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2nd Annual Untamed Kootenays Culinary Event

Island Lake Lodge - April 10, 2018 - 14:42

** Untamed Kootenays Culinary Event ** / June 8 – 10, 2018

Fernie’s Island Lake Lodge is well-established as a premiere Canadian destination, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe who come for various outdoor activities and the stunning backcountry terrain within the Lizard Range. This June, the Lodge is inviting new and returning guests to experience Fernie’s culinary talent with a weekend of local flavours and fares for the 2nd annual Untamed Kootenays culinary event. During the weekend, the Tamarack Dining Room will welcome food lovers to dine on Lodge-made gourmet, created with an abundance of ingredients sourced and foraged from the surrounding Elk Valley.

To further elevate this summit of Kootenay cuisine, Island Lake’s Chef Keith Farkas has invited two notable Calgary chefs to join him in the kitchen for the first annual affair. Award-winning Chef Justin Leboe, proprietor of Model Milk and Pigeonhole, and winner of Enroute Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Canada in 2015, along with Executive Chef John Paul Pedhirney of the highly acclaimed Bridgette Bar will be joining Farkas to create an unforgettable weekend showcasing the culinary wealth found within the region.

Watch a video from last year!

#Ferniefoodie #lodgelife

Weekend Schedule:

  • Friday NightWine Makers Dinner (Seating starts at 5:30 Dinner 6 – 9 pm) hosted by BC Wine Studio. Wine maker Mark Simpson will give a talk about winery process and select vintages with pairings for each course. The Island Lake chef team will showcase 4 courses with 4 select wines.
  • Saturday – Day Activities: Forage with chefs in the forest then help prepare the finds, guided interpretive hike. Fiddleheads should be in season!
    • 8 am – 10 am – Breakfast
    • 10 am – noon –  guests go foraging with chef Keith Farkas (limited spots available)
    • 10 am – 1 pm – Interpretive guided hike with the Island Lake guiding team (limited spots available)
    • Spa Specials available (Book 2 or more treatments and get 15% off)
    • Lunch in the Bear Lodge 11 – 5 pm in the Bear Lodge
    • Free canoe rentals available. (sign up at the front desk)
  • Saturday NightChef Showcase (Seating starts at 5:30 Dinner 6 – 10 pm) – 5 courses prepared by 5 chefs
  • Chefs:
    • Mark Butcher
    • John Paul Pedhirney
    • Justin Leboe
    • Keith Farkas
    • Catherine Chartrand
  • After Party in the Bear Lodge – close midnight.
  • Sunday – 8 am – 10 am alacart breakfast and check out. Spa specials available for guests. (Book 2 or more treatments and get 15% off)
  • Pricing:
    • $1049 – Per Couple – Red Eagle
    • $1,099 –  Per Couple – Deluxe
    • $1,149  Per Couple – Deluxe View Rooms
  • Dinner only – Friday Night – $139 pp (includes wine)
  • Dinner only – Saturday Night – $159 pp (includes wine)



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Summer is on the way!

Island Lake Lodge - April 4, 2018 - 14:04

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Montane Hut Annual Hot dog Roast- Saturday March 31

Fernie Trails - March 29, 2018 - 11:57

Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club will once again be hosting our annual hot-dog roast at the Montane hut on Saturday March 31 from 11:00- 3:00. Everyone welcome. Ski, bike, snowshoe or bike to the hut. Hot-dogs and hot chocolate are free compliments of the Fernie Hotel. Come out and enjoy the sunshine and a […]

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Spring Pow Days

Island Lake Lodge - March 22, 2018 - 12:31

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March Pow

Island Lake Lodge - March 19, 2018 - 21:23

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We want to hear from you!

Fernie Nordic Society - March 17, 2018 - 09:17

It is spring time and this means ... it is time for our annual survey.

If you have taken to the ski trails in Fernie this winter, the Fernie Nordic Society would like to hear your comments about this ski season. Take a few minutes to take our short survey HERE, only eleven questions, and you can even enter our draw for one of two free 2018-2019 season memberships. Let us know what you think, what you liked and what we should focus on next season. All our volunteers thank you for your input. Enjoy some great spring skiing!

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Island Lake Lodge Wins 2018 Employees First Award

Island Lake Lodge - March 12, 2018 - 17:50

We are incredibly honoured to have won this prestigious award. A huge thanks to all current and past employees of Island Lake for making the place so remarkable.

Below is the press release from go2HR

Island Lake Lodge Wins 2018 Employees First Award

Kelowna, BC – Island Lake Lodge has won the coveted 2018 Employees First Award, presented this afternoon at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna. The award is sponsored by go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, as part of the 2018 Tourism Industry Awards.

The Employees First Award recognizes a British Columbia tourism industry employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and people management practices. Based in Fernie, BC, Island Lake Lodge runs on a grassroots, team-oriented organizational culture.

“At Island Lake we recognize how important our staff are to the overall success of the company. They are the very foundation of the brand and business and their stories are integrated into the overall story of the company,” said Mike McPhee, Island Lake Lodge’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We have striven to be a modern employer with an offering of unique benefits, perks, flexibility, continual training / education and collaborative atmosphere.”

The company’s vision and values revolve around providing a safe workplace and a collaborative environment. Some examples include:

  • Extensive onboarding training at the beginning of each season, covering occupational health and safety, social media, guest services, and more;
  • Ongoing support for professional development, such as First Aid, WHMIS, avalanche training, Red Seal Chef training, and Serving It Right;
  • Weekly staff recognition, and end-of-season awards that include peer recognition;
  • Company perks and benefits including swag giveaways, staff meals, shuttle to work, catskiing trips and outings, and photos contests.
  • Open and ongoing communication including suggestion box for employees, regular teammeetings, and monthly employee newsletter.With such a dedicated focus on employee training and satisfaction, Island Lake Lodge has seen positive results as their retention rate steadily climbed over the years. In 2017, 90 per cent of staff had returned for the season.
  • On TripAdvisor the company is ranked #1 in the speciality lodging category in Fernie and awarded a Certificate of Excellence. It is not uncommon to see individual staff regularly recognized by guests in post-visit surveys.“Island Lake Lodge’s inclusive, team-oriented culture contributes to a high level of employee satisfaction, which in turn leads to high levels of guest satisfaction,” said Arlene Keis, go2HR’s CEO. “By providing a work environment that employees can grow, thrive, and take pride in, Island Lake puts their employees first and boasts an impressive retention rate, setting a fine example for our industry as an employer. We congratulate the Island Lake Lodge team on their achievements.”To learn more about the BC Tourism Industry Awards, visit About go2HR

go2HR is BC’s tourism human resource association, responsible for coordinating the BC Tourism Labour Market Strategy. go2HR provides tourism employers with resources in the area of recruitment and retention, as well as training and certification programs to develop relevant skills for prospective and current tourism and hospitality employees. For more information, visit


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Heck of a lot of snow out there! When do you think we will be on skinny tires?

Fernie Mountain Bike Club - March 12, 2018 - 11:08
Choices I will be on the gravel road as soon as I can! Not until June! Hoping for May! I will be starting to shovel in a couple weeks! Happy to keep the fat tires out as long as possible! Forget this, I am Utah bound!
Categories: Member organisations

Sunday at the First Fernie Birkie

Fernie Nordic Society - March 12, 2018 - 09:46

Super amazing day! Thanks everyone for coming out for our first Birkie! 13 racers total, 8 doing 50 km and 5 doing the first lap of 25 km. The participants skied on the trails of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and the Fernie Alpine Resort including a brief rest on a chairlift of the resort. Check the costumes out in the photos. Thank you to our partners at Fernie Alpine Resort for giving our racers a lift on the Deer chair. Special thanks to Wild Wolves Design for very cool medals and Erika Sowchuk for our new Birkie logo.

Results can be found at HERE.

Start planning your costumes for next year, we will see you then!

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Nordic challenge at Griz Days

Fernie Nordic Society - March 6, 2018 - 18:49

This was such a great weekend for the Fernie Griz Days. Some great weather plus some awesome powder just as the Snow To Ice(cream) Challenge got under way! Super turnout everyone! Huge thanks to our sponsors The Fernie Hotel & Happy Cow Fernie for the beer and ice-cream. Is there a better reward ? Thank you for the amazing prizes and rentals from GearHub Sports and prizes from The Guide's Hut !! A shout out to all the ambassadors who spent time at the Nordic Centre and the Golf Course and also to our amazing groomers throughout the community! Several of the participants who completed the challenge:

First, 24 people completed the challenge - lots more took part. Everyone did multi-sport and everyone wore plaid in some way shape or form - some more than others ! The helmet and goggles donated by GearHub Sports go to Lori George Kennedy! Also from GearHub Sports, a t-shirt and buff to Carrie Dixon, and a t-shirt and bag to Amanda Steeper. From The Guide's Hut a hat and FNS ski sleeves to Catherine Bodroghy, and a hat and FNS ski sleeves to Ute Hammer. A FNS toque, ski sleeves and Guide's Hut water bottle pack go to Garret Sowchuk, Thomas Lentz and our first finisher Julie Kelly!

And last, a huge Thank you! to all participants

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80+ cm’s this week!

Island Lake Lodge - March 2, 2018 - 22:48

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Island Lake Lodge - March 2, 2018 - 08:18

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Staff Profile – Executive Chef Keith Farkas

Island Lake Lodge - March 1, 2018 - 17:25

Executive Chef Keith Farkas has been leading the culinary team at Island Lake for several years now. He is known for inspiring his team to think creatively and outside of the normal lodge fare. His wife, L’wren, is the restaurant manager and oversees the Island Lake wine collection. Together, they make Island Lake’s culinary program a unique attribute that speaks to the surrounding old growth forest, dramatic peaks and “lodge life” that we are known for.

A quick Q&A with Keith Farkas:


Yes, I actually get asked this question a lot by our own team. Our philosophy is unpretentious; complex without being complicated. What does this mean? To me, it means seeking good flavours without being too fussy or overdoing it. It’s about simple pairings and seeking local wherever possible. Perhaps most importantly however, for dining at Island Lake Lodge, is that it’s as much about the incredible natural setting; the view and the calm atmosphere.


The honey we use at the Lodge is locally-produced from the bees of the Elk Valley and harvested by Elk River Apiaries. Our Elk Chorizo is reared and produced locally in the Valley. Our coffee beans are the “Island Lake Blend” from local coffee roasters, Zaltana. We source locally wherever we can; it’s important to us. Throughout the summer, I can be found most Sundays at the Fernie Farmer’s Market where I talk with the farmers, where I’ve developed a relationship with them. I like to know where our produce is coming from, the journey it’s had before I serve it at dinner.


Yes, we do. We pick stinging nettles from just outside the Lodge which we then use for soups. We forage lots of fireweed that is flavoured with pesto and served in our Market Salad which happens to be one of our dinner menu’s most popular items. We create a deliciously-sweet cedar syrup with maple, too. We will often use wildflowers from just outside our back door to garnish our desserts and cocktails. Foraging is important as it’s our connection to our landscape.


Of course. Lodge-made speaks to the elements of our dishes that are made right here at the lodge from scratch. From our house-made granola we serve at breakfast, to the condiments we create here in the Island Lake Lodge kitchen such as our own ketchup and mayonnaise. I believe in it, and I know it inspires our cooking team when they can have confidence in the fact that even the little details of our menu are created by hand.


The Bison Short Ribs! Due to the popularity of this dish with our guests, I’ve not been able to take them off the menu for years! The Market Salad is a popular one too. I like this dish for its simplicity, its flavour and its freshness. Also, the foraged fireweed that features as a key part of the salad; it’s delicious and our guests agree. I think it’s appealing that the salad is prepared from local ingredients.

Keith, on the right, with guest chefs Justin Leboe and JP Pedhirney

Justin and Keith harvesting Spruce tips

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Categories: Member organisations

February 26,2018

Island Lake Lodge - February 26, 2018 - 19:49

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Loads of fun at the Nordic Winterfest

Fernie Nordic Society - February 23, 2018 - 22:20

Last weekend was a great time for the Fernie Nordic Winterfest. It all started at the end of the regular ski lesson on Saturday morning.

Megan Lohmann said a few words in a short presentation about the 2018 Teck Kootenay Cup. This year the Cup was won by the young racers of our racing team with the help of many other club members and adults who have participated in the six races of the series: two races here in Fernie, two more in Kimberley, one at Nipika and the last one in Nelson. It is a great achievement as this is the third time in the last four seasons that Fernie takes the Cup home. Big smiles all around.

Next the young skiers participated in the annual Racing Rocks! event. The very young ones were busy with a scavenger hunt while the older kids skied the trails in a Barkley Marathon style event where each one had to bring a specific page from five books placed along the way. Lots of fun for all!

The Winterfest continued on Sunday February 18 at 11 a.m. with the 6th Annual Community Fun Race ski event. Twenty-four participants joined in several categories: a short distance for an easy-going ski and a longer one for the more competitive skiers. Some chose the skate style ski for speed while others went with the classic style. Coach Naomi did her run with the other skiers, then returned on the course pulling a chariot. The small passenger did not seem to mind the ride. And what about that best costume category?

A BIG Thank you! to Sam, the organizer of the Winterfest, and to the group of volunteers including Robert Holmes who made this weekend a success. Check out the event results are on this page

The next nordic event in Fernie is the SNOW TO ICE(cream) challenge during the Griz Days from March 1 to 4. Get set! Ready? All the details HERE

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February 22,2018

Island Lake Lodge - February 23, 2018 - 10:52

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Island Lake Lodge - February 21, 2018 - 09:21

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Harvey Hut “Cheers to Charity!”

Fernie Trails - February 17, 2018 - 19:05

The Harvey Hut rebuild project has been chosen to participate in Fernie Brewing’s “Cheers for Charity!” donation program. Harvey Hut burnt last September in BC’s worst fire season ever. Over $20,000 in supplies and thousands of volunteer hours were lost in the fire. From Friday February 16th until Saturday March 31st, all “Cheers to Charity!” […]

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