Art Show in Merritt BC

Artist Shirley Reynolds

Home is Where the Art Is

Show Poster

Show Poster-Merritt Printing design

 

 

Colour Personified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Art Show in Merritt BC will be held from May 5, 2022 to June 5, 2022 at the Nicola Valley Arts Centre.  

Artist Shirley Reynolds

Shirley Reynolds

Shirley Reynolds-Tom Reynolds Photo

Shirley Reynolds Art Show in Merritt

Shirley got her art career off to a great start when she was just a toddler.  Her dad had painted her bedroom but apparently it was a little too boring for her so she took an indelible pencil and drew on the wall.  As you can imagine Shirley’s father was not impressed but took the time to explain to her that drawing on the wall was not appropriate. After this discussion he repainted the offending wall. However, awhile later he came back to find that his artist daughter had “improved” the wall again. From that point on she was hooked with painting and has spent over six decades perfecting her craft.

Landscapes in the Art Show in Merritt BC

Many artists over the years tend to develop a signature style that is associated with them.  While her paintings have grown in complexity over the years she has not settled into a specific style.  Each painting is unique, just like the artist, herself.  When we go camping she loves to bring paints so she can capture the scenery where ever we may be.

Tree at the lake

Reynolds Photo

Harmon Lake

Harmon Lake-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Still lifes ” in the Art show in Merritt BC

As I said before, Shirley’s style is different for nearly every painting.  However, there is one aspect to her paintings that is consistent and that is the use of brilliant colours.  This definitely comes out when she does a “still life” as you can see in the examples below.

Flowers in Pot

Flowers in Pot-Tom Reynolds Photo

F

Flowers-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

Abstracts in the Art Show in Merritt BC

As I said earlier Shirley does not have just one style that identifies her work.  I believe her paintings come from her soul so you never know what you are going to get until she puts her inspiration to paper.  While she does a large part of her work on landscapes she has begun to dabble in abstracts.  However her use of colour flows through these as well.

Geometric abstract

Geometric Abstract-Tom Reynolds Photo

movement abstracts

Movement Abstracts-Tom Reynolds photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impressionism Style is at the Art Show in Merritt, BC

Sometimes the inspiration for a subject matter requires that the objects are less defined but you get the sense of the painting.  Below are examples of Shirley using this style.

Fall Colours

Fall Colours-Tom Reynolds Photo

Fall Tree

Fall Tree-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painting is not all she does

While her primary artistic endeavor is painting, her creativity is expressed  in almost everything she does. On several occasions she has set her hand to doing mosaics.  Apparently it is handy to save your broken cups and saucers because you never know when the need to do a mosaic will come. Also you may come across something that would make a great base for your project such as a ball.

Mosaic Globe

Mosaic Globe-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 
Mosaic Tea Cups

Mosaic Tea Cups-Tom Reynolds Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She still hasn’t finished  experimenting with different mediums as she and her daughter, Andrea are going to try their hand at pottery.  

Her artistic talents have also stirred her interest in interior decorating.  Along with the items she is displaying, she has upped the ambiance of the show by providing colourful props that support the art work.

Support the Art Show in Merritt BC

Supporting the art show is one way of ensuring that the arts will be alive and well in Merritt.  When you sign the register this provides evidence to the funding partners that the activity is valued by the community and tourists alike. While you are at the show you can browse the gift shop and help support local artists and the Arts Council.  It is also a good time to check out the programs that are offered.  

 

Art Show in Merritt BC

Artist Shirley Reynolds

Home is Where the Art Is

 

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BC Flood and Fire Relief

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

Donate to help the Victims

BC Flood and Fire Relief – It has been awhile since the disastrous floods and fires in Southern BC.  At this point in time it seems that the plight of the people affected by these events have been forgotten. However there still is a significant need. Provincial disaster relief is slow in coming and in all likelihood will not be sufficient to cover all the costs incurred.  As well, many people who thought they were insured weren’t.

BC Fire and Floods a Reminder

They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I want to remind everyone what happened in Merritt, Lytton, Princeton, and Abbotsford. 

Merritt Flood Nov 2021

Merritt Flood Nov 2021  – Photo Courtesy of  Global News

Abbotsford Floods – Photo Courtesy of Lindsay Lockhart

Lytton Fire 2021

Lytton Fire 2021 – Photo Courtesy of CTV News

Recovery from these events is a long ways away but the people need your help now.

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

The Hell or High Water concert/help-a-thon is a massive undertaking. The organizing  group has put together an amazing group of artists to entertain you and to encourage you to help out.  For the 12 hour period, starting on March 13, 2022 at 10:00AM there will be appearances of over 50 Artists and another 25 or so dignitaries. To see where you can tune in to watch the Hell or High Water Fundraiser please go to the website. You can follow along and donate on participating websites, social media and, maybe even, TV. 

The great thing about this concert is that the overhead has been kept as low as possible so your donation goes to the fire  and flood relief victims.  The organizers  are donating their time and expertise, the artists are donating their performances and all prizes have been donated.

You may want to know who is behind the fund raiser for fire and flood relief. The “Brothers of Tourism” at EH Canada Travel, Kenny Hess (Founder of Rockin’ River Music Festival), the Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, Tourism Nicola Valley, Experience Nicola Valley and the Rotary Club of Merritt are all proud to step up and present the “Hell or High Water Fundraiser”.

Hell or Highwater Entertainers

Obviously with over 50 performers I won’t be covering them all but you can be sure that everyone is a top caliber performer and you will enjoy every minute of it.

The lineup includes musicians from all genres with a large tribute to Country and Western.  This is not surprising because this fire and flood relief concert originated from the Country Music Capital of Canada, Merritt BC.  For the full list of Artists you can go to www.hellorhighwater.ca .

Just to get you excited here is but a few people performing for you, George Canyon, Patricia Conroy, Big and Rich, Kenny Hess, Karen Lee Batten, David Gogo, Jackson Hollow, Lisa Brokop,  Duane Steele and Beverley Mahood.  If old time rock and roll is more your thing then you can stay tuned for Chilliwack or Loverboy.

Fire and Flood Relief Prizes

To encourage you to donate to the fire and flood relief concert, Hell or High Water, you can win a valuable prize.  When you donate you can pick the prize that you want to win. You will automatically get 3 chances at the draw and then you get to earn other chances at your draw.  So it is actually better to donate early so your chances of winning become a little bit better.

What can you win?  There are prizes for every taste from Canucks tickets, Rockin River Tickets or a stay at a beautiful cabin on Glimpse Lake near Merritt, BC.

I am an art fan and have to say there is an amazing painting by Canadian Artist, David Langevin that has a retail value of over $8,000. So this will not only be a great addition to your home but also be a great investment in one of Canada’s foremost artists.

Melting at Moraine

Melting at Moraine-David Langevin Art

The Flood and Fire Relief Victims Need Help!

The crisis is not over!  The victims of the fire and flood need your support. The Hell or High Water Concert help-a-thon is the perfect place to provide that support.  You are not only helping your neighbours but you’re a getting a great day of music.  Also you will be entertained plus have the chance to win a great prize.  You can also direct your donation to a specific community.  Let’s all get on board.

 

Flood and Fire Relief

Hell or Highwater Concert Help-a-thon

Donate to help the Victims

 

 

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Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

Organizing your Christmas Lights and Cheer

Enjoying the Holidays with Christmas Lights

This year putting up Christmas Lights in Merritt BC has extra meaning.  This summer we were faced with forest fires and some people were evacuated.  If that was not enough, the entire town of Merritt, British Columbia, Canada was evacuated due to extreme flooding.  In fact, over 350 homes were severely damaged.  Add to these problems, Covid-19 and you have a year to remember or not.

The nice thing about this time of year is that we have a chance to bring some cheer and light to our town.

Organizing Your Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

If you are like me, the worst part of putting up Christmas lights is actually taking them down.  Since I don’t like this job I just strip them down and throw them into a big bin.  Therefore, when it is time to put them up again I have to organize them.

If all the lights were the same colour this would not be a problem.  However, I have variations on a theme and thus I have to separate the strings into their individual colours.

I created my problem by buying my lights in different years.  My first purchase were some lights some describe as “warm” white.  That sounded good to me. However, they tended more to be a yellow than a white.  So the next year I purchased “cool” white.  These tended to be more blue than white. Xmas

The next time I went to the store my wife asked if we could get “clear” white.  Guess what?  These lights were actually white!

I, therefore, divided my lights into 3 piles.

Testing your Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

When I took my lights down last year they all worked but I know from past experience this may not be the case now. Somehow the gremlins find their way into the bin and break at least one string.   In my case two strings were 1/2 burnt out.  Since I am not an electrician and don’t have fancy testing gadgets I cut off the parts of the strings that didn’t work and put together the parts that worked. Notice that in this picture 1/2 the string is not on.

Testing L;ights

Testing Lights

Stringing Your Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

Most people who put up their lights put their efforts into decorating the front yard.  They generally follow the roof line, including any peaks.  Also, there is often lawn ornaments of deer, snowmen or Santa.

That is not the case in my house.  We have wall to wall windows that look out onto the backyard so it makes sense to me to put the majority of my effort there.  Also I am afraid of heights and ladders so you won’t find me decorating any areas that are up high.

 The backyard is terraced where the first level is defined by a row of lilac bushes centred by a choke cherry tree.  The second area is our new terraced garden that is on the north side of the house.  The final area is our deck that spans the back of the house.

The Results of Stringing the Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

I would like to say that everything went smoothly but unfortunately that was not the case.  I wrapped the lights around the branches of the lilacs and up into the choke cherry tree.  However, before I moved on I decided to test the installation and, lo and behold, the middle string did not light up. Canadian Tire did not have any of the long strings left so I headed over to Walmart where I found what I was looking for. The lights were labeled  “cool white” which was exactly what I needed.  After stringing the lights I tested them and found out that what Canadian Tire calls “cool white” is not the same as Walmart’s.

Despite the difference I decided to leave well enough alone and continued onto the other areas where I had success.  With the backyard complete I moved onto the front yard.

Deck Lighting

Deck lighting

Back Terrace lighting

Back Terrace Lighting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stringing Up the Christmas Lights in the Front Yard

As I said I have not put a lot of effort into the front yard.  We have a central flower bed that has a young sunburst locus tree in the centre and barberry bushes around the edges. So I have strung the Christmas lights on the tree and the bushes.

We also came across some kaleidoscope lights that you screw into your house out door lights to add some colour without a lot of work. 

Front Yard

Front Yard

With minimal work the front yard display is not bad.

 Christmas Lights in Merritt BC

 

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Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Remembers November 11

Canadians observe a minute of silence and visit Canadian memorials around the world to honor the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada  has been observed since the end of the First World War to remember armed forces members who served in the line of duty.  November 11th is truly one of our most important days of the year. Therefore with the challenges we are facing today makes this a more memorable time to take a minute of silence.   “Lest we forget” is a day of Remembrance  in Merritt BC. Canada. Communities throughout Canada will hold ceremonies honouring our veterans and the fallen.  Moreover this is a time of giving homage and respecting our past while looking forward. 

 

 
Remembrance Day in Merritt BC

“Lest we forget” Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

Celebrating veterans in Merritt BC

Generations will not forget. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

“Lest We Forget” We remember the more than 2,300,000 Canadians who have served throughout our nation’s history and the more than 118,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC Canada

Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley and throughout Canada has been observed since the end of the First World War in 1931.  Therefore, on November 11th, in Merritt BC Canada it is important to remember the members of our army, navy and air force and all who died in the line of duty.  Together, since I can remember, communities gather in memorial parks, community halls, workplaces, schools and homes to stand and observe all who have fallen.  Accordingly every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we gather in memorial parks, we Canadians mark the occasion every year with a “moment of silence”.  Firstly, and most importantly, it is an opportunity to say “thank you” to the soldiers who have protected our way-of-life, our freedoms and our system of democracy. Make an effort and come and Experience Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. 

Remembrance Day Merritt BC.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada. Photo credit Tania Stewart.

Thus on Remembrance Day in Merritt BC.

On this day, when we honour those who have fought for our country and our freedom, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

In Addition 

Remembrance Day is also called “poppy day” on November 11th in Canada. Many other countries of the world celebrate this day on the same date. Around the world people give homage and decorate the graves of their heroes who sacrificed themselves for their country. Many Canadians spend Remembrance Day with their family and friends. There are many of us who attend the local Remembrance Day  ceremony in our home towns as a family.   

 

 “We only need to look at what we are really doing in the world and at home and we’ll know what it is to be Canadian.” Adrienne Clarkson

Civic Centre Merritt

“The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem.” —Aaron Kilbourn . Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Remembrance Day is a day for all Canadians to remember the men and women who served and sacrificed for our country. It is a day we encourage every individual, young and old, to pause, to give thanks and to remember. Legion.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Members of the Masonic and appendant body Oder of the Eastern  Star.  Brian Stewart along with his wife Lily Stewart laying a wreath. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, is their monument today, and for aye.” Thomas Dunn English

A Day of Remembrance 

Remembrance Day isn’t just about war and those we’ve lost, but about ideals and what we stand for. It’s about respecting our past and looking forward, and more than anything, thanking those who have served our country.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Laying a wreath. Photo credit: Tania Stewart.

History of Canadian Veterans Service.

Canadian Veterans have served throughout history in a broad range of conflicts and situations – from world wars to peacekeeping missions to crises on the home-front.  The Royal Canadian Legion, including the Merritt BC Chapter, is committed to honouring and remembering all Veterans, whether they served in theatre or on Canadian soil, whether they kept the peace or fought for peace, whether they found themselves in combat or in support of operations.

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Canada

Respecting our past and welcoming our future. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

 “Whether we live together in confidence and cohesion; with more faith and pride in ourselves and less self-doubt and hesitation; strong in the conviction that the destiny of Canada is to unite, not divide; sharing in cooperation, not in separation or in conflict; respecting our past and welcoming our future.” Lester Pearson

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Nicola Valley

“Patriotism is not dying for one’s country, it is living for one’s country. And for humanity. Perhaps that is not as romantic, but it’s better.” —Agnes Macphail . Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley

“The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” Benjamin Disraeli. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

The Poppy Campaign.

A great Canadian tradition is wearing a “red poppy” on your lapel between the last Friday of October to November 11. Tens of millions of Canadians put on a Poppy as a visual pledge to honour Canada’s Veterans.  And did you know the first poppy is presented each year to the Governor General of Canada. Furthermore, in local areas the Royal Canadian Legion presents their first Poppy to either a veteran, member of the military or dignitary.  

Remembrance Day in Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Feature Maj. Thor Toms.

Beginning as a cadet himself, Major Thor Toms, joined the Navy League at the age of 10.  Later joining the air cadets,  followed by the Canadian Army. “Our youth are faced with so many influences in their lives and many of those influences don’t offer them the best choices for positive decisions.” Furthermore “The cadet program helps to guide our youth.” Maj. Thor Toms

Additionally my Grandfather Charles Stewart.

My Grandfather. L/CPL Charles M Stewart. Photo credit: Tania Stewart

Honouring and Remembering Canada’s Veterans.

It is important to know that the Legion acknowledges the end of conflicts and does not commemorate the start of conflicts.  The most sacred day is Remembrance Day. Every year, on November 11, the Legion recognizes all of Canada’s Veterans, serving and retired, commemorates our Fallen, men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, Peace Officers, Merchant Navy, and Reserves. Honouring families and their losses. 

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” —John Diefenbaker

The National Remembrance Day Ceremony.

On Remembrance Day, at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, tens of thousands of people assemble to honour and remember those who have fallen to protect our freedoms. Contact your local legion. Merritt Royal Canadian Legion Branch 96.

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others. ~ Aristotle.

Remembrance Ceremonies across Canada.

Royal Canadian Legion members take pride in organizing Remembrance Day Ceremonies in over 1,400 Branches across Canada and abroad. Through each Branch, the Legion continues the traditions of Remembrance so that Canada ‘never forgets.’

Never Forget.

Veteran 35yr Legion

Norman Phillips 1951. On his way to the Korean war. Proudly Served in the Korean War. Melvina White‘s father.

The Act of Remembrance
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
We will remember them.

How We Advocate.

Veterans served to protect the rights and freedoms we enjoy today, and The Royal Canadian Legion is committed to ensuring they receive the care and support they deserve. The Legion advocates for Veterans’ benefits and for the well-being of Veterans and their families. To find out more about this process, contact your Branch or Provincial Command.

 

In Flanders Field

LT,-Col. John McCae (1872-1918)

“In Flanders Fields” written by John McCrae 

Canadian soldier John McCrae penned the famous poem, “In Flanders Field”. He served in the Second Battle of Ypres in Flanders, Belgium. The poem was written in remembrance of a fallen comrade who’d died in battle and was buried with a simple wooden cross as a marker.  He observed how throughout the fields of Flanders, once alive with red poppies, was now filled with the bodies of dead soldiers.  

Comparatively it highlights one of the ironies of war—that soldiers must die so that a nation of people might live. Remembrance Day in the Nicola Valley November 11th. In Flanders Fields poem. John McCrae .

In Remembrance on November 11th. 

On Remembrance Day, take a moment to salute those patriotic men and women who served their nation. On this day, when we honor those who have fought for our country and our freedoms, it’s hard to find the words to express just what they have given each and every one of us.

Contact Information

Royal Canadian Legion Merritt Branch 096
1940 Quilchena Ave
Merritt, British Columbia
(250) 378-5631

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Remembrance Day in Merritt BC, Nicola Valley

Wear a Poppy in Canada

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A tasty way to enjoy Halloween Treats!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board.

This Halloween snack board is just the thing you need to try. Snack boards are so multi-purpose. I do them for lunches and I do them for birthdays. This board was created last year when Covid hit and we were all in lock down. It was such a somber season for for the entire Nicola Valley and the world.  As a result I decided we would have our own little party.

Halloween Snack Board and Treats in Merritt BC

Halloween Puns Are So Corny. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Snack Boards are Spooktacular Treats!

 I had never made one for Halloween and wanted to boost the kids spirits. We assembled this easy enough and I am sure you could definitely simplify it by only picking a few elements to recreate. Furthermore, I wanted the kids to be quite hands on with this and have a great experience. Based on the snack board we created as a family for Valentine’s Day, I had some ideas on what I wanted to do. 

Hot Dog Dinner for Halloween

Lets Give Them Pumpkin To Talk About! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Spooky Season is upon us 

Getting spooky like this is easy with a quick trip to Walmart. They always have such a great assortment of cookies and cupcakes seasonally. So putting something like this Halloween snack board can be as easy as 1,2,3! You can make your board a mixture of sweet or savory, like I chose to.  Or you can choose to keep it completely on the sweet side with gummy candy, cookies, and candy bars.  This Halloween snack board has some homemade items and some bought items. Don’t burn yourself out. Let your creative juices flow. Lastly and most importantly have fun and take a lot of photos of your creative eating masterpiece like we did. !

Treats for Halloween Snacking Board

We’re Here For A Gourd Time! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Mummy Dog How To! 

Interested in making your own mummy hot dogs? They come together easily enough. And can make your own Halloween snack board totally stand out. All you need are your favorite hot dogs. Then some canned crescent roll pastry.  You then simply place the crescent roll pastry on to your cutting board. Cut into strips and then wrap them around your hot dog. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins or so at 350 degrees. You can then use mustard to make eyes. Lastly theses were so fun for all of my kids to make. So easy and very tasty! 

Baking and making Halloween treats

Let the Halloween Treats begin. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Mummy Hotdogs

You Will Win The Award Of “Mummy Of The Year” With These Guys! Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Halloween Looks So Beautiful and Yummy

Healthy Snacks for Halloween

Cavities Beware. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell

Hocus pocus its no joke, candy helps me to focus. Lets zero in on some of these spooky treats. For this Halloween snack board we first have an easy addition with red pepper hummus.  Add in some pumpkin type lines and the top of a cucumber and you have an adorable pumpkin. Can you find the black olive spiders? They came together quick and easy. Just slice open 1 black olive lay it flat and with the opposite side make the legs. The peeled oranges and if you take a closer look you will also spy pumpkin deviled eggs. We used some turmeric and mustard to get a more orange hue. Crackers, gummy worms, tiny spooky cupcakes all round this tray out. Lastly make this your own and let your creativity flow. 

 

Healthy Halloween Treats

Life Is Gourd Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

Have an eek-tastic Halloween

“Fa-boo-lous!

You are going to feel like the ghostess with the mostest when you try this Halloween Snack Board. I promise you it comes together easy enough. There is so much inspiration online. As a busy mom of 8, I can say that we all had so much fun. I had little ones making spiders, snacking and laughing. All gathered around my table.. This was honestly one of our biggest highlights from lockdown, and I’m so thankful I get to be in a space that lets me share our families experiences Being able to share our stories with. Experience Nicola Valley fills my heart with gratitude. In conclusion from my family to you, we wish you a happy and safe fall season. 

Family halloween treats and sweets

#Squadghouls. Photo credit: Jennifer Schell.

And finally, just a teaser, for the next big holiday after Thanksgiving here is a sneak peek into our  Christmas themed snack board. 

Halloween Snack Board in the Nicola Valley

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Living in Merritt BC

Exploring Near Merritt in the Nicola Valley

Living life in the Shuswap Lake region of British Columbia Canada

Living in Merritt BC  – For the better part of two years Experience Nicola Valley has been providing an amazing amount of information on what Merritt and the Nicola Valley has to offer.  Do you want to know about camping in the area?  We have many stories that will spike your interest in our local camping such as Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley or Paska Lake off of Hwy 97D.

With so much to do when living in Merritt BC I could not possibly cover it all in this article.  However the good news is that you came to a key document that will provide you access to all the great things going on.  After you have read this story you can zip over to Experience Nicola Valley for more information.

For booking information and other information on events, etc visit Experience Merritt.

Other Reasons for Living in Merritt BC

Besides all the great things to do in Merritt and the Nicola Valley you are only a hop, skip and jump away from many great tourist destinations.  For example, the Okanagan is only one hour away or Kamloops is only 45 minutes away. Whereas other destinations such as the Shuswap (2 hours), the Cariboo (3 hours) or Vancouver(3 Hours) are within a comfortable reach.

The North Shuswap

This summer we spent our vacation in Magna Bay.  This area is on the north side of the lake at the west end.  We were very lucky and scored the best value in all of the Shuswap. We were able to rent a cabin for a very reasonable price.

Magna Bay Cabin - Living in Merritt BC Canada

Magna Bay Cottage- Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

Like wise, the inside of the cabin was very comfortable as well.

Cottage Living Room at Magna Bay Vacations

Cottage Living Room- Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

The place was very clean and the kitchen was reasonably equipped.  However it was not the ritz.  Some upgrades to the wall paper and some of the painted areas would help.  However these minor imperfections did not stop us from enjoying our stay.

Things to Do in the Shuswap

We were visiting the Shuswap during the height of the forest fire season and encountered a great deal of smoke.  However, this did not deter us as we made the best of the various breaks in the smoke and did the following things:

The Beach

The beach was just across the street which made it  just a short walk of about 200 meters.  Therefore we were able to  enjoy the warm lake with swimming and using our floaties.

Ross Creek Community Park

Ross Creek Community Park – Photo credit: Magna Bay Vacations

Hiking

There are many places to hike in the North Shuswap.  Of the many choices we did three spots.  The first one was at Tsutswecw Provincial Park.  This park is home to the viewing for the famous Adams River Salmon Run.

Tsutswecw Provincial Park

Tsutswecw Provincial Park – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

Adams River

Adams River – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second choice was Scotch Creek Provincial Park where we walked the lake shore trail.  The Beach at this park is a real treat.

Scotch Creek Provincial Park

Scotch Creek Provincial Park – Photo credit Tom Reynolds

Golfing

The North Shuswap is home to the Talking Rock Golf Course.  The course is actually on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake at the Quaaout Lodge.

The setting is truly spectacular and the course provides a nice challenge.

Golf at Talking Rock

Golf at Talking Rock. Photo credit – Tom Reynolds

Besides a regular golf course we took in the Mini Golf at Scotch Creek.  While we had fun the course was in need of some serous repair.

Mini Golf at Scotch Creek

Mini Golf at Scotch Creek – Photo credit – Tom Reynolds

Quality Cabin Time

We actually spent most of our eating at the cabin.  Each of the five adults took a turn cooking a meal.  Therefore if you did the cooking you didn’t have to clean up.  This way the work load was spread out.  It made for great meals that were not burdensome on one person.

However, we did go out twice.  The first time to the Hub Pub in Scotch Creek.  We were entertained by the Dueling Keyboards while eating delicious unique pub food.

The second time we actually didn’t go out for dinner but ordered pizza from Roosters Pizzeria in Anglemont BC.  We expected the shop to be on the main road but it actually was high up the hillside in a residential subdivision.  The drive was well worth it as the pizza was delicious and it went well with watching the BC Lion’s game.

Good Things Come to an End

Despite the smoke we had a great time and were sorry to be leaving.  On the other hand we are thankful for living in Merritt BC Canada because we have quick access to many fun locations.

Living in Merritt BC

Exploring Near Merritt

Shuswap Lake BC

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Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan Road Tripping – Part Two

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

Okanagan Circle Tours – In my last blog I was talking about circle tours from Merritt, BC, in particular from Merritt to Princeton and then onto the Okanagan. The first part of the journey was from Merritt, BC to Princeton, BC, Canada.  While this trip is fun any time of the year the best period would be early to mid August.

On the Road Again – Okanagan Circle Tours From Merritt, BC

When you leave Princeton you want to head out on Highway 3 going east towards Penticton.  This is a gorgeous part of the trip as you follow the beautiful Similkimeen River.  While there are many points of interest along this route I will be only mentioning a few since this is only a two day tour.  

 

Our first point of interest is Hedley, BC, home of the Mascot Gold Mine.   The mine was closed in the mid twentieth century but was turned into a tourist attraction by the Province and the local first nations people.  Unfortunately the tours ended in 2018.  Despite not being able to take tours  anymore it is still impressive to see the structures that were put in place to mine the side of a mountain.

Mascot Gold Mine

Mascot Gold Mine

Stop #2-Circle Tours From Merritt, BC

While there are many choices to stop for lunch, one of my favourites is Bromley Rock Provincial Park.  This is a perfect spot for a picnic.  As well as  a great lunch venue you could also take a dip in the river.

Bromley Rock Provincial Park

Bromley Provincial Park

Keremeos-The Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.

Keremeos is the last stop in the Similkimeen Valley on our Okanagan Circle Tour from Merritt, BC.  Most of the fruit stands in Keremeos  are the traditional type where the stands are selling fruit from their own farms which is not always the case in other areas of the Province. For example, in August you can get the best peaches because they come from the orchards behind the fruit stands.

 

keremeos fruit stand

Keremeos Fruit Stand

While fruit is the main claim to fame for Keremeos, the Cathedral Lake Lodge is a must see.  Unfortunately you won’t have time on this trip but do book mark it for another time.  The alpine hiking is inspiring.  As well there is plenty of time to do simpler things like reading your book in a comfy chair by the lake.

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Penticton is next on our circle tour from Merritt, BC

Hopefully y0u have timed your trip so that you leave Keremeos by 4:30 or 5:00 so that you can make Penticton by early evening.  You will need to book a hotel for one night.  The more expensive ones are on Okanagan lake while more reasonable accommodation can be had near Skaha Lake.  

After you settle in you will want a bite to eat.  While they have all the fast food choices the Hooded Merganser is a spectacular place to eat.  While it is on the pricier side of things its location on the lake cannot be beat.  Otherwise you may want to try a winery on the Naramata Bench.  We’ve actually eaten at the Hillside Winery where we had an experience we will never forget.

Hillside Winery

Hillside Winery

When we arrived it was a beautiful evening.  However, the wind started to pick up and the clouds began rolling in.  At this point many of the diners left the patio to go inside, but not us.  The temperature was dropping and the waiters brought us blankets. The rain began in earnest but we were protected by a roof. We became the only patrons left on the rooftop patio.  As if the wind and rain weren’t enough along came thunder and lightening.  It was truly spectacular.  By the way, the meal was great.

Day 2 starts in Penticton.

You’ll want to be up early because this will be another fun filled day.  There are so many fun things to do from having a lazy beach day, winery tours, shopping and my favourite, tubing the canal.

For wineries the Naramata Bench provides 19 wineries in very close proximity to each other.  For shopping you will want to take in the mom and pop shops on Main Street. As well you will want to visit the funky galleries on Front Street.

Finally I do recommend the tubing.  If you didn’t bring one you can rent one at Coyote Cruises which opens at 11:00 AM.  Allow three hours for the trip and 1/2 bus trip back.

Floating the canal

Floating the canal

Next stop on our circle tour from Merritt, BC is Summerland.

Summerland is split by Highway 97 with the commercial section on the west side of the road and the beach area down the hill on the other side of the street.  One of the main attractions is the steam train.  You have to be careful though because you might get robbed by bandits on horse back!  You need reservations and you may not get on board if you arrive too late from Penticton.

Steam Train

Steam Train

However not all is lost as downtown Summerland has some great unique stores in downtown.

Our Final Stop on our tour- Peachland

You have to plan your arrival in Peachland at dinner time because you will want to have the best dining experience in the whole Okanagan at the Gasthaus on the Lake Restaurant.

Whether you choose to sit on the beautiful patio with its flowers and trees or in the Bavarian style of the restaurant you will be impressed.  The food and service is also great.  As the last thing to do on this trip you will want to take in an Okanagan sunset,  Peachland has a stunning walk way that travels from one end of the village to the other.  Also there are many scenic spots to stop and take in the surroundings.  All in all this is a great way to end your trip as you prepare to head back to Merritt, BC

 

Peachland waterfront

Peachland waterfront

This Tour Ends

While this tour ended it is obvious that Merritt is a great place to use as a base camp for circle tours.  After all there are eight roads leading into and out of Merritt.

Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part Two

 

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Outdoor Winter Activities

Adventures for the Family in the Nicola Valley

Winter activities enjoyed by all 

We in the Nicola Valley enjoy our outdoor winter activities despite the dark colder days of winter. Albeit, Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other.  Beating the winter blues with outdoor winter activities in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities

Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities Like Footprint Tag

Play tag as you normally would…but stepping only in others’ footprints. It should be noted to not have Bigfoot play with you. A slight size advantage there right? As a night time game, we would suggest using glow sticks or flashlights so it makes it even more challenging and interesting. 

Foot print tag. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Quewezance.

Night time tag or hide n seek! Photo by Tania Stewart.

Golfing in the Winter Snow 

Snow golf anyone? Take some time to smooth out a fairway and a green. Take an open can and plant it in the snow. This becomes the whole in one shot! Make sure to color your golf balls and tee’s. Truly easier to find in the snow. Indeed this is how we do golfing during Canadian Winters.

Winter Bocce Ball 

Bocce ball Covid style. Say what! How cool is this to play in the snow.  Bocce ball sets can be found at local Canadian Tire. Truly a ton of laughter will be heard.  

merrittBC

Bocce Ball.

Outdoor Curling Rink?

Due to Covid19 many avid curlers are without a rink to go to. Build a rink in your own back yard or on a lake. Come together as a family and throw some rocks. Good time safe bubble sport with social distancing. 

outdoorwinteractivities.

Outdoor curling rink. Photo courtesy of Pixel.

Other Winter Outdoor Activities

Go on a winter photo scavenger hunt.  This is how you start. Take a picture of an outside recognizable feature. Within the agreed radius. Each participant sends picture to all participants and the hunt is on to locate feature. Clearly it could be a tree or a street name, or even a snowman down the road. Importantly it is an outdoor adventure that is full of fun. Furthermore this winter outdoor activity could include you community. Social distancing while connecting and having fun. Winner’s photo will be shared on social media. 

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Scavenger Hunt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittwinteractivities.

Winter Games. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities for the Whole Family in the Nicola Valley.

Build a snowman or snow fort. How about a snowball fun fight? Round up your neighbors and have a friendly winter competition. Divide and conquer. Snowball fight bring it on! Follow up the fun with a creamy hot chocolate and a backyard winter BBQ.  

 

Feeling Artistic?

Host a snow sculpture competition within your neighborhood. Firstly find some  judges. Snowmen consist of three large snowballs of different sizes with some additional goodies for facial and other features. Common accessories include branches for arms and a rudimentary smiley face, with a carrot used for a nose. Clothing, such as a hat or scarf, may also be included for all!​

Winter Beauty is ours to enjoy! Photo from Tania Stewart.

More Outdoor Winter Activities

Ice fishing is considered one of the most recognized  Canadian winter activities. While some fishermen prefer to stay out in the open, most prefer a shelter.  Equally some people like to go big with luxury fish shacks that have heaters, stoves, beds and even T.V’s. My idea of ice fishing! Experience ice fishing in the Nicola Valley.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Nicola Valley.

merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley. Photo by Greg Girard.

There are numerous small lakes that are pure gems for ice fishing enthusiasts. Connect with the great outdoors and spend quality time with friends and family while on your Nicola Valley Ice Fishing Adventure. Safety first when you head out on the ice.

Ice skating and Pond Hockey.

Ice skating is truly a Canadian winter activity. Whether being a backyard rink or a frozen pond. Many Canadians can proudly say they spent many a winter days learning to skate and play on outdoor rinks. Apart from the usual sport, how about elevating it. Alternatively adding “Bowling” into pond skating. Set up some pin’s and bowl with skates on. Keep score and have a bawl with this. 

Merritt Cross Country Skiing 

Truly  cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy a crisp winter day. The Nicola Valley offer’s superb trails. Cross country skiing in the Nicola Valley starts and ends on the Kane Valley xc ski trails. With over  50 kilometers of groomed trails ideal for wilderness Nordic skiing. Consequently, the trails are well marked with signage, decorated with shelters (warming huts) and there are washrooms on site too.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails. Photo by Greg Girard

“First of all remember these 2 words – Kane Valley. That is all you have to do to get your next xc ski fix in the Nicola Valley.” Greg Girard.

Additionally, there is also sledding, snow tubing, snowshoeing, fat biking and winter hiking, as well as, stargazing. Merritt BC offers some of the best stargazing without big city light pollution. Truly ideal to stargaze. Each year the Merritt Astronomical Society hosts a large and roomy Star Party.  

Perfect Stargazing outside Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing 

Snowshoeing is the new winter hiking. Utilizing and exploring the same summer trails. Equally provides a winter perspective to the scenery. Lastly, snowshoeing trails are available in the Kane Valley region of the Nicola Valley. Plan a day picnic while  snowshoeing within Merritt’s beautiful backcountry. 

merritt snowshoeing

What a great day to go winter snowshoeing in Merritt. Photo by Pixel Bay

While there is always “Skijoring”

Skijoring,  is a winter sport that originates in Scandinavia, where it has been practiced for centuries. Laplander’s skied on Nordic skis holding the reins attached to reindeer. Subsequently by the mid 1950’s, skijoring found its way to North America. This time ranchers would attach a long rope to the saddle horn while being pulled on ski’s down a straight-away. Important to note the rider determines the pace and route for the skijoring adventure, while the skier attempts to hold on. Extreme maybe? Fun is what I  would say!

Horse Skiing. Photo “YouTube”

 
In Conclusion it is “Fun”

Despite the dark colder days. Nerveless we can all enjoy outdoor winter activities, especially when living in the Nicola Valley. Albeit Canadian winter’s can be long and enduring. Although with a bit of incentive everyone can enjoy a winter day like no other. Who is to say we can not enjoy summer activities during winter months. Playing summer games during the winter months can be hilarious as well as a lot of fun.  Ideally the point is to get outside with family and friends and have a lot of fun with a barrel full of laughs. And if feeling really brave try out Big Foot tracking. Enjoy all activities outdoors during our winter months in the Nicola Valley.

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Big Foot Tracking in the Nicola Valley. Photo Tania Stewart.

Merritt, BC, Canada

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Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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“Santa Claus” and Christmas in Merritt BC

A Nicola Valley Christmas with Santa from the North Pole

“Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through Merritt …”

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada is coming up and Santa Claus is busy looking over his naughty & nice list in preparation for the big night. It has truly proven to be a very difficult year for keeping off the Naughty List too. Therefore Santa is checking it twice to find out who has been naughty or nice. In doing so, Santa was very pleased with the children of the Nicola Valley, as well as, the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers in their efforts of bringing good cheer into the homes of Merrittonians throughout the year.  

Christmas in Merritt BC

Santa checking the Naughty and Nice List twice from Santa’s Village in the North Pole

Mrs. Claus started Christmas in Merritt BC 

Christmas in Merritt BC started with Mrs. Claus accompanied by some poking and prodding from the Elves. One night talking with Santa, Mrs Claus was sharing some of the things she was reading about in the letters from Nicola Valley children. Meanwhile, the snickering Elves nearby hanging the Reindeer stockings were encouraging Mrs. Claus to take a Nicola Valley vacation. So she looked it up on ExperienceMerritt.com to learn more. She was hooked. 

Mrs. Claus Pays It Forward 

Mrs. Claus wanted to get a positive feel for Christmas in Merritt BC Canada. So she visited  the “Walk of Stars”, the Downtown Shops and some of the children, who are now adults, operating small businesses in Merritt during Covid 19. On her list was Blacks’ Pharmacy, Miss Vicki’s Petal and Plants, Planet Hair and Spa, Community Futures Nicola Valley and the City of Merritt Mayor, Linda Brown. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Must Go On

The Elves, the reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus all realize first hand how the children miss meeting with Santa Claus due to Covid19. Because of the pandemic Santa could not do his annual rounds visiting all the children throughout the world. Santa decided, based on the feedback from Mrs. Claus’ visit to the Nicola Valley, that Christmas in Merritt BC must go on!

christmas in merritt

Santa and Mrs. Claus discussing Christmas in Merritt BC

Interview with Santa and Mrs. Claus

Santa and Mrs. Claus agreed to provide Experience Nicola Valley a 1/2 hour interview on our community talk show called Nicola Valley Talk. Lucky me! I, Tania Stewart, was the host of that episode on Nicola Valley Talk which had Santa and Mrs. Claus as a special guest! They shared so many things during our interview about Santa’s Village, the North Pole, the reindeer, the mischievous Elves and Xmas Eve. Watch the interview below. 

Letters from Nicola Valley Children

After much consideration Mrs. Claus and Santa, along with their 90 thousand elves, decided to grant the Nicola Valley Talk Show an additional episode so they could answer the letters from Nicola Valley children live online. In addition, they would invite a few children online to talk and chat with Santa on a video call live from the North Pole in Northern Canada. We received letters and some video submissions too, making for great stories and answers.

We all know that  Mrs.. Claus runs the show in the North Pole. Without her,  Santa would truly be lost. Of course Mrs. Claus did all her research on the ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com websites! Notably she searched Merritt BC  Things To Do on Google and the Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt websites came up 3 times on the first page! 

“They must be the community experts Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers. And I was right!” Mrs. Claus.

Meanwhile back at the North Pole 

Then there are the Elves who are dedicated and work tirelessly to make sure Christmas is special. In our discussions, we met the two head Elves, Alex and Daniel.  These two had it all together. Therefore they were in charge of feeding the Reindeer, building toys, and assisting Mrs. Claus with the banking so to provide Santa with his cookies.  

christmas in merritt bc elves

The Head Elves, Alex and Daniel, helping out at the North Pole.

“In the light of  all the work that Santa’s Elves do throughout the year. They are just so jolly and full of spunk.” Melvina White

To point out these are the 5 most asked questions from children as well as adult’s to Santa Claus. 

  1.  -“Do you remember when Santa and you got me a XXXXX when I was 6?”
  2. – “Is Xmas cancelled because of COVID?”
  3. – “Can the reindeer really fly?”
  4. – “How does Santa get down the chimney?”
  5. – “Are there really such things as Elves?”

Santa in 2021

We sure do hope to have Santa back next year on the show to answer and chat live with Nicola Valley children. 

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada

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Camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley

Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley

 

This is the second time around for this blog on Camping in Merritt and the Nicola Valley.  I previously released this in the winter but decided it might be more interesting to those looking for a great spot to camp without over crowding.  The site at Harmon Lake is a Forestry Recreation Site and therefore there are no reservations taken.  Mid week is usually the best time to arrive as the weekends can be quite busy.

My favourite spot for camping in Merritt BC Canada

I have talked about camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley before but this time I want to introduce you to one of my top spots – Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley.  I know we have shifted into winter and camping is probably not high on your list of things to do, but I need to get this down on paper now so you can file this under–“remember for camping season” 

What do you like to do when camping in Merritt BC?

We like to start our day with a delicious breakfast.  There is nothing better than eating pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup and bacon beside a beautiful lake while camping in Merritt BC and the Nicola Valley! Scrambled eggs and gourmet sausages are pretty good too.

Camping in Merritt BC

Great Breakfast With Family

Post breakfast activities

After breakfast we grabbed our bikes and headed out on a little trip along Kane Valley Road.  There are many lakes to see on this road with wild life on either side, especially birds for people who are into this activity.  Bikes can also be used on the 55 kilometers of x-country ski trails with the added bonus of picnic tables and pit toilets in various places along the trail.  These facilities are not maintained in the summer so please be kind to your fellow adventurers and leave the places clean.

Merritt BC Camping

Game night while camping

We interspersed our activities with some serious reading and outstanding meals.  As well, we filled in our night time with Board Games and sitting around the fire.

Nicola Valley campfires

Nicola Valley Campfires and stories

“There is nothing like sitting around the campfire and reading a good book”–Andrea Reynolds

How to get to Harmon Lake in Merritt

From Merritt, BC you take the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C) towards Kelowna for approximately 14 kilometers.  You will see the sign for Harmon Lake (if you missed that sign look for the x-country ski sign–it will get you to the same place). Make the right turn onto Kane Valley Rd and follow it approximately  8 kilometers.  At this point you have a decision to make.  On the left you will see the entrance to the east campground.  If you stay on Kane Valley Rd for about 800 meters you will come to the West Campground. (link to map)

experiencemerritt

Heading west 

The west campground in my mind is prettier than the east campground and the sites are further apart.  The down side is that it can be windier than its counterpart.  The east side has more amenities such as the boat launch, the campground host, access to the lake and hiking trails.

What you need when you are camping at Harmon Lake

My family prefers non motorized activities and so we bring our bikes, kayaks and hiking boots

Harmon Lake in Merritt adventures

If you like motorized vehicles there are plenty of places to use your ATV, dirt bike or fishing boat with a small motor.

Harmon Lake in Merritt BC

Looking out from the shoreline trail at Harmon Lake

Hiking in the Kane Valley

Hiking is one of our favourite things to do.  The easiest hike is the shoreline trail that takes you around the lake.  One of the bonuses of this hike is that it is located in a Forestry Recreational Area. It has an interpretive site that provides a lot of information on the eco systems of the lake area.  This is an easy hike and takes about 45 minutes to an hour.

There are 55 kilometers of ski trails with varying levels of difficulty.  They all provide a great forest experience. Times of these hikes vary with length and difficulty.

Kayaking on Harmon Lake

Harmon is great for this activity.  The lake is small so you are usually not far from any edge of the lake so you really don’t have to worry about falling in the Lake!  It is a beautiful lake but it seems even prettier when you are looking on shore from your Kayak

Kayaking in Merritt BC

Cruising on Harmon lake

When all is said and done it is easy to see why one of my favourite places to camp in Merritt and the Nicola Valley is Harmon Lake.

Harmon Lake is camping in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Campgrounds