What makes Fernie special to you? 

We are a small community in terms of population, but everything else about us is BIG. We have big hearts, big mountains, big snow, big smiles and big dreams. I love our wild landscape and our urban landscape too. I love our community and how we support each other. The Lantern Festival is a perfect example of Fernie community. The creative aspect of building lanterns before the event combined with a magical night of parading them through our snowy streets and forest trails is a wonderful combination of arts and the outdoors. All of this and live musical and theatrical performances too. Hundreds of Fernie-ites come out to participate and the sense of community is off the charts.

What makes you proud to be Canadian?

Canada’s identity as a cultural mosaic makes me proud. We are a nation that embraces our many cultures and recognizes this diversity as a strength rather than a danger. I am proud of Canada’s identity around the world as environmentally proactive and peaceful. I feel grateful to be born in a country that values freedom and democracy. I am proud to live in a country that isn’t afraid to work hard to make change and recognize when we are wrong.

What is your Fernie story?

My family and I ran a ranch in Alberta before we moved to Fernie. We enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle of ranching, but often felt isolated from a sense of community. We always enjoyed visiting Fernie for the beautiful landscape, the never-ending list of fun things to do here, and the friendly community. Seven years ago we took the plunge and sold the farm. We haven’t looked back. We are continually blown away by the beauty of these mountains and the plethora of amazing community events in and around town. Our Fernie stoke is real!