KEVIN GIFFIN

What makes Fernie special to you?

All you have to do is pick up a Free Press or a Fernie Fix and all you will hear over and over again is the people, the community, and the great outdoor playground that surrounds us.  That sums up why most of us leave here.  I came for a ski season and then another and then another.  Eventually, I decided to stay and make it my home.  Thank you to all of you that are from here and made it the place it is and thank you to all of you that decided to stay and continue to make it somehow even better.


Why are you proud to be Canandian?

I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t proud to be Canadian.  As a kid, doubling my friends on my bike down the middle of the gravel road in the country because we could.  Racing into town to catch a glimpse of Terry Fox as he ran through our small town of Carleton Place, ON.  Running beside Rick Hansen for 36 kms as he wheeled his way around the world.  Watching the fireworks on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Canada Day.  Like most of us, trying to find the one sport that I could represent Canada in and be an Olympian.  Watching every Olympics and crying every time you hear the Canadian anthem.  I know so many of us have had these same dreams and feelings and I would like to think it is because we have the freedom to do so.  I have traveled to a lot of great places in the world but coming home is always the best part.

Happy 150th Canada!


What’s your Fernie story?

Have you ever heard?  I came for the winter, stayed for a summer and I never left!  Well that isn’t really my story but I sure have heard that a lot over the years.  I arrived in the 1996/97 winter season.  Worked as a liftie for a couple seasons and then as a trail crew guys for another.  At this point I hadn’t even seen a Fernie summer.  I was just another winter seasonal worker.

Fast forward to fall 2004, I was driving across the country from Ottawa with a female co-worker from the summer.  She was moving to Canmore to be a ski instructor and I was again not working or committed to anything other than having a good time.  On the drive across the country I spoke to a friend in Fernie and she said the patrol were hiring and that I should apply.  That seemed to fit my having a good time agenda so I did and as luck would have it Sue Boyd offered me a job as a ski patroller.

Remember that co-worker I drove across the country with?  Thirteen years later, Carolyn and I have been together ever since.  Carolyn started Big Bang Bagels, we bought a house, we have two kids; Suzanna and Desmond and I’m still working as a ski patroller.  Some might say “living the dream”.