Tourism Fernie will be hosting their first Instameet on Aug. 1. The event is in conjunction with Destination B.C., who brought the idea to Fernie Tourism as a way to engage and encourage locals and visitors to explore the community.
An Instameet gathers people in an offline setting to travel to a location while taking photos and videos along the way with the aims to share their photos after the event online through the social media photo sharing application Instagram.
Tourism Fernie took it a step farther; the event will feature local photographer Kyle Hamilton who will be on hand to give some photography tips and tricks to participants.
“The awesome thing about Instagram these days are that it is so easy for people to get out and shoot with any sort of equipment. Kyle will be there as more of a guide. He has a lot of experience in his field, giving a few little pointers here and there for people to get the most out of their equipment,” said Vince Mo, Social Media Coordinator at Tourism Fernie.
While there was a shortlist of photographers, Tourism Fernie had a tough time selecting a photography guide.
“Fernie is pretty fortunate as we have a massive list of awesome artistic photographers in the area so it was a tough choice. Kyle Hamilton seemed like a good fit. Looking on his Instagram profile he has a huge following and he will be a good person for it,” said Mo.
Perhaps a tougher decision, was choosing a single location for a photo-trip out of the many iconic photos that Fernie offers.
“We had a bit of a brainstorm and we wanted to do something that really sold Fernie as a vacation destination. At the top of the list was Fairy Creek Falls. It’s something that is fairly accessible for people coming to the area, gets you outdoors with a cool waterfall at the end. It’s a great little hike,” he said.
The Fairy Creek hike is a four kilometre hike with an elevation difference of 150 metres. It is categorized as an easy hike compared to other Fernie hiking loops and trails with an estimated 45-minute one-way completion time without photo stops. That does not mean participants shouldn’t be prepared for the hike or weather, according to Mo.
“Fernie, you never know what the weather will be like. And while we appreciate that, it is important to bring rain weather gear. We will be hiking somewhere accessible but it is on a gradient, so walking shoes and trail shoes will be best, no high heels if possible and any sort of camera equipment you want to shoot with,” he said.
While this will be the first time Tourism Fernie has run the event, they expect to have more than 20 people in attendance from the Elk Valley and beyond as Aug. 1 is B.C. Day.
“We are hoping to aim for no more than 25 due to trail access. It would be best to register online. There will be a link to register on the Tourism Fernie website,” said Mo.
Participants will be meeting at the Fernie Visitors Centre at 12 p.m. After the hike, there will be a social at the Fernie Golf and Country Club. For more information, visit Tourismfernie.com.