Chilliwack’s Christie Kerr helped the PNE pivot in a wildly different direction during the pandemic. With restrictions on large gatherings, the annual event turned into a series of drive-through shows. (PNE photo)

Chilliwack’s Christie Kerr helped the PNE pivot in a wildly different direction during the pandemic. With restrictions on large gatherings, the annual event turned into a series of drive-through shows. (PNE photo)

Chilliwack’s Christie Kerr recognized for innovative work with PNE

Kerr helped re-imagine the annual event as COVID restrictions prevented large in-person gatherings

Christie Kerr’s efforts in a very challenging year have earned her a prestigious honour.

The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (C.A.F.E.) has selected the Chilliwack woman for the Canadian Fair Champion Award, given to “those that go the extra mile for their organization and set an example as the industry’s national champion.”

Kerr is the Director of Fair Operations and Special Programs for the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE). Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and a restriction on large gatherings, this year’s event had to be re-imagined on the fly.

Kerr led her team through a major pivot, turning the PNE into a drive-through event.

RELATED: ‘Save the PNE!’: CEO, labour union call on new feds to offer COVID relief

“To hear our industry association call Christie’s name was an incredible validation of over six months of work to keep the PNE relevant and operationally alive during the COVID-19 crisis that largely stagnated the industry across Canada,” said Jeff Strickland, the PNE’s Vice President of Operations. “Christie’s unstoppable enthusiasm and ‘can do’ attitude spread throughout our organization inspiring our team, and those in the fairs and events industry across the country. This award is very well deserved.”

Dubbed ‘A Taste of PNE,’ visitors were able to drive their vehicles along a route through Hastings Park, and see attractions like the Super Dogs from their cars. A section called Dino Drive featured a 50’ Brachiousauras, a Triceratops, and a T-Rex.

RELATED: Chilliwack dancer entertains visitors at PNE drive-thru parade

A ‘Reverse Parade’ saw people waving and honking from their car as they traveled a route lined with dancers and puppets.

The series continued with other shows, like the drive-through Tech Wonderland in November.

“I am so grateful to be part of a team of people who refused to give up and chose to stay focused on what we could do rather than what we couldn’t,” Kerr said.

The successful series is now continuing with WinterLights – A Magical Journey to Santa — a completely sold-out drive-through event along a two-kilometre route where, according to the PNE website, “You will be transported through nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights in your mission to discover Santa.”


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

@ProgressSports
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Agricultural Showchilliwack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack is still one of B.C.’s COVID hot-spots, according to the latest weekly numbers from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Chilliwack records 140 COVID cases over seven-day period

Chilliwack’s case count per 100,000 people is among the highest in the province

Light boxes installed recently near Five Corners, seen here on Jan. 18, 2021. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Mystery of the large light boxes in downtown Chilliwack revealed

Some suggested ‘warming stations’ for the homeless; others guessed ‘public art’ installations

Bernard elementary in Chilliwack saved for several years to be able to have the First Nations inspired mural hand painted on the side of their school. Artists Disco and Mavik were busy on Jan. 17, 2020 finishing the work. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack’s newest school mural speaks to ‘optimism, hope and courage’

Bernard elementary latest school in Chilliwack to include mural art on its exterior

An amethyst rock was stolen from Swinstones Granite Shop’s showroom in Chilliwack on Yale Rd. West, and they are hoping it will be spotted and returned. They discovered their window smashed and the purple rock stolen on the morning of Jan. 17, 2020. Here a portion of it is pictured to the right. (Submitted image)
Amethyst stolen from Chilliwack stone shop’s showroom

Window smashed at business where purple rock has been on display for nearly 16 years

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue had a helicopter rescue in Golden Ears Park on Saturday. (Special to The News)
Helicopter Rescue in Golden Ears park

Ridge Meadows search team assists injured hiker

Singletree Winery in Abbotsford has opened two domes where customers can enjoy wine tastings and local goodies. (Photo by Megan Ashley Creative)
Abbotsford winery first in Fraser Valley to open wine-tasting domes

Singletree Winery offers two themed transparent enclosures

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Most Read