A Smithers landmark has a new owner.
The Lions Club announced Monday it had signed over the railcar, which sits next to the Central Park building at Main Street and Hwy 16, to the Smithers Community Radio Society (CICK 93.9 FM).
Last month, the Lions announced they would be dissolving the club at the end of this year because of aging and decreasing membership and was in the process of liquidating its assets.
“The Lions Club has been a great partner over the past years, and we are gracious that we can carry on the stewardship of this historic landmark which allows us to continue our community radio operations that include volunteer radio programming, emergency alert information, live performances and emerging artist support,” a press release from the SCRS stated.
CICK Radio, founded in 2009, has occupied the car for seven of its 11 years.
The Lions have served Smithers since 1965.
The local landmark was originally a 1929 executive lounge car named “Quesnel.” CN Rail provided the old dining car to the Lions who transported it from the rail yard to its current location via a lengthy process of towing it across rail laid by logging-loaders — a process that took two weekends to complete.
“The Lions Club wanted to turn it into sort of a museum piece and have mannequins frozen in time doing the different things you would expect to be happening in here,” said Glen Ingram, station manager at CICK. “When they heard that we were really interested in utilizing it for a community radio space they were just as excited as us because they finally saw a role for this place that would play a significant part in our community.”
The Society also acknowledged its other partners.
“We are excited to continue working with the community, the Town of Smithers — who hold title to the land we are located on — as well as the Witsuwitʼen Nation who are the trustees of this unceded territory,” the release said.
CICK is currently in the middle of its annual membership drive. As an added bonus this year, Ingram explained, people can sign up to support the station through the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) “Support Local BC” gift card program.
Right now, by purchasing a $25 gift card through supportlocalbc.com — which can be used to purchase a CICK membership — NDIT is offering a second matching card that can be redeemed at one of dozens of other participating local businesses.