DAVE O’HAIRE

What makes Fernie special to you?

To me, the premier characteristic that defines what Fernie is that it is malleable. Not only in its name and how its interpreted and used, but in its residents, their attitudes, their collective politic.

Also, our own community is malleable – how we transform railway stations to art galleries, post offices into libraries and how community organizations change and adapt to circumstance and need.

Not to be forgotten are the valley and mountains which continue to change with time and with it, how they continue to mold us – who we are as a mountain people.

Yet for all of that, Fernie’s stability since its inception is a foundation the envy of which there is no equal, to my way of thinking. This attribute means to me the wealth of friends I have made here.  Friends with whom conversations have lead to a dynamic within myself to espouse my thoughts, traits and visions without compunction.


What makes you proud to be a Canadian?

What makes me proud to be a Canadian is one simple fact – when someone asks me ” where are you from?” and I say Canada the next question will invariably be “Where in Canada?”  There is no millstone around the neck to further qualify who or where I am from.


What is your Fernie story?

My Fernie story is, now wait for it … I arrived to begin the winter ski season of 1970, I came to work at the ski hill. I did not come to mill, mine, teach, paint or postulate. But I guess in all this time I have done a little of those things and perhaps more. I was a ski instructor when I arrived, that is what I did and I hope that along the way I have matured as a positive and available resource for the community. The exciting birth and fabulous growth of art, culture, sense of heritage and influx of talented energetic youth are what tug at my coat sleeves to keep me here.

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