This year’s community celebration of Christmas in Rossland is going to honour one of the event’s founders.
“She was the driving force behind Rekindle, all of this,” says Janet Fraser, the owner of Out of the Cellar and a friend of Ardis Urquhart’s. “She would never take no for an answer.”
Urquhart, a former business leader and community activist in Rossland, passed away earlier this year at 66. She was also one of the founders of the Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas event — which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
Rekindle takes place this Saturday in downtown Rossland. The grassroots effort to support local business kicks off the holiday season for merchants, with everyone participating — artists, street vendors, non-profit organizations, boutique shops, a winter market, cafes and restaurants.
Fraser recalls Urquart first promoting the idea of Rekindle 25 years ago
“She gathered the business owners of her time into her living room and it was born,” she recalled. “We would invite Santa to join, have a choir signing, chestnuts roasting, a tree lighting, and a big gift basket. It would become a day many of us would hold near and dear.”
A number of activities will take place to remember Urquhart. Fraser will recall her friend’s love of lipstick by setting up a lipstick station in her store. People can put on their favourite lipstick colour to remember Urquhart.
“She did lots for this community, but she was also a great friend, and I want to honour her,” says Fraser.
Fraser and many of Urquhart’s other friends are also planning to begin a new tradition at Rekindle. In her last few years at the event, Urquhart wore a Christmas tree skirting with sequined figures on it as a cape.
“This year, her dear friend Mary Martin is going to wear it on the Santa parade, then donate it to the Rekindle group to have as part of the ceremonies forever,” says Fraser.
This year’s celebration
There’s plenty to see and do at Rekindle.
The Santa Parade is an annual favourite featuring the wise old elf escorted by the Rossland Fire Department. Santa’s elves hand out goodies along the parade route and a few of his reindeer prance in the parade much to the delight of children.
Santa pauses at the Rossland Public Library for the afternoon where children can get their photograph with jolly old St. Nick and are welcome to deposit their wish lists in the Santa mailbox — the North Pole Express. The Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre hosts a free craft table for the children while they wait their turn.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 14 along with the Nelson and District Credit Union host an annual Christmas luncheon for seniors in Rossland. Richie Mann and the Golden City Fiddlers have taken centre stage for years and volunteer their afternoon entertaining all who enter the Legion.
The Rossland Mountain Market Society first joined Rekindle in 2011 as an outdoor market. Upon the 25th anniversary of Rekindle, the RMMS Winter Market will hold its event indoors at the Miners’ Hall.
The annual tree lighting takes place in Harry LeFevre Square thanks to the City of Rossland. For the 25th anniversary celebration, children from Four Winds Daycare and students from the École des Sept-sommets will sing songs. City council members will be on hand to assist with the drawings for the Rekindle giveway baskets. Finally, the Rossland Light Opera Players in period costumes will perform some traditional Christmas carols and then Mayor Kathy Moore will flip the switch and the Rossland Christmas tree will come alive.
Rossland’s cafes and restaurants are open on Rekindle to let you get together with friends and family in the best of ways — around good food. From coffee houses to bakeries to pubs to restaurants, there is something for every taste and every person.
Rekindle allows you to enjoy the best of the holidays. No running around or driving to the big city. No shopping online alone in the middle of the night. Rossland’s merchants have a unique and canny ability to offer the best of the best. Hands down. Have no ideas? Walk into a local store and let them guide you to that perfect gift.
• Rossland merchants, vendors and eateries Open their doors
• Red Mountain Racers Christmas tree market
• Madhu Collective community yoga. Bring items for the Rossland Food Bank.
• Santa Claus and reindeer prance parade
• Seniors luncheon sponsored by NDCU at Rossland Legion
• Golden City Fiddlers with Richie Mann at Rossland Legion Branch #14
• Photos with Santa at Rossland Library
• Free holiday activity by Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre at Rossland Public Library
• Miner’s Hall Christmas Farmers’ Market (12 to 4 p.m.)
• Rossland Food Bank drop-off at Miners’ Hall (12 to 4 p.m.)
• Lighting of Rossland Christmas tree at Harry LeFevre Square
• The Rossland Light Opera Players, École des Sept-sommets and Four Winds Daycare Choirs
• Rekindle gift basket drawings
5 to 8 p.m.
• Rossland Youth Action Network Christmas party with free pizza at YAN space on Washington Street