covers four weather patterns over the 27 km distance from Lake Louise to Field.
  • GFD is 57 km away, so longer response time on a highway that is approaching the start of a 4-year construction project to twin 4.8 km in Kicking Horse Canyon, with long and short-term closures expected.
  • Risk of Kicking Horse River contamination from hazardous materials/spills.
  • Do these departments have the resources to expand their areas of response?
  • Response time to any road rescue incident is critical. FFRD can respond much faster with a team that is trained and competent.
  • Parks Canada regional solution is downloading the same concerns to two other volunteer fire departments that deal with the same difficult responses. Looking at the timeline and substance of FFRD request to Parks Canada for a full-time Fire Chief it shows that the shared demands of leadership without a Fire Chief were put on the Captains that increased their responsibilities and time commitments. FFRD asked for a position to provide leadership. The proposed Parks Canada regional approach seems to dismantle and sideline a functional organization.
  • FFRD, LLFD and GFD were working on mutual aid agreements so the idea of a regional solution was already substantially in play. With identified areas of jurisdiction for each department, there has been a very functional model. 
  • Parks Canada leadership is not listening to feedback or critique of their “regional solution”. 

3. Kicking Horse Ski Club

            E-transfers to purchase memberships are in place via payments@khsc.ca and they’re working out well. Set up for automatic deposit so not passwords necessary. Ski Club is charting membership list. Conditions improve with each snowfall. For all Kicking Horse Ski Club details, please visit the website at www.khsc.ca. Marilyn is keeping us informed!

4. Programs

HIIT is on Zoom with Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society. Please visit their Facebook page for details. Classes were free in December; there may be a fee to attend virtually in January.

All the equipment for the gym grant has been purchased and delivered. When the gym can be used as a public space again there will be circuit training and ping pong. Final report for the grant has been submitted and a press release to publicly thank Columbia Basin Trust for support of the program will be sent to The Golden Star.

Public Health Orders have changed and in-person low-impact yoga classes are once again allowed to take place. This means, for lucky us, that Yoga Flow with Julie will start again January 7, 2021. Mark your calendar and dust off your yoga mat. Please wear a mask and use hand sanitizer on entrance to the community hall. Once people are on their mats, in their allocated space, masks can be removed for the yoga session then put back on to exit following the class.

5. Rink Protocols 2020

            Weather has not been our friend this year when considering the ice rink. We’ve had big snowfalls, then warm weather, then more snow . . . and not much good cold weather to get some floods on the rink. Thanks to the rink people who have been clearing the snow, doing some floods, then clearing more snow. It’s a slow process. Once the rink is usable, only ice maintenance people will have access to the change room. Please bring your equipment and take it home; no equipment storage in the change room this winter.

6. Round Table

  • Parks Canada has not paid any invoices submitted in 2020, some of which are for services from 2018. Tracey LeBlanc said the invoice for the Honorarium must be resubmitted following the guidelines outlined in the new Contribution Agreement. Sally is working on it and will also submit invoice for public washroom for 2020.
  • Given the proximity of CP Rail infrastructure and operations to the community of Field, the FRAA feels that sole response by CP to CP emergency situations has the potential to put Field residents in grave danger. 
  • Public Health Guidelines for Christmas gatherings has meant many people may be alone this Christmas. Any word on what’s happening or ideas on how to mitigate?

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.Next FRAA Board Meeting scheduled for January 11, 2020 via Zoom and invitations sent to Board Members.