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

Just Posted

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A new sign was installed at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Community effort to install new sign at Chilliwack’s oldest church

‘We feel it’s a step in the right direction to bring the church up-to-date,’ says St. Thomas parishioner

Dennis Saulnier rescued his daughters, two-year-old Brinley (left) and four-year-old Keegan, after their truck was driven off the road and into Cultus Lake on May 16, 2020. Reporter Jenna Hauck has been recognized by the B.C. and Yukon Community Newspapers Association for her story on the rescue. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Chilliwack Progress, Hope Standard staff take home 7 Ma Murray awards

Jenna Hauck, Eric Welsh, Jessica Peters, Emelie Peacock all earn journalism industry recognition

A student prepares to throw a plate full of whipped cream at principal Jim Egdcombe’s face as vice principal Devin Atkins watches as part of a fundraiser at Leary Integrated Arts and Technology elementary on Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
The pied principals: Chilliwack elementary staff get messy for charity

Cops for Cancer fundraiser saw kids ‘pie the principal’ at Leary elementary in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

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

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read