GREG BARNES

What makes Fernie special to you?

Fernie just makes me feel good. I love all the recreation opportunities in the Elk Valley, and I suppose that is why I live here. Skiing, biking, fishing, hiking, the Misfits, the Snow Valley Jets. The list goes on. I also love all the incredible people that live in the valley that make this community so vibrant and strong. All my amazing friends and all the smiling strangers that I chat with on the chairlift or at the grocery store. But there is something more that keeps me here. It’s the feeling that I get driving back into the valley after being away for a while. The emotion that I feel at work staring up at the Three Bears for the thousandth time. There is just a sensation that overcomes me so very often that makes me want to be here. Fernie truly feels like home, and that is why it is special to me.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

I love the magnitude and diversity of the Canadian landscape. From province to province I have found myself awestruck by the beauty around me. The stunning colour of the autumn maple trees. Fields of canola blowing in the prairie winds. The Rocky Mountains jutting up into the sky. There are so many iconic images of Canada that make me proud. But it’s all the places in between that make us so lucky. We are all so fortunate to be able to surround ourselves with nature just minutes outside our front doors. Breathe in the fresh air, get outside, and embrace the beauty that we call home.


What’s your Fernie story?

I find it hard to believe that I moved here 12 years ago. When I arrived in Fernie for my first winter I didn’t really have a plan. I had a few bucks, no job, no car and no skis. I did, however, have a room lined up in a house with some awesome folk I had lived with in New Zealand. I instantly felt at home. My roommates and the other Fernie folk I had met in New Zealand embraced me and welcomed me into their social circles.

I landed a job at Island Lake Lodge and met more amazing people through work. It is remarkable how many of the friends I made that first winter still live here. It truly is a sign of how Fernie grabs hold of your heart.

After 12 years in town, I still work as Island Lake in the winter and have a small carpentry business in the summer. I have a beautiful wife who I met and married in Fernie, and we have a happy dog and a wonderful home. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but Fernie will definitely be a part of it.

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