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Estate Planning in Merritt, BC

Preparing For the Unexpected – A Holistic View on Estate & Insurance Planning in Merritt 

The Second Pillar of Financial Planning

Estate Planning in Merritt, BC – Life is full of unexpected turns and twists. Because of that, we need to have a plan in place. Here we focus on developing comprehensive strategies that protect, preserve and provide for those that we care about. What is in place to protect our income and wealth? On our passing, is there enough liquidity in our estate? Is our will up to date? Is the executor and power of attorney we selected up to the task? If we could no longer work and were not an ideal retirement age, how would our retirement look?

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Great care needs to be taken to ensure the needs are all protected and fulfilled.

A Quick Disclaimer…

Some of the strategies that I will discuss are not to be taken as advice for your unique needs. I strongly suggest that you speak to a qualified professional.  These are complicated issues and not to be taken lightly. Being dually licensed in Mutual Funds and Insurance, I look at the big picture when it come to making recommendations. 

Some Basic Assumptions to Begin Financial Planning

To begin, every financial plan looks at a couple main points. We start with a desired retirement date and a projected date of passing. For some, this number may be larger than others. Family history and current health are indicators of potential life expectancies. For the most part, I look at tables and project that way. A truth we must face, some of us will live to be 90 and even 100 years old.

A Shocking Canadian Statistic

Protecting Our Income and Our Wealth

Play along with me for a moment. Imagine yourself 45 years old. You are in the prime earning years of your life.  With possibly 20 years to go until retirement, many things are on your mind. Funding our children’s future education goals, paying off that mortgage and investing for retirement most likely top that list. You receive a call, letting you know your spouse was in a serious car accident. They unfortunately will not survive their injuries. I know this may seem grim, however, this is a part of life for some. This event was one of two things, planned or unplanned. Having a policy in place to protect against such an event will make all the difference for that surviving spouse and those children. 

Estate Liquidity Needs

When an individual passes, expenses come up out of no where that need to be covered by someone. Assets like a primary residence or an investment account will not be available right away to help cover some of these expenses. If there is no will in place, your loved ones may have to cover your expenses for months to come before the courts will actually grant someone the ability to simply act as your administrator. With accounts frozen, these expenses will have to be paid out of pocket by someone else. Not exactly the lasting memory we wish to leave behind. However, a simple beneficiary designation in the correct direction or a life policy could change this whole story.

Estate Planning in Merritt and Trust Advisory (Wills/POA)

Your last will and testament is an important thing to have in place. However, just as important is who you name to carry out your last wishes. Is this executor or executrix up to the task? With your passing, could you see them being mentally and physically able to carry out this task? Not exactly something we want to take lightly. Trusts are a complicated topic as well and the situation needs to warrant having something like this in place. Split families and second marriages bring a level of complexity to the estate planning process also. The wording needs to be very accurate to ensure your wishes take place. 

Living Benefits (Disability/Critical Illness/Long Term Care)

What would happen to our family if we were injured before retirement? This can have a massive impact on an individual or a family. No longer have the ability to meet our current expenses, possibly even having expenses increase. What if a medical diagnosis or disease left us unable to earn a living for ourselves? There are so many situations that can be planned for. Ensuring we have proper coverage at different parts of our life is vitally important. Would our significant other be able to live comfortably if we needed long term care?

Estate Planning Is An Important Step, Not To Be Overlooked

Ensure Your Plan Prepares You For The Unexpected

 

School Snack Ideas and Recipes

My Best 5 School Snack Ideas!  

Being a mama of 7,  our house runs on snacks. I  hope you enjoy my 5 back to school snack ideas! Nutritious and delicious. 

 So this week I decided to share with you our school snack ideas! Consequently it is back to school season. Therefore it is a great time to share school snack ideas that my family comes back to again and again. I think these snacking suggestions would be great for anyone, home schooled or public schooled. Assuredly these are some great options if you are hungry and need something to tie you over until your next meal.

Plant Based School Snack Ideas

I love using plant based treats for snack time. These snacks come loaded with healthy grains,  nuts and seeds. Add  in healthy fats like coconut oil or delicious nut butters and you have a sticky and satisfying snack time. In conclusion I feel these plant based snacks have all  the makings for the perfect school snack. 

school snack ideas in Merritt

School Snack Idea #1 Chocolate Hummus

Hummus is a great one to lead with for school snack ideas. A different spin on a good classic staple. Hummus is great any time of the year. I love keeping a batch fresh and ready to spread on tortillas or rice cakes. That is where chocolate hummus comes into play. Decadent and dark, enjoyed with fresh fruit or pretzels this is a crowd pleaser. In addition to dates being a sneaky health building sidekick, binder and tasty thickener – they are high in fiber and may promote brain health. Which makes them a easy go-to for an after school snack.

Hummus

Unexpectedly Yummy

Chocolate Hummus Recipe

1 Can Chick Peas ( microwave for 3 mins to cook) 

6 Dates (more or less – depending on how much sweetness you are looking for)

1/2  Cup Cocoa Powder 

1/4 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup

Pinch of Sea Salt 

1/4 Cup Tahini Paste ( If you do not have any of this on hand, you could always use peanut butter or maybe almond butter)

Blend in your food processor  taste and enjoy! I recommend trying this a few times before you say you love it or hate it. It does have a “beany” taste some may pick up on. But I would say, don’t give up on it if they first batch is a bust. In conclusion I know my kids love this now. But did take some effort to warm up to the idea. I am ecstatic I can add it to my school snack idea rotations.

School Snack Idea #2 Fruit, Veggies & Protein

School snack ideas is not complete with out these three. For example, I keep fruit and veggies stocked up in this house. I was recently listening to the audio book “Atomic Habits” and in the book the author was talking about replacing cookies to fruit in your cookie jar. This was something I did years ago when my kids were little. I counted this as a win. 

Easy Kid Meals snacking

Un-Bear-Ably Cute

Previously, the sight of the cookie jar made me want a cookie.  Or my toddler would want a cookie. Since replacing the “cookie” with fruit. Our eating habits have improved as well as our waistlines. For us a easy protein is always nut butters or hummus. In addition a small handful of almonds or walnuts is also a great way to get some healthy fats and protein. This un-bear-ably cute snack was created with sliced “banana pennies”, peanut butter and tasty blue berries. 

School Snacks ideas for kids

Fun Food Kids Will Ask For Again & Again

Snack Idea #3 Treat balls

School snack ideas cant be complete with out these super simple and easy to do treats. I love making a huge batch of these and enjoying some right away. But then also tucking the rest away in the freezer. Perfect for when a sugar craving hits, or you need some easy protein after a work out or intense trip or as a reward for not buying the cookies you were eyeing at the supermarket. I personally love to use them as a way to get our daily flax seed intake in. Flax is delicate and can loose effectiveness if heated to high temperatures . So I feel the best way to enjoy it is either in a fresh smoothie or eating in a raw tasty treat ball. I like to store my flax in the freezer for freshness, it can go rancid if left in the cupboard for too long. 

Snack Idea #4 My Home Made Granola Bars

These are a great school snack idea! Granola bars always are a hit! They are perfect for adding into lunches or ready to go when you want to hit the trails and go on an adventure. So easy to have it ready for when you need some quick and easy inexpensive energy. I have made these bars for years. And have played around with different flours. You can always add an extra egg or add more apples sauce or even a banana if you use a flour that is more dense like whole wheat or spelt. 

Healthy Kid Snacks for school

Healthy Kid Snacks

Jens Granola Bars Recipe

2 1/2 Cups of rolled oats                                        

1 cup of flour

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup of apple sauce 

1 cup of ground flax seed

pinch of sea salt 

1/2 cup of honey

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1 cup of  either trail mix, chocolate chips, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, raisins and white chocolate chips, dried fruit. 

Oven; 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C)

Kid Approved School Snacks Ideas

Granola Bars Are Always A Treat!

Stir oats, flour and ground flax seeds, brown sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add your egg, honey, apple sauce, vanilla. Stir until evenly combined. Pour mixture into a 9X13-inch baking dish, pat down and smooth evenly . Bake in pre-heated oven until golden and set. About 25 mins. 

Snack Idea #5 Roasted Chick Peas 

Simple Snacking for Toddlers

Easy for little fingers to handle also.

These are a great after school snack. Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber, and offer a good dose of iron while stabilizing your blood sugars. So all in all a great snack to reach for in the afternoon. I love to make a big batch of these and add to snack time or as a side to our lunches. These are super yummy sprinkled over salads here are a few recipe ideas to get you as excited for these as I am. I always bake mine in the oven, But I could see owning something like an air fryer might be pretty great for this healthy treat! 

Roasted Chick Peas school snack ideas

A tasty snack.

Doritos – This looks like a tasty option if you have a craving for chippies but gotta cut back. 

Basic  – This is an easy basic recipe to get you started. 

Cinnamon Sugar  – If you are looking for a healthier option for a sweet treat. This is also a tasty way to enjoy! 

Ketchup – We call our chickpeas “nibbles” due to using this cookbook. The ketchup version is so delicious. We have a bunch of ketchup lovers in this house so this satisfies the craving asap! 

In conclusion

 I hope you enjoyed my mash up of some of our favorite school snack idea’s! Its exciting to be blogging with the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers! We are always so thankful when you stop by.  If your curious about getting to know me and my family a little more you can read this post. To learn how we do life with a large family. And you are always welcome to follow along with us on Instagram.

Login Lake BC Canada

Recipes for School Snacks

Recipes, ingredients and directions for 5 snacking ideas for school. 

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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Merritt BC Birdwatching & Wildlife Watching from Home

Photo’s of Nature  During Covid19 Merritt Canada

“From my home, my backyard, there is a whole world of activity opening up to my eyes that I may have taken for granted before Covid 19.”  

 

Merritt BC birdwatching and wildlife watching from my backyard in the Nicola Valley has really opened my eyes up to how fortunate we are as Merrittonians.  However, being isolated during Covid19 may make a person a bit “Bat Crazy” therefore finding things to do can be tricky especially when you have children. 

Merritt BC birdwatching through Photography

Grab your camera, phone or art paint and head outdoors into Mother Nature is one option to consider. Almost every day I spend a couple of hours taking photo’s of nature during Covid19 in Merritt, Canada.” I like to experience the beauty of the Nicola Valley backyard “Critters” during isolation through photography.

Not Merritt BC Birdwatching

Happy Squirrel that loves to living in Canada. Photo by Tania Stewart

Enjoying Merritt nature during isolation.

Finding things to occupy yourself during this time can be trying at times. I combine my passion for photography and nature to be my therapy during the pandemic. Consequently, I often find myself wandering my backyard for a photo moment. Admittingly I am not a pro at taking photos, but these pictures will forever be a reminder of this time in my life.  

Albeit when standing guard for your peanuts! 

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.

Photo’s of Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada. Merritt Nature During Isolation. Photo by Tania Stewart

merritt bc birdwatching

Hanging on. Nature Around My Yard During Isolation. Photo by Tania Stewart

birdwatching in merritt bc canada

Backyard Feeding Nature During Covid19 Merritt. Photo by Tania Stewart.

Types of squirrels

Canada is home to 22 different types of squirrels. Six of these are ground-dwelling, four live in trees, and two are varieties of flying squirrels. Can you count flying squirrels as Merritt BC birdwatching? Probably not. Common ground squirrels have thin tails and hibernate through winter, while bushy-tailed tree squirrels are active year-round.

Life as a Squirrel

Tree squirrels build nests, living amongst branches and within tree hollows. Ground squirrels do the opposite. They dig  burrows to reside underground. All squirrels use their tails for shade during warm weather, warmth during the winter, and balance when climbing or jumping. Here is a link to learn more about squirrels –  Backyard friends.

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.Merritt

Fast n Furious! Photo by Tania Stewart

They help plant trees

While they can be a nuisance to gardeners thanks to their fondness for flower bulbs, squirrels play an important role in forest regeneration.  As winter approaches, squirrels prepare by burying nuts and seeds to help see them through. Inevitably, some of their stash will be forgotten and germinate in the spring.

backyardPhoto's of NatureWaiting its turn for the birdfeed. Photo by Tania 
merritt bc birdwatching

Spring is here! Robins are back. Image Tania Stewart

 

The crow family (Corvidae) is a large family of birds that includes jackdaws, choughs, jays, magpies and nutcrackers as well as crows and ravens. The crow family represents one of the most advanced stages of avian evolution, showing, for example, a highly developed intelligence and a complex social organization. 

Photo's of Nature Nature During Covid19 Merritt, Canada.Crowmerritt.

Standing guard over his nest. Image Tania Stewart.

Caw to the Crow.

Crows will jointly defend space with a lifelong mate and displays their status with the rest of the flock, as well as, warns all fellow crows when danger is afoot. Furthermore, here is another interesting fact,  crows recognize human faces!

birds of merritt bc canada

My friendly Crow. Image Tania Stewart.

OK I admit I love Crows!

crows are birds too

Image Tania Stewart.

Merritt BC Canada backyard birdwatching includes Robins!

Robins feed extensively on insects, insect larvae and earthworms but also consume fruits and berries in season and are considered bird pests in many areas. The robin is widely found in many parts of Canada. Birdwatchers tell us the robin is migratory in most parts of the country however, it may winter or attempt to winter in some of the southern parts of most provinces. 

When you spot a “Robin” spring is here! Tania Stewart

Merrittrobins

Welcome back! Image Tania Stewart

The call of the Morning Doves

The mourning dove gets its name from its low, mournful “ooo-Ahhh crooo-ooo-ooo” call, though other calls include a low, rapid coo when in distress and a rapid, high wing whistle when the birds take flight.

birdwatching in nicola valley

Apples are great! Image Tania Stewart

It’s a Birds Paradise! 

backyrad birdwatching in merritt

Waiting for feed. Image Tania Stewart

Taken in some shade! Image Tania Stewart

During Covid19. All bird feeders are open.

birding in merritt

Backyard friends. Image Tania Stewart

merritt birdwatching

Two legged prowler! Image taken by Tania Stewart

birdwatching in the nicola valley

Birds are always singing. Image Tania Stewart

 

Deer are always welcome to visit during Covid19.

Being a deer is an even-toed ungulate, deers are grazers  and browsers (eating shrubs and woody plants). Deer also have a four-chambered stomach making them ruminants. The process of ruminal fermentation allows deer to partially digest complex carbohydrates that other mammals cannot – this means that almost all vegetation is available to deer as a food source.

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Image taken by Tania Stewart.

Furthermore Oliver

Oliver the cat truly enjoys being outside and birdwatching in my backyard here in Merritt BC.

Oliver loves the Outdoors! Image taken by Tania Stewart.

To tell the truth even Oliver takes in the sights with wonderment! Tania Stewart

Additionally you may run into this little critter!

As a result of using high zoom, I was able to capture this cool creature. Consequently,  those green looking leaves are decorative Christmas fur on the outside railing of my home. Got to just love Insects.

Small but adorable. Image taken by Tania Stewart.

Nature During Covid19 in  Merritt, Canada

This is how I find some balance during this time during the pandemic. Therefore, almost every day I spend a couple of hours during the day taking photos.

Merritt BC Birdwatching

Wildlife Watching from Home

Adventures and activities in British Columbia Canada

 

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel & Adventure Guides

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Merritt BC Sewing Services
Nimble Thimble Creations 

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

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

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

merritt bc sewing services

Nicola Valley artisan seamstress tools

Equally important is having access to a seamstress.

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

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

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

Moving to Merritt BC.

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

nicolavalley

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

Bringing Merritt BC sewing services to Merritt BC.

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

Merritt BC Nimble Thimble

And more and more material can be found

Merritt BC fabrics 

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

Patchwork quilt

Patchwork quilt at Nimble Thimble

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

experiencenicolavalley

Zip it up!

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

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

Moreover sewing essentials needed!

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

merritt bc sewing essentials

Merritt BC Sewing essentials.

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

MerrittBC

Variety of thread. Nimble Thimble

Creative colors at this Merritt BC sewing store.

To demonstrate Sharon’s sewing room.

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

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

sewing tools of history

Sewing tools from history

Quilting is an Art form.

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

nicolavalleybusinesses

Beautiful selection of material.

merritt sewing services

Have I mentioned the material enough times or what.

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

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

CONTACT INFORMATION

Nimble Thimble

2058A Granite Ave,
Merritt, BC, Canada
V1K1B8 

Phone: (250) 315-2340

FACEBOOK

Merritt British Columbia Canada Top Travel Guides

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 muralRandy Travis – American Country Music Superstar

Grand Ole Opry Inductee Randy Travis Featured On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The First Chapter Of An Extraordinary Life

Randy Travis, is an American country music superstar and Christian country music singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

Travis was born on May 4, 1959 in Marshville, North Carolina, USA as Randy Bruce Traywick. The second of six children  of Harold Traywick (the owner of a construction company and farmer, as well as a substitute teacher) and Bobbie Traywick (a textile factory worker).

 “My dad was always a big country music fan, so we grew up listening to a lot of the old stuff. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline were probably his favorites.”(Ricky Traywick)

Randy Travis and Brother Rick

Randy Travis and Rick

Randy Travis grew up with the family name of Traywick and was the younger brother of Ricky Traywick by two years. Growing up in the Traywick home there were no shortage of musical influences and encouragement. Listening to music wasn’t the only influence he and his brother had. “Actually, their dad took them to guitar lessons together. Afterwards, they would go home and “jam” in the den, learning from each other. They would take turns playing lead and rhythm, always trying to out play each other.“

Learning to play the guitar at the age of 8, he started singing in the Church of Christ choir. For the next 2 years he and his brother Ricky performed as the Traywick Brothers at local clubs as well as entering talent contests. He would become a solo entertainer in 1969.

Randy Travis Early Years

Randy Travis

Troubles In The First Chapter

The next few years would be troublesome for Travis. Although his father encouraged his pursuit of music. The two often quarreled, which in part was a contributing factor in Randy dropping out of school.

Now as a solo singer he would continue to perform. Performing in tough venues where acts would be protected from the audience by chain link fence.

As a teenager Randy’s love of country music was matched only, by his increasing experimentation of alcohol and drugs. Soon Travis was drinking excessively and using drugs. He has been open about his troubled teen years, telling Newsweek that he began drinking at 12 and using drugs at 14.

“Sometimes a lot harder drugs, but at least marijuana every day,” he admitted. “I think all that was part of why I got into so much trouble. Because I drank so much and did so many drugs that it was like it wasn’t me. It was like another person was in control. Nobody can handle that kind of abuse. You go crazy, you’re not mentally in control. I’m just thankful that cocaine wasn’t around when I was going through my bad time. I’d have probably died. I’d have probably killed myself with it.” (Randy Travis to Newsweek)

By this time he had dropped out of school and briefly held a job as a construction worker. Over the next few years. Randy was in and out of trouble. Arrested for assault, breaking and entering as well as other misdemeanor charges.

The Start Of A Slow Turnaround

Randy Travis was a kid with a golden voice and a habit of making trouble when he was discovered in his home state of North Carolina in the late 1970s.

In 1975, Randy won a talent contest in Country City USA a nightclub in, Charlotte, North Carolina. The club owner, Elizabeth “Lib Hatcher” took an interest in the young singer. She hired him as a cook and gave him regular singing gigs at the club.

Still in his late teens, Randy had one more run in with the law. At his hearing, Hatcher seeing promise in his music convinced the judge to let her become Randy’s legal guardian. Hatcher spent the next few years grooming Randy. The two began to focus on his career full time.

In 1978, he recorded a self-titled album, Randy Traywick, for Paula Records. One single from the album, “She’s My Woman”, spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.

Travis moved in with Hatcher, which put further strain on her already fragile marriage. She eventually left her husband and, in 1982, she and Travis moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Hatcher became manager of the Nashville Palace, a tourist-oriented club near the Grand Ole Opry. Randy performed as “Randy Ray” in the club as well as worked as their short order cook.

During this time an unlikely romance began to form between Travis and Hatcher. Travis and Hatcher eventually came forward with their relationship. They married in a private ceremony in 1991.

Travis would later comment, “I think we discovered how much we needed each other.” (Randy Travis)

Randy and Elizabeth Travis

Randy and Elizabeth

Chapter Two The Complete Beginning To The Rise Of Fame

Travis was rejected by every major record label in Nashville in the early 1980’s. Labelled and criticized by record executives, he was passed over by Warner Brothers twice as being “too country”. He would become a pivotal figure in the history of country music, including positioning as a major force in the neo traditional country movement.

 Warner Bros. senior vice president Martha Sharp went to the Palace to hear “Randy Ray” perform in 1985 and offered him a contract on the spot.

“I loved his voice,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “But I knew I was going to get a lot of guff. The prevailing opinion at that time was that he was too country, nothing that country would work. Still, my gut told me to go ahead.” (Martha Sharp)

Martha Sharp with Faith Hill

Martha Sharp and Faith Hill (An Older Picture)

The first thing Sharp did was change Randy Traywick’s stage name to Randy Travis. Then she encouraged him to focus on his strengths—especially his robust but edgy voice and the vein of irony that helped temper his more sentimental songs.

After being told he was too traditional, “On the Other Hand” released in 1985 only reached number 67 on the charts. Despite the disappointing review of “On The Other Hand”, Warner released “1982” which became a top ten the same year.  Randy Travis quickly became the hottest young country artist in America. He was adored by fans of contemporary and traditional country.

In 1986, both songs appeared on Travis’s album Storms Of Life, which secured a place at No. 1 for eight weeks and sold over five million copies.

Randy Travis was well on his way of marking a generational shift in country music.

Chapter Three Continuing To The Rise Of Fame Throughout The “1980’s”

In 1986, Warner Bros. re-released “On the Other Hand”, and the re-release became Travis’s first No. 1 single on the chart.

Travis’s first album, Storms of Life, was released by Warner Bros. in June of 1986 with anticipated sales of 20,000 units. By the end of the year it had sold more than a million copies and yielded four hit singles: “1982,” “On the Other Hand,” “Diggin’ Up Bones,” and “Reasons I Cheat. “On the Other Hand”, “Diggin’ Up Bones”, and “No Place Like Home” were all co-written by Paul Overstreet.

Randy Travis

Randy Travis

Storms helped the world recognize, Randy Travis was no longer a secret.  The Album earned him The Country Music Association’s  Horizon Award now known as (New Artist Of The Year Award).

“Diggin’ Up Bones” also won Travis his first Grammy Award in 1986, for Best Male Vocal Country Performance. “Storms of Life” received its highest Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) sales certification in 1992, when it was certified triple-platinum for shipments of 3 million copies.  The album’s producer was Kyle Lehning, who would also produce nearly all of Travis’s subsequent albums. In December 1986, Travis became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was the youngest inductee at the age of 28 to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

When his Storms of Life came out in 1986, country music was still wallowing in the post-urban cowboy recession, chasing elusive crossover dreams. Travis brought the music back to its basics, sounding like a perfect blend of George Jones and Merle Haggard.

The Hits and Awards Keep Coming

He became the dominant male voice in country until the rise of “hat acts” like Garth Brooks and Clint Black, releasing seven consecutive number one singles during one stretch. He won the CMA’s Horizon Award in 1986 and was the association’s Male Vocalist of the Year in 1987 and 1988.

During the early years Travis and his band travelled to concerts in a converted bread truck, equipment was hauled in a van and horse trailer. By the beginning of 1987, the Travis entourage, still managed by Hatcher—traveled in the comfort of a $500,000 bus. Hatcher also found Travis a publicist, who signed the engaging young singer to some unlikely television appearances, including one on the rock-oriented Saturday Night Live.

His second album, Always and Forever, sold well over three million copies and remained at the Number One position on the country charts for a record 43 weeks. The release’s most popular hit single, “Forever and Ever, Amen” was named favorite country single of 1987 by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Always & Forever won Travis his second Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1987.

Randy’s third album, “I Told You So” was issued in July 1988. Its first three singles, “Honky Tonk Moon”, “Deeper Than the Holler”, and “Is It Still Over?”, all reached No. 1 as well, while “Promises” was less successful at No. 17. The album achieved its highest RIAA certification of double-platinum in 1996. This was followed by Travis’s first Christmas album, “An Old Time Christmas”, late in 1989.

Closing Off The Decade Of The 1980’s

In 1989, Travis recorded a cover of “It’s Just a Matter of Time”, which was originally recorded by Brook Benton thirty years prior. Travis cut the song for a multi-artist tribute album titled Rock, Rhythm & Blues which was also released by Warner Brothers, and persuaded the label to include it on what would become his fourth Warner album, No Holdin’ Back.

Travis’s version of the song, produced by Richard Perry (who also provided bass vocals on it), was the lead single to that album, and charted at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs in December 1989.  Two more singles were released from No Holdin’ Back: “Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart”, which became Travis’s longest-lasting No. 1 single at four weeks in 1990, and “He Walked on Water”, which peaked at No. 3. The album included one other cover song, “Singing the Blues”, along with the track “Somewhere in My Broken Heart”, co-written and later recorded by Billy Dean.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Randy Travis’s Part In Neotraditional Country

Classic Travis material and carefully crafted vocal delivery, helped bring neotraditionalism to the forefront of country music. New (or “neo-“) traditionalism looked to the elders of country music like Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, Kitty Wells and George Jones for inspiration, and was a precursor to the more general categorization known as new country.

Randy Travis 2003

Randy Travis

The 1980s and ’90s were the time for a new, yet old, take on country music, neotraditional country. Randy Travis, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Patty Loveless, and Marty Stuart, among others, were all ambassadors of the down-to-earth brand of music. Which drew on traditional bluegrass sounds and down-home themes.

Neotraditional country, also known as new traditional country, is a country music style that emphasizes the instrumental background and a “traditional” country vocal style. Typical instruments – Guitar · Steel Guitar · Dobro · Harmonica · Bass · Fiddle · Drums · Banjo  and the Mandolin.

Travis came from the same neotraditional background as George Straight, especially on his album “Storms Of Life”. The album marked a milestone as the first debut album to sell one million albums.

Like Straight, Travis removed the undesirable elements attributed to the drinking, honky-tonk approach found with the outlaw artists. He was still able to personify a traditional country style.

Along with country pop and country rock, neotraditional country remains one of the veins of country music that holds mainstream popularity in the mid-2010s.

Chapter Four Acting and Music During The 1990’s

In the 1990s, Travis took on an acting career. He won roles in the made-for-TV movies Dead Man’s Revenge (1994) and Steel Chariots (1997). He made appearances on some of TV’s most popular series, including Touched By an Angel, Frasier and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.  Travis landed supporting roles in the feature films The Rainmaker (1997), T.N.T. (1998) and The Million Dollar Kid (1999).

Randy Travis-Million Dollar Kid

Million Dollar Kid

In addition to his acting efforts, Travis’s music career continued to thrive with the release of Full Circle (1996), You And You Alone (1998) and A Man Ain’t Made Out Of Stone (1999).

Travis’s sixth studio album, Heroes & Friends, consisted almost entirely of duets. It produced two singles: “A Few Ole Country Boys” (featuring George Jones) and the title track, also the only solo cut on the album. Both made top 10 on the country music charts in 1991. Other featured artists included B. B. King and Clint Eastwood. “We’re Strangers Again”, a duet with Tammy Wynette. Written by Merle Haggard and Leona Williams. The rendition by Travis and Wynette later appeared on the latter’s Best Loved Hits compilation for Epic Records, who issued it as a single in August 1991.

More Music In The 1990″s

In 1991, Travis took part in “Voices That Care”, a multi-artist project that featured other top names in music for a one-off single to raise money for the allied troops in the Gulf War.

The project included fellow singers Garth Brooks, Kenny Rogers, and Kathy Mattea. In addition, Travis recorded the patriotic song “Point of Light” in response to the Thousand points of light program initiated by George H. W. Bush.

This song was also the lead single to his seventh Warner album, High Lonesome. This album produced three more singles, all of which Travis co-wrote with fellow country singer Alan Jackson. “Forever Together”, “Better Class of Losers”, and “I’d Surrender All”.

Warner Bros. released two volumes of a Greatest Hits package in September 1992: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 and Greatest Hits, Volume 2. One single from each compilation made No. 1 that year: “If I Didn’t Have You” from Volume 1, and “Look Heart, No Hands” from Volume 2.

Also released from Volume 1 was “An Old Pair of Shoes”, which charted at No. 21. Later in 1992, Travis cut the album Wind in the Wire, a disc of cowboy-inspired Western music intended to accompany a television movie of the same name in which Travis appeared.

Wind In Wire Randy Travis

Randy Travis

This disc was his first not to produce any Top 40 country singles. Due to Wind in the Wire and other TV movies in which he starred, Travis took a hiatus from recording and touring for most of 1993. He later told Billboard magazine that “There seems to be this perception that I’ve completely quit”.

Music Keeps Charting In The 1990’s

Lehning remarked of Travis’s ninth album, This Is Me, that the singer seemed “reinvigorated”, while Travis himself said that the songs on it seemed more “rowdy” than those on previous albums.

Four singles from this album made the charts: “Before You Kill Us All”, “Whisper My Name” (which peaked at No. 1 in 1994), the title track, and “The Box”. His last album for Warner was 1996’s Full Circle. Which featured the singles “Are We in Trouble Now”, “Would I”, and “Price to Pay”. The last of which failed to reach the country top 40.

Also in 1996, Travis covered Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” for the soundtrack to Traveler. This rendition, issued by Asylum Records, spent 15 weeks on the country charts despite only peaking at No. 51.

Travis signed to Dream Works Records in 1998, where he issued “You and You Alone”. For this album, Travis co-produced with Byron Gallimore (best known for his work with Tim McGraw) and James Stroud.

You Alone Randy Travis

Randy Travis You And You Alone

Featured artists on the disc included Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, and Melba Montgomery. Actor Patrick Swayze also contributed backing vocals on the track “I Did My Part”. Its singles were “Out of My Bones”, “The Hole”, “Spirit of a Boy, “Wisdom of a Man” and “Stranger in My Mirror”.

His only other DreamWorks album, A Man Ain’t Made of Stone, followed in 1999. Also co-produced by Stroud and Gallimore, it produced a Top 20 hit in its title track. Three other singles all failed to make top 40.

Balance – The Silver Lining And Inspirational Journey in The 2000″s

Travis’s career from 2000 onward was dominated by Christian country music. His first full album in the genre, 2000’s Inspirational Journey, was issued via Word Records.

One cut from this album, “Baptism”, was originally recorded by Kenny Chesney as a duet with Travis on Chesney’s 1999 album Everywhere We Go. The version appearing on Inspirational Journey, a solo rendition by Travis, charted at No. 75 on the country charts in late 2000. Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Travis recorded the patriotic song “America Will Always Stand”, which charted via distribution from Relentless Records.

Travis’s most successful venture in Christian country music was “Three Wooden Crosses”. Released in December 2002 as the lead single to his album Rise and Shine, that song became his sixteenth and final No. 1 single in early 2003. It was followed by Worship & Faith, consisting mostly of gospel standards, in 2003. This album earned an RIAA gold certification three years after its release.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

“Passing Through”, came next which accounted for his last solo chart entries in “Four Walls” and “Angels”. “Glory Train”, Songs of Faith, Worship, and Praise in 2005 also consisted largely of gospel covers. While his second Christmas album, Songs of the Season, followed in 2007.

“A lot of people don’t pay attention to the fact that his first album sold three million copies,” Ray marvels about Travis. “He’s the first solo male artist to ever sell three million copies in the history of the genre. He single-handedly turned this genre around and he has legends like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, George Strait, going, ‘If it wasn’t for Randy Travis I don’t know if I’d be where I am right now.” (Michael Ray)

A Return To The Country Roots

Around the Bend in 2008 returned Travis to a traditional country style, coinciding with a return to Warner Bros. Nashville. Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted of Travis’s career in the preceding years that his turn to Christian music “was fruitful, producing a series of good, heartfelt records. They also included a nice side effect of putting commercialism way on the back burner. The gospel albums were made without the charts in mind. While adding that “Around the Bend “stands apart from trends, not defiantly but comfortably.” In 2009, Carrie Underwood covered “I Told You So” with Travis on duet vocals, and this collaborative version charted at No. 2 on the country charts. Travis released two more cover albums in 2013 and 2014. Influence Vol. 1, “The Man I Am”, and Influence Vol. 2, “The Man I Am”.

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Randy Travis and Carrie Underwood

Merritt Mountain Music Festival Performance July 2006 And The Randy Travis Mural Featured On The Wall Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

The crowd is at capacity with high expectations. Randy Travis is one of the most influential voices in country music. When Travis was introduced and walked on stage the entire crowd stood up.

“I am just a good ol’ country boy at heart and down right human”!(Randy Travis)

There just is no other voice quite like Randy’s and as soon as he began to make a sound you knew who it was! Randy is at his most creative, energetic and exuberant. His performance was warm, funny and engaging. He was at home with his audience and performing at his best.

The audience was lively, responsive and engaged in his every move. There was a feeling of genuineness and love that he has for his music and his fans. For Randy, it is not being a star or a performer. It is the flood of love outpouring from his fans and the enjoyment of being able to be with them and entertain them that is the inspiration for him to keep going.

The crowd was attentive and mesmerized throughout the show. However, broke into a roar when he started singing his closing song “Forever And Ever Amen”.

It was a an overall performance delivered in fine fashion. Capturing his wonderful talented voice as well as his boyish charm and appeal. It was definitely a show to remember. (Claude Lelievre-Merritt Mountain Music Festival)

Randy Music Festival

Randy Travis

‘We Can’t Save Him…Pull the Plug’

Randy Travis has sold more than 25 million albums, earned seven Grammy Awards, and toured the world. In 2013 he suffered a massive stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, limiting his speech and ability to do what he loves most: sing and perform.

As a result of the stroke, Travis had lost his ability to speak and had difficulty walking, but in the years since, has been making progress on both counts as well as relearning how to play the guitar and sing.

Earlier in 2013, Travis became engaged to Mary Davis. The couple married in 2015. Six years on from Randy’s massive stroke, Mary says the experience has taught the couple a lot about love, perseverance, and patience.

Randy Travis and Wife Mary

Randy and Mary married

“You learn to love each other and adore each other in a way that was far beyond what you thought was possible. So we learned a lot about love. There wasn’t anything that I feel like was going to tear us apart.” (Mary Travis)

With Randy unable to speak much, Mary does most of the talking for her husband.

He’s highly septic, with a staph infection we can’t get in control and it’s replicating. As well as other hospital born bacteria, collapsed lungs, chest tubes, he was intubated. He had a tracheostomy, and his skull was still off. 

“There was just so many things working against him but there was a couple things working for him and that was God Almighty and that was His will.” (Mary Travis)

The Decision

Mary asked Randy if he wanted to keep fighting in a partial comatose state. “That’s when that tear fell. And he squeezed my hand and we hadn’t got that much out of him in weeks. So I knew then that he knew what was going on. I also know that he wanted to fight,” she adds.

Randy Travis Hall of Fame Inductee

Randy Travis at induction in to Country Music Hall Of Fame.

During his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, Randy surprised the audience and fans by performing “Amazing Grace” — his first public performance since his stroke three years earlier.

“I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place. I still get emotional when I think about it.” (Mary says, tearing up)

It was noted in 2017, that Travis had suffered permanent damage. It disabled his right hand and has limited much of his speech and singing ability. Travis continues to make public appearances but no longer sings. Mainly because of his apprehension about his ability to do it as well as he used to.

Randy appeared on-stage with Michael Ray during a cover performance of “Forever and Ever Amen” in June 2017, to which Travis contributed the final “Amen.”

He did the same during his 60th birthday party, thrown by the Grand Ole Opry on May 4, 2019.

Randy Travis A Must See Attraction On The Walls Of The Merritt, BC Mural Walk

Visit downtown Merritt in the beautiful Nicola Valley, Merritt, BC and take part in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Merritt, BC Mural Walk. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame includes Hall of Fame Inductees as well as CCMA Award Winning Artists.

randy travis mural in merritt

Experience Nicola Valley Blogger Melvina White – Mural painted by Michelle Loughery

True country music fans will want to start the downtown mural tour at Merritt’s National Attraction. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, situated on Quilchena Avenue in The Country Music Capital of Canada.

The Merritt, BC Mural Project created in 2005, became a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. The project, designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

Randy Travis mural can be found on the wall of The Adelphi Hotel at 2101 Quilchena Avenue.

Travis Forges Ahead, Seeking New Ways to Sustain His Career After Stroke

Randy Travis‘ new memoir, Forever and Ever, Amen: A Memoir of Music, Faith and Braving the Storms of Life, takes readers on a journey through some of the singer’s darkest moments and most difficult challenges.

While Travis admits that parts of the book were difficult to relive, there were also aspects of his past that he loved going back to and revisiting.

“Mary’s commitment to me has been truly astounding,” Travis writes in his memoir. “I was healthy, in fantastic physical condition, and a highly successful country star when we fell in love. But she married me after I had been incapacitated by a stroke, knowing full well what she was getting herself into. That was a major commitment — a commitment of love.”

Travis has enjoyed many “pinch me” moments over the course of his career, earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to his induction into the Grand Ole Opry. He  has never stopped feeling humble and grateful regarding his accolades, and that humility continues to help his fans relate to him.

“There’s lots of joy,” says Mary. “There’s lots of silver linings, even in the clouds.”

experiencemerritt

The information for this article was obtained from Wikipedia and Randy Travis-Singer, Guitarist, Songwriter-Biography

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Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses

Earthwalker, one of our Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses with a twist

I have the best customers! They range in age from 4 to 75 years old.” Renee Henry, Earthwalker

When you are checking out our Merritt BC businesses, you will wonder what sort of business Earthwalker might be. Not only is Earthwalker a spiritual store, the owner, Renee, tells me it is also a gathering place where politics, religion and spiritual discussion takes place.  There is a twist. In the winter there is always a pot of hot tea waiting too. The seating is comfy, the atmosphere welcoming and respectful of everyone’s beliefs.

An inspired start

Several years ago, before Renee even thought of starting one of our Merritt BC businesses, she was laid off from her job. Unsure of what to do next, she went to a peaceful beach in Kamloops to meditate and get some clarity on what her next step should be. At the time a friend of hers had a spiritual shop and needed some help, so Renee volunteered. Since she had been interested in crystals from the age of twelve, Renee already had some background. Slowly she gathered together what she needed to open her own shop. A while later when her friend had more help, Renee launched Earthwalker, one of our Merritt BC businesses.

Why Merritt?

Renee tells me that from the first time she came to Merritt it felt like home. She loves the Merritt outdoors and we sure have plenty of that! Lots of fun stuff to do year round too. Hiking, mountain biking, cross-county skiing, fishing and swimming. For a nature enthusiast, wildcrafter, herb and food gatherer, this is paradise. “And once I saw the Hoodoos, I was hooked”, she says.

Merritt B.C. Unique Businesses, clothes and books

Some unique goodies at Earthwalker, a Merritt, B.C. Unique Business

Why a spiritual store?

Many people want to know why Renee chose this type of business. It’s simple. She wants to help people with their spiritual growth. One way she is doing this is by helping customers connect with the crystal that is right for them. In addition to being beautiful, each crystal is a tool with its own healing properties. Renee knows them well! Not only has she been learning about them since she was only 12 years old, Renee has also been a rock hound for as long as she can remember. She matches each crystal’s properties and healing elements to her client’s needs. This is truly a Merritt, B.C. Unique Business! Where else can you get this kind of attention?

Inside Earthwalker

Plan to spend some time checking out Earthwalker. Renee carries many different types and colours of stones, crystals and jewelry. It doesn’t stop here either. Best known for her knowledge, her crystals, her singing bowl and her own unique self, she also sells clothing, statues, tarot cards, books, healing items and one-of-a-kind goodies you just won’t find anywhere else! And why would you? After all, Earthwalker is one of our Merritt BC businesses.

Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses, display case

Earthwalker. Some unique goodies beautifully displayed

Gypsy, everyone’s friend

All Merritt BC businesses have a surprise and uniqueness to themselves. Earthwalker is no exception. Meet Gypsy, a quiet, relaxing dog who is very gentle. Even if you are not a dog person, Gypsy will soon have you petting and talking to her. If you need a hug, you can be sure she knows and will wander over to offer canine comfort and support

Merritt, B.C. Unique Businesses, Earthwalker

Renee and Gypsy at Earthwalker

Before we finished the interview, I just had to ask Renee a few questions I thought potential entrepreneurs might want answers to.

Questions and answers:

Q: If you could speak to your younger self when you were just starting out, what advice would you give?

A: Do some accounting courses first! That would be a huge help. Also, the importance of social media and technology awareness is crucial! It is invaluable in promoting and marketing your business. Also, in today’s tough business climate  you need to be known on social media.  Your business will increase as your social media exposure increases.

Q: What are your favorite things about being an owner?

A: I dictate how my day goes. How I treat people or how much time I give them is not mandated by someone else.

Q: What future plans do you have for Earthwalker?

A: I would like to take more courses in the healing arts, holistic healing and women in business. In the autumn, I want to do more connecting with businesses. Lots of men are starting to get involved as well as women. More community connections. I would like to be able to hire more staff and offer more services.

Q: Speaking of community connection, is there another person or business you would recommend?

A: Angela Kerr. She is a Reiki master and reflexologist.

Q: What one book would you recommend every small business owner read?

A: Small Business For Dummies (Canadian version).

Q: Can you describe your customers?

A: I have the best customers! They range in age from 4 to 75 years old. There are a mixture of men, women and families.  My customers come from all walks of life.  Some need help and others come for information or to socialize. As I said, I have the best customers. (BIG GRIN)

Q: As a business owner, what are your top three priorities?

A: Community connections, people feeling that this is a safe, open place to come and be happy, satisfied customers.

Fall classes at Earthwalker

This fall Renee will be offering classes in:
– wire wrapping
– crystals
– reiki, level 1 and 2

If you are interested , please contact Renee at:
phone: 250-315-5350
email: earthwalkerspirit@hotmail.com
facebook: earthwalkerspiritualshop

Not only is Earthwalker one of our Merritt BC businesses, you can see from this interview that the owner, Renee Henry, is as unique as her business. Be sure to treat yourself to a visit soon. 

Merritt, B.C. unique business 

Earthwalker in Merritt BC Canada

Merritt BC Canada Businesses

“Me and my band and crew have always lived by the code: ‘Work hard, play harder.”

Kenny Chesney, Country Music Superstar

Merritt BC Canada Murals

A Country Music Association Inductee Featured On The Mural Walk in Merritt, BC

Kenny Chesney –  Bonafide Country Music Superstar Deemed “The King of the Road” by The Wall Street Journal

Kenny Chesney is one of the most successful country singers in the world. Although it turns out there’s a lot more hiding underneath that cowboy hat than one would think.

Blessed with a voice that sounds older than his years, Chesney has become known as the country singer with a hard-core country style. Influenced by such artists as Merle Haggard and George “the Possum” Jones, he also draws on the country-rock style of Charlie Daniels and his band.

Chesney was born on March 26, 1968, in Knoxville, Tennessee, at St. Mary’s Medical Center. He grew up in Luttrell, Tennessee.

He is the son of David Chesney, a former elementary school teacher, and Karen Chandler, a hair stylist in the Knoxville area. Chesney has one sibling, a younger sister named Jennifer Chandler. Raised on humble values he spent his childhood beside his beloved little sister.

Lutrell, Tennessee, is a really great place to grow up. You couldn’t help but be consumed by country music. It’s everywhere … but I never dreamed of being a singer as a kid. (Kenny Chesney)

Prelude To Popularity and Fame – Kenny Chesney

Although he is a country music superstar. There are plenty out there that think they know a lot about the singer  and they probably do. But let it be known there’s still a few things they don’t know about him.

Kenny’s childhood dream was to become a professional athlete. His heart was set on possibly being either a baseball or football star. Unfortunately that couldn’t happen because the rules were you had to be taller than 5’8″.

Kenny attended and graduated from Gibbs High School in Corryton, Tennessee in 1986. After high school, Chesney enrolled in East Tennessee State University in Johnson City where he studied for a business and advertising and marketing degree.

His mother gave him his first guitar “The Terminor” for Christmas that same year. He taught himself how to play it and at the same time started entertaining his friends and writing his own songs. He had the bug.

Kenny Chesney (the boot)

The Beginning Of A Superstar

Entertaining for his room mates and friends led to a gig in a small restaurant close to campus. The lack of response he received from the Saturday night student crowds did not discourage him. He stood up, shook it off and continued to play at small restaurants and clubs.

In 1989, Chesney recorded a demo album at Classic Recording in Bristol, Virginia, of original songs written by himself. Selling a 1000 copies of the album as well as performing, he was able to buy himself a new guitar. 

Hooking up with a college band Kenny’s fan base expanded as he ventured away from campus and started playing venues in Virginia and throghout the Carolinas. He had the bug bad, it took everything he had not to quit university and head to Nashville.

After graduating from East Tennessee State University in December, 1991, with degree in hand. Kenny wasted no time in packing up and heading to Nashville, Tennessee, to hopefully become a songwriter.

Kenny Chesney

Goals and Grit Plus The Drive To Make Great Things Happen

Chesney secured a house gig at a honky tonk called  “The Turf” in Nashville’s historic district. On top of that he got a job as a valet parking cars during the day. While paying the bills, he read every book he could get his hands on about the music business. He did his research on the country music industry.

One day in 1992 he picked up the phone and called BMI publishing executive Clay Bradley. Clay referred Kenny to Troy Tomlinson, of Opryland Music Group .

“First of all I was attracted to the songs, because I thought that he painted great pictures in his lyrics, particularly for someone who had not been around the typical Music Row co-writes.” (Troy Tomlinson)

“I thought that he sang very well too. But more than anything there was a kind of this ‘I-will-do-it’ look in his eyes – I was really drawn in by the fact that he was so set on being successful in this business.” (Troy Tomlinson) (Wikipedia)

Kenny performed five songs at the audition which impressed Tomlinson and left him enthusiastic. When Kenny left the addition, he left with a songwriter’s contract in hand.

Kenny Chesney

The Beginning Of A Country Music Staple – Kenny Chesney

A year later in 1993, Kenny made an appearance at a local songwriter’s showcase. This showcase led to him landing a recording deal with Capricorn records. The album recorded with Capricorn Records, new country division, released in 1994 featured, Chesney’s first recording of “The Tin Man” and “In My Wildest Dreams”. Both of them reaching the lower regions of the US Billboard Hot Country Singles and Track Charts.

The Album sold 10,000 copies before Capricorn records decided to ban their country division of the label in 1994. Chesney was left with a record but no promotional help. Luckily for him however, his talents as a songwriter and singer left a mark in the industry and BNA was waiting in the wings.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

The BNA label, which signed Chesney in 1995, also purchased the master disks to In My Wildest Dreams. Chesney’s first album with BNA, All I Need To Know, would feature a reprise of “The Tin Man” as its first single.

Releasing his second album in 1995, All I Need to Know  produced the single “Fall in Love“. It reached the Top 10, while “Grandpa Told Me So” peaked at number 23. This album seemed to capture the traditional spirit that made country music popular as well as set the stage for a string of platinum releases throughout the rest of the 1990s and 2000s.

 

Small Steps, Spirit, Energy And Passion Continue Towards Becoming A Country Music Staple

Chesney’s  first Gold Album “Me and You” was released in 1996. This was his first album released by BNA and the third of his career as well as his second major label album.

The album’s first single, “Back in My Arms Again” climbed the charts to reach just outside the top 40. The title track “When I Close My Eyes” which Chesney recorded on his previous album from Capricorn Records reached number 1.

Kenny opened and toured with Alabama to crowds of 15,000 fans a night, since the release of his second album with Capricorn Records in 1994.  With that kind of exposure, as well as continuing to tour with Alabama, did nothing but help the sales of his third album as it continued to climb.

“As a songwriter and an artist, I want to try to make somebody laugh, I want to try to make somebody cry, I want to try to make somebody remember their first girlfriend or their first kiss. You want to try to make them miss somebody or want something.” (Kenny Chesney to Dixie Weathersby)

“I Will Stand’ followed in 1997. The first single from this album ‘She’s Got It All’ remained at top of Billboard Country Chart for three weeks. (Biography)

Chesney wanted a tune or two that was hard-core country as well as being able to pull emotions from his listeners. Regardless of whether country radio played it or not. “Hillbilly Heaven with Their Honky Tonk Hell” was that song. It featured backup vocals by fellow Young Country artist Tracy Lawrence and George Jones “The Possum” himself, who Chesney maintained is “the best country singer there ever was”. (Biography)

Kenny Chesney

Continuing With Small Steps to Big Things

“I am glad I have taken really small steps. “I have learned something in every step that helped me get to the next one.… Shoot, if I get to do this for 20 more years, and I am still taking these small steps, then that is what I’m going to do because I love country music.” (Kenny Chesney-Dixie Weathersby)

Chesney’s plans along with his conservative approach to the industry changed with the release of “Every Where We Go”  in 1999.

The album sold over 2 million copies. Two of the singles “You Had Me From Hello” and “How Forever Feels,” reached number one, another single “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”,  reached number 2.

Releasing his first “Greatest Hits” collection in 2000 which included two new songs reached number one on the album chart and like “Everywhere We Go”, was awarded platinum status. (Encyclopedia)

Kenny’s chart success and album sales were just warm-ups for what was yet to come. The release of the album “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem” in 2002, reached number one as well as included four top ten singles. “The Good Stuff” spent seven weeks at number 1 and became the number one country song of 2002.

Kenny Chesney

Riding The Wave To Becoming A Super Star Country Music Staple

Chesney released his first holiday album, “All I Want For Christmas Is A Real Good Tan” in 2003. The ‘Margaritas N’ Senorita’s Tour also took place in 2003.

The next major release in 2004, “When The Sun Goes Down” continued the country wave. The album included Calypso rhythms, influenced by his love of the Caribbean as well as a duet with Uncle Kracker, a rap rocker.

Its first single “There Goes My Life” spent seven weeks at number one on the Billboard country charts. A duet, the Album’s title track with Uncle Kracker went number one. “I Go Back” along with the album’s fourth single “The Woman With You” both peaked at number two. The fifth single “Anything But Mine” reached number one, and the final single “Keg In The Closet” peaked at number 6.

The album sold 550,000 copies in the first week and a over three million copies all totalled. “When The Sun Goes Down” was honored with the 2004 CMA award for Album Of The Year while Chesney was honored with Entertainer Of The Year. He was also presented with the 2004 AMA’s Artist Of The year Award.

Kenny finished off the year with “Guitars, Tiki Bars And A Whole Lotta Love Tour” (Wikipedia)

Kenny Chesney

Continuing The Road To Shattering Records

Chesney received his first career GRAMMY nomination in 2004 for Best Country Collaboration With Vocal for “Hey Good Lookin'” with Clint Black, Jimmy Buffett, Alan Jackson, Toby Keith, and George Strait. He made his GRAMMY stage debut performing “Better As A Memory” at the 51st GRAMMY Awards in 2009. (Grammy Newsletter)

Chesney released two albums in 2005, ‘Be As You Are’ and “The Road And The Radio”. He also went on a ‘Somewhere in the Sun Tour’.

In 2006, he released his first live album called. “Live Those Songs Again”. It includes a live rendition of 15 of his songs. This was also the year when he went on ‘The Road and The Radio Tour’.

Chesney’s next album, “Just Who Am I”, “Poets & Pirates” was released on September 11, 2007. On November 15, 2007, he released another compilation album titled “Super Hits”. ‘The Flip Flop Summer Tour’ was also organized this year.

Kenny released his next album, “Lucky Old Sun” on October 14, 2008. “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” and “Down the Road” are two most popular singles from this album. This is also the year when he went on ‘The Poets and Pirates Tour’.

April 2009, he began his ‘Sun City Carnival Tour’ starting at Uncasville, Connecticut. He ended it in Indianapolis in September 2009. This is also the year when he released his third compilation album “Super Hits II”.

Kenny Chesney

A Whirlwind Of Albums And Tours

2010, Chesney released a new album titled “Hemmingway Whiskey”. This is also the year when he produced a biographical film on his favorite football star Condredge Holloway Jr. The film was titled ‘The Color Orange’ and was premiered on February 20, 2011 on ESPN. ‘With a Two Tour’ was also organized that year.

Chesney next undertook his eleventh concert tour titled ‘Going Coastal Tour’. It began on March 17, 2011 at West Palm Beach and ended on August 27, 2011 in Boxborough.

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

2012, Chesney released his thirteenth studio album titled “Welcome to Fish Bowl”. One of its singles “Feel Like a Rock Star” received four and half stars out of five.

June 2012, Chesney embarked on “Brothers of Sun Tour” with Tim McGraw. They performed in 22 different cities starting at Tampa and ending at Foxboro in the end of August 2012. The tour drew over one million audiences and grossed $96 million in ticket sales.

March 2013, Chesney went on his thirteenth tour ‘No Shoes Nation Tour’. It was organized to promote his newest album, “Life on Rock”, which was released on February 5, 2013.

On what inspires him to write a song: “My inspiration comes from life in general. I keep my ears open, as well as overhear conversations in restaurants and on the street. I watch a lot of movies and TV, and love to read. There are so many things that can be taken and made into songs, everything that has an emotion to it. I just look for things that people can hang on to.”

Kenny Chesney

The Albums and Tours Continue

On September 23, 2014 Chesney released his latest album, “The Big Revival”. It was a big hit and many of its singles topped the Country Airplay Chart. The next year, he undertook ‘The Big Revival Tour’. It began on March 26, 2015 at Nashville and ended at Foxboro on August 29, 2015. On October 27, he and Jason Aldean announced that they would perform 10 joint stadium shows in the summer of that year.

Chesney announced that he was in the studio working on new music on March 7, 2016, . On March 24, 2016 the lead single to the album titled “Noise”,  was released to country radio .  The album, Cosmic Hallelujah, was released on October 28 The second song in the album, “Setting the World on Fire”, featuring singer PINK was released to country radio on July 28, 2016.

The Birth Of No Shoes Nation

On August 25, 2012, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Kenny Chesney announced to his fans that he would call his fan following No Shoes Nation. The term No Shoes Nation originated from Chesney’s hit song “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem”. The symbol of No Shoes Nation is a black flag with a white skull and crossbones. Live in No Shoes Nation was accompanied by a live album, which topped the Billboard 200 after its release in late 2017.  No Shoes Nation inspired the name of Chesney’s Sirius XM channel, No Shoes Radio.

It was announced, in January 2018, that Chesney had ended his contract with Sony Music Nashville and signed to Warner Bros. Records Nashville. Chesney released his first album with Warner, entitled Songs for the Saints, on July 27, 2018. In November 2018, he announced plans to tour the U.S. in 2019, hitting smaller-sized venues and arenas rather than massive stadiums.

Kenny Chesney

One Of The Most Famous Superstars of All Time

Kenny Chesney is the 90th most popular classic music artist and the 59th most famous in the world. Kenny Chesney is described by fans as: A great performer, entertaining, talented, easy to listen to and awesome.

“The more people I get to see in front of me – whether it’s at a football stadium or a funky little bar like the Hog’s Breath in Key West – the more I realize how much we all have in common. There are a lot of people punching a clock or having too much on their plate, a buncha people on their first date, with that nervousness and excitement that they’re really there…we all want the same things, all hope for the same stuff and I feel like pretty much worry about the same stuff, too. (Kenny Chesney)

Kenny has recorded 20 albums, 20 of which have been certified Gold or higher by the RIAA. He has also produced more than 40 Top 10 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts, 30 of which have reached number one. Many of these have also charted within the Top 40 of the US Billboard Hot 100, making him one of the most successful crossover country artists of all time.. He has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

Kenny Chesney

Recognition And Awards

Chesney has received six Academy of Country Music awards, including four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards, as well as nine awards from the Country Music Association. Other notable awards he received include the Academy of Country Music’s  New Male Vocalist of the Year,  Top Male Vocalist of the Year, and the Triple Crown Award in 2005.

Bonafide Country Music Superstar – Kenny Chesney Plays The Last Merritt Mountain Music Festival

Kenny Chesney could have caused a few of the festival organizers minor heart attacks when, near the end of his show, he jumped down into the photographer’s pit in front of the stage to start shaking hands with fans. Chesney closed out seventeen years of the Merritt Mountain Music Festival in 2009. (Merritt Herald)

Kenny Chesney Country Music Staple Featured On The Merritt, BC Canada Walk Of Fame

A bonafide Country Music Superstar as well as a Country Music Staple and the last critically acclaimed star to headline The Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Chesney earned his spot on the wall. Even though Kenny is not a Canadian and is not in the Country Music Hall Of Fame. It was an honor to have him perform in Merritt, BC, Canada and become a part of the Country Music Hall of Fame Mural Walk

The Kenny Chesney Mural, painted by Michelle Loughery can be found in Spirit Square on the corner of Granite Avenue and Voght Street, in a row of murals near the stage. The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”.

Explore Our Beautiful Downtown And All The Nicola Valley Has to Offer.

Visit our Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame located at 2025 Quilchena Avenue, downtown Merritt, BC. The Hall of Fame includes Canadian Hall Of Fame Inductees as well as CCMA Award Winning Artists. Start you Downtown Mural walk from this point.

Walk of Stars Handprints

In addition, while on your mural tour, visit the many handprints of country artists situated throughout the town.

Hundred’s of International Country Music Artists have performed at the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival. As a result, those stars  left their mark permanently, by placing their handprints (or, in one case, footprints) and signatures in concrete stars. As a result, in 2003, those stars became the basis for the Merritt Walk of Stars. In addition, by 2005 more than 100 bronzed stars, created from the concrete impressions, were displayed throughout the community. 

Above all, the handprints will continue to grow with the Rockin River Music Fest, and add to the existing legacy of the Stars that have visited and performed in Merritt, BC.

  Discover and experience the natural beauty and attractions in Merritt and the Nicola Valley!

Kenny Chesney has covered a lot of ground – and he believes he’s got a lot more ground to go. You can follow Kenny on:

Website: www.kennychesney.com

Facebook

Merritt BC Canada Downtown Mural Digital Walking Tour

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

Experience Nicola Valley Blog

Blog

Experience Nicola Valley

Travel Website

(Information for this blog was obtained from Wikipedia and Encyclopedia. Other sites recognized individually)

Canadian Country Music Singer – Ian Tyson

Merritt BC Canada Murals

A Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame
Inductee

Ian Tyson Canadian Country Music Singer Pioneer – Five Decades Plus

Canadian Country Music Singer Pioneer Ian Tyson walks with a stiff-legged cowboy gait to the centre of the stage. A preamble to his performance. The walk is an illustration, of what being a cowboy is all about. Falls off horses, bruises, broken bones as well as a reminder that, the cowboy life is not the glamour of the old western movies. Just listen to some of the great recordings performed by Ian Tyson.  An artist who has become a pioneer icon — a timeless singer with a bruised voice who tells stories with the unvarnished luster of truth.

For one thing, Ian Tyson is  an Internationally acclaimed Canadian Country SingerSongwriter Pioneer. He has created some of Alberta’s and Canada’s most enduring standards, not to mention a career spanning over five decades. His music has inspired such renowned artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot. Consequently, over the years, Tyson has continued to create music that captures life in the west through vivid descriptions of Alberta and cowboy culture. Not to mention, a leading spokesman for western pride including helping establish a unique soundtrack to capture the Alberta experience.

Victoria British Columbia – 1933

Born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1933, the second child of George and Margaret Tyson, Ian grew up in Duncan, BC. His Father, who immigrated from England in 1906 owned a small farm. Ian learned how to ride horses on this farm.

Ian Tyson - Experience Nicola valley

Cowboy Ian Tyson Four Strong Winds

Beginning And End of Rodeo Career

He left home as a teenager,  for southern Alberta where he followed and competed in the Rodeo Circuit. A foot injury put him in the Calgary hospital. It was while recovering that he learned how to play the guitar.

The Musical Journey Begins Of A Canadian Country Singer Pioneer

He made his singing debut at the Heidelberg Café in Vancouver in 1956 as well as  played with a rock and roll band, The Sensational Stripes. After graduating from the Vancouver School of Art in 1958, Tyson made his way to Toronto to pursue a music Career.

It was during the 60’s folk boom that he met singer/songwriter Sylvia Fricker. As a result, they formed the duo “Ian and Sylvia. On the positive side, as Ian & Sylvia, they were the Canadian stars of the early ’60s folk boom. “Ian and Sylvia” enjoyed great success. They were playing all over the country receiving rave reviews and playing to sold-out crowds. One of their high lights was playing New York’s Carnegie Hall.

The duo married in 1964. Forming what was to become one of the most influential country acts in the industry, both in Canada and abroad. They recorded over a dozen timeless albums as well as wrote some of Canada’s best-loved songs, including Ian’s “Four Strong Winds” as well as “Someday Soon”  including Sylvia’s “You Were on My Mind”. All things considered, some of the most famous artists of our times have covered these songs countless times.

Ian Tyson - Alberta Canada

Ian Tyson

Four Strong Winds

It was during this time that Four Strong Winds was released. The title track became an instant hit. Over 50 versions were recorded in the first five years after its release. It has remained a folk standard. Neil Young recorded Four Strong Winds in 1979.  “It is the most beautiful song, I have ever heard in my life.” Johnny Cash recorded the song, shortly before his death. He included the song on his posthumous album released in 2006. The song has also become an Alberta standard. A 2005 radio listener’s poll named Four Strong Winds the greatest Canadian song of the 20th century. (Alberta Order Of Excellence)

During the British Invasion

Ian and Sylvia evolved into pioneers of country-rock during the British Invasion.. Their band, Great Speckled Bird, rivaled the Byrds and other groups which helped create modern country, a decade before the Urban Cowboy phase of contemporary “new traditionalists”.

Ian Tyson Singer and Songwriter

Ian Tyson Show

Television Years

Ian and Sylvia formed the iconic country rock band “Great Speckled Bird”. At the same time, Tyson hosted the national Canadian television music show, “Nashville North.” The show was later renamed “The Ian Tyson Show” from 1970 to 1975. Sylvia Tyson and the Great Speckled Bird appeared often on the series.

Back To Ranching

After hosting television music show from 1970 to 1975, the music and marriage of Ian and Sylvia had ended. It was now or never. Disillusioned with the Canadian country music scene. Tyson realized the time had come to return to his first love – training horses in the ranch country of southern Alberta. He once again made Alberta his home, settling in Pincher Creek where he began ranching and living the life about which he was so proud to write and sing.

Cowboy Ian Tyson from Alberta Canada

Ian Tyson Esplanade

The Time Of Country And Cowboy Music

“It was a kind of a musical Christmas card for my friends” he recalls. “We weren’t looking for a ‘hit’ or radio play or anything like that.”

In 1980, Tyson met Calgary music manager and producer Neil MacGonigill. In  1983. After three years, in spite of working his ranch, Tyson decided to concentrate on music. To begin with, the album Old Corrals & Sagebrush, a mixture of traditional cowboy songs and new western music, was well received.

On the other hand he found it a challenge to combine his two separate lives in new songs that explained the reality of “western culture” and the mindset of a cowboy in a sometimes-alien world. His breakthrough album, 1986′s Cowboyography, earned platinum status in Canada, as well as earned him his first JUNO Award.

All of a sudden, the cowboy renaissance was about to find expression at the inaugural Elko Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 1983. To put it another way a small coterie of saddle makers, rawhide braiders, cowboy poets and pickers came together in a small cow town in northern Nevada. Not only was he invited to perform his “new western music” at the gathering, as well as,  Tyson has missed only one or two gatherings in the 30-plus years since.

The 1987 album Cowboyography contained two songs that were later chosen by the Western Writers of America as among the Top 100 Western Songs of all time: “Navajo Rug” and “Summer Wages”.[36]

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Photo

On The Road

As soon as Tyson’s music became popular, he began traveling and performing at concerts across North America. At the same time a busy Tyson stayed true to his roots. Maintaining Alberta as his home as well as working on his ranch in Pincher Creek. As a matter of fact the gravel road that runs from his present ranch in the foothills of the Rockies is the inspiration for Tyson’s 2005 album, “Songs from the Gravel Road”. As a result, by releasing this album at the age of 71, Tyson has shown that an active cowboy life keeps his creative pulse beating. Not to mention, his discography remains an enduring collection of Canadian classics.

Ian Tyson Country Music Legend

Ian Tyson Celebrating 50 Years Of Music

Inductions And Awards Of A Canadian Country Singer Pioneer

Canadian Country Music Association 
Male Vocalist of the Year 1987
Single of the Year – Navajo Rug  1987
Album of the Year – Cowboyography 1987
Vocalist of the Year (Male) 1988
Induction into Canadian Country Music Hall of Honor 1989
Video of the Year – Springtime in Alberta 1991

Juno Awards  
Country Male Vocalist of the Year 1987
Inducted into Juno Hall of Fame (with Sylvia Tyson) 1992

 Big Country Awards

 Outstanding Performance (male) 1975
Best Country Album – Ol’Eon/A&M Records 1975
Top Country TV Show – The Ian Tyson Show 1975
Artist of the Year 1988
Top Male Vocalist1988
Album (Best)- Cowboyography 1988

Country Music Association of Calgary

Male Vocalist of the Year 1989
Alberta Song of the Year – Fifty Years Ago 1989
Top Alberta Single of the Year – Fifty Years Ago 1989
Favorite Calgary and Area Country Entertainer 1989

Miscellaneous

Four Strong Winds named All Time Favorite Canadian Country Songs 1988

Readers Poll – COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Finalist, World Championship Cutting Horse Futurity, Fort Worth, TX 1989
INDUCTION Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame 1989

Country Music Association of Calgary 1989

     – Alberta Male Vocalist of the Year
     – Top Alberta Single of the Year (Fifty Years Ago)
    –  Song of the Year (Fifty Years Ago)
    – Harcourt, Calgary and Area Country Entertainer

More Awards

 Song of the West Reader’s Poll for Best Album of the Year: “And Stood There Amazed” 1991
First Male Country Vocalist to Achieve Two Gold Albums in Canada 1992
ASCAP Country Award (Someday Soon) 1992
Honorary Dr. of Athabasca University 1993
RECIPIENT- Order of Canada 1995
Prairie Music Awards – Outstanding Country Recording (Lost Herd) 1999
American Cowboy Culture Awards – Western Music Award 2000
Strong Winds voted Canada’s No. 1 song of the 20th Century 2000
Prairie Music Hall of Fame 2001
Honorary Dr. of Law – University of Calgary 2001
Western Heritage Wrangler Award – Outstanding Original Western Composition for “Bob Fudge” 2002

Governor General’s Performance Arts Award 2003

BCCMA Hall of Fame 2006
Alberta Order of Excellence 2006
Mariposa Folk Festival Hall of Fame 2006
CBC Radio Listeners’ Poll declares Four Strong Winds the Number One Canadian song of the 20th Century 2006
Honorary Dr. of Letters – Thompson Rivers University 2007
ASCAP Citation of Excellence 2008
Western Music Hall of Fame 2008
Western Horseman Magazine’s Horseman of the Year Award 2009
Resonance Award – presented by Canadian Museum of Civilization for a lifetime’s contribution to Canadian music. 2009
First Recipient of the Charles Russell Heritage Award (C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, MT) 2010
The Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II in honour of the 60th anniversary of her reign.  2012
Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) – University of Lethbridge  2015
Fellowship, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB  2015
Association of Country Music in Alberta (ACMA) – Hall Of Fame 2017

Songs from the Gravel Road TV Documentary

• 2011 – Bronze Medal – 54th New York Festival’s International Television & Film Awards 2011
• 2011 – Gold Remi Award – Best TV Documentary – 44th Houston Independent Film 2011
 
Alberta Recording Industry Association

Male Performer of the Year 1987
Country Artist of the Year 1987
Song of the Year – Navajo Rug 1987
Album of the Year – Cowboyography 1987
Single of the Year 1988
Best Country Artist on Record 1988
Male Recording Artist of the Year 1988
Composer of the Year 1989
Performer of the Year 1989

Some Top Honors

Ian was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association Hall of Honor and Hall of Fame in 1989. To the Juno Hall of Fame in 1992, the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2000, as well as the Prairie Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Ian Tyson was inducted into the Mariposa Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tyson  holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Calgary and Athabasca University. He became a member of the Order of Canada in 1994.

Tyson became a recipient of the Order of Canada in October 1994. In 2005 CBC Radio One listeners chose his song, ‘Four Strong Winds’ as the greatest Canadian song of all time, during a radio series titled “50 Tracks: The Canadian Version”. (Biography)

He was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2006 as well as 2003 including receiving a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.

Connecting With People

“Tyson said, “I made it a point to reach as many people as possible through my music, including people not directly from the ranch culture.” (Ian Tyson)

As a matter of fact, Ian’s goal has been to write songs to which different people could all relate. Not only but also the popularity and longevity of his many albums, along with the awards and recognition that followed, are proof that Tyson has been able to achieve that goal.

Ian Tyson tells the story of rural Alberta and today’s West, above all through his music. He reveals the challenges of a rancher’s life, the beauty of the Rockies as well as the cowboy’s strong work ethic.

Passion, Talent and Inspiration Of A Canadian Country Singer Pioneer

As has been noted the path of Tyson’s career serves as a model for Canadian musicians starting out in the industry today. In short, his dedication to music and his style is firmly recognized. By always focusing on his home as well as his passions. Tyson serves as a mentor for new artists, such as Albertan Corb Lund.

In addition Tyson has used his skill and passion for music to benefit the community. To emphasize, performing at fundraising concerts across Alberta, Canada and internationally to raise awareness of and support for many causes. In particular, including child safety and education. As a compassionate rancher and environmentalist, Tyson has also joined his fellow Southern Albertans in work to preserve the natural landscape of rural Alberta.

 Corb Lund and his idle Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson and Corb Lund

Life Challenges

“I fought the sound system and I lost” (Ian Tyson)

Life has not been without its difficulties, however. In 2006, he seriously damaged his voice after a particularly tough performance at an outdoor country music festival.  As a result,  a virus that took months to pass, his smooth voice now hoarse, grainy, had lost much of its resonant bottom end. Generally speaking, after briefly entertaining thoughts that he would never sing again, he began relearning and reworking his songs to accommodate his “new voice.” To his surprise, audiences now paid attention as he half-spoke, half-sung familiar words, which seemed to reveal new depths for his listeners. (Biography)

Songs with Ian Tyson

Ian Tyson

Summary of a 63 year Canadian Country Singer Pioneer

Ian Tyson is now 84 years old. He’s still going strong. Still touring, recording, as well as running the Tyson ranch in Pincher Creek, Alberta Canada. At the same time continuing to writing about love, horses, and the landscape he loves. He released his most recent single “You Should Have Known” in September 2017 on Stony Plain Records, the label that Tyson’s released fifteen albums with since the ‘80s. The song unapologetically celebrates the hard living, hard drinking, hard loving cowboy life and joins his favorites hits such as “Four Strong Winds,” “Someday Soon,” “Summer Wages” and more. (Biography)

“Your Eighties Is Not A Time For Sissies” (Ian Tyson)

Tyson doesn’t look backwards at six decades plus of a career that’s earned him countless awards, the Order of Canada, and a devoted following. He faces the audience, as he faces the future, with a mixture of optimism and resignation. Your eighties, Tyson tells people, is not a time for sissies.

An announcement in July 2019 stated that Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. They will be inducted individually, not as a duo. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article stated that “the duo’s 1964’s hit, Four Strong Winds, has been deemed one of the most influential songs in Canadian history”.

Canadian Country Singer Pioneer – Ian Tyson A Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee On The Downtown Merritt BC, Canada Mural Walk

Performing at The Merritt Mountain Music Festival in 2005, and returning to Merritt BC Canada in 2010, to perform and support the Walk Of Stars as well as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Galas. Ian Tyson earned his spot on the wall. The mural of Ian Tyson can be found on the back of the stage in Spirit Square on the corner of Granite and Voght Street.

Ian Tyson – Canadian Country Singer Pioneer Plays The Infamous Merritt Mountain Music Festival

The crowd was gathered in the white lawn chairs in the VIP section right in front of the stage. They were waiting in anticipation for the “One of A Kind – Authentic and Durable Headliner for the night Ian Tyson.”

Backstage. Tyson runs through the vocal warm up routine he’s done numerous times throughout his five-decade career. He stretches his arms and legs. And then his vocal cords. He tunes his guitar and then saunters to the stage.

Taking the stage, he starts singing his songs about the west. His voice picks out just the right notes as his fingers pick out the chords. This isn’t honky-tonk over-produced country and western twang. We were getting real ballads about places and legends, and a world that is slowly vanishing.

Like most Ian Tyson shows the evening was closed out to a roaring crowd with “Four Strong Winds.” For a true Ian Tyson Fan this is the song to wait for.

                                      

 

Ian Tyson Canadian Country Singer Pioneer Headlines The 7th Annual Walk Of Stars Gala

The seventh annual Merritt Walk of Stars (MWOS) gala, a fundraiser for the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, kicked off with a free show in Spirit Square, from some top names in the industry.  It was followed by a world-class concert that night at the Civic Centre where Ian Tyson was The Headliner.

When Tyson finally raised his white cowboy hat and waved to fans, it was to an enthusiastic, well-earned standing ovation.

Tyson performed in the afternoon as well as signed his mural painted by Michelle Loughery during the day at Spirit Square. The public were invited to meet him as well as the rest of the performers. Fans were able to see the artists on stage, get autographs, and get right up close with them.

“These murals are a great way for visitors to walk the downtown area. We enjoyed our visit, stopped at a few shops, and bought a souvenir too… Nice small town touch”. (Don H Kirkland Washington)

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame

Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Merritt Attractions – Take The Walk

Visit downtown Merritt in the beautiful Nicola Valley, Merritt, BC and take part in the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, Merritt, BC Mural Walk. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame includes Hall of Fame Inductees as well as CCMA Award Winning Artists.

True country music fans will want to start the downtown mural tour at Merritt’s National Attraction. The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, situated on Quilchena Avenue in The Country Music Capital of Canada.

The Merritt Mural Project was created in 2005. The Merritt BC Murals were part of a successful program called, the “Merritt Youth Mural Project”. A project designed for working with local young artists and “ youth at risk”. Merritt Murals were painted by muralist Michelle Loughery.

“It is important for Merritt to continue to grow as the Country Music Capital of Canada.” (Ron Sanders President: Country Music Hall Of Fame)

Walk Of Stars Hand Prints

In addition, while on your mural tour, visit the many handprints of country artists situated throughout the town.

Hundred’s of International Country Music Artists have performed at the annual Merritt Mountain Music Festival. As a result, those stars  left their mark permanently, by placing their handprints (or, in one case, footprints) and signatures in concrete stars. As a result, in 2003, those stars became the basis for the Merritt Walk of Stars. In addition, by 2005 more than 100 bronzed stars, created from the concrete impressions, were displayed throughout the community. (Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame)

Above all, the handprints will continue to grow with the Rockin River Music Fest, and add to the existing legacy of the stars that have visited and performed in Merritt, BC.

“If you love Country Music…. All over the downtown area are painted murals of Country Music Stars. Also on the sidewalks are plaques of Country Music stars who have apparently visited and played in Merritt. A worthwhile walk around the town to see.” (Melody K. Montana USA)

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The Experience Nicola Valley bloggers program just got a lot bigger. Four new bloggers join our story telling team specializing in finance, cowboy culture, small town living and racing. Join us for a conversation with Kyle  Schell and Jennifer Schell, Don Loewen and Susanne Snider.

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Every Thursday at 7 PM (pst) come join us on Nicola Valley Talk as we invite a different guest from the community and beyond to discuss the issues of the day. The talk show is broadcast from self isolation somewhere in the community of Merritt BC Canada. 

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Experience Nicola Valley

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