May 2017 Editor's Fix

“You’ll come for the winter, stay for the summer and then you’ll never leave.” I must have heard this at least a half dozen times during my four weeks here in Fernie. I’ll be honest, I did come for the winter, at least the tail end of it anyway. (I actually came to do an internship here at the Fernie Fix, but for all intents and purposes - I came for winter.)

Skiing has and always will be an incredibly huge part of my life. It has given me the opportunity (and excuse) to travel around this amazing country as well as endless enjoyment, frustration, and fond memories. However, arguably the most important aspect that skiing has brought to my life, is a community.

Whether it be the ski shops I have worked in, the gondolas I’ve shared, or the hitchhikers I’ve met along the way, skiing has brought me closer to nature, but more importantly, it has brought me closer to a community. This community.

I wouldn’t dare label myself as a local, I haven’t earned that right just yet. Until now my community involvement has been limited to enjoying the incredible ski hill and spending as much time in the snow as I can before taking my place in the line of red license plates headed back home to Alberta. But as I said before, skiing has brought me here time and time again, and now it has played a huge part in my good fortune in being able to spend a month at the Fernie Fix as an Intern.  

Through reading countless articles and experiencing this town through a new lens, it is very clear just how important and how valued the sense of community is here in Fernie. From the hundreds of volunteers who selflessly devote their time to being active community members, to the dozens of locally owned and locally supported businesses; everyone shares a deep-rooted appreciation for this town. 

Community is defined as “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together,” and maybe in the beginning the interest that brought you here was skiing, or biking, or hiking, or maybe even a good cup of coffee. But, for myself (and I’m sure plenty of others) it was never the skiing that kept bringing me back, it was the way this place makes you feel. It’s the people that wave and smile at you whether they know your name or not. It’s the people that invite you into their homes for dinners. It’s the people that regardless of how long you have been here make you feel at home in this town.

The more time I spend here and the more people I talk to, the more that phrase seems to ring true. It may have been the skiing that got me here, but as spring and summer fast approach I’m looking forward to my chance at finding out why so many stay.