ELIZABETH ALLITT

What makes Fernie special to you?

When you first look at Fernie, it looks a lot like a whole bunch of people vacationing.  But if you hang around and get people talking, you realize Fernie is a wonderful place full of goofy REAL people wanting to effect real change.  That’s what’s special – living in a space with people who have such an appreciation for the environment and the world around them, people growing and hunting their own food instead of buying mystery meats.  People who understand the mountains – I love that.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

The most meaningful characteristic to me is that we are accepting of others – no matter what their race, culture, religion or sexual orientation.

Second to that – Jim Carrey, Seth Rogan, both of the Ryans, Trivial Pursuit and, of course, the Ceasar!


What is your Fernie story?

I am Australian born.  Knowing what I wanted but unsure where that was, I started searching.  I meant only to pass through but as we stopped in Fernie, I felt the mountains in my blood and I was hooked.

After a little while, working odd jobs (albeit with wonderful bosses), I was lost.  Leaving to work at a fishing lodge in Hadai Gwaii, I thought I might not come back – but I couldn’t stay away.  Still, I needed more, as I told my partner Brad and his wonderful sister Coco.  Coco told me that the fire department was hiring – something I always wanted but never imagined here in Fernie.  Being from Australia, I knew I would have to work hard to convince them I’d be an asset.  I kept going back until they finally gave me a chance and hired me.  I’d like to say I’ve proven how important the department is to me and in return what a WONDERFUL and incredible group to work with.

I miss my close knit family every single day but the focus I have to become better within myself and for the community keeps me growing.  Mama always said never be dependent on people, real love transcends borders, that they will always be there.

WILLARD RIPLEY

What makes Fernie special to you? 

Fernie is and was for me a place where I could come to live and work, a place where I could have identity and contribute to the community and benefit from the opportunities through hard work. It was the skiing that brought me here and everything else that held me close and kept me here. Fernie is a real town with working people and yet anything but a typical small town. The resort component in Fernie pulls the rug from under what could be considered a typical town in anywhere Canada.  The amenities a resort town makes available are considerable. Coupled with the cultural inputs provided by visitors, new and longer term residents from elsewhere all blended with the traditional residents of a working town make a rewarding mix. Just the kind of place you’d be proud to live.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Evenness, tolerance, adventure and opportunity in a grand and safe place despite the expansive nature of our country is Canada for me.  Everywhere in Canada is culturally different and yet the same, when you meet Canadians you know they are Canadian Eh.  I’ve lived in the East, the west and the North of Canada and felt comfortable in all that topography and culture with all the varied experiences available to me and that’s what I love about Canada.


What is your Fernie story?

I first came to Fernie in 1975 to ski and work at the Ski School and that’s what kept me coming to Fernie and initially kept me here. In the 42 years that Fernie and I have been involved with one another, I have worked and built up a business which I could have done elsewhere but not with the satisfaction I`ve had here.  I was a skier from a young age and the idea of living a life in a ski resort town was almost mythical and an opportunity to realize it was irresistible and so I did it. I was married to my longtime partner here and raised three kids trying my level best to habituate them with the love of skiing I had. I have loved my life here and am still finding new pursuits and interests to enjoy. I find Fernie a geographically central location for the style of travel I enjoy and am always delighted to get home to Fernie. I was Fernie’s first Griz, witnessed the morning after the devastation of an avalanche burying the chairlift, served on City Council and have been involved in changing the shape of wood in Fernie for almost 30 years. I’ve watched Fernie grow, change and improve.

 

WAYNE ATHERTON

What makes Fernie special to you? 

Fernie B.C cool fresh air. Scenery that makes the gods jealous. Fourperfectt seasons. Old sweet and refreshing. The history of the city, the people past and present. Warm and great town folk. Sports for girls and boys /men and women too. Mother nature father time have blessed this valley. For a lot of years Fernie was a secret the world know not of. But someone opened their mouth the world knows Thankyou world for finding us and letting us be Fernie. Fernie is small, normal and true. I don’t not need many words to say what make it special – only one word. FERNIE.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

The most beautiful country in the world. Oh CANADA. I am Canadian. The history, the legacy, the people. The MEN and WOMEN who protect our land at home and away. I don’t need a lot of words to say why am proud of Canada. It’s my right my privilege my honor to be Canadian and for that I am proud.


What is your Fernie story?

On February 27, 1963, someone smacked my bare butt. As the story starts and  I hope it will end here. My father was born and raised Coal Creek and my mother was born in Kincaid, Saskatchewan. What keeps me here for the last 54 years. IT’S FERNIE!

I am just a proud to live here in Fernie. I am proud my children Chris and Cera born here. The things they have done here Chris went on Europe trip in school and world robotics championship in Atlanta, Cera sports over four provinces with medals school trip to Mexico SO that my story, dreams, my hopes and that is why I am here and will stay here. Fernie greatest place on Earth.

VINCE MO

What makes Fernie special to you? 

I wake up in the morning and look out of the window. It doesn’t matter if it’s a warm blue summer day, dumping snow, or torrential downpour – I’m grateful for where I am. Having the mountains at my doorstep is like living in a playground, and I want to make the most of every opportunity to get out there.

The bulk of the people in this town are very like-minded. It’s hard not to meet people out on the trails, or at the bar with the same passion for being outdoors. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find somebody to share an adventure with here.

For such a small town, I’m still shocked to still find something new about this place. It may be somewhere I’ve not been, something I’ve not seen, or something I’ve not experienced. I’ve been here three years, but yet it still holds secrets from me – secrets I’m dying to discover.


 What makes you proud to be living in Canada?

At present, I can’t claim, nor pretend to be Canadian (That’s an on-going goal and another story). I left the UK three years ago to go travelling, but yet I find myself constantly drawn back here. This country is stunning, diverse, and absolutely huge geographically and socially. Canadians have a lot to be proud about when calling this place home. 


What is your Fernie story?

I came here with my girlfriend in 2014 for the usual superficial reasons that a ski-bum would come to a town like this; mountains, powder, snowboarding. It was never our intention to stay for more than a winter. Yet, a single ski season here persuaded us to stay to experience a summer, and stay again to work the following winter.

We left Fernie for a short time to continue travelling but vowed to return here for long term plans.

There must be something pretty remarkable about a place for it to develop from vacation destination to aspirations of permanent residency.

TROY MACLACHAN

What makes Fernie special to you? 

Friendly, open, inviting. Fernie is a place where people come to live and play in the great outdoors. It’s a community that welcomes all. Before moving here I lived in another tourist town and could never say it felt like home. I was a transient resident not because I wanted to be but because like most others I was expected to only live in that community for a year or two and move. Fernie was a place I visited lots and everyone recognized me walking downtown with a friendly wave and a smile. We still get that today.

We aren’t  a tourist town. We are a hard working eclectic group with a common interest, Fernie.

Fernie is a place where we’ve all found our niche to live and play.


 What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Canada is my home. A place to live free and be accepting of all race and religion.


What is your Fernie story?

On Friday, February 13, 1994, a good friend of my wife’s who lived in Fernie called to say there was a house for sale, a foreclosure, and we should buy it. My wife drove down to look at it. Me, I just trusted her instincts and the following Monday we bought it. We thought we would fix it up and eventually move to Fernie. In November of 1994 we did. We didn’t have jobs to come to, we just figured we would find a way to live. We both loved to ski but found the summers to be even better than  winter.  We’ve raised our family here.

We stayed in Fernie because of the sense of community. It’s a town most want to live in.

TROY COOK

What makes Fernie special to you?  

People define the community. Fernie is built around people’s perceptions and interactions with one another. People come to Fernie for the mountains, the recreational possibilities and build their own perceptions and ideas of what Fernie means to them. There was a time paths through the woods had no names and there were no trail maps; that is not the reality now.

I am proud of the arts in our community and people who champion the arts through painting, writing, music etc. Fernie is a good home base to create and then take your work out into the world.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Canadian’s resolve to stay true to values of fairness and acceptance and to not tolerate hate makes me proud. In these tough times it will be a great test to uphold these values when, even in our own country, hate is becoming a popular way to achieve power.

Unabashedly Canadian culture makes me proud. The Rheostatics art rock anthems from sea to sea,  Peter Gzowski warmly grabbing you with his gruff grandpa voice and taking you on the best morning adventures, a Jack Layton speech, a Paul Quarrington book, Gord Downie dancing with his mic stand in the rain.


What is your Fernie story?

I was born in Fernie some 48 years ago in the old hospital which is now, fittingly a tavern. I went to work in the coal mines like my father and his father and his father to put myself through college and ended up staying in mining. Over the years I became a labour activist and for the last ten years I have been working as a Grievance/ Compensation Chairman for USW 9346 at the Elkview mine.

My day job fuels my music and art projects. Friends and community keep me here.

SYLVIA AYERS

What makes Fernie special to you? 

I think this exhibit itself is the best answer to that question. It is created by people who live here, working hard and sharing their energy and vision to make a celebration about people who live here, also working hard and sharing their vision. Community is only ever about people who pull together to make their own best lives happen without expecting others to do it for them. Fernie is a joyous example of that – just look at the museum, the arts community, the library, the trails, the clubs and support groups. All done for love.

I am honoured to live with so many dedicated residents who put in hundreds of quiet hours to make this such an incredible place to live.


What about Canada?  What makes you proud to be Canadian?

When I was younger I believed there was a unifying idea of Canada that made it easy to define a Canadian, but now I am not so sure. Fortunately, I believe we all still see ourselves in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and we still see ourselves as a mosaic, and I also feel optimistic that we also recognize how fragile this tremendous liberal democracy is.

We live in peace and prosperity; we can speak our minds and we can choose our own lives. Rather than ‘proud’, I just feel shockingly lucky to live here, and I desperately want to be part of keeping this place so tremendous.


What is your Fernie story?

I moved here in January 1998 almost sight unseen because I wanted to live wherever Nic Milligan was living. This was a very different kind of town, still full of tremendous people, but very quiet. The ski hill had recently changed hands so Fernie was going through the pains and confusion of change, protecting the culture from getting lost in the rush of the rest of the world moving in. But people from all over the world brought new ideas – ways to take what we have here and make it better. I am overjoyed to see a town that delights in the possibilities, instead of being afraid of them. Before I lived here I was in many places and other countries looking for anything exciting and innovative, and now the world is right here. This is the most exciting place I know. I will never move away.

SUSAN SCHMITZ

What makes Fernie special to you?

I am proud to say I have roots in Fernie going back to the early 1900’s.   My grandparents, father myself and my children have all been raised here.  Our roots are deep and that is special to me.

Having been born and raised here, Fernie is special to me.  Fernie was a great place to grow up.  It was small enough to know most everyone in town.  Doors didn’t have to be locked and whole neighbourhoods of kids played together.  You knew the milkman, the store clerks, and the post office workers all by name.  they also knew you.  So you knew if you misbehaved, your parents would hear about it!  We went to school for 12 years (no kindergarten in town back then) in the same building which is now Fernie 901.  I attended the “curse” lifting with all its pomp and ceremony.  I always looked forward to the Labour Day celebrations and participating in the annual parade.  I skied Fernie Snow Valley when it first opened.

Fernie’s location in a valley surrounded by such majestic mountains also makes it special to me.  I never tire of the view of the Three Sisters or of showing someone the Ghost Rider that has never seen it.  There is such history in this valley, in this wonderful town, in this place I call home.


What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Having been born and raised in this beautiful country, I am very proud to be Canadian.  I am proud and thankful to live in a free country.  A country in which I feel safe and secure.  I am free to speak, free to worship, free to stand for what I think is right.

I am proud to live in a country of opportunity and diversity.  I love this country’s vastness, its natural beauty and especially the splendor of the Canadian Rockies.  We get to enjoy four full seasons with nature at our doorstep, fresh water and fresh air.

As Canadians, we all have access to education and universal health care.  We really do have a great standard of living.

I am proud that Canadians are friendly and of course we have a reputation for being polite!  When we as Canadians travel abroad and tell foreigners we are Canadian, they welcome us.  Canadians are respected and loved around the world.


What is your Fernie story?

I was born and raised in Fernie.  My family have been in the valley since the early 1900s, having immigrated to Canada from England to work in the mine at Coal Creek.  Mining was a dangerous profession and both my great grandfather and a great uncle were killed in mining disasters in Coal Creek.  My father and his siblings were born and raised in Coal Creek.  The family moved to Fernie from Coal Creek in the 1940s.

My family has always been involved in the community.  My grandfather was a city alderman and served on the hospital board.  My uncle was also a city alderman and served on the school board.  My sister served for many years on the school board and I am very proud to say she was Fernie’s first female mayor.

My husband and I chose to live here, to work in our chosen careers and to raise our family here.  A lot of our extended family was here which was important to us when raising our children.  We were all a big part of each other’s life.  Fernie has always been and will continue to be home.