Winter Adventures in Merritt & Nicola Valley, BC, Canada

Outdoor Winter Activities

Adventures for the Family in the Nicola Valley

Winter activities enjoyed by all 

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

Winter Outdoor Activities

Nicola Valley. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Outdoor Winter Activities Like Footprint Tag

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

Foot print tag. Photo courtesy of Sheldon Quewezance.

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

Golfing in the Winter Snow 

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

Winter Bocce Ball 

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

merrittBC

Bocce Ball.

Outdoor Curling Rink?

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

outdoorwinteractivities.

Outdoor curling rink. Photo courtesy of Pixel.

Other Winter Outdoor Activities

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

Winter Outdoor Activities.

Scavenger Hunt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merrittwinteractivities.

Winter Games. Photo by Tania Stewart.

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

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

 

Feeling Artistic?

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

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

More Outdoor Winter Activities

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

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing Nicola Valley.

merritt ice fishing

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

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

Ice skating and Pond Hockey.

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

Merritt Cross Country Skiing 

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

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

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

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

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

Perfect Stargazing outside Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing 

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

merritt snowshoeing

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

While there is always “Skijoring”

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

Horse Skiing. Photo “YouTube”

 
In Conclusion it is “Fun”

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

Winter Outdoor Activities.

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

Merritt, BC, Canada

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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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nicola valley talk show

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“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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Winter Activities in Merritt BC

Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley

Getting outdoors and enjoying the crisp cold air is exhilarating to say the least.

Winter activities in Merritt BC – Albeit we all want to hunker down during the winter months and hibernate, sit back and wait for spring. Truth be told Winter is one of my favourite seasons to become more active and enjoy Outdoor Winter Activities in the Nicola Valley. Although nothing compares to swimming in a lake in the summer, ice fishing on that very lake in the winter is an “AHA moment”. Winter Activities in Merritt BC is an outdoors enthusiasts dream scape. Here in the Nicola Valley there is a winter activity for everyone to enjoy. Get outside and Experience Nicola Valley!

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Snowshoeing in Merritt.

 Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain – Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada.

Let us begin with cross-country skiing and snowshoe winter activities in Merritt BC.

Importantly and ideally the best place is” Kane Valley” for xc skiing and snowshoeing. It is only located 18 kms south of Merritt, BC, Canada. ExperienceMerritt.com points out that the Kane Valley enjoys a base elevation of 1160 metres (3800 feet). The timbered valley has a micro-climate that can provide ideal Nordic skiing conditions. The snow is generally dry, seldom more than 1 to 1.5 metres deep, and the air temperature is usually between 0 and -15 degrees Celsius throughout the winter. The best winter access to the ski areas is along the Kane Valley road which joins Highway 5A/97C near Corbett Lake, 18 kilometers south of Merritt. 

Winter Activities in the Nicola Valley.

Cross country skiing Kane Valley. Photo by

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

Snowshoes are welcome also at Kane Valley. Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley.

Snowshoeing winter style. Photo by Bonnie Kittle.

Furthermore with Covid19 and self-distancing there has been an increase with people getting back outdoors and enjoying nature. Albeit cross-country skis can be cumbersome to younger children, snowshoes are much easier to navigate and you will forget you are wearing them.  

Now let us look at Snowmobiling. Outdoor Winter Activities in The Nicola Valley.

Snowmobiling is an outdoor winter activity everyone can enjoy in The Nicola Valley. While experiencing the crisp air and boundless trails. Snowmobiling in the surrounding  Nicola Valley is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. Snowmobiling in Merritt BC can be the ride of your life, as stated by EH Canada Travel.

“Come and experience a snowmobiling paradise in Merritt BC, Canada. From rolling hills, groomed trails to immense peaks our snow-covered landscapes offer a variety of snowmobiling adventures for all ages, abilities and desires.”

snowmobiling on Helmer Lake

One of the great winter activities around Merritt, BC.

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain - Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada

Snowmobiling on Tyme Mountain – Winters in Merritt, BC, Canada.

Ice Fishing truly an Outdoor Winter Activity in The Nicola Valley.

Ice fishing is not for the weak at heart. In other words having to deal with the wind, cold, wet feet and even picking the wrong drilling spots can be trying for some. However, ice fishing is a winter delight for many who enjoy fishing as a hobby. This is an activity anyone can enjoy, whether being a beginner or a pro. On the other hand, when the fish are not biting, make it a family day of fun with a hotdog roast and gooey smores. Lastly, make sure to check the depth of the ice. Safety is key! Need more information on ice fishing, go to “Getting Started for Ice Fishing.

Where to Ice Fish in the Nicola Valley?

Nicola Lake located 13km from Merritt is a favourite for ice fishing. Chicken Ranch Lake, another lake, offers great fishing for Brook Trout. The fish average in size around 1 lb but can reach up to 3 to 4 lbs. Alleyne Lake (near Merritt) fishes Kokanee. Generally speaking ice fishing usually starts in mid December as the colder weather brings over 6 inches of hard ice. Along with the fish still feeding because of the high oxygen levels in the water. Ideal ice fishing time!

Photo courtesy of Freshwater Fisheries Society.

What about Tobogganing? Truly a Winter Activity enjoyed in Merritt BC.

Surely one of the best tobogganing is just before Lundbom Lake. With easy access for cars this is an ideal place with some amazing hills to toboggan down. It is an outdoor adventure with a picnic. A historical fact – the toboggan was originally used as transportation by the Inuit and First Nations groups of Canada. Moreover do not forget the hot chocolate! 

Star Gazing outdoor winter activities in The Nicola Valley.

Star Gazing during the winter months in the Nicola Valley is ideal. Because it is a smaller community there is little-to-no light pollution to cover the stars at night. In effect the Nicola Valley is one of the best location for avid star gazers. Thus if you are a pro star gazer or a beginner this is your destination place.  

Star Gazing. Photo by Alessandro Viaro.

Winter Activities in Merritt.

Photo courtesy of Calwaen Liew.

Winter Activities in Merritt BC.

Winter Moon. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Even more there is Winter Hiking! 

Hiking Kentucky Lake.

Okay now let us talk about winter time hiking. Merritt is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains with an abundance of mountain trails. Makes for an ideal spot for all levels of hiker’s who like a challenge or just a hour stroll.

In addition the Nicola Valley offers trails that wrap around majestic lakes. Check out Kentucky Lake which offers a scenic hike around it’s lake. Assuredly the Nicola Valley has a wide variety of hiking trails available for all hiking abilities. Iron Mountain located just off highway 97C,  enjoys a 4k trek to the top. Worth the views.

Winter Hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Hiking trails in Merritt. Photo courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Tom Lacey Memorial Trail. Located close to downtown Merritt. Truly a fun family hike. Then there is Sugarloaf Mountain which starts at Lundbom Lake. Follow the access road to Hamilton Lake, gives  you the most direct access to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain,

Winter in Merritt BC 

Winter activities in Merritt BC are numerous.  Getting outdoors and enjoying the crisp cold air is exhilarating to say the least. As previously stated winter in the Nicola Valley offers ice fishing, tobogganing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking, and star gazing. Further more Merritt has numerous Hotel accommodations for travelers along with a great selection of downtown shops with fine eateries for all. Let us bring back skating on lakes what about outdoor hockey with masks.  

Winter in Merritt, BC, Canada

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Arts in Merritt on the Move

New Location for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The Arts Will Grow

After 15 years at the Old Courthouse Gallery on Nicola Ave (Hwy8), the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council and the Old Court House Gallery have the arts on the move in Merritt, BC.  In 2005 the Old Courthouse was purchased by a local doctor  with the idea of  turning it into a cultural space,  which would provide a home to the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council, a music society and a dance studio.  However the Council has decided it is time to move on.

Old Courthouse Gallery

Old Courthouse Gallery – Bev Veale Painting

The Old Court House Gallery

The Old Court House was a major step forward for the Arts Council because for many years they had no permanent home.  At this time,  their major project was the Performing Arts Series which brought many great musical concerts to town. The visual arts were handled by the Nicola Valley Visual Artists where Community art displays were generally relegated to their annual Art Show which was held at the Merritt Civic Centre. It was therefore, not necessary to have a permanent home Fortunately the Courthouse allowed the Community Arts Council to have a bigger presence in the community.  For example, the current Arts Gallery Director, Jano Howarth gives a summary of the many activities carried out at this venue.

Arts in Merritt BC on the Move

The Courthouse building was sold and so that made the future use of the building uncertain. Consequently the Arts Council determined that the time was right to investigate a new location. Ultimately they were looking for a space that had high visibility, in the downtown core and large enough to provide gallery space, program space and an artisan shop.  As a result their search led them to the Jackson Building (for the old timers, the Post building for us newbies) at the corner of Voght and Nicola. 

Arts in Merritt BC

Arts on the Move – New Home of Nicola Valley Community Arts Council

The New Home Fits the Bill for Arts in Merritt

Location was one of the primary considerations in the move.  As such this makes  the building on the corner of the main

entrance to downtown at the corner of Voght and Nicola, the perfect location.

Gallery Space, Program Space and an Artisan Shop

The New Gallery

The new gallery is bright and airy and therefore is a great space for showing  off the Artists’ work.

The New Gallery for arts in merritt bc

The new Gallery

 

Program Space

Space for programs was important as this is an area that the Council wants to expand on.  Currently the picture shows the size of the room that will be used for programs but does not reflect the current condition of the space as this was taken before the move was complete.  However,  you can see that there is ample space.

New Activity Room

New Activity Room

Artisan Shop

The Artisan Shop has benefited from the new location.  While in the Old Courthouse it was tucked away in a back room and was out of site, in the new space it is front and centre and therefore, has more space to display the contributions of over 20 Nicola Valley artisans and crafters.

Artisan Shop for arts in merritt bc

Artisan Shop

Therefore the new location looks like it will be a great success for the community at large and in particular our local network of artists.

Arts on the Move – The First Show

Consequently, the opening show in the new space features Jean Kiegerl and Twin Willows Glass Arts.

Meet Jean Kiegerl

Jean Kiegerl

Because of  her leadership and with a strong group of volunteers the Arts Council has flourished. Currently, her legacy is  being carried on by the new Arts Council president, Mischelle Pierce.

 Jean is also a family friend, as  my wife and her spend many hours together painting and collaborating.  As a result, I like her work so much I have one of her originals hanging in my hall.

Quiilchena Falls-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Quilchena Falls – Jean Kiegerl Painting

 

Jean has produced work in water colours, acrylics and now oils which she prefers.

“I love the vibrant colours you can get with oil paints”—Jean Kiegerl

Clearly this can be seen in her painting of the red sports car that is on the poster for the show.

Red Car

Red Car-Jean Kiegerl Painting

Twin Willows Glass Arts

Glen and Susan Parkinson are the creative minds behind Twin Willows Glass Arts. They have been producing great work out of their studio for more than eight years.  Incidentally they work in a variety of styles which includes, leaded stained glass, fractured glass on glass mosaics and fused glass.

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Panda-Twin Willows Glass Arts

Arts on the Move in Merritt, BC will be a Success!

Lastly, with this new location, a heightened enthusiasm by the volunteers and with a high visibility location the future looks bright.

Old Courthouse Gallery Contact Info

Nicola Valley Arts Gallery

2051 Voght St, Merritt, BC

New Hours Wednesday to Saturday

12 noon to 6 pm

Sunday 12-4pm

(beginning Oct 21st)

nicolavaleyartsgallery@gmail.com

Phone 250-315-3437

Or text 250-315-3437

 

Arts in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley Art Gallery is Born

 

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Fall and Winter Outdoor Activities in the Nicola Valley BC. Canada 

The whole family can enjoy outdoor activities in Merritt BC

Merritt outdoor adventures and attractions

Outdoor Activities in Merritt BC does not have to stop with the end of summer. Because of our favorable climate, along with long hours of sunshine and little precipitation throughout the year, we are truly blessed with many Merritt, BC Canada outdoor activities. This alone makes the Nicola Valley a destination place during the fall months as well as the winter months. In addition, Merritt is the gateway to the Interior of B.C, due to the Coquilhalla Highway and only a three hour drive to five international airports, giving Canadians and world wide visitors quick access.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Fall color’s. Tania Stewart.

Lundbom Lake in the Fall. Photo courtesy of Greg Girard.

Fall is a fresh start. “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”—F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The Sights, Smells and Sounds of a Merritt Autumn

Every thing is so crisp. Watching Autumn colors fall to the ground,  jumping in leaves as a child and those blustery fall winds bringing in Ole Man Winter brings even more promise of fun to be had. All is good in the Nicola Valley. Playing outdoors throughout the Nicola Valley has always been seasonal. Time to bring this back. Experience the Nicola Valley!

Hiking surrounding Nicola Valley Mountains.

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC.

Fall mountain biking. Photo Merritt Mountain Biking Association.

To Say Nothing of Hiking on a Crisp Winter Day 

Having a dry climate, the Nicola Valley’s is frequently under the lights of the sun.  Get yourself outdoors now as breathing in that fresh air helps you combat those upcoming winter blues.  Family fun time, alone time, or taking a hike with your dog… why not make outdoor activities during the fall and winter months a season of exploration.

winter hiking in merritt

Winter hiking in the Nicola Valley. Photo by Experience Nicola Valley.

Sunny winter day of hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In a way Winter is the real Spring – the time when the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature. Edna O’Brien.

Despite the Temperature Change Life Goes On

Following the summer heat, Merritt’s cooler fall weather is truly a welcome reprieve. Clearly with having some of the best and  sometimes under-appreciated hiking trails, it is impossible not to be challenged even if you are a seasonal hiker. Without a doubt hiking trails for beginners will treat you to Fall colors, as well as, trails for the extreme will treat you to views over looking forests of Fall colors.  

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park will amaze with it’s beauty!

Colours of Kentucky Lake

Colours of Kentucky Lake. Photo courtesy of Tom Reynolds.

Kentucky-Alleyne Provincial Park Hiking Trail. Photo by Tom Reynolds.

Iron Mountain

The main trail carries over 4 kilometers to the top of Iron Mountain, with 2 lookouts that gives you a scenic view. There are also many shorter hikes and mountain biking trails  available within Merritt that make for a great way to exercise the legs. There are a wide variety of recreation trails available in and around Merritt for each season and all abilities. Five prominent mountains surround the city of Merritt, each with its own extensive network of trails. 

Hiking Trails Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Tom Lacey Memorial Trail

Swakum Mountain is located close to downtown Merritt. This trail is truly a family hiking and mountain biking destination. Starting at the top of the Flagpole Access Road. Were you will be greeted with amazing priceless views of the Nicola Valley farms and the City of Merritt before you even begin hiking. Allow yourself about 1 – 3 Hours of family fun within nature. Connecting with many other trails, Swakum Mountain gives you the choice of how long or short your hike will be.

 

Whether snow shoeing, fat biking, xc skiing, snowmobiling or hiking, the Nicola Valley during the winter is an ideal destination place. Lots to do. No crowds, Amazing scenery. Top notch trail networks. Due to these crazy times, outdoor adventures have become even more popular.

Merritt XC Skiing and Snowshoeing

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. Bring on Old Man Winter!

 

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails

merritt snowshoeing

What a great day to go winter hiking in Merritt. Experience Nicola Valley Photo.

Winter Hiking. Photo by Tania Stewart.

In Conclusion

Outdoor activities in Merritt BC. does not stop with the end of the summer. As a result of having a favorable climate along with long hours of sunshine and little precipitation throughout the year… the Nicola Valley is open for adventure all year! See you on the trails and/or in the back country sun, snow or ice. 

Outdoor Activities Merritt BC

Fall and Winter Adventure sin the Nicola Valley

 

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Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

“Experience Community Program” (small and rural community authentic content marketing program) is a product of the EH? Tourism Marketing Group

Destination Merritt in the Winter
Tourism Nicola Valley.

Merritt BC Canada in the Winter 

“Go were no man have hardly gone before.” Tania Stewart, eco blogger with Experience Nicola Valley

Merritt in the Winter can become a top destination point for Tourism in Canada. 

Make Merritt in the winter your destination. Why not? There are no crowds. Outdoor winter adventures are plentiful like xc skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing.  Why not make the Nicola Valley your “New” winter spot during the snow season.  Merritt is alive and well in November, December, January and even into March in the mountains. Indeed just ask Jason Pake and his wife Trina Hall along with daughter Jasmine Ashley who Experienced the Nicola Valley in November.

merritt in the winter months

The Nicola Valley under some Living Skies

Albeit The Nicola Valley it so Beautiful!

Taking part in winter activities has so many benefits. For example, a good winter activity can help ease the winter blues while boosting your body’s immune and respiratory systems.  And… if you have children, you already know that winter adventures tires them out so they go to bed sooner and sleep better during the night. The result is a quieter, more romantic and peaceful cuddle around a fire with your other half. 

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Make Merritt your destination. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart

In fact take a look!

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Your winter backcountry awaits you. Photo Credit: Tania Stewart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To clarify, Merritt is an ideal base camp, for day tripping.  

Destination Merritt in Winter

Jason Pake with Trina Hall.

Make Merritt BC your base camp when exploring the region. Merritt sits at the junction of 4 major highways heading north, south, east and west. Ideal for winter day trips. For instance leave early and spend a day hiking in Whistler BC. It is a 4 hour or so drive to Whistler from Merritt BC.  Plus image the time and money saved with restaurants , accommodations and convenience when Merritt is your base camp.

Accommodations in Merritt, like the Best Western Plus , Comfort Inn, and others in the Nicola Valley provide top amenities and services at a fraction of the price.  (Here is a link to a full list of accommodations and contact information)

Additionally taking in Merritt’s Activities.

Bowling in Merritt

Friday Night’s in Merritt BC can be a lot of family fun too at the local Bowling Alley. Bring your “A” game though! As a matter of fact Merritt’s Bowling Alley has provided decades of “Fun” for many generations. There are 8 lanes  5-pin bowling along with the venue being fully licensed. 

Nicolanes Bowling is open everyday of the week for a lot of fun with friends, family, or colleagues. For instance, go bowling for staff parties, birthdays, family reunions, or just a night out on the town.  That is come meet new people while being active. Truly “Bowling is fun for ALL ages!”

Explore Merritt in the Winter

Before making Merritt your winter destination, plan out your Nicola Valley winter activities – outdoors and indoors.  This includes day-tripping Merritt’s neighboring communities, visiting our art and culture venues and events, as well as, exploring any of our top notch xc skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing destinations. 

Merritt Snowmobiling. Photo courtesy Experience Nicola Valley.

 
Merritt Snowmobile Club is open to all “Sled Head’s.” Snowy trails.
merritt ice fishing

Enjoy the solitude ice fishing in the Nicola Valley.

 

 

It is All in the Attitude

outdoornicolavalley

Sharing nature with your family!

Plan a winter adventure and then the after party. After a winter hike, skiing cross country trails, shredding snow in a snowmobile or sitting back in your ice shack ice fishing why not finish your day around a cozy campfire sharing stories. Or… a bonfire like our photo. 

“Winter activities, like snowmobiling, xc skiing and snowshoeing will release some of that pent-up energy, and cause your body to burn fat.”

You should know… one of BC’s top snowmobiling destinations is just up the road from Merritt BC. Snowmobiling around Merritt is truly spectacular. It is

MerrittBCwinter

Outdoor winter activities for kids!

called “The Coke” which is short for Coquihalla Highway. I am going on a limb and say, “Merritt is the “Powder Capital of Snowmobiling in BC”.

Consequently, just south of Merritt are the Kane Valley XC Ski Trails. “Cross Country Skiing” at Kane Valley is a must for all lovers of the winter backcountry. Bring a camera for the picturesque scenery along the trails and, yes, there are warming shelters along some of the xc ski routes as well.

Even more impressive, is our four-pronged approach to winter adventures here in the Nicola Valley. Rounding out at #3 is the  “Ice Fishing” opportunities in the region. We enjoy over 200 lakes in the area. Many are ice fishing lakes. And #4 is snowshoeing. Pick a backcountry road or head to Kane Valley.   

“Before heading out for a winter activity, be sure to dress accordingly — ideally, in layers, and let someone know where you are going and always carry emergency back up supplies, ” says me, Tania Stewart.

NicolaValleyBCCanada

Destination Merritt Exploration in the Winter. photo Tania Stewart.

Make The Nicola Valley your Destination Home Base.

merritt cross country skiing - kane valley

Cross country skiing on the Kane Valley Trails.

winter in merritt bc

Winter snow time! Photo credit – Experience Nicola Valley.

Just So You Get It.
Merritt BC is centrally located.

Accommodations are affordable in the Nicola Valley compared to many of the surrounding bigger cities and communities.  Merritt has “Base Camp” written all over it.  Enjoying sightseeing day trips without the hassle or added expense of moving from one accommodation to another is a big plus when exploring from Merritt. Spending a lot of your time unpacking and packing up, over and over again, can be a big time waster on any vacation.

Day Trip Destinations

Nearby Kamloops is 87 km with one hour travel time from Merritt. Here is the plus. There are 2 main roads leading to Kamloops from Merritt. The quick and fast Kamloops connector (Highway 5). It is an up-and-over highway through the mountains. The other route (Highway 5A), is a little bit longer, many say more scenic, cuts and snakes its way around the mountains passing by lakes, ranches and grasslands. It makes for a perfect day trip with two routes of scenery. 

Kelowna Day Trip

Sun Peaks Resort.

Kelowna, best accessed from Highway 97C,  is just over the mountains to the south of Merritt BC. The distance to Kelowna is 127 km and about only 1 hr 36 minutes away. In Kelowna there are 2 ski resorts to enjoy as a winter day trip – Big White Ski Resort and the other is Silver Star. 

Feel the Need to Ski?

Sun Peaks Resort and Harper Mountain.

Beyond is Hope BC.

Othello Tunnels

While the drive is spectacular. Its only 120 km – 1 hour drive from Merritt to Hope BC. Incidentally Hope has many attractions. Many with no crowds and most are very outdoorsy. Take the Othello Tunnels. It is a series of tunnels through mountains over a gorge providing scenery and some history. You know what tunnels mean right? They can be enjoyed in sun, rain and snow and you stay dry. 

Winter in Merritt BC

Notably the Nicola Valley is becoming a better recognized winter destination for the region. The secret is out.  November, December, January or February are home to many outdoor winter attractions as well as many indoor ones. 

|Some of the indoor venues to visit during the winter months include Merritt’s Aquatic Center with a pool, 2 x hot tubs, a sauna and a fully equipped fitness room. For all avid shoppers, Merritt boast’s a downtown hub full of shop’s, cafe’s, historical pubs, gift stores, services, and nail salons.

Time your visit right, and you can come a enjoy a local hockey game with a Junior Hockey Team – the Merritt Centennials . So… the question is, “What are you going to do in Merritt in the winter months?” The answer better not be a “Couch Potato”.

Check out further information at Experience Nicola Valley.

Winter in Merritt BC

Nicola Valley and Merritt Winter Attractions and Day Tripping

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Yuino Takeyama. A Japanese Traveler.

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

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

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

I, Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler arrives In Canada

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

Learning English in Canada

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

japanese traveler in Canada

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, experiencing Canada.

Starting our travels across Canada

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

Where we traveled

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

Campfires and camping with Yuino Takeyama

Camping with new and old friends in Banff, Alberta

Farewell to my travel buddy

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

Beginning of my new journey

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

exploring canada

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

On my own looking for place and play

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

friends of a Japanese traveler

Beautiful mountains in Carcross, Yukon

Living in the northern wilds of Canada 

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

northern lights canada with Yuino Takeyama

Home is Haines Junction under the Northern Lights

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

Finish my Wild life

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

So the adventures of a Japanese traveller continues …

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

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

the travels of a Japanese traveler

Yuino Takeyama, a Japanese traveler, explores Canada

How exploring led to Experience Nicola Valley Blogging

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

Japanese Traveler – Yuino Takeyama

Merritt, British Columbia, Canada

Remember Nicola Valley that #merrittmatters on social media.

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Saving a Black Bear Cub in Merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub saved in The Nicola Valley, Merritt BC.

Bear Aware in Merritt BC Update: Remember I wrote a story about “Merritt” the black bear cub who was lost and confused wandering our city  a while back. Well, it is time for a “Bear Aware in Merritt” update.

Being Bear Aware takes a team

As a result of the joint efforts of the Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Hope Mountain , and the Conservation Officer Jordan Stewart – a  bear cub was saved and rescued in Merritt BC not too long ago.  This little “Cub” was wondering around for a week on the Bench in Merritt. Motherless, lost and alone the cub was surviving by eating from a tree full of fermenting berries by night. During the day the cub was sleeping high up in the branches of a local pine tree.  

“Bear” awareness will come to you” Tania Stewart.

black bear cub saved merritt BC.

Black Bear Cub rescued in Merritt BC.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC & “Who To Call?”

I remember  “Wild Bear Rescue” which was a TV show based outside of Smithers BC Canada. Being an avid fan of the show my automatic response was to call and see if they could help. My call was immediately answered by Angelika Langen. She, along with her husband Peter, and their grown children Langen/Landry’s dedicate their lives to saving wildlife.  

 

black bear cub merritt BC

Meet “Merritt”, orphaned cub rescued in the Nicola Valley.

There is a Conservation Hot Line?

Angelika informed me to call the Conservation Hot Line and save this black bear cub in Merritt BC.  During my call with Angelika she told me that the conservation officer has to first determine if the “cub” has not been taught to scavenge food from garbage bins. This being a learned behavior which can be a death sentence for a bear. Therefore, it is important to never leave garbage bins outside during a Canadian bear season.

 

Nicola Valley

Alone, motherless but surviving.

In effect after due diligence.

Respectively the Conservation Officer spent a great amount of time with this black bear in Merritt BC.   After determining that the cub had not learned any bad behaviors, she was free to move forward with rescue and rehabilitation. This is were “Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee” became involved. It pays to be bear aware in Merritt BC when we can save a cub from harm.

 

merritt bc black bear cub saved

Scared and alone.

“Merritt the Cub” was designated for rehabilitation.

Angelika Langen contacted me, letting me know that a volunteer from Hope, BC would contact me and make arrangements to come and rescue the “Cub”. Indeed there is no way to explain the joy, happiness, exhilaration I felt receiving that call from Angelika that this little lost “Cub” was going to be rescued. There are no words to describe how I felt.

 

Hope Mountain Rescue team.

Conservation officer saving black bear cub merritt bc

Merritt Conservation Officer.

Notably within hours the rescue of a “Cub” was underway.

In fact I received  a call from Lydia Koot from the Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee asking me the exact location and area were the “Cub” has been last seen. Help was on its way. She let me know  Lydia Koot and Cecilia  would be in Merritt at 7:30 am. And they were exactly on time. 

 

Black bear cub saved in merritt bc

Lydia Koot.

Black bear cub merritt BC.

Searching for the motherless “Cub”

In this case we needed to locate the black bear “Cub”

Although the day before, the cub was up in the tree. I swear. But when dusk arrived, the “Cub” had disappeared. So much for being Bear Aware in Merritt BC. Therefore, despite everything, we were all determined to locate the motherless “Cub.”  After a bit of searching, and talking with community members. We were directed to a new area were the “Cub” had been sleeping and foraging. Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC was back on track.

black bear cub merritt bc

Snug as a “Bear” in a tree.

As a result of  some very caring people we were able locate this cub.

Trapping this frightened orphan is another story. Because of his fear and mistrust of humans, capturing the bear unharmed became a waiting game. However I was told this is a good sign. The cub’s actions indicated that this cub was keeping its wild side.

What there are two cubs?

Tragically this cub had a twin. After losing their mother both cubs found a safe tree in the back yard of a Merritt home. At least, in light of being orphaned, they had each other. The owner of this home observed both cubs sleeping together in his backyard tree. However, sad things happen, and one of the cubs was tragically hit by a vehicle and was found by someone walking their dog.

trap to save black bear merritt bc

Trap n rescue.

Lydia Koot setting trap.

In Hope everything goes smoothly.

 

Lydia Koot making sure.

black bear cub merritt

With the help of community!

Without the help of many Volunteers.

Consequently everything came together. Diligence and perseverance is key. In spite of how tragic one feels and the overwhelming compassion one has for the mother and the other siblings death, there is still the hope of rescuing the orphaned cub. 

 

saving black bear cub merritt bc

Cecilia Fraga volunteer.

Bear Cub saved in Merritt BC.

With a bit of patience, stinky food and a precisely placed cage. This little black bear cub was captured around 7 PM. A bear cub was rescued and given a chance to live a long healthy life. Importantly we all need to take action and become “Bear Aware” more and more in Merritt BC. Notably realizing our habit’s are contributing to the increase in bear conflicts. When bears start using the community as a foraging area for food we are in trouble. Unfortunately bears will lose their lives unless we correct behavior.  Leaving garbage out during bear season is a no no. Allowing fruit to ferment on trees is a bear trap. Once bears start equating humans with food, they are conditioned and lose their natural fear of us. Hence bear and human conflict.  Hence the bear is put down and not rescued in many circumstances. 

Cub rescue

“Merritt” cub healthy.

“Merritt” the black bear cub is a boy. The update is he is doing very well in his recovery and is settling in very well. He has a healthy appetite and seems alert.” Northern Lights Wildlife Society.

Be Bear Aware in Merritt BC

Merritt British Columbia 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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Merritt, British Columbia, Canada