What makes Fernie special to you?
Fernie is an exceptional place to raise a family. My husband and I have two young boys so it was important to us to be in a small mountain community where we could immerse them into the lifestyle and outdoor pursuits we have come to love. Having such a wealth of recreational opportunities right at our doorstep, such as skiing, biking and hiking, allows us all to appreciate the importance and value of nature. Combine this with the close-knit community, amazing schools and excellent programs for kids Fernie is truly a place for families.
These attributes are essential to raising our kids because to understand the beauty and essence of the human spirit is to understand its connection with nature and the outdoors. Watching my children grow and be a part of this community and its mountain culture environment makes me proud to be a Fernie-ite.
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
I was born in Holland to a Dutch-Canadian mother and Dutch father and moved to Canada when I was five along with my older sister. Raised in the prairies and having lived in Toronto for university before moving to British Columbia in 1996, I came to see much of our country. Canada is a beautiful place with great people and opportunities. ‘Strong and free’ is very fitting for our country as for its people – the diversity of cultures, the bold landscapes, and the open road that connects us all in this humble and secure nation. To know that I can travel and move anywhere in Canada and be welcomed and supported by its communities makes me proud to be Canadian.
What is your Fernie story?
I moved to Fernie in 2010 with my husband and our first child. We were looking for work in a mountain town in the Kootenays after living in North Vancouver a few years. I had lived in Kimberley, close to Fernie, prior to for 11 years so knew the region well. Having worked in the tourism industry since I was 16 I wanted to continue to pursue my career in a resort community. Since 2010, I have been very fortunate to be employed with Tourism Fernie and have the pleasure of telling the world how great a place Fernie is to visit. The amenities and activities available for a town of only 5,000 year-round residents is impressive, and the history is fascinating.
As a career family (my husband works for Teck), we work hard and play hard. Our boys started skiing and biking at age 2 and today we enjoy many days on the trails and slopes of Fernie. Not a day goes by where we don’t think about how special a place Fernie is and how lucky we are to live here.