A heavy equipment operator from Steinbach is getting ready to put his skills to the test, mining for gold in Yukon as part of the reality television series Gold Rush. 

Darcy Funk grew up in Richer and attended school in Ste. Anne. He says it felt like everyone had low expectations of him throughout his life, and now is his chance to “do something big.” 

The 29-year-old got an early start on big machinery, learning how to skillfully maneuver heavy equipment. 

Even though he hears that people are impressed with his skills, Funk says he was shocked to get a phone call from Tony Beets, professional miner and reality tv personality. 

“When he called me, I didn’t believe him,” Funk admits. “I still think this is all a big joke.” 

Being accepted to join the mining crew is a dream come true for him. 

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve had so many people my whole life tell me that I couldn’t do all kinds of things. So far, everything that I’ve put my mind to, I’ve been able to accomplish it.” 

With his sights set on mining for gold and working with Tony Beets, Funk says he is ready for the adventure and the challenge. 

“It’s very rough terrain out there,” he says. “It’s a little bit colder, the days are different. Everything out there is very, very different. That type of lifestyle, living out in the wilderness. Getting away from the whole city life too, is the main reason I wanted to go. I wanted to just get away, do something different.” 

This will not be Funk’s first time around a camera crew. When he was a student in the alternative education program in Ste. Anne, Funk and his fellow students got to work with Robb Nash and his team to write the song Trouble Child. 

“We did all the lyrics, we did the instruments, you name it. Went to the city and did all the dress-ups, that kind of stuff.” 

Funk says that was a really good experience and he looks forward to this new adventure on Gold Rush. 

He leaves for Yukon on Friday.