Thousands of people gathered in the small mining town of Sparwood, British Columbia, on Sunday to bid a final farewell to eight local snowmobilers who died a week earlier in a string of avalanches.

To the strains of bagpipers, mourners filed into the local hockey arena, where the photos of the victims were on display on a makeshift stage, flanked at either end by a pair of snowmobiles.

Flowers and photo montages decorated the front of the platform.

The memorial service capped a week of public mourning for the eight, who were among a group of 11 caught up in avalanches in the mountainous Harvey Valley in the southeastern British Columbia interior.