Old Fire Hall gets new purpose and life

The fire hall has been repurposed as a community building, which can be used for various purposes.

From left to right: Mayor Karen Hamling

The Old Fire Hall in Nakusp has been given a new purpose, thanks to the Old Fire Hall Collective Society.

After emergency services moved to their current location back in 2011, the OFHCS stepped in to preserve the building, and turned it into something the community can use for various purposes.

On Dec. 4th, the building had its grand opening.

Kicking things off was the ribbon cutting ceremony. Mayor Karen Hamling, Rosemary Hughes, president of the OFHCS, and Ann Jensen of the Ministy of Social Development did the deed, and with that, the new building was officially open, and people were free to go inside.

The smell of apple cider permiated in the air, hitting your nose as soon as you walked through the door. While waiting for speeches to begin, people could enter their names to win door prizes.

The building was open to the public before the grand opening ever took place, but only the section for the farmer’s market.

“With the completion of the repurposing of the Old Fire Hall, we hope we have respected the heritage, and bring together the old and the new.” said Hughes.

Bringing together the old and the new they did.

The railings going upstairs are from the trusses of the original building, and the harvest table in the kitchen uses the old trusses of the building as well. After speeches from people including the mayor, Hughes, and former MLA Corky Evans, people were free wander around. They could shop at the market, which was open, have a slice of cake, or explore the new areas, such as the meeting rooms upstairs, or the community kitchens just off to the right of the market and through a door. There is also an area which provides post harvest storage.

Both those who had attended the opening, as well as market vendors, were pleased with the market’s new facelift.

“It’s very exciting to see this, and for people to see the amazing work that’s been done,” said Karen McMillan of One Point Paper Arts. “I’m almost beyond words to see people here, appreciating the work that’s been done. It’s phenomenal.”

Others were just as excited about the building’s new lease on life.

“I’m certainly hoping that it will help to have a central place where people can come together and exchange different ideas and products, and help with making food available for people that is locally grown.” said Ellen Starr.

The fire hall’s farmer’s market takes place every Friday and Saturday, and everyone is encouraged to stop by.