Businesses in Merritt and the Nicola Valley

Places To Eat In Merritt, B.C.

While It is one of the most highly rated Places To Eat In Merritt, B.C., Boston Pizza serves much more than a great pizza!

What’s for dinner?

Of course, we locals know all about Boston Pizza, but if you are a visitor looking for “Places To Eat In Merritt, B.C.”, try eating here. Their offerings include a variety of food to suit any taste. Their pastas are delicious and I have sampled many of them! My personal favorite, and go-to meal, is the seven cheese ravioli. Not only is it downright delicious, I always have enough left over to make up a good part of my lunch the next day!

Boston Pizza’s Sports Bar

Places to eat in Merritt BC

Boston Pizza Sports Bar

If you are new to Boston Pizza their lively sports bar will surprise you- in a good way. The décor just shouts “Fun!” and “Come in!” This sports bar can be included on a list of “places to eat in Merritt, B.C.” on its own merits. Even though we came for lunch in the main restaurant, I had to stick my nose into the sports bar to sneak a peek! Loved the glitz! And for the sports lovers there were lots of big screen TVs everywhere!

Not only can you get the latest drinks here, their list of appies is both varied and tasty. Snack on these with a group of friends and taste theirs too, of course, or put together a few favourites to create a unique meal all your own. Or order from the entire regular dinner menu. No one goes hungry at this sports bar- or thirsty either!

Lunching at Boston Pizza

From the moment my friend and I walked into Boston Pizza we enjoyed ourselves. Actually, we started enjoying ourselves before we entered because there is plenty of parking and all of it is close to the restaurant! No scrambling around in the rain or snow for us!

Christine Bardy greeted us with a smile. Christine started working at Boston Pizza as a server in 2012 and gradually worked her way up to the general manager position she has today. When I asked her what made her restaurant unique, she replied,

“The family environment, the length of service of the staff and the fact that we all feel like family. The staff here just enjoys helping people.”

She likes living in the Nicola Valley too. “I tried living in the big city but Merritt is home. This is where I feel safe”, she says. “Visitors should know that whenever you stop in Merritt, people rally round and help when help is needed- without bring asked.”

Merritt is that kind of place.

Christine showed us to a sunny window table. As we walked though the restaurant, I saw a couple of cozy nooks, great spots for diners wanting a bit of privacy.

The menu offered us pages of succulent goodies, There were appetizers galore and plenty of pastas to choose from as well as steaks, salads and seafood. Oh, yumm! How to choose?

My Meal

Places to eat in Merritt BC

The Most Valuable Burger!

Finally, I chose “The Most Valuable Burger” and it was a treat! I eat rarely eat burgers when I am looking for “Places to Eat In Merritt, B.C.”, but that day I wanted one badly! And was it good- tender, juicy and full of the extras that make a good burger special. It came with a gorgeous tossed salad and choice of dressing. The salad was bright, pretty to look at and very colourful. It looked like a regular size but surprise! When I disturbed it by stirring in the dressing, the salad nearly filled my plate!

My Friend’s Meal

Places to eat in Merritt BC

Mediterranean Vegetable Penne

My friend was equally pleased with her lunch. She chose the Mediterranean vegetable penne, a delicious looking, colourful pasta dish complimented with a slice of garlic toast. Her meal was, she pronounced, “very good and enough for two meals!” Boston Pizza scored another winner.

We Dare A Dessert

It’s hard to believe that we actually ordered dessert after those two meals! But I have to admit, we did. As a sop to moderation, we shared a piece of chocolate explosion cheesecake. It was both fresh and delicious and a taste explosion in our mouths.

Places to eat in Merritt BC

Chocolate Explosion Cheese Cake

Whether you want a good dessert and coffee in a pleasant environment, or a full meal, stop and taste test Boston Pizza’s offerings. They will hook you!

Those in a hurry will be happy to know that you can order for pick up or delivery. Not just pizza, but the whole menu! Call:https://bostonpizza.com/en/locations/merritt.html

 

Boston Pizza Merritt

3939 Crawford Ave. Merritt BC

250-378-4222

Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am – 12am

Unique Places to eat in Merritt, BC Canada

Mary’s Corner Cafe, Merritt BC, Canada

“There’s something special about good home cooking”.

When I am out of town I just love to find little “out of the way” gems such as cute little boutiques that scream unique and places to eat that offer a dining experience that I can take away with me. I am so proud to showcase one of these little gem’s in my very own hometown. Mary’s Corner Cafe.

Chick Chat in a Merritt BC Coffee Shop

Today I had the pleasure of having a “Chick-Chat” with Mary Holgate, owner and creator of Mary’s Corner Cafe in Merritt, BC Canada. It was an easy interview style conversation as I have known Mary Holgate personally for over 55 years. Mary and I started grade 1 together in the little school just outside of Merritt. I asked Mary about her love and food and cooking and this was her reply, ” My mom was a big influence but I did go to school and get my red seal. I love cooking comfort food there’s something special about good home cooking”.

Mary loves to share her home cooked recipes

Mary loves to share her home cooked recipes

Cafe in Merritt BC Canada does Catering

It was my mother’s 80th Birthday and Mary was happy and excited to cater to the event. When I say Mary Holgate does “CATERING” that means she actually “CATERS to YOU”! Mary does so much more than provide the food to large events. Mary will cater home cooked meals for your families CHRISTMAS DINNER, or any other special event happening. One or 1000 Mary is fully capable of pleasing everyone, including the budget.

Mary's Corner Cafe Merritt BC Canada

Being Creative with your food

Mary has always been creative, you can see by the special touch she adds to her meals. If she is catering to an event she makes custom styles and plate designs to fit the ocassion. Even her restaurant meals are each prepared in Mary Style, which means you get “alot” of food. https://www.facebook.com/maryscateringandpies/

Mary’s Corner Cafe in Merritt, BC Canada

“Burger and Fries with your Cheese Please”

While I was interviewing Mary Holgate I saw a meal being delivered to the table sitting next to us. The man had ordered a burger, and WOW, what a burger he got. My mouth was watering as it went by our table, and believe me, you could smell the onions and the bacon, it made me think I needed to order a hamburger and fries. At Mary’s Corner Cafe you can order EAT IN and enjoy the pretty DINER STYLE atmosphere, or you can TAKE OUT and enjoy your meal on the run.

Mary's Corner Cafe Merritt BC Canada

Mary’s Corner Cafe, Merritt BC Canada Hamburger and Fries

Oh la la Coffee Shop Style

It’s not just the great meals that have put Mary’s Corner Cafe on the map, the desserts are piled over the top with whipping cream and frosting, and the portion sizes, “oh la la”, that is all I can say. You can bring along a friend and share an afternoon brunch, or order one to take out for your family dessert at home, just make sure you ask for a spoon so you can “dip in” on the way home.

Mary's Corner Cafe Dessert

Mary’s Corner Cafe, Merritt BC Canada dessert

Every day from 11:00 am to 2:00 Pm Mary’s Corner Cafe will host a Buffet Lunch, you create and build your own sandwich, choose from a mouth watering “soup of the day”, and of course you will want to save room for the dessert selection which is offered in the buffet cost.

Mary’s Corner Cafe is famous for her catering of outside events. No event is too big or too small, Mary will feed a family of 1 or a wedding of 300. Every single customer is special and important, that is why they keep coming back for more.

Mary's Corner Cafe, Merritt BC Canada

Catering events of all sizes from Mary’s Corner Cafe Merritt BC Canada

We ended our interview with this quote from Mary which shows me that everyone who visits Mary’s Corner Cafe will go away with a full belly and a full heart…

“everything in the cafe is homemade with love”

Cafe in Merritt BC Canada

Places to Stay in Merritt BC

Ramada Hotel

Grown to Suit Traveler’s Needs

When asked what makes staying at the Ramada Inn in Merritt special among places to stay in Merritt BC, hotel owner Gurpreet Sekhorn speaks from the perspective of growth. The hotel has grown to include everything the traveler looks for in places to stay in Merritt BC. “The construction of this hotel was a long time in the making. It literally took ten to fifteen years to get it to where it’s at today. We’re the original family that built it. We started with thirty rooms and no hot tub, no breakfast.”

places to stay in Merritt BC Ramada water slide

East wing and water slide

places to stay in Merritt BC Breakfast room Ramada Merritt

Comfortable and sunny breakfast room

It’s Got It All!

The Ramada has certainly grown! Today there is a hot tub, indoor swimming pool, sauna, and a water-slide. In addition, guests will find spacious continental breakfast room, a meeting room, a mobile office, a fitness room, and a comfortable lounge area in the lobby.

Rooms have also been added. These include suites, kitchenettes, and honeymoon suites with private hot tubs. Gurpreet exclaims, “It’s got it all!”.

We enjoyed our kitchenette, which was ideal for keeping snacks and beverages on hand. It was also very handy for the doggy bag from dinner at Nicola Sushi, which is just a short walk from the hotel.

 

Views–Inside and Out

While enjoying the swimming in the spacious pool area, one can enjoy the view outside and in. The mountain tops are visible through the large windows. The murals the decorate the walls and ceiling are a recurring theme throughout the hotel. They add a personal touch that is a pleasure to view. The fully equipped fitness room also affords a view of the mountains in the distance beyond the activity of the city.

Murals complete the atmosphere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our room was a few steps away from a viewing area that tantalizes the outdoor adventurer! The mountain vista promises all kinds of activity! Merritt’s many trails, lakes, rivers and variation in topography make for easy access to all your adventures. From rolling grasslands to rocky knolls among pine forest, the fishing, mountain biking, bird watching, kayaking, hiking, paddle-boarding, and much more are great fun! Looking for gear rentals? The local bike shop, Breathe Bikes has mountain bikes, stand up paddle-boards, kayaks, snow shoes and x-country skis.

places to stay in Merritt BC Ramada patio view

Patio View

places to stay in Merritt BC

Spacious rooms

All of these additions are the measured result of the family’s long history in the business. Observing the existing places to stay in Merritt, BC, the tourism and types of people stopping in Merritt, these hoteliers added to the property to accommodate the needs of their guests.

What do Guests Look For in Merritt?

When asked what information guests most often request, Gurpreet says that his guests are often stopping over in Merritt, and are in need of the local businesses. He and his staff are able to provide options for places to eat and stocking up on supplies. Merritt has everything for the weary traveler. Other than those types of essentials, Gurpreet notes that the outdoors are a big attraction. Of course, I couldn’t agree more! He comments that this is what brings people to Merritt to stay for extended periods.

Appeal of Places to Stay in Merritt BC

Gurpreet was born and raised in Merritt. He loves the small town appeal that Merritt provides for himself and his family. He has lived in California, but found himself drawn back to his hometown. Considering all that a place like California has to offer, Gurpreet’s example shows Merritt’s character as the hidden gem that most of its residents believe it to be.

Incredible Staff

Aside from the bricks and mortar amenities that the Ramada has to offer, Gurpreet praises his staff for making the Ramada what it is. He says the staff are incredible and have taken the success of their hotel to heart.

Places to stay in Merritt BC

Merritt Canada accommodations

If you would like a quiet, squeaky-clean, remodelled suite with full kitchen facilities at a reasonable price, then you are looking for “Merritt Canada accommodations” at the Knights Inn!

At The Knights InnMerritt Canada Accommodations

Last week a friend visited from out of town and I had no room at my place to put her up. I hunted for Merritt Canada accommodations and we decided to stay at the Knights Inn. Not only was it a good deal, it was fun visit too! The kitchen had a full-size stove, fridge and sink, plenty of space and was stocked with dishes and cutlery as well as pots and pans. The cupboards contained ample crockery, salt and pepper and, steak lovers take note, even a container of steak spice!

A Fun Evening

We sat at the table in our suite, drank tea, ate cookies and played a game involving cards and little sticks that I have never seen before. We had a lot of fun and plenty of laughs. I lost the game due to the distraction of my friend’s chocolate chip cookies! At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it1

Comfy Beds

We slept well that night, in fact, we both slept in! My friend, who claims she is very fussy about her bed and doesn’t sleep well in strange places, overslept by an hour. My bed was just as comfortable because I didn’t even hear the alarm!

A suite deal

“Merritt Canada accommodations” are easy to find in our small city but where does a family find something affordable? At the Knights Inn, that’s where! Not only will you save money on the accommodations, you can also save money by cooking your own meals in the well-equipped kitchen! This is a big plus for families! Now, take the bundle that you saved and spend it on lots of fun things. We have lots of things to do in Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Check out my blogs on the Aquatic Centre, walks in Merritt and parks in Merritt, ADD LINKS to name a few. You will enjoy these and so will your kids!

 Knights Inn- accommodations for both the traveller and the visitor

If you are a weary traveller just passing through and need a room for the night, stop here! Have a hot shower and get a good night’s sleep in a comfy bed. The next morning, hustle the few blocks to town for a hearty breakfast then be on your way again, refreshed and happy.

A Longer Stay

Are you visiting Merritt for several days? The Knights Inn will suit your needs too. Take a suite with a well- equipped, spotless kitchen if you enjoy cooking your own meals, or even just some of them. Or perhaps you want to surprise a friend with a special dinner. Maybe you prefer a room without a kitchen because you want a vacation from cooking! Whatever you want, it’s waiting for you at the Knights Inn!

Big changes at the Knights InnMerritt Canada AccommodationsMerritt Canada Accommodations

Owner Max Jiao, manager Kevin Ellefson and all his staff worked hard to make the Knights Inn, as Kevin puts it ” your home away from home”. Everything is very clean but in addition, Kevin tells me, “The employees take pride in their work”. It shows in the cleanliness of the accommodations they provide and in the improved reputation and attention the Knights Inn is receiving! This is all part of what makes the Knights Inn unique.

Remodelling the Knights Inn

A big part of these changes started with the remodelling. Some suites and rooms were rebuilt and redecorated while others were totally gutted and redone! It all looks very fresh and new. In addition to all this, there is a large green space in front of the suites for patrons to enjoy in good weather. Good job! When you are looking for “Merritt Canada accommodations” check out the Knights Inn!

Merritt Canada Accommodations at the Knights Inn

Every Knight Just Right.

2702 Nicola Avenue, P.O.Box1100

Merritt, B.C., V1K 1B8

Coquihalla Hwy Exit 286

 

Knightsinn2702@gmail.com

 

www.knightsinnmerritt.ca

 

ph: 250-378-9244

 

 

 

 

The following are winter rates:

Queen- one bed- one person- $65.00

One bedroom- two beds- two people- $80.00

Two bedrooms- two beds- two people- $95.00

 

In Conclusion

If you or anyone you know is looking for “Merritt Canada accommodations”, you can certainly find what you need in Merritt at the Knights Inn. Give it a try!

 

Your senior blogger,

Diane

Chinese Food in Merritt BC 

Chinese food Merritt BC

Located in the Heart of Historic downtown Merritt

Chinese Food in Merritt BC Canada, CANADA CAFE

Serving Merritt for over 50 years!

Canada Cafe is famous for it’s delicious Chinese Food in Merritt BC. Because of that, it is not the least bit suprising, after 50 years in the restaurant business in Merritt, they have earned their reputation by serving up some of the best to found in the Nicola Valley! I love Chinese food.  I love Chinese food dining and love chatting with Dennis when I dine in or on occasion ordering take out at Canada Cafe. “Hot and Fresh” Guaranteed!

  Chinese Food Merritt BC Canada Cafe Dining roomCanada Cafe Chinese Food in Merritt BC

  Restaurant dining room Canada CafeDining area in the Canada Cafe

 

Meet Dennis and his family at Canada Cafe in Merritt BC

Canada Cafe is a family run restaurant located in the heart of downtown Merritt. Dennis and his family took over September 15 2015 and Dennis can count the days! He tells me how much his family LOVES Merritt and the Nicola Valley! They Love Canada Cafe!   Dennis would be by any chef’s standards an expert in the kitchen! He has over 20 years experience cooking in a Chinese food restaurant in Chilliwack. It is a journey, a family life sharing their passion for cooking and serving the public! Merritt is lucky to have them!

Dennis was excited to share all of the attention to detail that makes Canada Cafe top of the list for choosing  Chinese food in Merritt BC. He sat with me and shared with pride how his restaurants food is “hot and Fresh”. I have to agree with that! He showed me around the restaurant and I could not help but notice and admire the pride he showed me.  So, when your hungry for Chinese Food in Merritt BC, stop in. You will not be disappointed.

Eat In. Take out. Catering. book a group. Cater an Event Canada Cafe has you covered!

Going into the Canada Cafe to dine is just great, in addition you have options to order out for free delivery, plan a group party and have a custom buffet, Cater out to any special event or meeting for groups of 10 or more. Dennis will promise you a great deal and Chinese food in Merritt that will be cooked up “Fresh and Hot”

Chinese Food Canada Cafe Merritt BC Menu

More than just Chinese Food

Canada Cafe not only serves up some of the best Chinese food in the Valley, you can also dine on the classic western food like chicken strips, grilled cheese or deluxe burgers and fries! Canada Cafe is also fully licenced.

"<yoastmark

Locals  Love the fresh food and Service

On my last visit, I talked to Kay who was waiting for her take out order. She has lived in Merritt for six years and has been going to the Canada Cafe in Merritt for six years!  Kay said she doesn’t have a favourite choice because, “It’s all good”!  She has tried other restaurants but says she “always comes back”!  Her favorites to order here is the Hot and Sour Soup, along with Chow MeinSweet and Sour Pork and the Prawns. 

Canada CAfe boasts being awarded with Merritt Heralds People Choice Award 2018 for BEST CHINESE FOOD. you can see the award proudly displayed in the front window as you walk by.

Best Chinese food Merritt BC award

NO MSG

There is no MSG at all, whatsoever, used in any of the food at Canada Cafe. That is good news for people that mat have allergies to it.

Contact Canada Cafe is as simple as checking out their Facebook Page or calling 250-378-5551. They are open seven days a week and are easy to get to located at 2055 Quilchena Avenue, Merritt BC. (across the street from Fields)

After all this talking about their food, I’m hungry! I think this time, I will try the Hot and Sour Soup!

Chinese food in Merritt BC

Canada Cafe Chinese and Western Cuisine In Merritt BC

 

 

 

 

 

 

​Country Christmas Week Here in Merritt, BC!

Country Christmas delivers fun and community spirit…

​With a Festival of Trees, a Community Choir event, the Love to Dance Performance, our fabulous Christmas Parade, and shopping til midnight!

“We keep having to paint more little festive canvases as people buy them right off the tree!​”

Country Christmas

Tiny Painted Canvas Decorations

Our Country Christmas week is spectacular! It takes place during the last week of November and is one of the best things to do in Merritt.

My own experience started a few days before the week of celebration with the arrival of our tree at the Courthouse Gallery. For several years the Festival of Trees has involved an inspired number of businesses and non-profit groups. The groups each decorate a tree in their own fashion, from classic to creative, 

This means we have trees decorated with hockey pucks, ballet slippers, and peacock feathers-and everything in between. One year I decorated our Pop Up Shop tree with little dolls and teddy bears (all with sparkle halos on their heads) and rainbow feather boa garlands.

Festival of Trees

Country Christmas

Festival of Trees Past at CMHF

For the first years of Country Christmas, all the trees were set up on the main street of town, in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s a beautiful building with hard wood floors, high ceilings, and western-style chandeliers. The venue attracted locals and visitors from neighboring towns to see our Festival of Trees.

This year for the Festival of Trees event, all the decorated trees are spread out around the town, and people head out to do the tree tour. We adorned our tree at the Courthouse Gallery with tiny canvases, painted by local artists and interested Creatives. We keep having to paint more little canvases as people are buying them right off the tree! And all the money supports the Gallery.

Love to Dance Performance

Country Christmas

Love to Dance “Museum of Art”

This year, for the Country Christmas festivities, the Love to Dance Academy​ presented “Museum of Art”. Dance teachers Lizette Nel and Vanessa van Rensburg choreographed the dances which involved dancers of all ages, from adorable tots to graceful seniors. 

Herman Nel looked after the creation of the sets designed by Vanessa and Lizette, as well as the lights and music. Over a hundred colourful and gorgeous costumes and dresses were designed and sewn by talented members of the Merritt Dance Society. And there were plenty of volunteers, parents and dance lovers, who helped pull off the beautiful event. 

The two-hour long performance was presented at both an afternoon matinee, with classes of children arriving on school buses, and a stellar evening performance. 

Michelle Etchart, local songstress, performed two moving pieces while dancing continued around her. 

Country Christmas

Michelle Etchart

The night performance was captured on video, with CD’s available. I attended the matinee, and will be sure to acquire the evening performance CD. Worth watching again! And kudos to all those involved, with special recognition to the dancers showing such professionalism in putting on the two events in the same day!

Thanks to the Love to Dance Academy!

Christmas Concert!

Talk about things to do in Merritt! The night after the dance performances, several choirs and singing groups, duos, and soloists, provided a soul-satisfying musical evening to a large crowd at the Merritt Civic Center. (That’s the farthest away from the doors I have ever had to park in my many years of Merritt living!) 

Country Christmas

Merritt Community Band

The Merritt Community Band was there, the Community Choir, and more…

Also, Cecilia Dyck and Caitlyn Stephanie Walsh played piano duets, the four Snees entertained, and Michelle Etchart again performed with her spot on renditions.

And not only did the groups and soloists perform their own pieces, but the collaborations amongst them, and even the audience, brought the community together in inspired evening of music.

Well done! Bravo!

Then the Santa Parade…

I have heard that our Santa Parade is the largest in the world! The country? Our province? Well, I’ll wait to be informed properly but I do think the Nicola Valley Santa Parade is one of the best things to do in Merritt!

​The Merritt Country Christmas Santa Parade’s success shows what stuff our community is made of. We are tough, determined, hard working, creative, and ready to have fun…and all in support of our businesses and organizations.

And this year’s parade tested all of those qualities because it started to rain as the parade entries were lining up, started to pour as it got going, and the rain didn’t quit until near the end, when big fat snowflakes started to fall. People knew they’d get soaked, but they didn’t stay home. The floors of the shops, open for business until midnight after the parade, had puddles from the rain soaked customers….

Check out the photos of the rainy event on Merritt Herald‘s online coverage.

Open Mic Night, one more thing to do in Merritt during our Country Christmas week!

Country Christmas

Donna Dixon, a regular at Open Mic night

On the Friday night of the Santa Parade, I jut got wet running out to my car, and then dashing in to Kekuli Cafe. We put on a special Open Mic night that night! And we watched the rain come down, then the snow, and then mopped up the puddles that our audience left on the cafe floor when they poured in after the parade and settled in to the cozy venue.

 Mugs of hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were in high demand! And we invited our musicians to warm up the crowd. Al and Denise, Robert Bertrand, Willard Wallace, Quade Lindgren, Jim West…

And regulars like Doug and Donna Dixon were there to enjoy the live music.

It was a special Country Christmas 2018

Pouring rain during our Santa Parade only adds to the memories!

I hope there are always Country Christmas planners and volunteers. This week is a highlight in our community. It gets all of us who participate in any way, from young to old, in the mood for the holiday season, whatever our beliefs. We come together, show off our talents, have fun, support each other and are inspired to be thankful for each other. 

So kudos to the people in our community who plan Country Christmas, who put on the events, and who participate in them to make them all worthwhile. 

Let’s recognize each other for the contributions to community that Country Christmas brings!

Country Christmas

Painted Canvases on our Gallery tree

Now, does anyone want to come to the Courthouse Gallery to paint a little canvas for our tree? I found some empty spaces again! All welcome!

And you can wave to the LTD dancers while you are there. We share the Courthouse space.

Life as I know it, Jano Howarth

Creative Community

Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

 

 

 

Country Christmas

Phyllis Laage’s Tree Decoration

Things To Do In Merritt, B.C. 

Spring, summer, fall or winter you will find many things to do in Merritt, B.C.

Seek out new stores

New and different “Things to do in Merritt, B.C.” just has to include new and different places to go. There are some new businesses in town and it took me less than 10 minutes to find two of them.

Both “The Bee’s Knees” and “Petals and Plants” are new shops on Quilchena Avenue in the downtown core and several more will be up and running by the time you read this blog. Seek them out and enjoy something different!

The Bee’s Knees

Owner Amanda loves her job! She started out with the idea of selling clothes from home but that idea sure mushroomed! So she  began “The Bee’s Knees” in March 2018 but outgrew that tiny space almost immediately!  Next, Amanda moved to her present location in the 1900 block of Quilchena Avenue in July, taking all her great ideas (and clothes) with her!

This lady knows how to dress her clients! Amanda will offer you ideas and combinations you probably would never have thought of yourself. She is one creative business  owner and if you are an old doll like me, her advice will help you update your wardrobe, or at least bring it into the 21st century!And, bless her, the woman carries plus sizes too! Don’t be embarrassed. Ask Amanda! Shop here at The Bee’s Knees where you won’t be all alone!

Check out “The Bee’s Knees” for great event clothes, vintage looks and up-to-the-minute designs too!

Amanda will even do your nails to match your outfit! At the Bee’s Knees you will certainly leave happy, even if you just go to look! Check out Bees Knees Boutique on facebook.

Petals & Plants

The next new place I came across when I was hunting for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” was Petals & Plants. I heard more than one person say “Finally, a flower shop in Merritt!”

Yes, it is a flower shop- and more! Vicki, the owner, started her shop because, as she puts it, “I’m not great at retiring. I missed the people.” She won’t miss them here! The place has been full of customers and visitors every time I’ve stopped by! In addition to flowers, of course, Vicky carries lots of constantly changing items that make great gifts, so the place is likely to be full of people as well as petals & plants no matter when you go. So check it out!

Enjoy a mini spa day

For a list of “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” why not include a mini spa day! Start by going to the Aquatic Centre for a workout, followed by a swim, sauna and whirlpool. Then, take a hot shower, scrub with an exfoliant, pat down with a soft towel and use plenty of body cream. There. Now you are all soft and energized! Feels good, doesn’t it?

Afterwards? Keep your prearranged appointment at one of Merritt’s several hair salons for a wash, trim and blow dry. Then have a complete mani-pedi since many salons do both. And while you are there, try some new makeup too!

Now, you feel as fantastic as you look, so treat yourself to a nice lunch! Also, why not enjoy the rest of the day shopping?

 Return home happy, relaxed and revitalized, a new you!

Things to do in merritt, B.C.

Seniors aquafit

Take a Walk

Among the best and easiest “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” is to take a walk! Enjoy some of our gorgeous scenery and beautiful parks! Check out the possibilities in my blogs Walking Around Merritt” and “Parks in Merritt”and have some fun in any season. Incidentally, if you have kids with you, winter is a great time to walk in the park! Make snow angels, snow forts, snow people or snow pets! In addition to this, you can pack a snow picnic and add thermoses of hot soup and hot cocoa! Yum! You will have just as much fun as the kids!

Things to do in Merritt, B.C. -Parks

Ready for a picnic after a walk in one of Merritt’s parks

Check Out the Library

These days the library goes way beyond a simple place to read and borrow books. There are many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” right in our library! Yes, we all know about borrowing cd’s, dvd’s, and audio books. In addition to these standbys, there are also many children’s reading programs, crafting classes, story times, adult literacy programs and art classes. Besides all this, there are computer classes (and computers to use), knitting, crocheting, gardening, painting, food preserving and various discussion groups that meet at the library. Surprised?

Add to this list some very interesting lectures and guest authors who do readings. Or, if you want a quiet, peaceful day, pick out a book, sit on the comfy sofa by the fireplace and just read!

With all this available, I’m sure you will find many “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” that will entertain you at any time of the year!

Have a Pub Lunch

Well, we all like to eat, don’t we? So of course I include food in my “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”  blog. Not the regular restaurants this time, though. The pubs!

A few years ago a friend dragged me, kicking and screaming I’ll admit, to a local pub for lunch. What a revelation! I actually had fun and a good lunch- at a reasonable price! Also, the lunch crowd was lively and fun. I could hardly believe it! I enjoyed myself!

Most pubs in Merritt have daily lunch and dinner specials. Try one! You will be surprised at how good pub food can be! And no, you don’t have to order alcohol with your meal if you would rather have coffee! However, a burger and a beer can go down nicely when you are in the mood.

Bonus- no one will give you a “look” if you laugh a little loudly with your friends!

 Look at the seniors programs

If you are a senior, or know one, check out the goings-on at the Seniors Centre. This group certainly adds a lot to the “things to do in Merritt, B.C.” list. Try some of the following programs:

  • Vinyasa Yoga @ the Civic Centre
  • Seniors Free Swim @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stretch & Stability @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Noon Hour Aqua Fit @ the Aquatic Centre
  • Stand Tall, Don’t Fall @ the Seniors Centre
  • Cribbage
  • Bingo 
    Things to do in Merritt, B.C.

    swinging seniors

  • Duplicate Bridge
  • Carpet Bowling .
  • Court Whist
  • Physically Challenged Floor Curling
  • Floor Curling
  • Floor & Table Shuffleboard
  • Drop-in Lunch
  • Drop-in Activities, Fridays
  • Rummoli & Games
  • Drop-in Activities, Saturdays
  • General Meeting
  • Potluck

Wow! And some people think seniors aren’t active!  Compared to what? Test out some things from this list and see if you can keep up!

Go bowling

How long has it been since you got a group of friends together and went bowling? Have most of us bowled regularly (we’re talking 5 pins here) since we were kids? Or maybe not bowled regularly since we were kids! If you’re looking for “things to do in Merritt, B.C.”, bowling is a fun one with the bonus of being genuine exercise! Check out Merritt Bowling Centre.  Enjoy noise, laughter, exercise and yes, food! Bring back some of the good times of yesteryear. Repeat often.

What Else Can You Come Up With?

 While there must be dozens more ideas that I haven’t even touched on, these are a few to get you started. What new ideas can you and your friends come up with?

Your senior blogger signing off for now.

Diane

 

WILD! Flies, Skins, and Skulls…

Creative Exhibition at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, Merritt Canada

Fishermen, Hunters, Photographers, Collectors, Artists…

Things to do in Merritt

Taxidermy, fly ties, carvings

Things to do in Merritt…A nature exhibition Nicola Valley style: taxidermy, fly ties, rods, skulls, pelts, eagle photography, moose airbrush painting. Collections of stuffed birds, birds’ nests,  shells…lots to see!

Who’s showing their nature art and collections at the Gallery?

  • Peter McVey, fly tier and fisherman extraordinaire.
  • Willie Kiegerl, providing us with a variety of animal skulls to identify. And other wildlife.
  • Dawn Shackelly’s eagle photography, and owls, big horn sheep, baby ducks…
  • Jessie Rabbit with her bull calf and fireweed, her beautiful airbrush painting.
  • Cindy Trent with collections: skulls, BC shells, sea stars, and bird’s nests
  • Rory Hepner has provided beaver and coyote pelts, and animal skulls
  • Artist Renee Hartwigs’ tri coloured owl and Joel Reid’s “find the bird” painting
  • Mischelle and Bill Pierce have contributed both creatures and colourful fly ties
  • Fran McMurchy created three small watercolour creeks for three fly ties in oak frames. Unique!

And Murphy Shewchuck, who put down his fly rod years ago. And picked up his camera… 

A nature exhibition Nicola Valley style…

Things to do in Merritt

Nature collections and Renee Hartwig’s Owl Art

Our Nicola Valley, surrounding the town of Merritt Canada, is filled with hunters and fishermen and women. Lots of families in the area raise their children with skills to provide for their families from the land around. From berries to deer to lake trout. Children and adults alike celebrate bringing down their first deer, or catching their first salmon.

We are set in a grassland valley, filled with creeks and lakes, surrounded by rolling hills and mountain ranges. There are a lot of choices, many paths to take, and backroads to follow- to hunt, fish, gather. Lots of nature.

Our exhibition reflects this focus on nature in the area!

I have long been fascinated with the art of fly fishing and fly tying. As a child, my family just fished with rods that fit in our Rambler. We fished enough, and I enjoyed it enough, to make sure my own kids had rods and gear enough to catch Lake Trout at Monck Park, which we ate for supper on the camp fire.

But we had friends who were hooked on fly fishing, and I watched movies with fly fishing action (looks close to meditation). And I could see the charm of those long, supple rods flashing the line out over water. And the flies…

We have one of the most well-known fly tiers in our area displaying his flies, ties, and accoutrement. Peter McVey not only told stories at our WILD! Reception, but left his book so we could read more about his adventures…

We have vintage suitcases displaying flies that others have created. Works of art!

What if you wanted to get started on fly tying?

From Gear Junkie

Catching your first fish on the fly will embed new levels of appreciation for all things fly fishing.

Things to do in Merritt

Fly Tie Watercolour art by Fran McMurchy

Most fly anglers hit a point in their fishing career when they think about tying their own flies…. There’s an entirely new level of satisfaction from catching a fish on a fly you tied yourself.

The path to tying amazing flies isn’t the easiest. And the reward is 10-fold compared to that of storebought flies.

Fly tying is an angling tool that can empower you to catch more fish. Tying flies enables an angler to not only replicate their favorite bug at the fly shop but also create their own custom patterns no one else has. The only limits you face at a tying vise are imagination and creativity.

Anglers construct flies to replicate the exact bugs found in streams.

Tying also offers the avenue to get in touch with the most artistic side of fly fishing. Fully dressed Atlantic salmon flies and modern articulated streamers can be just as artistic as painting, with the hook acting as your canvas.

Yes! That’s what I thought when, as art gallery director in our small community, we were brainstorming Art Exhibitions.

This area is filled with fishable lakes and streams. One of our oldest slogans is “A lake a day, as long as you stay!”

The Nicola Valley is a perfect place for a Fly Tie show!

Things to do in Merritt

Ruffed Grouse, birds’ nests

And, my buddy said…taxidermy too! Well, sure!

Most of us have seen taxidermied creatures, in museums, at our uncle’s house… Taxidermy is an art in itself.

What does taxidermy mean? From answers.com

Taxi is Latin for move. Dermis is Latin for Skin. Taxidermist is a mover of skin. Taxidermy is what he does. A taxis is a division of classification especially when concerning animals. Dermous means skin, Dermy is an activity concerned with skin. So — Many types of animal skin activity.

In the Nicola Valley, we have several taxidermists. They do work for locals and also do spectacular mounts for clients outside our area. I’ve seen photos…

At the Gallery we have stuffed birds: ptarmigan, ruffed grouse, blue grouse (the smart ones), a beautiful owl… And a mounted fish.

We also have amazing carvings of birds and fish that look like the real thing…

And if you want a taste of the big critters, we have photographs of mountain sheep, bald eagles, an air brush painting of a moose calf. And real antlers of moose and deer, a buffalo hoof, a coyote and beaver pelt, two bear skulls…

Lots of skulls! Of all kinds! Coyote, beaver, raccoon, fish… Hummingbird skeleton! You can barely see it!

So here we are, in the middle of an exhibition showcasing the work of many people local to our area. Collectors, painters, fly tiers, taxidermists.

Things to Do in Merritt… Come and Visit & Get Involved!

From Oct 11-Nov 3, 2018, at the Courthouse Arts Gallery.

Things to do in Merritt

WILD! Poster by Kim Leclair

Got skulls? We are looking for donated animal skulls, bones, antlers, for a painting workshop!

This should be fun…. Want to join us?

Register for Saturday, Oct 27/18. 1-3pm at the Courthouse Arts Gallery in Merritt. $20. $10 if you bring your own skull…

Go to Nicola Valley Arts Council Facebook Page for more info!

And if you miss it, we’d love to collect skulls and antlers for more artwork, for another time. Call 250-378-6515 to donate.

Also fly tie expert and fisherman extraordinaire, Peter McVey, is telling stories, Friday Nov 3/18, 4-6pm at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, 1840 Nicola Avenue, Merritt, BC

Visit Nicola Valley Arts Council‘s site for more about the arts in the Nicola Valley.

Read my blog about Open Mic Nights in Merritt, held every Friday night at Kekuli cafe 7-9pm. Come on out!

Jano Howarth, promoting creativity in our community

Diane Lavoie

Drawing, water- colour painting, furniture repurposing and writing are my current interests, as is D&D Emporium, my whimsical, tiny store.These activities blend well with my hunt for new things to do and see in Merritt and areas close to home.
Diane Lavoie

Latest posts by Diane Lavoie (see all)

Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert

Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden and UniTea Cafe, Ashcroft, BC

“… a Mexican Fiesta of luscious fresh produce!”

There are many kinds of food adventures, and yesterday I had a particularly delightful one, involving not only ogling, handling and buying fresh, ripe, locally-grown fruits and vegetables, but also eating some with a dear, old friend! I fetched her for a journey from Merritt to Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden in Ashcroft. It was a grand day for a drive, not too hot, and the smoke had receded, revealing blue sky. Who knew we would find Mexican Food in our Canadian desert?
Just over an hour’s drive northwest of Merritt, through gorgeous sagebrush hills, Ashcroft is a delightful village whose Gold Rush historic downtown is couched between the railway tracks and the emerald Thompson River.  The town of Ashcroft straddles the Thompson, and Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden can be found on the west side of the bridge.

An Oasis in the Desert!

Driving through some of the Ranch’s gorgeous green fields, my first thought was, “Zowie! An oasis in the desert!”
Mexican Food in the Canadian Desert
Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden is aptly named because Ashcroft is found in a unique desert setting. According to Wikipedia, is “the driest place in Canada, south of the high arctic”!  According to Desert Hills Ranch’s website, “early in the 20th century, settlers of Ashcroft found that its rich volcanic soil produced some of the best produce in the world. They found that, as long as you added water to the fertile soil, it would grow nearly anything.”

Ashcroft BC

Painting of Ashcroft by E.J.Hughes, 1965

BC & Canada’s Hot Spot

Often the official hot spot for both BC and all of Canada, Ashcroft’s plentiful heat, soil and water helped its settlers become major producers of potatoes and tomatoes in the early 20th Century. Now potatoes and tomatoes represent only a small fraction of the huge variety of vegetables and fruits now grown at Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden. Family owned and operated since 1983, it draws folk from all over.

A Mexican Fiesta of Luscious Fresh Produce!

Mexican Food

Pick a peck of perfect peppers

Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden is a feast for the senses. Outside, huge hanging floral baskets scent the air, while pots and pots and pots of kale, in their purples, greens and blues, line the outside of the packing shed. Walking toward the Market, we find boxes of fruit stacked high and ready for transport, their contents colourful and inviting. My friend grabs a grocery cart to assist her walking, I opt for a red wagon, and we head indoors to shop.

Mexican Food in the Canadian Desert

A harvest of many colours

Inside, a Mexican Fiesta of luscious fresh produce! Scores of large cardboard bins contain gorgeous fresh-picked fruits and vegetables in a multitude of colours: dark green cucumbers, jalapeños, watermelon, beans, broccoli and zucchini; purple peppers, plums, onions, cabbage and eggplant; orange peppers, nectarines & peaches; yellow peppers & melons; light green pears, cabbage and honeydew melons; white potatoes, onions, and garlic; red sweet & hot peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
I can tell that the peaches and nectarines have been ripened on the tree by the telltale branch mark near the stem.  The watermelons ring with that perfect hollow sound when knocked.

Seedless sweet watermelon

Mexican music streams from the speakers in deference to the many Mexican workers who work here, imported each spring & summer to assist with the planting, tending, picking, hauling & packing. It was fun to be able to practice my meagre Spanish on a few of the staff. They were so ready and available to help!

Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert!

Imported as well, are many Mexican grocery items. Facing one wall, with strains of Mexican music playing in the background, I felt as if I had been transported to my favourite grocery store in Puerto Escondido! Here I was, finding Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert: canned salsas & peppers, hot sauces, drinks, and spices galore, including my favourite, Chili con Limon!
I find all I need to make a fresh Pico de Gallo – roma tomatoes, jalapenos, gigantic 2 pound sweet onions and cilantro. Finally, our carts bursting with fabulous, inexpensive produce, we head to the busy checkout. I can only begin to imagine how many mouths this farm feeds, with markets in both Ashcroft and Cache Creek. They are currently open seven days a week, from 9 am to 5 pm.
Getting peckish, we inquire about lunch. We had heard that Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden also served terrific tacos, and we were eager to enjoy their authenticity.  Turns out tacos are available only on weekends. Next time, we will be sure to visit on a Saturday or Sunday.  There is a shady picnic area on the hillside, where you can enjoy your tacos, or a picnic of your own making, or a Foothills Creamery ice cream cone from the Market.
All watered up for Mexican food, and simply not able to let it go, I search online, and find that the UniTea Cafe in Ashcroft serves some Mex! We head downtown, doing a wee circle tour to enjoy the historical sights and lovely mosaics that abound.

More Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert

Nadine busy in the kitchen at the UniTea Cafe

UniTea Cafe

The UniTea Cafe is a groovy little tea room, serving comfort foods, a wide variety of drinks, coffee and, of course, perfectly brewed full-leaf teas. Also, quesadillas and, lucky for us, on that day, the special was burritos! Stuffed with many good things and cheesy-messy as they should be, and including a side of tomatoes and cucumbers from Desert Hills Ranch Market Garden. Both were delicious!
Oh, and the UniTea Cafe is licensed, so I enjoyed a cold Corona with lime and, my companion, a chilled Chardonnay. All this, accompanied by a lovely collection of Spanish
tunes, and we were, again, transported, enjoying Mexican Food in our Canadian Desert!
The UniTea Cafe often hosts musicians, so check out their Facebook Page for upcoming concerts.
(For other coffee house music opportunities in the area check out Coffee House Music in Merritt, Canada.)
Satiated and happy, my dear friend and I continued our circle tour, back through Spences Bridge, along the Nicola River, through the beautiful Nicola Valley and home.
What a treat to discover the tastes, sounds, smells and colours of Mexico, so close to home!
JGS
August 23, 2018
Facebook:

A Nicola Valley Perspective on Youth Entrepreneurship

When we are young, we feel we can conquer the world.

Not that long ago I was part of this vigorous demographic. Time flies eh! When we are young, we feel we can conquer the world but it’s not until we struggle accomplishing our own goals that we realize growing up may not be as easy as we thought. Let’s invest in our Youth (Youth Entrepreneurship). Give our Youth the opportunity to remember us because of the positive impact we had in their lives.

Entrepreneurship

From left to right: Carlos Olguin, Nathan Olguin, Alexander Olguin and Daniel Olguin

One morning I asked my 11 year old son what entrepreneurship meant to him?

We have different opinions for everything. Many times it depends where you are coming from and how life has treated you.  Entrepreneurship is no different; it might mean something different for each one of us. As an example, one morning I asked my 11 year old son what entrepreneurship meant to him? His answer was, “I know what the word means, but I keep forgetting. Entrepreneurship I think means like I heard it in the TV show Shark Tank. It was like learning to start a business and making your business. Kind of what you do at Community Futures helping people grow businesses”.

If you had $50.00 dollars to start a business what kind of business would you start?

I was not expecting this answer so I had to ask a second question to my son. So Nathan, if you had $50.00 dollars to start a business, what kind of business would you start? This was his answer. “With $50.00 dollars I could start a lemonade stand and I could start selling lemonade. I would probably locate my lemonade stand in a populated area on a really hot day when people are rushing with their kids willing to pay 25 or 50 cents for an ice cold lemonade”. If we think a little bit about his answer, he not only thought about his target market, he also thought about the ideal location with the right foot traffic under the right weather condition to succeed in his business. Way to go Nathan!

What kind of programs and services are we offering to our Youth in our Community?

What are we doing to provide our Youth with the tools and resources they need to develop their entrepreneurial skills?

According to tradingeconomics.com “Youth Unemployment Rate in Canada remained unchanged at 11.10 percent in May from 11.10 percent in April of 2018. Youth Unemployment Rate in Canada averaged 14.04 percent from 1976 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 20.70 percent in October of 1982 and a record low of 10.30 percent in September of 2017”.

The option to invest in our Youth is no longer a choice but an essential need.

Given the high rates of Youth Unemployment in Canada, the option to invest in our Youth is no longer a choice but an essential need.  They are our future business owners that will represent the back bone of our local economy.

As mentioned by Will George, manager of Economic Development and Tourism for the City of Merritt “As a community we need to be open and eager to help assist Youth discover what entrepreneurship is all about. Starting a business is not just for adults but for anyone who has passion of starting their own business. Commencing at a young age helps Youth think about other opportunities besides just working at their typical jobs. Starting a business is not for everyone, but everyone should have an opportunity and resources available to them to make up their own mind on the matter.”

Entrepreneurship

Mark Nendick (PFN Coaching), Sarah Forsberg (Capital Cake Company), Travis Fehr (Breathe Bikes), Ashley Dearden (Sinfully Sugar’d), Preston Customs (Darren Preston).

Job creation is the opportunity to create local jobs for local people.

Part of my job at Community Futures is to help entrepreneurs start their own small businesses. Throughout the last eight years, I have helped numerous people start their own business. It is gratifying to see my clients succeed while running their own businesses, but I have also seen them struggling or breaking even especially for the first few months in business.

Job creation is an important component within our community. It’s the opportunity to create local jobs for local people. There are some awesome programs that help create summer student positions such as the Summer Student Program. This program provides wage subsidies to employers to create employment for secondary and post-secondary students. I am all in favor of job creation, but I think we also need to incubate our local entrepreneurial talent.

Entrepreneurship

Merritt Youth Entrepreneurship Program 2018. From left to right: Manuel Olguin, Bryan Chavez, Sajjin Lali, Amrit Samra, Kara Wright, Julia Smith & Jacob Schultz.

Five young minds embracing lawn care, photography, web designing, and retail.

With this in mind, Community Futures Nicola Valley in partnership with the City of Merritt and the School District 58 this year launched the Merritt Youth Entrepreneurship Program.

This Youth Entrepreneurship initiative was offered to all Nicola Valley students in grades 8-12 who were looking for some extra cash this summer. This program not only provides up to $200.00 start-up funding but also provides business resources to support our students in their entrepreneurial path.

 These five young minds will have the opportunity to run their summer business for the months of July and August. Four different industry sectors will be represented by these five entrepreneurs: lawn care, photography, web designing, and retail. These students will also have the opportunity to showcase their businesses at the next Provincial Community Futures Conference on September 13-15, 2018 here in Merritt, B.C.

Entrepreneurship

Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement has several programs such as Dream Big.

Junior Achievement has been working actively in our Community for the past years. They have several programs that include: A Business of Our Own, More Than Money, Dollars with Sense, Be Entrepreneurial, and Dream Big amongst other programs.

In 2016 I started working closely with Kara Wright the Program Coordinator for Junior Achievement office in Kamloops. We successfully delivered the “Be Entrepreneurial Program” to grade 9-12 students at Merritt Secondary School. While working on the Merritt Youth Entrepreneurship Program, Kara and I successfully delivered the business model canvas. This business model canvas was delivered to five successful students enrolled in the program. For those of you who may not know, a “business model canvas” is a business model all on one page.

4-H Club in Canada.

A few years back, I remember reading about the 4-H Club in Canada. It’s great to know that this club is finally back in Merritt. In the near future, I will be blogging about the 4-H Club in the Nicola Valley. Stay tuned!

The lack of initiatives to support the Youth in my home-town discouraged me from starting my own business.

For those who do not know me, I grew up in a small town close to Mexico City. Thinking back in time, I wish I had such programs as all those mentioned in this blog. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset, but lack of initiatives to support Youth in my home-town discouraged me from starting my own business. I am glad my children are raised in Canada where I can let them explore their entrepreneurial skills by shoveling snow or cutting the grass in my neighborhood without being concerned about their own safety.

We just might figure out a way to make the world a better place.

Entrepreneurship may be kids selling candies or home-made popcorn to their classmates at school, or having a lemonade stand on a sunny day. It’s Youth with the courage, creativity and drive to face the potential setbacks along the way of their entrepreneurial path.

By supporting and recognizing what our local Youth Entrepreneurs are bringing to the table, we just might figure out a way to make the world a better place.

Supporting our Youth! What a great legacy to leave behind us.

MOR