Nicola Valley British Columbia Canada including the City of Merritt, Lower Nicola, Quilchena and the surrounding First Nation lands.

Courtesy Corner Supermarket

Lower Nicola Merritt BC Grocery Store

“We don’t need to go into town as much.”

 

Lower Nicola has a Merritt BC grocery store called Courtesy Corner. The mini supermarket is a family owned business located just outside Merritt BC Canada on Hwy 8 towards Spencer’s Bridge.  The Merritt BC grocery store offers a large selection of products that are priced comparably well with other big chain grocery stores.

But what everyone seems to want to talk about is how they are always treated with respect, and greeted with politeness by the proud owners of Courtesy Corner, Shamba Singh Bhown and wife Shreya Bhown. 

Courtesy Corner Family Owned Grocery Store

Meet The Owners  Shamba Singh Bhown With His Wife Shreya Bhown,

I had the opportunity to meet Shamba and his wife Shreya while making a quick stop to buy a lottery ticket on Saturday March 29, 2019. And to my surprise they were having a customer appreciation day. Best yet, there was a  Lotto Max rep “Kyleen Horodyski” on site handing out free giveaways along with cake and balloons.  Sweet! I was greeted by the owners with free Samosas. 

Time To Merritt Blog 

I  took the opportunity to ask the Bhown’s if they have ever heard of Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers? My story telling side (my blogger within me) came out and explained to them what was happening online and within the Nicola Valley. They quickly agreed that it was a good idea for me to  write a blog about their business!

Shamba Singh Bhown with his wife Shreya Bhown, along with their reno/store handyman Paul Jensen.

Experience Nicola Valley Interview

Type of Merritt BC business – Corner Store/ Supermarket.

(Q1) What made you come to Merritt BC Canada and purchase this particular business?

Shamba “I knew that we would do a lot better here. With its great location, beautiful area, friendly community. Right away we were welcomed by everyone.”

(Q2) How long have you been in this type of business?

Shamba “Many years, I have a lot of experience and through the years have been able to connect with reliable wholesalers along with brands I stand behind.”

(Q3) Can u give me an example?

Shamba “Organic Natural Drinks, along with Saunders Family Farm.”

(Q4) Are there advantages to owning a Merritt BC business here in the Nicola Valley?

Shamba “Many advantages. It is very community based, loyal customers, situated on a busy Highway that is well travelled by tourists, as well as, we have other small communities nearby that rely on having a grocery store nearby that supplies products at comparable prices along with a large selection.”

(Q5) What future plans do you have for your store?

Shamba “We will be putting in two gas pumps, as well as, start selling propane. Soon after we hope to obtain a permit so we are able to sell fishing & hunting licenses too.”

(Q6) Why do your customers keep coming back?

Shamba “We work hard to model our business to what people expect. Honesty, quality, selection, comparable prices, listening to what customers want.”

(Q7) Can you tell me an example of going above & beyond for your clientele?

Shamba “Last year we purchased the store in April, and within a couple of weeks the river flooded washing out the bridge. It made it almost impossible for many people to get into Merritt. After a few days our supplies were running out, so I drove to Kamloops to stock up on merchandise, making sure we could supply all the necessities for the community. Furthermore, I also drove to the lower mainland to purchase goods and stock up.”

Courtesy Corner had a winning ticket celebration March 29,2019. Representatives from Lotto Max were on location for free giveaways,

The Store With The “Winning Touch”

Amazingly not once but twice,  Courtesy Corner has sold  a winning lottery ticket to 3 of their frequent customers. Making them instant millionaires and “Living The Dream”.  The last 25 million Lotto Max ticket was sold by employee  “Preet” at 4:20 pm.  It was a ticket sold by asking the customer if he wanted buy a ticket for that nights  Lotto Max draw.  Talk about upselling! 

Winning Lottery Ticket in Merritt BC

Meet Preet, the man who sold the 25 million Lotto Max ticket bought here at Courtesy Corner in Merritt BC.

Products You Can Find At Courtesy Corner

Courtesy Corner Supermarket offers such a wide range of merchandise and household provisions that makes it a “one-stop-shopping” grocery store. 

Courtesy Corner is well known in the region for having comparable prices, with a wide range of provisions. Everything from office staples to vehicle products. 

Frozen goods. Ground beef from Lower Nicola’s butcher Keiper’s Ranch.

Beauty Products For Him & Her

Impressive selection of beauty products comparable to the larger box stores.

Products for men & women.

Great supply of hair products available.

 

 

Awesome Selection Of Ice Cream For Every Sweet Tooth For “Those Hot Summer Days”

World’s coldest Ice Cream! Try the Mini Melts!

Happy customer enjoying a tasty cone.

Hard to resist this Cotton Candy Ice Cream!

 Fresh Produce Or Planting A Garden 

vegetables and fruits are fresh and a great variety is available. Along with garden seeds they also have spice & seasoning.

Planting a Garden this year. Great selection of seeds.

Fresh produce available daily.

In case you forgot. Spices & Seasonings

Merritt BC Fishing And Hunting In The Nicola Valley

Unique items can be found at Courtesy Corner.

Hunting & fishing essentials.

Cabin Fever!

 

 

Vehicle Products

With its own section, vehicle owners will be pleased to see the selection of essentials needed for their ride.

Found at Courtesy Corner vehicle oil and wiper fluid.

Air Fresheners also!

 

Prepaid Cards Available & Rapid Chargers

A wide sort of prepaid cards available at Courtesy Corner.

Need a charge? Rapid charge available.

 

 

Testaments From Happy Customers

The customers I talked to couldn’t say enough positive things about the owners of this Merritt BC grocery store. They were telling me how impressed with the re-modeling of the inside, as well as, the selection of merchandise available.  Most importantly how gracious and friendly the staff are.

Brad & Irene Bennet

“Love Lower Nicola Courtesy Supermarket! What they have done to it , staff are great, courteous and helpful. amazing selection of products!” Brad & Irene Bennet

In Conclusion

Nicola Courtesy Corner Supermarket. A  family run business that offers a selection of merchandise/provisions that equal any big box store prices.  I was amazed at the selection that was on display.   Above all I dont live in Lower Nicola but I may find myself shopping here more. Experience The Nicola Valley.

“Awesome Store! We don’t live in the Lower Nicola, but we love this store” Dorothy & Helen Clarke.

Bus Stop 

There is a bus stop located on Aberdeen Rd. in Lower Nicola Valley. The bus stop is only a few steps from the store. 
There are public bathrooms. Video surveillance on site inside and outside.

Lower Nicola Courtesy Corner Friendly Staff

Courtesy Corner Contact List

Phone Number (250) 378-9457,

407 hwy 8 w
Lower Nicola, British Columbia 

Outside Lower Nicola Area, Dial +1 2503789457. 

Hours 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM Mondays – Saturday
Sundays 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Price Range $$ comparible to larger Supermarkets
407 hwy 8 w (4.92 mi)

Facebook Page: Courtesy Corner Lower Nicola

Lower Nicola BC Canada Corner Store – Merritt BC Business

 

 

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Merritt BC Murals – Brooks and Dunn

Country Music Capital Of Canada

“Many say to this day, including this youth blogger, that the country music duo are one of the most successful contemporary country musicians to date.”

As we all know, especially those of us who are growing up in Merritt,  we live in the Country Music Capital of Canada. Therefore, as part of  to celebrating country music, there are 20 or so murals, the “Walk of Stars” (75+ handprints and 1 footprint) and the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame located in Merritt, BC, Canada.

You can see the Merritt country music attractions when walking around downtown while sightseeing and shopping. The country music stars, Brooks and Dunn, are one of the artists you can see on the side of buildings located throughout our downtown. Here I am at their mural on the side of the Work BC building. 

Brroks and Dunn Mural

Jordyn Lee (Youth Blogger – Experience Nicola Valley) /Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Brooks and Dunn in Merritt BC

Brooks and Dunn first played in Merritt, BC, Canada in 2004 for the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Like Brooks and Dunn, there have been many country music artists who have come through Merritt and have left their mark with a  mural painted on the walls of our town. The Country Music Hall of Fame is in the middle of it all. The popular attraction is another must-see when you are visiting the Merritt BC murals.

“I don’t have any hobbies. Music is my hobby” – Ronnie Dunn

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn

If you listen to  country music, you know Brooks and Dunn. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn began their country music career together  in 1990. In the 1980s, before they formed a duo,  Kix and Ronnie recorded two solo singles each. Ronnie Brooks also released an album for Capitol Records in 1989 and, at the time, was also writing songs for other musicians. 

The duo wrote 50 singles, which 20 hit #1 on the Hot Country Songs Charts and 19 made it into the Top 10.  Brooks and Dunn have won 2 Grammys, dozens of ACM’ and CMA awards. Because of some of their hit songs like “My Maria” “Believe”, “Only in America” and “Ain’t Nothing ’bout You” they have sold over 30 million albums.

 

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

Impact on Country Music

One of their biggest hits, “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”, is credited to bring back to life line dancing in country bars across North America. The country music due worked with many other artists including the likes of Reba McEntire,  Sheryl Crow, Billy Gibbons, Vince Gill,  Mac Powell, and Jerry Jeff Walker among others.

All Things Come To An End 

In August 2009 Brooks and Dunn retired from country music. According to Brooks, the split was on good terms. During an interview Brooks told CMT that he and Dunn are “still good friends”, while Dunn said that, 

“We’ve ended up more like brothers.”

Their final live performance was in September, 2010, in Nashville, Tennessee. Both musicians moved forward and dedicated their time to solo careers. In 2015 the duo reunited for some Las Vega shows performing alongside Reba McEntire. In 2019, Brooks and Dunn were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Kix Brooks

Born May 12th, 1955  in Shreveport, Louisiana. He learned country music through his neighbour, Johnny Horton. Soon later he began preforming with his neighbour’s daughter. Growing up in high school Kix played in clubs and wrote songs on the side.

When he got older, he worked on an oil pipeline, then moved to Maine and got a job at a song writing company. His attempt at songwriting started and ended with “Baby, When your heart breaks down”. However,  because it barely made the charts in 1983, he returned to songwriting. It was then he met Ronnie Dunn and their whole world of country music changed for the better.

Ronnie Dunn

Born on June 1st, 1953 in Coleman, Texas and was raised in Tulsa Oklahoma. He originally went to school to become a Baptist Minister but was asked to leave because he was performing country music at local bars around his hometown. 

After Ronnie was kicked out of college, he went on to write many songs, but none of them hit the big time. It was when Brooks and Dunn teamed up and released “Brand New Man”that both of their careers took off.  Many say to this day, including this youth blogger, that the country music duo are one of the most successful contemporary country musicians to date.

“The music has to drive you. That’s just it. You follow it. You follow the songs” – Ronnie Dunn

Merritt BC Murals

The Brooks and Dunn mural is located at 2099 Quilchena Avenue on the side of the Work BC building in Downtown Merritt in the Nicola Valley. 

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

In conclusion, you can learn more about Brooks and Dunn on their FacebookInstagramTwitter pages, s well as, their website.

Merritt BC Canada Downtown Mural Digital Walking Tour

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Experience Nicola Valley Blog

Blog

Experience Nicola Valley

Travel Website

** Information resources includes the Brooks and Dunn website, Wikipedia page, and social media pages.

Lisa Brokop Merritt BC Canada Murals

Lisa Brokop Merritt BC Murals

Journey to Merritt Murals

“I love what I do. Every note I sing, whether in studio or on stage, is true. It hasn’t always been an easy road. There has been many curves, bumps and detours. But really, it is the love of the music that motivates each step I take in the business. It keeps me moving forward.” Lisa Brokop

 

Lisa Brokop is a Canadian Country Music Singer/Songwriter featured on the walls of  the Merritt BC Murals. Born June 6, 1973 in Surrey, British Columbia, Lisa made her presence known in the entertainment world by the age of seven. It was then she started performing with her mother, who was a seasoned accordion player.

At age twelve, Lisa started sitting in on jam sessions with various country music bands throughout Vancouver, BC. By age fifteen she joined a touring band and was off to the races. It was obvious she was destined to be featured on the walls of our Merritt BC Murals located in the Nicola Valley in the community of Merritt BC Canada.

Sweet 16 And Beyond For Lisa Brokop

1990 at seventeen, Lisa released her debut single, “Daddy Sing To Me”. The song reached the top ten on The Canadian Country RPM Charts. In addition, “My Love”, her debut album, followed in June of 1991.

After graduation Lisa moved to Nashville, Tennessee to further her country music career. While performing at local clubs, Brokop caught the attention of The Nashville Network. The network began to play the video for Brokop’s single “Time To Come Back Home”. As a result they had Lisa make a guest appearance on The Ralph Emery Show. This appearance and a thirty minute showcase resulted in Lisa Brokop getting a record deal with Patriot Records.

Melvina White (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Lisa Brokop Harmony

Before Brokop began recording her second album, she starred in the 1994 film Harmony Cats, where she played a country singer who leaves home in search of a big break in Nashville. Lisa Brokop contributed to the movie’s soundtrack and her cover of Tammy Wynette’s 1968 number one hit “Stand By Your Man” was issued as a single.

Back On And Off The Winding Road Of Recording

Lisa Brokop’s second album released the single “Give Me A Ring Sometime”, in June 1994. The single made the top 20 in Canada, but unfortunately it only reached No. 52 on the US Billboard Chart. Nevertheless, her first major label album. “Every Little Girl’s Dream”, was released in September of 1994. 

In the meantime ‘Give Me A Ring Sometime’ was charting. However, many Canadian radio stations refused to play Lisa’s music because the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication ruled that ‘Give Me A Ring Sometime’ did not have enough Canadian Content in the song. Nevertheless, Brokop’s album went on to produce two more top 40 singles in Canada with ‘Take That’ and ‘One Of Those Nights’

1995 And Lots Of Change

By 1995, the album was certified Gold by the CRIA, for sales peaking 50,000 copies. Included in 1995 was a nomination for Top New Female Vocalist at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Also in 1995, Patriot Records closed its doors and Brokop transferred to Capital Nashville.

Lisa released her third album ‘Lisa Brokop’ the following year. The album did not do so well. As a result none of the album singles reached the top 40 in Canada or The United States. The failure of the album ended her relationship with Capital Nashville.

Consequently she decided to take some time off and focus on song writing. As a result, some country music stars took notice and started recording tracks she penned, including Reba McEntire, Terri Clark, and Pam Tillis.

Lisa Brokop Selfie Photo

Change Brings Opportunity

 Brokop signed with the Nashville division of Columbia Records, in 1998, where she released the single ‘How Do I Let Go’. The song reached the top 20 of The Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart and received a nomination for “Socan Song of the Year” at the 1998 Canadian Country Music Awards Show. 

In July of 1998, Lisa released in Canada the album, ‘When You Get To Be You’. It produced five more singles, including ‘What’s Not To Love’ that peaked at No 21. And, soon later, ‘Better Off Broken’ peaked at No. 8 becoming Brokop’s highest charting single on The Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart in 1999. The album was not released in the US and as a result Lisa Brokop left Columbia Records at the end of 1999.

Undeniable Change

In 2000, Brokop ventured on her own and launched Cosmo Records. It was under this label she released her fifth album, ‘Undeniable’.  Lisa Brokop received in 2001 two Canadian Country Music Association awards for Independent Song of The Year for ‘Something Undeniable’ as well as independent Female Artist of The Year.

The album’s third single, ‘I’d Like To See You Try’, won Brokop Independent Song of The Year as well as Independent Female Artist of the Year in 2002, from The Canadian Country Music Association. 2003 saw her receive another Independent Female Artist of The Year award.

Country Music In The Merritt Mountains

Lisa’s hand print was taken in July 1995 at The Merritt Mountain Music Festival (now the Rockin River Music Festival). Followed soon after by the unveiling of the hand print in Merritt, BC.

Again Lisa returned back to Merritt BC on Sunday, July 8, 2001 for her performance at The Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Followed, soon later, by the 10th Anniversary of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival in 2002. Then again she returned to Merritt at the launch of the Walk of Stars in 2003. Lisa was the main attraction for the gala which was a huge success.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Merritt BC Murals Downtown Walking Tour

Because of her desire, talent, passion, perseverance, and dedication to her music Lisa has definitely earned her place on the Merritt BC Murals. Lisa’s mural is located on the side of the Home Hardware building. There was a special ceremony for Lisa to unveil, and sign her Mural in 2006.

Her mural rests on the side of the Home Hardware building located at 1701 Voght Street. Her hand print is located at 2076 Coutlee Avenue.  

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery. 

Back On The Road And Going Strong

Brokop’s seventh album ‘Beautiful Tragedy’, was released in August of 2008. As a result, it featured a top 20 hit ‘Break It’.

In 2013, Lisa returned to commercial country radio and had success with songs ‘Let It Burn’ and ‘Love Me If You Can’ both of which were produced by fellow Canadian superstar Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

Lisa put together the new musical venture, ‘Lisa Brokop: The Patsy Cline Project’ where Lisa pays homage to one of country music’s greatest ladies. The project features some of Cline’s classic hits like ‘Sweet Dreams’ and ‘Walkin after Midnight’ as well as some of her own material written specifically for the project. 

“I’ve come full circle with this project,” Brokop says. “When I first started singing, I would sing some of Patsy’s songs because I didn’t have any of my own. They are still among some of my favorites today and I am so excited to have the opportunity to honor this amazing lady and the incredible music she gave us!” 

You can visit Lisa Brokop on her website, as well as, her Facebook page. 

Merritt Downtown Mural Walking Tour

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Experience Nicola Valley Blog

Blog

Experience Nicola Valley

Travel Website

** Information resources includes Lisa Brokop website, Wikipedia page, and social media page.

Merritt Murals

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Featured Country Music Musician – Tim McGraw

“Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.” Tim McGraw

Merritt BC Canada Murals – Tim McGraw is one of the Merritt Murals in the Nicola Valley located in downtown Merritt BC Canada. There are over 20 murals in downtown Merritt BC which is also the Country Music Capital of Canada.

Downtown Merritt BC is also the home of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Today,  I will be sharing with you some information about the Merritt BC Canada Murals and country music superstar Tim McGraw.

Merritt BC Murals Downtown Merritt Tim McGraw

Michelle Bacon (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

The Story of Tim McGraw Before The Merritt BC Canada Murals

Country music artist Tim McGraw wasn’t always interested in music. As a matter of fact he originally thought that he would be a professional baseball payer. Unfortunately, during his college years he injured his knee and could no longer pursue that career. Which is a good thing for us Country Music Fans.

Baseball To Country Music

He learnt to play guitar during his college years, after and during baseball. Although, at times, his roommates often hid his guitar claiming that he was hard on the ears. Subsequently his determination never wavered. He would still play and perform for money.

In 1989 Tim’s hero Keith Whitley died. As a result, when he heard the news, Tim dropped out of college and moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.

 

Accomplishments of  Tim McGraw

There is no shortage of amazing songs written and performed by Country Music Artist Tim McGraw. In short some of my favorite country songs are “Don’t Take the Girl”, “I Like it, I Love it”, “It’s your Love”, “Just to See You Smile” and “Red Rag Top”.

Tim has accomplished so much since his first demo single was released in 1991.  At that time, the single “What Room Was the Holiday In” didn’t perform well on the charts. In fact, his first self titled album “Tim McGraw” released in 1991 did not resonate well with the country music fans. But persistence always wins. 

Merritt BC Canada Murals Honor Country Music Hits

McGraw’s second album entitled “Not a Moment Too Soon” released in 1994 was much more successful. His single “Indian Outlaw” not only raced to the top of the charts, it also created a lot of backlash from people who found it offensive to Native Americans. This only helped the sales of the single. Since then Tim has racked up many different awards over the years.

Platinum Albums

1994

CMT

Male Video Artist of the Year

 

Academy of Country Music

Album of the Year

 

 

Top Male Vocalist

 

Billboard Awards

Top New Country Artist

 

Billboard Magazine

Top New Country Album

1995

American Music Awards

Favorite New Country Artist

1997

Billboard Magazine

Single of the Year “It’s Your Love”

 

CMT

Video of the Year “It’s Your Love”

 

 

Male Artist of the Year

 

CMA

Vocal Event “It’s Your Love”

 

Billboard Awards

Country Single of the Year “Just to See You Smile”

 

CMA

Album of the Year “Everywhere”

1998

Academy of Country Music

Single of the Year “It’s Your Love”

 

 

Song of the Year “It’s Your Love”

 

 

Video of the Year “It’s Your Love”

 

 

Top Vocal Event “It’s Your Love”

1999

Academy of Country Music

Male Vocalist

 

 

Vocal Collaboration “Just to Hear You Say that You Love Me”

 

CMA

Male Vocalist

Album of the Year “A Place in the Sun”

2000

National Father Hood Initiative

Father of the Year

 

Academy of Country Music

Male Vocalist

 

Billboard Awards

Male Artist of the Year

 

CMA

Male Vocalist

2001

American Music Awards

Favorite Male Country Artist

 

Grammy Awards

Best Country Collaboration with Vocals “Let’s make love”

 

CMA

Entertainer of the Year

 

Billboard Awards

Country Artist

 

 

Male Country Artist

 

 

Album Artist Country

 

 

Country Single Artist

 

 

Country Album “Greatest Hits”

2002

American Music Awards

Best Country Album “Set This Circus Down”

 

 

Favorite Male Country Artist

2003

American Music Awards

Favorite Country Male Artist

 

Radio Music Awards

Country Male Artist

 

American Music Awards

Favorite Country Male Artist

2004

People’s Choice Awards

Favorite Country Male Artist

 

Radio Music Awards

Country Male Artist

 

CMA

Single of the Year “Live Like You Were Dying”

2005

American Music Awards

Album of the Year  “Live Like You Were Dying”

 

 

Best Male Country Artist

 

Academy of Country Music

Song of the Year “Live Like You Were Dying”

 

 

Single of the Year  “Live Like You Were Dying”

 

Peoples Choice Awards

Favorite Country Male Artist

 

Grammy Awards

Best Male Country Vocal Performance  “Live Like You Were Dying”

 

CMT

Most Inspiring Video  “Live Like You Were Dying”

2006

Peoples Choice Awards

Top Male Performer

 

Grammy Awards

Best Country Collaboration with Vocals “Live We Never Loved at All” with Faith Hill

2012

CMA

Musical Event of the Year  “Feel like a Rock Star” with Kenny Chesney

2013

Brits Country Music Association

International song of the Year “Highway Don’t Care” with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban

2014

People’s Choice Awards

Country Music Icon

2016

CMT Music Awards

Video of the Year “Humble and Kind”

The Country Songs Keep On Coming

Some of Tim’s best songs include “It’s Your Love”, “Humble and Kind”,  “Live Like you Were Dying”, “I Like it, I Love it” and “Highway Don’t Care” just to name a few. 

Tim’s 1994 album “Not a Moment Too Soon” and his 2000 “Greatest Hits” album are both 6x Platinum. Together with “Not A Moment Too Soon” which went #1 in the first week on the charts. Likewise, “All I Want” released in 1995 reached 3x Platinum.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

Family Life

McGraw was born in Delhi , Louisiana, USA on May 1 1967. He grew up thinking his father was Horace Smith. In the light of finding his birth certificate Tim learned his Father was really Tug McGraw. In short, he was only 11 years old when finding this out. He eventually got to meet his real father but it wasn’t until he was 18 that they started to form a closer relationship.

Family Is Important

In 1996 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill married and had 3 beautiful girls. As a result Tim’s desire to be a good father and to have a regular family became priority number one. Consequently, Tim coaches his girl’s baseball and basketball teams.  Ultimately, the family loves to spend time on their 200 acre ranch just outside Nashville. Highlights include bonfires in the back forty, hang out on tailgates, pick guitars and having a few beers.

“It’s the most relaxing place in the world” Tim McGraw

Not only a Country Artist

Tim has done a number of movies over the years. Firstly, he performed in a movie called “Black Cloud”.  Secondly, in 2006, he played Rob McLaughlin in “Flicka”. A role he didn’t really want to do but after reading the script he couldn’t say no.

Flicka Movie Staring Tim McGraw

“Flicka” is a movie about a young teenager who dreams of one day taking over her fathers (McGraw) ranch.  Subsequently she tames a young mustang which her father sells. In conclusion she schemes to win a dangerous horse race in order to win back Flicka.

“I didn’t want to play a rancher. I didn’t want to have a cowboy hat on, I wanted o get away from that in the things I do. But, I read the script and fell in love with it. As hard as I tried to say no, I couldn’t.” Tim McGraw

Lastly, a few of his other movies include “The Kingdom” in 2007, The “Blind Side” in 2009, “Country Song” in 2010, as well as, a prominent role in “Tomorrowland” with George Clooney in 2015.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Merritt BC Murals

In downtown Merritt BC Canada there are many amazing Country Artist Murals. Together, with the “Walk of Stars”, they have become one of Canada’s biggest outdoor art walking tour. While you are here checking out this mural why don’t you take a moment and head over to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

Walk The Merritt Murals

It’s such a neat thing to be able to step back in time while reading about the inductees. But, on your way you can check out some of the other Merritt Murals in the Nicola Valley. Also, take some time and have a bite to eat at one of the great coffee shops or restaurants in Downtown Merritt BC.

Lastly, you can find the Merritt BC Canada Mural – Tim McGraw at 2151 Coutlee Ave on the side of the Copper Valley Mechanical building.

Walk of Stars

Moreover, on your digital tour of Merritt BC Canada Murals you can also have a look at the over 100+ “Walk of Stars” around Downtown Merritt. There is also one food print, can you figure out who it belongs to? The stars also have QR codes.

Merritt BC Canada Walk of Stars

Merritt BC Canada Walk of Stars – Tim McGraw

Merritt BC Canada Murals are such an amazing part of our community. In addition we “Merrittonians” love and are very proud to be the Canadian Country Music Capital. More importantly, being able to share these Country Music Artist Murals with everyone who comes here to visit, or by you sharing these blogs about them makes me feel very fortunate.

In conclusion you can follow Tim McGraw on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and his web page

To sum it all up there really are so many of his songs that I love. Which of Tim’s songs are your favorites? Comment below and let us know.

Featured Country Music Musician – Tim McGraw in Merritt BC

 

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Experience Nicola Valley Blog

Blog

Experience Nicola Valley

Travel Website

** Information resources include Tim McGraw website, Wikipedia and social media pages.

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Casey Clarke Country Music Television and Radio

Merritt BC Murals in the Nicola Valley

An on air and TV personality that has been a great ambassador and friend of Merritt BC Canada

The Merritt BC Murals in the Nicola Valley feature a country music personality named Casey Clarke. A name sitting near the top of the list in the country music world of television and radio. If you love listening to country music it is a safe bet you know who Casey Clarke is. 

The Start Of The Broadcasting Career

Casey was born and raised in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. It was here on the prairies, growing up, where Casey found his calling in broadcasting. Casey Clarke started his  television and radio career at a very early age too. Radio first came calling for Casey Clarke in Westlock, Alberta at CFOK Radio Station. Soon later he was behind the mic with Mountain FM Whistler/Squamish BC.  Everyone who knows Casey could see that Casey’s broadcasting career was off and running.

Melvina White (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Casey’s next stop was Vancouver, BC, Canada where he jumped on board with “The Satellite Radio Network” and was syndicated on 71 radio stations across Canada. Followed later by an offer to join the team at Silk FM at which time Casey made the move to Kelowna, BC, Canada. Casey took a liking to his radio career and kept moving forward. He was once heard saying, 

“This is such a dynamic field filled with unbelievable challenges!”

The Television Career Begins For Casey Clarke

1997 took Casey Clarke from Kelowna, BC to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to join the Country Music Television show known as CMT. Clarke served as Director of Programming at both CMT Canada and Country 95.3 (Hamilton/Toronto-Canada’s most listened to Country Station). While at 95.3 he organized Canada’s largest free outdoor Country show every Canada Day. 

“The face of CMT” (Country Music Television) according to some was Casey Clarke)

Casey’s 15 year radio stint has earned him the title, “the face” of CMT. Casey Clarke is one of the most recognizable personalities in Canada in the country music industry.

Casey Clarke Awards and Credits

In 2009. The Country Music Association World International Awards, honored Casey Clarke with the broadcaster of the year award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement, by a radio broadcaster or syndicated radio reporter. The award recognizes that Casey has made important contributions for the development of country music, in his/her country outside the United States.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

Back to Radio

The Casey Clarke Show” as well as “The Casey Clarke Countdown” is syndicated on radio stations across Canada. As a result they are both active in major and secondary markets. Casey hosts a variety of artist album specials on national radio as well. He is also the main radio personality conducting onsite interviews with the headlining artists, at all major Canadian Country Music Festivals.  As well as his radio programs. Clarke’s company Casey Clark Productions also co-produced “The Chevy Cross Canada Countdown” which Clarke hosted for seven seasons. 

In 2012 a show on CMT that Casey was involved with, “Employee Of The Week”, won the”Program of The Year Award” from the Canadian Country Music Association.

Casey Clarke’s Merritt Mural 

The on-air and TV personality has been a great ambassador and host for Merritt BC Canada. He has commanded the stage of The Merritt Mountain Music Festival, as well as, the stage for some Walk of Stars Gala events. He has been a staple at the “Rockin River Music Fest” since 2015. Casey will grace the stage again at the 2019 Rockin’ River Fest. 

Casey has continued to support the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame for many years. It was his dedication to the country music scene in Merritt BC Canada that earned him his space on a wall forming part of the Merritt BC Murals. Casey Clarke’s Mural can be seen at 2015 Nicola Street. He is on the wall with his colleague, and country music singer”Beverly Mahood”.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Merritt BC Canada Murals

The Merritt Mural Project started  in 2005. Furthermore, the Merritt BC Murals was part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Muralist Michelle Loughery painted the Merritt Murals.

Still Connecting with Country’s Biggest Stars

Casey is currently the Program Director for the Morning Show for Stingray Country 100.7 in Kelowna, BC. He has held this position since January, 2013. Radio and Event Host Casey Clarke shows no signs of slowing down. 

Follow Casey Clarke on his website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

Merritt Mural Downtown Digital Walking Tour

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** Information resources includes Casey Clarke website, and social media pages.

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Country Music Legends – Merritt BC Murals

Hank Snow, Wilf Carter (Montana Slim), Orval Prophet, and Catherine McKinnon

“I know when I was little, people would say, ‘What are you going to be when you grow up?’ And my first answer was, ‘I’m going to be a singer, an actor, a nurse, and Barbara Ann Scott.”  Catherine McKinnon

Merritt Murals and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame recognizes four Canadian Country Music legends in Merritt, BC, Canada. During the early years of country music they – Hank Snow, Wilf Carter (Montana Slim), Orval Prophet, and Catherine McKinnon – were at the forefront of the Canadian country music scene. As a result, all four country music legends grace a wall together, as a Merritt Mural, in Downtown Merritt. 

 

Canadian Country Music Legends

Tania Stewart (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Short & Brief History of these 4 Legendary Country Music Artists

Hank Clarence Eugene Snow

(May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999) Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. Hank was well known for his lavish colourful sequin-studded suits. His career covered six decades from 1936–1996 spanning 50 years. During which he produced the self-penned number-one hit, “I’m Moving On”. After a long and successful career Hank Snow was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame.  To clarify, the induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame was not until 1985.

“I’ve had about 140 albums released, and I’ve done everything I wanted to do, ” Hank Snow. 

Wilfred Arthur Charles Carter

(December 18, 1904 – December 5, 1996),  Port Hilford, Nova Scotia, Canada. Wilf Carter may be better known for his nicknames “Montana Slim” and the “Yodeling Cowboy”. 

Carter was Canada’s first country music star and widely acknowledged as the father of Canadian country music.

At the age of  86,  Montana Slim made his last concert tour called, ” The Last Round-up Tour”. As a result the country music legend played his last shows tin Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Manitoba. Wilf Carter was later inducted into Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1984.

Orval  William Prophet

(August 1922 – 4 January 1984) Edwards, Ontario, Canada. Orval Prophet was among the first Canadian country music performers to achieve a career reaching international borders. As a result of his mass appeal Orval was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Honour and in 1989 into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. In short, his most recognized songs include, “Going Back to Birmingham” and “Judgement Day Express”. 

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

Catherine McKinnon

(Born May 14, 1944) During the 1960’s Catherine McKinnon was a Canadian actress, as well as, fast becoming one of the leading country/pop singers in Canada. Her acting career saw her in productions like the Turvey,  and “The Wizard of Oz”.  Meanwhile her singer career won her a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the East Coast Music Awards in 2012. Above all… she had a history of awards including Top Female Singer at the RPM Awards (1965) and Top Female Singer at the RPM Awards (1965).

More Canadian Country Music Legend Facts

  • First, there is the Hank Snow Home Town Museum located in Liverpool Nova Scotia, Canada. The venue celebrates Hanks life and work.
  • Additionally, there is Hank’s foundation called the International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse.  
  • Meanwhile Orval Prophet was the first Canadian country music artist to record in a Nashville studio.
  • Further more, during World War II, Prophet performed for the injured soldiers in Ottawa, Canada. Most importantly, or should we say most impressively, was the fact that Orval walked 38 kilometres (24 mi) from his home to the hospital to entertain the soldiers.
Hank Snow Merritt BC Mural

Hank Snow – Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

Merritt BC Canada Murals

The Merritt Mural Project started  in 2005. Furthermore, the Merritt BC Murals was part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Muralist Michelle Loughery painted the Merritt Murals.

Enjoy & Visit Merritt, BC, Canada

Downtown Merritt provides visitors a unique experience when exploring our community. For instance, why not follow up your sightseeing experience by browsing some of our local shops, cafes, historical pubs, as well as, Merritt’s Signature Attraction, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Certainly, try to make some time to take in the Merritt Walk of Stars too. Each plaque features a hand print (and yes, there is one footprint), as well as, includes signatures of every featured country music performer.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame honours country music artists, and broadcasters, living or deceased. The country music venue is located in Downtown Merritt BC at 2025 Quilchena Avenue.  That is to say that the music venue includes extensive biographical information on Canadian country music inductees.  Lastly, the country music attraction is open year-round for custom tours, as well as, it is open to the public on seasonally adjusted hours.

Merritt Canada Downtown Mural Walking Tour – Nicola Valley

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Nicola Valley Mountainboarding

Merritt, BC, Canada Extreme Sports

“There’s nothing like mountain boarding! I have been to amusement parks and gone on the rides and roller coasters and none have even come close.”

Although mountainboarding is an up and coming new sport in Canada, it is quickly gaining popularity.  A mountainboard contains components including a deck, bindings to secure the rider to the deck, four pneumatic tires and two trucks for steering. 

Mountainboarders ride specifically designed boarder-cross tracks, slope-style parks, grass hills, woodlands, gravel tracks, streets, skate parks, ski resorts, BMX courses and mountain bike trails. The ability to ride such a variety of terrain is what makes mountainboarding different from other board sports. 

Merritt is mountainboarding country

Mountainboarding in Merritt, BC, Canada is an ideal destination with all the different terrains that the area has to offer. There’s hills, gravel tracks, mountain bike trails, woodlands and so much more to experience. 

“You can’t really describe how it feels. It’s like a roller coaster but you have control of the track, if that makes any sense.” 

Youth mountainboarding

Let me introduce you now to a young man, Brayden.  He discovered the sport and became interested in mountainboarding as an alternative to his longboarding. When I spoke to this young man, I  asked him how he got interested in mountainboarding. His response was that he had watched a movie called “Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board.”  Once he watched the movie, he was essentially “hooked” and wanted to try this up and coming sport in Canada.

Brayden mountainboarding near LundbomLake

Setting up your gear

First came the purchase of the deck, trucks, wheels and safety gear. Finally, the day came that he could venture out to try. Starting out small, this young man ventured out into the Merritt area looking for suitable terrain to test out. First place this young man tried was the bike park. He soon found out that mountainboarding was much more different that skateboarding and longboarding. 

Mountainboarding 101 

Coming home after a few tumbles, he started watching videos from other more seasoned mountainboarders from around the world. After spending several days watching videos, he was ready to venture out again to try. Fast forward about a year and this young man has reached a top speed of 30 km/h down Midday Valley Road during the Winter and 40 km/h down the same road with the arrival of Spring.

“One of the best first attempts was when coming down Midday Valley Road and how you learn to control the board. There’s only so much you can learn from videos and you have to just jump on the board.”

Mountainboarding in the Nicola Valley.

Looking for mountain boarding runs

Brayden is excited and looking at different locations within the Merritt area to test his mountainboard out. He will soon have a better idea of the perfect areas for mountainboarding in Merritt, BC.  Brayden’s ambition and goal is to bring mountainboarding to Merritt, BC. He hopes to offer rental boards, lessons and ventures for groups to enjoy the many different areas Merritt,BC has to offer in the near future.

Mountainboarding in Merritt British Columbia Canada

 

The Chair Walk, Merritt BC

July 10, 2019 to August 7, 2019

“Chairs like you have never seen before”

Art in Merritt BC. Art in Merritt comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. There are art galleries for you to enjoy, craft markets where many different artists participate, as well as, various venues with live entertainment. Locals and visitors will also enjoy the “Chair Walk”, the latest addition to the art experience while exploring Merritt BC Canada.  

How does the Chair Walk Work?

The Chair Walk is modeled after a self-guided walking tour. Many communities provide self guided art walks including Merritt and the Nicola Valley. The Chair Walk will soon be one of the many art experiences to enjoy alongside the Merritt Murals, Walk Of Stars and many others.

However, one should know, the Chair Walk is different than many other art exhibits because it is a fund raiser for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and the Nicola Valley Community Theatre Society . The Chair Walk has some unique twists and turns that are not found in your every-day conventional Art Walk. It will be well worth the walk.

The Chair Walk is an army of community minded artists coming together for a good cause by donating their time and talents to producing some amazing art creations in the form of chairs.  While the basis of the work is a common chair, there is nothing common about the finished results. But hold on! That is all we can tell you about it right now because it is a surprise. You will have to come to Merritt BC Canada this summer and take the walking tour to see the collection of creative chair masterpieces.

What will the chairs look like?

The Business Community is on board.

Of course, all this effort by the artists would be for naught if the businesses did not see this as a valuable event, not only for themselves, but for the whole town in fostering art in Merritt. You will find that the interesting thing is the large variety of businesses involved.  There are flower shops, restaurants, auto parts dealers, a bike shop, sportswear, gift shops and many others for you to visit. All with their own versions of chair art. 

Making Money for Art in Merritt, BC

Whereas the artists and business are crucial, you will be the ones to determine the success of this event. 

Each chair will be the subject of a silent auction 

However, if you are not going to bid on a chair you can still help the cause. Each chair will have a piggy bank placed nearby where you can make a donation.  As a side note, the banks are fun to see as they come in all sizes and shapes too.

“Families, children, teens, seniors, singles, tourists, and couples are all encouraged to support this event as it will not only be a fun summer activity but also help make Merritt become a better community in which to live.” says Team Leader for the Chair Project, Shirley

Inviting Store Front promoting Art in Merritt

Art in Merritt is worth the effort

The Chair Walk will give you a great introduction to our wonderful little City.  While you travel to each venue you will pass by other attractions that might interest you,  such as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

In addition,  if you are into museums visit the Nicola Valley Museum and Archives.  You will find great information on the local history including the Indigenous peoples of the region.  You can also take in the many murals of the country stars that have played at our annual summer music fest. 

The Merritt Murals are another example of art in Merritt that is on public display. There are said to around 20+ murals depicting country music stars. All painted by Michelle Loughery. 

Accommodations Galore!

While experiencing the Chair Walk you may find time flies by fast.  There are fifteen art sites spread out around town. Therefore, if you are from out of town you will want to consider staying over night.  Accommodations in Merritt are varied from first class hotels to camping in the wilderness.

What to expect with art in Merritt

You will see some amazing creations, you will feel the small town experience and you could win a prize at the same time.  Just get your passport stamped at all fifteen venues and you will be entered into the draw. You will walk away feeling proud that you participated in the Chair Walk  in Merritt. 

Chair Walk – Art in Merritt BC Canada

Merritt’s Murals

A Community Inspired Project

“In addition to painting larger than life murals of country music artists, the project also focused on providing local youth with skills development and employment opportunities”

Nothing defines Merritt more than its country roots. Officially recognized as the ‘Country Music Capital of Canada’, Merritt BC Canada is home to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Merritt Walk of Stars (over 70 handprints of famous country music stars – including Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw and the likes!), and to dozens of murals depicting country music’s greatest performers.

Merritt Walk Of Stars Society

In 2003 the Merritt Walk of Stars Society was established with the mandate to work with community members to increase tourism to the region through the promotion of country music. Beginning with the star handprints collected at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival (1993 – 2011), the Merritt Walk of Stars inspired by a similar project in Vernon, BC contracted mural artist Michelle Loughery, and started the Merritt Walk of Stars Youth Mural Project (2005-2011).

Local Youth Project

In addition to painting larger than life murals of country music artists, the project also focused on providing local youth with skills development and employment opportunities. The youth were an integral and inspiring part of the mural project. Not only did the youth participants assist with the painting of the murals, but they also worked on a variety of community-based projects.

Youth at Risk Mural Project in Nicola Valley

Photo Credit The Merritt Herald/Heather Thompson © copyright 2005

Community members rallied around the project – providing donations, work experience opportunities for the youth, and fundraising initiatives to support the project. Local aboriginal communities, municipal, provincial and federal governments, businesses, schools, and a wide-range of not for profit groups all supported the youth and the project. The Merritt mural project is more than just a Merritt Walk of Stars project (now the Canadian Country Music Heritage Society) – the Merritt mural project was, and continues to be, a community-based project that everyone in the community can claim as their own.

Merritt Walk of Stars

Photo Credit The Merritt Herald/Heather Thompson © copyright 2006

Merritt’s Murals Moving Forward

Today the iconic murals also play an important part of the community’s focus on tourism and economic development by continuing to draw many visitors to Merritt’s downtown. A recent initiative undertaken by the Merritt and Nicola Valley Destination Society, eh Canada Travel and the Canadian Country Music Heritage Society is bringing the murals to life through a digital walk.

You can take a digitally enabled and live walking tour of the murals by visiting downtown Merritt or you can take a virtual tour of the murals by visiting experiencenicolavalley.com.

Amber Papou worked with the Walk of Stars Society (2003-2011) and is currently an advisor to the Canadian Country Music Heritage Society.

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Hilly Half Marathon in Merritt, BC

Scenery in the Nicola Valley Can’t be Beat

“The views are worth every bit of the challenge” –Andrea

Running in Merritt is the subject of my first ever blog.  Mary Jorgensen,  as a new comer to Merritt BC Canada, was disappointed by the fact that there wasn’t a run in Merritt so she took the bull by the horns, got a small band of like minded people together, and the Merritt Country Run was born.

They’re off and running in Merritt, BC, Canada

The Merritt Country Run provides four different distances. Namely,” 2Xtrack(800M)”, 5K, 10K and the 1/2 Marathon.  Of all the distances the 1/2 Marathon is the ultimate “running in Merritt” experience.  Whereas runs on the Stanley Park Sea Wall are flat and easy, this run is hilly and really tests your endurance. While the route may be hilly our participants say: 

“The views are worth every bit of the challenge” –Andrea 

The Views While Running in Merritt, BC

The race starts at Voght Park, with the first part of the journey travelling beside the Coldwater River.  However, after the first kilometer you meet your first challenging hill.  This part of the run travels North East and gives you views out over the City’s golf course and the grasslands of the southern interior.  If you have ever seen a wrinkle dog then you get the idea of what the grasslands look like.

View of Golf Course and Grasslands

View of Golf Course and Grasslands

The good thing is that when you reach the top of Juniper Hill you have over 8 kilometers before the next one! Your reward at the top of the hill is running through the Bench Subdivision.  The fragrance of the pines as you run along Mountain Way screams out “Summer Vacation.”

While I could go on about the views, I will only cover three more spots.  When you travel along the City’s Truck Route you get to see the booming metropolis  of Merritt, BC.  Secondly, when you are running out along Lindley Creek Road you get a magnificent view of the Nicola River as it flows down to the Fraser River at Spences Bridge.  Finally, your last leg borders the Coldwater  River where the babbling sounds of the river sooth your soul as you roll to the finish line back at Voght Park. 

Merritt Country Run

The Booming Metropolis of Merritt

Merritt Country Run

The Home Stretch beside the Coldwater River

Come for the Running in Merritt enjoy the Nicola Valley

The temperature can be warm at this time of year so we start the half marathon at 8:00AM.  If you are coming from out of town it is best to come the day before.  You have many choices of accommodation from first class hotels, motels, B&B’s and of course camping.

To get full service camping you need to choose the in town sites of Claybanks RV or Moon Shadows RV Park.    Choosing Monk Park provides you with all the comforts of a Provincial Campground on the shores of beautiful Nicola Lake.  Alternatively, if you are into more rustic, Kane Valley and Lundbom Lake provide lakeside camping with minimal fan fare.

If this is not your year to attempt running in Merritt then remember that the Country Run is always the second Sunday in June.  You don’t have to wait for the run to enjoy Merritt.  Go to Experience Nicola Valley to get the scoop on all the exciting things to do in the Nicola Valley.  After all, we are just a hop skip and jump away from Vancouver (3 hours), an hour + from the Okanagan and 45 minutes from Kamloops.

There will be more news on the Running in Merritt in the coming future so stay tuned.

Merritt Country Run in the Nicola Valley