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Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

Creatives in the Nicola Valley Gather, Carefully

What local creative projects do you know are happening?

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

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

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

Music in the Valley

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

Bobby Garcia musician

Bobby Garcia singing I Remember When

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

Covid protocols

Meet up with Denise Kearney

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

What Creative Projects are happening?

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

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

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

Meet Up for  Summer Inspiration

Merritt BC Artists

Kelly and Olivia discuss art shows

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

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

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

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

Creative Circles

Leonard George Artist

Leonard George and Blue Bear Painting

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

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

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

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

Got ideas? Want to participate?

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

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

More Shows

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

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

Following Covid protocols

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

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

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

 

Kids Art

Susan and Fiona, Fabric Art Fun

Indigenous Art

Cliff McDougall Powwow photography

Merritt BC Artists

Artists Herta and Shirley

Artisan Covid masks

Artisan Angela Ho designs clothes

Artist Cindilla Trent

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

Art Program with Covid Protocols

Clubhouse Art Program

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

Jano Howarth 

NV Arts Gallery Curator 

Arts and Culture Blogger for Experience Nicola Valley

Artists Merritt BC

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

Banjo

Watching Richard Lepinski on Youtube

Nicola Valley Creativity in Action

 

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Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada

Take Me To The Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt, BC, Canada

 

 Rockin’ River  Fest 2019 in Merritt B.C. Canada. A country music festival that takes place annually, on the BC Day long weekend, in Merritt, BC – incidentally the community is also the ‘Country Music Capital of Canada’.

“Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. “

With wonderful campgrounds all along the pristine Coldwater River that meanders through the grounds.

Great music joined with Merritt BC’s beautiful pristine Coldwater River makes a great weekend of “Pure Country Fun”. The Rockin River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC Canada.

Rockin River employees make it look easy. Very organized.

Equally important is how organized the workers at the gates were. 

Majestic view surrounding the Valley.

Parking Available.

If you haven’t experienced riding the “Bus” than you truly haven’t experienced “Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. ” 

Riding the “Bus”.

Introducing Kenny Hess

Born in Outlook, Saskatchewan and raised in the small town of Fernie BC, Kenny was the middle child of a large working class family of 6 brothers and 2 sisters. Kenny Hess has now been a part of the music industry since the 80’s when he started a life of making music for a living.

When Kenny Hess hit the stage, the crowd went wild!

Furthermore with several songs reaching the top 40 nationally and 14 critically acclaimed CDs. Kenny has also been nominated for Canadian Country Music Awards, and has won several BC country music awards including Male vocalist of the year, and Album of the year

 

Icons!

Local Merritt Country Singer Bobby Garcia. Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. 

Bobby Garcia was born and raised in Merritt BC. He has deep roots in traditional country music which he writes and sings about in his latest album These Boots. An up and coming country music artist Bobby loves singing and performing at local festivals and venues across British Columbia.  Check out the album These Boots on iTunes, Spotify and Google music. “Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. “

 

These Boots.

Bobby Garcia n Six More Strings at Merritt Rockin River 2019.

Coupled with breathtaking scenery and amazing music “Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. ” commits to everyone having a whole lot of fun.

A perfect place to spend a BC Day long weekend – for music lovers, families, young people, retirees, campers, RV enthusiasts, sports and outdoor fans.

Exciting weekend for all at “The Rockin’ River Music Fest” in Merritt BC. Canada. Thursday is the night for Merritt locals to enjoy a night of great entertainment.

Rockin’ River Music Fest works hard to provide an experience everyone will remember for years.

Additionally the Rockin River participants are truly the stars!

All the way from Saskatchewan!

First night of River Rockin Fest!

Not to mention the people from other Provinces who attended  “Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada. ” 

All the way from Prince Albert Saskatchewan. Cowboy Hat “check”, Jean Jacket “check”, along with a beautiful smile, all in order for a great time!

In case you feel like riding a “Bull”, a mechanical “Bull” that is.

8 seconds on a “mechanical” bull.

This is not an easy ride.

Many activities to choose from while at Rockin’ River Fest 2019 in Merritt BC, Canada.

A little help from a friend!

Regardless, watching from ground level or high in the stands the experience is astronomical. 

Up in the stands, what a view!

Many happy spectators!

Together with great friends is pure “Fun”, at Rockin River Merritt BC 2019.

A great night to meet a long time friend.

Great friends having a good time.

 

Never fear, friends are near!

Friends enjoying Rockin River!

Merritt Rockin River Festee’s!

Beautiful smile = beautiful time.

What a great night to celebrate your Birthday!

Owing a big Cheer to Kenny Hess

Perfect entertainer to start the weekend off!

For example Kenny Hess can “Rock” the stage.

Kenny Hess playing Johnny Cash.

To repeat “Everyone”  truly loved Kenny Hess’s performance.

Kenny Hess

Furthermore Brett Kissel also graced the stage at Rockin River 2019. 

Brett Kissel

Brett Kissel is a Canadian country singer who is recognized for pure country songs such as, “Canadian Kid”, “Drink, Cuss or Fish”, including “Hockey Please Come Back”.  

 

Kissel recorded his first album, Keepin’ It Country, when he was 12 years old. The youngest CCMA nominee in the history of the awards show, which he received at the age of 16.

An amazing Canadian Country Music Artist, Brett Kissel.

Dancing to Brett Kissel at River Rockin 2019.

Rockin River Music Fest Merritt BC.

The Rockin’ River Music Fest in Merritt BC. Canada. Country music festival that takes place annually, on the BC Day long weekend, in Merritt, BC, Canada. A great summertime experience for the whole family. Rumor has it that Keith Urban will be performing at Rockin River 2020 in Merritt BC.  My hat n boots will be ready! Mark your Calendar!

Keith Urban. www.zimbio.com/photos/

Merritt BC, Canada Rockin’ River Fest 2019

Country Music is in the Nicola Valley in Canada

Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural

Downtown Murals in Merritt BC Canada

Singer, Songwriter, Performer, Actress, Humanitarian and TV Host

The Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural showcases a big-as-life painting, of the highly recognized, award winning singer and songwriter. Therefore, it is easy for us to conclude that this Canadian country music singer is the real deal and possesses the “it” factor. Beverley has earned her spot on a Merritt Mural downtown walking tour located in the Nicola Valley.

Merritt BC Canada Murals

Born to be a Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural

Born on November 2, 1974 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Beverley immigrated to Canada as a child. Subsequently, Beverley’s musical career started to emerge in her early 20’s. However, her big break came in 1997 when Mahood released her first album,” Girl Out Of The Ordinary”. The country music album generated 4 singles as well as 6 music videos. She was born to be a Merritt Mural from the beginning. 

Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural

Melvina White (Experience Nicola Valley) / Mural Painted by Michelle Loughery

The Canadian Country Music Scene 

In 1998 she signed with a record label owned by producer David Foster. That same year “Lace”, a Canadian country music group, was formed with the backing of Foster. Subsequently, between 1998 and 2001, the band charted four singles on the national country music charts. “I Want a Man”, the first single from the album, charted at number 7 in Canada. In addition, it was also a number one video, on CMT’s Chevy Top 20.

Collaborations With Musicians

Beverly has had the honor of recording ‘Taking Care of Christmas’ with Randy Bachman; ‘Patio Lanterns’ with Kim Mitchell;  ‘Looking like Love’ with Mike Reno (from Lover Boy); ‘Don’t Tell Me How I Feel’ with Dan Hill, as well as, ‘Chariots of Fire’ with Kenny Munshaw.

Beverley Mahood Touring with Musicians

Beverly states that performing on the road is her true passion. Therefore it makes sense why other artists would like to work with her on the road including music greats like George Straight, Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers and many more. Every Christmas season since 1997 she has toured across Canada with “Order of Canada” artist and activist Tom Jackson’s, “Huron Carole”. The Huron Carole is a musical production touring Canada in a nationwide effort  to raise funding for local food banks. Mahood has worked and supported Canada’s Food Bank since 1997. 

Funding Local Food Banks

Every Christmas season since 1997 she has toured across Canada with “Order of Canada” artist and activist Tom Jackson’s, “Huron Carole”. The Huron Carole is a musical production touring Canada in a nationwide effort to raise funding for local food banks. Most importantly, Mahood has worked and supported Canada’s Food Bank since 1997. 

The World Comes Calling 

Some exclusive performances have taken Beverly to all corners of the world. Beverly was ask to perform for the G8, World’s leaders in 2010. And during the years of 2004, 2010, and 2011, she performed for the American Military, as well as, the Canadian Military during tours in Afghanistan. 

“My songs deal with life , mine and the people I meet along the way. Some are about life challenges but I have met fun happy people too, so it all gets covered.”

Performing for the Royal Family in 2012 was a definite highlight for Beverley. In other words she showed poise, confidence and grace during a performance for William and Kate on their first official visit to Canada. An honour ranking up there with the Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural. But then again I am bias.

Merritt BC Murals Selfie Beverly Mahood Photo

Music Industry Beverley Mahood Style

Beverley Mahood and Brett Wilson established a business partnership in 2005. Together they formed BPM Entertainment Corp. to pursue creative investment opportunities in the entertainment world. However, they parted ways in 2012 when Mahood bought out Brett’s interest in the company. Beverley has continued to grow the business as a  successful entertainment venture.

Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural Compliments Her Songwriting

During her time in country music Mahood has enjoyed building strong relationships with some of Canada’s, as well as, Nashville’s finest. A result of this relationship building, she has built up a productive career in songwriting. Not just her songs either, she has added her writing talents to songs produced for other singers and performers. 

” My biggest musical moment was probably singing with Bryan Adams or ACDC.”

For example, Mahood co-wrote the hit single “Come to Me”. The song was recorded by Celine Dion on her 2005 Miracle album. As a result “Come to Me” was released on radio in 2007. Followed up, soon later, by “Good to Be Alive” which became the theme song for the CMT reality series Project Mother and Project Dad. In the year 2016, the USA Presidential Campaign used Mahood’s song “Chariots of Fire”.  

Acting, Modeling and Television Hosting

Beverley co-hosted Vancouver’s City-TV Breakfast Show through 2004-2005. In 2004 she captured a singer-dance role in the movie “Chicks with Sticks”. She then moved on to host “Project Mom and Dad”, “CMT Central”, as well, as “Karaoke Star”, between 2005-2010. In between, Mahood performed in 2009 at the Bohemian Ball in Toronto. It was held in support of the Sick Kids Foundation. Then from 2010-2014 Mahood hosted “Pick a Puppy” on CMT, YTN, as well as The W Network.  Lastly, in 2014 was high-lighted with a lead roll in the movie “Changing Season’s”.

“My most emotional moment was singing ‘Rainbow Connection’ on stage, one last time with Sesame Street’s Bob McGrath as he announced his retirement in March 2015.”

During these years Beverly was a regular guest on TSN’s “Off The Record”. In addition she acted as a celebrity model for “Bootlegger”, as well as, a TV commercial with “Smokey Robinson & Boyz II Men”.  She hosted a CBC Canada Day Celebration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, for a crowd of hundreds of thousands.

A Sample Of Awards 

One of the many reasons Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural makes sense is her 5 Juno nominations. As well as, Mahood has earned 3 Canadian Country Music Awards for ‘Female Independent Artist’, CMT’s ‘Indie Artist of the Year’, as well as, numerous Ontario Country Music Association Awards.

“As Artists we have the privilege of a voice and a stage. We have a responsibility to use that privilege so those without can be heard.”

In 2004 the United Nations saw fit to award Beverley the “Outreach Award”. The Canadian Country Music Association, in 2014, presented Mahood with the Prestigious “Slaight Music Humanitarian Award” for her philanthropic work.

Giving Back

Mahood has shown a deep commitment to humanitarian work. So her dedication to good causes is the reason for the overwhelming recognition she receives for her participation from humanitarian agencies around the world. For example 2019 will mark the 22nd year Beverley has hosted and performed at The Saskatchewan Kinsmen Telemiracle held every year. 

“My terms and sense of charity and giving doesn’t come along with what I’m getting from it. It’s important for everyone to give back. Philanthropy doesn’t have anything to do with the size of your wallet, but rather the size of your heart.”

View the Beverley Mahood Merritt Mural 

Beverley Mahood would return to Merritt BC on the Saturday afternoon of May 16, 2006 to participate in the unveiling of her painting at a mural ceremony in Downtown Merritt.  

“I want to cover the story Merritt wants to tell and what this means to the artists. It’s the community that makes Merritt so special” 

 

“It’s pretty unreal,” she said after she finished signing the mural. “You really don’t know what to expect until you see it.”

Mural Location
2051 Nicola Avenue

Website : http://www.beverleymahood.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/OfficialBeverleyMahood
Twitter : https://twitter.com/Beverley_Mahood
You Tube :  https://www.youtube.com/user/beverleymahood

 

Merritt Mural Downtown Digital Walking Tour

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