Often visitors are happily surprised by the variety of Nordic opportunities available in Fernie. We are after all a small community however are a community that enjoys spending time in the beauty and nature that surrounds us. We are also fortunate to have hard working and dedicated organizations and volunteers who ensure these opportunities exist. For those looking for a little glide during your stay, here are your options.
It is fantastic to see the events calendar continue to grow after a couple of years of being ‘at least six feet apart.’ Here are some of the highlights throughout the season, make sure to visit ferniefix.com/events for more information and the full list of opportunities to choose from during your stay.
Sometimes, I take on too much. (Okay, my family might say most times. But acknowledgment is the first step, right?) The holidays make it challenging for me to ignore this… habit? addiction? of mine, as I begin to feel increasingly overwhelmed with the list of things that need to get done, alongside the regular school / work / activity schedules.
This time of year, we all tend to want to spread the love and support, not only because ‘it’s the season of giving,’ but also because we recognize the challenges and emotions that can come with the holidays. So, just how can we make an impact locally?
As October comes to a close, I begin to feel a bit of a loss… for daylight, warmth and what feels like an abundance of time. Daylight Savings coming to an end November 6 doesn’t help. But I know, once I settle into the month, with its beautiful changing of seasons so obvious from town with the colours creeping up the mountainsides transitioning to snow dusted peaks, I’ll begin to feel the stirrings of anticipation creep in.
Over the last three and a half years, Brad Parsell has been the Executive Director at the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, supporting the business community and our community in general. We are sad to lose Brad, who has accepted a position as Executive Director with Tourism Tofino (well-done), not only a valued community member but also as one of our writers!
When I have the opportunity to travel, especially some place unique and special, I make sure to find something meaningful that will help me to remember the moments and memories created and shared. A keepsake, whatever the size or type, can be cherished for years and also can help us to tell our stories. Here are just a few items out there to consider, but we know you’ll find what’s just right for you!
Tennis has been on the rise in Fernie (and beyond) thanks to a couple of individuals from the UK, passionate about the sport. Charlotte Willis started Fernie Tennis Coaching around 2010, and was instrumental in exposing our younger cohort to tennis through programming in schools and coaching all ages and levels. “This was the start of the junior tennis movement in Fernie,” says Lucy Harrup, who took over the business in 2019.
When presented with the theme of Comfort many of our columnists chose to discuss the importance of leaning into discomfort. And as was likely their aim, it made me pause and reflect. It may seem as though I am a leaner, spending so much time on my bike, pushing myself into challenging physical states and exposing myself to fear and risk. But the reality is, biking has actually become comforting. I know that minutes into a ride, even one that is undoubtedly testing my fitness or contains sections that terrify me, I will feel like I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.
With two candidates for Mayor, 14 for Council and three for Regional District Area A Director, it is going to be an exciting election season. We asked all candidates the same four questions in an effort to provide a fair opportunity to share their views and provide voters with one location to review these perspectives. It is important to recognize that this is but a snapshot – take the time to learn more about each candidate and consider attending the All Candidates Forum, October 4 at the Fernie Community Centre, in person or virtually. Presented by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, candidates will be presented with a few pre-submitted questions and there will also be an open-mic portion for the audience to ask questions that haven’t been discussed.
While in high school, I was somewhat aware of the Kootenay Learning Campus (KLC) but thought it was specifically for individuals who were keen to work on their own, were going to be away, or wanted to upgrade. It wasn’t until the pandemic began that I became more curious about the KLC.
My daughters are enamoured with horses and have been since they were wee. Last summer, they had weekly classes at Love it or Leave it Ranch and the love only grew. Not only did these lessons teach them how to ride horses, they also learned how to properly take care of them, move around them, and feel at ease with them. I was amazed at the progression.
“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
~ Albert Einstein
I never considered the importance of curiosity until becoming a parent. I think we are all born with a natural curiosity but it’s those who have the courage and confidence to continue to use it that innately learn the most and carry this ‘superpower’ through life.
Lately, my social media has been full of live feeds and great results from our local girls’ volleyball teams… and I have been loving every minute of it! From the amazing Summer Olympic women’s soccer’s athleticism and coverage last year, to the continuation of some of the best hockey I’ve ever seen at the Winter Olympics performed by women this winter, to a growth and focus on girls’ volleyball in Fernie… what a joy, and something I hope has become the new norm.
Whether here for a visit, for the season or year-round, kids in Fernie have it pretty good in the summer months. I can’t get over the options available to them – from bike camps to horse riding, gymnastics to river exploration, drama to reading clubs… it can be almost overwhelming to decide!
Over the last couple of months, I have had multiple dreams of being with my Nana. (The most recent the night before writing this.) She was my best friend and passed away seven years ago April 1. I was expecting my second daughter at the time, whose due date was mid-April but we would wait an extra two weeks before meeting her, as I became extremely ill after my Nana’s passing with a chest infection.
Not surprisingly, the value of recreation has become even more pronounced these last couple of years. Alongside the freedom and enjoyment it provides, the physical and mental health benefits have helped many to navigate challenging times.
Fernie draws people from around the world, and fortunately for this small mountain town many fall so in love that they return with their talents and expertise and begin unique businesses, adding to the already impressive array of entrepreneurs and the offerings available here.
When it comes to drinks of all sorts, you will find a surprising number of locally crafted options while in Fernie. Make sure to check out these while here, your tastebuds will thank you.
Breweries and Cafés
I am an abstract artist that paints intuitively, with the goal to elicit joy. My paintings are an internal expression of what is occurring around me. I’m inspired to paint when happy, so I often hear that my paintings are fresh, joyful and fun. It makes sense, because I like fun! I paint with music and am most happy when I can paint outside by the river or in my backyard with a view of the mountains.
Have you ever heard someone say, “if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know?” I have, and one of my people is Courtney Baker.
Recently at a City of Fernie meeting, Sylvia Ayers was presenting to council regarding a ban on plastic bags in our community. As part of the presentation, the École Isabella Dicken Elementary School (ÉIDES) Environment Club had created a video with their thoughts and concerns about plastics.
“I let them go completely off script,” Russ Hanson tells me, a teacher at ÉIDES who runs the club. “And while it was a risk, it had so much more impact.” Yes, it did. I am sure there wasn’t a dry eye in attendance.
Spending so much time at the elementary school, it is hard not to notice the male to female ratio of teachers, student services and youth care workers. Currently, out of 33 positions there are two male representatives. The real differences can be found in leadership roles. Both the Vice Principals and Principals at EIDES and FSS are women. And young women, at that.
Recently, my eldest daughter started calling me bossy. The first few times, I didn’t address it. But when I heard my younger daughter call the eldest bossy, I stopped what I was doing. I sat down on the floor with them (they were getting dressed to go skiing), and I asked what they think bossy means, and what does Mom do that makes them feel like I am being bossy. Not surprisingly, asking them to do things, reminding them of the plan etc. equates to ‘bossy’ in their six and eight-year old minds.
During the winter season, many of us start our mornings by checking the Mountain Weather on skifernie.com. After so many years, forecaster Ron Lakeman feels like a trustworthy old friend, who puts honesty first whether it’s rain or massive amounts of snow he’s sharing with us that day. Ron is how we stay connected with the weather, how we make our plans for the week ahead… “okay, well ‘heavy at times’ on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning office chair it is!”
So, just who is Ron and how did he get into meteorology?
It’s been 22 months since COVID-19 threw us all a bit off course. There are many adjectives we could use to describe the ups and downs during this time, but the reality is shifting the focus to moving forward is the most productive and healthiest choice.