At the beginning of the year, avalanche and weather warnings were taking place across BC. As winter chugged along and temperatures rose, ratings continued to elevate in the Purcells.
Local athlete Tristen Chernove was named the top Canadian Para Cyclist in January. He was named 2018 Canadian Cyclist of the year, para athlete.
Kimberley’s Marielle Ackermann was on the slopes in Europe, competing with the BC Cross Country Ski Team in Switzerland, France and Italy. She concluded her 20-day competitive tour mid-January with a first place finish in the 15km classic.
The Dynamiters had a strong start to the new year, with many wins and points earned.
The Kimberley Nordic Club hosted the Teck Kootenay Cup Races #5 and #6 in January, with over 280 skiers in attendance.
Yellow vest protestors hit the streets in Cranbrook on January 5, staging a protest outside of former MP Wayne Stetski’s office. The group was protesting Canada signing onto a United Nations agreement laying out 23 objectives for safe, orderly and regular migration.
The Regional District of East Kootenay started plans to gain feedback on their Solid Waste Management Plan review, launching an online survey for all residents and home owners.
The Kimberley Arts Council and Centre 64 unveiled their brand new accessibility lift, allowing everyone and anyone to finally access the theatre after many years of planning and hard work. A celebration and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on January 11, 2019.
On January 14, a Kimberley resident was arrested for drug trafficking. RCMP said the person was under investigation for some time. Their search located approximately nine ounces of cocaine along with further evidence to support the trafficking charges.
Kimberley City Council approved a development permit for a 12-unit rental complex on Church Avenue, the first step towards the now-complete affordable housing complex.
Kimberley’s team Buchy won the sixth annual Cranbrook bonspiel, taking the final win of the A event over Team Nichol 7-3. At the end of the month, Team Buchy was one of two teams to qualify for the BC Senior Curling Championship in Trail.
The Kimberley Deer Committee recommended to Council that 40 beer be translocated in 2019. Later that month, Council voted not to translocate any deer during the 2019 year, due to population numbers remaining at a reasonable level.
Kimberley’s Molly Miller attended the World Junior Cross Country Ski Championships in Lahiti, Finland. Meanwhile, Kimberley Alpine Resort was gearing up for a busy two weeks of ski racing with the Kootenay Zone Races, FIS Speed and Downhill Races, Night Slalom, Super G and Speed races, along with the Alberta U16 Speed Camp.
From January 18 to 20, the Kimberley Curling Club held their annual Snow Fiesta Mixed Bonspiel, with teams from Cranbrook, Edmonton, Spokane and Kimberley competing.
On January 24, An entire shop was destroyed in a fire at the Columbia Lake Technology Centre in Canal Flats, and although the building was a loss, there were no injuries reported in the blaze.
The saga of the Kootenay Ice Hockey team officially started gaining headlines at the end of the month, with the ICE confirming that they would be moving out of Cranbrook to Winnipeg.
A string of break ins at the Kimberley Civic Centre’s concession was causing frustrations for both City staff and those who run the concession.
On January 30, 2019, Cranbrook and Kimberley lost one of their most iconic citizens, Bud Abbott. A tribute to his community involvement, altruism, performing skills and warm personality was published in the last paper of the month in both the Townsman and Bulletin.
At the beginning of February, Wildsight hosted a candlelight vigil to honour mountain caribou. The last of the females from the Purcell and South Selkirk herd were transferred to maternity pens in Revelstoke in January, leaving only three lone males in the mountains near Kimberley.
The Church Avenue Affordable Housing project officially broke ground on February 1, 2019, after many years of anticipation. A special groundbreaking ceremony was held, with local dignitaries and stakeholders present.
The Kimberley Guild of Fibre Artists celebrated 35 years of weaving in the community, with members gathering to recognize the small but talented group that meets every week.
Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick joined the Columbia Basin Board of Directors in February. Rick Jensen was reappointed to the role of Chair, while Jocelyn Carver, who joined the Board in 2018, was appointed Vice-Chair.
Shortly thereafter, McCormick delivered his annual State of the City address to a full-house at Centre 64. He touched on the fact that the City has made a large dent in their infrastructure deficit, that tourism continues to be a success and how diversifying the tax base can help the economy.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games took place in Red Deer, Alberta, and Kimberley’s Molly Miller was the only local athlete sent. Later in the month, Miller would receive the BC Athlete Excellence Award for cross country skiing.
The entire Kimberley Cross Country team was also doing well, posting excellent results across the board.
The Kimberley Skating Club celebrated many victories at the 2019 Kootenay Regional Championships mid-February.
A great time was had by all at the second annual Kimberley Flannel Fest, with a party in the Platzl and snow sculpture competition.
On February 14, Air Canada officially announced that they would be ending flights between Cranbrook and Calgary in April.
On February 26, the province of BC announced that there would be no funding for Search and Rescue across the province, leaving local SAR teams concerned about their futures.
Kimberley City Council voted to dissolve the Urban Deer Advisory Committee, which served for several years as a source of information for Council with regards to deer population and problems in Kimberley. There were not enough members in the committee in 2019 to hold a proper quorum.
As the hockey season started to wind down at the end of the month, the Dynamiters held onto their success. They had a record breaking season and headed into the playoffs as the regular season champions in the Eddie Mountain Division.
The City of Kimberley started off the month of March on a high note, receiving the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting for its annual Financial Report. The award was established to encourage municipal governments throughout Canada to publish high-quality financial reports and to provide peer recognition and technical guidance for officials preparing the reports.
The Dynamiters also started the month strong, taking the lead in the fist four games of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) playoffs. They also won the Eddie Mountain Division Championship in a four game sweep against the Fernie Ghostriders. This would be the fifth year in a row that the Nitros claimed the title.
The Kimberley Cross Country ski team had their last weekend of racing in BC in Salmon Arm at the BC Championships in the first weekend of March, with some great results and top finishes.
The Kimberley Atom Nitros were named the East Kootenay League 2018/19 Atom B Champs after taking first place in their home tournament from March 8 to 10 in Cranbrook.
A brand new Recycle BC Depot opened at the Kimberley Transfer Station on March 4, as part of the Regional District of East Kootenay’s pilot program. The depot expanded recycling options in Kimberley and the surrounding area, accepting more than 76 items that weren’t able to be recycled through the yellow bin program.
School enhancement funds of $206 million were announced in March as well, with School District 6, Kimberley’s zone, receiving over $1 million of the funds. SD6 said at the time that the funds would go towards several different initiatives.
Kimberley’s Team Buchy headed to the 2019 BC U18 Girl’s Championships in Sherwood Park, Alta., where they dominated the finals.
Kimberley’s Food Recovery Depot officially opened to the public on March 20, allowing the food bank, school meal programs and other community groups access to the program.
As the weather started to warm up towards the end of the month, an avalanche warning was issued for all BC mountains. Temperatures were expected to reach up to 17C, a dramatic increase that made snowpack conditions complex and dangerous.
A few days after the warning was issued, a skier triggered an avalanche just outside of the boundaries at Kimberley Alpine Resort. The skier was not injured, Kimberley Search and Rescue Responded, and SAR reported that the small avalanche was likely triggered due to rapidly changing conditions.
On March 19, the Dynamiters beat out the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in game one of the Conference Finals at the Kimberley Civic Centre. The series continued until March 27, with the Nitros named the KIJHL Kootenay Conference Champs.
The Lady’s Leg Dancers put on another incredibly successful run of Lilith in 2019, raising over $8,000 for the Kimberley and Cranbrook communities through their annual by-women for-women show.
The City of Kimberley was successful in receiving a grant from Columbia Basin Trust in March, with $43,000 awarded towards the installation of a solar voltaic system on its roof.
After much discussion at the beginning of the year, Kimberley City Council voted in favour of a decision that would see the City become the legal entity for the Kimberley Action Youth Network (KYAN). The agreement between KYAN, the City and Columbia Basin Trust sees that the City is responsible for the administration and supervision of the group.
The B.C. government threw search and rescue (SAR) groups a lifeline at the end of March, announcing $18.6 million in funding just one week before their current cash flow was to dry up. The month prior, the government had said they would not be funding any SAR groups province-wide.
The Kimberley Bulletin’s Year in Review will continue over the next few publications.