Upcoming Events

 

Welcome New Members

 
Joining the Chamber has many benefits.

 

Search the Chamber Member Directory

Moving to Fernie

Checklist

 

Community Information

 


 

 

Finding a Job

There are a number of local resources for finding a job in Fernie both online and in the community.

 

Online

EK Employment – A local employment site with many job postings in the area. This site is operated by the local Work BC Employment Services Centre located at 302 C 2nd Ave in downtown Fernie. This is a great resource for job seekers which offers support programs such as:

  • Group-based or individual workshops
  • Training services
  • Customized job placement and work experience placement services for clients with significant barriers to employment
  • Self-employment assessment services

Our Fernie – A community forum with a page of classified ads for employment.

Fernie Alpine Resort – Fernie’s ski resort offers many employment opportunities in summer and winter.

Teck – One of the leading employers in the Elk Valley, Teck is the local coal company.

Elk valley job postings looking or hiring – A Facebook page used by local companies to advertise job openings and individuals looking for employment.

 

Other

Take a look in The Free Press or the Elk Valley Herald, the two local weekly newspapers. Job postings are often found within the classified ads.

 

^Go to top


 

Finding a Place to Live

There are a few websites that are useful to find a place to live in the Fernie area.

Renting in Fernie

OurFernie.com

Fernie Central Reservations

Fernie.com

First Choice Realty

2% Realty

Alpine Trails

Fernie Real Estate Company

Remax Elk Valley Realty

Royal LePage East Kootenay Realty

 

Note: It is a good idea to post an ad about yourself instead of just replying to posted ads. Many landlords check the listings looking for prospective tenants and will message you if they have something available.

 

Community Bulletin Board: Another great option if you are already in town is to post a paper ad on the bulletin board accross from the post office on 3rd Ave. The bulletin board is used for general community advertising and prospective landlords regularly check it for want ads by tennants. 

 

Tenants Insurance

Whether you rent an apartment, a condominium unit or an entire house, a tenant’s insurance policy will provide coverage above and beyond what your landlord has purchased. Your landlord will likely have in place insurance to protect the structure of the building, however this will not include any of your personal property, upgrades you may have made to the property (a kitchen renovation for example), or your legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others.

Some areas to discuss with your broker when considering which coverage is most suitable for you include:

  • Damage to Dwelling.
  • Tenant’s legal liability.
  • Theft of contents off premises.
  • Unit Improvements and Betterments.

 

Home Insurance

Variety and choice are key when selecting which homeowner’s insurance policy is right for you.

Your Home Insurance policy will provide coverage for your home, contents, other personal property as well as your legal liability for bodily injury or property damage to others. 

Some areas to discuss with your broker when considering which coverage is most suitable for you are:

  • By-laws coverage.
  • Determining the value of your home.
  • Discounts.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost.
  • High value items such as art and jewellery.
  • High valued homes.
  • Home based business coverage.
  • Home renovations.
  • Identity Theft.
  • Increased liability limits.
  • Personal Umbrella Insurance.
  • Recreation and sports equipment.
  • Sewer back-up.
  • Single limit coverage.
  • Yard maintenance vehicles and other tools.

 

Condominium Insurance

Although your condominium may already be insured by your condominium corporation, you may be surprised to find that this coverage is limited to the structure of the building. Your condominium corporation will not provide coverage for your personal possessions, your legal liability for bodily injury or property damage caused to others, or upgrades you may have made to your unit (new bathroom suite for example).

Some areas to discuss with your broker when considering which coverage is most suitable for you are:

 

  • Damage to Building
  • Unit Improvements and Betterments
  • Unit Additional Protection
  • Loss Assessment
  • Liability Loss Assessment

 

In Fernie, there are two insurance brokerages that offer home insurance:

Western Financial Group

691B 2nd Ave.

Phone: (250)423-6831

Email: Fernie@westernfg.ca

Westland Insurance

512 2nd Ave.

Phone: (250)423-6851

Email: Fernie@WestlandInsurance.ca

 

Loans

Fernie offers a number of banking options including:

TD Canada Trust

391 2nd Ave

(250) 423-2100

Scotiabank

502 3rd Ave

(250) 423-8440

East Kootenay Community Credit Union

1601 9th Ave

(250) 423-9222

 

 

^Go to top


 

Getting Health Insurance

“The Medical Services Plan (MSP) insures medically-required services provided by physicians and supplementary health care practitioners, laboratory services and diagnostic procedures. Residents of B.C. are required by law to enrol themselves and their dependents with MSP.”

-Government of BC

The BC Government defines a resident as:

  • a citizen of Canada or is lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence, 
  • makes his or her home in B.C., and 
  • is physically present in B.C. for
  •  at least six months in a calendar year (January 1 – December 31) or
  • a shorter prescribed period, and
  • includes a person who is deemed under the regulations to be a resident, but does not include a tourist or visitor to British Columbia.

If coverage is available through your employer, contact their office for an “Application for Group Enrollment” form.

Otherwise, an enrollment form is available here.

 

For more information or to enroll:

 

^Go to top


 

Driver Licensing and ID

Driver's License

If you are moving to BC from another province, you have 90 days to exchange your old license for a BC License. In Fernie you can do this only at Western Financial Group (691 B, 2nd Ave).  You will need the following:

If you do not have two years’ experience, you can enter into the Graduated Licensing Program.

Your new driver’s license will also include your personal health number (you must also prove qualification for BC MSP), making it a “BC Driver’s License and Services Card”.

A 5 year BC Driver’s License costs $75.

 

BC Services Card

What is a BC Services Card? A BC Services Card is an all in one program that functions as a piece of government issued photo ID, your driver’s license, and your care card.

However, you have the option of either combining your driver’s license and old care card into a BC Services card or you can have both a driver’s license and a separate BC Services card (which replaces your old care card). This means you can have two pieces of government issued photo ID for no extra charge. This is a good option as many places in BC require two pieces of ID, such as liquor stores or bars.

The BC services card is free to all BC residents. You can find out more from the BC Government Vital Statistics website.

 

You can obtain a BC Services Card at Western Financial Group (691 B 2nd Ave) in Fernie.

 

^Go to top


 

Vehicle Insurance

In British Columbia, all motor vehicles must be insured through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). ICBC is a “Crown Corporation” (a government owned and overseen enterprise) and offers different levels of insurance via independent brokers. The lowest level of insurance required for all vehicles is the ICBC Basic Auto plan.

“ICBC Basic Auto plan insurance is the mandatory coverage you need for a vehicle in B.C.  It helps ensure that you and all British Columbians who own and drive a motor vehicle here are protected with a basic level of coverage.”

-ICBC

 

When moving to BC from another province, be sure to ask your old insurance provider for a “Claims History”. A Claims History may save you money on your new insurance plan.

 

For more information on what the ICBC Basic Auto plan covers, visit http://www.icbc.com/autoplan/basic.

Optional insurance is also available for those who wish to increase their level of coverage. http://www.icbc.com/autoplan/optional

 

To acquire vehicle insurance in Fernie, visit:

Western Financial Group

691B 2nd Ave.

Phone: (250)423-6831

Email: Fernie@westernfg.ca

Westland Insurance

512 2nd Ave.

Phone: (250)423-6851

Email: Fernie@WestlandInsurance.ca

 

Things to know:

When you move to BC, you must have your vehicle inspected before acquiring car insurance. There are a number of businesses in Fernie that offer inspections.

 

 

Backyard Mechanical

36 Shadow Road

(250)423-6389

Canadian Tire

1791 9th Ave.

(250)423-4222

Coal Valley Motor Products

16 Manitou Road

(250)423-9288

Day Auto

8 Manitou Road

(250)423-6422

Fernie Chrysler

802 Hwy 3

(250)423-5532

Fernie Ford

6165 Brenners Road

(250)423-9211

Woz Mechanical

1994 Hwy 3

(250)423-4770

   

 

This inspection is to ensure that all vehicles on BC roads are safe. As of 2015, under the New West Agreement (Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan) you may be exempt from the inspection. Ask your insurance broker for more information.

 

When you go to register and insure your vehicle in BC at an Auto plan broker, you must have, in most cases:

  • the vehicle's current registration
  • a "passed" vehicle inspection report from a designated inspection facility in B.C.
  • required ID, and
  • if the vehicle is not registered in your name, a signed and dated bill of sale. (Sometimes a vehicle registration document, signed by the registered owner of the vehicle and naming you as the new owner, is acceptable instead.)

 

Normally you must bring your vehicle to the broker for them to see it. They will check to make sure that the vehicle has no significant damage (checking windows for cracks, damaged mirrors, etc.) and confirm that the VIN matches documents.

 

You are then free to insure your vehicle and start driving!

 

^Go to top


 

Getting Involved in the Community

One great thing about Fernie is the community spirit. There are many ways to get involved in the community as there’s almost always something going on.

 

Volunteer Fernie

Volunteer Fernie is a Facebook group in which organizations can post volunteer opportunities within the community. You can also post your skills and availability to the page so that you can be contacted when a volunteer is needed.

 

Fernie Rotary Club

The Fernie Rotary Club meets every Wednesday at Noon at Park Place Lodge. Join them any time!

 

Fernie Mountain Bike Club and Fernie Trails Alliance

The Fernie Mountain Bike Club and the Fernie Trails Alliance are two groups that build and maintains trails in the Fernie area. They offer many volunteer opportunities from trail maintenance to events. If you are a mountain biker, these are two great opportunities to get involved.

 

Fernie Search and Rescue

Fernie SAR is a valuable resource for the community. Their efforts to help keep our community safe make a difference to everyone.

 

^Go to top


 

Community Information

 

The Local Community

Fernie is a small town located in the beautiful Elk Valley of the BC Rockies.  With a population of roughly 5000, Fernie comes with a community spirit that can’t be beat.

Fernie was settled in the late 1800s as a coal mining town, an industry that is still prevalent in the area today. It was incorporated as the City of Fernie in 1904 and has been a vibrant, thriving community ever since.

The main attraction to Fernie is the prevalent outdoor lifestyle that so many locals engage in. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter, to biking, hiking, and fishing in the summer, there is something to do year-round.

With some of the finest skiing in North America, Fernie Alpine Resort is a top notch ski destination enjoyed by both residents and visitors. In the summer, endless trails make for some of the best biking you can find. In fact, many locals say they came for the winter and stayed for the summer.

With many volunteer organizations and constant events, it is easy to meet people and participate in the community.

Fernie’s booming arts scene makes it easy to find anything from live music to local painters, weavers, and more! The Arts Station and the Fernie Museum along with other venues regularly host displays of local artwork.

With so much to do, much of which is within a short walking distance from your door, Fernie truly has something for everyone!

 

^Go to top


 

Cost of Living

The cost of living is hard to ascertain for Fernie because of the vast differences between incomes and lifestyles of residents. It is all relative to what you are used to. Fernie is cheaper than Whistler but perhaps not a cheap as Saskatoon Saskatchewan, to give you some idea.

The cost of living is not prohibitive to living here and you can find something to fit your budget.

These are some examples of cost the average person will find in Fernie.

 

Average Cost of Housing

  • Average House - $371,000
  • Rent of Average Apartment - $600 - $2000 (typically you can expect to pay $600-$900 per room)

Other Common Items

  • Cost of a movie ticket - $12.00
  • Price of Gas - $1.29/L
  • Price of a restaurant meal - $15-30 (Fernie has a plethora a fantastic food options – much more than most towns of its size)
  • FAR Season Ski Pass - $1059 (Midweek Pass available for $849 – Ski Monday to Friday when it isn’t so busy)
  • Cost of beer (6pack) - $12 - $14

*All amounts are based on a 2015 estimate.

 

^Go to top


 

Shopping

Groceries

Save-On-Foods

792 2nd Ave

(250) 423-4607

Ann’s Your Independent Grocer

1792 A 9th Avenue

(250) 423-7387

 

Health Food

The Good Earth

322 2nd Ave

(250) 423-7121

Cincott Organic Market

561 Hwy 3

(250) 423-7498

 

Hardware Stores

Canadian Tire

1791  9th Ave

(250) 423-4222

Brecan Building Supplies

13 Kutenai Road

(250) 423-1580

Home Hardware Building Centre

300 Manitou Rd

(250) 423-4694

IGS Value Drugmart

441 2 Ave

(250) 423-4511

 

Liquor Stores

BC Liquor Store

792 2nd Ave

(250) 423-6006

Fernie Mountain Spirits

1641 7 Ave

(250) 423-6522

The Tipple

792 2nd Ave

(250) 423-3012

Park Place Lodge

742 Hwy 3

(250) 423-4061

 

^Go to top


 

Online Community Resources

Elk Valley Garage Sale

Elk Valley Garage Sale is a great resource for new residents of the Fernie area. It is a Facebook page residents of the Elk Valley use to buy and sell almost anything.

You can scroll through the pictures or the timeline to find items for sale, or you can make an ISO (in search of) post asking if anyone is selling what you are looking for. For example:

 

“ISO a couch in good condition for under $700 in the Fernie area.”

 

It is an easy way to get furniture, appliances, or anything else you may need often for a low price.

 

Our Fernie

Our Fernie is an online community board locals use to post ads, communicate about events and issues, and share information. It is useful for buying and selling, classified ads, and asking questions. If you want to see Fernie from the point of view of locals, check out Our Fernie.

 

Fernie Forum

The forum at Fernie.com is useful for posting on a number of topics from asking questions to buying and selling. 

 

^Go to top


 

Banking

TD Canada Trust

391 2nd Ave

(250) 423-2100

Scotiabank

502 3rd Ave

(250) 423-8440

East Kootenay Community Credit Union

1601 9th Ave

(250) 423-9222

 

^Go to top


 

Community Groups

Fernie has an abundance of clubs and groups to join.  From charities to sports teams, there are many opportunities to get to know people and play a role in the community.

 

Sports Groups

Canadian Ski Patrol

250.423.4271

Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

250.529.7615

Fernie Alpine Ski Team

250.423.4271

Fernie Curling Club

250.430.6949

Fernie Ghostriders Hockey

250.423.4153

Fernie Minor Hockey

250.423.3191

Fernie Mountain Bike Club

250.531.0445

Fernie Old School Boxing

250.423.0272

Fernie Skating Club

250.423.3597

Fernie Minor Soccer

250.423.3612

Fernie Snowmobile Association

250.423.3790

Judo Club

250.423.3230

Lacrosse League

250.423.6460

Morning Badminton

250.423.6027

Rod & Gun Club         

250.423.7281

T-Ball

250.423.6666

Tae Kwon Do

250.425.2044

Ultimate Frisbee

250.423.5559

Avalanche City Roller Girls

fernierollerderby123@gmail.com

   

Community Organizations and Societies

3300 Club       

250.423.3300

Bright Beginnings Preschool  

250.423.8653

Canadian Cancer Society

250.423.3062

College of the Rockies

250.423.4691

Elk Valley Family Society

250.423.4213

Fernie Arts Council    

250.423.4842

Fernie Cadets

250.423.7020

Fernie Elks Lodge       

250.423.7536

Fernie Fire Fighters    

250.423.4226

Fernie Historical Society

250.423.7016

Fernie Hospital Foundation    

250.423.4453

 

Fernie Heritage Library

250.423.4458

 

Fernie Red Cross        

250.423.6543

Fernie Rotary Club     

403.331.9781

Fernie Search & Rescue

250.423.1941

Girl Guides and Brownies

250.423.4016

Lion's Club

250.423.3052

Nordic Society

250.423.3091

Rockies Institute Society

250.423.6693

Fernie Women’s Resource Centre

(250) 423-4687

Royal Canadian Legion

250.423.6218

Salvation Army           

250.423.4661

Senior Citizens Society

250.423.3312

Wildsight        

250.423.2603

Kindergym

kindergymfernie@gmail.com

 

 

 

^Go to top


 

Schools

 

Public Schools

Isabella Dicken Elementary

1302 2nd Ave

(250) 423-4651

Fernie Secondary School

102 Fairway Dr

(250) 423-4471

 

Independent Schools

Fernie Academy

451 2nd Ave

(250) 423-0212

 

Preschools

Bright Beginnings Preschool

1602 2nd Ave

250-423-8653

Creative Minds Preschool

44 Mt Washburn St

(250) 423-1144

 

^Go to top

 


Anything else we can help you with?

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us at info@ferniechamber.com or use our contact form. We'll try our best to help you or point you in the right direction.

 

^Go to top

Business Directory Search