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Experience Nicola Valley Community Website

Your Community. Your Voice. Its Time Merritt.

Unveiling and launch party April 15, 2019

MERRITT, BC. APRIL 15, 2019 – Tourism Nicola Valley will be hosting the unveiling and red-carpet launch party for a new interactive and digital community tourism website called Experience Nicola Valley. The event will take place on April 15, 2019 at the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame . There are  appys, entertainment, door prizes and an unveiling. 

The hall is located at 2025 Quilchena Avenue in Merritt BC.  Most importantly, the event is open to Nicola Valley businesses, non profits, clubs, societies, associations and events. Above all, look for your invitation in your email inbox or get one hand delivered (invitation below)

Tourism Nicola Valley presents the Experience Nicola Valley Website

Tourism Nicola Valley presents the Experience Nicola Valley Website Launch Gala

Travel Merritt BC In Real Time

The digital platforms, which are the first of their kind in Canada, is in partnership with tourism marketing consultants Greg and Colin Girard from ‘eh Canada Travel’. More over, the new Experience Nicola Valley Blog and Website platforms use state of the art technology and content writing techniques to publish in real time. In short, authentic content is created and developed by community members in the form of informational pages and blogs.

In addition, the Nicola Valley website will feature tourism related information about events, activities, restaurants, hotels, as well as, other tourist related businesses. Best yet, the new interactive website is an opportunity for local businesses, non profits, clubs, associations and events to participate too. It is an opportunity to educate, self market, as well as, generate awareness in real time. 

Merritt BC Website Launch

Travelers want it now and in real time

“ Firstly, 74% of travelers plan their trips on the Internet. Secondly, 89% of millennials plan travel activities based on authentic content. Travelers of today and tomorrow research prior to visiting a destination. To clarify, they want it now and in real time”, states Greg Girard. “Most importantly, these people are looking for authentic stories and experiences from their peers. They are not looking for “corporate speak”.

Community and Technology Working Together in Merritt BC

The Experience Nicola Valley platforms create authentic content covering everything that visitors want to do in Merritt BC & the Nicola Valley including fishing, snowmobiling, mountain biking, and cultural events.

Experience Nicola Valley – New Merritt BC Website Launch

The “Experience Nicola Valley” Blogging Program hosted by “Tourism Nicola Valley” and led by the brother team of Greg and Colin Girard from “eh Canada Travel” is one of the most satisfying programs I have ever been involved with. The program commands your thoughts, inspires your hopes, as well as, creates faith in yourself and your abilities. The stories and experiences are positive, inspirational and motivating. Furthermore, the feeling of watching your blog position on the first page of searches is exhilarating. I would recommend everyone give this program a try and see for themselves.”, Melvina White (Merritt City Counselor)

Merritt BC Canada

Meet the Experience Nicola Valley Bloggers.

Proud to be working with eh Canada Travel

“Tourism Nicola Valley (TNV) is proud to be working with ehCanadaTravel in presenting this new and exciting venture for smaller communities. TNV is impressed with the quality and speed eh Canada implemented the program and with the support they have provided. The volunteer Bloggers are a huge asset to the community and we look forward to seeing them flourish further under the guidance of ehCandaTravel.” Anoop Sehon (President – Tourism Nicola Valley)

Showcases and supports local Merritt BC businesses

“We are very excited about this project and specifically how it showcases and supports local businesses here in Merritt. Tourism dollars are such a huge source of income for so many of Merritt’s business owners, but the work that Tourism Nicola Valley and Eh Canada Travel have done on building this “Experience Nicola Valley” brand is also keeping people here to shop local and renewing interest in exploring their own back yards, which is amazing.” Meagan Preston (Merritt Chamber of Commerce)

Excited about the future

“I am really excited about the future of tourism in the Merritt and the Nicola Valley area. A strong team of bloggers are writing almost daily about the many opportunities and adventures we have to offer in this area. In short, the opportunity to tell the world about our hidden gem by local residents is, to me, priceless.” Tony Luck (Merritt City Counselor)

Proud of the successes of Experience Nicola Valley

“I am very proud of the successes of Experience Nicola Valley team. They continue to share positive stories and experiences about all that is good in the Nicola Valley. Furthermore, the new interactive website is going to add to this “feel good” story,” Greg Girard (cofounder of ehCanadaTravel.com / Small and Rural Community Tourism Consultant – Top Ranked Canadian Travel Blogger).

Tourism Nicola Valley – Merritt BC Community Website 

Historic Murray Church

The oldest building in the Nicola Valley

“The quaint little white church, the first in the area.”

One of the most iconic attractions in the Nicola Valley is the historic Murray Church. Located in the Nicola Valley on highway 5A just northeast of Merritt, the quaint little white church, the first in the area. Built in 1876 the Murray Church is the oldest building in the Nicola Valley and also the only building still standing made with local Nicola Valley lumber. If you peek in the windows you can get an idea of what a 19th century church looked like back in the day. It has a pulpit at the front, pews waiting to be filled, and stained glass windows at the back.

Historic Murray Church - Experience Nicola Valley

Historic Murray Church

Murray Church originally starts out as a Presbyterian Church and in 1927 became Murray United Church. The church named after its founder Rev. George Murray is the most photographed church in all of the southern interior of BC.

Murray Church cemetery

A small cemetery surrounds it with several dozen headstones, some crumbled and worn, but mostly still legible. These told the story of a harder period in history, when many didn’t make it past the age of 50. One headstone marked the grave of a young mother who died just 19 days before her infant daughter. There was also a number of unmarked graves, distinguished only by small piles of rocks or wooden fences. Walking amongst these graves, some marked with ornate marble headstones and some just with a pile of stones, was a somber but fascinating experience.

About the founder – Rev. George Murray

Murray United Church - Experience Nicola Valley

Reverend George Murray

Reverend George Murray first arrived in the Nicola Valley in 1875. rev. George Murray, who became the only Presbyterian minister in B.C. for five years after his arrival. A graduate of the University of Glasgow, rev. Murray had previously ministered to the district extending from Yale to Clinton, including Ashcroft and Lillooet. Perched on a saddle and armed with a Bible, the reverend travelled through the wilderness on horseback covering a circuit of 600 miles. Now the Nicola Valley was added to his parish. As he travelled the circuit, the reverend would camp outdoors, or sleep at whatever house he happened to be near when night fell. As more settlers arrived, the village of Nicola began to take shape and the more optimistic looked forward to the day when it might become a great city. 

Rev. Murray was accepted into the valley and soon found his way into the people’s hearts. In 1876, with their help, he began construction of Murray Church. It was originally St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as the local Presbyterian pioneer families. The Clappertons and the Moores were no doubt among the founders of the church. While living in the Valley, the reverend’s travels took him to surrounding settlements, holding services on alternate Sundays as far away as Stump Lake, Douglas Lake and down the valley to the old 22-Mile House. On special occasions he held services at Aspen Grove and Mamette Lake. Every other Sunday, he preached morning and evening in the little church at Nicola and in the afternoon at either Lower Nicola, or Forksdale (which later became Merritt).

Nicola Ranch home of the Murray Church

The Nicola Ranch is situated around Murray United Church. Major Goldman in 1919 purchased the Nicola Ranch and Town site in Nicola, which grew to some 300,000 acres. He owned all the way up to Monck Provincial Park. Which is now that name. He named this park after his son Commander Victor Robert Penryn Monck Goldman of the Royal Navy. Charles Sydney Major Goldman was a British businessman, author, and journalist who served as a Member of Parliament (MP) from 1910 until 1918. There is a memorial stone in the Murray Church yard. He had purchased all the land including the land that the Murray United Church on today. 

Much to the regret of the early pioneers, the great city that had been hoped for at Nicola did not materialize. Coal was discovered at Forksdale and with the completion of the railroad into the valley in 1908, Merritt began to grow at the expense of Nicola.

Historic Murray Church - Experience Nicola Valley

“Strings Plus” concert.

Today the Murray Church stands among the pioneer buildings of the original village of Nicola and the newly renovated buildings that serve the Nicola Lake Ranch.

Historic Murray Church today!!

 

This year the Murray Church has undergone renovations to restore the building to it’s former glory. 

Regular services there were terminated in 1957 and today the church is only open for special occasions, such as Easter Sunday service, wedding ceremonies and most recently “Strings Plus” concert.  Anyone is welcome to any of the services. Please contact the Trinity United Church 1899 Quilchena Ave. Merritt BC 250-378-5735 for more information.

If you are a history buff this attraction will definately be of interest to you!!!

Take a selfie and post your visit on www.experiencenicolavalley.com.

Hair Straight Back

“I am going on a Blogging Journey”

“Our community is embarking on a ground breaking exercise”

Who would have thought that at this stage in my life I would be embarking on a “Blogging Journey”!

Just threw the old proverb “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” out the proverbial window!

The last time I was going through a life changing experience I co-wrote a country song! Wanna hear it?

This was a friend effort indeed – Composed and produced by Karen Fowlie and joining her in vocals  Tammy Weymouth and Christie McFee.- also known as” Fowl Mouth McPhee.”

Scary stuff right now. We just went through three days of intense blogging training with our instructor, EH Canada Guru, Greg Girard.

Our community is embarking on ground breaking exercise. Saturating the universe with Merritt and Nicola Valley info!

How it started!

Merritt and the Nicola Valley has an abundance of tourism inventory that many communities would kill for – so why didn’t we have an abundance of tourists? Tourism Nicola Valley invited tourism adviser Greg Girard of EH Canada to speak to community stakeholders to show us how to fix this problem.

He said, “I was shocked that Merritt is not a top adventure destination – you have all the inventory”. That resonated with me and for the record I thought the same thing over 10 years ago when I first came to Merritt!!!

During his presentation Greg told stories of other community successes. Then the light went on and the birthed the community blogging idea and project. It did not take long to roundup 9 enthusiastic bloggers and one dog!!!

 

About EH Canada!

ehCanadaTravel.com is the most in-tuned website about current technology trends, and traveler habits. It is the first tourism website in Canada where tourism businesses, travelers and ehCanadaTravel.com can add content to the website. These content creators are referred to as “Canadian Travel Influencers”. On social media look it up #CanadianTravelInfluencers”.

How ehCanadaTravel.com rolls …

ehCanadaTravel.com is a “boots-on-the-ground” tourism website. The co founding brothers, and fellow ambassadors, self research the entire country. 99% of the text information and photos provided on the website comes from their cross country road trips researching communities, adventures, parks, trails and places. The brothers are people persons. They enjoy being on the road living in tents, campers, hotels and/or vacation homes. Meeting people in the tourism industry, learning more about Canada and sharing tourism knowledge is how they roll. When they are not rolling, you can find them hunkering down in a rental home somewhere in Canada researching a region and working on the website. Where is their home base? Their office is in Parksville, BC, Canada on Vancouver Island. The best way to reach them? Call the toll free number, email or yell really loud.

With a little push from Greg, we are on our way!

Nine community bloggers have committed to producing at least two blogs a month with topics embracing, adventure, trails, mountain  biking, food and local cuisine, First Nations history, attractions, business, things to do, seniors, newcomers info and some pet friendly info by our local pet blogger Bailey!

Check them out they are amazing!

  • Travis – Mountain biking / Trails Blogger
  • Etelka – Attractions Blogger
  • Diane – Seniors / Newcomers Blogger
  • Jackie – Food & local cuisine Blogger
  • Jano – Arts & Culture Blogger
  • Gerome – First Nations / History Blogger
  • Meagan – Business Blogger
  • Manuel – Business Blogger
  • Julie – Outdoors Adventure Blogger
  • Bailey – Pet Blogger

I am truly honoured to be connected to this dynamic crew. We may be different but we share the same ideals for the end game – to promote our community in a good and positive light. Yes we get to spread the word with good stuff!!! This light force will override the negativity that rears its ugly head occasionally on Facebook. Don’t get me started on that, I may have to exercise my big girl voice!

My role in this blogging journey!

My mission is to inform the world about the attractions in Merritt and the Nicola Valley – we have some cool stuff!! Our community has an authentic feel and a great small town vibe easy for me to write about and share with others. My commitment is two-fold, one as a blogger and the other to assist with coordinating our newly formed group! They are all truly amazing with tons of passion. It is indeed my pleasure to embrace all my co-bloggers as we embark on this ground breaking blogging journey.

Coming soon my sidekick – Pet Blogger – Bailey!

Community Blogging Journey

There is still a bit of work to do with our newest addition – Bailey. Many hands will have to make this one work. Touring pet friendly places in our community, travelling pet tips right from a dogs mouth and of course meeting fellow pets. This little guy already has a following in our community and will soon be ready to expand his reach!! We should be starting to pound the pavement in the next couple of weeks. Watch out world Bailey’s coming!!!

There is always room for more talent – so if you have an interest and would like to contribute either as a guest blogger or wanting to join the team, connect, and let me know.

Do you think you have what it takes to become a member of this team?

Show your stuff!!!!!!