I am surrounded by individuals going back to school, and can't help but feel a touch of envy. Sure, the thought of slipping back into the red makes me hyperventilate, but the opportunity, change and general “fresh start” feeling is incomparable and hard to replicate further down the road of life. Jobs, houses, children, bills, hobbies… we can easily get caught up in the day-to-day grind forgetting the adventure, challenges, failures and accomplishments that got us here.
“There are people who think that art exists for its own sake, but I do not think so. Art exists for the human species. I think that all of the people who love art, those who teach art, and all of you, should burn with the obligation to save the world.”
In 1904 fire raged through Fernie and razed the entire downtown core to the ground. In 1908, fire took hold once again and destroyed the entire city in just 90 minutes but by 1910, Fernie was reborn in the beautiful brick and mortar that can be seen today. These days, we prefer to burn things up a little more creatively- whether it’s blazing a mountain trail on foot or wheels, firing things up on the greens or dancing with the fire spinners at Wapiti - Fernie’s Music Festival, August is one smokin’ hot month.
I recently travelled back to Canada (though Montreal rather than beautiful BC this time) to attend an academic conference and, as per my last column, to feast on poutine, pierogies and other such Canadian foodstuffs I’d been craving of l
There aren’t many people in Fernie who haven’t made it to the Fernie Golf & Country Club (FGCC) at one time or another. Whether for the love of golf or the love of beers on the deck, either way you’ve probably witnessed people on the fifth throwing their hands up in joy or throwing their putter into the water. However there are a few events a year where there is certainly no club throwing. There instead are only smiles, prizes and lots of excitable players dressed head to toe having a fabulous time.
photo by Judy McMahon
I would wager a guess that most people in Fernie know Pat Gilmar, or at the very least know of him. Pat’s family has lived in the area for over a hundred years, and this is Pat’s 40th year as a miner in the Elk Valley – his roots are deep. Perhaps that’s why he spends so much time amongst the roots working on Fernie’s trail network! To say he has an immense appreciation for the environment he recreates and lives in is an understatement.
I know a father who every night before his children go to sleep whispers in their ear: your destiny is to save the world. I asked him if he thought that perhaps he expects too much from his children.
“We have to. Greatness can only be achieved by striving for the impossible.”
Since he spends much of his life on airplanes, lecturing around the world, one day his son had the insight to sit up and reply: “No Dad, my destiny is to save you.”
Did you know that Fernie has a Water Smart Ambassador? Neither did I up until a month ago when Claire McFee posted some information on FernieFix.com. I was happily surprised, and even more surprised when I met Claire to learn more about her and this position. Why, you’re asking? Because she’s 24 years old, but don’t be fooled – she’s passionate, smart, and you’re going to be hearing from her this summer if your sprinkler is on all afternoon.
When people ask me if I miss any particular food from home (Ireland), I have to answer “no”. Similarly, I don’t have much of a response when asked about traditional Irish dishes. Colcannon (potato mashed with cabbage)?
Perhaps, because you are a good parent, you rush home, conscientiously prepare a meal that is fresh, and at least constitutes food, if not high nutrition.
You’ve probably noticed the colourful children adorned in their soccer jerseys on their way to fields in May and June, have kids playing, or maybe you even coach a team or run a division! With nearly 400 kids involved in youth soccer each year, the breadth of its reach must be community wide. While there are numerous individuals yearly that get this league off the ground, it is John and Adelaine Traverse who have been at the helm for 13 years.
For reasons too convoluted to go into here, I recently had to take charge of a ski-hut full of mattress covers (or “metro scoffers”, to ape, not unkindly, the pronunciation of a Dutch girl in the group) and ensure they were washed, aired