Fort St. John

Northern landscapes provide inspiration for authors

Two local writers share the best of Fort St. John.


Although close to the mountains, Fort St. John lies in a region characterized by long, rolling landscapes that are a welcome sight to those visitors arriving from the prairies. A picturesque morning with a sunrise that is crimson and purple or an evening view of the northern lights sparkling in the sky will give the most experienced traveller something to speak about with friends and family back home.

It isn’t surprising that local authors Kelsey Kainer and Christy Jordan-Fenton take inspiration from the beautiful landscape around them to create their vivid stories and poetry. Jordan-Fenton’s cowboy poetry can be heard at local fairs and literary festivals, and her spoken-word performances are enjoyed by everyone who listens to her.

Enjoying the outdoors

“I love being outdoors,” said Kainer, who grew up in Fort St. John. “I enjoy running, hiking and dirt biking and always get ideas for my writing from my surroundings.”

Kainer has four children, who were a wonderful source of material to draw on; her book The Autumn Adventure is a children’s story.

“One of my favourite places to hang out is just north of town towards Cecil Lake,” said Kainer. “It’s just beautiful and there is a campsite down by Beatton River, if anyone is interested.”

Visitors to the area may not know to ask about the extensive trail system, which is extremely popular with the local hikers and dirt bikers. The tourist information office can provide maps and directions.

River rafting

“Visitors to our area cross over many beautiful rivers when driving through, but may not think anything of it,” said Jordan-Fenton, “but river boating is very popular here.” 

She recommends that anyone who is interested should visit the local tourism office to find the names of reliable guides. The guides make it possible for visitors to gain a whole new perspective on the area and to explore more of the local landscape as well as see the wildlife and wilderness from the river.

Farmers market

Each Saturday from May to Christmas, Margaret Fenton, the subject of Jordan-Fenton’s true stories Fatty Legs and Stranger at Home, has a booth at the local farmers market where she sells Jordan-Fenton’s books, her own traditional Inuit beadwork and homemade preserves. She will even autograph the books if asked.


Father’s Day weekend is the time to visit nearby Taylor for a big powwow, with vendors selling native arts and crafts, and native cuisine. There is even an elders care tent, where elders can enjoy each other’s company while sitting in the shade. Everyone is welcome and it’s all free.

Learn more at the powwow's official website.

No matter what the time of the year, inspiration and activities are only restricted by a person’s lack of imagination. However, it’s very difficult not to feel the urge to paint the local landscape, write a poem or pen a story when visiting Fort St. John.

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