By Gina Forsyth
Patti Fouquette is known as both “The Happy Girl” and “Pollyanna” by all her colleagues at the Port Hardy Processing Plant (PHPP) on northern Vancouver Island. Her ongoing positive attitude has become the foundation of a satisfying life. “I’m nothing but happiness and bubbles, all the time,” she says. Patti’s salmon farming career began when she needed a break from her art (more about that shortly) and applied at the processing plant after hearing positive things about Marine Harvest. Patti was initially hired as part of the clean-up crew. Seven years later, Patti’s a grader. “I’m never leaving, I love my job,” she says, adding that “this is the most fun I’ve ever had at work”.
Although Patti was born in Brampton, Ontario, her family was a mobile one. She’s lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Metro Vancouver, where she graduated from high school. When she was a child, Patti spent time in New Brunswick during the summer, staying with her grandparents, whom she remained close to following the death of her mother. “I have lots of great memories of those summers with my cousin and New Brunswick Premier, David Alward,” says Patti.
Patti and her husband Rick have lived on the North Island for 26 years and make their home in Coal Harbour, 15 minutes south of Port Hardy.
The picturesque location of Coal Harbour gives them both the inspiration needed to create one of a kind pieces multi-media pieces focusing on the natural world. “It’s very much a team effort. Rick does the sculpture and firing in the kiln and I paint”. The couple works in clay, metal and wood. Their pieces have sold world-wide. “I have a piece of art on every continent except Antarctica,” said Patti.
Check out Patti and Rick’s art through their Facebook page – The Good Earth Studio. It’s all the proof you’ll need that an optimistic outlook creates beauty.