Things to do and lifestyle of the youth in the Nicola Valley.

Merritt Summer River Camping – Outdoor Adventures

Places to Camp Riverside Around Merritt B.C

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping : As a result of Covid19 many families in Canada have rediscovered the outdoors. Furthermore, many have reignited their love of “Camping” with a dash of adventure.  But where does a person start? Knowledge about out-door activities starts with Experience Nicola Valley and Experience Merritt.  A great resource for planning a trip to the Nicola Valley.

Merritt Summer River Camping or Lakes

Surely when thinking of camping we often picture lakes. While a lake is great, river camping can be just as enjoyable. Do you prefer full amenities while camping or rustic adventures? Or full amenities vs outback river camping? All are available here in the Nicola Valley! 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Looking for Gold! Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

camping moon shadows campground

Camping on the river. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Benefits of Summer River Camping in Merritt 

  1. Stress reduction:  No alarm clocks, just the sound of nature.
  2. Fresh air:  Sleeping well may be your new experience.  
  3. Relationship building: One of the best and most important aspects of camping is how it helps you and your family gain hands-on outdoor experiences.
  4. Physical fitness: Time spent camping is physical time. You set up a tent, gather firewood, go for a swim, hike, boating, kayaking not to mention meal time. Cooking and preparing meals without a microwave can be exhausting. 
  5. Wildlife: Although seeing wildlife is great. Respecting while observing from a distance. 
  6. Confidence building: Teaching your children along with yourself becoming more confident learning new things while respecting the outdoors. 
Summer river camping

Swing rope. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Coldwater River. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Selecting A River Site

River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Here are five of my favorite places to camp riverside around Merritt BC. 

MOON SHADOWS RV PARK & CAMPGROUND

Located south of Merritt, BC, Canada along the Coldwater River, the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground offers great camping all year-round. With competitive weekly, monthly, and off-season rates, Moon Shadows is a great option for your extended camping stay. RV and tenting sites are set back in the trees and offer spectacular scenery to enjoy. Moon Shadows facilities include laundry, heated washrooms with showers, a gorgeous gazebo by the river, and a small convenience store.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Camping under the Moon shadows. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

 

When you go camping with friends or family, you get a chance to talk and visit without distraction into the night. Grandma T.

 

CLAYBANKS RV PARK & CAMPGROUND

The Claybanks RV Park and Campground offers spacious, well-maintained sites along the Coldwater River.  The nicely treed property is located close to downtown Merritt and many of the great activities offered in the area. Enjoy golfing, fishing, swimming, or just take in the beautiful flowers as you walk along the river. Whether tenting or RVing, Claybanks has you covered with 44 full-serviced RV sites and 20 tenting sites. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round with  heated washrooms, showers, a snack shop, and horseshoe pits.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Kids just love the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Merritt  River Camping

Walking distance to downtown Merritt. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Camping can revitalize families while being away from all the distractions at home.

 

NOOAITCH CAMPING 

Truly experience rustic camping here amongst scenic mountains’ and a historical railway bridge. Can not get any better than this. With only a few spots to camp,  no overcrowding. Moreover you can swim or pan for false gold on the riverbanks. I can guarantee this is my favorite spot in BC. Along with it’s scenic beauty, it is a bit hotter than in Merritt. While only being 15min out of town. 

Petit Bridge

Camping by the bridge. Pic by Tania Stewart.

Merritt river camping in the summer

Scenic Nicola Valley views. Photo Tania Stewart.

“Rivers may not accommodate a speed boat, yet your steps away from the water.” Tania Stewart.

 

N’KWALA CAMPGROUND

N’kwala campground is located beside the Nicola River. This is a popular camping location providing opportunities for canoeists and kayakers to enjoy the pace of the river. Albeit during the summer hot spells when the river levels are low, the site is still an ideal location for camping. Furthermore providing a refreshing dip in the river to cool off. With a mix of Yellow Pine and shady fir trees, along many sunny sites which can accommodate any size of camping units. Boasting 20 camping sites and located only 15 minutes from Merritt BC. 

Merritt Summer River Camping

Exploring river banks. Pic by Tania Stewart.

River Camping in Nicola Valley

Floating peacefully. Photo by TS.

Summer River Camping outside Merritt

Scenic drive through Brookmere. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Merritt Summer River Camping

Tenting or trailer is perfect. Photo Credit:  Tania Stewart.

Pet Friendly! 

Assuredly we all want to bring our pets with us on our summer adventures. All of the campgrounds mentioned are truly “Pet Friendly”

Summer River Camping Merritt Tips

  • In short pack extra clothing. After all, the weather around Nicola Valley is generally warm & dry. Sometimes it may rain or get a little cool at night. So make sure to pack clothes for all types of weather. 
  • Take advantage of outdoor attractions. During your stay, make sure to set time aside to explore all that your campsite has to offer. 
  • Overall protect yourself. It’s extremely important to protect yourself from all that Mother Nature provides, so make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray! 
  • Cleanup. Overall packing up is the worst. Leaving paradise is hard, but making sure to leave nothing behind is crucial.  
  • Make sure your fire is completely out. 
River camping during summer months

Kids just love camping! Picture courtesy of Tania Stewart.

Exploring and adventure on the river. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Staycation Summer River Campgrounds Merritt BC

Merritt Summer River Camping can be your next vacation. River camping during summer months in the Nicola Valley provides a few options to choose from. Most important the soothing sounds of the nearby river will lull you to sleep under the stars every night. 

Take Me To The River

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Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

Creatives in the Nicola Valley Gather, Carefully

What local creative projects do you know are happening?

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

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

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

Music in the Valley

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

Bobby Garcia musician

Bobby Garcia singing I Remember When

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

Covid protocols

Meet up with Denise Kearney

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

What Creative Projects are happening?

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

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

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

Meet Up for  Summer Inspiration

Merritt BC Artists

Kelly and Olivia discuss art shows

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

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

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

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

Creative Circles

Leonard George Artist

Leonard George and Blue Bear Painting

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

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

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

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

Got ideas? Want to participate?

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

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

More Shows

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

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

Following Covid protocols

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

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

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

 

Kids Art

Susan and Fiona, Fabric Art Fun

Indigenous Art

Cliff McDougall Powwow photography

Merritt BC Artists

Artists Herta and Shirley

Artisan Covid masks

Artisan Angela Ho designs clothes

Artist Cindilla Trent

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

Art Program with Covid Protocols

Clubhouse Art Program

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

Jano Howarth 

NV Arts Gallery Curator 

Arts and Culture Blogger for Experience Nicola Valley

Artists Merritt BC

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

Banjo

Watching Richard Lepinski on Youtube

Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

 

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Winter Activities – Logan Lake

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

Love Logan Lake!

Having a Budget Working For You

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

Even dragged this one out to come and play!

There is No Better Time to Enjoy Our Great Outdoors

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

Find a Challenge to Get Through The Winter With Healthy Habits

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

Skating on the Lake!

Out for an icy winter walk!

Healthy Outdoor Activities for Children

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

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

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

Ensure You Stay Safe While Enjoying Outdoor Activities

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

These guys are quick learners on the skates!

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

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

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

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

Catching a Logan Lake Winter Sunrise

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Fall Photos In Logan Lake BC

Autumn Photos are best in Logan Lake BC

Family time in the outdoors during the “Changing of the Colours” 

Photos in Logan Lake during the autumn season is a must for any local and visiting family. If you are looking for a rugged and woodsy backdrop for your fall family photos then come and visit my small town in the back country of British Columbia, Canada. Logan Lake BC is a lovely location for creating family memories with its vast greenery and scenery.  

Family Fall Photos

Family – A Little World Created By Love

Logan Lake BC The Place To Be For Beautiful Scenery

Logan Lake Abounds With Beautiful Scenery

Taking Photos in Logan Lake BC 

Fall Photos in Logan Lake BC are amazing! Whether your planning on booking a professional family photographer or feeling spontaneous. Fall photos in Logan Lake BC will be special memories that you will treasure for years to come. We have no guarantee on tomorrow’s health, wealth and/or happiness.

Family is Priority

Choosing to show up as is has always been crucial for me. This is us, this is us now. Living and loving in the moment. Lastly taking the time to celebrate life and how far you have come is always in my forethoughts in why I am motivated to make family photos a priority. 

Maggs Park Logan Lake B.C.

Collect Beautiful Moments

Professional or A Spontaneous DIY

Logan Lake British Columbia

Every Picture Tells A Story

If you are feeling a little unsure with your camera or have a ton of little people for creating photo moments, I am sure you will never regret hiring a professional photographer. Be sure to do your research and build a repour. Logan Lake has a nice selection of photographers if you are looking to book one in our location. However, sometimes your feeling creative or your out on a walk and the sun and the leaves are cooperating. This is when I like to take advantage of that beautiful spontaneous moment and capture it. Self timers and a tripod can be so handy and can produce happy memories that bring smiles to your faces for years to come. 

Photography in British Columbia

The Best Things In Life Aren’t Things

 

Canadian Family

Today’s Little Moments, Become Tomorrow’s Precious Memory’s

 

Logan Lake Photography

This Is My Happy Place

How Do You Get Them All To Look?

However, it is important to remember to do your best and have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I feel like I always have to remind myself of that fact also. Just remember that you are capturing moments of happiness. Its ok if someone’s maybe looking off into the distance, or having a giant belly laugh. You’ll want those pictures maybe more so as you age.

My Secrets to Fall Photos in Logan Lake

One trick I have learned, at least, when taking photos of my kids, is sometimes I will just hit record with my iPhone and film them posing. Assuredly just talking to them, ask them to smile or say a joke will most likely get me the results I’m looking for. Usually in that split second of me saying smile they all do. Then I go to the video and drag my finger along over the pause button. If I find a good “pause” with all of the kids looking and smiling. I will then tap the photo to take off the boarders, and just screen shot it. Ta-Da! Easy photo!

Photo Editing & Memory Keeping

Family Photos In Logan Lake British Columbia

And Together They Built A Life That They Loved

With out a doubt I always use Costco for all my photo developing needs. Weather its getting a birth announcement together, making photo books, or just developing photos. Don’t be surprised if you see some of these photos on our Christmas card this year. Assuredly  making photobooks to gift to the family at Christmas has been a lovely tradition to hold onto. In addition I always tweak my photos with an photo editing app. I love using the Lightroom App on my Android. Just because I enjoy the stock presets that they have and the fact that I can create and save all my own presents for free. Photo editing is a great way to add more light, play with shadows, make colors more vivid. 

Canadas Cutest Baby

The Days Are Long, But The Years Are Short

 

Family Photos In Canada

You’ll Outgrown My Lap, But Never My Heart

In Closing 

Logan Lake is a lovely town. It is my home town filled with some breathtaking locations for some amazing photos. Many of our parks have lake and some include Maggs Park and Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park.

I hope you’ll consider stopping by and making some fun memories and taking some pictures. I’m so thankful you took the time to stop and read my blog, My name is Jennifer, a mother of 7 little ones, homeschooling and living in Logan Lake B.C. with my husband Kyle. Together we blog with the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers

 

Autumn Colours in Merritt BC

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Glad To Be Back For Part 2. Home schooling in BC Canada!

Home school family

What grade am I in again?

Home Schooling In BC Canada

Home Schooling in BC Canada – I am so glad to be back for part 2 of Home schooling! As a result, today I am going to go over our favorite field trips or day trips! One thing I  love about homeschooling in BC Canada, is all the amazing places we have to explore right here in our backyard. I wanted to make this into a quick resource post, and just share some of the places we love to take our family too.

Adventures of Home Schooling

In the first blog post about home schooling in BC Canada I wanted to give you a feel for our schedule in PART 1. In today’s post, I wanted to go over our home school favorites! These are a few places I like to use to “fill in the gaps” or gain some inspiration. In addition, go and explore with the kids and experience nature and wonder. Its exciting to see the magic of childhood through my children’s eyes.  Grab yourself a warm cup of whatever makes you happy! And lets dive right in!

Coffee shops in Kamloops B.C.

Warm and cozy vibes.

Logan Lake In Beautiful British Columbia

Things to do in Canada with kids

Simple, slow and lovely days are offered to you in Logan Lake

Home schooling in BC Canada is made easy, when living in Logan Lake BC.  Unquestioningly,  in my view, Logan Lake is the best for fitness! Consequently, it is extremely family friendly and I feel safe walking around it with my 12, 10, 8, 6, 5, 3 and 21 month old. All in all we have a great time getting our steps in taking the family for a walk around the lake. The lake has just all the right ingredients for a good nature walk. More importantly, I use it for nature study and having the kids journal about what they seen and observed. Admittedly it has tons of wildlife to observe. We love watching the eagle carry fish across the lake to its nest. All the ducks, and geese we get to watch. We have encountered deer on the trails around the lake. Its rugged and rustic with a paved walkway, just the way this glamper likes to experience the great outdoors.

Mountain Biking in British Columbia

Braving the Logan Lake mountain bike course.

Getting Fit While Home Schooling In BC Canada

If you are feeling adventurous and exceptionally fit and strong, we have successfully taken our double stroller all the way around the lake. There is a more scenic and woodland nature trail along the mountainside. On the highway side they have a very wide and beautiful paved pathway.

More Than Walking In Logan Lake

In addition, if you follow the nature path you can find the Logan Lake Bike Park. Its natural and very impressive and so nicely done! Our kids have a total blast at it. Its great to burn off extra steam and help the kids gain new experiences and reaction skills every time we go. I find the trails very clean and nicely groomed while still being very natural. No need for hiking boots, runners will do just fine. And in addition our 3 year old was able to comfortably walk at her pace with a few seated breaks and a granola bar to keep her going.  Logan Lake has many fun recreational ideas any time of the year. Our family has grown to love our small town that we call home. Its so vibrant, friendly and serene. 

Life in Logan Lake B.C. Canada

Lovely views along the amazing walking path in Logan Lake BC

The BC Wild Life Park 

Spirit Animal

The B.C. Wild Life Park and its adorable Spirit Bear

This is hands down the best local place to get up close and personal with animals. Above all we love to study and draw at home these critters and beasts. It is just so fun at the BC Wildlife Park. We absolutely love to take the kids there. A favorite blast for both Kyle and myself. We have enjoyed going to BC Wildlife Park ever since we were kids. However, its more exciting now as parents to be able to share that with our children.

The B.C. Wild Life Park Always Evolving

Kamloops Wild Life Park

Kamloops Wild Life Park Home Schooling

It is exciting while home schooling in BC Canada to see how the park is always growing and always changing. Also, I love how they educate us and give us a personal natural experience every time. Its always so beautiful there.  In addition to nicely laid out paths and walkways its easy for me to push a stroller and keep up with my active kids. As a Mom I enjoy that they have interesting facts about the animals all over the park. And informing us as to which ones are rescues and their unique back stories.

The Main Attraction of the B.C Wildlife Park

The animals of course are an exciting main attraction. My favorites include the bears, wolves and buffalo. Hubby and I also really enjoy the coffee. There is nothing more romantic to me than enjoying a stroll and a coffee with him. In addition, I think my favorite time to go is in the fall season. It just feels super good to get in one last train ride and enjoy the crunchy leaves. The wild lights tour in the winter months is also fun. Its so beautiful to go, get all bundled up, and then see all the twinkling lights at night time. Lastly, it definitely tops one of my favorite experiences  in the colder months. 

Things to do in Kamloops B.C.

#wildtimesawaityou at Kamloops Wild Life Park

Desert Hills Ranch 

Influencer for Instagram Photo Idea

Cutest little pumpkins at Desert Hills Ranch in Ashcroft B.C. Canada

If you are looking for a fun and family friendly farm, assuredly, Desert Hills has all your social media influencer needs covered. This is definitely the  location to take some amazing fall photos. Never mind all of your garden, canning and pumpkin needs.  When Kyle and I lived in Ashcroft BC we were constantly at our favorite local farm. And that was Desert Hills Ranch . Homeschooling in B.C. Canada got a lot easier with this great location.

Curb Appeal, Animals, Pumpkins & So Much More

Dessert Hills helped with my home’s curb appeal with an amazing selection of lush blooms, trees, plants and pots. In retrospect, I think my favorite time to go was when they had fun sale weekends, such as peaches or salsa making. I always loved going on Mothers Day too when they honestly know how to spoil a gal.

The kids would always enjoy going through the barn to see the  baby animals and the gorgeous horses. The selection of farm tractors and old machines is bar none. Even being able to burn off steam at the park area always brings back happy memories for my kids. The staff are all so friendly, helpful and kind. You wont be disappointed with this trip.

Castle Fun Park 

Things to do in Abbotsford B.C.

This is “framer” for sure!

If you are feeling up for a road trip all the way to Abbotsford BC. For a day full of laughs and entertainment check out Castle Fun Park.  Get some car toys, pack some snacks and wear sensible footwear and you have yourself a mini road trip.

Kids activities in the lower mainland

Smiles for miles at the Castle Fun Park Go-Karts!!!!

Castle Fun Park is a place we have enjoyed coming to off and on over the last 10 years. From mini golf to arcade games this place is fun. However we came here the other day with the go carts in mind. It was such a great family activity. While Kyle zoomed around the laps with our littles. Our older children got to enjoy some driving time. My oldest as well as all the rest were overjoyed!!! Chasing Dad was a huge hit! At $8 for a race I think it is totally family and budget friendly. 

Family activities in British Columbia

The race is on!

Family day in British Columbia Canada

Family day is always the best day.

In conclusion

Home Schooling in B.C. Canada has so many vast opportunities for rich exploration and adventure. What a way to enrich your children’s educations. I hope you enjoyed a brief look into our families favorite field trips and road trips here in beautiful British Columbia. We honestly think we live in a breathtaking area. And we are so happy we are able to share our experiences here with Experience Nicola Valley and all the bloggers. As always with travel with Covid 19 I would advise giving each location a call if you are interested in going and see how they are limiting the spread of Covid 19. Plan for whatever sanitary and safety measures you feel comfortable with, and get excited to have a good and adventurous time.

Canadian Family

The magnificent 7

That is how we do Home Schooling In BC Canada

Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

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Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley

Experience Mountain Biking Trails in Merritt British Columbia Canada

It is easy to get outdoors and go Merritt mountain biking in the Nicola Valley

 

Exciting News 2021

The MMBA is happy to announce through a Targeted Regional Tourism Development Initiative grant that they have received funding for $145,000 towards the Merritt trail system. We are very excited as this will be a huge benefit to Merritt and the surrounding areas! Jordan Pinto.

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking – Along with getting some quality time outdoors, mountain biking in the Nicola Valley provides the best type of sightseeing on wheels. No crowds. Lots of trails. Mouth-dropping scenery. Therefore to enjoy the trails in our backcountry all you need is a water bottle and your ride. Nature and the adrenaline rush provides the rest.

Merritt Mountain Biking Association

The Merritt Mountain Biking Association gets all the credit in the Nicola Valley for our trails and for creating such extreme rides.  The Nicola Valley provides the beautiful backcountry scenery, the wildlife sightings,  the remote wilderness  lakes  and the many forested rolling hills. It is here in British Columbia Canada where mountain biking is free. Make this your mountain biking adventure vacation destination spot. 

merritt mountain biking

After the final climb on Swakum Mountain. Photo Jordan Pinto.

Obviously the Nicola Valley Offers Some of the “Best” Terrain in BC for Avid Mountain Bikers 

Being centrally located, Merritt mountain biking offers a wide range of biking trails for newbies and extreme mountain bikers alike. In addition, Merritt tends to experience mild winters with little snowfall and warm, dry, sunny summers making Merritt a year round mountain biking destination most years.  The best thing about Merritt British Columbia is it is a great base camp for mountain biking in nearby areas like the trails in  Kamloops, Kelowna, and the Fraser Valley. A fact that adds to the shine that Merritt is a great destination for multiple mountain biking adventures within BC. But it all starts here. Experience the Nicola Valley on a mountain bike!

Merritt Mountain Biking - Experience Nicola Valley

Town of Merritt, BC, Canada

Merritt Mountain Biking Nicola Valley

Hoodoos Merritt BC Moonshadows Rv Park Coldwater River.

 

Outdoor Extreme Merritt Mountain Biking

Merritt Mountain Biking Accusation. Photo courtesy of Jordan Pinto.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking

Photo by Jordan Pinto President of MMBA.

Become One With Nature

Isn’t it amazing how the power of nature and spending time outdoors can change your mood and mental health. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed the benefits of nature and  physical activity can impact personal stress.  In the midst of this trying and difficult time, everyone needs to feel less stress. It might be time to enjoy some nature by participating in some Merritt mountain biking.

Outdoor Extreme Mountain Biking in Merritt BC

Photo by Jordan Pinto

Nicola Valley Mountain Biker

Photo by Experience Nicola Valley.

Nicola Valley Biking

Important to know we enjoy 220+ kilometers of mountain biking trails in the Nicola Valley with 3 main trail riding destinations – Swakum Mountain , Coutlee Plateau and Iron Mountain. Coutlee Plateau primary trail type is cross-country. Iron Mountain is an all-out mountain & downhill trail network. Check out Trailforks and Experience Merritt for more information about the Nicola Valley. To clarify,  there are trails that will challenge the most experienced rider.  Also offering some of the best family oriented biking trails in the region. Notably some trails can last for hours while some may be quicker. The only time schedule is yours with nature. Enjoy while  connecting with a lot of majestic scenery. Expressly there is zero disappointment on any of these trails.  

Mountain Biking - Merritt BC

Mountain Biking trails – Merritt BC. Photo Trailforks Jordan Pinto

Extrememountainbikingnicolavalley

Mountain trails. Photo by Jordan Pinto.

 

What more is there

After you have conquered one or more of MMBA trails, take time to cool off and relax in one of the many outdoor patios that are scattered around Merritt. For a small town we have a great selection of restaurants and pubs. Understanding that it may take more than one day to tackle all the trails that MMBA has to offer, Merritt has a generous  selection of hotels and motels. Or are you choosing to camp. With over 200 lakes to pick from or if wanting to camp close to downtown Merritt. The Nicola Valley is your summer destination vacation. 

Merritt Mountain Biking - Experience Nicola Valley

Monck Park Beach.

 In fact check out  Monck Park  just 22 km north of Merritt, and then 12 km off Hwy 5A via narrow paved road. The park rests on the shores of one of our lakes. It just happens to be called Nicola Lake.  

Merrittbc

Lundbom Lake. Photo courtesy of ehCanadaTravel.com.

Mountainbiking

Claybanks Merritt BC. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Camping on the River

The Claybanks RV Park and Campground offers spacious, well-maintained sites along the Coldwater River. Claybanks has you covered with 44 full-serviced RV sites and 20 tenting sites. This pet-friendly campground is open year-round. While located south of Merritt along the Coldwater River, the Moon Shadows RV Park and Campground offers great camping year-round. Especially both campgrounds being pet-friendly. 

outdoorswimming.

Alleyne Lake. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Nicolavalley

Monck Park. Photo by Tania Stewart.

jordan pinto

Jordan Pinto – Merritt Mountain Biking Association

The MMBA (Merritt Mountain Biking Association) came into existence in the spring of 2000.

Jordan Pinto, the President, shared with us that their intentions are to make the riding in the Nicola Valley a great experience. Therefore, one of their primary goals is to advocate for long term trail access by working with Government.

Consequently, the MMBA was one of the first groups in the province to have an agreement with the crown to manage the trails we ride. The MMBA has signed a new agreement with the Province in 2012. Contact Jordan Pinto, the President of the Merritt Mountain Biking Association in Merritt BC Canada, for more information. 

Including the breathtaking and amazing scenery, Merritt has much more to offer. 

Of course during your down time you could take some enjoyment in checking out our downtown shopping. Notably Merritt’s downtown core offers a wide variety of hidden gems.  Truly take the time and stroll downtown Merritt BC.

 

Coldwater Hotel

Thanks to the Coldwater hotel.

 

Nicolavalleytrails

Walking the Trail. Photo by Tom Reynolds.

The best time to visit Merritt BC, Canada is in the summer, fall, winter and the spring. With it’s dry climate through-out the year make it an ideal “Destination Place” year-round . Unknown tourist from the coast.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro mountain biker, Merritt BC provides trails for every-one, every-category and skill level. We have the services to make your stay rock.  Numerous Hotels, Motels, B&Bs as well as campground and RV parks.  The Nicola Valley has it all. Importantly you can leave the hustle and stress behind of the big city and enjoy our small town hospitality. That is truly enjoyable.  Come and join us and explore!

Merritt Mountain Biking in the Nicola Valley, BC. 

 

Nicola Valley BC Canada

 

Nicola Valley Mountain Biking Adventures

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Merritt Dance Studio

The Love To Dance Academy in the Nicola Valley

In these times, we “bring the joy of dance into homes”.

 

The Merritt dance studio, Love to Dance Academy, contributes to the art and culture in our Nicola Valley.

Love to Dance Academy

Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

I invited dance teacher, Lizette Nel, to talk about her work when we connected here in Merritt BC Canada

How and when did your Merritt Dance Studio start?

I took over the local dance studio in December 2012 as the previous ballet teacher here in Merritt, Linda Sanford, was looking forward to retirement. The name, Linda’s Dance Studio, was changed to Love To Dance Academy in January 2013.

I started teaching in 2012. We had only 12 little ballet students in a lovely compact dance studio on the top floor of the beautiful old Courthouse in Merritt, BC.

Since then a strong dance program has been developed and the Love To Dance Academy now offers classes in four different dance genres to dancers of all ages.

There are recreational classes for those who want to dance for fun and exercise as well as classes for the more serious dance student who would like to do dance exams and participate in in dance festivals and competitions. 

Therefore, at the end of 2018, there was an opportunity to move to bigger premises and with the help of volunteers a second hand shop was converted into a spacious and fully equipped dance studio downtown.

 

Dance Studio Merritt BC

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor, Love to Dance Academy Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Who is a part of Love to Dance?

The Love To Dance Academy is a project of the Merritt Dance Society, which is a non-profit organisation. The Merritt Dance Society consists of a wonderful, supportive Board of Directors.

I am the Head Dance Instructor and I developed and manage the dance program for the Merritt Dance Society.

Vanessa van Rensburg, regularly teaches Spanish Flamenco and jazz dance classes.

However, from time to time guest teachers are invited to do short courses and workshops or teach during dance camps.

 And of course, there are the many children, youth, and adults who come to the studio to dance!

How is the Merritt dance studio supported in the community?

It is very well supported by the Merritt community who loves attending our classes and our twice a year recitals.

Love To Dance fundraisers are well supported by the community and we are fortunate to always have enthusiastic volunteers to help whenever they are needed.

Tell me about the different dance genres you offer.

Currently our main dance genres are Ballet, Modern Jazz, Spanish Flamenco, and Latin Line Dance.

From time to time Love To Dance offers workshops or short sessions of other dance styles such as Hip Hop, Tap, Musical Theatre/Broadway, Contemporary, Highland Dancing, Bollywood and Country Line Dance.

You put on twice yearly performances. A lot of the dances are choreographed by you, Vanessa, and your Love to Dance dancers.

Merritt Dance Studio concerts

Love to Dance Winter Concert Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

LTD Display

Love To Dance Poster Display of Dancers Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Ballet Shoes

LTD Red Ballet Shoes Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What are your inspirations for the themes and performance?

Life and what is going on around us… sometimes fun and sometimes deep and meaningful. We choose themes showing that we are different, but the same.

Your dance recitals are so enjoyable for the community!

Not only do we watch a themed story unfold onstage, but the Civic Centre is always full of beautiful displays focusing on the dancers and the culture of dance….

Merritt Dance Studio Instructor

Lizette Nel, Head Dance Instructor Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Can you share your dance background with us, Lizette?

Training:  I was introduced to the world of dance at age 5, in Johannesburg South Africa.  I did not like it, but fortunately my mom did not give up and reintroduced me to dance a year later.

In the beginning I was very shy and could not face an audience, but I loved the dancing and movement to music. However, I did all my dance exams and in my final year of school, I decided to become a dance teacher.

Work Experience:  Before coming to Canada, I owned and operated a successful dance studio in South Africa , where I successfully trained hundreds of young dancers and prepared them to enter exams, festivals and competitions with confidence, always striving for excellence.

 In addition to teaching and running a studio, I also provided mentorship for some dance instructors in South Africa. Consequently, I created an online dance network as a resource and networking tool for dance teachers, and was a founding organizer of the national “Eisteddfod of the Performing Arts”, a prestigious dance event of its kind in South Africa

It continues to this day, attracting thousands each year.

I was also a judge for the National Society on Dance Teachers as well as a lecturer in the Movement Science Department of the University of Pretoria in South Africa.

 It was a journey for you to be here with us in the Nicola Valley. Can you tell us a little about that journey?

When I became aware of the possibility of teaching in Merritt BC Canada, I started the process of obtaining a work permit, a very long process.

I started teaching in the dance studio in the old Courthouse in December 2012. After teaching for a year, there was a delay in the renewing process of my work permit, and I had to return to South Africa for a few months.

The local students and their parents were very disappointed that we had to leave. The community wrote petition letters and did fundraisers. Fortunately everything got sorted out and we returned in August 2014, just in time for the new dance year to start.

What inspires you?

Young Dancers at Merritt Dance Studio

LTD Young Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

I’ve had five dance teachers. Two of them, Janet King and Dorothy de Witt still inspire me. Also the smiling faces and chuckles in the dance studio inspire me.
Our Merritt dance family’s dedication and strong will to succeed inspires me even more.

Every new day and the fact that God’s loving kindness starts fresh each day inspires me.

What support do you receive in your role in your Merritt Dance Studio?

Non Profit Volunteers

Love To Dance Volunteers Photo Courtesy of Love to Dance

I have strong support from the Merritt community.  I am very grateful for the many volunteers involved in the many Love To Dance activities. They make it possible for us to successfully present many extra dance opportunities and related activities.
My children in South Africa support what I do and always encourage me.


Without Herman, my husband, keeping things together in the background and the assistance and hard work of Vanessa, my daughter, the Love to Dance Academy will not be able to exist

How do you relax, and give yourself a break?

Gardening.

Favourite things about Merritt?  

Four definite seasons in a year!

Favourite Music?

Classical harp

What role does dance have in society?

I am particularly conscious of the benefits of dance and I promote my programs as a holistic tool for physical fitness, and mental, emotional and social health. We promote character building for youth and motor planning for seniors and people with disabilities.
In addition, dance develops physical strength, co-ordination, and good posture.
Dance improves self confidence and positive body image. Dance builds self discipline
.

Ballet Dancing

Love To Dance Ballet Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Concert

Participants in a Love to Dance Recital! Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

What effect do you feel Love to Dance has on our community?

Community Dancers

LTD Dancing in the Community Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Our young students learn to take charge of their lives by being responsible for scheduling and costumes and by managing their time wisely. They take pride in work well done, show leadership with younger dancers, and experience the value of teamwork and supporting others.

They are growing into mature, confident adults and they set an example which has a positive influence on younger dancers.

These positive effects are felt around our community.

Love to Dance brings together all ages, and the different ages interact and dance together in the recitals. It is a joy to see the older students take the young ones by hand and include them in the specially choreographed dances! I can feel and hear the pleasure in the audience around me at this collaboration of ages and levels of dance.

Community Dance

Love to Dance Valentine’s Tea Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

For the older dancers of 55 plus, in the program, “Dance for Lifelong Wellbeing,” the benefits of dance include brain agility, fitness, improved balance and reduced stress. This contributes to their independent longevity, and their ongoing participation in the community.

 In this Covid 19 pandemic, we taught our students (and their parents) to be grateful, and to not give up. We taught them to not wait for it to pass, but to accept it and make the best of it. We put new things in place. Our students made it through 10 weeks of doing things differently and they’ve learned many new skills.  It was hard, but we all survived and we’ve all become stronger.

We hope that this will spread wider and have a positive influence on our community.

What challenges does your dance studio, Love To Dance, face?


We are challenged with how to catch up the three months during covid – recovery of financial loss over three months with little income, continued rental and utility, and other commitments.

The whole world is currently turned upside down and inside out. But we see these obstacles as stepping stones, not mountains.

Street Dance

LTD Street Dance in Merritt Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

In this time of Covid 19, how is Love to Dance managing to stay connected with the dancers and the community?

SET UP VIRTUAL DANCE STUDIO

When we had to close our physical doors at the end of the day on March 16, after just one day of Spring Dance Camp, we decided to explore the possibility of changing from a brick and mortar dance studio to a virtual dance studio.

We attended many webinars presented by four different dance associations and got ourselves set up for Zoom classes and coaching by video.

To keep the interest in dance going, we lowered our class fees to encourage attendance.

BALLET

Ballet Dancer

LTD Ballet Dancer Photo Courtesy of Vanessa van Rensburg

To give our Royal Academy of Dance ballet students and parents hope, we continued to practice as if our exams, which were scheduled for April 29, were going to take place. 

Students could attend our Zoom ballet classes once per week and they could also make use of our private coaching by video option. 

This worked really well for some students, who had the full support of their parents. But as always happens, we unfortunately also had some dropping out (“stopping dance until the brick and mortar studio re-opens”)…. 

Most dancers have lots of self-discipline and keep up their daily practice while they are placed under movement restrictions, but we notice that they still needed to see each other to feel connected and to be motivated. The weekly Zoom dance classes really help to create some sense of normalcy. 


SPANISH  FLAMENCO

Thirteen of our Spanish Flamenco dance students successfully completed their exams by video at the end of April. 

 

Dance Studio

Herman Nel, Technical Expert for Love to Dance Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

SENIORS

We also set up ZOOM exercise classes for our seniors to help improve their balance, posture and flexibility and also improve your sense of well being – physical, emotional and mental. Payment for classes is by donation.

None of this would have been possible without Herman, my husband. To set all of this up, was a steep learning curve and involved some expenses.

What is next for Love to Dance?

We want to expand opportunities and restructure the dance program to accommodate what is currently happening all over the world.  It will be a constant dynamic situation going forward.

Keep an eye on Love To Dance’s current initiative that the members of Love to Dance Society can participate in.

Ongoing MEDAL TESTS

To further keep the interest in dance going we started having Medal Awards by video during the months of May and continue for June. This is open to everyone in Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Participants can enter Ballet, Jazz, Spanish and Folk/National dances – set dances and/or own choreography and interpretive dancing.

We noticed how the fun element and dancing with family members can bring the joy of dance into homes, so we added a section in which you can partner up with a sibling or parent or grandparent to dance a duet. 

Video submissions must happen before June 26 and participants will each receive a bronze, silver or gold certificate and medal in the beginning of July.

Merritt Dance Studio

Thank you, Lizette, for telling us all about the Love to Dance Academy! Many of us in the community are grateful to have an inspired dance studio here in Merritt.

Just one more advantage to living here in the Nicola Valley!

Support our art and culture in our community!

We hope to see the doors of the Love To Dance Studio open soon!
Merritt Dance Studio

Love To Dance Studio, still closed Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Artist Cassandra Dolen

Dance in the Nicola Valley Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

Dance Teacher

LTD Head Dance Instructor Lizette Nel Photo Courtesy of Jano Howarth

CONTACT LOVE TO DANCE

1976 Quilchena Avenue, +1 250 378 9898

www.lovetodanceacademy.com

LTDADANCE@GMAIL.COM

Facebook Love to Dance Academy

Instagram Love to Dance Academy, The Merritt Dance Teacher

Art and Culture Blogger, Jano Howarth

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

British Columbia, Canada – Merritt Speedway

The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley

Merritt Stock Car Association located in the Nicola Valley

 

Just 8 km west of Merritt, BC, Canada on Hwy #8 you will find “The Home of Dirt Track Racing in the Nicola Valley”, also referred to as the Merritt Speedway.  The 3/8 mile dirt track was established in 1991.  There was a lot of hard work, long hours and support of many businesses and individuals to make this happen.  As a result the track was ready for Stock Car Racers to try some dirt track fun on May 24, 1992.

Zero 4 Barry Bussiere Street Stock

Drivers can be as young as 14 years old

Merritt Speedway is operated by the Merritt Stock Car Association in the Nicola Valley.  It  is a family oriented Dirt track.  Drivers can be as young as 14 years old and, well, our oldest driver currently is 78.  He drives a Late Model Stock Car.  Hence, proving that you are never too old to play in the dirt.  We encourage members as well as the public to bring their whole family to the track. Members include racers from all over B.C.  Some come occasionally from Alberta and of course hometown favorites enjoy playing in the dirt at Merritt Speedway.

Merritt Speedway - #88  Amanda Dandy  4 cyl bomber

#88 Amanda Dandy – 4 cyl Bomber, she now drives #95 in 4 cyl her husband Sean Dandy #77 races in the Late Model Class

5 classes of Dirt Track Races

There are 5 classes of Dirt Track races to see, that is plenty of great family entertainment at affordable prices.  From Mini Stock,  4 cylinder Bomber (Sr and Jr),  6&8 cylinder Bomber,  Street Stock and Late Model. 

experience merritt bc

Swag Shop & Concession

We also  have a great concession serving up some great burgers, smokies, candies etc.  Also enjoy our  Swag Shop.  There is quite the variety of  items, magnets, hats, t-shirts in many colours and styles to choose from.   So between races, the chills, thrills and spills, visit one or both.     

merritt speedway 9 bill fader

8 cylinder bomber – #9 Bill Fader

Feel free to ask questions

When racing day is over at Merritt Speedway fans are welcome to come down to the pits and visit with the racers and pit crews.  Feel free to ask questions.  Some of our drivers would be happy to give the kids a ride around the track in their cars, safely of course.  There is also a campground area for drivers, family & friends.  Visitors are welcome after the days events.

Food Bank Drive and  Toy Drive

The Merritt Stock Car Association are proud to support those who may certainly need a little helping hand.  In the fall we hold a Food Bank Drive and a Toy Drive.  Fans are welcome to participate along with the club members.

Merritt Speedway Bill John Memorial Invitational

Our last race day of the season is on Thanksgiving weekend.  Merritt Speedway – Bill John Memorial Invitational, is named for the original owner of the land the track is situated on.  This is racing at its finest, racers come from Washington State, all over B.C. and Alberta to race on our dirt track. 

For more information check out

Website:  www.merrittspeedway.ca

Facebook page:  Merritt Stock Car Association

Email:  merrittspeedway@outlook.com

 

Nicola Valley Merritt Speedway

Merritt Speedway in British Columbia, Canada is one of the last few active dirt tracks in B.C. and the last to shut down each fall.

Come Catch the Action!

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Mason Bees in Merritt BC

Bees in Merritt BC are some of the best friends your garden can ever have.

Mason Bees in Merritt BC – These solitary, non-aggressive little bees are not only great pollinators but also just one nest of them is more than enough for the average back yard in Merritt BC Canada.  And when I say they are non-aggressive, I mean it! I have never heard of anyone ever being stung by one. In addition, Mason Bees in Merritt BC are abundant. To attract and also to keep these nature friends in your garden, you need to know a few things.

Life Cycle Of Mason Bees in Merritt BC

Mason Bees in Merritt BC emerge from cocoons when the daytime temperatures reach 14 degrees C(57 F). They mate shortly after emerging. Then, immediately after mating, the female starts foraging for pollen to provide her nest. She goes into a tube about 15 cm  (6″) long, creates a pollen lump, lays an egg on it and then seals it with mud, plant material or a mixture of both. Each egg hatches out into a grub or larva and feeds on the pollen lump until it is fully grown. Then it rests before spinning itself a cocoon. Inside the cocoon, it first changes into a pupa, then into a bee.
By the end of summer, the cocoons contain adult bees. Both male and female bees remain in their cocoons until spring when the cycle starts all over again.

mason bees in merritt bc

Mason bee hard at work pollinating

Mason Bee Nest Requirements 

If you want to encourage Mason Bees in Merritt BC, build them a nest and meet their few requirements. They like their nests about 5 ft. from the ground and facing east. Preferred nesting spots are in dry tubes about 6″ long and 5/16″ deep, with only one entrance. Wood, masonry or even paper will do. It must be protected from wind, rain and extremes of cold and heat. Also, early flowering plants are also essential for bees in Merritt BC since the female must provide pollen lumps for her eggs. In addition to these few things, your Mason Bees will also need mud to seal in their eggs and protect them.

Early flowering plants for your Mason Bees

I checked with Vicki Hansen at Petals & Plants Flower Shop at 2052 B Quilchena Avenue for some suggestions for early plants in our area. She suggested the following: bleeding hearts, bachelor buttons, snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and, of course, lilacs. If you need more information, contact Vicki on Facebook, Instagram or phone her at: 250-378-5575. 

merritt mason bee pollinating

Spring is here and Mason Bees are hard at work

Constructing your own Mason Bee Nests

The easiest way to do this is to purchase paper straws, crimp the ends and tape them together so the open ends are uneven. Next, wrap the taped straws with cardboard glued together, then wrap in insulation to protect them from heat and cold. Paint the bee house in bright colours. Bees see colour and this helps them to find their nest. While you’re at it, why not paint the ends of the straws too.

Securing your Mason Bee nest

Paint the inside of a large, plastic bucket a dark colour. Insert the straw bundle in the bee house and put the whole thing into the plastic bucket turned on its side. Drill holes on the under side to let out water if rain gets in. Mason Bees in Merritt BC have many predators, so remember to cover the open end of the bucket with chicken wire. Also, keep the wire at least 3″ away from the nest entrance to keep pests out.

nesting mason bees in merritt bc

Example of a home-made Mason Bee nest

Harvesting Mason Bee cocoons in Merritt

Sometime between October and December it will be time to harvest your cocoons. If you use paper straws for your nests, harvesting is easy. Make a small cut in one end of the straw and unravel it carefully over a paper covered surface. Place cocoons in a container.

Merritt Mason Bee Nest and cocoon cleaning

Clean nests and replace straws as previously described. Between late September and December bees will not emerge from cocoons at room temperature, so clean the cocoons then. Mason bees in Merritt BC have a lot of wasps that parasite  them. Because of this, a thorough cleaning is necessary.

mason bee hotel

Mason Bee hotel and accommodations

How to clean Mason Bee cocoons

Place cocoons in an ice cream bucket. Add 8 cups tepid water. Wet cocoons by gently rolling and moving them for 5-15 minutes. Remove and place in a large strainer. Rinse again adding 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 gallon of water. Rinse well under gently running water. Remember, you have delicate, live bees in there.

After at least two washings, check for mites by placing the cocoons on a white paper towel, cover them with a wet paper towel and leave them to drain.

Mite check for your Merritt Mason Bees

After an hour, remove the paper towels and check the cocoons. You are looking for small orange spots. These are mites. If there are 5 or fewer per square inch, your cocoons are OK. If there are more than this then wash your cocoons again until there are fewer than 5 orange dots per square inch.

Which cocoons have  Mason Bees in them?

Cocoons with bees are dark grey and firm to the touch. “Parasitized” cocoons are lighter colored and feel crispy or look empty. Keep suspect cocoons in a clear container. In spring if wasps emerge, freeze and destroy. If bees emerge, cool them for 30 minutes in the fridge and release them outside.

Now you have Mason Bees in Merritt BC . Store the dry, clean cocoons in a cardboard box cushioned with toilet tissue. Keep the box in a metal, lidded container so pests can’t eat the cocoons. Punch some holes for air.

Releasing your Bees

In February, keep the box in the fridge over a damp paper towel until flowers bloom and the bees have food. A temperature between 2-4 degrees c. is ideal but colder could kill them; warmer could cause them to emerge too early and starve.

Emergence of Mason Bees in Merritt

Cut a small hole in the box for the bees to emerge. Then, place under the cleaned nesting box protected from rain, wind and of course, birds. However, remember to provide mud for your Mason Bees.  Also, remember to keep it moist so the bees can scoop it up as needed.

Smile every time you see one of your bees foraging in the garden!

Need more information?

Check out our local Merritt Public Library
address: 1691 Garcia
phone: 250-378-4737
website: tnrl.ca

Your senior blogger
Diane

Mason Bees in Merritt, B.C.

Creating a home for your Merritt Mason Bees


Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

Culture and Art Show for Children

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

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

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

Art for Children

Children in Art, Art for Children

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

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

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

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

Art horses

Miriam Loken’s “A Moment with Max”

What’s in our Art for Children show?

Of course, we have children in the art…

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

Artists Michael Behrens and Joel Reid Paintings

Art can inspire.

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

Paintings, 3D pieces, mixed media…

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

painting in merritt

Tina Barlow’s Love, Laugh

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

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

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

And My Topsy Turvy Circus Diorama

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

Children artists in merritt

Jano Howarth’s Mime Face Up

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

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

When I put the call out to artists I said:

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

children art

Art Bud’s Renee Hartwig

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

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

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

children and art in merritt

Art to Inspire Children

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

We have art that stimulates, amuses, and soothes.

Art for Children

Vicki Strom’s Felt Mouse

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

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

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

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

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

Jano Howarth, Arts Gallery Director and community supporter!

Art Things To Do in Merritt, BC

Check out some of our past Arts Gallery Shows

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

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

Jano’s

Interested in doll characters and photo stories?

  • Website: Hiya Dolly
  • Facebook and Instagram Hiya Dolly

More on the Art for Children Show…

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

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

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

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

art and culture in merritt

Topsy Turvy Circus by Jano Howarth

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

Art for Children

Inspired!

Art for Children in Merritt British Columbia Canada

Nicola Valley Arts Council

 

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