Member Spotlight | Gabriel Cote-Valiquette


Meet Gabriel and the AmbassodorWild Team! Gabriel works for Tourism Fernie as the program manager for the AmbassadorWILD program. This program is a 3-year pilot project that started in the summer of 2022 and is hoping to be able to continue their work in the years to come. 

Q. Why did you join 2nd Edition Coworking?

I work for Tourism Fernie, which has its offices at the Visitor Information Center (VIC). The program I work for, called AmbassadorWILD, is a 3-year pilot project that started in the summer of 2022. Since there were no additional offices available at VIC at the time, Tourism Fernie got me a desk at the 2nd Edition Coworking.

Q. What do you work on at the coworking space?

While at the coworking space, I complete administrative tasks related to my role as the Program Manager for the AmbassadorWILD program. This includes chores related to daily operations, as well as the development of documents that support the program’s growth (i.e. reports, staff manuals, occupational health and safety, etc).

Q. What do you love most about working at 2nd Edition Coworking?

What I love most about working at 2nd Edition Coworking is having a clean and quiet space available 24/7 – having young kids at home, it is sometimes very challenging to work remotely. Furthermore, I love the opportunity to network and socialize with people from different industries.

Q. How long have you been doing this work?

This will be my second season with the AmbassadorWILD program – our season runs from mid-May to mid-November. I am hoping that we will be able to secure funding for the program beyond its 3rd year as a pilot project (which will be the summer of 2024), and that I will have the opportunity to continue being part of its evolution!

Q. What do you love most about the work you’re doing?

What I love most about the work that I am doing is that it feels good… in the sense that I feel like the program’s mission has value for our community. We are essentially a small team that looks after recreational assets that attract a lot of traffic but that are currently lacking infrastructure to support the increase in usage, such as Heiko’s Trail, Silver Springs, the River Access points, the Coal Creek Draining, etc. From my point of view, these places are a major part of what makes Fernie so awesome, so it is important that someone looks after them!

Q. Who inspires you?

I have recently felt very inspired by my employer, Jikke Gyorki, who is Tourism Fernie’s Executive Director. I feel like she is very good at what she does, is a great human/employer, and is working hard to address some of the issues that are inevitably related to the increase in recreational usage/tourism and committed to making this community an even better place to live.

Q. What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?

One industry-related thing I learned this past month, is that Hartley Lake road will get re-graded this September, which I think will greatly improve access to the area for recreational purposes. I feel like this is a really important development for the community, given the recreational value of Heiko’s Trail, Bisaro Cave, Olivia Creek, Mount Hosmer, etc.

Q. When not working how do you spend your time?

When not working, I spend most of my time with my family, which consists of my wife and two daughters, who are two-and-a-half and four-and-a-half years old. We do many activities together, such as biking, skiing, canoeing, hiking, etc. When I am lucky enough to get a bit of personal time, I go ski touring in the winter, and either biking or whitewater kayaking in the summer.

Q. How long have you lived in Fernie?

Our family moved here two years ago. My wife got her dream job as the Program Coordinator for the Mountain Adventure Skills Training (MAST) program at College of the Rockies (COTR), and Fernie seemed like a dream location for our family. This move has worked out really well for us! We are here to stay.

Q. What’s one thing you love about Fernie?

What I love about Fernie is the culture/community, as well as the access to recreation. As a parent, it is really important for me to be in close proximity to outdoor activities, so I can do these activities with my family, or play hard when I do get a few hours of personal time. Also, everyone seems to enjoy spending time outside (i.e. skiing and biking), which seems to lead to a very active/social lifestyle.

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