Tourism Fernie Wins Award for Sustainable Tourism Initiative

May 8, 2023

Tourism Fernie recently attended the BC Economic Development Association’s annual BC Economic Summit where its AmbassadorWILD Sustainable Tourism Program was awarded the BCEDA Community Project Award.

The 2023 BC Economic Summit was held in Penticton and brought together Economic Developers, Indigenous Leaders, Local Government Leaders, Administration, Community Futures, Chambers and Boards of Trade, the Private Sector, and experts to discuss current trends, challenges, and opportunities throughout BC. This annual event is held to facilitate dialogue, exchange ideas and insights, and identify ways to enhance the economic prosperity of British Columbia.

Each Summit includes the BC Economic Development Awards (BCEDA) that recognize outstanding work that supports local economies and make a meaningful difference in their communities. For over 30 years, the BCEDA has given these awards to individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to community-based economic development. This year the BC Economic Development Awards were sponsored by FortisBC and included categories such as Economic Recovery & Resiliency, Economic Reconciliation, Marketing Innovation and Community Projects.

Tourism Fernie’s AmbassadorWILD Program was nominated for the BCEDA Community Project Award that recognizes a community or regional partnership that works together in on-going development work and activities that provide economic benefits to a community or region. AmbassadorWILD is an innovative program that supports sustainable tourism and recreation by helping to take care of important nature-based locations, collect data for quality decision-making, and promote safe and responsible front and backcountry recreation. Priority locations, popular with locals and visitors, include key Elk River access points, Silver Springs, Heiko’s Trail and the Coal Creek area, including the ancient ammonite fossil.

The winning program also recognized Tourism Fernie’s broader sustainable tourism projects including infrastructure development at existing Elk River access locations, installing a composting toilet at Silver Springs, implementing a wildlife camera program on Heiko’s Trail with Wildlife Biologist Clayton Lamb and more.

“I was so excited and grateful for accepting this award on behalf of all our funders such as the Government of British Columbia, Regional District of East Kootenay, Columbia Basin Trust, TECK, Canada Summer Jobs, and Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, plus our many partners and team members,” exclaimed Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer of Tourism Fernie. “It truly shows the recognition of bringing together economic development with sustainability, and the achievements that can be made through collaboration and perseverance.”

The awards banquet was held on the evening of April 18th at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. Many other great communities, initiatives, organizations and individuals were also recipients of awards that evening.

For more information about the award-winning program and the event please visit