Winter Adventures in Merritt & Nicola Valley, BC, Canada

merritt centennials

MERRITT CENTENNIALS

LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY RUN FRANCHISE IN THE BCHL

THE CENTENNIALS ARE IMPORTANT TO MERRITT

Merritt Centennials: Like many small towns in Canada, hockey is a big deal in Merritt, BC, Canada during the winter.  We have a strong minor hockey system but the crowning glory of our town is the Merritt Centennials Hockey Cub.  In 1973 Pooley Brothers Construction formed a group that purchased the White Rock  Centennials and moved them to Merritt.

“It is simply amazing that this level of  hockey exists in Merritt”  Steve from Vancouver!

A long Tradition Begins

The team has gone through several different types of ownership groups, from private to not-for-profit societies.  Every time it seemed like the club would fold a white knight would appear and save the day.  The Pooley Group ran the club until the 1980-81 season when ownership transferred to a non profit community group.  During the Pooley years the club had some great success.

merritt centennials

Ownership Changes

With the financial struggles the club changed ownership and a group that included Merritt’s own Mr Hockey, Brian Barrett, took over the reins and the club was again in private ownership for the 86-87  season,  Ownership was consolidated for the 89-90 with Brian being a big part of the group.  In 94-95 the Sanders family and others took over the club.  By the 98-99 season the club changed hands again with Frank Biller (Erin Mortgage Corporation) being in charge. This was short lived but then our most famous owner, Tiger Williams, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks stepped in.  And finally, ownership returned to a public entity for the 00-01 season and has remained under this current format for the past 20 Seasons.

The Struggles

The population base for the club is approximately 15,000 people, of which 10,000 are adults.  In order for the club to succeed they need to sell 500 season tickets and have 275 walk ups each game. We need 7.5% of our eligible population to participate.  In contrast the Vancouver Canucks only need .5%.  We therefore need 15 times more of our population to participate.

Our small population also means our business base is not as big as larger centres so this source of funds is limited.  Having said that, the businesses that we do have go above and beyond with their support !

How have the Merritt Centennials survived

In the early years it wasn’t too difficult.  The losses were not too severe, therefore, the owners would kick in the shortfall and things would continue on.  But overtime the operational budgets grew and the losses grew to such an extent that owners could not justify this type of subsidy.

Inside the Arena-Julie Pollard Photo

In the 2000-2001 season a Board of Directors was put in place to guide the team financially.  This was an amazing group who put their heart and soul into this effort.  In 2003, given the expertise of the board, they decided to build a home on Nicola Lake and sell it for a profit. At the time the real estate market was hot and it looked like a large profit could be made.  Unfortunately, the boom did not last and in the end the project lost money.

 

The financial difficulties continued until a new board was elected   This group was made up of people associated with the forest industry.  They borrowed money from some of their members and were able to secure a community forest license which has helped keep the team afloat.

The new reality for the Merritt Centennials

For the Club the forest license has been great but it is not a forever thing, as such, the club needs to find other sources of revenue.  This is where you, the reader, comes in.  The Cents have an internet 50/50 draw that you can participate in.

You can get in on the action because each ticket only costs $2.00 to play.  With your purchase, that becomes your number and it stays in the contest even if you don’t renew it.  If you don’t renew it your number could still be drawn but you won’t get your share of the pot.  The pot as of January 6, 2020 is approximately $3400 of which your share would be $1700.  The draw is every Tuesday.

Currently the split between active tickets and those that have not been renewed is about 50%.  That means the pot has a very good chance to grow.  So if you want to take a whirl at this fun game you need to go to merrittcentennials.com and follow the links.

merritt centennials

Click logo to play

Contact Information

Merritt Centennials Junior A Hockey Club
PO Box 1730
Merritt BC V1K 1B8
Phone: (250) 378-3604

Centennials Game Schedule

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Hockey in Merritt

Merritt Centennials

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

Christmas in Merritt BC – Experience the Spirit

Creating a Float for the Merritt BC Parade

Experience the Building of a Christmas Float for Merritt BC’s Annual Parade.

When ever I think of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada the annual Merritt Christmas parade comes to mind. Ironically this event also marks the time I start my holiday shopping. Many of our local businesses start the shopping season with great roll backs, sales and discounts. Additionally they provide that small town personal service we all have come to enjoy from our community businesses. More importantly the support for our local businesses is paramount to their survival hence the #shoplocalmerritt hashtag on social media supported and promoted by ExperienceNicolaValley.com and ExperienceMerritt.com.

Come along with us as we experience Christmas by building a parade float for the 2019 Country Christmas Parade in Merritt BC.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Tourism Nicola Valley 2019 Christmas Float

Christmas in Merritt BC – “How” to create a float with ease

Indeed, to some, it may seem easy to create and build a ” Christmas Float”. In all honesty, it takes a lot of time, organization and a bit of preparation work. Furthermore you need a “Theme”.  Celebrating Christmas in Merritt BC includes the weather being a bit frosty so make sure you have a warm dry place on your float. Lucky for us Doug & Norma Mervyn donated one of their warm empty shops to build the float in, as well as, a flat-deck trailer to pull and create our holiday float.

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Trailer for our float.

 

In particular make sure you have a “Handy Man” on duty.

While you may have a grand picture of what the Christmas float may look like, the assembling of the float it is a whole different story. For starters, make sure you have an experienced carpenter to assist you in the construction of your Christmas Float. Importantly I suggest a mild mannered handyman who comes with his or her own tools.

Christmas in Merritt BC float

Handy man Bill Stewart.

Christmas Parade

Hard at work. Coffee break soon?

To illustrate organization is “Key.”

Notably along with a great theme, being organized is crucial. Above all make sure you know what kind of material you will be using. Organic, re-purposing, recycling or decorations purchased from local businesses in the Nicola Valley made up the bulk of our materials.

“A little “Hint” do not underestimate how many lights you will need,” Tania Stewart.

Experience Christmas Float

Warm shop courtesy of Doug Mervyn. Backroads Mini Storage.

“Without “Organization” you may get these expressions!” Tania Stewart

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

“You want to do what?”

Building floats is fun not stressful.

We started with Melvina White’s creative image she had for the outcome of the float. We added some very determined helpers to make sure it came together. However when ideas didn’t work out, no worry, we adjusted and worked it out as a team. Remember this is supposed to be fun, not stressful. Designing and constructing a float can be daunting. Gathering materials is one thing. Placement is key. A team of happy elves is essential.

“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Steve Jobs

Checking it once, checking it twice.

About Xmas

Notably the little touches are important. Historically the concept of “parade” is a direct descendant of the late Medieval and Renaissance revivals of Roman Triumphs. Parades had music and banners. The wagons were filled with the spoils of war.  Santa Claus being a descendant of Saint Nicholas became the highlight of the “parade”. Today we celebrate Christmas in Merritt BC with a Country Christmas Parade.

Merritt BC Christmas Float

It’s all about the Spirit of the Season.

Positioning of decorations is crucial. Experience Christmas Merritt BC

It is important that the spectators of a parade instantly know what organization or business you are representing. Minimize any need for guessing. Furthermore it introduces you to the public and what you have to offer to support the community.

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BCTourism Nicola Valley

Things to do in the Nicola Valley.

Tourism Nicola Valley

Placement of sign.

 

 

Above all make sure all the lights work!

Lights need to shine bright in the night. Notably a Christmas float can not have enough lights. Christmas lights (also known as fairy lights) are lights used for decoration in celebration of Christmas. To many it is symbolizing Christ as the light of the world. Moreover this custom goes back to when Christmas trees were decorated with candles. Borrowed from pagan yule rituals that celebrate the return of the light of the sun as the days grow longer after solstice. Christmas trees were introduced by Christians into their homes in early modern Germany.

Experience Christmas Merritt BC

Checking Lights.

Experience Christmas Float Merritt BC

Melvina White & Ricky making sure everything is in place.

 

 

Finally ready for the “Main Event”. Lining up for the Christmas Parade.

Of course one last check to make sure everything is in working order. Notably checking to see if anything was lost transporting float into town.

Looking Good!

Additionally a sweet car in the parade.

Whats a parade without Merritt’s Local tow truck?

Clean up Time.

Lastly you must clean up. Notably destruction of your float goes a lot quicker. Takes hours n hours to construct your float, while only half a day to dissemble it. Due to using recycled material we kept a lot of it for next year. While burning the cedar branches. Rather than filling our landfills.

Doug Mervyn.

Bill Stewart n Melvina White.

In conclusion.

Above all the spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC Canada can truly be experienced with family and friends. Coming together to create a float for our towns Parade. The true meaning of Christmas in Merritt BC is not what we get or what we spend. No, the true meaning of Christmas is coming together and enjoying each other’s time and creating lasting memories. Priceless!

Furthermore, it takes many people to put a float together including who pulls the float. Thank you to Valley Carriers who came to the rescue and towed our float.

 

Carrie Ware & Company Inc.

Spirit of Christmas in Merritt BC

Creating Float for Merritt BC Parade

 

Merritt Winter Attractions and Adventures

Top Winter Things To Do and Activities in Merritt BC

“… we have learned that Merritt BC Canada could very well become a top winter adventure destination in Canada!”

Merritt Winter Attractions! Yes, Merritt has many. As a result we have highlighted 5 Merritt winter attractions and adventures worthy of your time this season. In fact, Merritt winter adventures, is a hidden gem in British Columbia. However, people are beginning to take notice more and more with the increased search engine presence educating travelers on the first-class winter adventures available here in the Nicola Valley. Haven’t you heard?

“Merritt BC Canada is “Adventure Ready”!

Powder Winter Attractions

The Nicola Valley – with its vast wilderness backcountry forests, network of gravel roads and hundreds of lakes – is an ideal playground for enjoying snow and ice winter adventures. Most noteworthy our snow is generally light powder snow. What does that mean? It means it is easy to maneuver around in the snow making for good winter adventure conditions. As a result many regions in British Columbia experience fog, rain and clouds during the winter months… Merritt tends to see sunshine more than most.

“Merritt is a hidden gem for winter attractions and adventures. When the world learns what Merritt has to offer, winter enthusiasts will converge on this small winter wonderland in a heart beat.” Greg Girard

Experience Community Program

For just under 2 years I have had the opportunity to work with the many good people at Tourism Nicola Valley and in the community of Merritt, BC, Canada. Together we are building a stronger and more versatile 4-season tourism industry under the “Experience” brand. The “Experience Community” program is a very successful small and rural content marketing program we here, at eh Canada Travel, have introduced to the community on Merritt. Hence, now we have a group of positive and passionate locals participating in the marketing of their community through story telling and experiences via a living website and community blogsite.

“This has been the best thing that has happened in Merritt in the last 10 years!” Shelley Sanders – Canadian Country Music Heritage Society.

experiencemerritt

Creating Jobs In Merritt

We have learned that Merritt BC Canada could very well become a top winter adventure destination in Canada! Bold right! Well I believe it and many around me believe it too. A stronger Merritt winter attraction and adventure season has many benefits including establishing a consistent flow of new money into the community therefore supporting the current stores, accommodations, and restaurants… as well as, attracting new stores and services to the community. Consequently, there is that “creating jobs” thing too. That is pretty important. Where is the bad in that? There is none.

Learn Through Positive Partnerships

In working with the front line businesses in the community we have met so many good people and key stakeholders who have taught us so much about the Nicola Valley. Some of the associations we have been fortunate enough to work with include Tourism Nicola Valley, Vision Merritt,  Community Futures, Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, and Chamber of Commerce. Therefore, these are the groups we would recommend working with on any Merritt BC decision making process. It has been a positive experience working with them. They are really, the true ambassadors of Merritt BC Canada!

What To Know About Merritt Winter Attractions

The top winter things to do in Merritt BC, based on my humble opinion, are listed below. I have selected 5 Merritt winter attractions and adventures which will “Wow” your socks off. Included below are links which connect you to maps, tips, photos, videos, contact information and plenty of descriptive text. The links to the preferred Merritt resources below provide you everything you need to know to plan and book one of Merritt’s first-class winter attractions and adventures.

5 Merritt Winter Attractions and Adventures

merritt snowmobiling adventures

Another great snow day snowmobiling in the Nicola Valley

MERRITT SNOWMOBILING / SLEDDING

Throughout the Nicola Valley snowmobiling is getting a lot of positive press lately. Therefore more and more people are finding out about their little snowmobile retreat. In fact, Merritt sledding has made a few top magazines in British Columbia for snowmobiling.

“Sledding around Merritt is an adventure worth seeking out.” Snoriderswest.com 2016

The Merritt snowmobiling adventure destination most noteworthy in this region is the Coquilhalla back country. You have heard of the Coquihalla Highway but did you know the backcountry is a hot spot for snowmobiling? Likewise there are other sledding destinations in the region as well. Stoyoma, Honeymoon Lakes, Hooshum Ridge and, near by, Thynne Mountain (Brookmere) are considered worthy sledding destinations as well. If you want to ride steep and deep or enjoy a day of boondocking, you’ll find plenty of sledding action in and around Merritt and the Nicola Valley.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SLEDDING IN MERRITT.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

MERRITT CROSS COUNTRY SKIING

First of all remember these 2 words – Kane Valley. That is all you have to do to get your next xc ski fix in the Nicola Valley. Why is this important? Because cross country skiing in the Nicola Valley starts and ends on the Kane Valley xc ski trails. The valley has over 50 kilometres of groomed trails ideal for wilderness Nordic skiing. Consequently, the trails are well marked with signage, decorated with shelters (warming huts) and there are washrooms on site too.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CROSS COUNTRY SKIING IN MERRITT.

merritt snowshowing

What a great day to go winter hiking (a.k.a snowshoeing) in Merritt

MERRITT SNOWSHOEING

In our minds snowshoeing has always been a winter version of summer hiking. It is in many ways winter hiking. Likewise snowshoeing involves exploring the same summer trails but provides a winter perspective to the scenery. Personally, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your adventures through a seasonal lens. Finally snowshoeing trails are available in the Kane Valley region of the Nicola Valley. Plan properly, and one can also snowshoe the vast network of hiking trails and gravel roads available in the backcountry.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SNOWSHOEING IN MERRITT.

merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley

MERRITT ICE FISHING

If you are new here, there is one thing you should know. Throughout the Nicola Valley there are over 200+ lakes! Yes, you heard me right, 200. As a result the word is getting out that you can ice fish, “A lake a day for as long as you stay” when visiting Merritt BC. Merritt ice fishing season starts in mid-December as the colder weather sets in and 6 inches of hard ice covers the lakes. And… do not forget to get your fishing licence.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ICE FISHING IN MERRITT.

courthouse gallery merritt

Paintings on display at the Courthouse Gallery in Merritt

MERRITT WINTER ENTERTAINMENT

After the days filled with enjoying our first class Merritt winter attractions and adventures you deserve some quality down time. What better way to enjoy the nights than by attending some of our great entertainment venues and dining establishments. Certainly one of the many pubs, restaurants, open mics, spas, junior hockey game, live music, art galleries, and/or community events will entertain you and your group. Hence why Merritt is a good host day and night. Therefore the community will keep you active and entertained during your winter vacation here in the Nicola Valley.
CLICK TO MEET OUR ENTERTAINMENT ATTRACTIONS IN MERRITT.

Top Winter Things To Do In Merritt BC Canada

Best Merritt Winter Adventures

Winter Hiking in Merritt, Experience  Nicola Valley

Hiking in the winter around Merritt BC.

Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you.

 

Winter Hiking in Merritt BC, is truly a beautiful experience. Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you.  People of all ages and abilities can enjoy higher levels of health and wellness when they have access to nature in Canada. As a result there are health benefits including lowering risk of heart disease, obesity, stress, depression and strokes. Hiking in the winter with or without snow is my true pleasure while living in Merritt BC Canada.

Hiking in Merritt BC

Hiking in Merritt is a “Winter Wonderland”.

Because of what “Mother Nature” can provide us. Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Accordingly “Nature” inspires a lifestyle of personal well-being while respecting and learning to live in harmony with as little impact or damage to your surroundings. Being encouraged to practice habits that will promote a healthy environment in the “now” as well as in the future. Respecting all living things, animals, trees, vegetation, local biodiversity, water, while we enjoy and Experience  Nicola Valley. 

experiencemerritt

Hiking in Merritt BC

Backyard Trails. Great for hiking in Merritt BC.

Getting the “blues” during winter in Merritt BC?

In addition to lowering levels of  winter depression. Getting out and enjoying nature can reduce stress providing better coping skills for every-day life events. Physical activities which involve nature will promote personal healthy connections that benefits both your health while respecting our ecological environment and the impact we have on it.

 

Hiking in Merritt

Hiking Trails.

Never Fear Trails are Near.

Behind the Bench in Merritt BC you will find a network of trails. Just starting? No worries, there are many low impact trails that allow you to choose how far and how long you go. As you progress you can climb higher with trails based on your ability. Hiking these trails in the winter are extraordinary. You feel that your out in the middle of no-where, but literally still within distance of the City.

 

Nicola Valley winter hiking.

Hiking trails near you.

As demonstrated I myself love to “Hike” the trails behind my house on the Bench in the Winter. Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Outward bound in the wilderness. Silence with nature.

I live to hike in the “WinterTania Stewart.

One with nature.

 

Amid the Beauty of the Forest.

Experience winter hiking in Merritt

Merritt BC. outdoors.

Alongside I also have my family join me.

Ricky Mervyn.

Taniaphotos

Jordan.

At the same time your family’s trusted “Friend” will love it.

Merritt has many outdoor parks, a dog park, numerous walking trails, and skate board/ bike park. Participating in outdoor activities provides a personal health wellness that has numerous health benefits. It provides energy, vitality and a greater respect for our natural resources’ and how we can ensure its protection for our children and generations to access and enjoy its splendor. Additionally taking your dog out can be a safety measure.

 

The one and only “Tank”

Windy Canyon Merritt BC.

Across from old Tolko site there is a narrow canyon ascending to the south from the old Middlesbourgh town site at Merritt.  Merrittonian Kevin Griffiths states that this is a historical site that once was home to an industrial coal operation before the 1st World War. Within 15min of hiking you will be transformed into a secret place. True to its name, you will feel and hear the wind as you explore this unique hidden Canyon. Ideally a great place to hike in to during winter months.

 

Windy Canyon. Merritt BC.

Photo by Kevin Griffiths.

Turn technology off for a day. Have one on hand for emergencies. Get out doors with your family. Exercise take a 20min walk around the block or a 2hr hike in the hills.

 

Walk the trails.

Have a seat.

In the woods.

 

 

Furthermore Hiking In the Nicola Valley.

Experiencing The Nicola Valley and all it has to offer including breathtaking beauty, and numerous outdoor activities is why we are lucky to live here. As well as all of the public parks which are easily accessible. Not to mention the mountain trails which are literally in our back yard. But being aware of the limits to our natural resources still has a place. Think of yourself as an Ambassador of Merritt, you are representing your community

 

Outdoor tracks.

Tracking in the snow is easier while hiking in Merritt.

In proximity to Merritt BC is Monck Park.

Hiking in the Nicola Valley

Winter hiking in the Nicola Valley.

Monck Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada, located at Nicola Lake. There is a 5 km self-guided interpretive hiking trail that loops around the park. There is a  1.3 km trail to the east of the existing upper trails best accessed from the upper end. Sections of this trail are steep and require caution. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. No short-cutting! Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit.

 

In the distance there is Kentucky Lake.

A 4 km hiking trail navigates the outer perimeter of Kentucky Lake, and it takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. The trail has minimal elevation and provides different vantage points of the beautiful lake as you walk around it. The hike is kid-friendly and is a great hike for families. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit.

40 min from Merritt BC. Canada.

As indicated “Nature” inspires a lifestyle of personal well-being.

Altogether winter hiking in Merritt BC, is truly a beautiful experience. Not only is the scenery beautiful, it’s healthy for you. Physical activities which involve nature will promote personal healthy connections that benefits both your health while you and your kids will have a good sleep! Experience Nicola Valley.

 

Walking in the snow.

Take a night walk.

Winter Hiking in Merritt BC.

Experience Nicola Valley hiking our winter trails in Merritt BC Canada

Nicola Valley Mountainboarding

Merritt, BC, Canada Extreme Sports

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

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

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

Merritt is mountainboarding country

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

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

Youth mountainboarding

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

Brayden mountainboarding near LundbomLake

Setting up your gear

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

Mountainboarding 101

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

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

Mountainboarding in the Nicola Valley.

Looking for mountain boarding runs

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

Mountainboarding in Merritt British Columbia Canada

 

Places To Stay In Merritt BC

Best Western Plus – Merritt Accommodations 

“The Best Western Plus is the newest and largest hotel throughout the Nicola Valley and one of the top places to stay in Merritt BC Canada. “

Places to stay in Merritt BC

The Best Western foyer welcomes all guests to the Nicola Valley

Places to stay in Merritt BC Canada. From the minute I stepped into the foyer to the minute I checked out, my stay at the Best Western Plus, Merritt BC Canada hotel was a 5 star experience. The vibrant and stylish decor made for a welcoming front entrance and lounge area. Danica,  greeted me at the Best Western front desk with a warm smile and conversation, as she performed a seamless check in. It was off to my room and in no time I knew this was the right place to stay in Merritt BC Canada for me at this time.

Hotel Places To Stay In Merritt BC 

The Best Western Plus, Merritt BC is the newest and largest hotel throughout the Nicola Valley. Enjoy your stay in your choice of a one or two bedroom suite, single/double room or pet room. All rooms have high-speed wireless internet, 43 inch LED televisions with On Demand movies and single serve coffee and tea makers. 

General Manager Anoop Sekhon shared with me his thoughts as well, 

“The Sekhon family takes  pride in giving first class service and offering high end accommodations to all our valued customers.” 

In my experience, this definitely holds true!

Last Minute Hotel Goodies

If you forget something, don’t worry. Do what I did. Drop by the Snack Bar located next to the reception desk and pick up what you need. I noticed it was open 24 hours a day and sold a variety of items including juices, soft drinks, yogurt, chips, candy, and assorted personal care items. I loaded up and headed back to my room. Obviously, at this time, it was the right hotel for me out of all the places to stay in Merritt BC. 

Comfy Quarters 

My room had all the comforts of home – comfortable bed, fluffy pillows, warm comforter, and plush towels. Even the hand cream was worth writing home about! The best feature is how quiet the room was – something I can honestly say is not a feature in most hotels.

Merritt B.C. Canada accommodations

Comfy beds!

Complimentary Full Breakfast 

There is nothing like a good breakfast to start your day and the Best Western Plus, Merritt BC serves up a meal fit for a King! The hot entree’s were impressive indeed. There was bacon, sausage, eggs, waffles, toast, muffins, bagels and pastries!  Also there were continental breakfast items such as yogurt, fresh fruit, juices, coffee and tea. And many more items to suit most dietary needs.

Places to stay  in Merritt, B.C., Canada Hotels

Dining and lounge area

The breakfast/lounge area is a great gathering room any time of day. Pockets of varied seating are great for visiting, reading or just watching TV. It is by far the largest breakfast/lounge area I have ever seen in any of the places to stay in Merritt BC Canada.

Best Western Plus, Merritt BC Amenities

All guests get to enjoy these features:

  • Large, complimentary parking areas
  • Pets welcome
  • Meeting/banquet facilities
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Fitness centre
  • Terrace
  • Non-smoking property
  • Business centre
  • Laundry
  • Dry cleaning
  • Facilities for disabled guests
  • Family rooms
  • Elevators
  • Indoor pool & hot tub
  • Soundproof rooms
  • Fax/photocopying
  • Non-smoking throughout
  • Air conditioning
  • Designated smoking area
  • Special diet menus (on request)
  • Vending machine (drinks)
  • Vending machine (snacks)
  • Shared lounge/TV area
  • Mini-market on site
  • Daily maid service
  • Electric vehicle charging  Tesla stations
  • Accessible parking
Best Western Merritt BC

Time for a swim

Nearby Places To Eat in Merritt BC 

With a wide variety of restaurants and lounges located nearby, guests never have to go far for a good meal.

Pet Friendly Places To Stay In Merritt

Pets are not just accepted at this hotel, they are welcomed! Of all the places to stay in Merritt BC Canada, the Best Western Plus is a winner at planning well thought out rooms for pet stays! Pet rooms have two entrances – one leading to the lobby and the second to the outdoors. Indeed this is the best hotel I have stayed at with my dog Bailey!!  

Pet Friendly Hotel Merritt B.C.

Bailey guarding his doggy treats!

Hotel Conference Rooms For Large Groups

This Merritt BC Canada hotel accommodation is ideal for business professionals and for hosting large group functions by way of their professional meeting and conference facilities. The Sagebrush Room can accommodate up to 65 people.  It is ideal for meetings, social functions or events. 

Pet Friendly Hotel Merritt B.C.

3969 Crawford Ave.

Merritt, B.C.

Local # 250-378-0700

Book Today: Best Western Website

Best Western Plus, Merritt B.C.

Just one of many places to stay in Merritt BC Canada

 

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

Merritt, not just for summer

There is no better way to spend a winter day than to get out and enjoy what there is to offer with your family.

There are so many winter activities around Merritt BC. You don’t have to wait until summer to come on vacation and enjoy what there is to offer here.

I’d like to take you through some of my favorite winter activities around Merritt, BC. As I go through them you will notice that some will over lap with others because it’s so easy to incorporate more than one at a time. Can’t get any better than that.

Snowmobiling

There are a number of excellent places around Merritt to go snowmobiling. I personally love to take off to some of the different lakes like Helmer, Nicola or Mamit. We love to take the kids out and do some snowmobiling on the frozen lakes. Gives them a place to have fun in wide open spaces.

You can also get a hold of the Merritt Snowmobile Club. There are a number of trails that they look after that would be great to check out.

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

Ice Fishing

Another one of my favorite winter activities around Merritt BC is ice fishing. There are some really great lakes to go to including Mamit, Nicola, Marquart, Hamilton and Helmer. I am looking forward to checking out a lot more of the lakes in the coming years.

ice fishing hole, drilling, winter fun

Drilling down

ice fishing on Merritt, BC lakes

Line in – soon – fish on

Combine Activities

The best part about getting into some of these lakes is that you get to combine winter activities around Merritt by snowmobiling into the lake to ice fish. There have been many times we have packed up gear and the kids and taken off the for the day. We love going out and having a campfire to roast hotdogs while we ice fish and snowmobile around the lake. Its a great way to spend the day with your family.

snowmobiling Merritt BC lakes

Big boys turn at the snowmobiling.

A few more winter activities around Merritt, BC

X-Country Skiing

X-country skiing is a great winter activity and is also great exercise as well. Kane Valley has some great groomed trails for all levels of skiers.

learning to x-country skiing family fun at Kane Valley

Alisha learning to x-country ski. She did great her first time out.

If your more into adventures and breaking your own trail, you could check out Lundbom or Marquart lakes. Blazing a trail from one to the other or over the beautiful open country side would be a great trip. You could also take your skis with you when you snowmobile out to the lakes and go on a ski from the lake. So many different combinations of winter activities around Merritt BC.

x-country skiing Kane Valley Merritt BC

Michelle Bacon enjoying winter activities around Merritt, BC

Tobogganing

Now here is a fun winter activity the whole neighborhood can enjoy and believe me we do. A great place to get together and do this is towards Lundbom lake. There is some amazing hills to toboggan down and family’s usually start a fire and roast hotdogs and make hot chocolate. It’s such great day.

Do you love skating?

Another awesome winter activity around Merritt, BC is pond skating. There are a number of lakes and ponds that are set up to do this. Although I haven’t actually had the opportunity to try it, I have seen people having  what looks like a lot of fun out skating and playing hockey on the lakes. Logan Lake has a couple rinks set up and I have also seen people on anther lake towards Kamloops where a girl was figure skating and doing some pretty amazing twirls and jumps. My camera would have been great to have.

I really love all the winter activities around Merritt, BC.  I hope that you will also make the trip here and enjoy the Nicola Valley in the winter. We have so much to offer no matter what  time of year it is.

Bird or Wildlife Watching

Bird watching is a fun activity around Merritt in the winter. You can take the trails along the river around Merritt. Or check out some of the bird sanctuaries in the area. Along some of your drives you might want to keep your eyes open for other wildlife as well. Heading towards Mamit Lake you may get a glimpse of the wild horses. And at the lakes where you are ice fishing you may be treated to the bald eagles.

wild horses, merritt bc

Wild horses along highway 97C towards Mamit Lake from Merritt.

bald eagle ice fishing Nicola Valley

Bald eagle waiting to see if it will get a gift of some fish from people ice fishing.

Check out Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers for more great blogs, activities and places to eat and stay in and around the Nicola Valley.

Winter Activities around Merritt, BC

Campfire Fun in Wintery Merritt

Bonfires and campfires throughout the Nicola Valley

“Not long after the snowball fight started and the laughter and happy shrieks of the girls had us laughing right along.”

There’s something magical about winter campfires in the Nicola Valley, B.C. in the falling snow. Warming up with it’s glowing heat, while enjoying time with friends and family. Roasting marshmallows and having hot chocolate or an adult bevvy. Watching the kids faces light up as they make their marshmallow just right for them. I lucked out this last boxing day, with a light snow falling, great friends, and cold beers.

Campfire in Winter

Fire in the snow

I had an urge for a fire and invited a good friend and his daughters out to enjoy with me. I got the fire started and had it roaring and hot for when they got here. It kept us toasty warm as we gabbed about Christmas and the girls told me about their presents. They were enjoying so much that they even left their phones alone. Inspired by the winter campfires fun in the Nicola Valley, I got out the roasting sticks and marshmallows and they were soon competing to have the best marshmallow. Not long after the snowball fight started and the laughter and happy shrieks of the girls had us laughing right along.

 

Family and friends

 

One of the best things about living in a small community is how quickly you get to know people, neighbours soon become friends. We were soon joined by other residents wanting to join in on the fun and warmth. Winter campfires in the Nicola Valley helped smiles and laughter come easily, when surrounded by good people and nature’s beauty. http://www.moonshadows.ca

 

Mental illness to mental wellness

 

I myself live with anxiety, but regularly find myself turning to a relaxing evening with a fire. The elements have always had a calming effect on my mind and I love getting lost in the dancing flames. The trees, earth, sound of the river, combined with the fire, bring my mind to a place of ease and contentment. Mix all that in with amazing people, and I am one real happy camper ( pun intended ). campmyway.com

Firetime fun

Happy fires

I feel very fortunate to live and be able to share in these beautiful surroundings and moments here in the Nicola Valley hosting my winter campfires.

 

Life truly is good around a winter campfire

 

Neighbours and friends have helped to make our communal fire pit safe and welcoming for all. Everyone knows that if you see my fire lit, to feel more than free to come down and join in. For my friends in town I send out a few texts and let the fun begin. We have stumps out and a couple picnic tables to accommodate all that want to join me. For me there’s nothing better than good company to truly enjoy an evening. When it gets damp, I get the stumps around the edge so they dry out and get warm for tushies. I try to make sure everyone that joins my fires are as comfortable as possible. I want everyone to feel at home with me, and enjoy as much as I do.

“Always warm and inviting. “ Stewart Nutbrown

 

Gathering wood

Firewood to be

I’m not normally a big fan of winter, but with campfires available I’m enjoying this one to the utmost.

With the help of other campers, we’ve got ourselves a great load of firewood that I’ve begun to split. Hard work, but so worth it. Gathering and splitting wood keeps me warm, and in great shape. Going out to different spots in the Nicola Valley with the guys was a ton of fun. The catcalls and teamwork were at their best. Hanging with the guys brings out the rude, yet fun comments and jibes. Thankfully I’ve always hung out and enjoyed male friends, so I’m able to join right in with the banter.

 

Gathering campfire wood with Lance Brown in the Nicola Valley

Depending on the type of wood I’m using, ie; split or branches, is how I build my fire. With twigs and branches I tend to do a teepee style, split wood I go with log cabin. How do you start your fires?

I like to start my fires before the sun sets, so that I have good light. The awe inspiring sunsets definitely have me out there early too, so I can enjoy the view full of purples, pinks, reds, and oranges with a hot fire at my back. My 16 year old son loves pointing them out to me for us both to enjoy. With views that inspire the soul, I can’t imagine anywhere more beautiful than the Nicola Valley. White snow covered hills in winter or layers of gold in summer.

Muse for fires

Sunset sky

 

 

 

My friends daughters got to enjoy making some Christmas memories on a perfect snowy night. I know I’ll never forget it right here in the Nicola Valley with winter campfires.

 

 

 

Wildfire campfires in the Nicola Valley and Merritt, BC

Wilderness Trails in Merritt, BC Canada

XC Skiing in the Nicola Valley BC Canada

“Kane Valley is a winter paradise of pine and aspen, so any trail you choose will transition through these magical woodlands.”

Skiing in the Kane Valley is something no one should miss! Even the coldest days here are appealing to the outdoor adventurer. When the snow flies, ideal skiing conditions can be found almost anywhere in Canada. The forests and terrain surrounding Merritt are no exception. The Nicola Nordic Ski Club is based in Merritt, BC. and maintains the Kane Valley Ski Trails. The Kane Valley lies twenty minutes south of Merritt. It’s an hour west of Peachland and an hour north of Princeton. A Nordic experience at Kane Valley is an ideal day trip. You can enjoy the area for days, because 50km of fantastic classic skiing on wilderness groomed trails provide ample diversity

Things to do in Merritt BC Canada

Radiant in the sunshine

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Winter Paradise

Kane Valley is a winter paradise of pine and aspen, so any trail you choose will transition through these magical woodlands. The creeks, lakes, and snow meadows you pass add to the beauty. Also, mule deer, moose, elk and brown bears are not unheard of in the area, but the most stunning wildlife diversity here are the birds. There are Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Great Horned Owls to name just a few. The Nicola Naturalist Society, along with the Kamloops Naturalists, is responsible for monitoring the Douglas Lake Plateau IBA (Important Bird Area). There’s nothing quite like a Kane Valley wilderness ski trail to take you away from the grind of the big city.

Just Around the Corner!

things to do in Merritt BC Canada

After a heavy snowfall

Merritt is only 270 km from downtown Vancouver, 127 km from Kelowna, and only 87 km from Kamloops. So it’s a natural choice for a true wilderness experience. Why not plan a trip that includes more than one cross country ski experience? You can, because Merritt fits right in with a stop at Stake Lake, just outside of Kamloops, the China Ridge trails in Princeton, or Highland Valley in Logan Lake.

Apres Ski

Cross-country skiing works up an appetite, so I always appreciate a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea waiting for me in the car, but there are lots options to dine in Merritt. There are many coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants to satisfy your cravings. Visit Merritt’s restaurants and pubs, but don’t forget to check out the local bicycle and cross-country ski shop, Breathe Bikes, because while you’re eating lunch they can wax your skis!

Merritt, BC Canada is Mild!

Worried about the cold? Don’t be, because the bone-chilling temperatures of a Canadian winter are an guilty (un?)-pleasure in Merritt, since they don’t exist! Merritt, BC is one of the mildest regions of Canada, as temperatures hover between zero and fifteen degrees below celcius, for the majority of the winter months. You can count on dressing light. It always pays to bring along an extra layer, but when skiing in Kane Valley, you will typically find that you’ve worn one too many! I wear three layers on my torso, beginning with a long-sleeved thermal. The middle layer varies according to what “extreme” temperature we are enjoying. If it’s at the colder end, the second layer is a long-sleeved fleece. If it’s at the warmer end, the middle layer is a breathe-able short-sleeved t-shirt. The outer layer is a breathe-able shell.

Things to do in Merritt BC Canada

Where’s Bugs?

Beauty and Joy

Nordic skiing provides a connection to mother nature. As a youth, I skied Little Red River Park trails in Prince Albert, and many other Saskatchewan trails, but now I am lucky enough to enjoy the quiet beauty of the wilderness experience of Kane Valley. In every place I’ve skied, I can recall moments of stillness that ground the soul, accompanied by the welcome chill of a light winter wind. I remember the rhythmic sound of a friend or family member’s skis gliding over the falling snow, as I gazed through the sheltering boughs of hundreds of years of forest growth. If that were not enough, it is a near perfect form of exercise and a great family activity!

 

Things to do in Merritt, BC Canada

​Country Christmas Week Here in Merritt, BC!

Country Christmas delivers fun and community spirit…

​With a Festival of Trees, a Community Choir event, the Love to Dance Performance, our fabulous Christmas Parade, and shopping til midnight!

“We keep having to paint more little festive canvases as people buy them right off the tree!​”

Country Christmas

Tiny Painted Canvas Decorations

Our Country Christmas week is spectacular! It takes place during the last week of November and is one of the best things to do in Merritt.

My own experience started a few days before the week of celebration with the arrival of our tree at the Courthouse Gallery. For several years the Festival of Trees has involved an inspired number of businesses and non-profit groups. The groups each decorate a tree in their own fashion, from classic to creative, 

This means we have trees decorated with hockey pucks, ballet slippers, and peacock feathers-and everything in between. One year I decorated our Pop Up Shop tree with little dolls and teddy bears (all with sparkle halos on their heads) and rainbow feather boa garlands.

Festival of Trees

Country Christmas

Festival of Trees Past at CMHF

For the first years of Country Christmas, all the trees were set up on the main street of town, in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. It’s a beautiful building with hard wood floors, high ceilings, and western-style chandeliers. The venue attracted locals and visitors from neighboring towns to see our Festival of Trees.

This year for the Festival of Trees event, all the decorated trees are spread out around the town, and people head out to do the tree tour. We adorned our tree at the Courthouse Gallery with tiny canvases, painted by local artists and interested Creatives. We keep having to paint more little canvases as people are buying them right off the tree! And all the money supports the Gallery.

Love to Dance Performance

Country Christmas

Love to Dance “Museum of Art”

This year, for the Country Christmas festivities, the Love to Dance Academy​ presented “Museum of Art”. Dance teachers Lizette Nel and Vanessa van Rensburg choreographed the dances which involved dancers of all ages, from adorable tots to graceful seniors. 

Herman Nel looked after the creation of the sets designed by Vanessa and Lizette, as well as the lights and music. Over a hundred colourful and gorgeous costumes and dresses were designed and sewn by talented members of the Merritt Dance Society. And there were plenty of volunteers, parents and dance lovers, who helped pull off the beautiful event. 

The two-hour long performance was presented at both an afternoon matinee, with classes of children arriving on school buses, and a stellar evening performance. 

Michelle Etchart, local songstress, performed two moving pieces while dancing continued around her. 

Country Christmas

Michelle Etchart

The night performance was captured on video, with CD’s available. I attended the matinee, and will be sure to acquire the evening performance CD. Worth watching again! And kudos to all those involved, with special recognition to the dancers showing such professionalism in putting on the two events in the same day!

Thanks to the Love to Dance Academy!

Christmas Concert!

Talk about things to do in Merritt! The night after the dance performances, several choirs and singing groups, duos, and soloists, provided a soul-satisfying musical evening to a large crowd at the Merritt Civic Center. (That’s the farthest away from the doors I have ever had to park in my many years of Merritt living!) 

Country Christmas

Merritt Community Band

The Merritt Community Band was there, the Community Choir, and more…

Also, Cecilia Dyck and Caitlyn Stephanie Walsh played piano duets, the four Snees entertained, and Michelle Etchart again performed with her spot on renditions.

And not only did the groups and soloists perform their own pieces, but the collaborations amongst them, and even the audience, brought the community together in inspired evening of music.

Well done! Bravo!

Then the Santa Parade…

I have heard that our Santa Parade is the largest in the world! The country? Our province? Well, I’ll wait to be informed properly but I do think the Nicola Valley Santa Parade is one of the best things to do in Merritt!

​The Merritt Country Christmas Santa Parade’s success shows what stuff our community is made of. We are tough, determined, hard working, creative, and ready to have fun…and all in support of our businesses and organizations.

And this year’s parade tested all of those qualities because it started to rain as the parade entries were lining up, started to pour as it got going, and the rain didn’t quit until near the end, when big fat snowflakes started to fall. People knew they’d get soaked, but they didn’t stay home. The floors of the shops, open for business until midnight after the parade, had puddles from the rain soaked customers….

Check out the photos of the rainy event on Merritt Herald‘s online coverage.

Open Mic Night, one more thing to do in Merritt during our Country Christmas week!

Country Christmas

Donna Dixon, a regular at Open Mic night

On the Friday night of the Santa Parade, I jut got wet running out to my car, and then dashing in to Kekuli Cafe. We put on a special Open Mic night that night! And we watched the rain come down, then the snow, and then mopped up the puddles that our audience left on the cafe floor when they poured in after the parade and settled in to the cozy venue.

 Mugs of hot coffee, tea, and hot chocolate were in high demand! And we invited our musicians to warm up the crowd. Al and Denise, Robert Bertrand, Willard Wallace, Quade Lindgren, Jim West…

And regulars like Doug and Donna Dixon were there to enjoy the live music.

It was a special Country Christmas 2018

Pouring rain during our Santa Parade only adds to the memories!

I hope there are always Country Christmas planners and volunteers. This week is a highlight in our community. It gets all of us who participate in any way, from young to old, in the mood for the holiday season, whatever our beliefs. We come together, show off our talents, have fun, support each other and are inspired to be thankful for each other. 

So kudos to the people in our community who plan Country Christmas, who put on the events, and who participate in them to make them all worthwhile. 

Let’s recognize each other for the contributions to community that Country Christmas brings!

Country Christmas

Painted Canvases on our Gallery tree

Now, does anyone want to come to the Courthouse Gallery to paint a little canvas for our tree? I found some empty spaces again! All welcome!

And you can wave to the LTD dancers while you are there. We share the Courthouse space.

Life as I know it, Jano Howarth

Creative Community

Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

 

 

 

Country Christmas

Phyllis Laage’s Tree Decoration