By: Korie Marshall

On Friday night, Nov. 14th, Tete Jaune and surrounding community members gathered to celebrate the completion of the Hall updates with some live music and deserts.

Upgrades to the Tete Jaune Community Hall, including replacing the ramp at the front entrance, adding a large covered deck allowing wheelchair access to both doors, and making the washrooms wheelchair accessible, were recently completed.

At the coffee house-style event, Byron Bustin, president of the Tete Jaune Community Association, told the crowd about some of the history of the hall, including the rebuilding after the original hall burned down in the early 1970’s, and thanked the project’s supporters. Bob Hoskins helped organize the music and sound, featuring Janey Weeks, Nathan Smith, Michelle Burstrom, Gord Peters, Peter Fox, and a special impromptu performance from Len Jones.

The association organized a free bus ride from Golden Years Lodge in Valemount, with Bill Kruisselbrink driving the nearly packed community bus to the hall for the party.

Ainsley Jackman, secretary of the Tete Jaune Community Club, told the Goat this summer the old concrete ramp was narrow and not user-friendly. The new ramp is longer with a better pitch, wider and covered, and the covered porch at the front and south sides of the building offers some space for outside seating, as well as allow access to both doors.

Since 1948, the hall has been a meeting place for the community, for yard sales and fundraisers, farmers markets and dances, and was established as a taxable service under the Regional District in 2000. Lewis Enterprises was the primary contractor for this project, funded by the federal Enabling Accessibility Program and Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program, as well as money and in-kind work from the community and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. The Ministry of Transportation and local maintenance contractor LDM recently helped with spreading gravel and upgrading the entrance to the hall’s parking lot, as well as placing concrete barriers to mark the parking area and protect the hall’s new septic field, installed in July 2013. The club hopes to turn the septic field area into a garden, and some shrubs and donated plants have already been planted.