Back to the Future

Power of Powder Exhibit at the Fernie Museum, photo by V. Croome

Spring, and March in particular, is a time of awakening, of regrowth and renewal. This year there are two very special reasons to look to the past to help strengthen Fernie’s future.

2012 is a banner year for the Fernie Women’s Resource Centre. In their new location at 1592 10th Ave, the FWRC have found a permanent home at the heart of the community as a result of years of dedicated commitment from the women behind the women. The new space is a beautiful facility with meeting rooms, kitchen and workshop space and will provide extended programs and support to the women of the Elk Valley and their families. Celebrate with them on International Women’s Day on March 8 at the Fernie Arts Station. From 6:30pm, come and enjoy a glass of wine and complimentary appies and then take in the show featuring the beautiful voice of Sage McBride of Shred Kelly fame, along with readings, performances and more music from Fernie’s talented folk. All welcome and entrance is by donation. Dig deep to support the FWRC and show Lynn, Lauren, and the team how much their work is appreciated!

Another very special reason to celebrate in 2012 is the 50th anniversary of lift access skiing in Fernie with an entire week dedicated to the history and legacy of mountain operations during the Ski Heritage Week, March 18-25. Planned events include an art show, film night, the history of skiing and evening social at the Fernie Museum, ski racers and ski instructors alumni reunions with awards and luncheons, plus a series of panel discussions. The first of these will be held at the Fernie Senior’s Centre on Thursday 22 at 4pm and will focus on The History Of Cat-Skiing with representatives from Fernie Wilderness Adventures and Island Lake Lodge and Media For The Future with Ian McMillan from Ski Canada magazine, Sports Reporter Mike Bedard and Krista Turcasso of the Fernie Fix. The panel will also welcome Dave Aikens, recognized for 30 years of service to the Canadian Avalanche Association, to discuss The History Of Snow Safety.

On Friday 23 the discussions continue at the Corner Pocket Restaurant at Fernie Alpine Resort following a luncheon to recognize the pioneers, builders and sport leaders of the last 50 years. Friday’s discussions will commence at 2pm with topics centering on The Future of Mountain Living Communities, Business, Media and Mountain Towns. Invited guests include Al Raine, Canadian Ski Hall of Fame inductee and Mayor of Sun Peaks, Sheldon DeCosse of DeCosse Customs and Mitch Scott, Publisher of Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine. These discussions are free and open to all. Rounding out the week, two events will focus on celebrating mountain entertainment, with a street party and fireworks planned for Friday 23 and a torchlight night ski and party at Fernie Alpine Resort on Saturday 24. Watch for posters with full details of all the weeks’ events, or contact guest services at Fernie Alpine Resort for more information.

March is also the permanent home to two of Fernie’s biggest annual events. Griz Days is held on the first weekend of March and celebrates our very own Mountain Musket Man with a weekend of fun and frolics for Fernie. For many, this is homecoming weekend and ex-Fernieites return year after year for the festivities. Highlights include the Pancake Breakfast, Craft Fair and Extreme Griz competition on Saturday 4 and the hilarious Dummy Downhill at Fernie Alpine Resort on Sunday 5. The main event, the Parade, will be held on Saturday 4 this year. Don’t miss all the floats and great community spirit. The weekend also encompasses the International Fly Fishing Film Festival at 9pm on Saturday 3 at the Vogue Theatre and Fernie Wine Club event at Lizard Creek Lodge on Sunday 4. Watch for posters with all the dates and times or visit for more info.

The Reel Canadian Film Festival on March 23-25 is now in its fourth year and features the very best of the Canadian Film Industry including Oscar nominees and multiple award winners. This year promises to entertain with a diverse program including shorts, feature films and special guests over three nights. An advance preview night is planned for Friday 16 at the Arts Station. For full details visit