JEN GREBELDINGER

What makes Fernie special to you? 

I’ve lived in several different communities – rural, urban, suburban – and none is so densely stocked with amazing people as Fernie. With absolutely no statistics to back me up, I’d wager Fernie has the most interesting, intelligent people in Canada, per capita. I wish that was part of the long form, actually. It’s very humbling to live amongst so many accomplished people. When I pull out my top life accomplishments, in other places people go, “woah! That’s so interesting!” In Fernie, those accomplishments get, “Neat!”  And let’s not forget the insane athleticism found here! Locals 20 years my senior and junior can kick my butt on the trails, whether on wheels, feet or skis. Do not do a triathlon if you think it’ll get you street cred in Fernie. Do a triathlon twice a day. For a month. At altitude.

The most extraordinary thing though is that these amazing people don’t hog their time and talent. They create, and organize, and invest to make Fernie into a vibrant exciting town full of ample opportunity to connect, learn, explore…and party! The generosity of spirit here is contagious and it makes this town pulse with a vibe I haven’t found anywhere else.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

If Canada was a person, I feel like it would finally be out of its 20’s now. I think as a nation we are finally coming into our own. We understand we still have so much to learn, but are grateful for all we have. We can finally listen without feeling entitled to an opinion. And I’m proud to be a part of this stage, because we’re doing a LOT of things well and we’re trying to find answers where we’re not doing so great.


What is your Fernie story?

I moved to Fernie in December 2011 with my husband and 1 year old son. My husband received a job offer here, and showed me a picture of a mountain biker on a sunny summer day (I now know it was taken from a Castle Mountain trail looking at Mt Fernie and Lizard Range!). I said, “ya let’s go there.”  My daughter joined the party in 2013 and I can’t image living anywhere else. There are a bunch of reasons we stay here, not least of which is that moving is terrible. But mostly, my family is surrounded by such an amazing group of people who love us, and care for us and for whom we do the same – our chosen family.

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