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Legend of the Griz

As the legend goes, a baby boy was born back in the year 1879 amid a cruel and bitter winter. It is said that the baby was born in a grizzly bear’s cave high in the mountains. Sometime later the resident bear awoke, mean and ravenously hungry. A terrible battle ensued between the two – one fighting for his life and the other for his dinner.

As the story continues, the town’s people went into the mountain that very next day to discover the source of all the noise from the previous night. They looked high and low on the mountain, then known as Snow Valley. Once one of the men thought he saw a little boy wearing a bear coat and hat nimbly leaping from rock to rock on the lofty peaks. His friends all laughed at him and jokingly accused him of seeing things, and the incident was soon forgotten.

In recognition and admiration of the man who became known as “GRIZ”, the town’s people held a festival all week. Sporting events, competitions, parades and gatherings marked the gala week. The citizen who best embodied the spirit of “Griz” through that week was made honorary Griz for the rest of the year. To this day this festival continues every March in tribute to our powder king. The best powder and packed snow conditions in the west also continue to blanket our mountains.

What is Griz Days and when does it take place?

A legendary mountain man raised by Grizzlies who bring the powder to Fernie. We celebrate him every winter to bring epic pow to Fernie!

The annual Griz Days Festival is traditionally Fernie’s biggest event, encompassing the entire community from Fernie Alpine Resort to the Provincial Park to the Highway and Historic Downtown Fernie.

Griz Days takes place the First Weekend of March.

Quick Fernie Facts

Fernie is a historic mountain town founded in 1898. Fernie is located in southeast British Columbia, Canada and is completely surrounded by the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

Fernie is named after William Fernie who, alongside Colonel James Baker, was the driving force behind the coal mines located here. Starting in 1887, for ten long years they struggled to raise the money necessary to build not only the mines but also the railway needed to transport the coal to the outside world.