The mine’s main man

An interview with Fording River’s general manager, Richard Tremblay

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Photo of a man with a dogsled team at the start of a race.

Richard Tremblay enjoys dogsledding and he participates in Elkford’s Wilderness Classic Sled Dog Derby. — photo courtesy Richard Tremblay

In a recent interview, Kootenay Business got personal with Richard Tremblay, who is the general manager of mine operations at Teck’s Fording River Operations in Elkford. We learned that he is a family man who grew up in eastern Canada, and that he enjoys dogsledding and spending time in the outdoors.

Where did you grow up? I actually grew up in (the) Kingston/Brockville area on the St. Lawrence (Ontario). My last few years of high school, my family actually moved to Ottawa, then I went to university back in Kingston and when I graduated out of Kingston, I went up north to Matagami, Quebec. 

What is your education? My background is I’m a chemical engineer. I went to Queen’s University.

Where do you live? I currently live in the Crowsnest Pass.

Do you have kids? I have three kids. Jessica (21); Hadyn (20); and Brenah (19).

Are you married? Yes.

What are your hobbies? Dogsledding. I have 38 dogs—Siberian huskies and an Australian shepherd.

How did you get into dogsledding? I always liked dogs and always had dogs. When I lived in Elkford, I would go down and see the Elkford race (Wilderness Classic Sled Dog Derby), and got invited out to try it once, and really liked it and started adding dogs. When you go dogsledding, the more dogs you have, the faster you can go and (the) further you can go so once you start with a few dogs, then you start adding more dogs. Ultimately, I had enough dogs so I bred a few litters and wound up keeping all the puppies I bred and very quickly added 18 dogs in a segment of two years.

What do you do in the summer? I have an acreage so lots of yard work. Fishing—I like to try my hand at fishing. I like a little bit of hiking. The dogs—I always describe it like having a farm. They are fun but they are also a fair amount of work.

What was the last book you read? The last book I read was The Passage by Justin Cronin. It’s apocalyptic. You wind up reading so much business material so my personal reading is usually very fictional in nature. So I just read that one. It’s a story about how there’s a virus that gets released unexpectedly and basically affects the whole population. It’s a story (about) how certain groups of people manage to survive and how the world reverts, given this virus has essentially destroyed humanity. 

Kirsten Armleder

Kirsten is a staff writer and photographer for Kootenay Business who enjoys learning more about the people who help this region thrive. View all of Kirsten Armleder’s articles

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