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The Canadian Adaptive Network is hosting the second annual Fernie Disability Awareness Night. This exciting evening will be held at the Max Restaurant in the Park Place Lodge on June 2nd starting at 6:00pm.

“The debut of Disability Awareness Night last year was hugely successful”, said Grace Brulotte, event organizer. “It supported Project Heli and Fernie Adaptive Snow Program, bringing in over $6000 in funds raised. The Canadian Adaptive Network is honoured to take on the event this year, which promises to be just as inspiring and engaging.”

The greatly anticipated community premiere of “I’mPossible”, a documentary of the first female tandem sit skier to heliski in Canada, starring Grace Brulotte and Scott Courtemanche will be shown. Also to be featured are the inspirational short films “Ascend” and “Rob Enigl”. Special guest speakers include Tanelle Bolt of the RAD Adapted Society, Grace Brulotte, and Stella Swanson of the Canadian Adaptive Network.

Grace Brulotte is a smiley 22 year old, born and raised in Fernie BC. She has a condition called Arthrogryposis, which stiffens the joints of the body, and relies on a power wheelchair to maintain her busy lifestyle. When Grace was 14 years old, she was introduced to inclusive sports through sit skiing, which she fell in love with at every turn. This new discovery ultimately brought her to founding FIRE, the first adaptive skiing program to operate at Fernie Alpine Resort, of which she has been the president and program manager for six years. Always eager to face new challenges, in April 2017 Grace became the first female tandem sit skier to heliski in Canada. "I'mPossible", a film starring Grace and her ski partner Scott Courtemanche, was created to document this adventure. Grace is very passionate about adaptive adventure, and has since then pursued activities such as stand up paddle boarding and mountain biking. Grace's hope is to continue promoting inclusion for those with disabilities through the Canadian Adaptive Network. Grace's words to live by come from the late Stephen Hawking, “There should be no boundaries to human endeavour. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there's life, there is hope.”

Stella Swanson is a Fernie resident who feels privileged to live in a beautiful place that has a strong sense of community. Stella’s career has included the facilitation of diverse groups of people united around specific issues and that is how she originally joined the CAN team – she facilitated our Visioning Workshop last December. Stella’s background in environmental science provides experience in project design and management. We hope to put Stella’s project experience to good use as we start implementing the first phase of a program aimed at creating greater understanding and awareness of barriers to participation in community life by people with disabilities and to identify opportunities for greater inclusion through social and physical accessibility improvements. Stella is also a senior citizen, so she brings personal experience of the challenges and barriers we face as we age.

Don’t miss out on spectacular silent auction items generously donated by local Fernie businesses. Funds raised from this years silent auction will go to the Canadian Adaptive Network. CAN’s goal is to create inclusive opportunities and demonstrate that disability is just a variation of the human experience. To accomplish this, the plan is to undertake a broad, multi-year, multi-community project, which will generate reliable information and increase awareness in order to produce improvements in accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities in the Elk Valley. This includes a community assessment of services and accessibility, as well as school tours using “I’mpossible” to promote inclusion.

Tickets for this jam-packed evening of good food, inspirational movies, speeches, and a silent auction can be purchased ONLINE HERE or by visiting Elevation Showcase or GearHub Sports.