The City of Rossland’s contribution to Winter Carnival’s snow acquisition and placement this year was $4000 less than in 2014 thanks to the assistance of Big Red Cats, Impact Equipment and the efforts of numerous volunteers.
After last year’s event, many of the organizers were ready to walk away from the Rail Jam competition. In 2013 the city provided support for the Winter Carnival to the tune of $17,297, an increase of 75 per cent from the previous year. The labour bill had run high due to the lack of snow and the Rail Jam was the main culprit for the overspend. In 2012 Rail Jam cost the city $3,584 and in 2013 it had risen to $8,404.
Justin Cure of Rossvegas Board Shop and Brian Potter from Powderhound Sports committed to bringing down the cost to the residents of Rossland this year by finding volunteers to assist with the Rail Jam event.
They succeeded in their efforts and hosted the best Rail Jam event Rossland has ever experienced. The Rail Jam was visually stunning, particularly for those coming through the main street of Rossland who could look up at the course and see snow sport enthusiasts doing what they love.
Councillor Lloyd McLellan was overwhelmed by the community’s participation in the 2015 Winter Carnival. “I am impressed by, and grateful for, the amount of volunteer work donated to make this year’s Winter Carnival a success,” he said.
It was not an easy feat to bring the Big Red Cat in from storage near Nancy Greene. Organizers were surprised to learn they would have to apply for a permit and have three pilot vehicles escort the cat into town during the early hours of the morning due to the size and speed the cat moves. Thankfully Impact Equipment stepped up and donated their services to escort the cat to Rossland before the 5 a.m. curfew. A volunteer, who stockpiled and prepared the snow, operated the cat for two days.
“I would also like to make huge thanks to Big Red Cats and Impact Equipment for the use and transportation of the groomer. I thought it was incredible, the assistance saved one and a half days to build the Rail Jam course. I blinked and the course was built,” said Cure.
Winter Carnival committee member Lisa Wegner explained the volunteers and the community minded organizations saved the carnival from becoming carnage. “Their (Big Red Cats and Impact Equipment) commitment to the cause has had a positive outcome for our city funding. With the extra efforts they put in, it kept the costs in check and essentially saved two pinnacle events,” said Wegner.
“The Game” Rail Jam competition received 92 entrants and the Sonny Samuelson Memorial Bobsled had 29 bobsleds take to Spokane Street. Without the efforts of the community, this would never have taken place.
One other special mention goes to the Smith family who live on Queen Street where the Rail Jam is set up for three to four days and they have no access to their driveway.
“I would like to officially thank the Smith family. Every year their driveway is blocked in. They are great every year – they provide power, storage for us and this year had the judges judging from their property,” said Cure.