Fernie celebrated the grand opening of its new outdoor skating rink on Thursday evening and the mayor says she is proud of her community and those who stepped up to sponsor the initiative.

The Calgary Flames Foundation and other sponsors helped pay for an outdoor rink for the community after the arena was closed in October because of an ammonia leak.

“It's amazing how everything came together because of the community and efforts and the donations and volunteer labour. It's really, truly amazing and it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for the Calgary Flames Foundation coming to us and saying, we want to do this for you, really tremendous,” said Mayor Mary Giuliano.

The full-size, natural ice outdoor rink has been set up across from the Aquatic Centre and is now open to the public.

The ice surface will be maintained by volunteers and the mayor says there has been an outpouring of support from the community for the project.

“I am so proud of my community. It stepped up with over $200,000 worth of donations of material and labour,” said Giuliano “The word got out, and immediately offers of assistance started pouring in.”

Giuliano says the local Lion’s Club was also instrumental in getting the project off the ground and that the communities of Elkford and Sparwood also helped out by providing a place for Fernie’s hockey and figures skating clubs to play.