A Step in Time

On Saturday, September 28, Fernie will gather to celebrate a very special new feature in our historic downtown core which is the culmination of over five years of hard work, sweat and tears (all happy of course) by a huge number of local volunteers, craftspeople and dedicated staff and supporters. The Fernie Museum has finally put the finishing touches on the new permanent installation and invites you to join them for a period-themed celebration including a heritage tea and outdoor community celebration with cake and a slideshow. The heritage tea will take place in the airy upstairs gallery where the “Fernie Celebrates” exhibition will be on display. View photos and costumes from past community celebrations while you sit and enjoy a formal high tea featuring local fare from Fernie’s best restaurants. There will be musical and theatrical entertainment for each of the three sittings at 10:30am, 12:30pm and 2:30pm. Only 40 tickets are available for each sitting; $15 from the Museum. At 4:30pm, the community will gather outside for the main reception.

Make sure to allow plenty of time to tour the new exhibit on the main floor. An intense period of planning and development went into the design, which highlights much of Fernie’s varied and colourful past as well as our natural history and geography. A timeline takes up one whole wall and leads the viewer though our cultural roots, powerful industrial backbone of mining and forestry, a long period of disasters that befell Fernie in the early part of the last century and the current tourism and recreational boom. Each visitor to the museum can enjoy the company of their very own tour guide. Start your tour in the former museum reception, where you can chose to have Sydney, Grace, Tom, Michael or Annie – all real, notable former residents – lead you on a journey of discovery. Touch screens will bring the museum to life with colour and sound and there’s plenty of interactive exhibits to keep little ones amused. One of my favourites is the flip book depicting mountain features visible around Fernie (did you know one of Fernie’s mountains depicts the face of a giant dog?) or you might like the “Experience Fernie” touch-and-smell boxes or snowflake sorting game. The special underground mining cave has even more treasures to discover.

For an educationally themed Fernie Fix, the Museum launch seems a fitting subject. The opportunities for learning about Fernie’s past with the new displays are both varied and absorbing, and the features for children are both well thought out and entertaining. But it’s always important to keep body and mind working together, so take up the challenge at an outdoor event this September. The Fernie Kids Triathlon is on Sunday, September 8 and has categories for all ages from 4-15. At the time of writing, the event is sold out, but there may be places available on the waitlist or sign up and start training for next year! ferniekidstri.com. Adults can push themselves on the trails in the Fernie Tears and Gears Mountain Duathlon on Saturday, September 14. Featuring team and solo options with classic and enduro routes the Duathlon continues to grow in popularity and highlights what a beautiful month September is in Fernie. fernietearsandgears.com. The Terry Fox Run is on Sunday, September 15, turning the middle of September into a festival of running. An all-inclusive 10km run for the whole family including fido! terryfox.org.

The September long weekend sees the end of summer off with a bang as always – the iconic Demolition Derby will take place at the new Derby grounds on Sunday, September 1. Dozens of drivers will start their engines for an afternoon of mud and mayhem hosted by the Fernie Lions Club. Also on Sunday, the final race of the BC Cup DH Mountain Bike Series will take place at Fernie Alpine Resort. The best of the best will have honed their skills over the summer and will be in Fernie ready to battle for title of Best in BC. Will local heroes Nik or Luke be able to use their insider knowledge to jump onto the leaderboard?