SILVIE FOJTIK | MEET A LOCAL
POSTMARK: FEBRUARY 2017
Silvie Fojtik—a wearer of many hats, including being one of the folks behind Films For Thought—metaphorically stops by the blog to say "hello" and leave behind a bunch of great tips for getting the most out of a life lived (or a visit visited) around Highway 95 eh.
WHO ARE YOU & WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a Czech immigrant, born in Switzerland to refugees fleeing the communist regime in the 80s, raised in the flatlands of Ottawa. In grade 4 I had pondered the question of "Who am I" as my subject matter for a pan-Canadian French public speaking competition, Concours d'art oratoire; and I think those are the only facts that I can safely state remain true. I have been working at our local climbing gym, Spirit Rock Climbing Center since they opened and playing in the mountains on rock, ice and snow ever since moving here.
WHY LIVE AROUND HIGHWAY 95EH?
After graduation, I secured an engineering job in the massive metropolis of Toronto. Lasting only 6 months, instead, I bought my first car and drove across the country to start a new job with an ecological consulting firm based in Cranbrook. The mountains, the lifestyle, the less transient community, and the less trafficked tourist destinations have all lured me to my 6th year in Kimberley. Ultimately, it's perfectly located for longer trips, being equal distance to Golden, Banff, and Nelson, for example, as you pick your adventures based on conditions and weather.
IF SOMEONE IS ONLY IN THE AREA FOR A FEW DAYS, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST OF MUST-DO’S?
Hike. Hike. Hike. Short trails like the Butte, or the ski hill. Slightly longer hike, I'd recommend Bear Lake or Lakit Lookout. Or ultimately, a day hike to the Bugaboos Kain Hut for jaw dropping scenery.
Try out the local climbing gym; they have great routes for all skill levels; come alone, you might surprise yourself by the new friends you might make there. Find out what shows are playing at the Green Door. Get out of your comfort zone, and come dance to some electronic music at the Elks Hall on wintry Friday nights.
I’M HUNGRY… WHERE SHOULD I GO TO FIX THIS REOCCURRING PROBLEM?
You can't go wrong anywhere, just depends what you feel like eating; Kimberley has a surprising amount of eatery options, but it would be nice if someone opened an Ethiopian restaurant! Highlights of mine: snacks from Centex, panini with kombucha at the Cheese Shop, any delicious meal at the Heartbeet, cinnamon bun at Snowdrift and beer at the Shed.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE OUTDOOR ACTIVITY AND YOUR TOP PLACE AROUND HERE FOR DOING THAT ACTIVITY?
Rock climbing. Locally near St. Mary's Lake, further away, in the Bugaboos. backpacking in alpine meadows anywhere in the Purcells; just make sure you never use Anemones ("hippies on sticks") to wipe your bum!!!
FINALLY… PLEASE SHARE ONE LAST KOOTENAY TIP / RECOMMENDATION / THOUGHT / WHATEVER THAT YOU DIDN'T GET A CHANCE TO GET IN DURING THE PREVIOUS QUESTIONS.
Bring a mug, come visit me at the Climbing gym, for a cup of mint tea and a deliberation on current state of affairs and potential solutions; forming modern versions of 17th century Renaissance salons!
OK, ACTUAL FINALLY… PLEASE GIVE ONE COMPLETELY UNAIDED RECOMMENDATION THAT YOU THINK EVERYONE SHOULD START DOING / USING / WATCHING / LISTENING / EATING / THINKING / QUITTING / READING / ETC-ING TO MAKE THEIR LIVES A LITTLE BIT BETTER AND/OR BEARABLE.
If you are feeling down about anything, "change your narrative", as a friend put it to me recently. Choose positive language that may relay the same information. Of course, this comes from a place of privilege on my part, no doubt; but I still think it's worth sharing.