Events

Arts in Merritt on the Move

New Location for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The Arts Will Grow

After 15 years at the Old Courthouse Gallery on Nicola Ave (Hwy8), the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and the Old Court House Gallery have the arts on the move in Merritt, BC.  In 2005 the Old Courthouse was purchased by a local doctor  with the idea of  turning it into a cultural space,  which would provide a home to the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council, a music society and a dance studio.  However the Council has decided it is time to move on.

Old Courthouse Gallery

Old Courthouse Gallery – Bev Veale Painting

The Old Court House Gallery

The Old Court House was a major step forward for the Arts Council because for many years they had no permanent home.  At this time,  their major project was the Performing Arts Series which brought many great musical concerts to town. The visual arts were handled by the Nicola Valley Visual Artists where Community art displays were generally relegated to their annual Art Show which was held at the Merritt Civic Centre. It was therefore, not necessary to have a permanent home Fortunately the Courthouse allowed the Community Arts Council to have a bigger presence in the community.  For example, the current Arts Gallery Director, Jano Howarth gives a summary of the many activities carried out at this venue.

Arts in Merritt BC on the Move

The Courthouse building was sold and so that made the future use of the building uncertain. Consequently the Arts Council determined that the time was right to investigate a new location. Ultimately they were looking for a space that had high visibility, in the downtown core and large enough to provide gallery space, program space and an artisan shop.  As a result their search led them to the Jackson Building (for the old timers, the Post building for us newbies) at the corner of Voght and Nicola. 

Arts in Merritt BC

Arts on the Move – New Home of Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The New Home Fits the Bill for Arts in Merritt

Location was one of the primary considerations in the move.  As such this makes  the building on the corner of the main

entrance to downtown at the corner of Voght and Nicola, the perfect location.

Gallery Space, Program Space and an Artisan Shop

The New Gallery

The new gallery is bright and airy and therefore is a great space for showing  off the Artists’ work.

The New Gallery for arts in merritt bc

The new Gallery

 

Program Space

Space for programs was important as this is an area that the Council wants to expand on.  Currently the picture shows the size of the room that will be used for programs but does not reflect the current condition of the space as this was taken before the move was complete.  However,  you can see that there is ample space.

New Activity Room

New Activity Room

Artisan Shop

The Artisan Shop has benefited from the new location.  While in the Old Courthouse it was tucked away in a back room and was out of site, in the new space it is front and centre and therefore, has more space to display the contributions of over 20 Nicola Valley artisans and crafters.

Artisan Shop for arts in merritt bc

Artisan Shop

Therefore the new location looks like it will be a great success for the community at large and in particular our local network of artists.

Arts on the Move – The First Show

Consequently, the opening show in the new space features Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows Glass Arts.

Meet Jean Kiegerl

Jean Kiegerl

Because of  her leadership and with a strong group of volunteers the Arts Council has flourished. Currently, her legacy is  being carried on by the new Arts Council president, Mischelle Pierce.

 Jean is also a family friend, as  my wife and her spend many hours together painting and collaborating.  As a result, I like her work so much I have one of her originals hanging in my hall.

Quiilchena Falls-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Quilchena Falls – Jean Kiegerl Painting

 

Jean has produced work in water colours, acrylics and now oils which she prefers.

“I love the vibrant colours you can get with oil paints”—Jean Kiegerl

Clearly this can be seen in her painting of the red sports car that is on the poster for the show.

Red Car

Red Car-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Twin Willows Glass Arts

Glen and Susan Parkinson are the creative minds behind Twin Willows Glass Arts. They have been producing great work out of their studio for more than eight years.  Incidentally they work in a variety of styles which includes, leaded stained glass, fractured glass on glass mosaics and fused glass.

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Arts on the Move in Merritt, BC will be a Success!

Lastly, with this new location, a heightened enthusiasm by the volunteers and with a high visibility location the future looks bright.

Old Courthouse Gallery Contact Info

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

2051 Voght St, Merritt, BC

New Hours Wednesday to Saturday

12 noon to 6 pm

Sunday 12-4pm

(beginning Oct 21st)

nicolavaleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Phone 250-315-3437

Or text 250-315-3437

 

Arts in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Art Gallery is Born

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley

Mountain Biking Trails and more in Merritt British Columbia Canada

It is easy to get outdoors and go mountain biking in the Nicola Valley

 

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking – Along with getting some quality time outdoors, mountain biking in the Nicola Valley provides the best type of mountain biking. No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest. The Merritt Mountain Biking Association gets all the credit in the Nicola Valley for our trails and for creating such extreme rides.  The Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings,  the remote wilderness  lakes  and the many forested rolling hills. It is here in British Columbia Canada where mountain biking is free, wind in your hair, exploring. It is a secret mountain biking adventure destination. 

merritt mountain biking

After the final climb on Swakum Mountain. Photo Jordan Pinto.

Obviously the Nicola Valley Offers Some of the “Best” Terrain in BC for Avid Mountain Bikers 

While being centrally located, Merritt mountain biking offers a wide range of biking trails for newbies and extreme mountain bikers alike. In addition, Merritt tends to experience mild winters with little snowfall and warm, dry, sunny summers making Merritt a year round mountain biking destination most years.  The best thing about Merritt British Columbia is it is a great base camp for mountain biking nearby areas like the trails in  Kamloops, Kelowna, and the Fraser Valley. A fact that adds to the shine that Merritt is a great destination for multiple mountain biking adventures within BC. But it all starts here. Experience the Nicola Valley on a mountain bike!

Town of Merritt, BC, Canada

Town of Merritt, BC, Canada

Hoodoos Merritt BC Moonshadows Rv Park Coldwater River

Hoodoos Merritt BC Moonshadows Rv Park Coldwater River.

 

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking

Merritt Mountain Biking Accusation. Photo courtesy of Jordan Pinto.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking

Photo by Jordan Pinto President of MMBA.

Become One With Nature

Isn’t it amazing how the power of nature and spending time outdoors can change your mood and your mental health. The nature, the smells and the wildlife have such a huge impact on how you perceive the world and how you feel on any given day. In the midst of this trying and difficult time, everyone needs to feel less stress. It might be time to just enjoy some nature by participating in some Merritt mountain biking.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking in Merritt BC

Photo by Jordan Pinto

Nicola Valley Mountain Biker

Photo by Experience Nicola Valley.


There are something like 220 kilometres of mountain biking trails in the Nicola Valley with 3 main trail riding destinations – Swakum Mountain , Coutlee Plateau and Iron Mountain.
Coutlee Plateau primary trail type is cross-country. Iron Mountain is an all-out mountain & downhill trail network. Check out Trailforks and Experience Merritt for more information about the Nicola Valley. It is not all extreme.

Many are trails which challenge the most experience rider. But not all. There are some great family riding trails in the region. Some are trails which can last for hours and connect to some of our beautiful scenery. Your family will not be disappointed.  

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Mountain Biking trails – Merritt BC. Photo Trailforks Jordan Pinto

Extrememountainbikingnicolavalley

Mountain trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

 

What Now?

After your great day of mountain biking and exploring our backcountry why not visit one of our outdoor patios for a cool beverage of your choosing. For a small town we have a good selection of restaurants and pubs. Now…  we all know one day will not be enough to explore hundreds of kilometres of trails and over 200+ lakes, so lucky you we have a good selection of hotels and motels. Of course if you prefer to stay exploring the outdoors then check out a park like Monck Park  just 22 km north of Merritt, and then 12 km off Hwy 5A via narrow paved road. The park rests on the shores of one of our lakes. It just happens to be called Nicola Lake.  Moreover there are many lakes to choose from if in need of a cool off.

 

Merrittbc

Lundbom Lake. Photo courtesy of ehCanadaTravel.com.

Mountainbiking

Claybanks Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

outdoorswimming.

Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicolavalley

Monck Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

jordan pinto

Jordan Pinto – Merritt Mountain Biking Association

The MMBA (Merritt Mountain Biking Association) came into existence in the spring of 2000.

Jordan Pinto, the President, shared with us that their intentions are to make the riding in the Nicola Valley a great experience. Therefore, one of their primary goals is to advocate for long term trail access by working with Government.

Consequently, the MMBA was one of the first groups in the province to have an agreement with the crown to manage the trails we ride. The MMBA has signed a new agreement with the Province in 2012. Contact Jordan Pinto, the President of the Merritt Mountain Biking Association in Merritt BC Canada, for more information. 

Including the breathtaking and amazing scenery, Merritt has much more to offer. 

Of course during your down time you could take some enjoyment in checking out our downtown shopping. Notably Merritt’s downtown core offers a wide variety of hidden gems.  Truly take the time and stroll downtown Merritt BC.

 

Coldwater Hotel

Thanks to the Coldwater hotel.

 

Nicolavalleytrails

Walking the Trail. Photo by Tom Reynolds.

The best time to visit Merritt BC, Canada is in the summer, fall, winter and the spring. With it’s dry climate through-out the year make it an ideal “Destination Place” year-round . Unknown tourist from the coast.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro mountain biker, Merritt BC provides trails for every-one, every-category and skill level. We have the services to make your stay rock.  Numerous Hotels, Motels, B&Bs as well as campground and RV parks.  The Nicola Valley has it all. Importantly you can leave the hustle and stress behind of the big city and enjoy our small town hospitality. That is truly enjoyable.  Come and join us and explore!

Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley, BC. 

 

Nicola Valley BC Canada

 

Nicola Valley Mountain Biking Adventures

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Racing in the Nicola Valley with Merritt Printing

Merritt Printing plays many roles in the Nicola Valley supporting businesses and events

2020 has been hard on many business, and that is why more than ever it is important for all of us to support local small businesses

 

Racing in the Nicola Valley and Merritt Printing have both brought people together in Merritt BC and beyond for many years, not only to watch racing but in support of racing. Locals, out-of-towners and racers bring their family members and best buddies, some join the racers in the pits, most take a seat in the stands. All are reading and buying items printed by Merritt Printing. 

2020 has brought about many changes to the world, and it hasn’t spared anyone or anything.  Racing has been delayed or cancelled, fans are left out, all are waiting and hoping. The effects reach even further, it affects services and businesses all over town.

Racing in the Nicola Valley

Grass growing on track surface at Merritt Speedway 2020

Merritt Printing and Racing in Nicola Valley

You would not believe what just one business, like Merritt Printing, provides for Merritt Speedway.  Merritt Printing is located at 1951 Garcia St and is actually three businesses in one.

1951C Garcia St. – The Engraving and Sign Shop 

Merritt Printing

Some of the items Merritt Printing provides Merritt Speedway

The Merritt Printing engraving and sign shop designs, creates and manufactures items for many Nicola Valley businesses and events including awards, signs, custom decals, custom t shirts and cups, plus many other items. Then there are the  USB’s, key chains, shopping bags, buttons, the list goes on. As well, there is something we utilize a lot of at the track is 50/50 tickets.

Marketing Racing in the Nicola Valley

Services provided by the print shop to Merritt Speedway are sponsor signs, decals, magnets, bumper stickers, year end awards and championship jackets.  Plus all those signs that tell you what to and not to do, you know the ones.  A big seller at Merritt Speedway.

1951B Garcia St. – The Office Supply Store.

All your office needs are available here includes pens, pencils, art supplies, invoice books, paper, printer inks and toners. If it’s not in store, its only usually a day away, that’s pretty good for our little town.

Oh, and office furniture too, such as desks, chairs, filing cabinets, lamps, and more. 

1951A Garcia St. -The Print Shop

Merritt Printing in Nicola Valley

Printing jobs for Merritt Speedway

The services provided at the print shop are vast. The talented staff at the shop, can perform many jobs for your business and/or events.  Bring the item with you or email it in, it can be done. 

For simpler jobs like scanning and emailing projects, the staff is always available to assist and get it done. Bigger jobs like business cards, brochures, menus, custom invoice books, lock out tags and much, much more are designed and printed in house.

Laminating is another service provided by the print shop, whether it’s a pocket card or a two foot wide by six foot item, it is all possible at Merritt Printing. If in doubt, just ask!

Racing in the Nicola Valley Printing

The amount of paper printed for the track is surprising. Print jobs include membership & car registration forms, membership cards, schedule cards, rule books, and full colour race day programs.

Support Your Small Businesses in Merritt BC

Sadly, that is just one business of many that the Merritt Speedway utilizes and one that is not getting orders from the track this season. 2020 has been hard on many business, and that is why more than ever it is important for all of us to support local small businesses.

We want to keep these services in town, not lose them to out of town sources. Come and visit Merritt Printing, you will be surprised at the many services they are supplying Merritt businesses. Drop in to the sign shop and say hi to your local Experience Nicola Valley Blogger, moi. 

Shop Local Merritt, you’ll be glad you did.

Check out Merritt Printing

1951 Garcia St. Merritt B.C.  V1K 1B8  250-378-6808

website:   www.merrittprinting.ca     

email:  merrittprinting@telus.net   

www.facebook.com/MerrittPrinting/ 

 

Empty stands at Merritt Speedway

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Remembering Merritt BC Summer Music Events 

Nicola Valley Summer Time Fun Will Be Back

COVID19 may have postponed our Merritt BC summer music events but it will never take away our memories. 

 

The COVID 19 pandemic has cancelled our Merritt BC summer music events. And, boy, do we have some music classics here in the Nicola Valley like Bass Coast, Rockin’ River Music Festival, Open Mic Night and Gary Copper at the Adelphi Hotel to mention a few. However, it would not feel right to write a blog about remembering summer music events without mentioning Spirit Square, music in the park, and the Old Time Fiddlers playing at our local street market. As a result, no country music event blog would be complete without mentioning our very own cowboy crooner Bobbie Garcia,  who may just pop up at any of our music events at anytime.

merritt bc summer events

Bobbie Garcia – Photo courtesy of Bobbie Garcia

Take the time to check out “Cooper Country” post COVID 19 

Merritt BC’s oldest heritage Hotel, the Adelphi Hotel, is home to one of Canada’s and Merritt’s country icons, Gary Cooper. The group plays weekly to a growing collection of avid fans while welcoming their friends from all over the world to get up on stage and jam along with them. Therefore, it will especially be nice to witness some good ole’ country music again sometime in the future.  

merritt bc summer music events

Gary Copper – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

To say nothing of Gary Cooper’s amazing talent to make that guitar dance with such mind blowing movements. Albeit I may be a little biased, but I can honestly say Gary Cooper is one of the best performers I have ever witnessed.” Tania Stewart

 

merrittcoopercountry

Cooper Country invites all friends to join on stage – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

“Cooper Country” Gary Cooper with his 2 son’s Cory & Jason, along with friends at the Adelphi Bar in Merritt BC

 

nicolavalleycoopercountry

Millie playing with her favourite band! – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

When we get pass this pandemic, be sure to attend “Open Mic” at Kekuli Café and support local artists

Whether you live in Merritt or stopping for gas at the Seven-Eleven across the street from the Kekuli Café, there is nothing that connects more with locals than locals sharing their love for music. We hope, soon, weekends at the Kekuli Cafe will open up again and fill the air with music.  Furthermore, the many Open Mic Music fans like Doug, Donna and Mary Dickie (who is in her 90s) cannot wait to pick this up again.  

Open Mic Nights

Open Mic Nights Audience – Photo courtesy of Jano Howarth

“As with all events like Open Mic Nights, our audience is what makes it ongoing.” Jano Howarth

WATCH VIDEO

Remember when we could take a stroll in the evening in Downtown Merritt BC 

Merritt’s Spirit Square was built for sound. Located in the heart of Downtown Merritt in the Nicola Valley, it is the sight of many open-air performances during the summer months. Because of the abundance of talent in the Nicola Valley there is never a lack of talent to grace the stage. The Nicola Valley is blessed to have so many talented musicians. 

MerrittNicolavalley

Coquihalla Coyotes  – Photo courtesy of Coquihalla Coyotes

One such local band which has played venues throughout the Nicola Valley are the Coquihalla Coyotes. The boys are a 3 piece rock and blues band for hire living in Merritt BC
Band Members: John-Henry Ramsey- Lead guitar/ Vocals, Paul Thompson- Bass guitar/ Vocals, Mark Schuitema- Drums/ Backup vocals

merrittspiritsquare

The J.S Garcia Band. – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

 

spiritsquaremerritt

Summer music in Spirit Square – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Nicolavalleymusic

Merritt’s own Old Time Fiddlers – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

“Bass Coast” 

They sure made an impression. How it has grown. Then Covid 19 hit and it too paid a big price with cancellation. What was going to be July 10 – 13th, 2020 is now ?? ??.   Bass Coast is a collective that showcases both local and international talent in a safe, supportive space. It is a place where artists are encouraged to display and share their hard work without fear of judgment. 

Merrittbcsummermusic

Andrea Graham with Liz Thompson Bass Coast co-founders – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

“Bass Coast is built on the dreams and visions of a huge collection of people that will lead us to things Andrea and I would never have imagined. It’s not just us anymore, it’s everyone.” Liz Thompson

 

Merritt BC Summer Electronic Music

Bass Coast 2019 – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Post COVID 19 , this is one festival I cannot wait to attend again

Co-founders Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson are the architects of the event. The Librarian, Andrea, is a celebrated Canadian DJ, producer, and curator. She is the co-founder and music director of Bass Coast Music Festival. The festival is known internationally for its innovative music programming and installation art.  Andrea’s reputation as an inclusive community-builder in the electronic world has brought her a legion of fans and industry followers across the globe.

“I feel like in our community we have people who listen to different music, dress differently and are into different things, but that duality is also what creates a bond—our differences unite us.” Liz Thomson

Bass Coast 2019  - Merritt BC Summer Music

Country Music will be back in full force post COVID – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Remembering Merritt BC Summer Country Music Events

Due to your love of Country, the Rockin River Fest was scheduled again for Jul 30 – Aug 2 this year of 2020. The headliner this year was Keith Urban. However, things have changed since COVID 19 arrived in full force. Now there is a pent up energy for country music again and so we believe next year it is going to be epic. The Rockin’ River Music Fest is a B.C. family-owned and operated country music festival that takes place annually, on the BC Day long weekend, in Merritt, BC. See you in 2021!

Merritt BC Summer Country Music

Enjoying Rockin at the River – Photo courtesy of ehCanadaTravel.com

Kenny Hess 

Kenny Hess is the architect behind the Rockin River Music Festival.  From the age of 4, he knew he was going to be a country music singer. Therefore, by the time Kenny was a teenager he had already set in motion his musical journey that he is still on today. Lastly, Kenny Hess has now been a part of the music industry since the 80’s.  He has come a long way since standing on the kitchen table singing at the top of his lungs hoping someone would listen.

WATCH VIDEO

 

With this in mind be sure to check out this amazing fun event in 2021.

 

Merritt BC Summer Music

Rockin River Music Festival – Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

In a word

Obviously Merritt in the Summer offers an abundance of music events year after year, except for this year.  Regardless which event you choose to partake in the future the value is always there. Count yourself lucky! In conclusion, it is obvious that summer music events in Merritt BC are bountiful and will be back again. 

Merritt Summer Music Events

Follow Experience Nicola Valley for the latest in event listings coming back online. 

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada


Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

British Columbia, Canada – Merritt Speedway

The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley

Merritt Stock Car Association located in the Nicola Valley

 

Just 8 km west of Merritt, BC, Canada on Hwy #8 you will find “The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley”, also referred to as the Merritt Speedway.  The 3/8 mile dirt track was established in 1991.  There was a lot of hard work, long hours and support of many businesses and individuals to make this happen.  As a result the track was ready for Stock Car Racers to try some dirt track fun on May 24, 1992.

Zero 4 Barry Bussiere Street Stock

Drivers can be as young as 14 years old

Merritt Speedway is operated by the Merritt Stock Car Association in the Nicola Valley.  It  is a family oriented Dirt track.  Drivers can be as young as 14 years old and, well, our oldest driver currently is 78.  He drives a Late Model Stock Car.  Hence, proving that you are never too old to play in the dirt.  We encourage members as well as the public to bring their whole family to the track. Members include racers from all over B.C.  Some come occasionally from Alberta and of course hometown favorites enjoy playing in the dirt at Merritt Speedway.

Merritt Speedway - #88  Amanda Dandy  4 cyl bomber

#88 Amanda Dandy – 4 cyl Bomber, she now drives #95 in 4 cyl her husband Sean Dandy #77 races in the Late Model Class

5 classes of Dirt Track Races

There are 5 classes of Dirt Track races to see, that is plenty of great family entertainment at affordable prices.  From Mini Stock,  4 cylinder Bomber (Sr and Jr),  6&8 cylinder Bomber,  Street Stock and Late Model. 

experience merritt bc

Swag Shop & Concession

We also  have a great concession serving up some great burgers, smokies, candies etc.  Also enjoy our  Swag Shop.  There is quite the variety of  items, magnets, hats, t-shirts in many colours and styles to choose from.   So between races, the chills, thrills and spills, visit one or both.     

merritt speedway 9 bill fader

8 cylinder bomber – #9 Bill Fader

Feel free to ask questions

When racing day is over at Merritt Speedway fans are welcome to come down to the pits and visit with the racers and pit crews.  Feel free to ask questions.  Some of our drivers would be happy to give the kids a ride around the track in their cars, safely of course.  There is also a campground area for drivers, family & friends.  Visitors are welcome after the days events.

Food Bank Drive and  Toy Drive

The Merritt Stock Car Association are proud to support those who may certainly need a little helping hand.  In the fall we hold a Food Bank Drive and a Toy Drive.  Fans are welcome to participate along with the club members.

Merritt Speedway Bill John Memorial Invitational

Our last race day of the season is on Thanksgiving weekend.  Merritt Speedway – Bill John Memorial Invitational, is named for the original owner of the land the track is situated on.  This is racing at its finest, racers come from Washington State, all over B.C. and Alberta to race on our dirt track. 

For more information check out

Website:  www.merrittspeedway.ca

Facebook page:  Merritt Stock Car Association

Email:  merrittspeedway@outlook.com

 

Nicola Valley Merritt Speedway

Merritt Speedway in British Columbia, Canada is one of the last few active dirt tracks in B.C. and the last to shut down each fall.

Come Catch the Action!

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

BASS COAST FESTIVAL IN MERRITT BC CANADA 

Merritt Bass Coast Festival

Let us reminisce about Bass Coast 2019 in the Nicola Valley Merritt BC.  Because of  COVID 19 and the many cancellations of events, I wanted to give some kudos to some of our Merritt festivals. Furthermore, this being its 12th year, the Bass Coast electronic music and arts festival show had no indication of slowing down until the COVID wall went up.

Bass Coast in Merritt Co Founders

The co-founders Andrea Graham and Liz Thomson.   Firstly, we have the Librarian, Andrea Graham. She is a celebrated Canadian DJ, producer, and curator. She is the co-founder and music director of Bass Coast Music Festival – known internationally for its innovative music programming and installation art – and is widely considered one of bass music’s leading creative minds. Therefore, as an artist and entrepreneur, Andrea’s reputation as an inclusive community-builder in the electronic world has brought her a legion of fans and industry followers across the globe to the Nicola Valley.

Bass Coast in Merritt art

Reflecting back on my 2019 Bass Coast experience, I am reminded that the theme in 2019 was “Duality”.

Past, Future
Journey, Destination
In a world of duality
Where opposite forces exist
In nature, in ourselves
Silence, Sound
In contrast, in balance
What dark is to light

Bass Coast Newbie

It is important to note that this was the first time I experienced Bass Coast in the Nicola Valley. Therefore, having experienced many different festivals throughout Canada, this Merritt festival was a whole new experience of art and music.  Consequently, walking through the front gates, I was transformed into a forest full of wonderment. The abundance of lights, sights, and sounds welcomed me with open arms.

Nicola Valley’s Summer Heat

It gets hot during the summer in the Nicola Valley. In fact, so hot, that many cool off in the ” Coldwater River” during the hottest times of the day when attending the festival. In other words, the temperatures can reach 30 degrees during the day and it is always a good idea to wear a hat and have sunscreen handy. 

BASS COAST FESTIVAL IN THE NICOLA VALLEY MERRITT BC 2019

Cooling off in the Coldwater River during the day! Photo Credit:

To illustrate “Bass Coasts” success. 

Moreover Bass Coast started in 2009 in Squamish BC. As a result of its success the Merritt festival outgrew the space, therefore moving the event in 2013 to its new home in Merritt, BC.  It is here, in the Nicola Valley, that Bass Coast took off.  

Bass Coast has become the quintessential west coast bass music festival. To sum it up, if you know 5 or 50 names on the lineup card you’re guaranteed to discover something new after a weekend of sun and music.

Bass Coast in Merritt art installations

Crowds at Bass Coast in Merritt BC

In short, the Nicola Valley provides a lot of space for camping, and dancing, along with ample space to display larger format art.

“Bass Coast is a DIY endeavor founded and run by women with no sponsors or corporate presence whatsoever, it’s a unique fixture in a region already known for its plethora of festivals…”
Resident Advisor

Did you know that the Bass Coast Festival is a music and art festival that takes place in the picturesque shared traditional territories of the Nłeʔkepmx and Syilx First Nation people. Therefore, we must extend out thanks.

base coast forest of tress

Bass Coast forest of trees

The fact remains, the Art Installations are a very high importance towards participating Artisans. 

Notably, each year Bass Coast provides a theme for all participants to explore, dress up or create art relating to its theme. Moreover, there are interactive art exhibits that will inspire everyone to participate in the festival. Therefore, we encourage others to attend with an open mind.

Basscoast

Considering constraints Zandi Dandizette, frames the conversation with the material relationship to childhood utilizing puzzle foam

funky art at Bass Coast Festival

Bass Coast has garnered a global reputation for showcasing innovative international talent and providing a springboard for Canadian artists.

mats.

In 2019 Bass Coast won the acclaimed ‘Best Boutique Festival in North America” 

art shines at night at bass coast

BASS COAST FESTIVAL IN THE NICOLA VALLEY MERRITT BC 2019

“Moreover having a proactive approach to harm reduction. Our goal is to empower our peers to positively influence their own health and safety by providing some tools and information regarding harm reduction.” Bass Coast 2019

 

bass coast at night

Together Within the Forest. Celebrating while exploring under a canopy of lights.

Liz Thomson Art Director at Bass Coast. Who better to create Bass Coast’s Artistic Vision.

An unforgettable music festival experience.

 

Write a letter, and put in mailbox.

bike riding at bass coast

Ricky Mervyn going on a bike ride.

A Wonderment of Art

Through-out the forest grounds you could easily become transfixed with unique and beautiful art that is displayed.

art installations at bass coast in merritt

One of the many displays of Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moreover the Art displayed is full of beauty that amazes your senses.

I can see this in my living room.

Bass Coast art in the Nicola Valley

Alternatively you are able to take in a deluge of music.

Together with 3 different venues through-out the festival grounds you are treated to an assortment of talent. I heard there were around 5000 people in attendance at the 2019 Bass Coast Festival in Canada Merritt BC. 

main stage at bass coast in merritt

 

“Similarly there are other music venues you can freely wonder over too.” Tania Stewart

 

Looking into this is similar to a kaleidoscope.

Alongside new and old  friends we danced to some of the best electronic music I have heard and we danced late into the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bass Coast Festival Vendors

There are many vendors scattered throughout the venue.  

Merrittbasscoast

Hawks Creative Collective

 

Hollis Nelson Visual Artist – Hawks Creative Collective

“I have always had a lot of love for the thrift shop experience. Growing up my mother would often take me to Value Village. Hunting through other peoples trash for treasures was always a thrill. This dialogue of giving the discarded a new life is my body of work.” Hollis Nelson Visual Artist.

Hollis paints with acrylics, working on recycled material, clothing and fabric, as well as, large scale canvas. In conclusion it becomes obvious one will notice the talents in print making, painting, ceramics and installation art.

 

Additional information on Hollis Nelson The Hawks Project.

“We inspire positive change starting with an outlook” Mattaio.

Set 4 LYFE Apparel

Being how the music scene can influence its followers to wear specific brands that identify their music style or genre, MATTAIO created Set 4 LYFE in the summer of 2008. As a result of being an unconventional thinker, Mattaio creates extraordinary, vibrant, colorful apparel for all ages.

As an unconventional thinker MATTAIO had a vision. Therefore, MATTAIO creates a clothing label with a new perspective, bridges people together while inspiring a movement, creates a philosophy to encourage collaboration and shows a deep appreciation of all genres, music & art forms. Clothing for all ages. Visit SET4LYFE for more information. 

House Of Commune Amazing BoHo Wear.

House OF Commune BoHo Wear for all ages. Coupled with beautiful Renee Dupuis

colors at merritt bass coast

House Of Commune.

House of Commune.

Beautiful silks

 

Siamurai Apparel 

Siamurai apparel made Stitch a simple & relaxing life.

bass coast art

art at bass coast

 

 

Above all the experiences and lifelong memories that are made while at Bass Coast Festival in Merritt BC. 

While memories are fantastic, pictures truly can bring a person back to that exact moment. Therefore, I enjoy sharing some of my pictures that bring me back to my Bass Coast in Merritt experience.

bass coast main stage

Andrea Graham & Liz Thomson co-founders of Bass Coast.

bass coast rocks it out

To tell the truth this had to been one of my favourite experience. Tania Stewart

In addition.

Andrea studied classical piano, jazz piano, guitar and voice until early adulthood, before translating that classical skill set into her passion for electronic music in the early 2000’s.

In short the Librarian moniker is a nickname given to her by friend and Bass Coast co-founder Liz Thomson, referring to her signature glasses and expansive library of music. https://thelibrarian.ca/

 

 

Additionally Bass Coast prides itself in being an inclusive gathering that brings together people from diverse backgrounds. Moreover inspiring them to participate to the fullest.

Andrea’s reputation as an inclusive community-builder in the electronic world has brought her a legion of fans and industry followers across the globe.

Studied classical piano, jazz piano, guitar and voice until early adulthood.

base coast dance party

BASS COAST FESTIVAL IN THE NICOLA VALLEY MERRITT BC 2019

Additionally it is all about having “Fun”

base coast in merritt british columbia

Overall Merritt’s Bass Coast needs to be on your bucket list!

Bass Coast is the quintessential west coast bass music festival.  I look forward to when the festival season resumes and art and music makes an big entrance in Merritt BC Canada again. See you at the next Bass Coast in Merritt.

Bass Coast in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Music Festivals


Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt Canada Stories Celebrated At The Blogger Awards 2020!

The Nicola Valley comes together to hear about the successes of ExperienceNicolaValley.com!

Note! This event happened on Mar 6/2020, just a week before social distancing settled on our valley, province, country, world. Glad we celebrated these Merritt Canada stories just in time… Stay safe!

Merritt Canada stories and experiences are everywhere around us. Our job is to find them and then celebrate them. The 2020 Bloggers Awards were held in early March, and people from the Merritt community and elsewhere gathered at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame for good food, music, info, acknowledgments, and laughs. The tables were full and conversations were lively!

merritt canada stories blog awards

The Experience Nicola Valley 2020 Blogging Awards Gala

A fun evening celebrating Merritt Canada stories!

colin and greg girard

Colin-Website Creator and Greg Girard-Program Consultant, Trainer – (photo credit) Julie Pollard

Celebrating Experience Nicola Valley story tellers

Just a month earlier, creators and consultants of the community blogging website Experience Nicola Valley, brothers Greg and Colin Girard, and Melvina White, thought it was time to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the contributing bloggers. How? Golden trophies at an event like the Academy Awards, of course! Add a local twist of prime rib beef (ranch country!) and music by longtime popular locals, Tammy Weymouth and Stuart Emslie. And, oh yes, a talk by a travel influencer, a popular Canadian Vlogger. All in all, it was fun, unique, exciting and something the Nicola Valley has not seen around these parts for a long time.  A total success. 

Melvina White-Blogger and Event Coordinator

Nicola Valley Bloggers Telling Merritt Canada Stories

Bloggers for the Experience Nicola Valley website have been promoting the town of Merritt and the Nicola Valley for almost three years.

The group of bloggers have been writing about businesses, services, individuals, and non-profits in the community. The blogs are full of info, insights, photos, and things to do in our area, with a focus on adventures of all kinds in the community and valley.

The bloggers meet up almost every month to plan their next steps, talk about upcoming events, and the choices for upcoming blogs. The blogging is done out of a passion for our community, and the hope to show off the town of Merritt and the beautiful Nicola Valley to those far and wide, to bring a benefit to all of us who live here.

Check out all the blogs on our site! Lots! Such a variety! But I digress…

Community and Blogger Nominations

Not only were the bloggers up for acknowledgments, but also the people in the community who had been the focus of the blogs. So businesses, events, Non-Profits, organizations and individuals were nominated for the interest they had generated online.

bloggers of nicola valley

Blog award winners and nominees – (photo credit) Julie Pollard

The awards choices were made by tracking the online data! The statistics of the views, Likes, Shares on the website and Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) determined the picks for the nominations. After intense review, the coordinators of the Experience Nicola Valley group sent out nominations for different categories, like best photo, most popular blog, and best event blog.

A great idea to share the successes of the community blogging endeavor with the community it serves! An Awards Gala! A Merritt Canada Bloggers Awards Gala!

Put the Bloggers to Work!

The bloggers pitched in to plan, create, decorate, and man the stations at the Gala. There was a wet bar, filled with beverages of all kinds, tables set up with candles for the ticket holders and the nominees, and two tables ready for a delicious catered  dinner.

The stage at the Country Music Hall of Fame was filled with a big TV for the presentations, mics for the speakers and performers, framed acknowledgements for the nominees and golden trophies for the winners.

Julie Pollard and Tania Stewart took photos all evening of all the fun and action. So did I!

Tania Stewart-Blogger and Photographer

And at the red carpet entrance to the beautiful venue, our blogger and emcee, Tom Reynolds looking natty in a suit and  light-up bow tie, greeted the Gala comers and guided them in various directions. 

Tom Reynolds-Blogger

Greg Interviews the Nominees

Greg Girard is very excited about the worldwide response to the Experience Nicola Valley blogs! And he works hard to be sure our blogs get out there! At each of our meetings, he shares with us the data that is pouring in- the number of blogs read, page views, website visits. He tracks for us the social media attention our posts are getting, all the shares of the Merritt and Nicola Valley outdoor adventures, events, restaurants, gift shops, art and culture. Greg researches the status of our blogs on the Google searches, noting which are doing well, and which need tweaking. He is as determined as we are to bring lots of attention to the exciting and worthwhile things going on in our valley.

And while his brother Colin makes the website magic happen behind the scenes, Greg is ready in the bright lights of the cameras. But his purpose? Show off this great community and the people who make it that way. He interviewed all the nominees as the evening began. (Look for the full list of interviews on the Experience Nicola Valley You Tube and Facebook Pages.

jano howarth - arts blogger telling merritt canada stories

Myself, being interviewed by the Awards Gala emcee (photo credit) Julie Pollard

2020 Blogging Award Categories and Nominees

 

merritt event blogging awards

People’s Choice Nominees

(Individual/Event)

(Ellen Miller) Nicola Valley Women’s Fair
Don Loewen Saddlery
Open Mic Night

People’s Choice Nominees
(Business)

Game On Sports
Boston Pizza
Mary’s Corner Cafe

People’s Choice Nominees
(Non Profit)

Seniors Centre 
Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame 
Nicola Valley Food Bank 

Top Guest Blogger Nominees

Amber Papou
Meagan Preston
Manuel Olguin

Best Picture Nominees (Blogger)

Julie Pollard (Fall in the Nicola Valley)
Diane Lavoie (Boston Pizza)
Tania Stewart (Nicola Valley Rodeo)

Top Story Nominees (Blog)

Melvina White (George Jones)
Diane Lavoie (Things To Do In Merritt)
Tania Stewart (A-P Ranch)

Story Teller of the Year Nominees (Blogger)

Tania Stewart
Tom Reynolds
Melvina White
***

Socialize and Network About Merritt BC Canada Stories

The spacious setting at the Hall of Fame was full and noisy, with lots of laughter, and a few introductions exchanged. People mingled and chatted, sharing stories of the blogs. And took photos before settling in to a hearty plate of medium rare prime rib beef with roasted veg. And celebratory cake….

 

Networking before dinner – Tony and Wanda Luck

telling merritt canada stories at our table

My table at the Experience Nicola Valley Blogging Awards Gala

Community Involvement from Open Mic

Open Mic, a successful Nicola Valley Arts Council program, running for two and a half years at the Kekuli Cafe, received an event nomination for a blog written about it. This long running live music weekly event is worth a blog, or two, or three! We have a solid crew running it, regular local musicians playing at it, as well as lots of variety with locals who come now and then and visitors passing through and playing a set or two. And even more regulars in our audience!

For this event, Open Mic closed up at Kekuli and we filled a double table at the Gala with crew, musicians, and Open Mic fans. My daughter Tasya traveled from Vancouver to celebrate with us. And as she usually does, got busy helping along with the bloggers.

Open Mic table

Usually the Sound Guy for Open Mic, Amrit Ahuja got out his video equipment to cover this event. Amrit shares his time between sound recording, music creating, and videography. He spent the evening behind the video cam and we look forward to a short promo with lots of highlights of the Gala. Of course we saved him some cake!

WATCH VIDEO

 

Amrit Ahuja-Videographer and Open Mic Sound Guy

Then the Awards!

The Experience Nicola Valley event coordinators put on a great awards presentation, acknowledging the nominees and crediting the award winners.  Greg split his presentation between info on the nominees, and jokes to engage the crowd.

boston pizza merritt bc

Boston Pizza accepts their award for BEST Business Story by a Blogger- (photo credit) Julie Pollard

Guest Speaker on Social Media

Matt and Karla, popular You Tube vloggers from Calgary, Alberta joined us for the evening. Matt was the special guest speaker. He talked to us about the importance of social media supported by a beautiful slide presentation from their travels across Canada.  The info he provided was familiar to those of us blogging with Greg, as Greg has inspired us with the possibilities of a great online presence and how to do it. Matt’s talk gave us his own story through the online process to their personal success, focusing especially on You Tube. His statistics were impressive, and I’m sure convinced many in the room why it’s worth getting our local stories online and out to the global community.

matthew bailey

Keynote speaker at the ENV Awards Gala – Matthew Bailey of Must Do Canada – (photo credit) Julie Pollard

Many thanks to Matt and Karla for their perspective, and for coming all this way to celebrate our successes with us and sharing theirs!

Check out their entertaining and beautiful You Tube channel, Must Do Canada!

Arts in the Community

While the stage set up was changed for our live music performance, I took the opportunity for a five minute talk about the Nicola Valley Arts Council. I blog about art and culture in the community, while serving as the Arts Gallery Director for the Arts Council. 

How much info can I squeeze into 5 minutes. Lots, if I talk fast. So I did! And gave away several free memberships in the Arts Council!

nicola valley arts council

Jano Howarth (moi) during my 5 minute talk during the Awards Gala – (photo credit) Julie Pollard

And Live Music from Stuart and Tammy

We loved this part of the evening. It was a great wind down.  Lots of visiting, chatting, and a little dancing to some covers, and some beautiful original music from Tammy Weymouth and Stuart Emslie.

 

Tammy and Stuart live music

Story Telling Songs Fitting For The End of the Gala

The whole room quieted when Stuart sang some of the emotional songs he has written. Stuart is involved with a group focused on mental health in youth, and how to mitigate and express their difficult experiences.  Stuart’s personal experiences have inspired him to get involved and contribute his musical talents.

So, for a few moments during a joyful night, we were reminded of what community is about. Contribution and serving. And getting together…

“Have some fun, do some good.”, as my recently passed partner Gord Cockle always said.

A Lot of Fun, and Doing Good in the Community

As the evening drew to a close, the people voiced their appreciation for our blogging endeavor. We were glad to stop briefly, work hard, and pull off a fun Gala, a dress up evening in our small town. To take time to celebrate each other. And celebrate with others.

Fun at the Blogger Gala event!

Thanks to Greg, Colin, Melvina, all the bloggers, and everyone who came to our Gala evening. Glad we did it!

Still so much to blog about! We feel like we have just scratched the surface with over a hundred blogs in our almost 2.5 years! It’s a small town in a big valley. Lots of history to write about. Lots of people, businesses, organizations, non-profits. Great adventures, restaurants, services…. 

Our Experience Nicola Valley group has lots to inspire us. As a group, we inspire each other to keep going and promote our town, our valley. And tell some great stories.

And for now… #staysafe #stayhealthy #flattenthecurve

This is a whole new reality to write about. Blessings…

Jano Howarth 

Art and Culture Blogger

 

Blogging in Merritt, B.C.

Creating your Merritt Canada stories and experiences for the world


Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Blogger Awards Gala FREE TICKET Give-away.

Celebrating Community Awards, Prime Rib Dinner, Featured Keynote Speaker and Live Entertainment!

WIN 2 free tickets to the 2020 Blogger Awards Gala on March 6th at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Welcome to our 2020 Blogger Awards Gala ticket give-away. The “Bloggies” is an opportunity to celebrate some of Nicola Valley’s finest bloggers, small businesses, individuals, events and non profits. Click this link for the gala details. However, this is a ticket give-away story, so lets move on with the contest rules. 

How to Win Tickets
(entry rules posted below)

Every day, starting  February 25th and ending on February 29th/2020, we will post a different give-away contest on our Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page. You have until midnight of that day of the contest to submit your entry on that post.  

There will be no rhyme or reason to when we post these contests to enter the draw. This way we can keep you on your toes and keep things interesting.  

Follow the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page so you do not miss any of the give-away entry opportunities. Why? Well… not only could you win tickets to contests but you will also learn a lot more about tourism, adventures, people, businesses and events happening here in the Nicola Valley.  Real people telling real stories. 

Rules and Claiming Prize

(1) Must submit your contest answer entry in the comment section on the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page @experiencenicolavalley

(2) Must like and/or follow the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page to claim tickets.

(3) Contest will run from February 25th to February 29th, 2020.

(4) Draw date is March 1st, 2020 starting at 10 AM. 

(5) You have 1 hour (after your name is announced on our Facebook page) to claim your tickets. 

(6) To win you must go to our Experience Nicola Valley Facebook Page and submit a comment on the post with your “Name” as the winner claiming your tickets.

(7) If tickets are not claimed within 1 hour after the name has been drawn a new name will be selected 15 minutes later, or 1 hour later?  

(8) Any entries which go negative will be disqualified because #merrittmatters .

The Game Master holds all the cards to when the next name will be drawn. So watch our Facebook Page page closely on March 1st all day because you just never know, the Game Master may draw your name.

Where to Buy Tickets ($20 per person)

D & D Emporium
2070 Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt in between Fields and Creative Comfort
Tuesday – Friday  10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday 11 Am – 4 PM
250-378-9223

Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt
Wed – Fri 12 Noon to 4 PM 
250.378.9569

WIN 2 free tickets to the 2020 Blogger Awards Gala on March 6th at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

A Tourism Nicola Valley Event

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt Event – Awards Gala – Best of the Nicola Valley 

2020 Blogging Awards Gala – “The Bloggies”

“The Merritt event will be a fun filled night of awards, prime rib dinner, live entertainment and a featured keynote speaker. Our guest speaker is Canadian Influencer and Social Media Personality Matthew Bailey of Must Do Canada.”

This Merritt event is a semi-formal gala celebrating the best 2019 positive stories and experiences in the Nicola Valley. All the ticket and activity details are listed below. 

Come join us at the first annual 2020 Blogging Awards Gala in Merritt BC Canada.

Merritt Event Celebrates the Nicola Valley

The semi-formal gala celebrates the many positive stories and experiences of 2019. Each one shared by our Experience Nicola Valley bloggers! There are 7 trophies to be awarded at the gala. The award categories are as follows: 3 “People’s Choice Award” categories (business , individual/event and non-profit), as well as, 4 blogger categories (Best Picture, Top Guest Blogger, Top Story of the Year and Top Story Teller). 

The Bloggies

The 2020 Blogging Awards is to be held at the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame on March 6th. Doors open at 5:30. Event starts at 6 PM. Do not be late, as the prime rib dinner is served prior to the award ceremony starting. However, there will also be a cash bar on site for the entire night. Besides the 7 trophies to hand out, and the prime rib dinner… there is more. We are fortunate to have Matthew Bailey, of Must Do Canada, as our guest keynote speaker. Matthew is a Canadian Influencer and Social Media You Tube Personality based out of Calgary , Alberta

blogging awards merritt event

2020 Blogging Awards also known as “The Bloggies”

 

matthew bailey - keynote speaker

Matthew Bailey – 2020 Blogging Awards Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Matthew Bailey

Matthew is the creator of “Must Do Canada“. He has been featured in Our Canada Magazine (front cover photo and six-page spread), the Calgary Herald, and the Toronto Star to name a few. Matthew will be sharing his story and experiences about blogging, and social media. Matthew has traveled to 42 countries and 6 continents. We look forward to the many insights Matthew will be sharing with the community at this Merritt event about travel and content marketing. 

 

 

blogging awards stu tammy

Story telling songs and covers provided by Stu and Tammy

Merritt Live Entertainment

Since Experience Nicola Valley is a story telling platform, we invited a local musical duo to the 2020 Blogging Awards to entertain us with story telling songs.  We are happy to present as our featured artist for the evening, Stu and Tammy. Stu will be telling stories through songs (written by himself). And along with Tammy, they will play some of our favorite cover songs. Come and join us for a night of music, stories and dance. 

 

2020 Blogging Award Categories and Nominees

merritt event blogging awardsPeople’s Choice Nominees
(Individual/Event)

(Ellen Miller) Nicola Valley Women’s Fair
Don Loewen Saddlery
Open Mic Night

People’s Choice Nominees
(Business)

Game On Sports
Boston Pizza
Mary’s Corner Cafe

People’s Choice Nominees
(Non Profit)

Seniors Centre 
Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame 
Nicola Valley Food Bank 

Top Guest Blogger Nominees

Amber Papou
Meagan Preston
Manuel Olguin

Best Picture Nominees (Blogger)

Julie Pollard (Fall in the Nicola Valley)
Diane Lavoie (Boston Pizza)
Tania Stewart (Nicola Valley Rodeo)

Top Story Nominees (Blog)

Melvina White (George Jones)
Diane Lavoie (Things To Do In Merritt)
Tania Stewart (A-P Ranch)

Story Teller of the Year Nominees (Blogger)

Tania Stewart
Tom Reynolds
Melvina White
***

 

Bloggies Food Bank Drive

Just telling stories makes us hungry. So, just imagine how hungry some of our fellow Merrittonnians are when times get tough. We here at ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com like to help where we can so…. when you come to the 2020 Blogging Awards Gala please bring 1 food item. There will be a box at the entrance which you can place your item in. All donations will then be delivered to the Nicola Valley Food Bank

Location of Merritt Event

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Merritt BC Canada

Date: March 6th, 2020
Time: 6PM to 9PM and beyond
Doors Open at 5:30

Where to Buy Tickets ($20 per person)

(limited quantity available) 

D & D Emporium
2070 Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt in between Fields and Creative Comfort
Tuesday – Friday  10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday 11 Am – 4 PM
250-378-9223

Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt
Wed – Fri 12 Noon to 4 PM 
250.378.9569

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Culture and Art in Merritt, BC 

The Nicola Valley Arts Gallery Exhibition, with Fred Tomlin – “Fractured Reflections” – Was All About Wood and Mirrors!

“A lot of my ideas come from ordinary day to day things that we see in nature and all around us.” Fred Tomlin

First, a few words about Fred Tomlin…

Fine Woodworking

Fred Tomlin, Artist

Fine woodworking in Merritt BC Canada.  Fred is a retired educator who spent 34 years as a teacher and school principal in BC.

Woodworking has been an interest from early in his life although he has not been formally trained. Upon buying his first house he proceeded to do major renovations on a DIY basis which helped hone some of his woodworking skills. He then went on to build toys and play structures for his children and dabbled a bit in projects that required a finer detail. After moving to Merritt, BC Canada he undertook the construction of his home on which he did all the interior finishing. Doing finer carpentry gave Fred a sense of accomplishment which has lead to fine woodworking and has resulted in his present phase of creating “Functional Art”.

And now, in his own words...

What Inspires Fine Woodworking In Me?

It is the idea of problem solving and the challenge of making something that reflects what I’m thinking about. It is a process of looking at something and then translating my thought image into something I build.

A lot of my ideas come from ordinary day to day things that we see in nature and all around us. There are a lot of patterns, and lines that are right there in front of us if we take the time to look.

I started to use mirror to accentuate the patterns and images around us and further enhance the patterns found in the wood and the lines and angles of the project.

Art in Merritt BC

Fractured Reflections

Do I Have a Favourite Piece?

Each one of my fine woodworking pieces is my favourite while I’m in the process of creating it. Afterwards, some have a very special place in my heart as they now have sentimental attachments. It’s a fun process working through an evolving project.

I mean evolving in the way the project changes from inception to the final product. Grain, texture, color, angles, tone and just feel for the wood often changes the direction the project takes.

As a result there are several pieces that I’m not willing to part with because they have such an emotional and personal attachment.

Where Do I Work?

I have a small 10 x 16 foot workshop in the basement of my home in Merritt BC Canada but I also use the garage to make larger cuts as that is where the table saw lives. It’s small, compact, but it lets me gets the job done.

I do not have a scheduled time for work but rather when the mood strikes. When the weather is good I do not like being in the shop, so I get outdoors for a while. I also do not want the working in the shop to become WORK! It is a pleasure place where I go to relax and escape from the regular day to day things.

I take the time needed to do whatever I have in mind to get the project to the place I feel I can leave it. If it takes me several hours or just a few minutes it doesn’t matter. I’ll invest the time needed to keep it moving along. I have at times climbed out of bed and gone to the shop to complete a task that was wanting to be done. Once this is done I go back to sleep, satisfied.

experience merritt

How Much Time Do My Fine Woodworking Pieces Take?

Time spent varies on the activity and the stage the project is at. In the initial conceptual stage I may spend several hours going over the selection of wood. I think of what angles need to be created to give the desired effect I’m hoping to achieve, and the overall appearance of the project.

When I get into the project I often work in stages such as, making the major cuts and doing a rough assembly, then moving to finer assembly and looking to see what the grains and tones are doing to the piece. It is at this stage that re-imaging often happens taking the project in a totally different direction.

Once I’m satisfied with the direction I work steadily towards final completion, at all times looking to see if I’m on track with what I want to achieve. Finally, it’s sanding, sanding, and more sanding, before the final selected finish goes on. This entire process usually takes several weeks to several months per project to complete.

To help pass the time while I’m in the shop, I’m often in a somewhat ‘meditative state’. I also listen to the radio or put on “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf!

Do I Have a Favourite Wood

Fine Woodworking

Fractured Reflections

Way back I started with oak and liked it a lot as it gave good grain character and it was somewhat forgiving to work with. Oak, a hardwood, holds its shape well, doesn’t splinter, and just pops when a finish is applied to it.

Over the years I moved to cherry and black walnut with their more subtle grain patterns and patina as they age. Cherry darkens and walnut lightens.

I’ve also worked with maple, birch, ash, beech, and use exotic woods such as zebrawood, cocobolo, purple heart, ebony, etc for accent pieces.

What About the Mirror?

I do not cut my own mirror. The glass shop works from a template I make, and I just let them do what they do best. I select the tone of the mirror to help accentuate the overall appearance be it a bronzed or silver mirror.

What Are My Challenges?

The main challenge is how to make something that represents the image I have in my mind. How do I use the grain or tones in the wood to accentuate what I’m hoping to achieve. There are many times I’ll change the direction I’m going based on what I see coming together.

My original commitment to the vision has to be compromised in order to create something different. This at times creates a bit of a mind conflict.

Fine Woodworking

Other artists admire Fred Tomlin’s work

What Support Do I Have?

It’s family and friends the give me the greatest support for my fine woodworking pieces. They are very honest in their comments regarding what I’m doing. I’m very pleased that what I have made generally meets with their approval.

Besides My Work, What Do I Enjoy?

I kind of like the older music, 60’s – 90’s, though I listen to all there is playing on the radio today. Beatles, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Great Big Sea, Imagine Dragons, Serena Ryder, IZ Kamakawiwo’ole 

I try and read at least one of the Booker Prize Winners every year but I’m usually reading something historical or mystery related. Some of my most recent readings have been I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I’m not much of a movie buff, but I’ll go and see a flick from time to time. 

Favourite Things About Merritt

It’s friends and acquaintances that I’ve been fortunate to make during my years here that keeps me here. The climate is ideal for what I’ve now developed as my lifestyle. I like being outdoors and being active.  I golf, cycle, hike, travel, read and spend time with family, friends, and loved one. 

The weather here allows me to get outside at any time of year. Just dress for what you see outside and you’re there

What’s Next For My Art Work?

Fine Woodworking

Fine woodworking and stones

I’ve got about 10 sketches for new projects awaiting me when the mood strikes!

Thanks Fred, for all your work…your art work, your show set up, your answers to our questions!

Fine Woodworking and Mirror, Unique Pieces of Art

As a result of his very successful Art Show, “Fractured Reflections” at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, Fred has received suggestions for getting his beautiful work out there for others to enjoy.

“Because of this local show, I am getting a little friendly encouragement to take my show on the road. I’m entertaining this idea….”

No wonder, Fred! We also want to encourage you to take the next step with your fine woodworking and mirror art! 

We are looking forward to hearing what’s next for you!

If anyone is interested, contact the nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com, and we’ll pass on your contact to Fred Tomlin.

For more on Nicola Valley Arts and Culture follow these links:

More shows we’ve had lately at the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Nicola Valley Arts Council website

Facebook Page Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Instagram Nicola Valley Arts Council

Fine woodworking

Fred Tomlin’s Sunset – Jano Howarth Photo

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada bee