Merritt Honey and Bees

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

The Nicola Valley  people and groups are standing up for bees and some are making honey

Merritt Honey and Bees – Throughout the world people have taken on the fight for the survival of our “Bees”. Merritt BC Canada is no different. Every day more and more people are becoming more aware of  how important these hard working honey makers are to our survival. Not to mention, without bees, the availability and diversity of fresh produce would decline substantially, and human nutrition would likely suffer.

Lots of Merritt Honey and Bees in the Valley

 I have heard the call of  the “Bumblebee”. To say nothing to how much I love “Bees” this is my tribute to these amazing creatures through my photo’s.  Experience the sweet Buzz in the Nicola Valley knowing I have tasted the honey in it all. Therefore, I can safely say that the Nicola Valley is home to some fine Apiaries.

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Worker bees. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Experience the Honey in the Nicola Valley

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Bees can see all colors except “Red”

Experience the Buzz in Merritt

Bees like coffee, keeps them awake.

 Going Bee Crazy Experience the Buzz in the Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley Gourmet  honey is produced by unsprayed bees on there ranchlands surrounding beautiful Merritt, B.C.  Additionally, with the combination of climate, abundance of flowers, soil and water resources the ranch is an ideal breeding ground for honey.   

Grimshire Apiary , located in the Nicola Valley,  is one of Merritt’s producers of raw unpasteurized honey products.  However, not only do they do honey, they also have beeswax candles for sale.   

Merritt honey makers.

Bees do not sleep, Photo by Tania Stewart.

Interesting fact:  The word “honeymoon” is derived from the ancient tradition of supplying a newlywed couple with a month’s supply of mead in order to ensure happiness and fertility. 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

Bee are sensitive to smell. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” Albert Einstein 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

They have a brain the size of a sesame. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Honeybees are important pollinators for flowers, fruits, and vegetables. They live on stored honey and pollen all winter and cluster into a ball to conserve warmth. How cozy. While worker bees forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean, and circulate air by beating their wings.” National Geographic. 

Experience the Buzz in Merritt BC.

Bees have 5 eyes. Picture courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola

They can solve basic math problems. Picture Tania Stewart.

Experience the Bee in the Nicola Valley 

What I have found through the years observing bees is that they have such amazing personalities. As a matter of fact, in the above pictures of this bee I found on my doorstep one day, it looked like this little guy was dying.  As I approached this little bee it raised it’s arm to warn me with a defensive move. However, I was most stunned when after a couple of seconds this bee got up and buzzed off. 

Experience the Buzz with bees

The sun helps bees navigate. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Without pollinators, the human race and all of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. 

Experience the Buzz in the Nicola with bees

Bees can remember your face. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Bees work up quite a thirst foraging and collecting nectar. Try filling a shallow bird bath or bowl with clean water,  arrange pebbles and stones inside so that they break the water’s surface. Stones will allow the bees to land and refresh themselves. Kind of like a Bees watering well. 

“One of the largest threats to bees is a lack of safe habitat where they can build homes and find a variety of nutritious food sources.” Queen Bee.

 Going Bee Crazy

The Queen lives for 5yrs. Photo by Tania Stewart.

“Synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and neonicotinoids are harmful to bees, wreaking havoc on their sensitive systems. Avoid all.” Tania Stewart.

About 80% world plants have been pollinated. Photo by TS.

Support Local Beekeepers and Organizations

Local beekeepers work hard to nurture their bees. Buying locally-made honey and beeswax products helps the local environment. Plus, local honey is not only delicious, it is made from local flora. Basically you are tasting your own flowers. Notably, this is said to also help with seasonal allergies!

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A single bee will produce only about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Researchers have discovered that bumble bees are disappearing at rates “consistent with a mass extinction”.

“If declines continue at this pace, many of these species could vanish forever within a few decades,” Peter Soroye warned.

 

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Bees are taught by elders in the hive how to make honey.

Save our Bees

One of the main causes to the endangerment of our bees is their habitat loss. Death of bees is then followed closely by  invasive species, and natural disasters. Recently, there has been a worldwide call for everyone to get their “Flower Power On” in support of the bee.

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The practice of beekeeping dates back at least 4,500 yrs.

Interesting Fact: Bees are not born knowing how to produce honey. The elder bees in the hive teach the young at bee school.

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During a single collection trip, a honey bee will visit anywhere from 50 to 100 flowers.

How can you help 

Plant flowers and trees, go chemical free, create bee baths and homes for native bees. With the exception of honeybees, most bees are solitary creatures. In light of this you can provide a safe haven for them with a small plot of land in your garden. Provide “Bee condos”, small tube “apartments”  which allow species like mason bees to take up residence.

Bee Condo.

Bee watering station.

In a Bee World

There is a mass global awareness with people becoming more aware of the dangers bees are facing. Education and home scientists taking on the duty to help save these essential pollinators are leading the charge. Little things make a difference too like planting flowers, trees, water stations or even building mini bee condo’s.

The first step to their survival is awareness, and understanding how crucial they are to our own exitance.  Without our pollinators this blue planet we will be at a loss. 

Merritt’s’  Apiaries

Nicola Valley Honey. 1-(250)378-5208

Miller’s Farm active apiary and have farm fresh honey year round. (250) 315-1012
 
Grimshire Apiary. Producer of raw unpasteurized honey products. (250) 378-9703, 

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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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Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan Road Tripping – Part Two

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

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

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

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

 

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

Mascot Gold Mine

Mascot Gold Mine

Stop #2-Circle Tours From Merritt, BC

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

Bromley Rock Provincial Park

Bromley Provincial Park

Keremeos-The Fruit Stand Capital of Canada.

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

 

keremeos fruit stand

Keremeos Fruit Stand

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

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Cathedral Lakes reading spot

Penticton is next on our circle tour from Merritt, BC

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

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

Hillside Winery

Hillside Winery

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

Day 2 starts in Penticton.

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

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

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

Floating the canal

Floating the canal

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

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

Steam Train

Steam Train

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

Our Final Stop on our tour- Peachland

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

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

 

Peachland waterfront

Peachland waterfront

This Tour Ends

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

Okanagan Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part Two

 

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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

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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

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Art in Merritt BC

Art in Merritt BC was on the move in October 2020.

Let’s get artistic in Merritt 

Art Gallery in Merritt BC

2051 Voght St, Merritt BC

Art in Merritt BC at the Art Gallery and Gift Shop moved to 2051 Voght Street after almost 20 years at the old Courthouse on Nicola Avenue. The Nicola Valley Community Arts Council took the plunge and took over enough space in the heritage Jackson building to have an office, a Program Space, our Gift Shop and a Gallery Exhibition space.

After our move, Art in Merritt BC is Back in Action

Two weeks of moving and intense action to spiff up the place, and we were back in action. In a big way!

At least, for our restricted Covid 19 times. We are still waiting for a return to full workshops and music events. Even Friday night Open Mic is on hold!

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1st Art Show in the New Space on Voght Street

On Oct 15/20, we held our first Art Show in our new space in Merritt BC,  “Art for the Love of It”. Prolific local Artist Jean Kiegerl filled the walls with her work, past and present. Joining her was the creative stained glass duo Glenn and Susan Parkinson of Twin Willows.

The Gift Shop space, adjoining the Gallery, was full of artisan work, from pottery to weavings, so there was lots to look at! Locals and visitors flocked in, masked and socially distant. We doubled our usual show numbers!

Art and Music Reception

A week into the Art Show we held a Reception, held over 6 hours and by invitation, to manage the social interaction we are used to at our events. And for only the 2nd time this Covid year, we enjoyed live Reception music. This time Paul Mozin and Desiree Dunbar played us a little jazz. (I would do that again!)

Music in Merritt BC

Art Show Reception with Paul Mozin and Desiree Dunbar

Shop local!

In mid November, when our first Art Show in our new digs came to

Winter Art Show, Merritt BC

Winter Artisan Show

an end, we switched up to our 5th Winter Artisan Show.

30 local artists and artisans filled the whole spacious space with gifts- practical, creative, fun and beautiful works. And in a year when there were no craft fairs to go to,  we had a flow of people in for the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve.

Who’s who at our Arts Council?

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I really want to talk about the people in the Arts Council, and all our artists and artisans! We have a motivated group making decisions in our Nicola Valley Community Arts Council. It was a lot of work and decision making to get us down to our new space from the old Courthouse. For now, I’ll just send kudos out to everyone who made this move, this change, happen.

Thanks everybody!

Active Arts in Merritt BC, 2021

We are looking forward to an active Arts year here in the Nicola Valley! For more on our NVCAC and Art in Merritt BC, visit here.

After a short holiday break, we are open again January 8th, 2021!

Our extended hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11-6pm

Sunday 12-4pm

NVAC Facebook and Instagram

NVAC Gallery Facebook

Thanks for stopping by! Jano Howarth

Remember…Express yourself!

Art Gallery in Merritt BC

Merritt BC Art

Art Show “Art for the Love of It”

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 Merritt, BC, Canada

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Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

One of many tours starting from the Nicola Valley

 

There are many circle tours from Merritt, BC because of its location.  Incidentally, there are four highways that pass through Merritt which gives you eight directions to go in.  The length of the tours depends on what you want to see and do.  For example, one of my favourite trips is from Merritt to Princeton, then to Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and then back home.

The American Plan

If you use the American Plan you can do this tour in one day.  The American Plan you say?  Actually this is my own interpretation of an American Tourist based on an incident I witnessed at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island.  Believe it or not while we were there an American family pulled up in front of  the large Cedar tree that is a feature of the park.  They all stood in front of the tree, had their picture taken and were off.  Needless to say this is probably not how you want to experience the park but if you are in a hurray I guess it works.  I  don’t know if the American Plan is a “thing”.

Planning Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Any way, the tour I am reporting on consists of about four to five hours of driving time and you then need to consider the time you want to spend in each area. For example, if you intend to spend two hours in the four main centres you are looking at an additional eights hours and your day will consume upwards of thirteen hours.  As you can see this is probably too much to do in one day.

The First Leg-Circle Tours from Merritt BC to Princeton

The first leg of the journey is about one and a half hours as you leave Merritt on Highway 97c, commonly known as the Okanagan Connector.  Some of things along this route you will want to come back to explore are the Corbett Lake Lodge, Kane Valley, Laurie Guichon Grasslands interpretive Site and Lundbom Lake.

Circle tours from merritt bc  - great rainbow trout

Fishing at Corbett Lake

At the junction of Highway 97c and highway 5A you turn right to make your way to Princeton.  The area around Aspen Grove has some great fishing lakes.  However, if you’re more into kayaking this is a great area.  Further along the road is the turn that leads to Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park.  Unfortunately you won’t have time to stop there if you want to complete this tour in a timely manner.  In fact you should put this on your list of things to see when you return to the area.

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Lake Near Aspen Grove

Kentucky Lake Hike

Kentucky Lake Hike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This leg of the trip is beautiful as you pass numerous lakes surrounded by the hills.  additionally, one of these lakes is the entrance to the AP Guest Ranch.  Yet another point of interest to return to.

AP Guest Ranch Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers visit AP Guest Ranch

While there are several other lakes along the way, the province has established a Provincial Park at Allison Lake.  On the one side of the highway is the campground and on the other side is the day use area.  This is a nice spot for a refreshment break.

BCThe Town of Princeton is upgrading its look

After leaving Allison Lake you will arrive at the Town of Princeton.  Collectively this is one of the four towns I recommend stopping at on this circle tour from Merritt, BC.  In recent years the town has taken to upgrading its appearance.  As you can see in the picture below they have added a very attractive gateway,

Princeton Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Princeton Entrance

As well as City initiatives, the businesses are also getting into the act upgrading their store fronts.

Ulpgraded Facade

Upgraded façade

By the way, this is where we ate lunch.  As a matter of fact, the food was really good as the ingredients were all local when possible.  After you eat you can explore the downtown shopping with some quaint shops you won’t find any where else.

Other Activities in Princeton.

Of the many things to do in Princeton I like to walk the part of the Trans Canada Trail (now called The Great Trail) that goes trough town along the Similkimeen River.  They have built a cool pedestrian bridge that crosses the river.

 

Pedestrian bridge

More of the Circle tour from Merritt, BC to come

This part of the tour would take up about four hours at a minimum.  However, you can shorten the time and plan to return another day.  The next leg of the journey is up the Similkimeen Valley to Penticton.  Hopefully, you will stay tuned for the next blog on the rest of this Circle Tour from Merritt, BC.

Circle Tours from Merritt BC

Similkimeen Okanagan-Part One

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“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group. Contact us for more information on this program at media(at)ehcanadatravel(dot)com.

“Santa Claus” and Christmas in Merritt BC

A Nicola Valley Christmas with Santa from the North Pole

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

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

Christmas in Merritt BC

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

Mrs. Claus started Christmas in Merritt BC 

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

Mrs. Claus Pays It Forward 

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

Christmas in Merritt BC Must Go On

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

christmas in merritt

Santa and Mrs. Claus discussing Christmas in Merritt BC

Interview with Santa and Mrs. Claus

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

Letters from Nicola Valley Children

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

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

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

Meanwhile back at the North Pole 

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

christmas in merritt bc elves

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

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

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

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

Santa in 2021

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

Christmas in Merritt BC Canada

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Craft Beer Merritt BC

Merritt British Columbia Canada

Empty Keg Brew House is the home of craft beer in Merritt BC Canada

 

Where or where does one go for craft beer in Merritt BC Canada? We just happen to know exactly where you can go to enjoy a cool glass of craft beer in a brew house in the Nicola Valley. After all how amazing is it to have our very own brewery here in Merritt BC. We just have to let you all know.  Therefore I am proud to share with you the story of the “Empty Keg Brew House” located, right here, in the Nicola Valley. It may be a smaller scale micro brewery but it sure can serve up some naturally clear, unfiltered beer that captures the essence of the craft beer industry. 

Empty keg brew house merritt bc

Kyle Hall ringing the bell. Photo by Tania Stewart

Welcome Craft Beer in Merritt BC – Empty Keg Brew House 

Established in 2019, the brew house is a place where locals and visitors can enjoy locally brewed beers, brewed on site, on tap, and straight from the kegs. Hence why the story of Kyle and his wife Kelly – the owners of the brew house – is such a great story to tell.  It is a story about a dream and bringing it to life. 

craft beer in merritt bc

The Brewery – Photo by Tania Stewart

craft beer in merritt bc canada

Were all the work begins. Photo by Tania Stewart

“Empty Keg Brew House is an experience truly enjoyed in the Nicola Valley,” Tyler S

Empty Keg &amp; Brew Nicola Valley

The selection. Photo by Tania Stewart

The Craft Beer Experience at the “Empty Keg Brew House”

Not sure on the type of craft beer to enjoy? Then just ask. Let the friendly staff at the Merritt brew house help match you up with the right beer based on your preferred taste. Tell them how you do beer and they will suggest your ale. Surely you will not be disappointed! However, be advised, there is no rush too. You can always take a seat and try a sampling of beers in their mini pints.

Empty Keg Craft Beer in Merritt BC

Love this menu! Photo by Tania Stewart

Beer, Snacks or Order In

Despite having their own snacks on hand, Empty Keg Brew House allows patrons to order out and bring it in. How cool is that! Yes, you can bring your lunch or dinner from another restaurant with you to the brew house and eat there plus order a beer. Having a pizza delivered to a place you are having a couple of drinks is a good example of community support at its finest. To boot,  Yaki Joe’s Pizza along with “Subway” are right next door.

Empty Keg &amp; Brew

House Snacks. Photo by Tania Stewart

Empty Keg & Friends

You have the craft beer. You ordered in some food. Now, the icing on the cake, the company you keep! Primarily Kyle, and Kelly along with their staff work hard to provide a lively atmosphere, full of laughs and therefore creating memories. It is an atmosphere ideal for friends to gather together for good times. 

Merrittkegbrew
Great family n friends. Photo by Tania Stewart

Empty Keg &amp; Brew Nicola ValleyAlways a “Fun” time!. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittnicolavalleyemptybrew

You never know who you may run into. Good people always make it better. photo by Tania Stewart.

More the Merrier

Fun Fact – Research has shown communicating with people face-to-face, one to one makes us more resilient to stress factors in the long run. Therefore, for me, surrounding myself with good friends and family has always made me feel grateful and lucky to have such good people in my life. 

enjoying a craft beer in merritt bc

Fun times with fun friends! Photo by Tania Stewart

Empty Keg & Brew here in Merritt BC.
Fun games to play! Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Bring the whole family for a fun time!

Children are permitted at the brew house. In fact, this may be the time to show your kids a real game! A game that you may have played in your childhood years. This is a place to have a family fun night out, order a pizza and play a board game, arcade game or even air hockey. After all who does not remember “Pac Man” and “Centipede?”

Emptykeg
Playing “Centipede” 80’s style. Photo by Tania Stewart
Brewhouse
Ricky trying to beat my score! Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

 

Empty Keg &amp; Brew Nicola Valley

Any takers? Challenge! image courtesy of Tania Stewart.

 

Merrittemptykeg
Board games for everyone. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Chess or Pac Man anyone? Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

 

Hockey Night in Empty Keg Brew House! Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart

Last Word

After all,  how amazing is it to have our very own brewery here in Merritt BC. Bring your family call your friends and leave your phone off. Just enjoy!  Kyle or Kelly also cater to private parties.

Drink Responsibly 

Empty Keg Brew House is a member of the BC Ale Trail. Part of the membership is ensuring their beers are promoted and enjoyed responsibly by those adults who choose to consume them for the continued prosperity of the craft beer industry in British Columbia.  

craft beer in merritt bc canada

Join the Fun! Photo by Tania Stewart

CONTACT US

Empty Keg Brew House

2190 Voght St, Merritt, BC V1K 1C1

1 (250) 315-2337

www.emptykegbrewhouse.ca

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Racing in the Nicola Valley with Merritt Printing

Merritt Printing plays many roles in the Nicola Valley supporting businesses and events

2020 has been hard on many business, and that is why more than ever it is important for all of us to support local small businesses

 

Racing in the Nicola Valley and Merritt Printing have both brought people together in Merritt BC and beyond for many years, not only to watch racing but in support of racing. Locals, out-of-towners and racers bring their family members and best buddies, some join the racers in the pits, most take a seat in the stands. All are reading and buying items printed by Merritt Printing. 

2020 has brought about many changes to the world, and it hasn’t spared anyone or anything.  Racing has been delayed or cancelled, fans are left out, all are waiting and hoping. The effects reach even further, it affects services and businesses all over town.

Racing in the Nicola Valley

Grass growing on track surface at Merritt Speedway 2020

Merritt Printing and Racing in Nicola Valley

You would not believe what just one business, like Merritt Printing, provides for Merritt Speedway.  Merritt Printing is located at 1951 Garcia St and is actually three businesses in one.

1951C Garcia St. – The Engraving and Sign Shop 

Merritt Printing

Some of the items Merritt Printing provides Merritt Speedway

The Merritt Printing engraving and sign shop designs, creates and manufactures items for many Nicola Valley businesses and events including awards, signs, custom decals, custom t shirts and cups, plus many other items. Then there are the  USB’s, key chains, shopping bags, buttons, the list goes on. As well, there is something we utilize a lot of at the track is 50/50 tickets.

Marketing Racing in the Nicola Valley

Services provided by the print shop to Merritt Speedway are sponsor signs, decals, magnets, bumper stickers, year end awards and championship jackets.  Plus all those signs that tell you what to and not to do, you know the ones.  A big seller at Merritt Speedway.

1951B Garcia St. – The Office Supply Store.

All your office needs are available here includes pens, pencils, art supplies, invoice books, paper, printer inks and toners. If it’s not in store, its only usually a day away, that’s pretty good for our little town.

Oh, and office furniture too, such as desks, chairs, filing cabinets, lamps, and more. 

1951A Garcia St. -The Print Shop

Merritt Printing in Nicola Valley

Printing jobs for Merritt Speedway

The services provided at the print shop are vast. The talented staff at the shop, can perform many jobs for your business and/or events.  Bring the item with you or email it in, it can be done. 

For simpler jobs like scanning and emailing projects, the staff is always available to assist and get it done. Bigger jobs like business cards, brochures, menus, custom invoice books, lock out tags and much, much more are designed and printed in house.

Laminating is another service provided by the print shop, whether it’s a pocket card or a two foot wide by six foot item, it is all possible at Merritt Printing. If in doubt, just ask!

Racing in the Nicola Valley Printing

The amount of paper printed for the track is surprising. Print jobs include membership & car registration forms, membership cards, schedule cards, rule books, and full colour race day programs.

Support Your Small Businesses in Merritt BC

Sadly, that is just one business of many that the Merritt Speedway utilizes and one that is not getting orders from the track this season. 2020 has been hard on many business, and that is why more than ever it is important for all of us to support local small businesses.

We want to keep these services in town, not lose them to out of town sources. Come and visit Merritt Printing, you will be surprised at the many services they are supplying Merritt businesses. Drop in to the sign shop and say hi to your local Experience Nicola Valley Blogger, moi. 

Shop Local Merritt, you’ll be glad you did.

Check out Merritt Printing

1951 Garcia St. Merritt B.C.  V1K 1B8  250-378-6808

website:   www.merrittprinting.ca     

email:  merrittprinting@telus.net   

www.facebook.com/MerrittPrinting/ 

 

Empty stands at Merritt Speedway

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