Bernadette’s Take #17

Swiss Miss traveling around the World

Corinne Risler, residing in Vancouver

CorinneRislerSnow, mountains and sun – that what makes Corinne happy – but she also wants to make less fortunate people happy. (Photo Corinne Risler)

The words „lazybone“ or „couch patato“ could never have been invented by Swiss people.

Look at Corinne Risler (42), a Swiss expat originally from Männedorf on Lake Zurich who came with her husband to Vancouver a year ago.

Her Dutch hubby works at the airport. Corinne however wanted some time out from her work as a hotel manager.

But is she lounging around? Passing her time with shopping and drinking coffee? Going to Vancouver`s zillion nail bars or acting like a diva on the reality TV show “Vancouver Housewives”?

No, no, no, would singer Amy Winehouse say. Corinne is a volunteer everywhere.

CorinneRisler4Corinne as an Eco Ranger at Stanley Park in Vancouver (on the right). She really looks the part, doesn`t she? (Photo Corinne Risler)

She is an Eco Ranger at Stanley Park in Vancouver – with its 1000 acres one of the largest urban parks in the world. She teaches people there about nature, animals, plants and not to throw away garbage (the Swiss really like it clean and tidy).

In the summer, she goes kayaking with disabled people and in the winter, she shows them how to ski.

Henri Dunant, the Swiss founder of the Red Cross, would be proud of her.

Corinne Risler1Corinne with a disabled child on the ski slope – they sure do have fun! (Photo Corinne Risler)

Maybe you have to live abroad (like Corinne has been doing for 20 years, in the U.S., the Caribbean, Ireland, Amsterdam and now Canada) to really bring out the Swiss in you!

And she does all the Canadian outdoorsy stuff like hiking, kayaking, skiing – wait a minute! – she does all the Swiss outdoorsy stuff like hiking, kayaking, skiing.

CorinneRisler6Swiss Volunteer Corinne with another disabled child kayaking near Vancouver. She made sure that her passenger has the right hat! (Photo Corinne Risler)

Vancouver, there is the Swiss for you! Embrace it like the Swiss embrace you. They love you, so love them back.


Read Corinne’s blog:

Corinne wrote to us:

“I enjoy reading your Swiss100Canada blog and Bernadette’s take on the Swiss living in Canada. Here are my answers for the Can-Swiss Quiz.”

Yes! The Can-Swiss Quiz with Corinne Risler

– What gift do you take home from Canada (or Switzerland)?

From Switzerland to Canada: Bratwurst, Bünderfleisch (air-dried meat that is produced in the canton of Graubünden), Gefüllte Schokoladenhüppen (cream-filled chocolate pastry)

From Canada to Switzerland: Smoked salmon, maple syrup, souvenirs such as jade animals from British Columbia or Christmas decorations

–   What product(s) do you miss most in Canada (or in Switzerland)?

In Canada: Swiss wine as it is rarely exported.

–   Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Swiss men or women?

Reliability, punctuality, love for the outdoors

–  Which are the 3 qualities you cherish most in Canadian men or women?

– love for the outdoors

– Canadians are very friendly and laid back in the Pacific Northwest

– Eh?

CorinneRisler5Corinne hiking in Western Canada’s wilderness – or could it be Switzerland? Looks kind of similar… (Photo Corinne Risler)

–   What triggered a culture shock for you in Switzerland or Canada (in one sentence, please)?

After having lived abroad in various countries and experiencing different cultures for the past 20 years, Vancouver felt like home immediately.

The only difference to Switzerland is that there is so much more space and wilderness in Canada.

–   Which Canadian or Swiss personality fascinates you?

Swiss: Didier Cuche, Beat Richner aka Beatocello

Canada: David Suzuki

P.S. If you would like to fill in a Can-Swiss Quiz yourself, you are very welcome! Please send it to

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