Events

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

Christmas Spirit in Merritt BC. Canada

Experience the Nicola Valley

Merritt  “Light Up” in the Nicola Valley

“I took some time and cruised the streets of Merritt seeking out Xmas decorations and Christmas Spirit.” Tania Stewart.

Christmas Spirit in Merritt BC Canada. Tis’ the season for an Experience the Nicola Valley holiday celebration right here in Merritt British Columbia Canada.  Christmas decorations are typically put up in late November or early December, usually to coincide with the start of Advent. In some places Christmas decorations are traditionally taken down on the Twelfth Night, the evening of January 5 or 6. The difference in this date is due to the fact that some count Christmas Day as the first day of Christmas. Whereas some look at Christmas Day as “feast day”, and the first full day of the Christmas Season is December 26.

Christmas Spirit  Merritt BC. Canada.

On account of Christmas in Merritt BC. 

Christmas spirit in Merritt BC. Canada includes putting the “Lights” up for many in the valley. It is a welcomed opportunity  to show some “Christmas Spirit” through elaborate decorations. Typical images seen for Christmas decorations include Santa Clause, Reindeer, and Baby Jesus. While others celebrate the winter season with seasonal decorations such as snowflakes, snowmen, icicles, polar bears and those adorable penguins.

Christmas Spirit  Merritt BC. Canada.

“Frosty”

Christmas Spirit  Merritt BC. Canada.

Bear in a Box.

To illustrate Day Time & Night Time Decorations.

Festive Home

Equally Beautiful at Night.

Christmas lights

Beautiful Celebration of Christmas Spirit in Merritt

Merritt BC  “Lights Up” the Nicola Valley with Elaborate Decorations.

To many the “Light Ups” show how much they love the Christmas Season. Furthermore, there was a bus tour also provided recently viewing the Merritt Christmas Light Tour for those who did not want to miss one festive house. 

Merritt Lights

Fantastic!

Holiday Spirit in Merritt BC Canada 

Additionally there is Merritt’s ” Country Christmas” as well. This Xmas spectacle primarily takes place during the last week of November.  Moreover many business and home owners display spectacular “Holiday” lights.

Merritt Lights Up Coldwater Hotel

Experience the Nicola Valley “Holiday Lights” this season with The Coldwater Hotel.

Furthermore a Little Xmas Tree History.

As for the kind of tree people use for the Xmas Tree, they usually select an evergreen conifer, such as a spruce, pine or fir. However, if natural is not your thing and you may like the artificial tree of similar appearance. Notably the Christmas tree was first used by German Lutherans in the 16th century. With records indicating that a Christmas tree was placed in the Cathedral of Strasburg in 1539, under the leadership of the Protestant Reformer Martin Bucer.  In fact traditionally decorated with “roses made of colored paper, apples, and sweetmeats”. By the 18th century, people began to illuminate trees with candles.  

Christmas Tree at Spirit Square

Downtown Merritt Spirit Square Christmas Tree.

Additionally Many Pets Decorate with Christmas Spirit.

Let us not forget how our furry friends also enjoy the Holiday Season. Some are dressed up in elf or Santa hats with festive collars. Others drag around the house Xmas decorations as you begin celebrating the holiday season. Then there are those festive pets who like to climb Xmas trees and paw at wrapped up Xmas gifts. All are equally lending a paw to decorate in their own way. The fact that we are able to create special moments with our pets is truly magnificent. 

Merritt businesses

Ron & Shelley Sanders puppy “Molly”

adelphi hotel

Spirit of Christmas at the Adelphi Hotel

Specifically “Tis The Season”

Merritt Christmas decorations

City Councillor Melvina White.

Christmas Train

Christmas Train

 

Christmas lights

Lastly “You Better Watch Out! You Better Be Nice!”

Santa

In Conclusion.

Very little during this, and most, winter seasons can be compared to the joy and spirit that goes into decorating your home and/or business. Therefore, maybe it is fair to say, how each of us decorate differently and celebrate this Holiday Season is truly what brings us all together.

Christmas Spirit in Merritt BC. Canada.

“Light Up” the Nicola Valley with “Christmas Spirit” through Decorations.

 

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada 

Christmas in Merritt BC – Experience the Spirit

Creating a Float for the Merritt BC Parade

Remembering 2019 the Joy & Experience Building a Christmas Float for Merritt BC’s Annual Parade.

 

Due to Covid19 many of our traditional holiday celebrations have been put on hold. Surely with time and a bit of patience these much loved traditions will be back. Memories are our treasure to hold and look forward to more. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a new Year!

 

Santa Clause! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Santa’s Elves.

When ever I think of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada the annual Merritt Christmas parade comes to mind. Ironically this event also marks the time I start my holiday shopping. Many of our local businesses start the shopping season with great roll backs, sales and discounts. Additionally they provide that small town personal service we all have come to enjoy from our community businesses. More importantly the support for our local businesses is paramount to their survival hence the #shoplocalmerritt hashtag on social media supported and promoted by ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com.

Come along with us as we experience Christmas by building a parade float for the 2019 Country Christmas Parade in Merritt BC.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Tourism Nicola Valley 2019 Christmas Float

Christmas in Merritt BC – “How” to create a float with ease 

Indeed, to some, it may seem easy to create and build a ” Christmas Float”. In all honesty, it takes a lot of time, organization and a bit of preparation work. Furthermore you need a “Theme”.  Celebrating Christmas in Merritt BC includes the weather being a bit frosty so make sure you have a warm dry place on your float. Lucky for us Doug & Norma Mervyn donated one of their warm empty shops to build the float in, as well as, a flat-deck trailer to pull and create our holiday float. 

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Trailer for our float.

 

In particular make sure you have a “Handy Man” on duty.

While you may have a grand picture of what the Christmas float may look like, the assembling of the float it is a whole different story. For starters, make sure you have an experienced carpenter to assist you in the construction of your Christmas Float. Importantly I suggest a mild mannered handyman who comes with his or her own tools.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Handy man Bill Stewart.

Christmas Parade

Hard at work. Coffee break soon?

To illustrate organization is “Key.”

Notably along with a great theme, being organized is crucial. Above all make sure you know what kind of material you will be using. Organic, re-purposing, recycling or decorations purchased from local businesses in the Nicola Valley made up the bulk of our materials.  

“A little “Hint” do not underestimate how many lights you will need,” Tania Stewart.

Experience Christmas Float

Warm shop courtesy of Doug Mervyn. Backroads Mini Storage.

“Without “Organization” you may get these expressions!” Tania Stewart

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

“You want to do what?”

Building floats is fun not stressful. 

We started with Melvina White’s creative image she had for the outcome of the float. We added some very determined helpers to make sure it came together. However when ideas didn’t work out, no worry, we adjusted and worked it out as a team. Remember this is supposed to be fun, not stressful. Designing and constructing a float can be daunting. Gathering materials is one thing. Placement is key. A team of happy elves is essential.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs

Checking it once, checking it twice.

About Xmas

Notably the little touches are important. Historically the concept of “parade” is a direct descendant of the late Medieval and Renaissance revivals of Roman Triumphs. Parades had music and banners. The wagons were filled with the spoils of war.  Santa Claus being a descendant of Saint Nicholas became the highlight of the “parade”. Today we celebrate Christmas in Merritt BC with a Country Christmas Parade.

Merritt BC Christmas Float

It’s all about the Spirit of the Season.

Positioning of decorations is crucial. Experience Christmas Merritt BC

It is important that the spectators of a parade instantly know what organization or business you are representing. Minimize any need for guessing. Furthermore it introduces you to the public and what you have to offer to support the community. 

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BCTourism Nicola Valley

Things to do in the Nicola Valley.

Tourism Nicola Valley

Placement of sign.

 

 

Above all make sure all the lights work!

Lights need to shine bright in the night. Notably a Christmas float can not have enough lights. Christmas lights (also known as fairy lights) are lights used for decoration in celebration of Christmas. To many it is symbolizing Christ as the light of the world. Moreover this custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles. Borrowed from pagan yule rituals that celebrate the return of the light of the sun as the days grow longer after solstice. Christmas trees were introduced by Christians into their homes in early modern Germany.

Experience Christmas Merritt BC

Checking Lights.

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Melvina White & Ricky making sure everything is in place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally ready for the “Main Event”. Lining up for the Christmas Parade.

Of course one last check to make sure everything is in working order. Notably checking to see if anything was lost transporting float into town. 

Looking Good!

Additionally a sweet car in the parade.

Whats a parade without Merritt’s Local tow truck?

Clean up Time.

Lastly you must clean up. Notably destruction of your float goes a lot quicker. Takes hours n hours to construct your float, while only half a day to dissemble it. Due to using recycled material we kept a lot of it for next year. While burning the cedar branches. Rather than filling our landfills. 

Doug Mervyn.

Bill Stewart n Melvina White.

In conclusion.

Above all the spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada can truly be experienced with family and friends. Coming together to create a float for our towns Parade. The true meaning of Christmas in Merritt BC is not what we get or what we spend. No, the true meaning of Christmas is coming together and enjoying each other’s time and creating lasting memories. Priceless!

Furthermore, it takes many people to put a float together including who pulls the float. Thank you to Valley Carriers who came to the rescue and towed our float.  

 

Carrie Ware & Company Inc.

Spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC

Creating Float for Merritt BC Parade

 

Best Selling Author Trina Hall in Merritt BC.

 

Let Trina Hall help you take your life to a higher level in all areas of your life.

 Motivational Speaker Trina Hall in Merritt BC.

 

Best Selling Author Trina Hall “Note to Self: Empowerment” along with her seminar called “Elevate Your Life”

Award-winning & best selling author Trina Hall visits Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. Additionally, Trina Hall is a blogger, motivational speaker and intuitive life coach. Firstly, it is important to note she has had a tumultuous life resulting in Trina gaining decades of wisdom and insight. Frequently she was knocked down until, eventually, she hit  rock bottom.  Through her writings, television, radio shows, social media or in-person she has transformed countless lives around the globe. Moreover I am so glad I did not miss Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker Trina Hall when she was in Merritt BC.   

Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Book signing Trina Hall. Best Selling Author Merritt BC

” Note to Self: Empowerment”
7 Steps to help you find your true self, purpose, and power within.  Best selling author Trina Hall.

(Q1) “What inspired you to write “Note to Self: Empowerment” Trina?”

(Answer) While noticing that several people were asking me the same questions and advice. I asked myself, “would it not be easier  to write a book.” Since I have overcome so many tough obstacles in my life I felt compelled to share my wisdom and insights gained through my experiences to better the lives of others therefore preventing or at least easing the pain and suffering of others. Because so many people are suffering silently while trying to hold it together. By my account I strongly believe that an amazing life starts from the inside out. Consequently I wanted to write a book about self-empowerment because once you get yourself right, your relationships and your entire life will start to fall into place.

Best Selling Author Merritt

Trina Hall Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker in Greece.

“Take Back Your Power and Live the Life “You” are Meant to.” Trina Hall

experiencemerritt

(Q2) Who do you believe is your target audience?

Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker “Trina Hall” in Merritt BC.

(Answer) Primarily mostly women and men between the ages of 40-65 tend to be drawn towards my book. Specifically when it reflects on their lives and asking the deeper questions like, “Who I am” and “What am I put on this earth to do”? All these questions while doing things for others then realizing that they have lost themselves in the process. In fact the book is for the heart-centered amazing people who have been knocked down, taken advantage of, taken for granted and have lost themselves trying to please others.

(Q3) What could a person expect to receive from reading your Bestselling Book Note to Self”

This book guides you on your journey to self-discovery so you can find out who you truly are and want you truly want in life. It will also help uncover your purpose and power within. You will not feel alone. It allows you the necessary time to self-reflect and heal, while feeling like I am there with you every step of the way. You will learn to love, accept and believe in yourself through my inspiring stories and wisdom. It definitely offers you strength and clarity if you are feeling knocked down or have any self-doubt.

“Do not take it personally when others cannot see or appreciated your magnificence. Their eyes are clouded by their own unhappiness”  Trina Hall

 

Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Trina Hall with Daughter Jasmine Stewart.

(Q4) What insights, purpose and power did you experience and or gain from writing this very self exposing tumultuous life events that most people would feel to vulnerable to share?

(Answer) Although I used to think vulnerability was a weakness. Realizing vulnerability is the greatest strength. In regards to taking your power back. After all Comedians make fun of themselves before others can. At the same time being open in my book, worked in a similar way. Completely being unaffected by those who knocked me down freed me. Notwithstanding it was the final step allowing me to be free leaving my past behind.

 

“YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT FAIL AT BEING YOU”  Trina Hall

Best Selling Author Merritt BC.

Trina with her daughter Jasmine at talk show promoting her book.

(Q5) Certainly you provide profound wisdom, incredible insights, valuable tips and simple exercises in order to avoid needless suffering throughout your book. What inspired you to have “Note To Self Exercises” in some of your chapters?

(Answer) Moreover you feel more empowered when you are actively doing something to help a certain situation. Also I find many people resonate with my personal stories. Additionally, I  learn from my mistakes, while others need to physically do the work with a more hands-on approach. As a result, the exercises give an insight to what I did to overcome my struggles. I wanted to include the reader in this process so they could get the most out of my book. The title Note to Self: Empowerment has a double meaning. When you write down your answers to the exercises, they become your “notes to self” leading to empowerment.

“Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth.”  Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Merritt motivational speaker trina hall.

DR. Wayne Dyer with Trina Hall.

“Although I love all the 7 Steps in your book “Note To Self: Empowerment”, the 6th Step: Forgive and Take Your Power Back is one of the hardest for myself.” Tania Stewart.

trina Hall elevate your life

“Elevate Your Life” with Trina Hall. Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Trina is looking forward to “Transforming Your Life”. Equally an inspiration for “You” to look at improving your life. Best Selling Author Trina Hall in Merritt BC

“Furthermore as the direction of your path becomes clearer, you will be able to move forward through life with confidence.” Trina Hall

Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Trina Hall.

(Q6) What started you into motivational speaking and your first seminar/event Trina?

(Answer) Firstly, I was always the shy person who hid behind my writing. I was absolutely terrified of public speaking! But back in 2015, someone desperately wanted to buy my book to help out her best friend. Because there are so many steps to writing/publishing a book it took longer than anticipated to publish because of some of the setbacks we faced. I did not want to rush publishing my book either.

Therefore I tried to think of another way to help her friend. I created a seminar called “Elevate Your Life”.  Subsequently would be the fastest way to help, as well as a comfortable outing for both of them to enjoy. Funny how your passion to help someone can trump any fear of public speaking!!! The plan was to only do one seminar, but from that one event someone else offered me a speaking engagement and people have continued to need my help. Needless to say, I haven’t stopped.

Best Selling Author Merritt

Best Selling Author Merritt BC Trina Hall.

(Q7) What can people expect from your seminar?

(Answer) Immediately you can definitely expect positivity, growth, inspiration and motivation. Furthermore, you will learn how to get unstuck by getting over past hurts and fears so you can gain confidence and thrive while learning how to continue to grow when you feel like others are holding you back. My seminar is all about elevating all areas in your life and lifting people up to the next level and beyond. Subsequently, you will be given the tools, insights and clarity to help you thrive, live outside of your comfort zone and become the best version of yourself.

Best Selling Author Motivational Speaker Merritt BC.

Trina Hall with daughter Jasmine Ashley.

(Q8) How did your daughter, Jasmine Stewart become a part of Elevate Your Life?

(Answer) We have always been a dynamic mother-daughter duo and she is practically a mini version of me. Jasmine has been around throughout most of my hardships, so she gained a lot of wisdom that way. Together we broke some vicious cycles and other generational destructive patterns, which is an area most people struggle with. Being a registered nurse, Jasmine is qualified to speak about health and healing. Together we can help others with their complete body, mind and soul connection. Moreover Jasmine really wanted to be a part of this particular seminar because she has such a strong tie to Merritt and I feel she will add even more value and inspiration.

“Your time is now to get the love you always desired and the inner peace you long for. Take back your power and live the life you are meant to.” Trina Hall 

mrrogersandme

Mr. Rogers and Trina Hall

(Q9) What made you decide to bring your seminar to Merritt?

(Answer) My dear friend Tania (Jasmine’s aunt) is from there. For the past couple of years after I held my seminar in Ontario, she would suggest that I bring my seminar to Merritt. She felt there is a huge need for what I have to offer since not very many motivational speakers go there. I know how it is like living in a smaller town and always having to travel for concerts and events, so it is nice when people come to them. I used to live in Merritt for a bit and Jasmine’s family is from there so it gave us even more reason to make the trip.

(Q10) Trina how can your seminar help the people of Merritt?

(Answer) I think my style will appeal to a close-knit town like Merritt. It will be pretty intimate so we can maximize growth and transformation. In addition to growing up in a small town in Northern Ontario, I also lived in Merritt for a bit so I understand the challenges, dreams and desires. Jasmine and I have a connection to Merritt and feel the attendees will really resonate with us. Furthermore, I think this will help us make a greater positive impact. I have traveled around the world learning from the top leaders in the personal growth and entrepreneurial industry, as well as, I have gained a lot of wisdom and insights through personal experience which is invaluable. We look forward to sharing all this and more with the people of Merritt.

Trina Hall.

Notably many people have read “Note to Self” more than twice, even 5 plus times.

In fact readers keep it right on their nightstand at all times. This is all crazy for me to hear and seems surreal.  Specifically seeing that it has such an impact!!! “It makes it all worth putting my vulnerability out there.” Trina Hall.

Merritt motivation

Trina Hall with husband Jason Pake.

In Conclusion.

Withstanding adversity and knockdowns, Trina has truly come out on top. She is making a life in helping people going through the same traumas she endured. Furthermore it is a pathway to sharing her life story, her vulnerability along with her strength.  

For more information go to: https://www.facebook.com/trinahallauthor

Note to Self: Empowerment is available on Amazon worldwide. 

Best Selling Author Trina Hall in Merritt BC

Being The Best Version of You

 

 

Pacific Forest Rally Championship 2019 Merritt Nicola Valley

Merritt Nicola Valley Off Road Car Racing Event

“Therefore Merritt’s Spirit Square fans of the Pacific Forest Rally can get up close with the drivers, co-drivers and service crew.”

Welcome Pacific Forest Rally fans to Merritt BC Canada in the Nicola Valley for round 4 of the Canadian Rally Championship. Moreover, event organizer Paul Westwick welcomes rally teams and fans from across Canada and North-west USA alike as they celebrate 43 years of off road car racing with 19 years being in Merritt.

&quot;<yoastmark

Firstly, lets acknowledge the skills and hard work that the service crew do to ensure that their team driver & co-driver can perform, and do their magic driving like they can!

&quot;Nicola&quot;Welcome

Secondly, because of their dedication and love of the Pacific Forest Rally, service crews go far and beyond to ensure their cars are up to speed.

Dave Wallingford Columbus Ohio–Leanne Junnila Calgary,AB- Savage Rallysport. –

Rally Race Merritt. BC.

Mark Jenings-Bates BC-Jackie Jennings-Bates BC 1998 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4 O4WD.

As well as there is Subaru Fiesta!

Rally sponsors “Best Western

Service crew Danny Mirabel.

Eco-challenge Pacific Forest Rally.

In recognition of the need to promote conservation, we have a new award, given to the team that gets the best time from the least fuel. As a result the award is based on their total scores from Saturday’s stages, multiplied by the amount of fuel they consume. Therefore teams who manage their resources the most responsibly will be rewarded while still having great fun behind the wheel. Eco-challenge.

Philipe Benoit driver

Philipe Benoit driver

Eric Pehota BC- Jennifer Daly BC- 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon P4WD.

Karel Carré QC- Samuel Joyal QC- 2007 Subaru TR STI O4WD. Team- Les gestions Oré Inc,

Additionally at Merritt’s Spirit Square fans of the Pacific Forest Rally can get up close with the drivers, co-drivers and service crew. 

Sponsors of PFR Subaru.

Furthermore hat’s off to all the volunteers who make it look easy.

By all means get involved and join a Rally Club. Without all the volunteers, the show wouldn’t go on. How do I volunteer? – You want to work a performance rally? Fill out our worker registration.

Safety Car Guys. Sponsor Dirt Fish.

Even though there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground, the Pacific Forest Rally race lived up to their name. 

As a result of having the wrong camera, I was unable to capture pictures of the rally cars at the Spius venue.  Standing in the cold I was fortunate to meet Alec Preissler. Due to circumstances I was unable to gather pictures of the rally cars. Consequently Alec Preissler provided me with these awesome pictures. 

Alec Preissler

Alec@preissler.ca Photo curtesy of Alec Preissler.

Alec@preissler.ca Thanks to Alec Preissler for these awesome pic’s.

Furthermore the “Weather!”

Incidentally Pacific Rally Racer’s drive in every weather condition.

As a result the rally cars persevere.

&quot;<yoastmark

mailto:Alec@preissler.ca

We love our hardy spectators. The unpredictable winter-like weather provided challenges for everyone this weekend. We’re glad to see everyone making the best of it. 👍🏻 forest Rally

merritt bc canada

Views of the Nicola Valley

Albeit rally fans are number 1!

Fans are resilient

Not only do they race in the day, night time brings out the best in them.

merritt bc rally race

Night time rally racing

Furthermore rallying is one of  the most challenging motor sports in the world. Not only challenging the drivers, but also challenging the spectators and volunteers. 

Team Stillin

Team Stillin – Updated Results: 4th place in production 4 wheel drive class & 13th overall regional out of 29 cars.

Taking on the challenge of one of the most challenging sports.

merritt bc canada

Rally driving is a day and night sport

As a result of their quick action, hard driving, they made it to the end!

pacific forest rally

The life of a rally driver

Moreover it is totally great to see the rally cars make it home!

Proud sponsors “Rallysport

Sponsor “Abilitas“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally the work that goes into high performance.

Pacific Forest Rally.

CONTACT INFO

Firstly, check out our website : Pacific Forest Rally

After that read my previous article on the Pacific Forest Rally

Pacific Forest Rally

Rally Championship 2019 Merritt Nicola Valley

Merritt And Nicola Valley Art Shows

A review of a summer of Art and Culture Shows in what has been a great display of community artistic talents

“Get-in-the-mood for fall art!”

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Artist Cassandra Dolen

Nicola Valley Art Shows in Merritt BC attract locals and visitors to the region! The Courthouse Art Gallery puts on a new show almost every month. We often choose themes for our shows that compliment what is happening in our community. Our locals enjoy the mirroring of our themes. This strategy helps visitors get to know our local interests and history.

More Nicola Valley Art Shows

Merritt Arts and Culture, and lots of it, has been happening in the Nicola Valley since I last wrote a Gallery blog! In February, we had a fun community show called The Art of Sound. We really enjoyed drumming with Raven Ritcey at our Open Mic night at Kekuli Cafe. And experiencing Singing Bowls with Gale Simpson, right in the Gallery.

In addition to that, in March, we honoured four long time artists in our Nicola Valley. One of our young artists, when he heard who was coming, gave the show its title….

Living Legend Contribute To Nicola Valley Art Shows

Living Legends

Pius Chong Sculpture

Evelyn Armstrong, Pius Chong, Doug Strand and Jackie Stibbards have been contributing to the art and culture scene in the valley for decades. Moreover, all of them are still creating art in their own way. The community had an opportunity to catch up with these artists at an Artists Talk at the Courthouse Art Gallery.

Personal History Of Art In Merritt

As a result we heard stories about their artistic beginnings, their journeys in the art world, and then the inspirations for the work they are each doing now.  Firstly, Pius Chong created a wood sculpture with bright blocks of colour. Secondly, Doug Strand brought human figure sketches.  Evelyn Armstrong displayed a series of photos of water in different states with ecological commentary. And lastly Jackie Stibbards exhibited a variety of work, from photos, to mixed media scrapbooks.

For April, we switched it up, bringing in one of the valley’s younger artists, Michelle Lonsdale…

Wondernatural

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Artist Michelle Lonsdale

Michelle Lonsdale has taken part is several of our Nicola Valley Art Shows at the Courthouse Gallery! 

She brought a touch of whimsy to the Art Gallery. For example Michelle offered up thoughtful twists in much of her work, like her black buggy in a meadow. Moreover Michelle was on hand when her past art teacher, Shannon Dunn, brought a high school class to see her exhibition.

experiencemerritt

We also had an Artist Talk with Michelle and really enjoyed her discussions about art, and her process.

From this young artist, we segued to even younger aspiring students from our local high school, participating in the School District 58 Arts Festival….

Create-Communicate-Connect

Nicola Valley Arts gallery

Artist Taiki Yamaguchi

School District 58 once again held their Arts Festival mid spring. They brought the artistic expression of our youth in the public schools to our community. Performance art, music, and visual art made their way into our Civic Centre, the Kekuli Cafe Open Mic, the Secret Door Gallery and to the Courthouse Arts Gallery.

The Merritt Senior Secondary School art students had the opportunity to display their varied work at our Nicola Valley Arts Gallery in the old courthouse. The theme Create-Communicate-Connect showed up in the drawings, paintings, and 3D art for the short show.

Certainly a lot of work by the students and teachers, a lot of reward for the community!

Following the exhibition showcasing our young local talent was an inspiring show by an artist who has made her way in the art world her whole life! And her art style is perfect for our Nicola Valley….

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Faye Gustafson Art

Forever West

Artist Faye Gustafson moved to our Merritt BC Canada community, with husband Ian Brooker, after several years of  participating in our local arts programs, like past Art Walks. Faye’s work in sketches and oils is made for our western community!

“The cowboy way of life has always appealed to my soul” says Gustafson.

“I love the endless stories of the people who lived way back when, and the excitement the modern cowgirls and cowboys still enjoy!”

Consequently Gustafson has exhibited her work in Canada and United States, Japan and Australia. Additionally she holds several awards for her artwork. We were very happy to exhibit her work in a single-artist show in our Gallery.

After that, the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery pulled together a show with other community groups to remember a heritage building in the valley….

Murray Church In The Nicola Valley

Murray Church

Murray Church Show Poster, by Kim LeClair

A well attended show by the Nicola Valley Community! This exhibition of art and artifacts honoured the place the historic Murray Church played in our valley. When the Murray Church was destroyed in a fire so many people felt the loss. The loss elicited so many memories. As a  result this show elicited stories going back decades, from far and wide.

We appreciated the artists and photographers who came forward with newly created depictions of the church. The past paintings drawings, and photographs touched many people. We especially loved the inspired presence of the original organ from Morva Murray.

Also we were very grateful for the participation of the Trinity United Church members, like Linda Baird, who contributed story boards, artifacts, art and memories. In short, a big kudos goes out to Amrit Samra for his dedicated work with us, and over the past years with the Murray Church.

After sharing memories of a much-missed historical building, we spun off a fun art activity in town. We put on a show creatively reusing items and making them better, more useful, and more beautiful than they were before….

Nicola valley Arts Gallery

Jano Howarth Photo, Kim Leclair Poster

Upcycle

During the summer, artist Shirley Reynolds organized an art event for the whole business community, the Chair Walk. Fifteen local artists were invited to upcycle a chair each. They were matched with downtown businesses, and displayed over the month of July. The chairs were put on auction to fundraise for the Downtown Theatre project and the Nicola Valley Arts Council. They were great! Very creative! Shirley’s chair project was a great success.

We invited the artists to bring their chairs to the Arts Gallery for our August show. And a call-out brought a wide variety of upcycled items from other artists and artisans. From paint sprayed garden pots to a 1st Nations art decorated corner shelf by artist Leonard George. Also there were blinged lamps and Cindy Trent’s golf club coat hooks. The locals outdid themselves! As a result of the displays, some visitors to the gallery were motivated to get into upcycling themselves!

Next, inspired by both the Fall Fair at the beginning of September, and the “Mayor’s Gala of the Arts” at the end, the Gallery’s September show combined the themes….

Swing Into Fall

Robert Moretti Art

Get-in-the-mood for fall art! On display at the Courthouse Gallery were many of the Photography winners of our celebrated Fall Fair. The photos were displayed on free standing dividers flanking fall paintings by local artists Robert Moretti. All the paintings nearby were depictions of fall themes and colours. Art by beloved local artist Bev Veale, young Wyatt Collins, and almost new-to-town Dave and Sue Barber.

And to enhance the swing dancing event coming, we created a 40’s themed boudoir with swing dance art on the wall and big band music playing. In short, thanks to all our contributors like Diane Wandler and Barb Sayles, and artists Judy Young and Jen Artibise! Fun!

And for the Arts and Culture scene in the Nicola Valley….

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Pop Up Art Gallery

End of September 2019… Swing Dance in Merritt BC!

Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and its community partner put on a fabulous “Mayor’s Gala of the Arts”! It took a year of planning to pull it off, with NVCAC Execs, Jane Bartle and Mischelle Pierce leading lots of volunteers. Consequently, over 200 people enjoyed the lively music of an 18 piece swing band. There was dancing, socializing, beverages and beef.

A highlight of the evening for me was the pop up Art Gallery at the Gala event. While I looked after the show at our Courthouse Arts Gallery, the President of the NVCAC Jean Kiegerl, and artist extraordinaire, Cassandra Dolen, put together a beautiful display of art by several of our local artists. 

As a result of the Gala’s fun and success, there have been lots of requests for a repeat next year!

Lots of Nicola Valley Art Shows at the Old Courthouse on Nicola Avenue!

On the other hand we haven’t even talked about Art in the Park and the community art installations. Or Open Mic night, and other programs we have run at the Gallery and other community venues over the past months!

As a result I am happy to play catch up a little, here on our fab Experience Nicola Valley blogging website!

So I am very happy to have directed and curated these Nicola Valley Arts Gallery shows…fun, interesting, informative, and inspiring! And so many artists, photographers, artisans, and talented community members!

Therefore, I am looking forward to my next blog! Already in the middle of a new show, “Fractured Reflections”, with fine woodworking and mirrors by Fred Tomlin. A must see! Show dates Oct 11 to Nov 9, hours Thursday to Saturday, 12-6pm.

Join the NVCAC Arts Council! Annual General Meeting, Wednesday 7pm, Oct 23rd, at the old Courthouse.

Contact nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Jano Howarth

Arts Gallery Director and community supporter!

Art and Culture Things To Do:

Firstly,  visit our Website Nicola Valley Arts Council

Secondly, like our Facebook Page Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Lastly, check out the Creative Community

 

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Joel Reid, Artist and NVAG Show Set Up

Merritt and Nicola Valley Art Shows

Nicola Valley Art Gallery and Culture Shows is what has been happening in and around Merritt BC Canada

 

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019

Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club Labour Day Weekend 2019. Above all since 1913 this 2 day fair has become a family tradition within Nicola Valley Merritt BC. With a bit of competitive exhibits including baking, canning, needlework, flora, livestock and gardening. 

The Fair also features antique tractor displays, car show and an old fashioned country dance in their exhibition hall. Truly a EhCanadian event along with everyone having an Experience in the Nicola Valley. 

 

The Fall Fair Building.

 Nicola Valley Fall Fair and 4-H Club 2019 in Merritt BC.

The BC Association of Agricultural Fairs & Exhibitions coordinates activities and promotes participation through it’s operational committees.

Nonprofit organization.

Equally important is how the  4-H Club is to our annual Nicola Valley Fall Fair.

 

 

Hands on learning. 4-H Club.

 

Furthermore there are endless benefits to being a member of a 4-H Club.

From learning new skills along with personal achievement gaining and leadership the Fall Fairs Founding Date 1976.

For Parents: Why 4-H?

experiencemerritt

In addition 4-H members gain great social competency and leadership.

For example I had the pleasure to talk with Tammeran who has been a member of the 4-H Club for 6 yrs. Tammeran’s speciality is working with Sheep. I asked Tammeran what he has gained from the 4-H Club. 

“Learning responsibility, looking after animals as well as Farm Safety.”  Tammeran.

 

Tammeran 4-H Club member.

With attention to the Sheep.

 

Lambs. Photo’s by TaniaStewart.

 

 

Additionally Poultry. 

 

 

Equally Merritt’s 4-H Club.

 

 

 

 

With attention to Mr. Hume and his dedication and love for his birds.

 

Hands on.

Thank you Mr. Hume.

 

 

 

 

Importantly the Fall Fairs Founding Date 1976.
To emphasize how important the Merritt Fall Fair is.

 

So much to see!

Given to how much work goes into these creations.

 

 

Discover Tabby, Tabitha Rusinko.

The work that goes into this is mind blowing!

For instance the Flora event.

 

My flowers do not compare this.

The colors are amazing!

In fact I wouldn’t want to be a judge.

 

Beautiful!

Important to realize the dedication and hard work that goes into growing and making this.

 

Canning.

Sunflowers.

Eggs, we all buy them. But who farms them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In view of Nicola Valley’s loss. Murray Church Built in 1876 was the oldest building in the Nicola Valley  that had been made with local Nicola Valley lumber. 

 

In case you missed past Fall Fairs, historical information is available.

 

22nd Fall Fair, do the math.

Amazing to learn our history!

Harvest celebration.

Award winning squash.

Canned goods.

Additionally takes place in our community every year.

 

 

 

 

Lego

Knitting

 

Owing to all the volunteers for the hard work every year to bring this event to Merritt on Labour Day Weekend.

 

Fall Fair.

 

In Conclusion

Above all since 1913 this 2 day fair has become a family tradition. The Nicola Valley Fall Fair with a bit of competitive exhibits. Which includes baking, canning, needlework, flora, livestock along with vegetables.