Writing Local, Reading Local, Loving Local

Slightly over fifteen years ago, I met Krista Turcasso, freshly returned home from completing her MBA. We connected over our English Degrees and our shared passion for literature. She confided her plan of starting a local magazine with Vanessa Croome, blending her interest in publishing, her education in business, and her love of Fernie. 

Her vision materialized with astonishing speed. At least I was astonished then. Now, having known Krista for a decade a half (and coming to expect the dedication, work ethic, and intensity she brings to 
all goals), I realize that the whiplash immediacy with which Fernie Fix went from idea to reality is absolutely in character.

From the start, locals eagerly grabbed the new issue each month, keen to read about friends and family, new businesses, and artistic successes. The way Vanessa and Krista have developed the magazine since then is as remarkable as its energetic early beginnings. 

As Fernie has grown and flourished, so too has Fernie Fix, extending its reach to cover the young and the old, to offer items of interest to long-term locals and those newly arrived, and to appeal to year-round Fernie dwellers, seasonal residents, and short-term tourists. I still pick up The Fernie Fix counting on its celebration of friends and well-known locals, but I also come to the magazine knowing I will always discover new Fernie faces and new Fernie successes. 

I confided to Krista’s husband Rich how touched I was by a recent supportive nod in Fernie Fix. My book had received national attention, but none of that media was quite as meaningful to me as 
a pat on the back by this local magazine. I explained to Rich that in these times where it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the negativity, divisiveness, and hatred so common on social media, I more than ever admire a positive magazine like Fernie Fix, appreciating the way it works to celebrate all our community’s successes. Rich looked at me as though I’d just announced that snow improves skiing and said “Yes, Krista is good like that.” 

Fernie Fix is good like that.

Robert Kroetsch made a career of arguing for the importance of local writing. New Yorkers don’t watch a movie and exclaim “Look – it’s Central Park!” They’re used to seeing themselves, their places, and their way of life reflected in the art and media they consume. Those who live farther from urban centers – and farther from publishing power houses – are less used to that reflection. Kroetsch asked: without that reflection how do we know we exist? Less dramatically, we might ask: without local publishing, how do we see ourselves clearly? How do we know our way of life is worthy of representation? How do we celebrate our strengths as a community?

That’s why local publishing matters. Thanks to The Fix, we in Fernie do see ourselves reflected, every single month.

Happy birthday, Fernie Fix, and congratulations Krista and Vanessa! Thank you for always showing us our best selves.