People in Merritt and the Nicola Valley

Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Planet Hair & Spa’s Grand Re-Opening

Were You Go To Get Your Locks On!

Up-date on Planet Hair and Spa in celebration of their 25th Anniversary. 

Planet Hair has persevered by adapting and growing during these troubling times. All the while keeping their fundamental values, “Customers are #1”.  Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh new look.  While most people don’t consider the impact our clothes have on our environment, Kathy has truly thought of this. She understands, that more people are becoming aware of Textile Waste and its damage to our environment. Re-cycling with some re-thinking is what Kathy Castro is bringing to her spa! Additionally, as you are getting a great hair style, you can update your wardrobe with Vintageretro  clothes. 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

Take your time, impressive selection. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa Merritt BC.

Beautiful prom gowns! Photo Tania Stewart.

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley.

These “Boots” are made for walking.

 

Vintage clothing offers a chance to explore personal style. Tania Stewart.

 

Planet Hair and Spa serving the Nicola Valley, BC

My personal fav! You need to see this beautiful dress!

Accessories are a must!

 

Vintageretro fashion is still going strong in terms of clothing, footwear, and accessories. 

According to the Canadian Lock-down Orders

Due to Covid 19 Kathy Castro owner and operator of Planet Hair & Spa located in Merritt British Columbia had to close her doors . As a result many loyal clients have to suffer through a time of “nasty bedhead hair”.  Due to circumstances out of Kathy’s control, little options were available, but to try and turn a negative into a positive. Hence the re-vamp, re-decorate,  and re-paint of her salon. Having known Kathy for many years, one thing is for sure when talking about Kathy Castro, she rarely lets bad news take her down. 

 

Merrittplanethair

Kathy Castro in the Trenches!

It is important to note that Planet Hair and Spa is truly an Experience Nicola Valley venture and has always been my personal favourite place to get my “do” done.  However, what really makes my haircut experience so special is the opportunity to connect and socialize. Incidentally, I was also blessed to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show“.  

WATCH NICOLA VALLEY TALK SHOW INTERVIEW

Merritt Planet Hair & Spa Re-Opening Covid 19 Style

Not only was I very fortunate to have Kathy as my first guest on the “Nicola Valley Talk Show”, I was able to see first hand the work and time that was put into re-decorating her business.  I applaud Kathy and her husband Paul for taking on this massive undertaking. Despite having to close its doors, with little warning, Planet Hair and Spa has re-positioned itself with a fresh and new look for opening day.  

Nicolavalleyplanethair

Our stations are ready for you!

Additionally re-vamping Planet Hair & Spa beauty products display 

When speaking about beauty products Kathy has traveled the world and has done her research. In all honesty, I can say that with all of Kathy’s years of experience she is able to seek out the best beauty products. The fact that Planet Hair stands by their products is just another way they stand behind their service. Kathy understands that hair care is important hence the large selection of products her shop has on display. However, Kathy does ask that all clients do not touch the products because of the COVID 19 safety protocols and, instead, ask to see them. Look, inquire but do not touch.  

Not only does Planet Hair and Spa provide haircuts, colours, and streaks. They also provide some of the best “products” to keep your hair healthy”, Tania Stewart.

To illustrate the vast range of products available 

The products available are many. Too many to list here. But, since summer is coming, they do have some suntan lotion made from hemp that is gaining some good reviews. Then there is the line of AG hair products on her shelves which will take care of your hair. Some of the brand names lining the shelves include “Designer Skin”, “Fiesta”, “Rusk“, “Reuzel” and “Nioxin“.  Whenever you are wanting to tame or inspire your curls then take a look at “DevaCurl“.  Planet Hair & Spa has many of things a person would want for hair and skin care. 

merrittplanethair

Nails are important!

bcplanethair&spa

Comfort is important.

Planet Hair & Spa product wall. “Teetree” is available.

Additionally Planet Hair & Spa offers a wide range of styling items

Equally important are the styling items available like straighteners. For you newbies those are the hot curling devises we use to keep our hair style going. In fact Planet Hair & Spa is a one stop shopping place to purchase everything your hair desires. Not to mention that a coupon or beauty product would make for a great gift!

 

planethairnicolavalley

Taking your appointments serious.

When re-opening social distancing is key 

Kathy has made sure your health is number one when visiting her shop in the Nicola Valley. She has her staff well trained and equipped with all the protective equipment including masks, and head visors. Social distancing will also be respected in her shop with only 3 hair stations operating at one time, which is every second chair in operation.

The separation of the chairs will provide safe social distancing. Truly making sure all clients are safe Kathy has all work stations social distanced as well as in client’s waiting room space. Moreover making your experience stress-free, relaxing while providing assurance for every one’s safety. While giving her clients the needed care and beauty treatment they have been waiting for. 

It is always a Great Experience!

planet hair and spa

Kathy Castro – Planet Hair & Spa

Everyone I talk to about Planet Hair & Spa tell me that Kathy has a way of making you feel like you are their favorite client. Whether it is your first time in her chair or your five-hundredth time having your hair done Kathy makes you feel comfortable and welcomed. What makes this hair salon and spa stand out is truly how gracious Kathy and her team are for having you as a client. 

Without a doubt Kathy is one of the most determined business minds I have been fortunate to know. A fashionista, trend setter, entrepreneur and let us not forget an amazing hair stylist.

 

CONTACT US:

Planet Hair & Spa

2040 Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC V1K 1P3

(250) 378-5558

WEBSITE

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Award Winning Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

Creatives in the Nicola Valley Gather, Carefully

What local creative projects do you know are happening?

Nicola Valley creativity is in action. The community is buzzing with creativity. As the curator at the NV Arts Gallery I have my finger on the pulse of arts happening in and around the town of Merritt.

At least that’s what I wish. Beyond my mandala of gallery action and the programs we run, there is a lot going on out there. Just like our recent exhibition, The Art of Covid, showed, creativity persists in our Nicola Valley inhabitants. No matter what the conditions. 

And I can’t keep up with all the arts action in the community. Visual arts like paintings, pottery, and fabric arts are happening everywhere.   Dance seems to be alive and kicking. Online possibilities are taking the place of in person, and inaction. Creativity persists.

Music in the Valley

Some community art expressions, like music events, have dropped off. But I know music is being made…You Tube, Facebook, Spotify all have local music happening. 

Bobby Garcia musician

Bobby Garcia singing I Remember When

Open Mic music is kept up by Al and Denise. Robert Bertrand posts music, and Bobby Garcia lets us know about his latest releases on Facebook. Richard Lepinski writes an original song a month, and posts them to his You Tube channel, along with cover songs. Lilly Parks hooked us up to her channel and we’ve got her on our playlist.

Covid protocols

Meet up with Denise Kearney

I miss our weekly Open Mic Night at Kekuli Cafe, but local musician Denise Kearney and I stay in touch, talking about how and when the music action in town will open up.

What Creative Projects are happening?

I can’t tell you everything that’s happening arts wise here in the Nicola Valley, but I get to talk to, and hear about, people who are immersed in creative projects.

I enjoy it because inspiration is often a part of the conversation. If inspiration is present then commitment and action are usually not far behind.

Since I am committed to taking action, almost monthly with new shows, I wanted to flesh out two upcoming summer shows with working titles Body Art and The Art of Clothing

Meet Up for  Summer Inspiration

Merritt BC Artists

Kelly and Olivia discuss art shows

I called Kelly Reid for a meet up. Kelly manages her son Joel’s art which we carry in our Gift Shop. Kelly is a creative herself, turning Joel’s art into bags, Tshirts, and cards. And she is full of art appreciation and ideas.

I knew we could generate some ideas for the summer shows. We invited Olivia Nendick, an artist still in high school who has just applied for a Gallery art show for next fall. She had told us that she hunts down one of a kind fashion.

Besides the of-course! summer tie dye outdoors event we had already come up with, our trio decided to gather thrift store finds for artists to creative-up, and keep an eye out for mannequins. Got one we can use?

We figure we’ll plan an early workshop to get creative with articles of clothing (think beads, embroidery, patches, fabric paint). Stay tuned.

Creative Circles

Leonard George Artist

Leonard George and Blue Bear Painting

We like the idea of local artists’ works printed on silk scarves (imagine Jean’s red post office or Leonard’s blue bear. Or Herta’s flowers). 

We’ll hunt down the leather workers, bead makers, hair, tattoo and henna artists, and see if Colleen Waddell will do some fun air brush make up on a July Saturday afternoon.

Fashion design drawings, sketches of hairstyles, photos of tattoos for our Gallery walls.

And Olivia is going to take on a mannequin for the Art of Clothing show. Can’t wait.

Got ideas? Want to participate?

Know a local you think could contribute to either of these shows?

The Body Art Show is by invitation, but we are looking for body artists so get in touch. And the Art of Clothing is a community show, so get busy! We have limited space but we love to fill it.

More Shows

Before those summer shows happen there are three shows in the works. MSS is putting on a show “Unmasked”. Then the Clubhouse group is going to show all the art they’ve been doing during sessions with several NVCAC artists. 

And in June we are welcoming long time artist Judy Young, once involved with the Valley Visual Artists. Judy always contributes something amazing to our community shows so I’m looking forward to her one-person show coming up.

Following Covid protocols

We are Covid careful, but we are still in action with the arts, learning mad Zoom skills, planning Gallery shows, manning the Gift Shop, having socially distant meetups, putting on workshops. 

And… I just heard that the Farmer’s Market will accept artisan vendors as well as the produce essentials. Art is essential! Will we participate? Or just head over to enjoy what other locals are setting up? 

At the NV Gallery and Gift Shop, we know a lot of what’s happening in the arts in our community. And when you read our Experience Nicola Valley blogs,  the paper, as well as, watch Facebook and listen to our friends and colleagues like I do, it is easy to see Nicola Valley creativity in action. 

 

Kids Art

Susan and Fiona, Fabric Art Fun

Indigenous Art

Cliff McDougall Powwow photography

Merritt BC Artists

Artists Herta and Shirley

Artisan Covid masks

Artisan Angela Ho designs clothes

Artist Cindilla Trent

Cindy Trent setting up her “Looking Forward” Art quilt show

Art Program with Covid Protocols

Clubhouse Art Program

The arts are alive and well in the community! I’m inspired….

Jano Howarth 

NV Arts Gallery Curator 

Arts and Culture Blogger for Experience Nicola Valley

Artists Merritt BC

Artist Pat Tombe burns a design into one of his fab wooden bowls

Banjo

Watching Richard Lepinski on Youtube

Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

 

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Award Winning Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group

Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

“Lake a day for as long as you stay”

Truly “a lake a day for as long as you stay” bodes well with Merritt outdoor summer adventures in the Nicola Valley. Whether you are looking for a Provincial inclusive campground or wanting a more rustic adventure, the Nicola Valley has it all. To begin with you may want to just pull off the beaten path and hitch your tent alongside a river. Or you may want to dive deep into the backwoods that only a 4×4 can reach. Another possibility for the Merritt BC adventurists is to kayak to a hidden private campsite. 

merritt summer adventures

Camping. Photo Tania Stewart.

merritt outdoor summer adventures

Our Camp for the summer. Photo Tom Reynolds.

Monck Park is a Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventure Destination

The 118 hectare Monck Provincial Park campground is located just outside of the community of Merritt on the shores of Nicola Lake. There are 120 campsites. These campgrounds provide a range of sites from powered campsites with water to bare tenting campsites with no services. Additionally you can bring your powerboat for tubing or skiing! Located 23km from Merritt BC and 62km from Kamloops BC, Nicola Lake is easily accessible.  Great for kayaking, fishing and boating.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Water skiing is a must. Photo by Robert Neill.

Adventure outdoor Merritt BC.

Like a Pro she is! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Camping Adventure in the Summer in Merritt BC 

Whether you are wanting to just relax, swim, or just enjoy the outdoors…. or wanting to tube, water ski or just boat around, the Nicola Valley offers a wide range of camp grounds.  Be sure to check out all our campgrounds listed on our Experience Merritt website and what lakes allow speed boats, non-motorized or smaller trolling boats. 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Nicola Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Water Safety!

Firstly,  it is important to be safe when around water when enjoying Merritt outdoor summer adventures. Never underestimate the power of currents. A boater, swimmer or wader in open water can be swept away instantly. Always swim with a buddy never alone. Check weather conditions before venturing into the water. “Lifejackets are like seat belts – they only work if you wear them, and wear them properly.”  For further information go to Canadian Red Cross.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Lake Island. Photo by Robert Neill.

A Lake A Day As Long As You Stay

Experiencing Nicola Valley during Spring and Summer months is truly breathtaking. Lundbom Lake located 15min out of Merritt attracts many campers every year. Besides it’s beauty, Lundbom offers  fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, ATVing and camping. To read more about Lundbom read Julie Pollard’s blog about  Lundbom Lake 

Horseback riding at Lundbom. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Lundbom Lake Reflection

Evening at Lundbom.

Need Fishing Gear?

Did you forget your fishing tackle or your fishing license? No worries, Merritt has a few locations that supply top notch fishing lures and supplies. Finding the right fishing gear is easy in Merritt, BC.  Expert information on your ideal fishing spots and camping areas can be found in the below sporting stores. 

“I was told the three best places to get lures in Merritt and the Nicola Valley were from Ponderosa Sports , Gun Fishing located in Merritt. As well,  Lucky Bug Lures, is a BC produced lure which works magic in our waters.”  Melvina White.

 

Outdoor Summer Adventure around Merritt BC.

Kiss the Fish! Photo Tania Stewart.

 

Priceless memories. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Summer fun! Photo by Robert Neill.

Summer Outdoor Adventures in Merritt BC

With lakes as dark as coal and lakes as blue as the sea. Deep or not so deep. Warm lakes and some very cold. The Nicola Valley has over 200 hundred lakes to pick from. You may even spot a lake monster here and there as part of your Merritt outdoor summer adventures. 

Local lake monster? Photo from Tania Stewart.

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park 

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park is located just off Highway 5A between Merritt and Princeton. Ideal for families who want to enjoy these two pristine lakes. Also both lakes will amaze you with sparkling turquoise water that draw anglers from near and far. As well as, both lakes have hiking trails for avid hikers. For more information about these two lakes go to Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.

Kayaking on Kentucky Lake. Photo from Tania Stewart.

Alleyne lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Paska Lake near Logan Lake BC 

It is a 45 minute drive north of Merritt to Paska Lake. The turn off to the lake on Hwy 97D between Lac Lejeune and Logan Lake. Furthermore, the lake’ campground  contains around 50 sites many with lake views. 

Paska Lake is just one of almost two hundred lakes that are within an hours drive from Merritt. This is one of the reasons I love living in Merritt.” Tom Reynolds.

Paska Lake

Paska Lake-Shirley Reynolds Photo

Breakfast at the camp

Tom Reynolds – Photo Credit: Shirley Reynolds

Summer Adventures on Nicola Valley’s Lakes 

Here is a few lake’s that you may be interested in for planning your next outdoor summer adventures in Merritt BC. Consider these lakes for summer fun like Garcia Lake, Marquart Lake, Hamilton Lake, Edna Lake, Mathew Lake, Morgan Lake, Roth Lake, Gwen Lake,  and Lily Lake.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Wildlife Outdoors. Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Most importantly, while in the backcountry,  we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably, because our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  The bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. Make sure you store all food in a safe area as well never leave food out overnight on stove or picnic tables. Lesson your footprint! 

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Mountain goat. Photo by Robert Neill

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

Photo by Robert Neill

Picture Perfect Summer in Merritt BC

Don’t forget your camera. Always a lot of wildlife to capture with a snap of a finger. If you are lucky you may see a mountain goat too! At the same time bird watchers will experience the wide variety of bird species within there habitat. As a result the Nicola Valley can boast a wide range of bird species. Truly a bird watchers dream!

AdventureMerrittBC.

Nesting. Photo courtesy Tania Stewart.

Staycation Merritt BC.

Bald eagle. Photo Tania Stewart.

Hiking while Camping is Another Outdoor Summer Adventure

Albeit being on the lake is sublime. Taking a short or lengthy hike is truly paramount for exploring the region within the outdoors. Surrounding most lakes and rivers in the Nicola Valley are many hiking trails that are easily accessible. Trails that offer an easy hike or a more extreme hike that may be a day trip.  Surely, which ever trail you choose, the view will be breathtaking.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Family Fun Times in the Nicola Valley

Assuredly, nothing can compare with the fun and memories that the outdoors has on people. Getting down with nature with your family is something that is unique, bonding, and creating many future adventurists. To be sure we all want to preserve nature we make sure to leave as little footprint as we can.

Summer outdoor Merritt BC.

The gangs all here! Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Priceless memories for everyone! Picture by Tania Stewart.

As previously stated “Outdoor Summer Adventure” around Merritt BC. is truly an experience. Canadian summers are brief, every day is an adventure to enjoy. Tania Stewart.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Summer fun. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

Water skiing. Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

 

Photo courtesy of Robert Neill.

Summer Adventure on Nicola Valley's Lakes.

What fun. Image by Robert Neill.

The big question to ask yourself when coming to the Nicola Valley is which lake are you going to explore? The Experience Nicola Valley blog and Experience Merritt website is a good place to start,” Greg Girard.

In Conclusion!

Truly a lake a day is Merritt’s slogan. Albeit staying for a few days or just having a staycation this is were you will find it.

Merritt Outdoor Summer Adventures

Nicola Valley is home to over 200+ lakes and endless adventures

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Award Winning Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group

Hold My Beer – Aaron Pritchett 

Downtown Merritt Mural Walking Tour

“I Grew To Love Country Music Because Of The lyrics,” Aaron Pritchett

Hold My Beer –Aaron Pritchett country music artist  who was born on August 2, 1970 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. By the same token, Aaron grew up and was raised in Kitimat, BC, Canada – a coastal community in the northwestern region of British Columbia.

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Aaron’s love of music didn’t start with country music. Growing up he would listen to the rock ‘n’ roll legends of his parents like Elvis, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, The Miracles, Van Morrison, and James Brown. Correspondingly, as Aaron grew older, Canadian acts from the 1980’s, especially Bryan Adams, were a major influence as well. Consequently Pritchett’s single ‘DRIVE’ was co-written by Bryan Adams and British writer Phil Thornalley.

“Def Lepperd, AC/DC, bands like that; they are all a big part of the rockier licks I use in my songs today. I grew to love country music because of the lyrics . The songs are all about true life experiences.” Aaron Pritchett

Merritt BC Murals

Aaron Pritchett – Featured artists of Merritt BC Murals

Embarking On The Touring Scene

Aaron Pritchett started his career as a DJ at Rooster’s Country Cabaret in Pitt Meadows, BC. As a result of his DJ career, he also played in a house band throughout BC and Alberta playing cover tunes.

Hold My Beer – Aaron Pritchett’s Big Break

In 2001 everything changed for Aaron.  In short he entered a singing contest called “Project Discovery” sponsored by CMT (Country Music Television). Most importantly Aaron won $10,000 in cash, and a professional music video directed by internationally acclaimed director, Steven Goldmann.

Aaron put his winnings towards recording his first album “Consider This”. The title track from the album was co-written by Pritchett and BC country music legend Rick Tippe. Soon after, he got to record three songs with one of Canada’s top producers, Tom McKillip. In short, it was then, when Aaron Pritchett won the Project Discovery Talent Contest, at the Canadian Country Music Awards, he started receiving national recognition and attention.

Aaron Pritchett on the wall

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

Country Music Charts Recognizes Aaron Pritchett

Pritchett was now on a roll with some of his songs climbing to the top of the charts. Songs like Hold My Beer. As a result his success continued to grow with the release of his next albums – “Something Going On Here” in 2003 and “Big Wheel” in 2006. During this period of Aaron’s country music career he toured promoting his albums to his growing fan base.

“Combine humble, driven, talented, great songwriter and a focused artist together and you have Aaron Pritchett.”

Hold My Beer – Aaron Pritchett Merritt BC Murals Connection

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada has played a big roll in Aaron’s career. Not to mention Aaron has played a big roll in building Merritt’s country music brand. For instance, Aaron Pritchett was a regular attraction over the 17 years of the Merritt Mountain Music Festival (now the Rockin’ River Country Music Fest). His debut performance at the festival was on the “The Little Big Stage” in 1993.

Pritchett said, “the times I performed in Merritt were quite an experience”.

Hold My Beer – Aaron Pritchett Winning Single

Winning Independent Male Artist of the Year at the CCMA’s in 2004 and then Songwriter of the Year in 2007 put Aaron on the country music map. His winning single ‘Hold My Beer’ was not the song Aaron and his co-writers thought would ever make it big. Were they surprised.

Signed To The Record Label 

604 Records, the production company of Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, signed Aaron Pritchett to a label in 2008. Soon after, the “Thankful” album was released on September 9, 2008. Aaron promoted this album on a tour of Western Canada with Toby Keith and Jessie Farrel.

Aaron released his next album “In the Driver’s Seat” on November 9, 2010, under his own record label Decibel Music. Pritchett’s first greatest hits album, “Body of Work: A Collection of Hits”, was released on May 12, 2015 under Big Star Recordings.

In June 2016, Pritchett released the album “The Score”.  Moreover, the title commemorated his 20th year recording and the anniversary of his first album . The lead off single “Dirt Road In Em” went on to become #6 on the country music charts and was earmarked as a comeback single in Pritchett’s career. The second release from the album, “Out Of The Blue” followed suit reaching #9 on the charts. The release of “When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl”, climbed the charts and sat at #10 on the Canada Country Billboard for 8 weeks. Because of the results of Aaron’s efforts he was nominated in 2017 for Country Album of the Year at the Juno Awards.

The Country Music Team

Aaron is often heard praising his team for all his success. In addition Aaron credits his success, in the early part of his career, to Country Music Television and radio airplay. In addition, Aaron credits each and every fan that has supported him along the way. An early highlight of his career, was playing for an audience of 20,000 people in Ontario, Canada and listening to them singing along with his songs. 

“Without a team it is impossible to reach your goals.” Aaron Pritchett

Above all Aaron credits industry icon Heather Ostertag for much of his success. Heather is the Past President of FACTOR, Past President of the CMAO and owner of Heather Ostertag and Associates.

“Without Heather, many aspects of my career would never have happened. She has been a major supporter, a strong mentor and one of my best friends to this day. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for believing in me.” Aaron Pritchett

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

Recognition as a Canadian Country Music Artist

To sum it up nicely, Aaron is considered, one of Canada’s favorite entertainers and all around good guy. Firstly, he has been honored with multiple Canadian Country Music Association, Juno and British Columbia Music Association nominations and awards. Secondly, some of the hardware he has taken home include Independent Male Artist, Independent Song, Entertainer, Male Artist, Album and Group of the Year Awards.

Aaron Pritchett has earned his title as one of Canada’s most energetic and electrifying entertainers in the industry. Most importantly, to all of us here in Merritt BC, Aaron has been a staunch supporter of The Merritt Walk of Stars, The Merritt Mural Project and The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Merritt Walk Of Stars

Hundred’s of International and National Country Music Artists have performed at the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival over the 17 years of the festival. As a result, those stars left their mark permanently in Merritt BC by creating hand prints (or, in one case, footprints) accompanied by signatures. Therefore, each  artist print is encased in concrete stars.

In 2003, those hand prints became the motivation behind the Merritt Walk of Stars – a self guided walking tour throughout the community . More importantly, the project helped solidify Merritt BC, Canada, as the Country Music Capital of Canada. Today, more than 100 bronze stars are located in plaques throughout the community. Aaron Pritchett created his star in 2004.

“It is huge to get a star,” he said. “It a real honour to be among the artists who have made stars in Merritt. As well as be recognized among some of the names that are included, in The Walk of Stars.”

Hold My Beer – Aaron Pritchett On The Merritt Mural Walking Tour

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals is 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. These beautiful works of art can be seen all over downtown Merritt BC.

Therefore, as a result, not only did the program serve to enrich our society, but it helped to transform Merritt BC, Canada into the largest outdoor country music art gallery you’ll ever visit. Subsequently, Aaron had his mural painted and sits on the wall of City Furniture on Voght street in Downtown Merritt, BC.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Country Music Capital of Canada

Merritt, BC Canada has its own history of cowboys, cattle ranches and country experiences. Country music is a part of the heritage and country lifestyle of Merritt, BC, Canada. Because Merritt has hosted an annual Country Music Festival for many years, it consequently became branded as the Country Music Capital of Canada. There was a short festival hiatus from 2012 to 2014. As a result Rockin River Music Festival took over the festival in 2015 and, since then, every August long weekend people come to Merritt for some top quality country music.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame opened in Merritt, BC Canada in 2009. However, in 2012, it became an arm of the Canadian Country Music Heritage Society in order to create a venue to display artifacts related to the inductees of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. As a result, in 2018, there is a total of 139 inductees in the Merritt Hall of Fame.

The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame is located in Downtown Merritt, BC, Canada on 2025 Quilchena Avenue. Moreover, make the effort to visit the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame and enjoy their  displays of your favorite artist inductees.

In conclusion make the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame your starting point for your visit to Merritt, British Columbia, Canada. In addition please visit our downtown coffee shops, restaurants and local shops for a unique shopping experience.

Moreover, say hi to Aaron on social media and let him know you met him here on Experience Nicola Valley. Further more, Aaron can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to send us a selfie of you with his mural too.

Hold My Beer by Aaron Pritchett

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

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Maralee Mason – Comfort Through Trials – Even So 

Book Review of “Even So” by Local Author 

This book comes along side you in the messy, in the hard, it offers a comfort through trials that only someone whos “been there” and “gets it” can offer…

 Maralee Mason is quoted as saying, “Life for us was so difficult. It didn’t often make sense. It seemed so pointless and meaningless. Part of me didn’t want any part of our lives to be wasted. I needed it to not all be for nothing. I needed it to mean something. So I guess that’s what this book is, it is the meaning, the beauty that came out of the mess. Because if sharing our pain could help someone through theirs, then I knew that I had to do it.”

Canadian Female Author - Maralee Mason

Meet Maralee! Photo Credit: Maralee Mason

Meet Author Maralee Mason

Comfort through trials is something we all seek. I would love for you to get to know this local British Columbia author. I have had the privilege to get to know Maralee. And I am so excited to share her story here, in this space, for all of you. As a young girl, Maralee’s life was turned upside down with the mention of 3 devastating words ” I have Cancer”. Through all of her hardships growing up, she is still standing. Sharing her story so that maybe others could take courage and find comfort through trials if they are struggling in a season of life. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to meet Maralee along with her husband James. They are a delightful, witty, happy couple. When Maralee reached out to me about reading her book. I said yes instantly. Just knowing her, and everything she has gone through. It was enough to have me hooked. Lets jump right into her interview! 

Maralee Mason, can you give us a brief into about yourself? Such as where you work, volunteer, family life and hobbies?

I am 35 years old, I grew up in the Kootenays, Castlegar BC, to be exact. I have been with my husband for 14 years. Together we have 3 beautiful kids who are, 13, 10 and 7 years old. Currently, I am the Program Director at the Kamloops Pregnancy Care Centre. I am also a certified Life Coach and Peer Support Worker. I enjoy writing, stories, poems, songs. Music is one of my favorite things, I love to sing while my husband plays his guitar.

even so book and author maralee mason

James and Maralee live in Barriere, B.C. and have 3 beautiful children together. Photo Credit: Maralee Mason

Where do you live? What’s your favorite thing about your current residence? And have you always lived here?

I currently live in Barriere and have lived there for about 8 years. My favorite thing about living here is the close, wonderful and friendly community!

What is your favorite thing to do in your town or city?

As a family we love to attend the Annual North Thompson Fall Fair Rodeo.

 What do you find most beautiful about your town of city?

The beautiful rivers and lakes that are close by!

 Have you heard of Experience Nicola Valley?

Just a little bit

What prompted Maralee Mason to write such a personal and compelling book about your life?

My dad always talked about wanting to write a book about our life; the good, the bad, the struggles and the victories, the hurt and the lessons. He also wanted to see my moms journal entries typed up as well. So I thought it would make a nice Christmas present, if I wrote it myself and included my mother’s journal writings. I spent 1 year writing my families story, then I had it printed and bound. They loved it and encouraged me to work on it more and publish it myself.

Life for us was so difficult. It didn’t often make sense. It seemed so pointless and meaningless. Part of me didn’t want any part of our lives to be wasted. I needed it to not all be for nothing. I needed it to mean something. So I guess that’s what this book is, it is the meaning, the beauty that came out of the mess. Because if sharing our pain could help someone through theirs, then I knew that I had to do it.

You talk a lot about your Father and Brothers in your novel, are you all still in each others lives now?

Unfortunately I am no longer in contact with my older brother, for personal reasons. But I am still very close with my brother Matthew and my dad. They still live in the Kootenays and are happy and living their life well. They are such a huge part of my life and a big reason I was even able to write this book.

Can you provide me with a description of your book?

“Even So” is a story about a woman’s journey through cancer and the struggle of losing her-self in so many ways. And her families struggle to walk along side her on her journey. Life never seemed to be kind to the Nielsen family. We sought comfort through trials. They battled many things over the span of thirteen years. Depression, suicide attempts, accidents, deaths of loved ones, and the biggest one of all, cancer; they walked through the hottest flames and crawled through the longest valleys, but even so. Through stories, scriptures, songs, and letters from the mother’s journals, this book tells the story of a family’s struggle to cope with heartbreak and pain and of an amazing woman who deeply loved God with every breath until to her last.

british columbia author maralee mason

Maralee with her Mother. Photo Credit: Maralee Mason.

How long did it take you to write your book? Do you write anywhere else? Have a blog or have more written material we can check of yours?

It took me 10 years to finish the book. It was often difficult to return to certain memories, so I often took breaks and take it slow. While working on the book I faced many obstacles that got in the way and slowed my process. For a while I was embarrassed it took me so long. But I now can see that it would be what it today if I finished sooner. Some of my favorite Chapters were written in the last 2 years.

I write weekly on the Even So Facebook Page and on my Instagram. I share my thoughts on various topics, like, pain, struggle, fear, music, values, friendship, love, grief, family etc…

You are a busy mama, what did it actually look like in your days to sit and write? Did you wake up early? Stay up late… how did you actually do this?

Well, I could not have done it without my husband. His help with the kids really made me writing this book possible. I wrote on weekends and my days off.

Do you have any advice for new authors looking to write a book?

Give yourself grace and permission to go as slow as you need.
Find someone you trust to read it and give you honest feedback and advice.

What was the biggest thing you learned over the course of making this book actually come to paper?

-I learned how important pain is. Writing the book helped me face mine. The more I faced it, the more I let myself feel it the more I began to heal.
-How powerful and important someone’s story can be.
-Growing up, in the midst of all the hurt and struggle I often found myself wishing God had given me a different life, a better story. But as I wrote, I started to realize how important beautiful my story was. And that this is my story for a reason. If I was meant to live a different one than I would have.

maralee mason

Photo Credit: Maralee Mason

 If your Mother was here today what are some things you wish you could talk to her about?

Everything.

 What do you hope telling your unique story will accomplish?

I want my story to help others embrace theirs. The possibility that maybe reading about my family facing their pain will help them find the strength to face theirs.
When we went through my mom’s sickness and all that came along with it, we often felt all alone, like no one understood, so our hope is that this book would help other know they are not alone. To try to give comfort through trials. 

family maralee mason

Photo Credit: Maralee Mason

Who are your role models?

My mom, my dad, Brene Brown

 If you could go back in time and prepare yourself for what you were about to endure 1) would you? and 2) What would you say to yourself?

I am not sure anything could prepare me for what I went through. It wouldn’t make me hurt any less, it wouldn’t make loosing my mom easier. So I guess my answer is no. But if I could go back and tell myself something, I would tell myself, to face the pain and to let myself feel it, to not run away or ignore it, to not numb it. I would warn myself that in doing so I will create more hurt for myself and make it even harder to move forward and heal.

Do you have a favorite quote, verse, mantra, creed that you live by?

“ Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it” -Proverbs 4:23
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13
“Willing to fall because I have learned how to rise” -Brene Brown
“If you numb the dark then you numb the light” -Brene Brown

author of cancer god and faith maralee mason

Maralee Mason. Photo Credit: Maralee Mason

Feel free to connect with Maralee on Social here is a few links of where you can find her. 

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Even-So-106359277702542/

Instagram: maralee.evenso

If you would like to purchase a copy directly you can click on this link

Every once in a while you read a book a little out of your ordinary. One that maybe you wouldn’t normal go and grab off the bookshelf. Even So was that book for me.  I think this is a crucial, comforting,  book for any caregiver of someone who is battling terminal disease. This book comes along side you in the messy, in the hard, it offers a comfort through trials that only someone whos “been there” and “gets it” can offer…

 

“Growing up, in the midst of all the hurt and struggle I often found myself wishing God had given me a different life, a better story. But as I wrote, I started to realize how important beautiful my story was. And that this is my story for a reason, If I was meant to live a different one than I would have.” – Maralee Mason

 

 

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group

NEWS RELEASE

 

 

Merritt & Nicola Valley Destination Marketing Society
Release #012

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2021

Tourism Nicola Valley community tourism initiative wins International and Provincial awards in the same week

Merritt, BC – Last week was a remarkable one for Tourism Nicola Valley. The independent destination marketing society was recognized twice for its innovative digital tourism marketing program, “Experience Nicola Valley”.

2021 Canada Prestige Award for the ‘Marketing Program of the Year”

United Kingdom based magazine Corporate Live Wire announced on March 10th that out of the thousands of nominations received, Tourism Nicola Valley won the 2021 Canada Prestige Award for the ‘Marketing Program of the Year”. With a global audience numbering in the millions, Corporate Live Wire provides business professionals with in-depth content on business trends in industries such as Technology, Healthcare, Energy and Tourism. The annual Prestige Awards recognize small and medium-sized businesses from around the world that have proven the best in their market over the last 12 months.

tourism nicola valley award

Corporate Live Wire Project Manager, Tom Avon explained the reason Tourism Nicola Valley received the award this year was because “[i]n a relatively short space of time [Tourism Nicola Valley] has clearly created something unique in the market that is making a big difference to people in the community. The program is both informative and educational and really helps put a focus on local businesses and what they do well. There is no question [that] the program will encourage more to visit the region. We are very pleased to recognize [this] hard work.”

2021 BC Economic Development Association Community Project Award

Shortly afterwards on March 11th Tourism Nicola Valley received the news that it won the annual BC Economic Development Association Community Project Award for the “Experience Nicola Valley” program. The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) and FortisBC teamed up this year to announce the winners of the 2021 BC Economic Development Awards. This BCEDA Community Project Award recognizes an organization that has implemented various economic development initiatives that provide economic benefits to a community or region.

bceda award tourism nicola valley

According to Dale Wheeldon, BCEDA President and CEO, “the BCEDA has given these awards to individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to community-based economic development. These awards recognize BCEDA members’ outstanding work in supporting their local economies, and making a meaningful difference in their communities.”

Tourism Nicola Valley Award Winning Program

Launched in 2018, the Experience Nicola Valley project is part of a larger tourism marketing initiative developed by Greg and Colin Girard of eh Canada Marketing Group. The “Experience Community Marketing Revitalization Program” is a community driven authentic content marketing program specifically designed for rural and small communities. The program consists of three interactive “real time” content marketing platforms and an extensive ongoing training program including: an interactive community website on a national platform; a blogsite created by the community; and a live weekly Talk Show that features local businesses and organizations.

While the program has been a huge asset for Merritt, British Columbia, Canada and the Nicola Valley since it launched, it has proven to be an even bigger one over the past year as the community deals with the negative effects of COVID-19.

Tourism has been basically shut down for the past year”, says Melvina White, Vice President of Tourism Nicola Valley. “The Experience Nicola Valley program has kept the community alive by providing a platform for locals to share their stories about the region with people from around the world’.

QUOTES:

“Fantastic news to learn that the Merritt and Nicola Valley Destination Marketing Society has been recognized nationally and provincially for their innovative Experience Nicola Valley Program. This economic development and tourism initiative has created many positive experiences and results in our community. Thank you goes out to all who play a part in this authentic, and, obviously successful, program.” Manuel Olguin, Community Futures Nicola Valley.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the Merritt and Nicola Valley Destination Marketing Society better known as Tourism Nicola Valley for winning not one but two prestigious awards this past week. The team has been working very hard promoting tourism for Merritt and the Nicola Valley and their efforts have paid off big time with some amazing peer recognition locally from the BC Economic Development Association and from as far away as the United Kingdom and Australia. Their Experience Nicola Valley Program has included everything from the large four-season signs on the highway at the entrances to Merritt all the way to the very successful blogging post they do. Great work team; the awards are well deserved.” Tony Luck, Merritt City Councillor.

“Time, staff, skills and funding has, for as long as I can remember, been a challenge faced by many a small and rural community in Canada when it comes to marketing and growing their brand. Hence, why we developed the “Experience Community Program” specifically designed for small towns. It is an authentic and customizable proven program which we plan on replicating in as many communities as possible,” Greg Girard Co-Bro Founder of EH? Canada Marketing Group.

TO LEARN MORE:

Experience Nicola Valley: www.experiencenicolavalley.com

Corporate Live Wire Prestige Awards: https://corporatelivewire.com/awards.html?award=174

BC Economic Development Association Professional Awards: https://www.bceda.ca/professional_awards.php

eh Canada Travel: https://www.ehcanadatravel.com

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Melvina White, Vice President Tourism Nicola Valley – melvinawhite2@gmail.com

Greg Girard, Vice President eh Canada Marketing Group – media@ehcanadatravel.com

 

– end –

Winter Activities – Logan Lake

There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time!

Love Logan Lake!

Having a Budget Working For You

Winter Activities – Logan Lake – As a financial consultant serving Logan Lake, Merritt , Ashcroft and Cache Creek, I’ve learned to reduce expenses when I can. Remember, income minus expenses equals discretionary income! As a father of 7 children, it’s a skill I’ve put into practice many times. Which brings me to this thought, “how can I share my knowledge in ways everyone can participate?” Not that we never spend money, but we choose when to spend. I look at a budget not as a slave master, but as giving permission to ourselves to allocate funds and spend them guilt free. 

Even dragged this one out to come and play!

There is No Better Time to Enjoy Our Great Outdoors

Winter has brought some much needed rest to the Schell family. We spent our time together resting and playing as a family. We really tried to fill our time with naps, laughing which each other and enjoying some winter outdoor activities here in Logan Lake, BC. As I write this edition, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jennifer and I have really been striving in this time to keep our family healthy to ensure our immune systems are in tip-top shape. However, a walk outside has been a great stress relief at times and a way to work on our mental health as well!

Find a Challenge to Get Through The Winter With Healthy Habits

This winter I’ve been working through a challenge called 75Hard. It’s a 75 day challenge to build or reinforce healthy mental and physical behaviors. I’ve used it to maintain healthy positive habits in the darkest and coldest days of winter. To impact my family the least, I’ve tried to get my first workout done before my wife and kids get up for their day. One of the pieces to 75Hard is a 45 minute outdoor workout, everyday. This has given me the challenge to find winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake to fill this need. 

Skating on the Lake!

Out for an icy winter walk!

Healthy Outdoor Activities for Children

Some mornings, as I lace up my boots I look up to see young faces eager to join me on my morning treks. How can you say no to that!? With temperatures reaching as low as -30′ Celsius over the past few weeks, staying warm is important. After spending 45 minutes outside with me, I’ve needed help getting warm again. Luckily, Jennifer helps them warm up with recipes like her festive white hot chocolate that she has made before. 

No Need To Spend a Fortune, Focus on Fun, Cheap or Free

We have focused on what we can do as a family that is fun and cheap or fun and free! There are many winter outdoor activities in Logan Lake, BC. Snowshoeing, ice-fishing, ice skating, walking or hiking; the only thing to stop you is time! Just inside the city limits are many snowshoeing and cross country trails as well, of which I have yet to adventure on.

Ensure You Stay Safe While Enjoying Outdoor Activities

We as a family have enjoyed the hiking trails around Logan Lake, even the lake itself. However, this is not something I would advise alone at night but as a group during the day. The trails can be dark, and at times, quite slippery. There has even been a cougar around town for the winter. So many deer have decided to call Logan Lake their home, which seems to have brought some predators into town. 

These guys are quick learners on the skates!

Don’t Spend A Fortune, Focus on What You Already Own

We have been focusing on ice-skating on Logan Lake as ice skates were something our family already had. The initial investment of buying skates was already complete. Simply ensuring the crew had fresh tape on the hockey sticks was all that was needed. I also purchased arctic hiking boots from Cabelas in Abbotsford. I was growing tired of trekking around in big winter boots, I would recommend these for sure!

Not All Adventures Start in Logan Lake! What To Do If You’re in Merritt, BC

Sometimes I find myself in Merritt, BC with time to kill and I’m looking for things to do. If you are stuck for ideas, give my friend Tania’s blog a read for Winter Activities in Merritt, BC! It’s nice to have a community of friends in this time to share ideas and laughs with!

Catching a Logan Lake Winter Sunrise

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

 

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group. Contact us for how to bring this program and training to your community. 

Street Art in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery Show “Street Art”, first show in 2021

Street Art is visual art created in public locations for public visibility.

Street Art Merritt BC

Merritt BC Street Art Show

Street art in Merritt BC just got a boost with the Art Show. For the last two weeks of January 2021 the community of Merritt and the Nicola Valley were invited to submit designs they thought would make good street art.

We collected over 40 pieces of art for us to consider for a street art project coming up. The City of Merritt, with their Beautification program, is working with the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council to bring art to the streets and buildings in Merritt.

Merritt is already known as a mural town.

Most of our murals have a country music theme.

We want to bring a variety of focuses, mediums, and sizes of street art to our community. So our art call out asked for designs and depictions of plants and animals common in our area, of humour, information/word art, abstracts…

Our Art Show was a good way to collect what people already have or was created especially for public art ideas. And it also allowed the public to come in and have an opinion on what they thought would make great street art in Merritt BC.

We have artists who’s art have already made it to the streets in Merritt and other towns, like Joel Reid.

Street Art Joel Reid

Joel Reid Street Artist

Our show consisted of paintings, sketches, mosaics, carvings, and photos.

Street Art Carving

Pat Tombe Carving Design

We talked about the process of turning the art into a design, small to large. And who would do it. It’ll take a team!

After we know the  possible spaces for designs and get the kinks worked out, then a group of volunteers from the NVCAC will get started on turning these ideas into a reality.  

We hope to have street art several projects completed this year. That’s the plan. And then locals and visitors can enjoy art around them when they are downtown in our community.

Street Art Mosaics

Ellen Miller Mosaics

We want the public art designs to have a wide appeal.

From the look of the art work we had in our show, the designs will appeal to a lot of people. From flowers to mandalas, from stepping stones to powwow scenes, there’s lots to choose from!

Street Art in Merritt BC from Indigenous artist Leonard George

Street Art Leonard George

Leonard George Mural Artist

Our Art Show visitors had a great response to a long and dynamic piece brought in by long time local Indigenous artist, Leonard George. We are hoping to get a space for a mural by Leonard soon, so his work can be a showpiece for the community.

Thanks to all artists and creatives!

Thanks to all who contributed art, and to all our visitors who came by the Gallery! The NV Arts Gallery and Gift Shop has now been in its new location, 2051 Voght Street, for four months! It’s a bright, accessible space.

And “Street Art” was a bright and colourful Art Show…

Street Art in Merritt

Phyllis Laage Street Art

Next show at our Gallery? “Art of Covid”! 

What have the members of our Nicola Valley community been doing over the last year of Covid, to keep their creativity alive?

The submissions are starting to come in…

Hope to see you there! February 3 – March 8/2021

Covid Protocols in place…

And read about our fall move to 2051 Voght Street, beside Kekuli Cafe.

Jano Howarth, Arts Gallery Director

Express Yourself!

Nicola Valley Arts Council

Get in touch! nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Street Art in Merritt BC

Twin Willows Street Art Poster, Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

 

Artisans in Merritt

Nicola Valley Travel and Tourism Guides

nicola valley talk show

 

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group. In other

Tire Shop in Merritt – Nicola Valley BC Canada Mechanics

Fountain Tire Merritt – Tire Service in the Nicola Valley

Tire shop and mechanic service in the valley of Merritt

Fountain Tire is a preferred tire shop in Merritt BC Canada. This local mechanic automotive service station takes care of commercial and light car and truck automotive repair. And of course Tires, lots of tires. Fountain tire Ltd (Merritt) opened in Merritt in 2008 by Larry Ruttan.

tire shop in merritt

Fountain Tire New Owners

In 2021 Jamie and Sheila Hatch will become the new owner/operators of Fountain Tire (Merritt) in British Columbia Canada. Jaime moved to Merritt from Drayton Valley, Alberta in 2018. He worked as assistant manager. Soon after Sheila and the kids followed.

Jaime is a red seal journeyman mechanic and has been in the industry for over 23 years. However, when he is not at work, he enjoys fishing, hunting and spending time with family. Therefore they have settled nicely into the Nicola Valley, so much so, they are members of the Merritt Speedway. Subsequently, their daughter, Megan, is a race car driver.

Merritt Speedway Stock Car Racing is well know in the Nicola Valley for its sense of community and family for over 30 years. The speedway is looking forward to when we can race again.

Sheila says, “The advantages of operating a tire shop in Merritt are that you meet so many different people from many walks of life. This community has a sense of family, everyone looks out for each other.”

fountain tire

Sheila continues with, “And for us, because Merritt has several highways coming into it, we are able to assist those who need help when travelling through our beautiful valley. We have had the pleasure of helping out the travelling talent that come for various music festivals that run each year. Never a dull moment and Oh ..the weather!”

tire man in merritt

Brandon Hatch of Fountain Tire Merritt Photo Credit: Sheila Hatch

Meet the Owners

Sheila and Jamie Hatch, the owner of Fountain Tire Shop in Merritt, and their son Brandon, are like most of us, surviving Covid-19 by planning to get involved in community events. In other words they are really putting themselves out there expressing that we are all on this road together.

Fountain Tire Staff

Communities need to stick together to survive hard times. There is strength in numbers. At the tire station they have 7 staff in addition to 2 more red seal journeyman mechanics. 

Tires For All Seasons

Whether you need tires for the highway, bush, logging truck or racing they have a wide assortment of quality tires. Tires for a range of budgets that best suit their customers. Fountain Tire in the community of Merritt BC is known to go the extra mile for their customers. Most importantly get them back on the road safely and in a timely manner.

Who is Fountain Tire?

Fountain Tire Ltd. is a Canadian company, founded in Wainwright, Alberta by Bill Fountain. The first store opened in 1956. As a result they have stores from B.C. to Ontario.

Contact Information

website: www.fountaintire.com
facebook: merrittfountaintire
email: f132@fountaintire.com
Phone: 250-378-2442

Tire Shop in Merritt

Nicola Valley Mechanic Station

“Experience Community Program” is a small and rural community authentic content marketing program. It is a product of the EH? Canada Marketing Group. In other words contact us for more information on how to start this program in your community. media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com

Outdoor Winter Activities

Adventures for the Family in the Nicola Valley

Winter activities enjoyed by all 

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

Winter Outdoor Activities

Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities Like Footprint Tag

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

Foot print tag. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Quewezance.

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

Golfing in the Winter Snow 

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

Winter Bocce Ball 

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

merrittBC

Bocce Ball.

Outdoor Curling Rink?

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

outdoorwinteractivities.

Outdoor curling rink. Photo courtesy of Pixel.

Other Winter Outdoor Activities

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

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Scavenger Hunt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittwinteractivities.

Winter Games. Photo by Tania Stewart.

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

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

 

Feeling Artistic?

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

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

More Outdoor Winter Activities

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

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Nicola Valley.

merritt ice fishing

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

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

Ice skating and Pond Hockey.

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

Merritt Cross Country Skiing 

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

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

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

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

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

Perfect Stargazing outside Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing 

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

merritt snowshoeing

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

While there is always “Skijoring”

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

Horse Skiing. Photo “YouTube”

 
In Conclusion it is “Fun”

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

Winter Outdoor Activities.

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

Merritt, BC, Canada

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