Family Fishing Derby returns for 6th year

The Family Fishing Derby for Kids with Cancer Horseshoe Lake from 10 am - 3 pm.

The Family Fishing Derby for Kids with Cancer Horseshoe Lake from 10 am-3 pm

The Family Fishing Derby for Kids with Cancer Horseshoe Lake from 10 am-3 pm

Jenny Byford

Mark your calendars for Monday, February 9, as the Family Fishing Derby for Kids with Cancer will be back for its 6th year this BC Family Day. Held at Horseshoe Lake from 10 am-3 pm, the annual Derby has become a Kootenay tradition bringing together communities and families from Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, Jaffray, Kimberley and Trail.

Uniquely ‘Kootenay’, this event keeps the whole family entertained with ice fishing, tobogganing, hockey, and plenty of kids’ games including snow painting, tug-o-war and ice jug bowling. There are also contests for Best Dressed Dog and Best Dressed Toboggan, as well as door prizes, a 50/50 draw and silent auction. In past years over 1800 people have participated for top prizes valued at $2,000 and to show their support for local families in need.

More than just a fun event, the Derby is a grass-roots fundraiser supported by local businesses, media, volunteers and service clubs to help children battling cancer. Proceeds are distributed by the Canadian Cancer Society to help families with financial support, travelling to treatment, accommodation, wigs, cancer information and peer support. The Society also operates Camp Goodtimes, a medically supervised, fun summer camp for children with cancer.

Thanks to the generous support of local businesses, the Derby also helps local children facing cancer enjoy a much deserved vacation from treatment. Dacota Freight sponsors a Disneyland vacation and Sunshine Houseboats sponsors a houseboat vacation on Lake Koocanusa. Children facing cancer from all across the Kootenay region will be entered into a draw for these two trips. To ensure your family is entered, please contact the event organizers.

This year, the Derby is being organized by JCI Kootenay (Junior Chamber International). Previously, the Derby was organized by founder Shane Westle and after five years of an extremely successful event, Shane made the decision to pass along the Derby.  JCI member and 2015 Family Fishing Derby Event Chair Mike Matejka explains: “JCI Kootenay is always looking for ways to make a difference in our community and when we heard the Fishing Derby needed help we jumped at the opportunity. The past organizers created something truly amazing and we want to do our best to continue that legacy.”

JCI Kootenay is a young service group committed to creating positive change through leadership, social responsibility, fellowship and entrepreneurship. JCI is known in the community for known for organizing key community events including Leadercast, Cranbrook’s Santa Claus Parade, Balls of Steele Bocce Tournament and municipal, provincial and federal All Candidates Election Forums.

Tickets for the Family Fishing Derby are available in Cranbrook at Mountain Man Outdoors, the Canadian Cancer Society, Barber’s on Ninth and the Fort Steele Gas Station, as well as online at Tickets are just $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Everyone needs a ticket to participate in the event. We hope to see you Family Day at Horseshoe Lake!

For more information about the Family Fishing Derby, contact Event Chair Mike Matejka at 250-919-5532 or