People in Merritt and the Nicola Valley

COVID-19 IN MERRITT BC

HOW TO SELF ISOLATE IN STYLE

Fun Things To Do in Merritt To Break the Boredom

The COVID-19 in Merritt BC has citizens embracing the directives from our health authorities.  For my wife and myself this means self isolating ourselves. We are not quarantined, so we are able to go out for essential services such as groceries once a week or so.

GETTING THINGS DONE

  1. Converting CD’s

COVID-19 in Merritt BC

Gathering the materials

One of the nice things about self isolating during COVID-19 is that you now have time to tackle some jobs that you have been putting off because other things take you away from these tasks.  For example, I have wanted to convert my CD’s to digital and store them online. Ditto goes with my photos as well.

However, my procrastination has caused me some grief because technology has moved on and my computer does not have a CD drive.  To solve this problem I resurrected my old computer that did have the necessary drive to carry out this task.  This machine was extremely slow and was several releases of Windows 10 behind the times.  Despite these problems I persevered and the task was completed.

2. Resurrecting the craft room

We have a room downstairs that was originally going to be our craft room but overtime it became a storage room.  We had luggage, Christmas decorations, boxes of memorabilia and all kinds of other stuff which left no space to actually do any crafts.  This project is massive and is therefore still on going.

Emptying the storage room

Emptying the storage room

Putting the Craft Room back together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Spring Cleaning in Merritt

What better time is there for tackling those cleaning exercises than when you can’t go anywhere.

Getting ‘er done

4.  Yard Work

Thatching the grass

The early Spring is a great time to get a jump on your gardening chores.  Things such as clearing out the winter die off, pruning, weeding and de-thatching.  The rewards will show within weeks.

Not all self isolation activities during COVID-19 is work!

1. Baking

This is one activity that is lots of fun and has great rewards when finished.  I myself am not a great baker but I can whip  up a great plate of Rice Krispy squares.  This time I added some crushed candy cane to add a little tasty addition to the recipe.

Rice Krispy Squares

Chili and Hamburger Soup

“I love food”-Shirley

My wife is a much better cook than I am.  She whipped up some of our favourite dishes, hamburger soup and Chili.

2.  Reading

Reading is one of my favourite things to do any time.  However with the COVID-19 in Merritt BC we have more time for reading.  I see one problem looming in the near future and that is the library is closed and so are the thrift stores that I get my reading supply from.  I guess I will have to step into the new age and get my books online.

Reading time

3.  Walking

Since we are not quarantined we can go out for walks.  There generally is no one  around but if we do meet someone we keep our separation of 2 metres.  It’s a great time for walking as Spring is beginning to show up everywhere.  We could use many of the trails around our house but it is tic season and so we are keeping away from these areas for now.

Out for a walk

4.  Games

Games are a big part of our life so it is fitting that we spend time doing this. We play card games and board games but not computer games.  The only downside is that we love to play games with our friends and that just doesn’t work during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Playing Canasta

This is serious

The Covid-19 in Merritt, BC is a serious matter.  There are things to remember  such as the pandemic will end, especially if we follow the advise of our National, Provincial and Community Governments.  There are many ways to keep in touch using such things as FACETIME and other equivalent programs or, even try,  the old fashion way by using the phone.

COVID-19 Important Links

COVID 19 in Merritt BC

British Columbia COVID-19

Canada COVID-19

BE SAFE

COVID-19 IN MERRITT BC

Check out further information on ExperienceNicolaValley.com 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Blogger Awards Gala FREE TICKET Give-away.

Celebrating Community Awards, Prime Rib Dinner, Featured Keynote Speaker and Live Entertainment!

WIN 2 free tickets to the 2020 Blogger Awards Gala on March 6th at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Welcome to our 2020 Blogger Awards Gala ticket give-away. The “Bloggies” is an opportunity to celebrate some of Nicola Valley’s finest bloggers, small businesses, individuals, events and non profits. Click this link for the gala details. However, this is a ticket give-away story, so lets move on with the contest rules.

How to Win Tickets
(entry rules posted below)

Every day, starting  February 25th and ending on February 29th/2020, we will post a different give-away contest on our Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page. You have until midnight of that day of the contest to submit your entry on that post.

There will be no rhyme or reason to when we post these contests to enter the draw. This way we can keep you on your toes and keep things interesting.

Follow the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page so you do not miss any of the give-away entry opportunities. Why? Well… not only could you win tickets to contests but you will also learn a lot more about tourism, adventures, people, businesses and events happening here in the Nicola Valley. Real people telling real stories.

Rules and Claiming Prize

(1) Must submit your contest answer entry in the comment section on the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page @experiencenicolavalley

(2) Must like and/or follow the Experience Nicola Valley Facebook page to claim tickets.

(3) Contest will run from February 25th to February 29th, 2020.

(4) Draw date is March 1st, 2020 starting at 10 AM.

(5) You have 1 hour (after your name is announced on our Facebook page) to claim your tickets.

(6) To win you must go to our Experience Nicola Valley Facebook Page and submit a comment on the post with your “Name” as the winner claiming your tickets.

(7) If tickets are not claimed within 1 hour after the name has been drawn a new name will be selected 15 minutes later, or 1 hour later?

(8) Any entries which go negative will be disqualified because #merrittmatters .

The Game Master holds all the cards to when the next name will be drawn. So watch our Facebook Page page closely on March 1st all day because you just never know, the Game Master may draw your name.

Where to Buy Tickets ($20 per person)

D & D Emporium
2070 Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt in between Fields and Creative Comfort
Tuesday – Friday  10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday 11 Am – 4 PM
250-378-9223

Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt
Wed – Fri 12 Noon to 4 PM 
250.378.9569

WIN 2 free tickets to the 2020 Blogger Awards Gala on March 6th at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

A Tourism Nicola Valley Event

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt BC Sewing Services
Nimble Thimble Creations

Merritt BC sewing services for hemming pants, skirts, re-pairing zippers, replacing buttons and so much more… like quilting too.

“Repairing my customers clothing has enabled me to help many people,” Sharon McRae.

Merritt BC sewing and tailoring services – Nimble Thimble provides the people of the Nicola Valley with traditional sewing needs. Specifically, the shop, is a very unique business that most people do not know exists in Merritt British Columbia. Therefore, when asked, Sharon McRae defines her quaint little shop as a much needed necessity for the community. Most importantly, Nimble Thimble provides a crucial service for hemming pants, skirts, re-pairing zippers, replacing buttons and more.

merritt bc sewing services

Nicola Valley artisan seamstress tools

Equally important is having access to a seamstress.

Furthermore, in a tight spot, before your event or presentation, and you require a touch up or mending of a dress or suit then this Merritt BC sewing service is your first phone call. Additionally, with no time to waste, Nimble Thimble is a place to go to for last minute hems, broken zipper, lost buttons, or a needed style adjustment.

Merrittnimblethimble

Sharon is always coming up with these super fabulous yet simple sewing projects.

“Repairing your favourite jacket, Sharon can do it!” Tania Stewart

Moving to Merritt BC.

My husband and I moved to the Nicola Valley near Merritt BC Canada. We looked at a map.  Saw that Merritt was  not far from the lower mainland and close enough to visit family when we wanted. Additionally, we also moved to Merritt  because it was just the right size. The community was equally big enough to satisfy all our needs but not too big to be overly congested.

nicolavalley

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

Bringing Merritt BC sewing services to Merritt BC.

Consequently, I started my business after my marriage fell apart because I needed an income to support my kids and myself. That is to say I only knew how to sew and I had been working at the local Dry Cleaners for a few years. Naturally, working for myself gave me the freedom to be available for my children as they have special needs. Additionally, I  really enjoy helping people. At the same time repairing my customers clothing has enabled me to help many people. As a result I have made many friends due to my business through the years.

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

And more and more material can be found

Merritt BC fabrics

Besides sewing, my store also carries fabrics for quilting, sewing notions, threads, and yarns made of wool, bamboo, and cotton. I also have access to suppliers for things I don’t have on hand and can order things in. There are even a few quilted items for sale and a few used clothes to sell as well.

Patchwork quilt

Patchwork quilt at Nimble Thimble

To illustrate Sharon’s talent. “Quilt” is derived from the Latin word “Culcita”, which means “stuffed sack.”

experiencenicolavalley

Zip it up!

Traditionally a quilt is made of three layers: a quilt top, batting, and a bottom layer. The top and bottom layers are made of fabrics stitched together. Batting (usually made of cotton or something similar) is the insulation that makes the quilt warm. None the less, a quilt takes time and dedication.

Patchwork quilts were common in areas where women had few resources to make them. Using leftover fabric from earlier projects, old clothing, or other cheap materials was very common.

Moreover sewing essentials needed!

In addition to a selection of beautiful materials, you will also find all your sewing essentials at Nimble Thimble in Merritt BC.

merritt bc sewing essentials

Merritt BC Sewing essentials.

“I am certain that a Sewing Machine would relieve as much human suffering as a hundred Lunatic Asylums, and possibly a good deal more.”
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

MerrittBC

Variety of thread. Nimble Thimble

Creative colors at this Merritt BC sewing store.

To demonstrate Sharon’s sewing room.

The sewing room, where creativity is surrounded by colors, is a  special Artisans Haven.

“Nimble Thimble has the most amazing craft and sewing room ever,” Tania Stewart!

sewing tools of history

Sewing tools from history

Quilting is an Art form.

“Moreover having a love for “Sewing”, I truly love and appreciate the dedication Sharon has for her business,” Tania Stewart.

nicolavalleybusinesses

Beautiful selection of material.

merritt sewing services

Have I mentioned the material enough times or what.

In conclusion Merritt is truly lucky to have “Nimble Thimble Creations”

Together with providing repairs, Nimble Thimble Creations carries fabrics for quilting, sewing notions, threads, yarns made of wool, bamboo, and cotton.  There are even a few quilted items for sale and a few used clothes as well. In addition to an arraignment of beautiful material, you will find all your sewing essentials at Nimble Thimble in Merritt BC. Whether you live in the Nicola Valley or are one of our many visitors in need of a special garment repair this is the Merritt BC sewing shop to visit.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Nimble Thimble

2058A Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC, Canada
V1K1B8

Phone: (250) 315-2340

FACEBOOK

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt Event – Awards Gala – Best of the Nicola Valley

2020 Blogging Awards Gala – “The Bloggies”

“The Merritt event will be a fun filled night of awards, prime rib dinner, live entertainment and a featured keynote speaker. Our guest speaker is Canadian Influencer and Social Media Personality Matthew Bailey of Must Do Canada.”

This Merritt event is a semi-formal gala celebrating the best 2019 positive stories and experiences in the Nicola Valley. All the ticket and activity details are listed below.

Come join us at the first annual 2020 Blogging Awards Gala in Merritt BC Canada.

Merritt Event Celebrates the Nicola Valley

The semi-formal gala celebrates the many positive stories and experiences of 2019. Each one shared by our Experience Nicola Valley bloggers! There are 7 trophies to be awarded at the gala. The award categories are as follows: 3 “People’s Choice Award” categories (business , individual/event and non-profit), as well as, 4 blogger categories (Best Picture, Top Guest Blogger, Top Story of the Year and Top Story Teller).

The Bloggies

The 2020 Blogging Awards is to be held at the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame on March 6th. Doors open at 5:30. Event starts at 6 PM. Do not be late, as the prime rib dinner is served prior to the award ceremony starting. However, there will also be a cash bar on site for the entire night. Besides the 7 trophies to hand out, and the prime rib dinner… there is more. We are fortunate to have Matthew Bailey, of Must Do Canada, as our guest keynote speaker. Matthew is a Canadian Influencer and Social Media You Tube Personality based out of Calgary , Alberta.

blogging awards merritt event

2020 Blogging Awards also known as “The Bloggies”

matthew bailey - keynote speaker

Matthew Bailey – 2020 Blogging Awards Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Matthew Bailey

Matthew is the creator of “Must Do Canada“. He has been featured in Our Canada Magazine (front cover photo and six-page spread), the Calgary Herald, and the Toronto Star to name a few. Matthew will be sharing his story and experiences about blogging, and social media. Matthew has traveled to 42 countries and 6 continents. We look forward to the many insights Matthew will be sharing with the community at this Merritt event about travel and content marketing.

 

 

blogging awards stu tammy

Story telling songs and covers provided by Stu and Tammy

Merritt Live Entertainment

Since Experience Nicola Valley is a story telling platform, we invited a local musical duo to the 2020 Blogging Awards to entertain us with story telling songs.  We are happy to present as our featured artist for the evening, Stu and Tammy. Stu will be telling stories through songs (written by himself). And along with Tammy, they will play some of our favorite cover songs. Come and join us for a night of music, stories and dance.

2020 Blogging Award Categories and Nominees

merritt event blogging awardsPeople’s Choice Nominees
(Individual/Event)

(Ellen Miller) Nicola Valley Women’s Fair
Don Loewen Saddlery
Open Mic Night

People’s Choice Nominees
(Business)

Game On Sports
Boston Pizza
Mary’s Corner Cafe

People’s Choice Nominees
(Non Profit)

Seniors Centre 
Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame 
Nicola Valley Food Bank 

Top Guest Blogger Nominees

Amber Papou
Meagan Preston
Manuel Olguin

Best Picture Nominees (Blogger)

Julie Pollard (Fall in the Nicola Valley)
Diane Lavoie (Boston Pizza)
Tania Stewart (Nicola Valley Rodeo)

Top Story Nominees (Blog)

Melvina White (George Jones)
Diane Lavoie (Things To Do In Merritt)
Tania Stewart (A-P Ranch)

Story Teller of the Year Nominees (Blogger)

Tania Stewart
Tom Reynolds
Melvina White
***

Bloggies Food Bank Drive

Just telling stories makes us hungry. So, just imagine how hungry some of our fellow Merrittonnians are when times get tough. We here at ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com like to help where we can so…. when you come to the 2020 Blogging Awards Gala please bring 1 food item. There will be a box at the entrance which you can place your item in. All donations will then be delivered to the Nicola Valley Food Bank.

Location of Merritt Event

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Merritt BC Canada

Date: March 6th, 2020
Time: 6PM to 9PM and beyond
Doors Open at 5:30

Where to Buy Tickets ($20 per person)

(limited quantity available)

D & D Emporium
2070 Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt in between Fields and Creative Comfort
Tuesday – Friday  10 AM to 5 PM
Saturday 11 Am – 4 PM
250-378-9223

Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame
2025B Quilchena Ave
Downtown Merritt
Wed – Fri 12 Noon to 4 PM 
250.378.9569

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Culture and Art Show for Children

Merritt artists create inspiring art for children in our new Gallery Show!

“Out of inspiration comes curiosity, motivation, desire, and the creative process.”

Art for children in Merritt BC is thriving! We asked our local artists to bring in, or create new art that would inspire children’s ideas and imaginations. And we have had a wonderful response with over 25 artists participating in our five week-long show. It’s up! It’s fun and colourful! And it’s on until 4pm, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Come on by!

Art for Children

Children in Art, Art for Children

How did we get so many artists to contribute to a show about art for children?

First, we put a call out to artists in the fall, through our membership newsletter, our local papers, and social media.

Then an email went out directly to most of the artists who have participated in our shows in the past, and a few we would love to gather into our active arts and culture community.

Lastly,  were our personal reach outs to those who popped in to see us at the Gallery, or who called in for questions, or met at events like Open Mic, and on the street! We did our best to reach out to as much of the Nicola Valley community as we could!

Art horses

Miriam Loken’s “A Moment with Max”

What’s in our Art for Children show?

Of course, we have children in the art…

  • Miriam Loken’s A Moment with Max features a child and a horse
  • Nancy Ellingsen’s grandchildren’s portraits, Ember and Logan
  • Bruce Walter’s photo A Teachable Moment, children in nature
  • Jean Kiegerl’s Reborn with a father and his baby girl
  • Judy Young’s amusing Shopping with Dad
  • Robert Moretti’s Camping Branch Swinging 
  • Joel Reid’s large graffiti 3 Candles
Art for Children

Artists Michael Behrens and Joel Reid Paintings

Art can inspire.

But a lot of the art in the show is meant to inspire children, of all ages- from babies to teens. We have paintings – watercolour, acrylic, and pastel…. depicting a variety of subjects like butterflies, undersea creatures, fanciful trees and mountains by artists Joel Reid, Fran McMurchy, Karen Otway, Michael Behrens, Shirley Reynolds, and Herta Klassen, Gale Simpson, and Diane Wandler.

Paintings, 3D pieces, mixed media…

We have 3D pieces, like Pius Chong’s monkey and Amanda Pryzner-Dunn’s folded steam engine (protected in a glass case). Kelly Reid brought in two magical fairy gardens made from a mix of materials, like a path of pennies, and a tiny tea cup.

painting in merritt

Tina Barlow’s Love, Laugh

There are mixed media pieces like Lin Butler Buchanan’s stunning dark Sunflowers at Night, and Tina Barlow’s The Laugh Love Tree. There are cloth and fibre art pieces like Cindy Trent’s Circus quilt and Vickie Strom’s bright woven wall hanging.

Amanda submitted paper cuts depicting three fairy tales. Can you guess them? Visit the show and see!

And we are displaying whimsical pieces like a Vicki’s felt mouse, Barb Sayles’ vintage dolls, and Pam Clark’s adorable knit bunnies and chicks.

And My Topsy Turvy Circus Diorama

I jumped in myself for this show and created a five foot Circus diorama, populated with several dolls and puppets from my collection. They are dressed as jesters, clowns, mimes, trapeze artists, and horse trainers for the occasion. My favourite wooden Czech Marionette hangs high up in the Topsy Turvy Circus, attracting children to see the three ring performances. All in the imagination, of course. And I tried my hand at doll faceups, including a mime face on a Berenguer doll. Fun!

Children artists in merritt

Jano Howarth’s Mime Face Up

Art for children is one way to reach out to children.

As a life long educator, with over 30 years of interaction with children of all ages, I have realized how important inspiration is to the process of creativity and life itself. Out of inspiration comes curiosity, motivation, desire, and the creative process. Art is a very effective way to reach children! There are so many forms of artistic creativity that can appeal to children’s natural interests and help them identify their own passions and life directions.

When I put the call out to artists I said:

“This show is about children and how we inspire them to take their own path- maybe art, maybe another passion. Think of Cindy Trent’s quilt depicting the layers in the earth. Inspiration for quilting? painting? sculpture? photography? geography? zoology? ecology? writing? Art that stimulates the imagination. And not necessarily kids stuff.”

children art

Art Bud’s Renee Hartwig

And that’s what we got! One gentleman was expecting art by children, or at least childlike art. And we certainly have on display some very cute art, and art that is appealing to the child in all of us! Our Art Buds teacher, Renee Hartwig, brought in her Bunny on a Hill painting that brings out the oohs and aahs in children and adults alike.

“Interesting, beautiful, quirky, or socially conscious art”

But we have some sophisticated pieces that can stimulate great ideas for parents, grandparents, etc. on how to look for and choose art for a child’s room. Or art for a living room or dining room (or waiting room, or educator’s office) where children can be exposed to interesting, beautiful, quirky, or socially conscious art.

children and art in merritt

Art to Inspire Children

 
Even some of our local artists were challenged by the idea for this show! But it didn’t take long, in this community of creative artists, to bring together over forty-five pieces of inspiring art for children. I am very excited and pleased with the wonderful responses, from the artists, and from the visitors, local and out-of-towners, who have come by the show already.

We have art that stimulates, amuses, and soothes.

Art for Children

Vicki Strom’s Felt Mouse

We had a great Reception the other night, complete with marshmallow squares, of course! But with chocolate, whipped cream and fresh orange toppings! Thanks, Diane! And thanks to Lin, Joel, and all the volunteers who helped put this show together!

Now that the show is up, the people are coming by with and without children. Thursday to Saturday, 12-6pm.

We have invited teachers to bring classes. (Just let me know! nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com or Jano 250-315-3437)

Art for Children in Merritt, BC… Alive and Well!

For more info on this show, or upcoming shows at the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery at the old Courthouse on Nicola Avenue contact me at 250-315-3437 or email nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Jano Howarth, Arts Gallery Director and community supporter!

Art Things To Do in Merritt, BC

Check out some of our past Arts Gallery Shows

  •  Open Mic Weekly! Friday nights 7-9 pm at Kekuli Cafe
  • Gallery Shows every five weeks or less! At the the old Courthouse Arts Gallery, 1840 Nicola Avenue, Merritt BC. Thursday to Saturday, 12-6 pm
  • Gallery Shop all year round, and yearly popular Artisan Winter Show
  • Arts Classes, course and workshops- visit our website for info
  • Special Arts Events: Mayor’s Gala, Jazz in the Attic, Art in the Park

Join the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council! Tax receipt for Memberships and Donations! Online or pop in to the Gallery.

Jano’s

Interested in doll characters and photo stories?

  • Website: Hiya Dolly
  • Facebook and Instagram Hiya Dolly

More on the Art for Children Show…

Bev Veale contributed an in-progress piece designed for a child’s involvement… Come in and find all the animals!

Bev has been painting the flora and fauna of the Nicola Valley for decades. And she continues to contribute her support and show submissions! Anyone interested in an original Bev Veale, contact me!

NVCAC Vice President Karen Otway’s colourful painting is both our cover photo, and our show poster. Thanks Karen!

And getting ready for the Topsy Turvy Circus kept me happily busy for days!

art and culture in merritt

Topsy Turvy Circus by Jano Howarth

Get inspired with your children! Get a hold of a canvas, a fun item to paint, and get busy!

Art for Children

Inspired!

Art for Children in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Nicola Valley Arts Council

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt BC Flower Shop

Miss Vicki’s Petals and Plants Flower Shop

“Opening and running a flower shop feeds my soul,” Miss Vicki.

The Merritt BC Flower Shop called Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants is located in downtown Merritt BC Canada. The flower shop serving the Nicola Valley opened on October 20, 2018. Equally as important, Vicki, calls the Nicola Valley her home. When asked, “Why open a flower shop in Merritt,” Vicki adamantly replied, “I wasn’t going anywhere, this is my home.” Thank goodness because Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants is truly a welcomed delight and is surely is an appreciated ambassador for Downtown Merritt.

“The timing was right. I used to work in the florist department at Save on Foods here in Merritt,” Miss Vicki.

Merritt flower shop

Vicki’s attention to detail makes giving flowers that much more special.

Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants in Merritt BC. being very picturesque.

The sights and smells make any visit to Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants a special experience. The colorful blooming flowers and plants covering the walls and floors of her shop is a journey of rainbow colors and fairy tale scents. Go ahead, visit this Merritt flower shop and take a deep breath. Along with all the vibrant colors you are always welcomed with a warm smile from “Miss Vicki”, the stores proprietor.

miss vickis flower shop

Colors, care and flair all part of the Miss Vicki’s experience

flower shop in merritt bc canada

That extra touch and personal service goes a long way

Further more, Miss Vicki gives back to the Nicola Valley Community. 

As a result of Miss Vicki’s passion for the Nicola Valley, she is constantly donating to many organizations, charities, non-profits, and fundraising events through-out Merritt. One such example of Miss Vicki’s fundraising efforts is her commitment to improving patient rooms at Nicola Valley’s Gillis House. Secondly, she also donates to our very own Merritt Centennials with a free give away at every game. Thirdly,  this flower shop in Merritt has donated towards many organizations in lieu of silent auctions, the Nicola Valley Food Bank, Winter Solstice Powwow, Lower Nicola Indian Band Christmas Tree, and countless others.

“I believe in Merritt and our Downtown Businesses,” Miss Vicki!

MerrittMissVicki's

The colorful bird is an added touch of passion often given to her customers

Recycling is key for this Merritt flower shop..

PetalsandPlantsVicki's

A treasured Rubber Ducky.

Vicki and Dee are very adamant about “Recycling“. They are aware of the damage and added pressures people can cause on our eco-system and environment. They are working  to decrease landfills by recycling, reusing, and continually creating beautiful works of flower-art by recycling clients favourite or personal objects. In fact, Vicki encourages her customers to bring in a personal sentimental object to be the focus of their flower arrangement.  For example, a special favourite tea pot can turn into a floral center piece.

Shopping for a Single Rose or Planning your Wedding?

In fact Miss Vicki’s Petals and Plants in Merritt BC can accommodate just about every occasion the Nicola Valley offers. Along with a vast selection of smaller flower arrangements, Miss Vicki’s is able to also provide larger beautiful centerpieces for their customers.  Specializing in their customer’s needs clearly indicates that Miss Vicki’s Petals and Plants will go beyond what your needs are including a last minute bouquet of flowers, a handcrafted gift or a floral arrangement for your event.

“Over the Moon with the support we have received from the community,” Dee.

merritt bc canada flower shop

Miss Vicki’s Petals and Plants delivers when it comes to the finished floral arrangement

As a result of curiosity.

Dee, who works with Vicki,  joined the Merritt flower shop team two years ago. In fact, while browsing in Miss Vicki’s shop one day she turned to Vicki and asked if she was hiring part time? Dee has 35 years of experience creating and arranging beautiful flower art work. While both are talented flower-ologists (not a real word) there is no hiding the respect and unity between these two very personable ladies.

Merritt Miss Vicki's flower shop

“Over The Moon!” Dee explains how they cater to their customers.

The behind the scenes of a flower shop

Dee is often found in the back, creating beautiful flower arrangements. Her specialty, since Dee brings a lot of knowledge and talent to the floral business. Having lived in the Nicola Valley for the past 13 years her love for the community shows through her talent with outstanding floral creations. Truly exemplary!

Furthermore every Friday while listening to Q 101 radio in Merritt, contestants can win a bouquet of flowers from Miss Vicki’s. Tune into Q101 for more details.

Q 101 flower contest

Q101 contestant winner Marg.

Additionally Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants showcases a wide variety of local artists.

This Merritt flower shop is also a big supporter of the local art scene in the Nicola Valley.  The fact that Miss Vicki’s shop has numerous one of a kind hand-made artifacts is a testament to how special this shop really is. Additionally, you will be amazed at the number of local artisans within our community who’s works are on display in her shop. Consequently I found myself perusing through Miss Vicki’s shop finding an abundance of treasures.

“There is so much talent within the Nicola Valley. It is truly amazing and wonderful,” Miss Vicki.

birding in merritt bc canada

Detailed Tiny Cabin.

artisan works in merritt bc

Painted Wooden Houses.

first nation nicola valley smudge kit

Smudge Kit.

missvicki's plants

Body Haven Soaps. Made with Natural ingredients.

Furthermore schedule enough time to take in everything.

Indeed Miss Vicki’s Petals & Plants in Merritt BC Canada could be your one stop shop for floral and art. You will find cards handcrafted by Denise Weisse. There are custom built wood projects from Steamer’s Junk. A wooden bowl crafted by Reece. And the list goes on and on.

Missvicki'spetalsplantsmerrittbc

Miss Vicki’s own Artisan craftsmanship.

Next you will be enchanted with an array of glass birds & gorgeous flower pots.

Betty Pockrant flower pots.

Spice up your home or garden with more color.

Kay Schlosser Butterfly’s.

 

miss vicki'spetals

Lavender is in the air at this Merritt flower shop

Understand that flowers can spark creativity.

Did you know that Van Gogh and Manet were inspired by flowers!? Miss Vicki and Dee every day create masterpieces. In fact Miss Vicki and Dee explained to me that on many occasions someone has come into the shop to help clear their anxiety or depression. Additionally it has been shown that indoor plants can help reduce stress levels. Makes sense!

Desk Buddy perfect for your office or bedside.

To clarify flowers can improve your mood.

Here is another fact for you to digest. Did you know that flowers & plants in your bedroom helps people get a better sleep because of the natural aroma and their release of oxygen.  Subsequently, the time I spent in Miss Vicki’s shop made me feel exhilarated and a calmness came over me, as if I  just had a mini vacation in a spring garden.

 

Accordingly having Plants & Flowers in your home.

Plants help purify the air reducing harmful chemicals throughout your home. Additionally, flowers help save money by having no need for air fresheners. Also flowers are environmentally friendly while purifying your air.

Merritt Miss Vicki's

An assortment of plants.

In fact the number of local artisans crafts that are displayed throughout is magnificent & numerous.

For instance you can find Twin Willows Glass Arts, Bev’s Baggage Denim, Vicky’s Whimsical Yarns, Squirrels New Chapter, Electric Art by Andy, Creations by Irene, Don Loewen, Twin Willows Glass Arts, and countless more.

Merritt Vicki's Flower Shop

Warez Du Bees. Raw & Creamy Honey.

merritt flower shop gifts

Gifts can make a flower arrangement

 

Furthermore plants & flowers improve productivity.

Without a doubt people (animals) are more productive and have a higher level of concentration if they’re near plants. It is said that having plants in your home or work space will allow you to be more focused throughout the day.

Missvicki's

“Kumma” Teddy Bear in Finish. Shop dog.

 Contact Us

MISS MISS VICKI’S PETALS & PLANTS FLOWER SHOP

Address: 2052 Quilchena B,
Merritt BC, Canada
V1K 1A4
Phone: 250-378-5575

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Experience Merritt Page

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Yuino Takeyama. A Japanese Traveler.

I am happy to be an International Travel Blogger connecting people to Experience Nicola Valley through my stories. I do my best.

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler shares with us, “I had a great encounter with a family and stayed for the weekend with them. The generous hospitality, the welcoming home, was provided by a family in Merritt , British Columbia, Canada.

I am, Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler and I am not a student, as I have decided to explore and travel your beautiful country before I make any life decisions. At 19, leaving the security and comforts of my home was a very hard decision. However, I have always been a person who seeks adventure and challenges and I felt this was the time when I could start collecting life experiences. I’m a person who wants to challenge myself all the time!  And Canada is my playground.

I, Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler arrives In Canada

One day, while living in Japan, I came up with the idea that I was going to travel across Canada and then decide where I wanted to live.  Firstly, I landed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Secondly, I soon found out in your beautiful country I didn’t actually understand English very well. My bad! Just too excited to get here. I was surprised how I couldn’t communicate with people through language. My conclusion, it was harder than I expected. I needed to do something fast!

Learning English in Canada

Many Canadian people helped me out a lot in teaching me English. However, when I wanted to show my appreciation, I couldn’t communicate with them well enough to show my gratitude. That’s when I decided to learn and speak English only. To assist me in learning English I went to language school for 3 months. After I graduated from the language school, I took to the road with my Japanese friend, Micheal Taiga who is the craziest man in Japan. He was ideal for exploring because he wanted to see everything.

japanese traveler in Canada

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, experiencing Canada.

Starting our travels across Canada

Anyone who has traveled at a young age knows that budgets are always tight. So to make ends meet we decided that we travel across Canada by hitchhiking and by doing homestay visit and stay the home of who lives around area you travel .It was the best decision that I have ever made! The opportunity to meet so many good new people and to experience the beautiful nature in your country would not have happened without the kindness of Canadians.  Therefore, I can say I have experienced so many things that I would never have had a chance to experience in Japan.

Where we traveled

We started our adventures in Vancouver, and then hitchhiked to Merritt, Kamloops, Golden, Banff, and Calgary seeking experiences. Then we flew to Whitehorse, Yukon and stayed in Haines Alaska for a while. During our stay we explored the Alaska Highway. The Alaska Highway was just beautiful beyond description! Then we hitchhiked back to Whitehorse and boarded a plane to Quebec City, Quebec. Continuing on, we put our hitchhiking thumbs to work in the region as we visited Montreal, Toronto, Niagara Falls and crossed the border to City of New York, USA. Actually I have a bunch of interesting stories to share with you about these places. However, I’m going to post those stories at a later date!!

Campfires and camping with Yuino Takeyama

Camping with new and old friends in Banff, Alberta

Farewell to my travel buddy

Taiga, my Japanese traveler buddy went to Germany to continue traveling with another friend.  So we decided we would go our each way. I wanted to stay in Canada and learn more about your beautiful country. He wanted Germany. Honestly I was sad to see Taiga go. However, at the same time, I was excited to be on my own seeking out adventures, meeting new people and more. It was “go-time” for me, now I had to do everything by myself. I was super excited at this new turn in my journey!

Beginning of my new journey

When Taiga left was when it really hit me. It was time to start my new journey by myself. As you recall, I am exploring Canada to find where I want to live and the lifestyle I wish to work hard for. I have seen much of Canada and when my plan comes together and I live in Canada I am picking Whitehorse, Yukon to live the rest of my Canadian life!

exploring canada

Running towards adventures in the wilderness. My heaven in Canada.

On my own looking for place and play

As I said,I had no idea where to go and what to do? What I did know was that I had to find a place to live and work. Things work in funny ways and how I found my accommodation is another crazy story I will share that story with you in another post.  Bottom line, I eventually found a place in Carcross, Yukon Territories which is a 3 hour drive from Whitehorse, Yukon.

friends of a Japanese traveler

Beautiful mountains in Carcross, Yukon

Living in the northern wilds of Canada

I spent 1 week in Carcross, Yukon Territories, Canada. The Yukon village has a population of only 300 people! I stayed in a rustic cozy cabin with a a beautiful lake and mountains outside my front door. I call this lifeHeidi Life. Do you know what Heidi is? It is my favorite Japanese animation… Anyway, back to my story, I started to look for a job.

northern lights canada with Yuino Takeyama

Home is Haines Junction under the Northern Lights

After ”Heidi life”, I ended up to Haines Junction, Yukon Territories. I had come to work at Mount Logan Lodge for 2 months. It’s run by a family and it is a popular place to stay in the region. When visiting the lodge you have to try some of the “home cooked” meals just like your Mom served you at home. That is what I was told by my Canadian friends anyway.

Finish my Wild life

When I got out of my wild life, I felt tears.. that is how much I loved living in the Canadian north. After that I decided to live in Kamloops and find a new job. And on my way to Kamloops, British Columbia from Vancouver, I had a great encounter with a family and stayed with them for a  weekend. The generous hospitality, the welcoming home, was provided by  a family in Merritt , British Columbia, Canada. This was the beginning of many positive Merritt encounters.

So the adventures of a Japanese traveller continues …

I was now looking for work, I hitchhiked all over the region looking for work. Finally, I found work in Kamloops at a restaurant. I am glad I can keep using my English, studying English and living a healthy Canadian life. To sum it up, my Canadian adventures has given me tons of unique experiences and I have received so much kindness from many Canadians. I’ve come to feel comfortable when I step out of my ”comfort zone”.

“Journey to let you find yourself,” – Yuino Takeyama

the travels of a Japanese traveler

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, explores Canada

How exploring led to Experience Nicola Valley Blogging

In conclusion, it is funny how things happen and how lucky I am in meeting so many kind and good Canadians in my travels. Just recently I was hitchhiking in not so good weather, with a friend, from Kelowna to Vancouver, passing through Merritt. A nice lady by the name of Melvina White picked us up. She could not believe we hitchhike. I starting sharing my travels and she started sharing how much fun she was having telling people’s stories with blogging. Now I too wanted to share my adventures, and my stories of Canada. The good people of Merritt have made it come true. So here I am. So happy. I want everyone to know my stories and all to come to the Experience Nicola Valley website and visit Merritt.

Japanese Traveler – Yuino Takeyama

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

Remember Nicola Valley that #merrittmatters on social media.

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Spaner and Webb

Local Merritt clothing store and fashion accessories

“The selection of quality clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes and much more decorate the walls and floors of this beautifully crafted and clean retail store right here in Merritt BC.”

Spaner and Webb is a locally owned and operated Merritt clothing store and fashion accessory retail outlet and online store operating, right here, in Merritt, BC, Canada in the Nicola Valley. Local residents Chandelle Agar & Chris Heppner are the co owners of Spaner and Webb.

“We bought the store in 2018… I wanted to get out of what I was doing… I haven’t looked back and I absolutely love it, just love it.” Chandelle Agar

Merritt Spanered Since 1961

The first Spaner and Webb clothing store opened its doors in 1961. At the time, co founders Charlie Webb and Morris Spaner,  operated it as a menswear store only. Later down the timeline the store was purchased by Jim Emmons and Jim Irving. However, in 1981 Jim Irving and Brenda Irving bought out Emmons share of the business. Then in 2018 Chandelle Agar & Chris Heppner came along and “put their stamp” on Spaner and Webb and here we are today.

 Chandelle Agar

Chandelle Agar – co owner of Spaner and Webb

Quality Merritt Clothing Store

The selection of quality clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes and much more decorate the walls of this beautifully crafted and clean retail store located right here in Downtown Merritt BC.  So much to select from. Brand after brand after brand of merchandise.  Browsing the shelves and racks at this Merritt clothing store I came across a whole line of brand names like Dex, C Mol, Guess, Fox, Westcoastees, Dakine, Doc Martens, Element, Hippy Tree, Joe Cool, Oakley, and Wild Outdoors Club. When deciding on what brands to stock her shelves with Chandelle shares,

“We are trying to give what younger people like and what older people like and trying to find the middle too because we are trying to cater to everyone.”

Fashion 101

I am a simple shopper. I like adventure clothes and, for me, they have to be functional outdoors. Being a rookie in fashion brands, I am naive in the field of labels. So you can imagine why the brand “Wild Outdoors Club” caught my attention. How could it not, adventure is my passion. And so, I poked around a bit more in store and online, shuffled the deck as they say, checking out shirt after shirt. “Explore More”, ‘Take Me To The Mountains” and then I came across the “Built For Adventure” T-shirt. As karma goes, the “Wild Outdoors Club” line of clothing pretty much describes my adventure motivations in a t-shirt line.

spaner and webb mens clothing

“Built For Adventure” shopping in the Men’s clothing section.

Personal Service Goes A Long Way

Entering Spaner and Webb, I was greeted by country music playing on the sound system.  The ambiance was inviting. I felt myself toe-tapping on the rustic hard-wood floors as I began looking around and taking photos.  On my arrival, co owner, Chandelle Agar, was busy serving and interacting with the customers shopping in her store. Some where looking at foot wear, while others were trying on clothing to find the right look. Chandelle was always available when assistance was required.

 “I am learning new things everyday, meeting new people. You have no idea who is coming through the door.” Chandelle Agar

shopping merritt

Personal and friendly Spaner and Webb service

Discover Your Merritt Clothing Store

One by one, I began to take photos as I walked around the store making note of the many brands Spanner and Webb provides Merritt BC. How lucky are you to have so many famous brand names I thought to myself. So very lucky, selection is a good thing. Rack after rack, shelf after shelf, display after display were men and women clothes to browse, try-on, buy and take home. Where to start? That is where Chandelle comes in with her always growing knowledge of the brand name clothing and fashion industry. Come and visit Spaner and Webb and ask her.

women's clothing in merritt

Selection of women’s clothing at Spaner and Webb

Women’s Clothing and Accessories

The Spaner and Webb line of women’s clothing includes a selection of coats, jackets, dresses, leggings, jewelry, lingerie and active wear. The jewelry available in this Merritt clothing store covers many gametes of the clothing accessory matrix.  I saw accessories like earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and watches on display to compliment any casual and formal occasion.

shopping in downtown merritt

Shopping for shoes at Spaner and Webb

Men’s Clothing in Merritt

On the men’s side Spaner and Webb also has a good selection of coats, jackets, hoodies, jeans, shorts, belts, shoes, boots and adventure wear. In fact, during my visit, a “Merrittonian” was kind enough to allow us to take a photo of him while he was shopping for shoes for his children. Thank you for being our model. If you are reading this, you rock!

“Come in and join us! It is fun here!” Chandelle Agar

Accessorize Merritt

It is not all about clothes in this Merritt retail business either. Another important aspect of Merritt fashion is to have a complimentary line of accessories to compliment your work and/or play day. In life, add-ons of any sort, can make or break a night out, road trip, dinner date and/or adventure. Some of the add-ons which caught my eye at Spaner and Webb were the backpacks, belts, gloves, sunglasses, boots, and hats. They had scarves too but I don’t do scarves.

online shopping in merritt

Spaner and Webb have online shopping

Shop Online For Merritt Clothing

Spaner and Webb shopping is now available through their new online store (www.spanerandwebb.ca). Meaning, you can still shop Spaner and Webb from the comforts of your own home, after hours, from anywhere in the world. If leaving the house is not in the works, then fire up the laptop and place your order online. It is fast, and convenient. Mind you, shopping in store, is the only real way, in my opinion, to experience the whole Downtown Merritt experience. Travelers make note of this.

“We are now selling online. It is a learning process. I want to see Merritt grow.” Chandelle Agar

One can also find a selection of clearance items on sale on the  Spaner and Webb website and in store. Access Spaner and Webb online and participate in any current contest and follow current trends through their “best selling merchandise feed”.  Check out their shipping and return policy and then shop till you drop.

What About Hard To Buy Merrittonians

No worries because Spaner and Webb also provides Gift Certificates for that “hard to buy” person or special occasion. Forget about sizes, colors, style and what they like and what they do not like. Go the safe route if you do not know… and pick up a Gift Certificate. Let the “hard to buy” person enjoy his/her own shopping experience at Spaner and Webb. This way you know you got them what they like.

Experience Downtown Merritt

So now you are looking and feeling pretty sweet in your new digs you just bought at Spaner and Webb.  You have that fashion savvy thing going on. What now? Why not continue your Downtown Merritt experience over a lunch, enjoy a walk-about or poke your head in a store and meet some of the other local store owners. I have, and believe me, many are good people and a joy to be around.

Spaner and Webb is an easy walking distance from many coffee shops and restaurants including Mandolins Cafe, Canada Cafe, Kekuli Cafe, Mary’s Corner Cafe to name a few. And no downtown visit is complete without visiting the signature attraction in town – The Walk Of Stars and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Thank you Chandelle at Spaner and Webb for your time and hospitality.

Remember Nicola Valley that #merrittmatters on social media.

Contact Us

Spaner and Webb
2032 Quilchena Ave
Merritt, British Columbia
250-378-5714

WebsiteFacebook

#GetSpanered

Merritt clothing and accessory store in the Nicola Valley

#shoplocalmerritt on social media

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Culture and Art in Merritt, BC 

The Nicola Valley Arts Gallery Exhibition, with Fred Tomlin – “Fractured Reflections” – Was All About Wood and Mirrors!

“A lot of my ideas come from ordinary day to day things that we see in nature and all around us.” Fred Tomlin

First, a few words about Fred Tomlin…

Fine Woodworking

Fred Tomlin, Artist

Fine woodworking in Merritt BC Canada.  Fred is a retired educator who spent 34 years as a teacher and school principal in BC.

Woodworking has been an interest from early in his life although he has not been formally trained. Upon buying his first house he proceeded to do major renovations on a DIY basis which helped hone some of his woodworking skills. He then went on to build toys and play structures for his children and dabbled a bit in projects that required a finer detail. After moving to Merritt, BC Canada he undertook the construction of his home on which he did all the interior finishing. Doing finer carpentry gave Fred a sense of accomplishment which has lead to fine woodworking and has resulted in his present phase of creating “Functional Art”.

And now, in his own words...

What Inspires Fine Woodworking In Me?

It is the idea of problem solving and the challenge of making something that reflects what I’m thinking about. It is a process of looking at something and then translating my thought image into something I build.

A lot of my ideas come from ordinary day to day things that we see in nature and all around us. There are a lot of patterns, and lines that are right there in front of us if we take the time to look.

I started to use mirror to accentuate the patterns and images around us and further enhance the patterns found in the wood and the lines and angles of the project.

Art in Merritt BC

Fractured Reflections

Do I Have a Favourite Piece?

Each one of my fine woodworking pieces is my favourite while I’m in the process of creating it. Afterwards, some have a very special place in my heart as they now have sentimental attachments. It’s a fun process working through an evolving project.

I mean evolving in the way the project changes from inception to the final product. Grain, texture, color, angles, tone and just feel for the wood often changes the direction the project takes.

As a result there are several pieces that I’m not willing to part with because they have such an emotional and personal attachment.

Where Do I Work?

I have a small 10 x 16 foot workshop in the basement of my home in Merritt BC Canada but I also use the garage to make larger cuts as that is where the table saw lives. It’s small, compact, but it lets me gets the job done.

I do not have a scheduled time for work but rather when the mood strikes. When the weather is good I do not like being in the shop, so I get outdoors for a while. I also do not want the working in the shop to become WORK! It is a pleasure place where I go to relax and escape from the regular day to day things.

I take the time needed to do whatever I have in mind to get the project to the place I feel I can leave it. If it takes me several hours or just a few minutes it doesn’t matter. I’ll invest the time needed to keep it moving along. I have at times climbed out of bed and gone to the shop to complete a task that was wanting to be done. Once this is done I go back to sleep, satisfied.

experience merritt

How Much Time Do My Fine Woodworking Pieces Take?

Time spent varies on the activity and the stage the project is at. In the initial conceptual stage I may spend several hours going over the selection of wood. I think of what angles need to be created to give the desired effect I’m hoping to achieve, and the overall appearance of the project.

When I get into the project I often work in stages such as, making the major cuts and doing a rough assembly, then moving to finer assembly and looking to see what the grains and tones are doing to the piece. It is at this stage that re-imaging often happens taking the project in a totally different direction.

Once I’m satisfied with the direction I work steadily towards final completion, at all times looking to see if I’m on track with what I want to achieve. Finally, it’s sanding, sanding, and more sanding, before the final selected finish goes on. This entire process usually takes several weeks to several months per project to complete.

To help pass the time while I’m in the shop, I’m often in a somewhat ‘meditative state’. I also listen to the radio or put on “Bat Out Of Hell” by Meat Loaf!

Do I Have a Favourite Wood

Fine Woodworking

Fractured Reflections

Way back I started with oak and liked it a lot as it gave good grain character and it was somewhat forgiving to work with. Oak, a hardwood, holds its shape well, doesn’t splinter, and just pops when a finish is applied to it.

Over the years I moved to cherry and black walnut with their more subtle grain patterns and patina as they age. Cherry darkens and walnut lightens.

I’ve also worked with maple, birch, ash, beech, and use exotic woods such as zebrawood, cocobolo, purple heart, ebony, etc for accent pieces.

What About the Mirror?

I do not cut my own mirror. The glass shop works from a template I make, and I just let them do what they do best. I select the tone of the mirror to help accentuate the overall appearance be it a bronzed or silver mirror.

What Are My Challenges?

The main challenge is how to make something that represents the image I have in my mind. How do I use the grain or tones in the wood to accentuate what I’m hoping to achieve. There are many times I’ll change the direction I’m going based on what I see coming together.

My original commitment to the vision has to be compromised in order to create something different. This at times creates a bit of a mind conflict.

Fine Woodworking

Other artists admire Fred Tomlin’s work

What Support Do I Have?

It’s family and friends the give me the greatest support for my fine woodworking pieces. They are very honest in their comments regarding what I’m doing. I’m very pleased that what I have made generally meets with their approval.

Besides My Work, What Do I Enjoy?

I kind of like the older music, 60’s – 90’s, though I listen to all there is playing on the radio today. Beatles, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Great Big Sea, Imagine Dragons, Serena Ryder, IZ Kamakawiwo’ole

I try and read at least one of the Booker Prize Winners every year but I’m usually reading something historical or mystery related. Some of my most recent readings have been I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, and Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I’m not much of a movie buff, but I’ll go and see a flick from time to time. 

Favourite Things About Merritt

It’s friends and acquaintances that I’ve been fortunate to make during my years here that keeps me here. The climate is ideal for what I’ve now developed as my lifestyle. I like being outdoors and being active.  I golf, cycle, hike, travel, read and spend time with family, friends, and loved one.

The weather here allows me to get outside at any time of year. Just dress for what you see outside and you’re there.

What’s Next For My Art Work?

Fine Woodworking

Fine woodworking and stones

I’ve got about 10 sketches for new projects awaiting me when the mood strikes!

Thanks Fred, for all your work…your art work, your show set up, your answers to our questions!

Fine Woodworking and Mirror, Unique Pieces of Art

As a result of his very successful Art Show, “Fractured Reflections” at the Courthouse Arts Gallery, Fred has received suggestions for getting his beautiful work out there for others to enjoy.

“Because of this local show, I am getting a little friendly encouragement to take my show on the road. I’m entertaining this idea….”

No wonder, Fred! We also want to encourage you to take the next step with your fine woodworking and mirror art!

We are looking forward to hearing what’s next for you!

If anyone is interested, contact the nicolavalleyartsgallery@gmail.com, and we’ll pass on your contact to Fred Tomlin.

For more on Nicola Valley Arts and Culture follow these links:

More shows we’ve had lately at the Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Nicola Valley Arts Council website

Facebook Page Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

Instagram Nicola Valley Arts Council

Fine woodworking

Fred Tomlin’s Sunset – Jano Howarth Photo

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada bee

Empty Keg Brew House your relaxed, family friendly, and socially responsible place.

Photo courtesy of EKBH.

At some point in our lives, we find ourselves in a situation when a decision is required if we want to move forward.

Empty Keg Brew House – Have you been in a situation that you prefer to delay instead of making a decision because you are not sure of the outcome? In general, it is normal to be concerned when we do not know how things will turn out.

Empty Keg Brew House – Starting your own business.

It is well known that starting a business is not easy nor is it for everyone.  In my opinion, most people have had a business idea in mind at some point in their lives. Throughout my employment as a business analyst, I have learned that every entrepreneur encounters roadblocks that slow them down or completely prevent them from starting their own business. On the other hand, I have dealt with clients that take all these roadblocks as learning opportunities along the way in their entrepreneurial path. Working with Kyle Hall of Empty Keg Brew House has taught me a way to deal with common issues in a more productive way while working on opening a business.

Build a case for Empty Keg Brew House.

Kyle and Kelly Hall are the owners and operators of our newest microbrewery in Merritt, BC, Canada called Empty Keg Brew House. While gathering more information to work on this story, I had the opportunity to learn more about the origins of Kyle’s business, and I am happy to share hoping that Kyle’s story will encourage you to take action and work on that business idea you have set aside. The fact is, there is never a bad time to launch a business if you have identified the need of your product or service.

the Rhubarb and Raspberry patch! Photo courtesy of EKBH.

Where did the idea of starting a microbrewery come from?

About 27 years ago the idea of brewing beer crossed Kyle’s mind. With only making $5.50 per hour to support his family back then, it was all about making cheap beer.  As a beer enthusiast, Kyle had never been to school for brewing, but instead he learned as he went. Kyle moved from extract to partial grain then full grain. Much to the delight of his family, that venture never took off, but his passion for beer continued to blossom. 5 years ago, Kyle remembers sitting around the table with his family and friends when someone suddenly said, “If you ever open a brewery, you will never be able to keep your kegs full”. Hence, the name Empty Keg Brew House.

Questions of a small business?

As any other entrepreneur, Kyle questioned himself: should we open a microbrewery? Could we open a microbrewery? When the opportunity came a few years later; he did not hesitate to seize it. He decided to move forward with his business idea. For that Kyle decided to further his skills in brewing, as a result, he completed the Master Beer Brewing Certificate in 2015.
Kyle envisioned creating a place where locals and visitors could enjoy various types of locally brewed beers made from as many local ingredients as possible.

Photo courtesy of EKBH.

Getting into the Craft Beer industry.

If you think the most difficult part of starting a business is taking the crucial first step, you are wrong. Just wait to learn all the different licenses and regulations you must obtain to move forward within your specific industry. I remember Kyle working hard to get his variance rezoning approved. He also had to apply for his manufacturer and lounge endorsement licenses. It was not just applying for a permit or license; it was starting over and making changes so that your application can move forward to the next phase and waiting to see if there was any other requirement at the end of the day. Many entrepreneurs ask themselves at this phase, how much longer will it take to get their licenses? They always want it to go faster to stay within their milestones.

Grand Opening July 3, 2019

What was your experience at the Grand Opening?

For most people, a grand opening can be a powerful way to launch your new business. It creates awareness and generates a buzz about your new product or service offered in your community. When I asked Kyle about his own experience after all the hurdles he had gone through, his answer was: “We were scared out of our minds.” By the end of the soft opening he recalls asking himself – “What have we gotten ourselves into? It was a whirlwind that seemed so overwhelming. We worked against a tight deadline to be ready for the big date. I was lucky to count on my wife Kelly, my daughter, my nephew and other family members and friends who helped with the renovations until the day prior to the opening.”

experience merritt

My experience during the first months in business.

Before starting your own business, you work on financial projections and cash flow based on market research. As part of this market research, you determine your target market, but it is not until you are running your business you realize how close your projections are to your actuals. While determining his target market, Kyle looked at college age and up to maybe 45-50, but they have a wide range of friends that come in. The typical attitude on presenting the idea of a local Brew House was “we don’t need another bar in town”. But Empty Keg Brew House is a place where you can go and socialize, hang out, play some games while you have a beer, glass of wine or coffee.

‘Give-Back Wednesday’ donation went to NVSSS Housing First. Photo courtesy of EKBH.

What is Empty Keg Brew House 5 year vision?

Kyle would like to continue to do what they are doing now. They have focused on a “Give back Wednesday”, which is a way for the customers and the Keg to give back to local non-profit organizations. It is very well received; it is contributing to help local organizations who are playing a key component for the betterment of our social, economic, environmental, and cultural conditions of the Nicola Valley. As mentioned by Kyle “We would like to continue helping these organizations on a monthly basis. On the first Wednesdays of the month we “Give Back” a portion of our sales to local non-profit organizations. Although, Empty Keg does not have a Kitchen, they do offer appetizers and they support other eating establishments by allowing food from those approved sources to accompany the beers they offer. For example, they have Yaki Joe’s Pizza right next door and clients often bring in food from there and have a beer when they are hanging out with their family and friends.

Photo courtesy of EKBH.

What is your favorite thing about being a business owner?

Running a small business can be very rewarding, but as I said before it’s not for everyone. There are easier ways to make a living. Are all the long hours, hard work and sacrifice worth it? It sounds like it. According to Forbes, 90 percent of survey respondents say they would do it again and 65% say they are better off financially than if they’d remained someone else’s employee.

Kyle and Kelly have worked very hard to be able to open their brew house. They have dealt with parking variance rezoning, manufacturers licensing requirements, inspections and much more. I would not be able to calculate how much sweat equity Kyle and Kelly have put into their business. For every setback they experienced while working on their business, their commitment and dedication became stronger than ever.

Merritt’s Kitchen Party.

As Kyle said “There are so many things to do, we can do whatever we wish to, the two captains (he was referring to himself and his wife Kelly) can steer the ship wherever we want. It is rewarding to see smiles on everyone’s faces when they are enjoying not only the product but the atmosphere. People say this is a great place. We’ve had a lot of visitors from out of town say that our space reminds them of a “Kitchen Party””.

Empty Keg Brew House is a small scale micro Brewery.

Empty Keg Brew House is a small scale micro Brewery located in Merritt. This Brewery has recently opened their doors in our community offering locally made craft beer. A great place where locals and visitors can enjoy various types of in-house brewed beers made from local ingredients.

If you have not visited this place, I encourage you to stop by and enjoy some of their offerings. With more than eight unique beers on tap, Empty Keg offers a variety of options that include Kilt Lifter Scottish 80, Scared the Dark Stout, Blond Ale and many more.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empty Keg Brew House
2190 Voght St, Merritt, BC V1K 1C1
(250) 315-2337

www.emptykegbrewhouse.ca

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Merritt, British Columbia, Canada bee