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

Eva Pucci Couture in this file shot from May 29, 2019, when she came to Chilliwack asking for the public’s help in locating her missing son, Kristofer Shawn Couture. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Missing man’s mom still hopeful, 2 years after his car was found abandoned at Chilliwack trail

‘I wish someone would come forward with insight into your whereabouts,’ pleads mom of missing man

Chilliwack is expected to be among the province’s hottest real estate markets in 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chilliwack housing market projected to be among B.C.’s hottest in 2021

B.C. Real Estate Association projects Chilliwack and District to grow by 17.1 per cent

Abbotsford tattoo artist Tanya Loewen has entered the Inked cover girl contest.
Abbotsford mother, tattoo artist enters Inked cover girl contest

Tanya Loewen, tattoo artist at Van Bree Tattoo, hoping to win big in magazine contest

Sheriff Avory Chapman was last seen Jan. 20 on Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack. (RCMP)
RCMP look for missing man last seen in downtown Chilliwack

21-year-old Sheriff Avory Chapman has been missing since Jan. 20

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Langley activist Dorscie Paterson celebrated her 108th birthday on Monday, Jan. 25 at the Cedar Hill long term care facility. Because of the pandemic, she remained inside, able to see, but not shake hands with visitors. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Celebrating a 108th birthday without physical contact

Pandemic required Langley woman to stay behind a window

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Most Read