When I moved back to Fernie, I was hired to teach Entrepreneurship at the College of the Rockies as part of the Mountain Adventure Skills Training (MAST) program. It was the first I had heard of MAST, but over the next five years I discovered and appreciated the diversity and adventure of this program, its students and the master mind behind it, Brian Bell who has been sharing his passions through MAST as an instructor or program coordinator the last 25 years.
In January, I decided to remove the word ‘busy’ from my vocabulary. (Okay, I decided to try to remove it… it’s a work in progress.) Why, you might be asking. Well, I read an engaging article in the Harvard Business Review about happiness* and this point specifically spoke to me:
For our Editor, the best of Fernie blends and twists and overlaps. That’s what happens when you live in the place that raised you, and the evolution began so slowly but then picked up speed and it’s only when you look back you can see where you’ve been.
2020 has thrown everyone for a loop. Reinventing your business, learning to work from home, becoming a teacher to your kids… there is no wonder the word of the year is “pivot!” Dave Morrison is no exception. This February he was hired as the new CEO of Island Lake Lodge and made the move back to the mountain town he fell in love with, something he has been working towards the majority of his life.
Every single time someone has an injured bird they don’t know how to help, skunks with babies living beneath their shed, a scared dog difficult to catch, or just questions and tips related to pet care or wildlife, Nycki’s name comes up. And she responds, saves and supports. Provides information and love.
It’s the middle of November, and my willingness to dive into the Christmas spirit has arrived earlier than ever. (Less the Elf on the Shelf. That can wait.) I’ve noticed I am not alone.
By definition, a martyr is someone who chooses to sacrifice their life or endure pain and suffering rather than give up their religious beliefs or something they hold sacred.
An individual who has dedicated his life to supporting and helping people, whether through his job as a Respiratory Therapist (RT) or as a volunteer with the Fellaship Men’s Support Group.
That summer, their family attended Wapiti. Gaëtane had been trying to figure out how she was going to continue her career in Fernie, and she expressed this to her good friend Heather Kerr. A month later, Gaëtane had a job as a Community Energy Coordinator. “It was a miracle, and a dream job in Fernie, BC.”
IT’S always been there, in the background. The knowing and understanding and need to be self sustainable. But, life kept on rolling. Our daily schedules filling. We’ll get to that…
Originally from Chilliwack, BC, Clayton grew up “hunting and fishing and trapping,” he tells me. “My parents were teachers, so we spent our summers out on the landscape.” Not surprisingly, when he attended UBC’s Okanagan campus, he went into sciences and studied ecology.
EDUCATION. I, like many of you and, as you’ll soon find, many of our writers, have been working through what this means to me.
For years, we have been thinking about featuring Tanya Malcolm. We would see the work and change she was bringing to an organization or business which extended to our community, the Valley or the Kooteney region and be like, yes!
This May, as we watched people take to the streets around the world to protest racism and police brutality, our little mountain town may have felt… quiet. But the reality is, the energy and rage was mounting. An impressive number of businesses and residents took part in #blackouttuesday, stepping away from social media, augmenting the stories and voices of those who need to be heard, showing they want to be an ally and part of the solution.
When we are faced with a challenge, an unexpected change, something new and scary, facing the unknown… we often move through a variety of emotions and feelings, in no particular order. I think it’s safe to say that thus far in 2020, we have run the gamut… on repeat.
You’re all doing a fantastic job. Just look around at what’s being done in our community, families reaching out to support one another, volunteers leaping to be there for our more vulnerable population, businesses reinventing themselves to not only make it through this but to be there for us during this time, the Elk Valley Hospital, City of Fernie, Fernie Food Share, Salvation Army, Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Fernie… and countless additional organizations working around the clock to ensure we are safe, healthy, feel secure, and that we’re going to make it through this.
Setting the scene: We’re in the midst of COVID-19. It’s the first Saturday of Spring Break, and in true Fernie fashion a chilly storm is upon us and it’s too cold to ski. I have a cold and am self-isolating, so am working from home. You can just imagine the state of affairs in our household. Forts abound on every floor.
Love. A complex emotion explored through books, poetry, art and song for centuries. Discussed and debated in depth by theologists, philosophers, psychologists, and among friends and family.
Photo by Velvet Leaf Photography
The holidays. A time of joy and peace and family and friends. Gratitude and love and all things good and beautiful.
Well, not always. Not for everyone.
For many people, this time of year is challenging. Whether it’s deeply rooted with memories and experiences from childhood or is freshly cut from a recent loss or hurdle in life, facing family and friends, attending gatherings, completing ‘to do’ lists… these all might seem pointless, full of emotion, insurmountable and quite honestly the last things they want to do.
In November, Mr. and Mrs. Claus took the time to meet with me prior to the mad rush of the holiday season. While they admitted they were a wee nervous to leave the elves to their work back at the North Pole, they also confessed their love for our mountain town and were happy for an additional excuse to visit.
Fernie is such an attractive location for families for a variety of reason, but above all else because of the opportunities and amenities available for this younger cohort (and also those young at heart). As the number of families continues to grow, so does the programming, facilities and events.
You have arrived, and while are stunned by the beauty of the beautiful Elk Valley are completely under-prepared for the conditions. Well, we have experienced it and are here to help! Here are our must-haves during your stay in Fernie and beyond.
One thing you should be prepared for during your time here is to continually be pleasantly surprised. By the effortless champagne powder. And last but most certainly not least, by the calibre of the culinary experiences and locally-produced libations on offer.