The Music Makers

The summery sounds of the 70’s filled the air at a campsite-themed gathering in downtown Fernie on June 15. Good Valley (Anie Hepher and Shawna Plant) were the perfect accompaniment to the opening of Michael Hepher’s new exhibit of paintings - Backroads BC (at the Fernie Museum until September 16), which explores lesser-known routes through our large and beautiful province. Sun-soaked harmonies and gentle guitar medleys heralded the start of a long-awaited summer, while the weather, although not exactly summery, stayed dry. As we enjoyed the tunes surrounded by a corral of compact vintage camper vans, thoughts were clearly on the inspiration of the exhibit – family road trips to remote campsites; the crackle of the campfire and the swoosh and splash of a paddle through the water.

At the end of June, Fernieites gathered once again and enjoyed the carnival-like atmosphere as a downtown institution – Big Bang Bagels – celebrated ten years of tasty with a family birthday party. Heading into the Canada Day long weekend, the dumpster painting event at Station Square was another chance to soak up some sunshine, while DJ Jay Ray entertained painters and punters alike with lively inspiration and the clatter and sizzle of cook-trucks called to the taste buds. Between bursts of summer rain, the Canada Day festivities on July 1 filled the grounds at City Hall with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Canada, bringing together the whole community for good food and great music rounded out with the symphony of the closing fireworks. At the 100th anniversary celebrations at Fernie Golf Club, the sweet sounds of RedGirl rang out across the fairways as the gentle thwack of vintage clubs sent balls across the sand greens. And finally, it was time for the Wednesday Concert Series – Fernie’s very own sound of the downtown, complete with the pop and click of can tabs opening and the magical silence of the children’s face painter.

After the crisp, cool quiet of winter — muffled by pillows of snow and punctured by occasional whoops of joy or sounds spilling from a bar door swung open — summer is cacophonous. As the rumble and whistle of the train grow clearer with the passing months the chirp and chatter of birds and squirrels returns. Coyotes call from the woods and the occasional bugle of a bull elk rings out across the wetlands. From the weekly Concert Series to the big voices of Canada Day, Wapiti and Chautauqua, the sound of summer is strong. Fernie’s musicians echo the notes we hear daily – laughter from a patio, children playing at the splash park, or one of my own personal favourites, the rhythm of unseen cheers that echo from the ballfields near my apartment. What do you hear?