Plans for Northern Trek 2023 begin

Northern Sunrise County deputy fire chief Julien Bergeron, left, completed his 2022 Northern Trek for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation at the British Columbia border west of Demmitt on Highway 43. He finished his 2022 trek with Big Lakes County deputy fire chief Luci Martinson, right, who also ran a portion of the route in 2021

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lake County again supports a firefighter from the Peace River area who will run to raise funds for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

However, it will not be financial support.

At its regular meeting April 12, council denied a sponsorship request from Northern Sunrise County deputy fire chief Julien Bergeron for his run in the 2023 Northern Trek, the sixth annual.

Bergeron plans to run from Spirit River to Falher and to Peace River in August, although the dates have not been confirmed,

This is the third year the Northern Trek has requested sponsorship funding from Big Lakes, which contributed $500 in 2022 and 2021, says Dave Reynolds, director of corporate services.

Bergeron ran through the county in 2021.

“However, the 2023 Trek route does not reach Big Lakes at any point,” Reynolds says.

Reynolds says the request does not meet the sponsorship funding policy.

Requests for sponsorship support must meet at least one of the following requirements, Reynolds says.
-General exposure and profile – the event or activity enhances the general profile and increases overall awareness of Big Lakes County.
-Economic benefit – the event or activity attracts visitors, thereby providing economic benefit to local businesses.
-Promote civic pride and sense of place – the event or activity will enhance recreational/cultural opportunities for Big Lakes County residents.

Big Lakes deputy fire chief Luci Martinson plans to run with Bergeron for the third successive year.

Bergeron has appreciated the strong support since he started.

“Support for the project never stops growing because the fire service is a tight-knit community,” Bergeron says in a story in the South Peace News print issue of Aug. 24, 2022.

“We all know that if we, or other members of our service, regardless of location, pass away due to a line-of-duty death, that our families are supported by whatever means the foundation is capable of providing.”

One key role of the CFFF is to help support the families, he says.

“Unfortunately, despite our efforts to keep everyone safe and to ensure our firefighters return home after serving their communities during a call, not all firefighters survive and end up making the ultimate sacrifice – leaving their families and loved ones behind,” Bergeron says.

Since starting the project in 2018, Northern Trek has raised more than $93,000 for the CFFF to help with its mission to honour and remember our fallen and to offer support to those left behind.

“This amazing milestone would not be possible without support through sponsorships, donations, logistical supports and endless encouragement,” Bergeron says.

“I’m getting great support.”

Northern Trek has been an instant hit with fire departments across Alberta, he says.

Companies, firefighter associations and municipalities have sponsored portions of the run with all funds going to the foundation.

Bergeron founded the Northern Trek for the CFFF to promote healthy living through physical activity and to raise funds for the CFFF, which honours and remembers firefighters who died from injuries and health while on duty and supports their families.

For more information, visit the Northern Trek for CFFF Facebook page or donate on the following link at

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