Teri Carnegie is a nurse by day and whoever she wants to be by night. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Teri Carnegie is a nurse by day and whoever she wants to be by night. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: The many faces of Carnegie

Teri Carnegie is a nurse by day and Queen of Hearts by night

When Teri Carnegie was a little girl she woke up in a hospital bed with a band aid on her neck. But she was not scared because her Cabbage Patch Kids woke up with the same band aid.

When it came time for a big scary needle to pierce into her veins, she was not afraid either. Her Cabbage Patch Kids were getting that exact same needle.

At the age of three to four Teri didn’t know many things. She didn’t really know what was wrong. All she knew was that her lymph nodes would cause her neck to swell out so she spent a fair bit of time getting needles and IVs for that.

The growth was removed, the bandages came off and everything came back normal. To this day she still is unsure what was wrong.

But there was one thing that young Teri did know for certain during those turbulent times, she knew she was safe. After all, if the Cabbage Patch Kids girls were fine, then Terri would be alright too.

That is also when she decided she wanted to be a nurse.

READ MORE: 20 per cent nursing shortage reported in Prince Rupert

“The nurses at the hospital made it really safe when I had surgery,” she said as she pointed to a fading scar tucked between her chin and her neck. “It just made it not as terrible of an experience as it could have been. And so I knew that when I grew older, I wanted to be a nurse and I wanted to do things like that for people.”

Little girls dreams do come true.

Carnegie graduated in 2002 at Coast Mountain College (then known as Northwest Community College) in Terrace. She completed the Licensed Practical Nurse program and the Registered Nurse program.

From there she worked as an adolescent health nurse.

Teri Carnegie makes all her costumes from scratch, which can sometimes take months given her busy schedule as a nurse. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

If Carnegie went back to work today, she would be working mainly with seniors.

“One of the nice things is allowing them to care for you. So a lot of times going and seeing a senior everyone does ‘for not with.’ So finding ways to do stuff with a person instead of just telling them this is the way it’s going to be,” she said.

The reason why Carnegie is no longer working as a typical nurse is because she is now caring for other nurses as an elected individual who represents the nurses from Haida Gwaii up to Atlin over to Houston and Granisle for the British Columbia Nurses’ Union.

“I make sure that nurses are being taken care of and that the collective agreement is being upheld,” she said.

Carnegie travels every two weeks each month, sometimes more, to ensure she is representing the interest of her fellow nurses.

“I love my job and I love to see people get better and to help them see that there are people that care about them and want to help make their lives better,” she said.

She has also been selected as one of 250 people who will attend the Governor General Leadership Conference, a selection of mid-career leaders from across the nation to go and learn about Canada and develop a plan for Canada’s future.

On her off time she loves to travel to Prince George for Northern FanCon where she competes in cosplay competitions.

Unlike her childhood dream of being a nurse, Carnegie had no idea she would be so into cosplay until she first began five years ago at the first convention.

PHOTOS: Wacky, weird and wonderful on display at annual Fan Expo

Teri Carnegie spent four months preparing her Queen of Hearts costume for her cosplay competition at Prince George’s FanCon. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

”It’s a really good outlet for creativity. It’s also a very supportive group of people. So, even if you completely fail at making your costume, people still tell you, you look great. Which is really nice because you don’t always see that in many things,” Carnegie said.

The rules of cosplay competitions are simple, build your own costume from scratch, document yourself doing it and get in character and have stage presence. The building part is not so easy.

Carnegie spent four months putting together her most recent costume, the Queen of Hearts, from Alice Through the Looking Glass with Johnny Depp.

“She has a really great skit in the movie where she yells at everyone that she comes out. You always want to find something that’s going to be fun,” she said.

Carnegie’s very first costume was inspired by her favourite Disney character Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

“I loved making that costume. That’s something I really enjoy doing. So doing a character you enjoy is a key part but also if you’re going to be competing finding a way that you can have fun doing the skit. So for Jupiter Jones from Jupiter Ascending, I did the wedding dress because it was stunning,” she said.

Teri Carnegie as Jupiter Jones from Jupiter Ascending. (photo courtesy of Teri Carnegie)

Cosplay has three levels of competition, Novice, Journeyman and Master. Carnegie has not competed in the highest level yet but has come in an impressive second place in the first two categories with her cosplay of Diva Plavalaguna, a blue alien from Fifth Element.

Teri Carnegie as Diva Plavalaguna, a blue alien from Fifth Element. (photo courtesy of Teri Carnegie)

This year at May’s FanCon she placed second in journeyman with the Queen of Hearts, and is hoping to compete next as Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok.

“It’s a great outlet and it’s a good way of putting everything in your life on hold. So the making dinner for my family or going for tea with my friends, those are all great things to do. This is something that’s completely for me,” she said.

With all the hardwork Carnegie puts into her daily job, she deserves to be treated as a queen, even if just for a day.

Teri Carnegie spent four months preparing her Queen of Hearts costume for her cosplay competition at Prince George’s FanCon. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

READ MORE HEART OF OUR CITY: The humble automotive mechanic next door


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Heart of our City

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CIHL games for the 2020-2021season like this one between the Rupert Rampage and the Terrace River Kings on Feb. 21, 2020, have been cancelled due to the global pandemic. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Rupert Rampage season cancelled amidst global pandemic

Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season - open to exhibition games if possible

Jennifer Rice is sworn into legislature as NDP BC Northcoast MLA via online ceremonies on Nov. 24 by Premier John Horgan and Kate Ryan-Lloyd clerk of the legislature. (Photo supplied)
Jennifer Rice sworn in as NDP North Coast MLA

BC legislature has highest women governed caucus in Canadian history

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is once again among the sector’s highest environmental performers in the Green Marine environmental certification program. (Photo courtesy PRPA)
Environmental excellence streak continues for Prince Rupert Port Authority

PRPA graded among the highest achievers in Green Marine program

Paving and sidewalk cost replacements being scheduled for 2021 are doubled that of 2019 but remain status quo for 2020 according to Prince Rupert chief financial officer, Corrine Bomben at a regular council meeting on Nov. 23. (Photo: K-J Millar/ The Northern View?
City begins to plan acquisition and construction for capital projects for 2021

Prince Rupert water, sewer, solid waste and paving are being scheduled for 2021

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Most Read