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District of Sparwood[1]
Sparwood is located in British Columbia
Location of Sparwood in British Columbia
Coordinates: 49°43′56″N 114°53′13″W / 49.73222°N 114.88694°W / 49.73222; -114.88694
ProvinceBritish Columbia
 • MayorDavid Wilks[2]
 • Governing bodySparwood council
 • MPWayne Stetski
 • MLATom Shypitka
 • Total191.60 km2 (73.98 sq mi)
1,140 m (3,740 ft)
 • Total3,784
 • Density19.4/km2 (50/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−7 (Mountain Standard (MST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−6 (MDT)
Area code(s)250 / 778 / 236
Highways Hwy 3
Hwy 43 Edit this at Wikidata

Sparwood is a district municipality in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is the second largest community on the Elk River.

Located approximately 30 kilometres from Fernie, the District Municipality of Sparwood has approximately 4200 residents. Sparwood is quite large for its population, taking up an area of 191.01 square kilometres and incorporating the local coal mines.

In the late 1800s, there was a railroad stop known as Sparwood, which was so named because of the trees from this area being shipped to the coast for manufacturing spars for ocean vessels.[4]

Sparwood's welcome sign


The local economy is heavily dependent on coal mining, one of British Columbia's primary industries. A large part of the population either works in the mines or as tradespeople and labourers in related support industries, such as trucking or as mechanics. Logging is another important industry.

Sparwood/Elk Valley Airport is the local airport for general aviation. The closest airport with commercial service is Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International Airport. Road access is provided by the Crowsnest Highway.

Sparwood was formed on 12 May 1966 accepting people from the nearby towns of Michel, Natal and Middletown (an urban renewal). Since the beginning of Sparwood, it has experienced many ups and downs in the primary industry (coal mining).


Terex Titan in Sparwood

Sparwood promotes itself extensively as the home of the Terex Titan, at one time the largest truck in the world. The green Titan, in service at Sparwood between 1978 and 1991, stands a few yards from the Crowsnest Highway where it can attract the attention of tourists and travelers. The adjacent tourist information centre serves visitors to the district municipality and the wider area.

Sparwood is distinguished by mural art which depicts something of the history of the former Michel-Natal mining communities.


Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Fernie Ghostriders
Ice hockey Elk Valley Leisure Centre

Sparwood is home to the 2011 B.C provincial champion boys snowboarding team.[5]

Sparwood is home to the 2011 Junior Boys and 2012 Junior Girls Provincial Bowling champions.[citation needed]

Laurie Hockridge of Sparwood,[citation needed] Lethbridge College CCAA-ACSC Hall of Fame inductee (WBB, '87–90).[6] Her legacy includes back-to-back national championships and two national championship MVP trophies.[citation needed]

Fernie Memorial Arena disaster[edit]

On 17 October 2017 an ammonia leak at the Fernie Memorial Arena killed three workers (two City of Fernie employees and one CIMCO refrigeration employee from Calgary) during the Fernie Ghostriders' regular season. Because of this tragedy, the City of Fernie declared a state of emergency and people had to evacuate the area for days. The 'Riders were relocated because of this to the Elk Valley Leisure Centre in Sparwood during the 2017–18 KIJHL season until the City of Fernie installed a new chiller unit. The Ghostriders now play at their home rink again.[7][8]


Sparwood has a population of approximately 3784 residents, with a population density of approximately 21.5 per square kilometer.


There are two public schools in Sparwood; Frank J Mitchell which is an Elementary School and the new Sparwood Secondary School. These schools are operated by School District 5 Southeast Kootenay which is based in Cranbrook.


Sparwood has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with relatively cold and very snowy winters combined with moderately warm summers with relatively high diurnal temperature variation. As a result of the low overnight lows in summer, September's mean of 10.5 °C (50.9 °F) places Sparwood just above subarctic climates in classification.

Local media[edit]


  • Fernie Free Press – Weekly Paper
  • Kootenay News Advertiser – Weekly Paper
  • Fernie Fix – Monthly Glossy Magazine

Radio stations[edit]

  • 99.1 FM – CJDR, a rebroadcaster of CHDR-FM, Rock
  • 92.7 FM – CFBZ, a rebroadcaster of CHBZ-FM, Country
  • 97.7 FM – CBTN, a rebroadcaster of CBTK-FM, CBC
  • 107.1 FM – CFSM-FM – Adult Contemporary

Cable television stations[edit]

Notable people[edit]

The following people were born in Sparwood:

Sister cities[edit]

Since 1980, Sparwood has been the sister city of Kamisunagawa in Hokkaido, Japan.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "British Columbia Regional Districts, Municipalities, Corporate Name, Date of Incorporation and Postal Address" (XLS). British Columbia Ministry of Communities, Sport and Cultural Development. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ Office of the Mayor
  3. ^ Sparwood. Mayor and council
  4. ^
  5. ^ Sparwood snowboarders are finally champs – The Free Press
  6. ^ "Kodiaks' Hockridge earns CCAA Hall of Fame induction". 30 April 2019. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  7. ^ The Canadian Press (21 October 2017). "B.C. ice rink where 3 people died remains closed due to safety concerns". CBC News. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Calculation Information for 1981 to 2010 Canadian Normals Data". Environment Canada. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Sister City | District of Sparwood". District of Sparwood. Retrieved 31 August 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°43′59″N 114°53′07″W / 49.73306°N 114.88528°W / 49.73306; -114.88528 (Sparwood)