I’ve been acquainted with Pierre Dupont for a long while but it’s only recently that I’ve gleaned personal information on this capable, intelligent, kind and giving man. I noticed Pierre a few years ago in Freshies sitting with mutual friends. We weren’t introduced but later I was told Pierre had started Fernie Book Exchange, free books at Freshies and Tea House where people can take or leave a book. “I think I bought my house in summer of 2003 when we had all those forest fires, so this will be my seventh year here.
Before moving to Fernie I spent five years as chairman of the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society, during the design and development phase of the 50km Slocan Valley Rail Trail,” says Pierre.
In Fernie he sits on the board as treasurer for Fernie and District Arts Council and Fernie Writer’s Conference Society and is also Director of Fernie Media Society as well as working on the Arts Station concert committee. He began ferniepets.ca and fernietv.com that are benefitting our community greatly although few people realize this.
Originally from Ontario, Pierre came to Fernie for the outdoor recreational opportunities. With education in technology he became employed for the Nortel and Motorola companies designing radio, telephone and cellular software as well as creating power saving techonology. He created over a dozen innovations patented in the US, Europe, Japan and other countries by the companies he worked for. “You don’t own them I ask?” Pierre laughs and says “the company owns them, they pay you to invent them.”
Pierre doesn’t have cable service so in order to watch council meetings he put them on the web. “ fernietv was created to deliver community programming not shown over traditional broadcast and cable television media. The goals of the site are to provide local video programming to visitors and residents of Fernie, Elk Valley, keeping the community informed about local issues and events and to improve access to municipal government by making public meetings over the internet on demand from any location. It uses Adobe Flash media, a private flash media server supports streaming video longer than ten minutes duration; contributions from local video producers are welcomed,” Pierre says.
He started with his laptop, a process that took all day; he ran the server from his PC, then purchased a dedicated server with proper bandwidth. Today the site features Fernie and Sparwood city council, local events and the volunteer program that I do. Josh Marr, a local film maker and camera man for Shaw says “I get asked often where to find city council meetings, I direct people to fernietv.com. It’s a great way to tap into local government for anyone interested in knowing what’s going on. It’s good to have a website dedicated to pure community content; I encourage everyone to check it out.
When Pierre isn’t found filling in for Josh at council meetings or taping most local events he can be found managing Fernie Pets, the lost and found site for animals, “we hope to create a group of foster homes so that instead of dogs sitting in the pound we can put them in a home until the owner is found, we don’t want to leave them in a kennel for too long, they need to socialize, its really good that the city now has dedicated off leash parks, dogs do better when they are running free”.
If volunteers are the heart of the community then Pierre is certainly right in the middle because he’s surely putting lots of heart into what he does for our community.