Shining Lights

Fernie’s desire to celebrate community is evident throughout the year. From Griz Days to Canada Day to Wapiti, we love nothing better than a good old get-together, with kids and laughter and applause and most of all – community. October brings us two celebrations of Fernie’s favourites, as the last of the leaves fall from the trees and snowflakes begin to flutter from the skies.

Downtown Fernie will celebrate community at one of our favourite stores on Saturday October 19. Polar Peek Books and Treasures has been a Fernie institution for 20 years, its shingled façade and warm interior beckoning shoppers in to find a new treat to enjoy. Books, maps, toys, games, cards, calendars, diaries and original art pack the shelves and walls of this small but perfectly formed store. At the helm is Patty Reedyk, who purchased the store from Laura Nelson in 2008.

“I couldn’t do it without the wonderful women who work here,” she says, offering her appreciation for Patti, Lesley and Anne. The ladies all continue to support each other and are evidence of the great community spirit to be found here – Anne is one of the former owners along with Laura, while Patty was their first employee. Inviting all past staff, owners and authors to the anniversary party was the inspiration behind the afternoon celebration. From 12– 4pm, join the extensive guest list at an event that is sure to take over half the street. A scavenger hunt is planned for the children, while everyone can enjoy meeting the visiting authors who have presented at the store over the past 20 years, take advantage of the 20% discount and perhaps win one of many prizes to be drawn throughout the afternoon followed by a slice of celebration cake.

Working together with the Fernie Heritage Library and Sparwood Library as well as the Fernie Writers’ Conference, Patty says there’s no end of interest in books and being an independent bookstore gives her the freedom to work with those organizations. Supporting literary endeavours is top of Patty’s list – she’s a big fan of the Arts & Letters Biennial Gala and regularly provides resources for other events, including book launches, special events and book tours. Celebrate books and independent bookstores this October with Patty and all her staff and friends.

Just a few short days later; the Fernie Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence & Residential Housing Awards will be a stellar night of recognition for the best of the best in Fernie. The Fernie Chamber are proud to host what will certainly be the biggest event yet – with two new awards, bringing the total to be presented to an impressive ten, including Community Impact, New Business and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. This year’s new additions are the Community Tourism Achievement Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award. Everyone can vote and you’re encouraged to do so before October 7 by downloading a nomination form from the Chamber’s website at or by filling in a form at one of the boxes located around town – locations can also be found on the chamber site. Don’t miss your chance to vote for your favourite Fernie businesses and people.

The addition of the Canadian Home Builders Association Rocky Mountain awards will create even more buzz and interest to the already impressive list of awards to be presented. While the Chamber awards and the CHBARM awards remain totally separate in the nomination & judging process, bringing CHBA on board to share the evening made great sense says Rachel Fitzios of the Chamber. The addition of these new awards brings more attention to the chamber awards, while introducing a new program to the business community – it’s a win-win.

The event will be held on October 24 and tickets are very limited. All finalists are invited to attend – an independent panel of judges will go through each nomination and decide the top three based on the number of nominations and eligibility of the nominee. Finalists will be announced in advance, with the winner kept secret until the evening of the awards – it’s like a little Oscar party just for Fernie! So put on your best gala outfit and celebrate community with the best of the best. See you on the red carpet.