Nicola Valley Food Bank

Not Just  a Food Bank

Serving the Community on Merritt BC Canada

One of the more important social services in Merritt is the Nicola Valley Food Bank.  Therefore this organization is instrumental in filling a gap where people have to decide between shelter or food.  There are many people in the Merritt area who do not have enough financial support or low paying jobs that can’t make ends meet and therefore rely on the Nicola Valley Food Bank located in Downtown Merritt BC Canada.

 

Nicola Valley Food Bank Shelving

Nicola Valley Food Bank Shelving–Tom Reynolds Photo

The Program of the Nicola Valley Food Bank

Of course the main function of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is to provide nutritious food to those in need.  However, there is more to the food bank than just the delivery of food.   The food bank has created many successful partnerships in both the non profit sector and the business sector. It is these alliances that  go along way to make the system work.

Sharing with other organizations

One of the organizations the Food Bank works with is Ask Wellness  which is a national program to help improve the lives of people.  One of their major focuses in Merritt is the housing component.  Many of Ask Wellness’s clients also are those of the Nicola Valley Food Bank.  By working together the two groups can see that the clients are properly fed with nutritious food.

The Merritt Soup Kitchen is another group that the Food Bank Deals with.  Sometimes one organization or other will get a donation of food that is greater than can be used immediately and therefore there is an exchange of the excess so nothing goes to waste.

School District 58 and Strong Start work with the  Food Bank to provide food for the Strong Start Program.

The Business Community is on Board

Certainly, the major grocery stores are on board with the food bank.  When Wal Mart, No Frills and Save-on-Foods have products that are reaching their “best before date” they send them to the food bank.  While these items are ending their retail life they still are OK to eat.  While these big companies are contributing greatly there are a number of other businesses that chip in such as Starbucks, Dollar Tree, Pharmasave, A&W an now Mr Mikes.

No Frills Supports Food BsankNo Frills Supports Food Bank
Dollar Tree Supports Food Bank

Dollar Tree Supports Food Bank

A&W Supports the Food BankA&W Supports the Food Bank Mr Mikes Supports the Food Bank
Save on foods supports Foo Bank

Save on foods supports Foo Bank

 
Walmart Supports Food BankWalmart Supports Food Bank Starbucks supports Food BankStarbucks supports Food Bank Pharmasave Supports the Food BankPharmasave Supports the Food Bank

Nicola Valley Food Bank Staffing and Volunteers

The success of any not for profit is in its staff and volunteers and the Food Bank is no exception.  Derlanda Hewton is the General manager and her enthusiasm and vision have filtered to the staff and volunteers.

At the time of my visit to the Food Bank, the following were the staff and volunteers.  Vanya Beck was the Administration assistant and intake person.  She has a reassuring personality that works well with the clients.

Keith Walliser is on the food desk and he brings a world of knowledge to the Nicola Valley Food Bank because of his many years in the grocery store business.  Also on staff are Edwin Feldman, inventory Clerk and Henry Krause, Driver.

Volunteers are Georgina Johnny, driver and on call, Brenda Fahlman and Rosemary McNeil, both portion control.  Finally, we have Ashley Davey.

Fund Raising

Like most non profits fund raising brings a significant amount of money (or food) for the operation of the  Food Bank.  Therefore community groups such as the Merritt Centennials put on food drives during their season.  Out right donations from people are also greatly appreciated

This year the Food Bank participated in a national fund raising event called the “Coldest Night of the Year”.  Consequently this fund raiser is catching on and should be bigger next year. The Centennials supported this event in a big way.

21-22 Merritt Centennials

21-22 Merritt Centennials-Tom Reynolds Photo

Future Plans for the Nicola Valley Food Bank

The current location of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is strategically located to serve its clientele but unfortunately it is too small to meet the needs of the organization and therefore are looking for a larger space.

They wish to add an education centre to teach things such as selecting nutritious foods, cooking nutritious foods and household budgeting.

In addition they need more space for preparing the Christmas hampers.  Each year they have had to go and find a space that is large enough for this task and be reasonably priced (free is best).

Lastly, these are ambitious goals and if you want to be apart of that apply to be on the Board of Directors or take all the action in by volunteering at the Food Bank.  Call Derlanda Hewton at 250.378.2282.

Nicola Valley Food Bank

Merritt British Columbia Canada

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Merritt BC Gardening

Canadian’s Love to Garden in the Nicola Valley

Gardening Tips in Merritt BC 

Gardening in Merritt BC is about finding the right combination of sunlight, fertile soil, and water to make your plants thrive. It’s also about fulfilling your passion for life and nature, so select plants wisely, especially ones you can love back. Use available community resources if you can. Give life to our Merritt BC Canada stores like they are to your garden. Garden local as they say, and in no time you’ll have a beautiful garden, filled with colors, and smells no matter what level of gardening experience you have.   

Gardening in Merritt BC Canada

Sell your produce at a local farmer’s market. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Make Gardening in Merritt BC Enjoyable

Therefore, a good rule of a green thumb, is to not be intimidated by the process of how to start a garden and care for it successfully. Although,  there is a lot of groundwork involved, it is not work. It is quality time outdoors for body and mind. Deciding to the garden is the easy part, but the biggest decision is going ahead with the project. The benefits of “reaping what you sow” will lift you to the highest level of calling yourself a “Master Gardener” 

Gardening in Merritt spectators

Invite friends over! Photo by Tania Stewart

Advice for Essential Gardening in Merritt 

Do not overthink it. Planting and deciding to start a garden is easy, the upkeep is the hard part, but the result is truly magical.   

Gardening Merritt BC

Gardening In the Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart

Gardening In the Nicola Valley

It’s all about the dirt! Picture by Tania Stewart

Garden Location in the Nicola Valley

Starting a garden is just like real estate. It’s all about the location. Knowing where to plant, what to plant, and most importantly when to seed is crucial. Start by paying attention to the sunlight, where is it in the morning and where it goes in the evening. Secondly, how to space your seeds and what should be near what? Should your carrots be neighbors with lettuce or spuds?  Moreover, know your zone. This means, that the higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. If a plant is for zone 4, and your garden is zone 2, that plant will not survive. Most edible plants, including many vegetables, herbs, and fruits, need at least 6 hours of sun to thrive.

 

A Local Tip: “Never plant if there is snow on Iron Mountain, or before May long weekend,” Tania Stewart.

 

Invest in Good Gardening Tools

I cannot state enough how the right tools make working in your garden a pleasure instead of a chore. Here is some basic gardening equipment to get you going. 

  • Garden hoe
  • Scuffle hoe
  • Dirt rake
  • Leaf rake
  • Garden Shovel or D handle Shovel
  • Hand tools
  • Rototiller

Water Source

The best gardening tip you’ll ever get is to plan your new garden near a water source. Make sure you can run a hose to your garden site, so you don’t have to lug water into it each time your plants get thirsty. Fact, the best way to tell if plants need watering is to push a finger an inch down into the soil (that’s about one knuckle deep). If it’s dry, it’s time to water.

Birds Merritt BC

Water well. Photo by Tania Stewart

Flowers in Merritt BC

Bee’s love flowers. Photo by Tania Stewart

Do Not Forget To Plant Flowers

Bees need flowers. Throughout the world, people have taken on the fight for the survival of our “Bees”.  Merritt BC Canada is no different. Every day more and more people are becoming more aware of how important these hard-working honey makers are to our survival. Not to mention, without bees, the availability and diversity of fresh produce would decline substantially, and human nutrition would likely suffer. For more information on this subject,  Bee/honey makers Experience in the Nicola Valley

Flowering plants in Nicola Valley

Some flowers block pests. Photo by Tania Stewart

Sunflowers and Bees

Sunflowers are essential for gardens. Photo by Tania stewart

It Is All In The Soil

What do you really know about your garden soil? If you can try to invest in nutrient-rich soil. Test your soil to see if it’s acidic, alkaline, or neutral PH. Is it rocky, sandy clay, or just a mix of all? Does your soil have a good amount of basic nutrients?  This is something my avid gardening father takes seriously. 

Gardening as a family

Watching the garden grow. Photo by Tania Stewart

Learn your frost dates

Planting too early (or late) in the season can spell disaster for your garden. You need to know the last average spring frost date for your area so you don’t accidentally kill plants by putting them out prematurely. It’s also good to know your first average fall frost date so that you get your plants harvested or moved indoors before fall frost damages them.  

Gardening plot in merritt bc

Tomato plants. Photo by Tania Stewart

Tomato plants in Merritt BC

Safe Tomato plants. Picture by Tania Stewart

 

One can not stress the importance of your “Planting Groundwork!” Take extra care in the beginning, and the result is what you reap.

 

The result.

Planting with Care

Once you have done the groundwork, next is planting. Do not hesitate to ask neighbors where to purchase your seeds. Albeit the rule of thumb when planting seeds is roughly 3 times deep as the size of the seed. Unless otherwise directed on the package. When transplanting, usually you will plant at the same depth as they were growing in the pot. Important to note, that tomatoes can be planted deeper.

Gardening and lawn care

Garden maintenance. Photo by Tania Stewart

Preparing a garden in BC Canada

Preparing your garden. Photo by Tania Stewart

 

Consider containers when gardening Merritt BC.

When space is at a premium, look to containers. You can grow many plants in pots, including vegetables, herbs, flowers, fruit trees, berries, and shrubs. Planting tomatoes can be tricky. Using potting containers is sometimes ideal for small spaces as well as maturing them enabling their survival. Strawberries can also thrive well in containers. 

 

Strawberry net. Photo by Tania Stewart

Warning!

Every garden, may want to cover and protect from winged bandits! Birds love the sweetness of the berry, covering them will protect your plants and keep deer from eating the flowers and destroying the growth. Most important this is a safe non-chemical deterrent to natural pests. If you spray it, you will eat it!

 

Bird Bandits. Photo by Tania Stewart

Mulch is Great

Weeds suck the life out of plants, mulch helps reduce these nasty veg killers. Apply a layer of mulch that’s 2 to 3 inches deep around each plant. Help reduce weeds by blocking out the sun and reduce moisture loss through evaporation, so you have to be waterless.  

 

Gardening Merritt BC.

Reap what you sow. Photo by Tania Stewart

Reaping mounds of veggies

Nurture your garden in the Nicola Valley

Take it from me, my father is the best fertilizer, he is the garden’s shadow. Most important is to be prepared to make time to tend to your plants. Depending on the size of your garden, time requirements may range from a few minutes of weeding, and watering, to a full-time day job. Watering your plants, as a rule of thumb need around one inch of water per week. 

 

Be proud of your endeavors. Picture by Tania Stewart

Potato salad?

 

Gardening Merritt BC.

Truly the first fruit is the Strawberry. Moreover, being the first and the sweetest. June welcomes this favorite berry.  British Columbia has native strawberries throughout, just waiting for you to pick and enjoy their a burst of sweet flavor.  

Starting with great soil, with regular water, will make your plants very happy. Bill Stewart.

 

berry picking merritt bc

Strawberry delight. Photo by Tania Stewart

pie, home made, strawberry custard

Completely homemade strawberry custard pie.

Bugs and Disease 

When gardening in the Nicola Valley beware of bugs. Moreover, bugs are more attracted to plants that are stressed or in some way deficient. If you have healthy, well-nourished plants, your pest problems should be minimal. Noteworthy, for most problems, there’s an organic solution. If you’re going through all the effort to grow your food, why would you want to put toxins on it? Overwatering is almost more harmful than underwatering. 

 

Happy times! Photo by Tania Stewart

What’s up! Photo Tania Stewart

In conclusion Gardening Merritt BC.

 Extra produce from your garden? Try selling produce at your local farmers’ market or donate to the food bank.

Gardening in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Gardens, Gardening, and Gardeners 

 

#merrittmatters

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

Fishing Derby in Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

2022 Fishing Tournament in the Nicola Valley at Peter Hope Lake

Special Guest Wes David of Fishing The Wild West TV Show

The May 14th Merritt Fishing Derby held at Peter Hope Lake in the Nicola Valley was a testament to our motto, “a lake a day for as long as you stay”.  The first derby of the year in these parts was hosted by the group at Tourism Nicola Valley – Experience Nicola Valley.  

 

Merritt Fishing Derby – Spirit of Merritt

Considering what we have gone through in the last 2 years as a community, it was, in essence, a day of reckoning. It was good to see  the “Spirit of Merritt” that we have all grown to learn and love. Now more will know how good we have it here.

Nicola Valley Draws People From Across BC To Fish

Approximately 50 fishermen and fisherwomen registered for the Tourism Nicola Valley – Experience Nicola Valley fishing tournament. Many from out of town. Some coming from areas like Kamloops, Richmond, Abbotsford, Langley, Chilliwack, Hope, Lac Le Jeune and other BC communities. Therefore, it was a few days of welcomed revenues to our local pubs, restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and others.

merritt fishing derby

People gather for sharing some fishing tales. Photo Credit Wes David.

trout fishing

Measuring fish for prizing. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

Day Of Fishing Starts

The fishing enthusiasts started arriving at the derby base camp on Peter Hope Lake at 5 am on May 14th. Some stayed in town , while others camped out at one of our many wilderness campgrounds. Consequently, they fished until 5pm in the sun, most of the day.

Fishing Sun Or Rain Is Fun

In the evening the rains moved in, just in time for the award ceremony announcing the winners. Special guest Wes David presented the winners with their prizes. Many took advantage of his truck and boat on display for photos and selfies.

Wes David

Wes David and cameraman Chuck. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

Fishing Celebrity – Wes David

Wes David is the host of the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. The show generates 33 million viewers a year across many specialty and fishing networks. Wes, and his cameraman, Chuck, both avid fishermen, spent 4 days fishing the lakes of our valley for an upcoming TV show about fishing the Nicola Valley. A well deserved accolade celebrating our lakes and the natural outdoors. Country lakes is what we do well. Country anything is what we do always when it comes to adventure and music. 

 

First Class Lake Fishing Opportunity

Merritt fishing

Wes David and the Fishing the Wild West TV Show. Photo Credit: Wes David

Tourism Nicola Valley strongly believes, Merritt should benefit from and grow a responsible and productive recreational fishing season in the valley to assist in generating new money for the community. “BC residents spent $102 per fishing day! Canadian non-residents spent over $181 per fishing day, and International non-resident anglers spent over $334 per fishing day.” 

What Does Fishing Mean To The Valley

Average it out at $204 a day, add 100 new fishermen a month who fish our lakes and each one stays for a 3 day weekend… and when you add it all up it equates to $61,200 of new money invested into our community in one month. 

“There is no end to the rainbow trout in the Nicola Valley BC. Merritt & Nicola Valley BC is truly a trout anglers’ paradise! I spent 2 days fishing 2 of the 200+ lakes in the area for rainbow trout and I’ve never caught and released so many rainbow trout in a single day in my life”

Merritt Fishing Derby Winners

merritt fishing derby winners

Winners pose with Wes David. Photo Credit: Greg Girard

At the end of the day, the prizes were announced with first prize going to Derek Poitras, second prize to Colin Mitchell and 3rd prize was awarded to Nathan Lewis. In the youth category the prize went to Skylar Vilac.

All in all, the winners of the day, were all of us who came together, in sun and rain, to laugh, smile and share fishing tales. Thank you to all who attended and may the fishing Gods be with you. Come back soon.

Merritt Fishing Derby

2022 Fishing Tournament in the Nicola Valley at Peter Hope Lake

#merrittmatters

National & Provincial AWARD WINNING Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

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

 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

 

 

Off-Roading in Merritt BC Canada

 Extreme Outdoor Terrain Action 4×4 Sport

Off-roading Adventure Seeker’s Wanted!

Off-roading in Merritt BC is a top destination spot for all adventure seekers who like a challenge. Moreover, the Merritt BC region provides miles of  trails, extreme terrain action for all 4×4 sporting enthusiasts. With moderate temperatures year-round,  the Nicola Valley is a first choice for many who seek off road extreme 4x4ing. The Nicola Valley boasts endless back country roads, which offer gentle slopes for beginners or steep climbing mountain trails for the brave.  Come and discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place’s found right here in Merritt BC. Canada. I guarantee it will be a most enjoyable outdoor experience.  

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Picture time. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Scenic beauty. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Sightseeing While Off-Roading in Merritt BC 

Off-roading around Merritt BC will leave you breathless.  With such amazing scenic beauty to see, old growth trees, towering mountain peaks, rock bluffs, grass plains, hidden lakes, wildlife, and the odd cow. Take some time to discover those mountain top lakes that seem to be untouched with exceptional fishing. Certain waterfalls, lakes, mountains, and other natural beauties might be off-limits unless you have an off-road vehicle to drive you there. Allowing you to take a dip in a secluded lake or waterfall, say what! Hiking is great, but to get to some of these places would take days.  

Mountain views while off roading in Merritt BC

Mountain Views. Photo by Robert Neil

Nicola Valley wildlife

Mountain goat. Picture by Robert Neil

Off-road vehicles is anticipated to grow at 7% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. Market Growth

4x4ing in Merritt BC

Jeep Wrangler Style. Photo by Tania Stewart.

4x4ing Back Country Roads Summer & Spring

Albeit most love to go off-roading in the summer months and the spring. Showcasing fresh buds on the trees, birds, bee’s, bear’s all waking up to the warm sun. Truly has to be one of the best times for getting out and hitting the back roads. Although off-roading in Merritt BC, Canada is a year round sport. Many people will find that the warmer months are more ideal. Nature enthusiasts will love the abundance of wildlife found in the back roads. Summer is great for overlanding off-roading. Taking your time with longer trips, staying at campsites, sleeping in tents, or just outside under the stars. Truly bare necessities! 

Birding in Merritt BC

Wildlife. Photo by Tania Stewart

Wildlife while Off-Roading in Nicola Valley

Bear Aware. Photo Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley Off-Roading in The Fall 

Authentic natural environments is my favorite time to go off-roading. Getting out on the back country roads is truly exhilarating for all extreme adventurists. Along with being a bit cooler, fall colors will take you by surprise. Noteworthy, the Nicola Valley is renowned for its Indian Summers, with comfortable warm days and cool nights. Which makes this an ideal time for day trips, picnics, hiking, and just enjoying the scenic beauty. Rocky off-roading in the fall is a lot of fun, but may require a certain skill level. 

Fall mountain top trees. Photo by Tania Stewart

Off-roading in the Winter 

When temperatures start to dip and snow is starting to cover your favorite trails in the Nicola Valley. This doesn’t mean you have to put your Jeep or yourself in hibernation for the winter. Truly, 4×4 off-roading in the snow can be an extremely enjoyable, extreme adventure for those who are up for the challenge. Even if you a planning a two hour tour in the back country or an all day one. Or like us, go long into the night.  

Backcountry near Merritt BC

10m from downtown Merritt. Picture by Tania Stewart

Jeep in Merritt winter

Spring time 4×4. Picture by Tania Stewart

Off-Roading Merritt BC

Discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place right here in Merritt BC, Canada. Picture by Tania Stewart

Off-roading weather conditions in Merritt BC 

When off-roading in the winter, know what you are up against. Understand and be able to identify the different types of snow. Furthermore traversing different snow consistencies will require different driving techniques.  For example, there is hard, icy snow located on north-facing slopes. Soft snow that is sitting in the sun. Knowing that trying to stay on top of soft and dry snow is often harder than driving over wet and heavy snow. Truly plan your course accordingly before embarking out in the backcountry.

backcountry roads in Merritt BC

Spring Snow. Picture Tania Stewart

Nicola Valley mountain scenery

Mountain views. photo by Tania Stewart

Must Have – 4×4 Compass

night skies in  Merritt BC

Spectacular sunsets. Picture by Tania Stewart.

Useful Tip

Airing down your tires is an effective way to increase the amount of traction and displacement your vehicle has on slippery, icy surfaces. Moreover by reducing the amount of air in your tires, more surface area of the tire will touch the ground.  As a result, gives a higher level of traction and displacement. Further, it is easier to stay on top of the snow,  preventing you from spinning out and digging yourself into a hole. 

looking for sasquatch in merritt bc

Searching for Bigfoot. Photo Tania Stewart.

Nicola Valley gravel roads

Back roads adventure.

Snow Tires in the Nicola Valley

Investing in a set of snow tires is perhaps the best way to avoid skidding and sliding on icy trails. Snow tires are specifically designed with deep treads that have larger gaps to optimize traction when driving on snow and ice. Remember, if the road is slippery, you will have less traction. Your tires simply can not grip the ground well when it is wet.

bigfoot in backcountry

Bigfoot lives here! Photo by Tania Stewart.

The lighter your Jeep is, the easier it will be to stay on top of the snow and avoid sinking into the soft surface.

Family day in the backcountry

Family fun time! Photo by Tania Stewart.

wilderness adventures in the Nicola Valley

Lake cool off! Picture by Tania Stewart

Know Your Limits

I can not stress the importance of knowing your limits. Moreover know your vehicles limits. If you are just starting to adventure in the back country. Try low lying roads on dry tracks. Even better, bring a well seasoned off-roader with you or team up with a well seasoned off-roader. Fact,  walkie-talkies are a must. Bring a friend, preferably in their own vehicle.  If you have a break down it could be many hours before anyone finds you. Cell phones do not work here. Keep water, food, flashlights, long distant radio, extra clothing even a flare gun. 

night time exploring in nicola valley

Back roads adventure. Picture Tania Stewart.

Pay Attention to Traction

The biggest hurdle beginner off-roaders face is figuring out how traction works. Traction is one of the most important things you need to understand when off-roading. When you lose traction, you run the risk of having your truck spin out of control or go off the trail. 

Traction basically means how well your truck’s tires are gripping the ground. That is why tires with deeper tread have better traction—the deeper tread allows the tires to better grip the ground. Important to know,  if the road is slippery, you will have less traction. Tires simply can not grip the ground well when it is wet. The same goes for rocks. The less traction you have, the more important it is to accelerate smoothly. 

nature in Merritt BC Canada

Hitting the trails. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC sunset

Sunsets are the best! Photo by Tania Stewart

Practice More Often

Get as much practice as you can. The more you practice, the better you will be at off-roading. You don’t have to practice every day—you might have obligations like work to take care of. However, you can set aside a few hours every weekend to practice your off-roading skills. Find trails near you that you can use for practicing. 

In Conclusion

Discover some of the most beautiful, scenic, natural place’s found right here in Merritt BC. Canada.  If you like adventure and challenges, you will enjoy off-roading here in the Nicola Valley. Meet you on the trail.

sunset in merritt bc canada

Scenic view 4×4 action. Photo by Tania Stewart

Off-Roading in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley 4x4ing

#merrittmatters

National & Provincial AWARD WINNING Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region. 

BC Fundraiser Ambassador Experience

Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers

Bloggers Share Their Hell or High Water Fundraiser Adventure

Hell or High Water Telethon Ambassadors  – On March 13th, 2022 musicians, celebrities, special guests, dancers and locals came together for the Hell or High Water Fundraiser in an effort to raise, much needed, funds for the displaced families of the BC fires and floods. The event played out over 12 hours on the Experience Nicola Valley website and Facebook page.  Every two hours, an Experience Nicola Valley Blogger from Merritt BC Canada,  joined the Facebook group on social media to enjoy the show with them and to help with any questions. Here is some of their feedback. 

2 Hour Fundraiser Episodes – Hell or High Water Telethon Ambassadors

Hell or High Water Ambassador – Tania Stewart

Many people were reaching out for information, guidance most importantly needing reassurance that they had not been forgotten.  Not knowing if they had a home to come back to or if all was lost, washed down with the river or in the case of the fire’s, dreading but hoping that their home was still standing. What the Hell or High Water Fundraiser has given to so many people is truly amazing. Therefore, it is important to recognize the organizers for putting on such an event in such a short time is incredible. Giving, providing such needed hope to all who have been tragically affected by this shows us how people will stand together in unity and strength. Collaboration, teamwork, and care can make wonderful things happen. The amount of people who stepped up to take part in this event truly shows us how united we are.”

Tania Stewart
Experience Nicola Valley Blogger

Hell or High Water Fundraiser Telethon Ambassador

Bill Henderson – Chilliwack

The Abrams - Telethon

The Abrams

Taylor James

Taylor James

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Hell or High Water Ambassador – Jen Schell

“I really thought that Hell or Highwater Fundraiser was exceptionally put together. The team took in a tremendous undertaking. Therefore,  I feel represented the situation with compassion and empathy. Conveying the message in a beautiful and heartwarming manner. It was a privilege to experience this telethon. The performances were extremely talented. And we enjoyed it immensely.”

Jen Schell
Experience Nicola Valley Blogger

Bobby Garcia performs at Hell or High Water Fundraiser

Bobby Garcia

Telethon performance by Broadway Crush

Broadway Crush

David Gogo performs at telethon

David Gogo

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Hell or High Water Ambassador – Susanne Snider

“Being the opening Telethon Influencer has been a rewarding experience. However, seeing people from across Canada and beyond joining in was so uplifting. The support and positivity for this event was very encouraging. I am very happy and honoured to have been able to help. Lastly, thank you for the opportunity.

Susanne Snider
Experience Nicola Valley Blogger

Lisa Brokop Live at Grande Theatre in Mission BC

Lisa Brokop

Loverboy

Loverboy

Come Hell or High Water with Sean Hogan

Sean Hogan

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Hell or High Water Ambassador – Carole Leroux

“What a great 12-hours!! First time in a long time since the entire household sat in front of the TV over both lunch and supper so that we wouldn’t miss a minute. Therefore, every performance and every interview just seemed to get better and better at bringing these tragic events and their effects to the forefront. The 2 songs that particularly moved me were 1) When Hell came to Town by Dirt Road Opera and 2) the “Last Chance” song by Kenny Hess.  In addition to supporting the telethon fund, we will most certainly be adding these artists to our home play list.”

Carole Leroux

Dirt Road Opera music

Dirt Road Opera

Kenny Hess

Kenny Hess

Beverley Mahood Hell of High Water

Beverley Mahood

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Hell or High Water Ambassador – Tom Reynolds

“Being on the second shift of this great fundraiser was exciting as the moment began to grow. The music and information was first class. Consequently, the Rick Tippe video was truly amazing. I was blown away when William from Michigan joined our conversation. I think he was an Amber Marshall fan. Being an Ambassador was great fun, especially when surrounded by the hard working and dedicated Rotary Club of Merritt members.”

Tom Reynolds
Hell or High Water Ambassador
Experience Nicola Valley Blogger

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The Hell or High Water website is still accepting donations until May 13th, 2022.  

Hell or High Water Ambassadors Feedback

#merrittmatters

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Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Logan Lake Ashcroft Lac LeJeune

One of many road trips  starting from the Nicola Valley

When I decide to take a Circle Tour from Merritt BC I tend to head out when it is not the optimum time to visit these places.  Therefore I include items in the  blog that pertain to other times of the year so that you can see what it is like at any time of the year. That is what road trips are all about. 

Circle Tour from Merritt BC Starts In Logan Lake

The first part of our road trip from Merritt heads out Highway 8 to Mamette Lake Road (Hwy 97C). At anytime of the year the scenery is beautiful.  In the Spring you can see the beauty of the landscape coming alive with all the various shades of green.  The summer brings out the pastoral scenery with the cattle and horses out grazing and the loveliness of Mamette Lake.  The Fall showcases the magnificent colours of the trees and shrubs.

While all these seasons are great, the beauty of the area is stunning with the snow covered trees and pasture land.  As you travel along Mamette Lake Road (Hwy 97C) You will come to Left Field Cidery which produces one of the best apple ciders you can find.

 

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Left Field Cidery-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ice Fishing on the Circle Tour from Merritt

Just a little way past Left Field Cidery you come upon Mamette Lake.  In the warmer months you can do the canoeing, kayaking and fishing thing but in winter the main activity is ice fishing.

Ice Fishing Mamette Lake

Ice Fishing Mamette Lake. Tom Reynolds Photo.

Logan Lake on the Circle Tour from Merritt

After leaving Mamette Lake you arrive at the intersection of Hwy 97C and Hwy 97D.  Turning right takes you to the District of Logan Lake.  The District is home to many of the miners who work at Highland Valley Copper.  Because of the mine, Logan Lake has amenities that exceed many other towns of their size.

Snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and ice fishing are favourite outdoor activities.  The community centre boasts an ice rink as well.

Logan Lake

Logan Lake Tom Reynolds Photo

The above photo is of frozen Logan Lake where  you can snowshoe or cross-country ski around the  lake.

Logan Lake by Design

Logan Lake’s claim to fame is that it was established to house the miners that worked at Highland Valley Copper.  The town was established in the early 1970’s and was designed from the ground up using the planning theories of the era.  The town centre is a plaza where cars are not allowed.  It is necessary to park in the lots on the outside of the village square and walk into the shops.

Logan Lake Town Centre

Logan Lake Town Centre-Tom Reynolds Photo

Other Activities on Circle Tour from Merritt

Logan Lake is packed with activities in the warmer months of the year.  For example, there are numerus trails for ATV’s.  In fact Logan Lakes promotes this use.  If that is not your cup of tea you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming and hiking.  If it is out doors Logan Lake has it.

 

The Circle Tour from Merritt Moves to Ashcroft

The next part of the circle tour from Merritt BC follows highway 97C to Ashcroft.   Along the way you pass the massive copper mine, Highland Valley Copper which is one of the largest open pit mines in North America. During the warm months you can see the huge slag lake which is an amazing shade of blue.

Highland Valley Copper Mine

Highland Valley Copper-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ashcroft is an inspiring community

When we arrived in Ashcroft it was lunch time so we sought out a place to have lunch and it the jackpot, Unitea café and lounge.  The food was fresh and delicious but more importantly the owner was a fountain of information about the community.  They have a strong arts community for both art and performing arts.  In fact the cafe is home to regular music concerts on their premises.

Ashcroft BC Cafe Coffee shop

Unitea-Tom Reynolds Photo

Ashcroft has an interesting museum and heritage park that attracts a lot of attention in the summer months’

Ashcroft BC Museum

Ashcroft museum-Tom Reynolds Photo

The Circle Tour from Merritt The Last Lap

Heading to Hwy 1 takes you past the turn off to Dessert Hills Ranch where you can get all sorts of locally grown vegetables and if hungry a Taco.  Once you reach the highway you want to go east towards Kamloops where you will come to Cache Creek, home of Ane’s Pizza and bakery which is home to the best fruit pie around. 

Continuing on towards Kamloops you will pass Savona which is on Kamloops Lake.  This is followed by the Tobiano Golf Course.  You will then reach the Coquihalla Highway that will take you back to Merritt BC Canada.

Lac Le Jeune the Final Stop

Lac Lejeune is more a summertime playground but right next to it is the Stake Lake Nordic Ski Park.  If you are into cross country skiing this is a great place for you.  The trails are well groomed and you can find trails for all ski levels.  Myself I love the green trails.

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Stake Lake

When you leave this area you are just one half hour away from Merritt!

Circle Tour from Merritt BC

Logan Lake Ashcroft Lac LeJeune

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

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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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The Good. The Bad. The Ugly And the Kind.

“Sharing some acts of kindness and hoping for more.”

2021 Merritt Flood in British Columbia Canada – The community of Merritt BC Canada, has witnessed devastating forest fires, and floods in the last year. It seems this year, 2021, Merritt, and parts of the Nicola Valley, have gone through a merry-go-round of evacuation alerts, and evacuation orders. Some residence left. Some stayed behind. All have their reasons. The end result is a population in a community who are tired, worn out, confused, scared, or optimistic and, yes, some are angry too.

The 2021 Merritt Flood

During the 2021 Merritt Flood and Forest Fires, tragedy happened on all levels of devastation. There is no ignoring that. There are no benefits in comparing one heartache to another. They all hurt. Some more than others. Some life changing. I wish I could turn back time. Make this all go away. I wish my friends had their homes back. Smiling and laughing again would be another wish. I wish living in Merritt was like it use to be. Unfortunately I am no Genie. No lamp to rub just a water bottle to fill. All I have are big wishes with little answers. But I do have hope.

My Super Power

I take pride in my listening and observation skills. So, let me share my take on that. We are all our own master on what we decide to listen too and observe. We can take it all in, flip it upside down, make what we want of it. Some of us process the positive and spit out the negative or vice-versa. But what you process is up to you. Hence why, with all the sadness, I have decided to share some “warm and fuzzy” stories,  sending out some positive vibes to the community of Merritt, Princeton, Abbotsford and to our First Nation friends. I would like to share some of the kind and positive gestures I witnessed along this ugly road we travelled called the 2021 Merritt Flood in the City of Merritt BC Canada. 

8 Acts of Kindness

Because of the nature of my work online globally, and locally with Experience Nicola Valley, I see the good, the bad and the ugly of the internet. There are many sources online of nasty, negative with a big dose of nasty conversations. We all have a choice of which lens we choose to look through for every situation life presents us. Me? Well… when it comes to the Merritt Flood I choose hope. We need more stories of good people doing good things during these challenging times. Hence, why I am going to focus on the positive stories and share some “acts of kindness” I and my friends experienced during the 2021 Merritt flood.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”
Aesop

(1) ESS and Red Cross

The evacuation had problems on many levels. Remember, no one saw this coming. Yes, there were warning signs and reports and white papers. But…  no one saw it coming on November 15th, 2021. No meteorologists, engineer, politician or scientist told us to buckle in for a massive rain storm and possible flooding. Many of us went to bed the night before expecting to wake up to another normal Monday. Well that didn’t happen. The evacuation order caught us all by surprise. Therefore people slipped through the cracks. Communication was suspect. Volunteers were stretched at ESS and the  Red Cross.  Should I stay or should I go? Yes, the process was not perfect by any means. News flash! Nothing is perfect in a blender of chaos.  

(2) Volunteers

I know why it is tough to get volunteers at times. Just watch how some people treat them, like it was their fault. All they are doing is following direction or the lack of.  A big thank you to the volunteers for taking care of us with the best tools at their disposal. I know you did your best  and you did not design the system nor the process. I also know you are a volunteer, on your time, to make our challenges as comfortable as possible. So thank you to all the volunteers in Kelowna, Kamloops, Salmon Arm, 100 Mile House, Sicamous, Penticton and those in Merritt helping the community get back on its feet again. And if I missed anybody, my apologies. But thank you again! 

Merritt volunteers

Lining up for ESS. Photo credit: Greg Girard

(3) Let Me See The Light

The 2021 Merritt Flood was a sight I would not wish on anyone. Everything changed in a blink of an eye. Before we knew it, we were evacuated and in a hotel room. Everything was new again including an Optometry Office and a LensCrafters, next door in Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna BC Canada. I needed glasses for the first time and I did not have my prescription with me. But I did have time.  Dr. Keevn Otte heard I was an evacuee from Merritt and booked me in and redid my prescription at no charge! Then Ben, at LensCrafters, set me up with my new lens and frames and he too gave me a break on price, on top of the Black Friday Special. I was seeing with my eyes, the kindness of people. 

(4) Green Plate of Hospitality

Not sure of the back story on this one but it goes something like this. Someone at our hotel, the Kanata, was out in public one day sharing how eating out all the time was getting old. Someone, was listening in. Who we do not know? The next morning 50 trays of vegetables and dip arrived at the lobby in our hotel from an unknown source, someone who did not want to be recognized, but did it out of the goodness of their heart. To that mystery person if you are reading this – thank you for your kind gesture.  Loved the mini tomatoes and green peas.

merritt flood 2021

Vegetable tray surprise. Photo credit: Melvina White

(5) Class is in Session

Have you heard of the story of Ewa Olguin, an early childhood educator in Merritt, BC, Canada? If you have not, Ewa was evacuated from Merritt like many of us. At her hotel she recognized many of the kids were from the “Strong Start” Program back in Merritt. Her place of employment I believe. In seeing the children, away from a regular routine and their homes, Ewa decided to start a 3 hour class every morning with the kids reading, playing and learning.  Thank you Ewa!

(6) Is That To Eat In or To Go?

As we stated at the beginning of this list, the littlest gesture can make a difference. How about just smiling. When you eat at one spot for days on days they get to know you. In our case it was Boston Pizza. It did not take a lot of time for them to recognize our orders and to begin greeting us with smiles, and conversations when we ate in or picked up. Thank you for feeding many of us from the 2021 Merritt flood. 

(7) Experience Nicola Valley Pivot

When people are scared, and living in a mist of confusion, information is the currency of choice. I watched as councillors were inundated daily with phone calls, text and emails numbering in the hundreds asking questions and seeking answers. Being on the front lines of the evacuation, mixed in amongst the local population, every day and hour, your sleeves get tugged on a lot.  And yet, the questions were often 2 steps ahead of the answers available to councillors. They could only share what they knew and as information was being released. But they knew communication is the currency of choice during a disaster. So they stepped up. First to video, Experience Nicola Valley was proud to pivot their platform, so they could bring daily video updates, as need be, from Councillor White, Luck and Etchart. And then… some councillors met with the evacuees in the hotel lobby daily for briefings and updates as well. It took some guts to put their face out there. But they were humble, caring and doing what was right updating us the best they can. Thank you!

(8) Friends, Family and Business Partners

When the news hit all over Canada of the 2021 Merritt Flood, I could not believe the emails that flooded my in-box from people checking in on us from all around the world. Some I have not heard from in years and a few in decades. It was a moment-of-truth to see so many people checking in on my Brother and I.  We are so fortunate to have good people surrounding us and supporting us. Thank you and we are grateful for your kindness, support and friendship. 

brothers of tourism merritt flood

Colin and I on Evacuation Order in Kelowna BC. Photo credit: Greg Girard

Social Media

If social media is your only go-too for information, well then there might be issues with that? Working in that field, I  understand the pros and cons of a platform with little rules and high engagement. It is a platform which makes its rules on the fly based on all sides of human nature, good and bad. And there is good and bad. Do not get me wrong, social media, is a beautiful thing. I have seen lives changed for the better when social media is used positively.  Social media is a treasure for small businesses to get their message out. To me it is an art form. However, at times, it is also a bloody battlefield where communication is won or lost. There is one big caveat to the social media battlefield :

“Bad news travels at the speed of light; good news travels like molasses.”
Tracy Morgan

Together, when we start commenting, and sharing and posting and tagging each other with positive stories, good news will travel faster. It takes a movement, to create a message. 

Winter Adventures coming soon to the Nicola Valley. We are open for winter. 

I Choose Hope

I have witnessed how the community is divided along many lines because of the 2021 Merritt floods and forest fires. A disaster will do that to any community. Emotions will run rampant. Loses are off the map. But I have hope because the overall dominating factor in this conundrum are the people of Merritt. They are my baseline in the equation of building back better. Many are my friends. I have been around Merritonians long enough to know they are a strong and good people. Merritt will be back. I will do everything I can to be part of that re-awakening.  

Stay safe. Be kind. 

#merrittmatters

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program.  Therefore it is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group.  Contact us today to bring this award winning community program to your region.