Rosslanders and Red Mountain pay high praise to a community crusader lost too soon. By Tara Cunningham.
When you hop off the new Topping Creek chairlift at Rossland, British Columbia’s Red Mountain Resort this winter season, take a right, and head as far as you can. You’ll come to Ardis’ Way, a new ski run named in memory of Ardis Urquhart, a free-spirited woman considered one of Rossland’s biggest champions.
A camper and kayaker, Ardis loved cross-country skiing to mountain cabins to make her famous grilled-cheese sandwiches. She was a real-estate agent and past president of the Kootenay Real Estate Board and Rossland Chamber of Commerce, tirelessly promoting the area she loved and helping to start many initiatives, such as the town’s Business After Business event and Rekindle the Spirit of Christmas celebration. “She was the hub,” says Gary Urquhart, her husband of 38 years. “Friends depended on her to get them together with other people.” And that, she did. Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Ardis was known for her parties, where she could be found laughing and dancing with zeal.
Four hundred and fifty people attended her celebration of life at Red Mountain Resort this past June, which ran into the early morning hours. “She had a profound impact on so many people and was instrumental in getting my family to come to Rossland,” said Red Mountain’s CEO Howard Katkov, at the service. “Ardis’ Way will be a special run for a special woman.” Ardis died of a sudden and rare brain disorder at the age of 66. She is survived by her husband, her son Scott, and a namesake ski run in her beloved town.