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ISSW Conference Coming to Fernie in 2020

Tuesday • October 11, 2016

Fernie wins bid to host international conference.

Fernie has successfully bid on the opportunity to be the host destination for the 2020 International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). Typically held in late September/early October, this 6-day conference has the potential to welcome 1,000 participants to Fernie. The ISSW hosts a biennial conference in North America and Europe bringing together researchers and practitioners from all over the world to facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and experiences.

Earlier this year, the Canadian Avalanche Association contacted its members outlining the need for a Canadian location for the 2020 ISSW Conference. Local Steve Kuijt, recognizing the potential of this event for Fernie and the great fit given our snow culture, initiated discussion and established a Fernie ISSW Task Force Committee to lay the foundation for a 2020 Bid Proposal.

As part of the committee's preparation efforts, Annie Wong, a representative from International Conference Services, Ltd. (ICS) in Vancouver, was recently hosted in Fernie. ICS has organized past ISSW Conferences and is organizing the 2016 ISSW Conference in Colorado. As stated by Wong "I was invited by the Fernie ISSW Task Force, on behalf of International Conference Services, to visit Fernie and access its capability to host a 1,000 delegate conference in 2020.  Immediately upon my arrival, I was incredibly impressed by the genuine friendliness of the town people and their desire to showcase the city of Fernie.  Fernie has a lot of potential to host a variety of meetings and conferences with a unique flair and I look forward to coming back!"

In order to support the bidding process and a conference of this magnitude, partnership and collaboration of the business community is essential.

“Tourism Fernie is pleased to support this industry led initiative with resources and funding in efforts to increase visitation in the shoulder season” said Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer of Tourism Fernie. “Large events, meetings and conventions are key to driving overnight visitation and economic growth to our community.  By helping support Annie’s visit we gained valuable information on how Fernie, with support from the City and local business community, can easily become more accessible and attractive for larger conferences and events.”

The Fernie ISSW Task Force Committee sent Steve Kuijt and Christine Grimble, Bid Coordinator, to present the Fernie bid on October 4th at the 2016 ISSW Conference, in Breckenridge, USA. It only took a few minutes for the ISSW Committee to unanimously agree to have Fernie host the conference in 2020.

There is now much work to be done over the next four years to host this event. The conference would be held in the Memorial Arena, Curling Club and Community Centre. Some renovation work will be reviewed and planned.

For more information, please contact Christine Grimble, ISSW Bid Coordinator at [email protected]

Attached photo: The Fernie ISSW Task Force joined by International Conference Services, Ltd. representative, Annie Wong

(Back Row L-R): Scott Gilmet, Steve Kuijt, Mike Delich

(Front Row L-R): Christine Grimble, Patty Vadnais, Jikke Gyorki, Andy Cohen & Doug Feely




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