What makes Fernie special to you?
For a small town, Fernie has a lot to offer. While many people come and stay here because of the beautiful outdoors, there is also something for “Artsy people” like me. I am lucky to be able to learn from professional artists. I can take piano and singing lessons while playing on a volleyball team, or dancing and acting lessons while learning to snowboard.
Fernie feels like a family. We are friends with our neighbours, can say hi to random people and get a greeting in return, and all of my friends are within walking distance. A few of the families of the kids in my class moved here sight unseen just because they loved the look of Fernie on the internet.
I love the food here too. I can hang out at coffee shops, and what other small town has artisanal ice cream, chocolate, and cheese shops?
What makes you proud to be Canadian?
Canada’s best features are its natural beauty and cultural diversity. My dad is Canadian, but his parents immigrated to Canada from Italy. They have been able to keep their customs, language, and traditions. Canadians don’t buy into the idea of a “melting pot”. We are united by the fact that we are Canadian. Recent events have allowed me to reflect more on these ideals. The fact that refugees are willing to risk their lives in order to become a part of this country is remarkable. I am proud to be a member of a country that fights for the little guy, a country that fights for women, the LGBTQ community, refugees, immigrants, and our Indigenous peoples.
What’s your Fernie story?
I am in Fernie because my mom grew up here and my grandparents still live in Fernie. My parents were living in Montreal, but after I was born my mom wanted to move back to a quieter place to raise me. She saw an ad for a job in Fernie in the Montreal Gazette and strongly encouraged my dad to apply. Five weeks later, my dad and I moved from Montreal to Fernie, a week into kindergarten, while my mom drove our VW van with all of our stuff across the country.
School and friends keep me in Fernie and the fact that we love living here. I will have lived in Fernie for 10 years in September 2017. My mom’s family has lived here since 1970, 45 years! It’s nice to have roots in Fernie, I have grandparents, and a network of adopted grandparents, that support me in everything I do.