What makes Fernie special to you?
The town itself and what surrounds it, the mountains, the river, the foliage, and all that can be done within and on those settings.
I love the town for its simplicity of layout, look at our downtown with its heritage buildings of yellow brick produced right here, its straight lines and majestic mountain backdrop. The ability to live almost anywhere and still walk to amenities, to turn in any direction and get a sense of being in nature, to drown in the beauty of clear blue sky against snow white peaks in winter, emerald hues in summer and orange and reds of fall.
I tell people Fernie is small but mighty. It has experienced floods, fires, mine and mill closures, people coming and going yet despite all of that Fernie is resilient, it’s strong, it survives. Fernie is beautiful, the people are beautiful, they made a physical community with attractive structures but most of all they put heart into this town, and that heart is still there beating as strong as ever, perhaps even more so with each passing year. And despite negative events, despite people dying and moving, the ones that remain and the new that arrive continue to keep the heart pounding within the fabric of the town. It’s this subtle profound love that attracts new people while keeping some of us still attached to the maternal cord that is Fernie.
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
Freedom, clean air, clean water, quality of life, compassion for those less fortunate, simple words but in this day and age more meaningful than ever. Canada is the best place in the world to live; I recognize that and am more than proud to be a Canadian.
What is your Fernie story?
My father Pietro arrived in Canada in 1951 from Italy under a federal government sponsored plan when Canada was looking for young, healthy workers after the Second World War.
My mother, brother, sister and I joined my father in Fernie in 1953. Four generations have now called Fernie home. My father spent time in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta before deciding on Fernie. He came here because there was work at the local sawmill but stayed until he died because he loved this town. He instilled in his children a strong work ethic and the belief that as long as you were honest, sincere and willing to work hard you could be successful. My husband Nick and I raised five children in this town; we chose to remain because we both love Fernie and the life we have and will continue to enjoy here. This is a town with heart and soul, where could we possibly go to find better?